Today’s Monday’s Music Moves Me theme is from our June conductor Alana from Ramblin’ with AM. She asked that our playlist posts be about “Crossover Music” – Songs done by a group or singer that are of a different genre than that which they are primarily known. Example: a country singer with a rock hit or vice-versa. Per Wikipedia, “’Crossover’ is a term applied to musical works or performers who appeal to different types of audience, for example (especially in the United States) by appearing on two or more of the record charts which track differing musical styles or genres.”
This is a cool theme because I hadn’t really given much thought to the overall concept of “Crossover” in quite some time. I went deep with this one as it really took me back in time to some fabulous classics. Of course I included some current crossovers too. I put together a playlist of my favorite crossover songs through categorizing the genre flip.
First up is Rock to Country, followed by Country to Pop. Then I featured a few artists from yesteryear that I consider to be Bonafide Crossover Artists. Finally I explored crossover in a music genre with which I haven’t spent much time and that is Latin Music, although I do enjoy several of the songs.
So join me on my Crossover Journey. Here’s my Crossover Playlist for your listening pleasure as I share with you what I have learned about these artists and their music. As if it isn’t apparent, I get lost when I dive into these themes. I didn’t even realize how many songs/videos I had compiled in this playlist until I just went in to grab the embed code: there are fifty (50) songs here! Well, that should keep you occupied for a little while anyway… Enjoy!
ROCK TO COUNTRY
Steven Tyler – Love Is Your Name: From: Rolling Stone, July 14, 2016: When the promo cycle for Aerosmith’s Music From Another Dimension began to die down in 2013, Steven Tyler took a semi-permanent vacation to Nashville, making surprise appearances at Keith Urban gigs and country music awards shows along the way. Two years later, he launched his country solo career with “Love Is Your Name,” a song that pitched its tent halfway between Aerosmith’s Get a Grip-era arena-rock and Mumford & Sons’ Americana. A full-length album, We’re All Somebody from Somewhere, followed in July 2016, but Tyler’s kickoff single still packs the biggest punch. — Andrew Leahey
“Love Is Your Name” is a song by Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. Written by Eric Paslay and Lindsey Lee, it is the lead single from Tyler’s debut solo album, We’re All Somebody from Somewhere, which was released on July 15, 2016. Like the album, the single is a country song. The song was recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Tennessee with backing band Loving Mary and was produced by Dann Huff. The single was released on May 13, 2015 to all digital platforms.
The song penned by singer-songwriter Eric Paslay and Nashville newcomer Lindsey Lee was the first-ever collaboration between the pair. “We were in this little tiny room at his publishing company, and I usually go into writes with titles or ideas and concepts and stuff, and that day I come in, and I said, ‘Well, do you want me to throw out some title ideas?” Lee recalled to Taste of Country. “And Eric was like, ‘You know, Lindsey, let’s just see what falls from the sky.’ And I never will forget him saying that, because that’s not usually how I roll.”
“He started playing the guitar, and I started singing this melody, and the words just kind of fell into our laps,” Lee added. “We started saying the most poetic things, and it kinda just fell out of us. It was crazy. It was almost like it was meant to be written through us or something.”
The track wasn’t written with Steven Tyler in mind. “To me, it encompasses his style, and I don’t think me and Eric knew that when we wrote it,” Lee observed. “We were just writing a song. We didn’t say, ‘Hey, let’s write this for so-and-so.’ We just wrote what flowed out of us, and it ended up being exactly what Steven Tyler saw himself doing after Aerosmith, which is weird.”
The song was Lindsay Lee’s big break. It came about in 2013 when Steven Tyler came to Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe one night while Lee was playing a songwriters round with longtime Aerosmith songwriter Marti Frederiksen. She recalled to Taste of Country: “He was just there because Marti wanted him to come up and play a couple of songs, because Steven had never played anything like that. He had never played a small club like that, and Marti just kinda wanted him to get a feel of Nashville and the Bluebird. So Steven came, and that’s the night that I played ‘Love Is Your Name.’ I played it in my set.”
Lee continued: “Steven came up to me, and he was crying, and he said, ‘Lindsey, you will never know how much your music touched me.’ He told me how much he loved ‘Love Is Your Name’ and that he wanted to record it. This was back in September 2013. At the time he didn’t have the record deal yet with Big Machine. He was just in the very beginning stages of thinking he wanted to do a solo record, and I guess the beginning stages of thinking he wanted to do country.”
Tyler moved to Music City in January 2015 where he started hanging out and collaborating with some of Nashville’s finest singers and songwriters. “Love Is Your Name” was the first song that came out of those sessions. In April, Tyler officially signed a record deal with Scott Borchetta’s Dot Records (a subsidiary of the Big Machine Label Group).
“I picked up and headed for Tennessee,” he said, “and the first day in the studio, I recorded a song that became my first single, and if ‘Love Is Your Name’, then Nashville’s my new girlfriend. I guess you could call that beginner’s luck.”
Tyler explained that his appreciation for country music has deep roots, identifying The Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline, Dan Hicks, and The Lovin’ Spoonful, artists he listened to growing up, among his influences in country and folk.
“My earliest influences put me somewhere between the Everly Brothers and the Carter Family, and this project is all about me paying homage to my country roots.”
The song begins with an autoharp, a musical instrument rarely heard in modern country music. The song also features fiddles and banjos. The song has been compared to Mumford & Sons, both due to its inspiring tone and its similar instrumentation. The song is also described as “harmony-rich” and “[not] quite like anything else on country radio at the moment”. Tyler himself describes it as being “a little bit between Steven Tyler and Mumford & Sons and the Everly Brothers.”
Commercially, the song debuted on the Country Airplay chart at No. 33, helped by hourly plays on iHeartMedia stations in its first day of release on May 13. It also debuted on the Hot Country Songs chart at No. 27, selling 25,000 copies in its first week. The song debuted at 75 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has sold 110,000 copies in the US as of February 2016.
