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Music Memory Monday/Mandy Moore

We all know how this went back in the TRL day–Britney, Xtina, Jessica….Mandy. Although she never reached the heightened prowess of total chart dominance (or in Ms. Simpson’s case a fancy Macy’s fashion empire), Ms. Moore certainly proved to be one of the more resilient divas of the historic late-’90s teen pop gauntlet. 

Born Amanda Leigh Moore in Nashua, NH, the singer (and future actress) got her start after her family moved to the suburbs of Orlando, FL, where she soon took an interest in theater and starred in several local productions. The pint-sized pop princess also made a name a local name for herself by performing the National Anthem at Orlando-based sporting events, even further raising her profile in a town that’s (still) heavily populated by music executives and producers. Epic Records took notice and soon brought her aboard their roster in mid ’99, hoping to take a bite out of the teen pop scene with a superstar of their own…and it worked like a charm, well, sort of. 

Making her debut at the age of 15 with her groundbreaking freshmen set, So Real, Mandy Moore soon became a permanent fixture on Carson Daley’s TRL, mostly because the song and video for “Candy” were just so lip-smackingly irresistible. (I still want a green VW bug, anyone?) It also didn’t hurt that second single, “Walk Me Home,” was featured in the hit teen film, Although her debut went platinum within three months, Moore’s success was trivial compared to the overwhelming popularity of those other girls. Keeping on her path, Moore followed in 2000 by serving up I Wanna Be with You, which was Moore or less a rewerked version of her debut with some remixed cuts and a helping of new material, which included  the breathy title track. Peaking at #24, the sugary sweet serenade would eventually became Mandy’s biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100. A showing of Center Stage, anyone? 

I Wanna Be With You was soon followed with 2001’s self-titled Mandy Moore, which is blessed with just might be one of the  best pop songs ever recorded–“In My Pocket,” a bouncing, whirling Eastern influenced number that should have pick pocketed up to the charts, but being that Moore was often labeled as a “fourth-rate Britney,” the worthy track and the album suffered a similar fate as all of her other sets–they never went anywhere on the charts. Not even “Pocket” follow-up, “Crush,” did a blip on the countdown, which is just a shame because, sigh…I wonder if my crush is reading this right now. Thank you, Mandy. 

While the struggle became real for Mandy to achieve bulldozing chart success (except on TRL because that’s really how it was, wasn’t it?), she managed to hone a craft that snatched the wigs off all the others–a credible acting career. She first popped up in 2002 by landing a leading role in A Walk to Remember, which became a healthy box office adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name. Ms. Mandy kept on her film path, appearing in Saved! (classic) alongside Macauly Culkin, Because I Said So with Diane Keaton (#moviesthatrock), and also alongside the dearly departed Robin Williams in License to Wed. And the double comedic dose of How to Deal and Chasing Liberty? Classic. Moore’s biggest box office hit came just a few years ago with Disney’s animated hit, Tangled, in which the “Cry” singer lent her sassy vocals to the voice of Ms. Rapunzel. But she didn’t keep her talents in the movies, the budding actress also  forayed into television with roles in Entourage, The Simpsons, Scrubs, and in a very relevantly powerful episode of Grey’s Anatomy that no one will ever forget. (Watch a clip of her guest spot right here).

Moore also found time to keep making music while working join her budding acting career, releasing the critically acclaimed Covers in 2003–a romping set featuring covers of classics by Carole King, Joe Jackson, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon The record became made way to a successful music reinvention for Moore, but sales were low which prompted Epic to drop her from their ever-changing roster of mid ’00s talent. 

After leaving Epic, Moore jumped over to Sire Records, but after a short struggle she ultimately left the label in May 2006 and partnered with EMI, who allowed her more artistic control. Releasing Wild Hope in 2007, Moore co-wrote much of the material which received warm critical reception upon its release. It was also during this time that she hit the road alongside the likes of Ben Lee, and Paula Cole, working hard to reestablish herself as an adult artist. Her newfound adulthood theres would also take over on 2009’s Amanda Leigh, a light, breezy collection of underrated tunes that truly saw Mandy, err, Amanda finally coming full circle with her music career. Besides, Amanda Leigh lead single, “I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week” is just so much fun! 

While yes, back then, the sugary concept of Mandy Moore was disposable (Dream, anyone?), but with her now impressive resume that includes you watching Because i Said So on E! to help nurse your weekend hangover, there’s no denying that our “Candy” girl certainly got the job done. While Amanda Leigh was her most recent studio set, the diva left us with plenty of Moore-sels that will forever be creating music memories in headphones all across the music globe. 

For all things Ms. Mandy, get down right here.

To become a fan of Philly Mixtape on Facebook, dance it up right here.

 

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Monday Music Truth

1.Erykah Badu threw major shade towards Iggy Azalea at last night’s Soul Train Music Awards…

During her now infamous hosting duties at last night’s action-packed 2015 Soul Train Awards, “Tyrone” diva Erykah Badu earned shocked reactions from the audience and blew up Twitter when she slammed Iggy Azalea during her opening monologue.

The “On & On” songstress played out the bit in which she supposedly took a phone call from the “Fancy” rapper. 

“Who is this? Iggy Azalea? Yeah, hey! No, no, no, no, no, no, no! You can come,” she shouted into her “phone.” “Because what you’re doing is definitely not rap.”

Ouch!? Watch the diss heard around the music world below. 

