USA – We all remember Benjamin Igrosso’s performance in Melodifestivalen and Eurovision 2018 with the song “Dance You Off”. A minimalistic abstract stage presentation of moving neon lights. Well it was on early September that Amanda Mena performed Pharrell’s “Happy” on America’s Got Talent show. As you can see her stage presentation is similar (actually a copycat) of that Benjamin did in Lisbon!
CHEDDAR.COM REPORTS / USA – Growing up in Israel, young Netta Barzilai was made to feel ashamed about her looks and how she sounded. After becoming the first Israeli to win the Eurovision Song Contest in 20 years, Netta the international pop star is spreading messages of love and female empowerment.
The once-shy girl said the experience belting out her hit song “Toy” to hundreds of millions people around the world is “insane.”
“You can’t even take that in,” Netta said Wednesday in an interview on Cheddar. “You say, ‘OK, let’s like try and turn 180 million people into a local bar.’ It’s like making people connect with you. You have to tell the truth in order for people to connect.”
“Toy” has made it to the top of Spotify’s Viral 50 and has more than 88 million views on YouTube. The international hit has found its way to the U.S. charts, registering on Billboard’s dance and EDM lists.
Initially, she said she was advised to pursue a different image than her pop-star style. She said she was told to dress in black and sing soulful music similar to Aretha Franklin and Adele. But the Netta said her appeal is based on her authenticity.
“There’s not a lot of plus-size singers doing pop, celebrating themselves being sexy. It’s not considered OK, especially in Israel,” she said. “Never have I seen someone looking like me, someone looking like my family. There’s like only one color and only one kind of beauty, and it was very depressing to grow up as a child.”
Netta got her start performing in bars, where she said she was paid in beer and improvised songs about people in the crowd. The more at ease she was performing how she wanted to perform, the more enthusiastic the response.
“I realized when I was like 18, when I was out of school and it was like, the silence all of a sudden,” said Netta. “Okay, I can be whatever I want to be.”
Netta has become a role model. She told the BBC she has received fan mail and messages from young boys and girls talking about accepting their differences. And she and Prince William met earlier this year on the British royal’s visit to Israel; she said the two talked about being positive examples for young people, and how to change perspectives and break boundaries.
Netta was recently signed to S-Curve Records and is working on new music.
USA – Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer and songwriter. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but achieving only modest success. After signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Spanish Harlem” and “Think”. By the end of the 1960s she was being called “The Queen of Soul”.
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Franklin recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Young, Gifted and Black (1972) and Amazing Grace (1972) before experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s. After her father was shot in 1979, Franklin left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with the albums Jump to It (1982) and Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (1985), and her part in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. In 1998, Franklin received international acclaim for singing the opera aria “Nessun dorma” at the Grammys of that year, replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that year, she scored her final Top 40 song with “A Rose Is Still a Rose”.
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Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history. Franklin’s other popular and well known hits include “Rock Steady”, “Jump to It”, “Freeway of Love”, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who”, “Chain of Fools”, “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)”, “Something He Can Feel”, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (with George Michael), and a remake of The Rolling Stones song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”.
Franklin won 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Franklin was honored throughout her career including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists on Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. (source: www.wikipedia.org)
USA – Daughter of two Slovenian faces in the entertainment industry Janja Pušl and Zoran Kljun, Nika was destined to stardom. Her passion for dance and love for the stage began at her parents’ dance school, Bolero. There, she nurtured her talent and followed in her family’s footsteps competing as an undefeated champion. Dancing professionally since the age of three, Nika trained in jazz, tap, latin, ballroom, funk, and ended up finding her deep love for hip-hop and the freedom it gave her to express herself as an artist. She wanted to share her passion for hip hop and became a mentor for the Bolero dancers, encouraging them to follow their dreams while bringing them to multiple wins from all over Europe.
After many wins, including taking gold (1st place) as a soloist at the at the world championships and being asked to be the global spokesperson for Nike, Nika was given the prestige title of Slovenian Ambassador of Dance. She took over Europe as a professional dancer and choreographer, and that sparked an even bigger dream. Nika wanted to grow and continue moving forward and proof that anything is possible.
Nika now lives in Los Angeles, California. She has worked on major projects with stars such as Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Ne-yo, Pitbull, T-Pain, One Direction, Cher Lloyd, the Britney Spears tribute on MTV Video Music Awards, Jessica Sanchez, Donna Summer, Kaya Jones, Gina Katon, Matt Pokora, Herb Alpred, Macy’s Glamorama Fashion Tour, Monsters of Hip Hop, Billboard Music Awards, Young Hollywood Awards, NRJ Music Awards, X-Factor USA, UK & France, America’s Got Talent, The Voice, Move Live on Tour and was a part of Justin Bieber’s promo tour.
As a choreographer or assistant choreographer she worked on So You Think You Can Dance in the USA, Ukraine & Portugal, Move Live on Tour with Derek & Julianne Hough, Dancing with the Stars, Love On The Floor with Cheryl Burke, Jacky Cheung- A Classic Tour , America’s Got Talent, Kellogg’s Summer Campaign, Kaya Jones, Lena Katina, Blake McGrath, Victoria Bech and Monsters of Hip Hop to name a few. Nika has been a part of Tremaine Dance Conventions, Monster of Hip Hop or Monsters A-list Conventions around North America, Hollywood Dance Jamz, Imapact Dance Convention in Mexico, and is currently faculty at JUMP- one of the biggest dance convention in the nation.
You can learn from her at world known dance studios in Los Angeles – Millennium Dance Complex, Edge Performing Arts Center, Movement Life Style, and Debbie Reynold’s Studio.
Her passion and heart for the art of dance and performing electrifies all students in her classes and workshops internationally. Nika wants to adequately prepare her dancers for the stage. Her long experience as an educator will turn you into the dancer you want to become. Her versatility will make you become a more rounded, stronger and sharper mover. You will learn how to flow between different dance styles and find your groove. She is known for bringing the heat and “magic” into class. Nika has already taught in more than 35 countries around the world in Europe, Middle East, North and South America and Asia. All dancers of all ages are welcome in Nika’s classes. She creates a comfortable and positive atmosphere to learn, experiment, and grow.