Bret Michaels – All I Ever Needed: From Rolling Stone, July 14, 2016: During the late Eighties, Bret Michaels scaled the highest of highs with his glam-metal band Poison – only to plunge into the lowest of the lows after grunge abruptly ended the hair-metal era in the early Nineties. After a long stretch of Behind the Music-style bad juju (including a near-fatal car wreck), Michaels swapped out his trademark bandana for a cowboy hat and even re-recorded some of his old Poison hits country-style. After serving as a judge on the 2005 season of Nashville Star, Michaels released a full-on country album, Freedom of Sound, which yielded up a charting country single with Jessica Andrews, “All I Ever Needed.” –David Menconi
“All I Ever Needed” is the first single released from Bret Michaels third studio album, Freedom of Sound. The song is a duet with country music singer Jessica Andrews. It was released on October 9, 2004, where it debuted at #57 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The song spent 16 weeks on the country charts, even after the song reached its peak of number 45 in its fourth chart week. The song has also become Michaels’ only chart entry on any Billboard chart to date.
The song features a music video, however, Jessica Andrews doesn’t appear in it. The video appeared on Billboard’s “Hot Videoclip Tracks” chart in 2008. The video was directed by Christie Cook. A second version of the video with Bret Michaels in Iraq footage was released in 2008 when the song featured on the compilation Rock My World.
Bon Jovi – Who Says You Can’t Go Home: In Rolling Stone, July 14, 2016: Bon Jovi rode their steel horse to Nashville for 2007’s Lost Highway album, one of the rock icons’ most successful projects to date. Produced by Nashville treasure (and former rocker himself) Dann Huff (Faith Hill, Keith Urban), the LP was nowhere near a 180-degree turn for the New Jersey group. It simply saw them putting a little more pedal steel to their arena-rousing sound. Duets with LeAnn Rimes, Big & Rich and Jennifer Nettles helped boost the album’s country cred, with the infectious, anthemic Nettles collab, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” as its chart-topping standout. — Beville Dunkerley
“Who Says You Can’t Go Home” is a song written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora for the American rock band Bon Jovi’s ninth album Have a Nice Day (2005). It was released as the second single in North America in the first quarter of 2006 and reached the top 30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, peaking at #23. Outside North America, the song reached #5 in the UK, becoming the band’s second Top 10 single from the album.
This song is about remaining true to your roots no matter where life takes you. For Bon Jovi, their home is New Jersey, where they are a great source of pride. Despite their travels, that is always their home and they will always be welcomed back.
In the United States, a version of the song was released to the Country music format as a duet with Jennifer Nettles, lead singer of the duo Sugarland. It peaked at #1 on the Country charts. This is the first song written by a rock band to hit #1 on the Country charts. (The country music version was originally recorded as a duet with Keith Urban, who also played banjo on the song. After Jon Bon Jovi decided that Urban’s voice was too similar to his own, he asked a representative of Mercury Records to recommend a female duet partner).
The music video for the country/Jennifer Nettles version, released in November 2005 and directed by Jon’s brother, Anthony M. Bongiovi, features Habitat for Humanity volunteers, including members of the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football League team owned in part by Jon Bon Jovi, building homes for low-income families and was used to promote the organization. It won an award for Best Collaborative Video at the CMT Music Awards in 2006.
The shooting of the music video for the regular version, featuring a man dressed up as a dog, began at the March 9, 2006 Bon Jovi concert at the Glendale Arena outside Phoenix and continued in the Los Angeles area. The video was released in the week of week of March 27, 2006. This video is also included in my playlist, playing immediately after the Country version of the song.
Jennifer Nettles admitted in an interview with The Colorado Springs Gazette that she was anxious about hooking up with the rocker. She said:
“I had his New Jersey posters on my door when I was in the seventh or eighth grade. It made me nervous because the last thing I would want is to ruin a Bon Jovi song.”
FUN FACT: In 2008, Jon Bon Jovi talked about the song after Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin used it at some of her campaign stops in Middle America. He said: “We wrote this song as a thank you to those who have supported us over the past 25 years. The song has since become a banner for our home state of New Jersey and the de facto theme song for our partnerships around the country to build homes and rebuild communities. Although we have not asked, we do not approve of their use of ‘Home.'”
Jon Bon Jovi is a committed Democrat, who having already hosted a $30,000-per-person fundraiser for Barack Obama at his New Jersey home, was understandably annoyed by the Republicans appropriating his song.
Darius Rucker – various songs:
In Rolling Stone, July 14, 2016:
The statistics are pretty impressive: Darius Rucker fronted one of the biggest-selling rock bands in the world in the mid-Nineties, yet he’s had more Number One albums and way more Number One songs as a country artist. When he announced Hootie & the Blowfish’s hiatus in 2008 so he could pursue a solo career, pretty much everybody figured this thing would be a flash in the pan. But with an honest appreciation for the genre, heartfelt songs and unique, raspy-but-warm vocals, he’s become a truly beloved figure on the scene. (And nobody calls him Hootie anymore.) — C.P.
Darius Carlos Rucker (born May 13, 1966) is an American singer and songwriter born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. He first gained fame as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the Grammy Award-winning American rock band Hootie & the Blowfish, which he founded in 1986 at the University of South Carolina along with Mark Bryan, Jim “Soni” Sonefeld, and Dean Felber. I LOVE Hootie and the Blowfish! I could listen to their Cracked Rear View album all day: “Let Her Cry”, “Hold My Hand”, “Only Want to Be With You” — The songs sold me but I knew I was hooked when I heard the name of the band back in 1994. They released five studio albums with Rucker as a member, and charted six top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Rucker co-wrote the majority of the band’s songs with the other three members.
Although I’m mainly a Classic Rocker kind of chick, I do enjoy good Country music sometimes. I started hearing this new Country star named Darius Rucker and was really digging his sound. Then someone mentioned that he used to be the lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish and it blew me away. He was certainly off and running in the Country genre now.
In early 2008, Darius Rucker signed to Capitol Records Nashville as the beginning of a career in country music. His first solo single, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” (which he co-wrote with Clay Mills) debuted at No. 51 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts for the week of May 3, 2008. It is the first single from his second album, Learn to Live. For this album, Rucker worked with Frank Rogers, a record producer who has also produced for Brad Paisley and Trace Adkins. Rucker also made his Grand Ole Opry debut in July 2008. The single reached number one in September, making Rucker the first solo, African-American artist to chart a #1 country hit since Charley Pride’s “Night Games” in 1983. (Ray Charles hit number one in March 1985 in a duet with Willie Nelson with “Seven Spanish Angels”).