2.Twenty years ago this week, Mariah Carey and Boyz 11 Men began their “One Sweet Day” chart reign…

Pass the Kleenex because twenty years ago this week, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men began the longest reign in the 57-year history of the Billboard Hot 100 as “One Sweet Day” spends its first of 16 (!) weeks owning the top spot. The tender ballad about meeting long-lost loved ones in heaven was Mariah’s second single from her chart bulldozing Daydream set, and it would also become her second consecutive number one from the record, as well as her ninth overall at the time. 

Written by Walter Afanasieff and Carey after her longtime producer and collaborator David Cole passed away (also of C&C Music Factory fame), “One Sweet Day” at first wasn’t written with Boyz II Men in mind: “I wrote the initial idea for ‘One Sweet Day’ with Walter, and I had the chorus…and I stopped and said, ‘I really wanna do this with Boyz II Men,’ because…obviously I’m a big fan of theirs and I just thought that the work was crying out for them, the vocals that they do, so I put it away and said, ‘Who knows if this could ever happen, but I just don’t wanna finish this song because I want it to be our song if we ever do it together. [The] whole idea of when you lose people that are close to you, it changes your life and changes your perspective. When they came into the studio, I played them the idea for the song and when [it] was finished, they looked at each other, a bit stunned, and told me that Nathan “Nat” Morris had written a song for his road manager who had passed away. It had basically the same lyrics and fitted over the same chord changes. It was really, really weird, we finished the song right then and there. We were all kinda flipped about it ourselves. Fate had a lot to do with that. I know some people won’t believe it, but we wouldn’t make up such a crazy story.”

It’s one we will certainly never forget. 

3.Justin Bieber hung out with some college kids over the weekend…

Before the Biebs made a surprise appearance at a Chainsmokers show in Los Angeles this past Friday night, he apparently stopped by a local college bar and generously bought a round of shots for a group of students. 

According to E! News and numerous videos on Twitter, the “Sorry” singer visited the 901 Bar and Grill in L.A., which is primarily located near the University of Southern California campus.

“Everyone got shots in their hand and they were all about to do a toast,” a source spilled to E! News. “One of them got up on a stool and we were like, ‘Wow, that’s Justin Bieber.'”

Check out the fan-made video below in which Mr. Bieber toasts to his Purpose album, of course. 

4.PSY is making an attempt to come out of the “Gangnam Style” shadows….

After becoming an international sensation more than three years ago with the smash hit “Gangnam Style,” get ready because South Korean rapper PSY is back and ready to serve us with a new album. 

Chiljip PSY-Da — which means This Is PSY’s seventh (?) album —comes about a year and a half after the release of his single “Gentleman.” The set is also his first album since 2012, when “Gangnam Style” swept the world and weddings (you know you did it at least once) all over globe with those addictive dance moves that indeed made PSY a global superstar.

Featured on the album PSY 6, the now legendary line dance has recorded 2.46 billion views on YouTube, becoming the most viewed YouTube video ever.

While there’s no word on an official release date, Billboard is reporting that PSY’s new album will include a buffet of songs capped with various genres, including dance music, hip-hop and punk. 

Will 2016 be the year of PSY? Only music time will truly tell…but meanwhile….

5.Britney Spears dancing to Adele is everything you’ve been missing in your Monday life…

In case you missed this one, Britney Spears spent part of her Thanksgiving weekend practicing her once again on point dance moves -to Adele’s soul shattering hit “Hello.”

The upcoming birthday diva (Wednesday!) tweeted a slowed down, black-and-white video of herself delightfully twirling to Adele’s chart dominating single. 

“I could dance to this song a million times…love you @Adele!” the “Toxic” singer tweeted out. 

Ms. Britney will start up her Las Vegas residency show at Planet Hollywood on Dec. 26, which is just five days before the two-year anniversary of her ultra successful Piece of Me show. 

Watch Britney twirl for her Adele life below. 

 

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Britney Groove of the Day/”Everybody”

In just two days, our beloved Britney Spears will be celebrating her 34th (!) birthday, a day in which some many regard (ahem, myself) regard as a treasured national holiday. 

When it comes to the mysteriously mystical career of Ms. Britney, we could certainly spill tea all day–those outfits, those performances, the Justin Timberlake and Adnan Ghalib eras. But what it always comes down to is her insatiable catalog of pop soaked hits that always get us hitting the dance floor of life in our bedroom whenever they pop on. From “Baby One More Time” to “Oops” to “Slave” to ‘Gimme” to “Womanizer,” all Britney fans can agree that there’s not a song in that bunch that doesn’t, um, drive us crazy and get us clutching our Godney music pearls for dear life. 

Since it’s a proven study that 1 out of every 3 girl and gay listens to Britney on a daily basis, I decided to go a different route as we kick off Britney week and serve up a selection of Jaime Lynn approved grooves that are not only each slices of pure pulsating pop music heaven within themselves, but are Spears serenades that should have been huge hits, like “Everybody,” a delightfully grimy gem from Britney’s brilliant Blackout record. 

What makes “Everybody” oh, so special is not the thunderous J.T. Rotem cooked up beat or Britney’s middle rap breakdown (“let go of the way things used to be,” yas, girl. ), but it’s that it deliciously samples the classic Eurythmics tune, “Sweet Dreams(Are Made of This),” to perfection, all making the devilish dance ditty one of the best tracks that Britney’s ever recorded…like, ever. 

For those who’ve heard it, you certainly know why. For those who haven’t, well, you better get to work on “Everybody,” bitch. 

Happy Britney week!