In a recent blog post, I asked the following: Can Kelly Clarkson can ever dominate pop music again? Well, Billboard has an opinion, and it’s “no.”
I’m calling it now: 2015’s first breakout artist will be Ella Henderson. I mean, yes, she released her album in 2014 and she released “Ghost” in the US last year. But she’s not that big yet.
I think that will change…very soon.
The former X-Factor UK contestant recently went on a US tour to promote her new album, Chapter One. I’m loving her. Her voice is reminiscent of Adele, Emile Sandé and Leona Lewis. Her music—a combo of irresistible pop ballads and gospel-tinged pop songs—reminds me a bit of Sam Smith. So basically, this girl is a combination of amazing British vocalists. She’s only 19, but she’s already a force to be reckoned with.
Partnering with hitmaker Max Martin, Ellie Goulding’s distinct vocals soar in “Love Me Like You Do,” her single for the movie Fifty Shades of Grey. The song’s production seamlessly move from the emotional verses to the soaring chorus, which is easily its best part. “Love Me Like You Do / Love, Love, Love Me Like You Do,” Ellie sings against a pulsating, hypnotic beat.
Before we dive in into the new year, I think it’s worth revisiting the year that was. 2014, after all, was a great year.
So here’s a confession: I currently can’t stop listening to Taylor Swift’s 1989. I admit this with some shame because the truth is, I wasn’t a fan of the country superstar until a few weeks ago. It’s not that she used to make bad music—I actually liked some of her older stuff. But this record is more ballsy, more confident, and more grown up than anything she’s ever released. And the music is pretty good, too.