Learn to Live was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on February 6, 2009 and received a platinum certification on August 7, 2009. The album’s second single, “It Won’t Be Like This for Long”, spent three weeks at the top of the country chart in mid-2009. Its follow-up, “Alright”, inspired by his marriage, became Rucker’s third straight No. 1 hit, making him the first singer to have his first three country singles reach No. 1 since Wynonna in 1992. The album’s fourth single, “History in the Making” was released in September and peaked at NO. 3. The singles also crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at 35, 36, 30 and 61 respectively.
“You see a lot of people doing a one-off, saying, ‘This is my country record.’ But this is a career I’m trying to build. The people that say that they don’t get it, I’ll let the music speak for itself. I plan to do a lot of country records.” –Darius Rucker
Rucker’s entry into the country world was met with some intrigue, largely because of his history as a rock musician and because he is African-American. Billboard magazine said that “there’s a sense of purpose that makes Rucker feel like a member of the country family, rather than calculating interloper.” Rucker made visits to various country stations around the United States, explaining that he was aware that he was the “new kid on the block.” Mike Culotta, the program director of Tampa, Florida, radio station WQYK-FM expected that Rucker would be “somebody who would have entitlement,” but instead said that “Darius engaged everybody.” When Rucker found that “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” went to number one, he cried. On November 11, 2009, Rucker won the Country Music Association New Artist of the Year award (formerly known as the Horizon Award), making him the first African American to do so since the award was introduced in 1981. Only one other African American has won at the CMAs: Charley Pride, who won entertainer of the year in 1971 and male vocalist in 1971 and 1972.
A second album, Charleston, SC 1966, was released on October 12, 2010. The album includes the number one singles, “Come Back Song” and “This”. The album title is inspired by Radney Foster’s solo debut album, Del Rio, TX 1959. Its first single was “Come Back Song” which Rucker wrote with Chris Stapleton and Casey Beathard. It was his fourth country number one as well as a NO. 37 hit on the Hot 100. “This” was the sixth solo single release of his career. It reached number-one on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in April 2011. Sarah Rodman of the Boston Globe wrote that the song “falls squarely in the country pop sweet spot”. Country Weekly reviewer Jessica Phillips said that it was “an accurate reflection” of Rucker’s role as husband and father.
And for my final song in the Darius Rucker set, I’m including “Homegrown Honey” from Rucker’s fifth studio album Southern Style (2015). Rucker wrote the song with Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum and Nathan Chapman.
The song received a favorable review from Taste of Country, which called it a “feel-good melody” which “lives up to expectations.” It went on to say that the song is “consistent with what Rucker has released since debuting as a full-time country artist in 2008” and “his vocals stand out above all other instruments, stamping an undeniable signature on this country cut.” Paul Bowers of Charleston City Paper also gave the song a favorable review. Bowers called it “classic feel-good Rucker,” writing that “he’s got that country drawl down pat without trying too hard, he’s consistently writing catchy summer anthems like this one, and he’s just a nice dude by all accounts.”
Chart positions show that once again, Rucker’s country styling crosses over to mainstream. Peak chart positions for “Homegrown Honey” were #2 on the Billboard Country Airplay, #6 on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart; debuting at #97 on the Billboard Hot 100, it peaked there at #53. In Canada, the song reached #11 on the Billboard Country chart and #76 on the Canadian Hot 100.
A music video was shot in Conway, South Carolina in August 2014, filmed primarily at Coastal Carolina University, with the beginning bar scene shot at Rivertown Bistro in Conway. The video features scenes of a woman in a bar, Rucker in a hallway surrounded by fans, as well as the band playing their concert at the school.
COUNTRY TO POP
Glen Campbell: I’ve long been a Glen Campbell fan since listening to his many songs as they played over and over on my parents’ stereo console turntable. I like so many of his hit songs but I would say my favorite is “Wichita Lineman”.
Wichita Lineman: “Wichita Lineman” is a song written by American songwriter Jimmy Webb in 1968. It was first recorded by American country music artist Glen Campbell with backing from members of The Wrecking Crew, a loose collective of session musicians based in Los Angeles whose services were employed for thousands of studio recordings in the 1960s and early 1970s, including several hundred Top 40 hits. The musicians were not publicly recognized in their era, but were viewed prestigiously among industry insiders. They are now considered one of the most successful and prolific session recording units in music history. Interestingly, before he became a solo star, Campbell was a prominent session musician, and on this track, he employed many of the people he used to play alongside on studio dates.
Campbell’s version, which appeared on his 1968 album of the same name, reached number 3 on the US pop chart, remaining in the Top 100 for 15 weeks. In addition, the song also topped the American country music chart for two weeks, and the adult contemporary chart for six weeks. It was certified gold by the RIAA in January 1969. The song reached number 7 in the United Kingdom. In Canada, the single also topped both the RPM national and country singles charts.
When I was considering what other songs to include in my Glen Campbell set here, I found a great article in Variety magazine’s online version, dated August 8, 2017, the date of his death. In addition to an overall snapshot of his life and career, the article, entitled Glen Campbell: A Pioneer of Country Crossover, a Humanizer of Alzheimer’s Disease, details his journey as a crossover artist. Here’s a snippet of the piece, written by Brian Mansfield:
“I’m not a country singer,” Glen Campbell often said. “I’m a country boy who sings.”
Campbell, who died at 81 on Tuesday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, became one of pop music’s biggest crossover stars with ’60s and ’70s singles like “Gentle on My Mind,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Southern Nights” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.”
Whether performing songs penned by ‘60s chart titan Jimmy Webb or indie-rocker Paul Westerberg, Campbell played and sang with an effortless plaintiveness that made him a model for younger generations of artists like Keith Urban, Vince Gill and Brad Paisley, who, like him, felt comfortable moving between the genres of country and pop music. He had a boyish handsomeness that made his transition from the recording studio into world of television and film seem like a foregone conclusion. The records he made with Webb as writer and Al DeLory as producer practically defined country-pop crossover during the late ‘60s, and “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights” did the same in the ‘70s. Campbell’s recording spanned six decades, leading to his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.”
The article goes on to chronicle his breakthrough and rise to fame:
“Campbell released his first album in 1962 and his early singles occasionally appeared on the lower rungs of Billboard’s pop and country charts. His breakthrough came in 1967 with a pair of songs: John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind” and Jimmy Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” Those two singles would win Campbell four Grammys in 1968 — two in country categories, two in pop — and vault his career to a new level.
“By the Time I Get to Phoenix” established a creative template that would serve Campbell well: his voice, Webb’s material, and De Lory’s distinctively lush arrangements that skirted the line between pop and country. That team would be responsible for Campbell’s best-known hits from that era, including “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Where’s the Playground, Susie” and “Honey Come Back.”…
“…The hit records didn’t come as big or as frequently for Campbell during the early ’70s, though he remained a familiar presence on television. He occasionally hosted “The Midnight Special,” a late-night music series, and in what must have been a challenging role, co-hosted the Country Music Association Awards in 1975, the year Charlie Rich famously burned the envelope revealing folk-pop sensation John Denver as the organization’s entertainer of the year.
In 1975, seeking to jump-start Campbell’s career, Capitol Records paired him with producers Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter. With records like the Four Tops’ “Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got)” and the Righteous Brothers’ “Rock and Roll Heaven,” the Lambert-Potter team had built a reputation for helping established artists find second acts in their careers.
Their magic worked for Campbell, too. He’d found a tune by singer-songwriter Larry Weiss that perfectly described his career, the dreams he had and the compromises he’d made. When he insisted to Lambert and Capitol Records vice president Al Coury that he be allowed to cut it, Campbell discovered they’d each already heard the song and thought it would make an ideal comeback record.
“Rhinestone Cowboy” became Campbell’s first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the defining song of his career. The session work may have built his reputation among fellow musicians, the TV show and ‘60s hits may have made him a star — but “Rhinestone Cowboy” cemented a lasting pop-culture legacy for Campbell.”
You can read the entire article here. And you can hear my favorite Glen Campbell hits in my Crossover playlist, in this order: “Wichita Lineman”, “Gentle on My Mind”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “Galveston”, “Southern Nights” and “Rhinestone Cowboy”, my second favorite Glen Campbell song.
Here’s a list detailing these Glen Campbell songs, their release year and their peak positions on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the Billboard Hot 100, and the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
|YEAR||SONG||HOT COUNTRY SONGS||HOT 100||ADULT CONTEMPORARY|
|1967||Gentle On My Mind||30||62||n/a|
|1967||By the Time I Get to Phoenix||2||26||12|
|1970||It’s Only Make Believe||3||10||2|
The following video was shared with me by our friend John over at The Sound of One Hand Typing. It is an interview with Alice Cooper on the death of his good friend Glen Campbell. I found it captivating and heartwarming, this unexpected friendship that runs so deep. Watch it if you have a chance. Thanks for sharing that with me John!
And if you’re a Glen Campbell fan (and even if you aren’t), this video of his last song is sure to bring a few tears to your eyes. RIP Glen Campbell!
Kenny Rogers – Lady: “Lady” is a song written by Lionel Richie and first recorded by American country artist Kenny Rogers. It was released in September 1980 on the album Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits. It is listed at #47 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100 and ranks among Kenny Rogers’s biggest hits. Rogers once told an interviewer, “The idea was that Lionel would come from R&B and I’d come from country, and we’d meet somewhere in pop.”
The success of “Lady” also boosted Richie’s career. The production work on the song was his first outside the Commodores and foreshadowed his success as a solo act during the 1980s. Rogers was also a featured vocalist on “We Are the World”, co-written by Richie. Richie performed the song himself on his 1998 album, Time, and he and Rogers performed the song as a duet on Richie’s 2012 release Tuskegee. Lionel Richie had originally pitched “Lady” to the Commodores and they turned it down. Then later, it was given to Kenny Rogers to record and it became the biggest selling hit single for him as a solo artist.
Since his breakup with the First Edition, Rogers had tasted considerable success as a solo act, with nine No. 1 entries on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart (prior to the release of “Lady”), plus several Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary Singles charts.
“Lady,” according to music historian Fred Bronson, would prove to be an important record for both Richie and Rogers. It became the first record of the 1980s to chart on all four of Billboard magazine’s singles charts – country, Hot 100, adult contemporary and Top Black Singles.
It reached No. 1 on three of those charts in late 1980. On the Hot 100, “Lady” peaked at the summit on November 15 and stayed at the top for a massive six-week stint (tying with Blondie’s “Call Me” for the longest run of the year). On December 27, it would be knocked out of the top spot by “(Just Like) Starting Over” by John Lennon. On the Hot Country Singles chart, it would spend a week at the summit. “Lady” also peaked at number forty-two on the Top Black Singles chart.
As a country entry, “Lady” was Rogers’ 10th chart-topping hit in a career that saw him collect 20 No. 1 songs between 1977 and 2000. On the Hot 100, it was his only solo chart-topping song, although Rogers would have a duet No. 1 three years later (1983’s “Islands in the Stream” with Dolly Parton). On the Adult Contemporary Singles chart, “Lady” was Rogers’ second (of eight) songs that reached the chart’s summit. Billboard ranked it at the No. 3 song for 1981.
Dolly Parton – 9 to 5: “9 to 5” is a song written and originally performed by American country music entertainer Dolly Parton for the 1980 comedy film of the same name. The song was written for the comedy film 9 to 5, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Parton in her film debut. The song—and film—owe their titles to an organization founded in 1973 with the aim of bringing about better treatment for women in the workplace.
In addition to appearing on the film soundtrack, the song was the centerpiece of Parton’s 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs album, released in late 1980. The song was released as a single in November 1980.
The song garnered Parton an Academy Award nomination and four Grammy Award nominations, winning her the awards for “Best Country Song” and “Best Country Vocal Performance, Female”. For a time, the song became something of an anthem for office workers in the U.S., and in 2004, Parton’s song ranked number 78 on American Film Institute‘s “100 years, 100 songs”.
The song was accompanied by a music video that featured footage of Parton and her band performing, intercut with clips from the film.
The song reached number one on the Billboard Country Chart in January 1981. In February 1981, it went to number one both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary chart, respectively. It became her first No.1 entry on the former.
So then, What happens when you combine the talents of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton? You get a chart-topping crossover hit called “Islands in the Stream”;
Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – Islands in the Stream: “Islands in the Stream” is a song written by the Bee Gees and sung by American country music artists Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Named after the Ernest Hemingway novel, it was originally written for Marvin Gaye in an R&B style, only later to be changed for the Kenny Rogers album. It was released in August 1983 as the first single from Rogers’ album Eyes That See in the Dark.
The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, giving both Rogers and Parton their second pop number-one hit (after Rogers’ “Lady” in 1980 and Parton’s “9 to 5” in 1981). It also topped the Country and Adult Contemporary charts. It has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over two million physical copies in the US. In 2005 the song topped CMT’s poll of the best country duets of all time; Parton and Rogers reunited to perform the song on the CMT special.
Rogers and Parton went on to record a Christmas album together, and had an additional hit with their 1985 duet “Real Love”.
Carrie Underwood – One of the most successful artists in any musical genre, Carrie Underwood has sold more than 65 million records worldwide. Recognized by Billboard as Country Music’s reigning Queen and by Rolling Stone as “the female vocalist of her generation of any genre”, she was listed by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. Underwood is the top country artist of all-time on the RIAA’s Digital Singles ranking and the highest certified country album artist to debut in the 21st century. She is the only solo country artist in the 2000s to have a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, the only country artist to debut at number one on the Hot 100, and the woman with most number-one hits in the history of the Billboard Country Airplay chart, with fifteen. She is the most successful American Idol winner, per Forbes. Billboard named Some Hearts the number-one country album of the 2000s and her as top female artist on their ‘Best Country Artists of the 2000s’ list.
I like a lot of Carrie Underwood’s songs but my absolute favorite is this fabulous crossover hit:
Before He Cheats: “Before He Cheats” is a song written by Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear and the third wide-release single from Carrie Underwood’s debut studio album, Some Hearts (2005). It was the fifth release from the album overall.
This song is about revenge. The song tells the story of a woman taking revenge on her potentially unfaithful boyfriend/husband. Underwood sings about going into a parking lot and vandalizing her cheating boyfriend’s 4×4 truck with a baseball bat. She finds solace knowing that the next time he cheats, it won’t be on her.
The song became an enormous crossover success, topping the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for five consecutive weeks, reaching the top five on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart, and becoming a top ten hit on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 and Adult Contemporary charts. On the Billboard Hot 100 chart, “Before He Cheats” reached number eight and achieved a longevity of 64 consecutive weeks on the chart, making it the sixth longest-charting single in the history of the Hot 100 chart.
Commercial Crossover Success of the song: “Before He Cheats” first appeared on the charts in February 2006. Although it had not at that point been released as a single, many country stations began giving the song unsolicited airplay, leading it to debut on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart at number 59. By the time the song was officially released as Some Hearts’ third single in August of that year, it had already racked up 20 non-consecutive weeks on the chart, reaching as high as number 49. After the official release, the song climbed the country charts quickly, reaching number one in November and remaining there for five weeks. This was Underwood’s third consecutive number one country single and fourth number one single overall. It also managed to debut on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 92, and by November it had reached number 16 on that chart. By the end of 2006, the song began to slowly descend the charts, and it had appeared the single had peaked.
However, pop radio began to take notice of the song in February 2007, around the time of Underwood’s Grammy Award wins. As the single increased its top 40 airplay, it began to rebound on the Hot 100 chart. The new airplay, along with attention from numerous award show wins for the song, such as favorite country song at the 2007 People’s Choice Awards in January and Video of the Year at the 2007 CMTs in April, reinvigorated digital sales as well. When it finally peaked at number 8 in May 2007, it had already logged 38 weeks on the chart, making it the longest-trek to the top 10 ever. As pop airplay began dying down, the song got a third life on the adult contemporary format, which began playing the song in May. “Before He Cheats” spent 64 consecutive weeks on the Hot 100 chart, before finally falling off in late November 2007. The song is one of the longest-charting hits in Billboard history, and was the third longest-running hit of the 2000s decade.
“Before He Cheats” was ranked sixth on the 2007 Hot 100 Year-end chart and fifth on the 2007 Hot 100 Airplay Year-end chart by Billboard. It was also ranked tenth on the 2007 Adult Contemporary Year-end chart.
Fun Fact #1: The song holds the record for the longest ascent to the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100. It took 38 weeks to climb to the top tier in 2006-07.
Fun Fact #2: When Underwood sings about her ex putting on “bathroom Polo,” she’s referring to vending machines found in the men’s rooms of certain US drinking establishments that dispense low-grade cologne. The guys who buy these fragrances often believe it will help them attract a mate in the bar, although many females are actually repelled by the scent.
From the Songwriters: Chris Tomkins and Josh Kear told The Boot the story of the song:
Chris Tompkins: “At the time, Gretchen Wilson was going in to record. After her first record, everybody wanted to have a song on that second record, and I was trying to think of edgy stuff. I never would’ve thought that Carrie Underwood would record it! I went into my office that morning and began what I’d typed earlier. And without even talking about it, Josh just sang that chorus line, ‘Maybe next time, he’ll think before he cheats …’ So we just started talking about it from there, how to match that first verse, and started thinking of some quirky stuff like that. And like good songs always do, the song kind of wrote itself from there. Usually a song takes a couple of writing sessions, four or five hours each – and talking and goofing off, having coffee. But this was such a quick write. It took about two hours. It was the first song I wrote in my new house! typing lyrics… not even picking up a guitar or a pen or anything… and I typed up that first verse. I’d just moved into my new house, and Josh had come over, and we were just looking for ideas. I played him.”
Josh Kear: “Chris had called me halfway through a day I actually had off, and said he had a piece of something and wanted me to come over. So I dropped what I was doing and went over. He played me those first few lines, ‘Right now, he’s prob’ly slow dancing with a bleach-blonde tramp …’ And when he hit the line, ‘she can’t shoot whiskey,’ I was completely hooked! Funny thing is, I used to always say, the first woman that ever gets really pissed at me and is willing to break my car windows and fill my car up with wet concrete is the one I would marry! I used to joke about that for years, and it’s nothing more than a joke! But when we were writing this song, I thought, “Wow! If she knew this was going on inside the bar – which was what we already had laid out in that first verse – how would she react to that?” And that’s when we thought, let’s actually let her get pissed! And the chorus is every bit of that. It’s a lot of stuff that most people would say you can’t put in a song, but we did it anyway.
When we were writing it, we were actually trying to keep it humorous, but when Carrie got hold of it, she just did it so well, and really made it her own. We expected it would be a little more light-hearted, but when we heard it, we thought, wow, she really drove it home! We couldn’t be more grateful to Carrie – for just wailin’!”
Per Carrie: Speaking with CMT, Underwood admitted she almost passed on this song out of fear of a fan backlash.
“I remember at that time – because that was right after Idol – we [were] on the road, and then I get this song,” she recalled. “I [thought], ‘People are going to hate me for singing this song.’ They’re gonna be like, ‘Oh my gosh, we can’t listen to her album. She’s bad, and I can’t let my children listen to this.’ Finally I was just like, ‘You know what? I like this song. I would turn this song up on the radio, so I’m just gonna go for it.'”
So glad she did! And thanks to this song, Underwood carved out a niche for songs that take down badly behaved boyfriends. Some of her later tunes to incorporate this theme include “Cowboy Casanova,” “Two Black Cadillacs” and “Dirty Laundry.”
Music Video: This has to be one of my favorite music videos of all time! The music video for “Before He Cheats” was directed by Roman White. In the beginning of the video Underwood is seen leaving a parking lot brandishing a Louisville Slugger, having just vandalized her husband/boyfriend’s truck for cheating on her. In other scenes, the “husband/boyfriend” (portrayed by actor Tabb Shoup) is seen kissing another woman. As the video progresses Underwood takes the stage to sing as various objects behind her, such as lamps, are seen exploding. At one point, a screen shot of the front seat of the truck is seen with Underwood’s name carved in it, which she mentions during the chorus of the song. Eventually, she catches up with her cheating husband/boyfriend with the other woman. After looking shocked for a second, she scoffs and drops the keys to his now-demolished truck into his drink. Towards the end Underwood struts down a street, singing along with the song, while different objects are shown flying across the air, glasses are seen shattering, and light bulbs explode, paying homage to Brian De Palma’s Carrie. At the very end of the music video, the truck is shown completely destroyed.
The early scenes in the video featuring a crowd in a narrow street and Underwood in a parking garage, were filmed in and around Printer’s Alley in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The final scene, featuring the exploding glass and light bulbs, was filmed on Fourth Avenue just north of Church Street in Nashville.
“Before He Cheats” made GAC music video history by debuting at number one. It also marks the third consecutive number-one music video on GAC for Underwood. It made history on CMT’s Top Twenty Countdown for being at number one for a consecutive five weeks. In December 2006, “Before He Cheats” was named the best video of 2006 by CMT’s Top 20 Countdown. It also finished number two in GAC’s Video of the Year for 2006 behind Trace Adkins’s “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”. Proving its crossover success, the video made a debut at number 15 on the VSpot Top 20 Countdown, peaking at number 4.
The video premiered on MTV’s Total Request Live in April 2007, this is the second country music video to be premiered in this program, the first being “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” by Jessica Simpson.
On April 16, 2007, the video for “Before He Cheats” swept the CMT Music Awards, winning three categories: Video of the Year, Female Video of the Year, and Director of the Year. Underwood made history by being the first female to win Video of the Year.
The video also garnered Carrie a nomination for Music Video of the Year at the 2007 Country Music Association Awards and a nomination for a 2007 MTV Video Music Award in the category of Best New Artist.
The music video was ranked number nine on CMT’s 100 Greatest Videos. It also ranked number one on GAC’s Top 50 Videos of the 2000s.
In 2009, the music video for the song was voted number one by fans as VH1’s Greatest Diva Music Video of all-time, before the airing of the annual VH1 Divas Live special.
Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: Concurrent with Underwood’s crossover success was the debut of teen singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. Swift initially specialized in country-flavored coffee house songs such as “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops on My Guitar,” but as her success grew, she increasingly began moving her musical career toward pop. Beginning with “The Story of Us” in 2010, Swift started releasing some of her songs either primarily, or solely, as pop tunes. Many of the songs Swift recorded for the country and pop markets also achieved wide success (especially “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” which topped both charts), turning her into a leading example of a country crossover phenomenon, with various critics lauding her as the “next Shania Twain”. A change to the Billboard methodology for compiling charts such as country charts directly benefited crossover artists such as Swift by taking into account airplay on non-country stations.
After writing Speak Now (2010) entirely solo, Swift opted to collaborate with different songwriters and producers for her album Red. Thus, she called Max Martin and Shellback, two songwriters and producers whose work she admired, to discuss a possible collaboration. The trio conceived the concept for “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” shortly after a friend of Swift’s ex-boyfriend walked into the recording studio and spoke of rumors he heard that Swift and her former flame were reuniting. After the friend left, Martin and Shellback asked Swift to elaborate on the details of the relationship, which she described as “break up, get back together, break up, get back together, just, ugh, the worst”. When Martin suggested that they write about the incident. Swift began playing the guitar and singing, “We are never ever……”, and the song flowed rapidly afterwards. She described the process as one of the most humorous experiences she had while recording, and said the musical partners matched her expectations. An audio clip of her sarcastically speaking about breakups can be heard before the final chorus.
The song is reportedly about Swift’s ex, Jake Gyllenhaal, as the two had broken up in January 2011 but had been seen on a date a few days later. After the release of the music video, more clues linking the song to Gyllenhaal emerged, with the actor looking like Gyllenhaal, the actor in the video giving her a scarf as Gyllenhaal had reportedly done for Swift and a bracelet Swift wears in the video that is speculated to look similar to that of which Gyllenhaal was rumored to have given Swift for her birthday.
Swift premiered the single on August 13, 2012, during a live chat on Google+ and the song was released on Google Play that day for digital download with it being released to iTunes and Amazon.com the next day, August 14. A lyric video also premiered on Swift’s official Vevo that same day. The song was released to Adult Contemporary radio stations on August 13, 2012 with it being released to mainstream radio stations the next day. The song was later released to country radio on August 21, 2012. The music video for the song premiered on August 30, 2012.
(Other artists who have found success on both pop and country in the early 2010s, in addition to the continued success of Swift and Underwood, have been Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry). Florida Georgia Line also crossed over to the pop charts with a remixed version of their song “Cruise”. This version features rapper Nelly. The popularity of bro-country by artists such as Luke Bryan has increased the crossover success of country artists, a tradition which has further continued through the infusion of R&B music by artists including Brett Eldredge, Thomas Rhett and Sam Hunt).
BONAFIDE CROSSOVER ARTISTS
There are several artists that are recognized as overall crossover artists. Here are two of my favorites, from back in the day:
Anne Murray – Morna Anne Murray (born June 20, 1945), known professionally as Anne Murray, is a Canadian singer in pop, country, and adult contemporary music whose albums have sold over 55 million copies worldwide.
Anne’s second album, This Way Is My Way, was released in the fall of 1969. It featured the single that launched her career, “Snowbird”, which became a No. 1 hit in Canada. “Snowbird” became a surprise hit on the U.S. charts as well, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. It was also the first of her eight No. 1 Adult Contemporary hits. “Snowbird” was the first Gold record ever given to a Canadian artist in the United States (RIAA certified Gold on November 16, 1970). As one of the most successful female artists at that time, she became in demand for several television appearances in Canada and the United States, eventually becoming a regular on the hit U.S. television series The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.
After the success of “Snowbird”, she had a number of subsequent singles that charted both pop and country simultaneously. During the 1970s and 1980s, her hits included Kenny Loggins’s “Danny’s Song” (1972) (peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100) and “A Love Song” (1973). And many more that you can read about on Anne Murray’s Wikipedia page.
Snowbird: “Snowbird” is a song by the Canadian songwriter Gene MacLellan. Though it has been recorded by many performers (including Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley), it is best known through Anne Murray’s 1969 recording, which—after appearing as an album track in mid-1969—was eventually released as a single in the summer of 1970. It was a No. 2 hit on Canada’s pop chart and went to No. 1 on both the Canadian adult contemporary and country charts. The song reached No. 8 on the U.S. pop singles chart, spent six weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. adult contemporary chart, and became a surprise Top 10 U.S. country hit as well. It was certified as a gold single by the RIAA, the first American Gold record ever awarded to a Canadian solo female artist. The song peaked at No. 23 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2003 it was an inaugural song inductee of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Danny’s Song: “Danny’s Song” is a song written by American singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins, as a gift for his brother Danny for the birth of his son, Colin. It first appeared on an album by Gator Creek and later appeared a year later on the album Sittin’ In, the debut album by Loggins and Messina. The song is well remembered for both the Loggins and Messina original, as well as Anne Murray’s 1972 top-ten charting cover.
Canadian country-pop music singer Anne Murray was a fan of the original recording and recorded a cover version in 1972. The version she recorded of the song omitted two of the lyric verses and is in a different key than the original version by Loggins & Messina. Included on her album of the same name, Murray’s version of “Danny’s Song” was a hit, reaching the Top 10 on three major Billboard music charts in early 1973. On the pop chart, the song reached number seven (returning Murray to that chart’s top ten for the first time since 1970’s “Snowbird”); on the country chart, it peaked at number ten; and on the easy listening chart, it spent two weeks at number one in March of that year. Murray’s version also earned her a Grammy Award nomination in the category Best Female Pop Vocal performance at the Grammy Awards of 1974, losing out to “Killing Me Softly with His Song” by Roberta Flack. Murray stated that she loved the original version, but the song took on a deeper meaning for her after the birth of her first child a few years later. In an interview, she stated that “Whenever I was singing that song, it was very meaningful.”
A Love Song: “A Love Song” is a song written by Kenny Loggins and Dona Lyn George, first released by the folk-rock duo Loggins & Messina in 1973 on their album Full Sail. Country artist Anne Murray (who’d taken her recording of another Loggins & Messina recording, “Danny’s Song”, to the top-ten in late 1972) covered the song later that year for her album of the same name.
Released in December 1973, Murray’s version became a major crossover hit early in 1974. In her native Canada, it topped all three singles charts: the overall Top Singles chart, the Country Tracks chart and the Adult Contemporary chart. In the United States, the song peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart and just missed the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 12. The song fared even better there in the adult contemporary market — it became Murray’s third chart-topper on Billboard’s American Hot Adult Contemporary Singles chart. (In Canada, it was her seventh No. 1 on both the country and adult contemporary charts.) This was Murray’s second Loggins & Messina cover, having charted with her version of their “Danny’s Song” the previous year.
Olivia Newton-John – If You Love Me Let Me Know: If You Love Me, Let Me Know is a US and Canada-only album by singer Olivia Newton-John, released in May 1974. Other than the title track, all the material was from her previous albums, Olivia (1972), Music Makes My Day (1973) and Long Live Love (1974). It is the first of her albums to top the Billboard 200 pop albums chart. Two hit singles were issued from the LP in the US: the title song “If You Love Me Let Me Know” and “I Honestly Love You”, the latter of which became Newton-John’s first number-one US single, and her signature song as well.
Two hit singles were culled from the LP in the US: the title song (No. 5) and “I Honestly Love You”, the latter of which became Newton-John’s first number-one single in the US after listener requests for the song prompted MCA to release it as a single, much to Newton-John’s delight after she originally pleaded with the label to release it as such. Both songs reached the top 10 of the US Pop, Adult Contemporary and Country charts, affirming Newton-John’s status as the top female country-crossover star of the day and continuing the chart hot streak begun with the Grammy-winning “Let Me Be There” the previous year.
The title track ranks as Newton-John’s highest charting single on the country charts, reaching No. 2, although she would have more top 10 hits.
“If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” is a song written by John Rostill that was a 1974 hit single for Olivia Newton-John. It was her second release to hit the top 10 in the United States, reaching number 5 on the pop chart and number 2 on the Easy Listening chart. It also reached number 2 on the Billboard country chart.
“I Honestly Love You” (first released in Australia as “I Love You, I Honestly Love You”, per its chorus) was a worldwide pop hit single for Olivia Newton-John in 1974. The song was Newton-John’s first number-one single in the United States and Canada.
The song topped the charts in the US on October 5, 1974, and went on to sell over 500,000 copies, being certified Gold. It also reached number one (three weeks) on the Adult Contemporary chart and number six on the Country charts. The song won two Grammy Awards, for Female Pop Vocal Performance and Record of the Year. The song’s success also helped propel its parent album, If You Love Me, Let Me Know, to number one. By contrast, the single failed to reach the top-twenty in the United Kingdom (#22), although it did chart there in 1983 when it was re-released to promote a Newton-John greatest hits album.
FUN FACT: A snippet of the song plays over Chief Brody’s radio in the second shark attack in Jaws, moments before Alex Kitner and Pippet the dog disappear beneath the waves.
And to wrap up this cool Crossover theme, I’m going to close exploring a category with which I’m not all that familiar but it certainly deserves inclusion:
LATIN CROSSOVER ARTISTS
Latin Crossover Artists – Many Latin artists have made hugely successful crossovers. The first was probably Gloria Estafan in the 80s with Miami Sound Machine: Their more successful follow-up album, Primitive Love, was released in 1985, launching three Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: “Conga” (U.S. #10), “Words Get in the Way” (U.S. #5), and “Bad Boy” (U.S. #8) became follow–up hits in the U.S. and around the world. “Words Get in the Way” reached No. 1 on the US Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, establishing that the group could perform pop ballads as successfully as dance tunes.
Then, In the mid ’90s, Selena was gaining prominence within the Hispanic music world. Primarily marketed as a Tejano music artist, Selena’s success was met with rhythmic Cumbia recordings. After bypassing several barriers within the Tejano industry, she quickly superseded other Latin artist acts and earned the title “Queen of Tejano Music”. After being presented with a Grammy for Selena Live! Selena became the first Latin artist to release four number–one singles, in 1994. With a meteoric rise in popularity, Selena was presented with the opportunity to record an English-crossover album.
Unfortunately, months before the release of her English album, Selena was murdered by her fan club president, on March 31, 1995, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Selena’s incomplete album, titled Dreaming of You, was released in July 1995, topping the Billboard 200. Selena’s songs “Dreaming of You” and “I Could Fall In Love” quickly became mainstream hits, and the album became among the “Top ten best-selling debuts of all time” along with being among the “best-selling debuts for a female artist”. Selena became the first Latin artist, male or female, to have ever debuted with a No. 1 album, partially in Spanish.
Despite, and perhaps fueled by, Selena’s death and crossover success, the “Latin explosion” continued in the late ’90s. At that time, a handful of rising stars who shared a Latin heritage were touted as proof that sounds from Latin countries were infiltrating the pop mainstream. These included Ricky Martin, Thalía, Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez, who rendered a Golden Globe performance as Selena on film. Like Estefan and Selena, many of these artists, including some who recorded in English after gaining fame singing in Spanish, had been influenced at least as much by American music and culture.
Ricky Martin gained success with “La Copa de la Vida”, which Martin made a major hit in an English version when he was chosen to sing the anthem of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. “The Cup of Life”/”La Copa de la Vida” reached number one on the charts in 60 countries and in the United States the English version went to No. 45 on the Hot 100 charts. The song went Platinum in France, Sweden and in Australia, where it ultimately became the number one single of the year. The song was awarded “Pop Song of the Year” at the 1999 Lo Nuestro Awards.
Martin at the Grammy Awards was booked to sing on the show’s live TV broadcast. The now-legendary performance of “The Cup of Life” stopped the show, earning Martin an unexpected standing ovation and introducing the star to the mainstream American audience. Martin capped off the evening by winning the award for Best Latin Pop Performance. Vuelve became Martin’s first Top 40 album on Billboard Top 200 Albums chart in the U.S., where it was certified Platinum by the RIAA. The album notably went to No. 1 in Norway for three weeks, going on to sell eight million copies worldwide.
Martin prepared his first English album in 1999, as the first and most prominent single was “Livin’ la Vida Loca”, which reached number one in many countries around the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, France, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Guatemala, Mexico, Russia, Turkey and South Africa. He followed up with the hit “She’s All I Ever Had”, which peaked at No. 2 on The Billboard Hot 100. This album became one of the top-selling albums of 1999, and was certified seven times platinum, selling over 22 million copies worldwide to date.
Also in 1999, attempting to emulate the crossover success of Gloria Estefan, Selena and Ricky Martin in the anglophone market, Marc Anthony released an English-language Latin Pop self-titled album with the US Top 5 hit single “I Need to Know”, and the Spanish version “Dímelo”. Other hits include “When I Dream At Night” and “My Baby You”. His song “You Sang To Me” was featured in Runaway Bride. The successful dance version was re-mixed by Dutch producer Rene Van Verseveld. The foray was considered a mixed success, partly because it alienated his traditional salsa fans, though “Da La Vuelta” (not a Spanish version of any of the songs) was a salsa song and was a hit. Another note is that the song “That’s Okay” has more of a salsa tune than pop.
Enrique Iglesias had begun a successful crossover career into the English language music market. Thanks to other successful crossover acts, Latino artists and music had a great surge in popularity in mainstream music. Iglesias’ contribution to the soundtrack of Will Smith’s movie Wild Wild West, “Bailamos”, became a number–one hit in the US. After the success of “Bailamos”, several mainstream record labels were eager to sign Enrique. Signing a multi-album deal after weeks of negotiations with Interscope, Iglesias recorded and released his first full CD in English, Enrique. The pop album, with some Latin influences, took two months to complete and contained a duet with Whitney Houston called “Could I Have This Kiss Forever” and a cover of the Bruce Springsteen song “Sad Eyes”. The album’s third single, “Be With You”, became his second number one.
Jennifer Lopez‘s debut album On the 6, a reference to the 6 subway line she used to take growing up in Castle Hill, was released on June 1, 1999, and reached the top ten of the Billboard 200. The album featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one lead single, “If You Had My Love”, as well as the top ten hit “Waiting for Tonight”, and even the Spanish version of the song “Una Noche Mas” became a hit as well. The album also featured a Spanish language, Latin-flavored duet “No Me Ames” with Marc Anthony, who later would become her husband. Though “No Me Ames” never had a commercial release, it reached number one on the U.S. Hot Latin Tracks.
I also added a few extra J-Lo songs and music videos, just because. A few of her hits: “Jenny From the Block”, “Let’s Get Loud”, “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”, “All I Have” featuring LL Cool J and another crazy sexy music video between those two, LL Cool J’s “Control Myself” featuring Jennifer Lopez. I liked including these last two because I enjoy the pairing of J-Lo and LL: I actually more appreciate their acting talents over their musical talents but isn’t it cool to have incredible and in-demand talent in both?! (I love most of J-Lo’s movies and I’m a huge fan of her current series “Shades of Blue,” co-starring with Ray Liotta; and I really like watching LL Cool J on NCIS Los Angeles).
That’s a wrap on my favorite Crossover artists and songs. I hope you enjoyed hearing and learning about my favorite Crossover artists and songs. This theme also gave me an opportunity to dive into the genre of Latin Crossover, in which I typically don’t indulge so that was cool. Tell me in the Comments section about your favorite crossover songs.
Monday’s Music Moves Me (4M) is a blog hop hosted by Marie of X-Mas Dolly, and co-hosted by Cathy of Curious as a Cathy and Stacy of Stacy Uncorked Two other co-hosts recently joined the fun: Alana of Ramlin’ with AM and Naila Moon of Musings & Merriment with Michelle. Be sure to stop by and visit the hosts and the other participants listed below: