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Top 40 Net Radio: Its 80s Roots

By Jeff Bachmeier

Top 40 Music Top 40 Net Radio: Its 80s RootsAlso known as Mainstream Top 40 and Contemporary Hits Radio, Top 40 Net Radio Music is based loosely on playing only the top music from many other formats. Recently, more and more music hits are being “exposed” directly from the format, as program and music directors are willing to take more chances on new music being released. The majority of the Top 40 Music played fall into 3 main music genres or categories: Rock, Pop and RnB with the majority of those genres falling into the pop category.

The Hits Channel format (a.k.a. CHR) was officially labeled in the early 1980′s, however the Top 40 format can be traced back as far as the 1950′s. Top 40 Music has had its ups and downs over the years but continues to stand the test of time with artists such as: Chubby Checker in the 60s, Steve Miller Band in the 70s, Paula Abdul in the 80s, Backstreet Boys in the 90s and Beyonce currently.

Top 40 Net Radio Music: Music Hits Revolution

 Top 40 Net Radio: Its 80s RootsTop 40 Music is a diverse and widely popular music format for just about any age group. It could be argued that there’s no one right way to program the format, which is what makes it so popular. There are a few specific CHR categories that most hit radio fall under the following genres.

CHR / POP or Mainstream Top 40′s

For the most part this format plays pop, urban, alternative and rock music hits, and every once in a while a country crossover song. Some of the current artists heard on CHR / POP Top 40 Net Radio are: Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Fall Out Boy

CHR / Rhythmic or CHR / Urban AC

This Top 40 net (or traditional radio) Hits radio format focuses on Hip Hop and RnB. The major difference between CHR / Pop and CHR / Rhythmic is the lack of rock and alternative music. CHR / Rhythmic stations will still play a pop song while CHR / Urban will not. Some of the current artists heard on CHR / Rhythmic are: Flo Rida, Soulja Boy, and T.I. Some of the current artists heard on CHR / Urban are: Jamie Foxx, Rick Ross, Ne-Yo.

Adult CHR or Hot AC

This format focuses on the Pop and Rock genres of the format but may occasionally play a Rhythmic or Dance Song. Some of the current artists heard on this format are: The Fray, Lady Gaga, Jason Mraz, Nickelback, and Kelly Clarkson.

There are also other local and regional music hits channels including CHR / Dance, CHR / Rock and CHR / Tejan.

Top 40 Music: Musical Events

Year Event
1950′s - Todd Storz and Gordon McClendon get the credit for creating the first Top 40 stations.
1960′s - The Top 40 Music Hits format gains ground with the current fads of the decade including: Beach Music, The British Invasion, Bubble Gum, Elvis
1970′s - The Top 40 format struggled with the fragmentation of different artists. Album Rock became very popular and was heard on many of the first FM stations.
1980′s - Casey Kasem and the weekly Top 40 was born and became a huge success. This type of music program is still broadcast today with Ryan Seacrest taking over the host duties Casey Kasem a few years ago.
1990′s - The Boy Band Craze better defined The CHR format in the 90s.  The Backstreet Boys, N’ Sync, New Kids on the Block, Hanson, etc. all enjoyed number 1 hits.
2000 – Present - In 2009 Pink became the most successful solo artist of all time amassing 3 straight number one hits.  She is the only solo artist to ever do that.  The format continues to be popular with a wide range of people tuning in to their favorite hits channel.

Top 40 Net Radio: The Current Phenomenon

Alecia Moore is Pink Top 40 Net Radio: Its 80s RootsWhat makes the Hits Channel format so popular right now is the vast variety of music released for the format. Akon, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, All American Rejects, Miley Cyrus and many more are being played on Top 40 stations everywhere. No other format can lay claim to that variety of music. The unwritten law in Top 40 radio is: Don’t like the song currently playing, chances are you’ll like the next one. Top 40 Net Radio artists such as Britney Spears, Flo rida, Black Eyed Peas and Kelly Clarkson, just to name a few, will continue to produce the massive hits that appeal to the majority of music listeners.

Mix Music Before Online Radio

By Michele Kadison

ac mix tape Mix Music Before Online RadioAdult Contemporary music, also called AC, mix music online, or The Mix, is a category of mainstream music geared towards 25 to 54 year olds. The Mix is generally divided into three categories that satisfy sub-groups within this demographic: Soft (or lite) AC, Hot AC, and Urban AC. Individual tracks in streaming music “club mix” radio stations, for example, often overlap between categories, but on-the-air radio as well as Satellite radio stations, cater to each of these four categories, sometimes with overlaps as musical tastes evolve and as artists begin to cross over into multiple formats.

Before Mix Music Online: The Early Days

In the early days of radio, the top 40 was played on AM stations, regardless of what type of music it was, be it ballads, R&B, or more rock oriented styles. In the 1970s music began to become divided according to demographic groups and their preferences. Specialized radio stations began cropping up, playing music specific to various genres. As music and the listening demographic became more diverse, radio programmers had to find creative ways to classify sounds which appealed to maturing age groups. As listeners began to get older and evolve toward the mix music online listeners of todya, their tastes changed, gearing more towards vocal-based music from the 1960s and on. Adult Contemporary music was born out of this need to create a pocket for people looking for softer, less demanding sounds.

The FM dial was the first place to introduce “beautiful” music, which was also called “easy listening.” The FM stations featured popular vocal-based hits from the 60s as well as more current ballads. In 1961, Billboard published an Adult Contemporary music chart, which in 1979 became just plain Adult Contemporary. As the genre evolved, rhythmic dance tracks and teen pop were added, but still maintaining a mainstream feel that stayed away from hard rock, alternative, and hip hop.

The Mix: AC Evolution

ac ace of base Mix Music Before Online RadioAfter MTV made its debut, Vh3 was born as an Adult Contemporary version of its big brother. During the mid 80s you could see artists on Vh3 that fit into the AC category, which made it very inviting 30 to 40 year olds who did not feel as comfortable with the MTV format. Videos by Alanis Morissette, Hootie & the Blowfish, Melissa Etheridge, Ace of Base were in relatively heavy rotation, rivaling some of the harder rock videos seen on MTV. Eventually, mainstream AC music became infiltrated by artists with strong video exposure like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Whitney Houston, and Tears for Fears. Additionally there began to be a profusion of artists who crossed over from one genre to another, helping to create what is called The Mix.

The Mix: Adult Contemporary Breakdown

Soft AC

ac avril lavigne Mix Music Before Online RadioBorn in the 1970s and evolving through the 80s, this has been the longest running AC format, and is still popular today. A combination of middle-of-the-road (MOR), easy listening, and soft rock, its appeal is to an older demographic of listeners in mix music online.

Soft AC generally keeps songs in rotation for many years as there is limited listener pressure to expand the format. Lately newer guitar-driven sounds have been added to the classics to create a more diverse mix without compromising Soft AC standards. Some of the artists include Avril Lavigne, 2 Doors Down, The Fray, Hinder, and Fall Out Boy. Added to this are musicians who are considered “cross over”, which includes country artists such as Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flats, and Darius Rucker who are all finding success on both charts.

Hot AC

ac akon Mix Music Before Online RadioHot AC is another area where the balance of music includes sounds from the early 60s to today’s mainstream hits. It seems that each Hot AC station has its own formula for determining format, where some stations include more classics than new mix music online, or visa versa. Today the format can often be harder to define as more and more music falls into “cross over” categories. Still, certain genres remain outside Hot AC programming such as Alternative, which is too far from the taste of mainstream listeners.

Since the 2000s however, Hot AC stations have added R&B as well as hip hop to their play lists. Artists like Akon, Amy Winehouse, Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Ne-Yo, and the Pussycat Dolls are heard on many of the Hot AC stations, as well as some conventional hard rock bands such as the Goo Goo Dolls, Bon Jovi, and Aerosmith. Dance music artists like Kylie Minogue, Rihanna, Paula Abdul, and Madonna are also part of the mix. Slowly Hot AC is stretching its boundaries by introducing bands like Linkin Park, Third Eye Blind, Pink, and Red Hot Chili Peppers if programmers feel that local listeners are receptive.

Mix Music Online: The Current Phenomenon

The modern Adult Contemporary format is currently in a state of flux as it competes with many top 40 stations. Some AC stations are dropping soft artists in favor of harder sounds. Artists like Daughtry, Nickelback, and Kelly Clarkson are staples on mainstream AC stations, as well as ballad singers like as Josh Groban and Nick Lachey. Because of changing demographics, which alter the standards for an adult format as people age, additional categories are forming to embrace changing tastes. Streaming music “club” mix tracks also create shifts as remixes give a new energy or dimension to old favorites.

ac sade smooth operator Mix Music Before Online RadioMainstream Adult Contemporary is a format that often gets the highest ratings with listeners aged 24 to 54. Urban and rhythmic AC is geared towards adult African American audiences, where airplay favors R&B, soul, and some hip hop artists. Musicians like Luther Vandross, Dionne Warwick, Patti LaBelle, Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Sade, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Mary J. Blige, and Des’ree are popular in this format among mix music online listeners. Rhythmic AC or “MOViN” features dance music, remixes, R&B, and early hip hop and caters to African American, Hispanic, and white audiences. Here everything from soul and R&B hits featured during the 60s through the 90s, including the Motown sound and disco are in rotation.

A final AC category has emerged in the past years called Quiet Storm. Usually this format is heard from early evening until late at night and features Urban and Soft AC sounds. Whitney Houston, Angela Bofill, Toni Braxton, En Vogue, Johnny Gill, Anita Baker, and Howard Hewett are good examples of artists that fit into this pocket, appealing to an adult demographic of all ethnicities.

Radio programming, whether it is on-air or via satellite, will always be searching for better ways to satisfy listeners’ tastes and expectations. Programming will continue to eliminate and add artists as their popularity ebbs and flows. The one sure thing is that listeners are constantly aging, which creates a constant demand for music that falls in the Adult Contemporary category, whatever songs the format — and any mix music online radio — embraces in the future.

Classic Rock: Before the Online Radio Stations

By Michele Kadison

classic rock music Classic Rock: Before the Online Radio StationsThe popular definition of “classic” is something that stands up over time. What is traditionally known as “classical music”, encompassing composers such as Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart, holds the same criteria for any other type of music that continues to engage listeners. Tracks and criteria for each online classic rock radio station vary widely; by definition, Classic Rock is when a given album has generated more than one or two hit songs that are still popular today. Currently, the Classic Rock genre generally encompasses music from the late 1960′s through the early 80′s. As we move through time, these boundaries will certainly expand.

There is no one style that fits the full spectrum of the genre from the first classic rock to today’s online classic rock radio station picks. Each artist and band in this category has a stamp all its own, from the early Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin, and Queen to the Jefferson Airplane. Longevity and playability is the key to Classic Rock. With this in mind, we have many, many examples of what made this period so vital and revolutionary. Just take a look at any list of what are now considered Classic Rock bands to see the diversity in the genre.

Classic Rock: The Early Days

jimi hendrix Classic Rock: Before the Online Radio StationsSprouting up among the innovations of the 1960′s, where commercially successful singles defined the marketplace, Classic Rock emerged out of what dubbed “Album Oriented Rock,” or AOR. DJs recognized that they could successfully play various tracks off an album instead of relying on a top 40 single to draw in their listeners. Thus radio formats changed as artists and bands began to create more synthetic work, sometimes theme-driven and sometimes driven by the sheer power of their image.

Classic Rock Radio Stations: Revolutionizing the Scene

the beatles Classic Rock: Before the Online Radio StationsIt is hardly arguable that the Beatles revolutionized the music scene of the time, especially with albums like “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which came out in 1967. Here was an unfolding of what would become emblematic of classic rockers: something indefinable, yet totally distinctive. Out came the wild flashy performers such as Kiss and Black Sabbath; anthem rockers like Queen; British rockers like Led Zeppelin and Mott the Hoople; new wave rockers like The Police, the Clash, the Cars, and Elvis Costello; glam rockers like David Bowie and T.Rex; Southern rockers like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company; and psychedelic rockers with vivid stories to tell like Janis Joplin, the Doors, the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and Jimi Hendrix.

Everyone was different, everyone had something to prove, everyone had something to say. Whether the music was drug-inspired such as with the Doors, the Dead, and the Airplane; anthem driven as introduced by the Who and singer/songwriter Bruce Springsteen, or anything else in between, it all felt personal.

Classic Rock has another claim to fame, and that’s the birth of the rock impresario. Because the music was big, the venues had to change, and so the concerts were now held in stadiums that could hold enormous crowds. Two of the first big rock concerts were the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969. Featured were artists representing the psychedelic aspect of rock, their songs reinforcing the Hippie anthems of peace and love. These concerts helped to unite people of like mind, creating the feeling of a grand tribe against the system.

pink floyd fireworks Classic Rock: Before the Online Radio StationsIn more formal settings, Pink Floyd was the first band to introduce light shows and fireworks on stage. Concert halls such as the Fillmore East and West had enormous cachet with music fans on both coasts. Merchandising came hand in hand with the new concert scene, and serious money began to be made outside of just record sales.

Some of the most riveting and revolutionary moments in Classic Rock came as a result of the politics of the time. Neil Young wrote “Ohio” as a funereal anthem to the student killings at Ohio State University in 1970. In 1971 George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan arranged an enormous concert at Madison Square Garden to help the people of Bangladesh, which opened up the gates for many similar money and consciousness-raising events that continue today.

the doors Classic Rock: Before the Online Radio StationsA new sexuality emerged as a result of the classic rockers. The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger upped the ante on his swagger, Jim Morrison of The Doors brought sex up front and center in every millisecond he spent on stage and off, David Bowie made androgyny into a sensual phenomenon, and Janis made it all so raw, with her rasping voice and her blatant freedom. Death became a kind of morbid rock n roll fashion statement, with many artists tragically succumbing to drug overdoses.

The power of the burgeoning sound was undeniable. In 1971 Led Zeppelin recorded “Stairway to Heaven” on their album, “Led Zeppelin IV”, which to date has received more radio station airplay than any other song in history. The Eagles’ 1976 album, “Their Greatest Hits,” became so popular that it is still one of the biggest selling albums of all time, and the Grateful Dead had people quitting their jobs to following them all around the country.

Classic Rock: Historical Highlights

Year Event
1966 - The Beatles come out with “Revolver”
1967 - The Beatles release the album, ” Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band”

- The Monterey Pop Festival in San Francisco starts the big festival trend

1968 - Concert promoter Bill Graham opens the Fillmore East in New York
1969 - Woodstock makes history
1970 - The National Guard kills four students at Ohio’s Kent State University.

- Neil Young writes “Ohio,” one of the most forceful political protest songs in rock history

- Elton John makes his US debut and wows them with his performing antics

- Black Sabbath releases its first album

- Janis Joplin dies

1971 - Led Zeppelin records their huge hit, “Stairway to Heaven”

- George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan create the concert to raise money for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden in New York

- Jim Morrison dies

1972 - David Bowie debuts Ziggy Stardust, the first rock n roll alien
1973 - Graham Parsons, the visionary country rock artist, overdoses on heroin
1974 - The Ramones debut at CBGBs in New York, home to all rock rebels
1975 - Patti Smith releases her album “Horses” with her picture on the cover taken by photographer Robert Mapplethorpe

- Bruce Springsteen debuts his album ” Born to Run”

1976 - The Eagles’ album “Their Greatest Hits,” is first album in history to be certified platinum
1977 - The Sex Pistols sing their version of “God Save the Queen” and scandalize Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee ceremony

- The Bee Gees have a huge success with the soundtrack of “Saturday Night Fever”

- Queen’s “God save the Queen” makes it to #1 on the charts

1978 - Brian Eno releases “Music for Airports” and ambient music is born
1980 - John Lennon is murdered
1981 - MTV is launched
1982 - Michael Jackson releases “Thriller”

Your Online Classic Rock Radio Station: The Current Phenomenon

Most artists that emerged during the Classic Rock period had enormous influence on music to come. Musicians like Patti Smith, Brian Eno, Bowie, the Talking Heads, the Ramones, Bruce Springsteen, the Police, Ozzy Osbourne, and so many more have had an undeniable effect on the progression of music through their immense risk taking and creativity. As such, Classic Rock music will always have a place in the fabric of our listening habits, no matter how seemingly far away current musical trends seem to get from these roots. Radio stations continue to play the staples as listeners come back for more, not simply from nostalgia, but for the strong desire to hear great, timeless music. Whether you listen to music online or on local radio stations, the songs in a good online Classic Rock radio station will remain classic for all the right reasons.

Alternative Music Online: A Quick History

By Michele Kadison

Alternative music online, also known as “indie” music, emerged in the 80s as an alternative to music being played on commercial radio stations. It was first known as “college rock” as it was played by many college radio stations, reflecting the tastes of students who were tired of the typical classic rock format being played on FM radio. It wasn’t until the mid-80s that the name “Alternative” became standard.

Born of bands that rejected commercial, mainstream culture, Alternative artists began their careers playing in small local clubs and were signed to the new indie record labels such as SST Records, Twin/Tone Records, Touch & Go Records, and Dischord Records.

alt alternative music Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistorySpawning many sub-genres, this independent music scene became fertile territory for exploring forms of expression that would not necessarily be embraced by the mainstream. Thought Alternative was a catch-all word describing the general underground rock sound, there were many categories that defined the new artists coming out of the punk, new wave, and post punk scene.

Alternative Music: The Early Days

violent femmes Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistoryWhat we call today’s alternative music online originally evolved from the punk rock scene that was strong in the 1970s. Most of the first part of this phase gave birth to cult bands that found their way to listeners through word of mouth and local college stations. Many bands featured a fusion of sound, like the Feelies, the Violent Femmes, and the Velvet Underground who merged a punk sound with folk. The Paisley Underground created a more psychedelic sound, while groups like Husker Du and the Replacements appeared. Starting out as punk bands and then progressing to a more melody-driven sound over time. The Meat Puppets and the Minutemen had sounds that married punk with country and funk. Other early bands such as The Pixies, They Might Be Giants, Throwing Muses, Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth, and Big Black each had their own unique artistry which continued to expand the Alternative dimension, presaging the Alternative music we have online today.

Alternative radio stations began to crop up, playing a wide range of artists. Los Angeles’ KROQ FM and Boston’s WFNX were two of the most prominent. When R.E.M. and the Cure gained their huge fan base, commercial radio stations got up to speed, providing more airplay to many indie bands.

Siouxie and the Banshees Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistoryMeanwhile in Britain, Alternative music had given birth to Gothic Rock, which came out of the 70s British post-punk phase. Bands like Bauhaus, Siouxie & the Banshees, and the Cure enraptured listeners with their dark feel and big synthesizer and guitar sounds that created what is often called “epic soundscapes.” The Goth subculture grew as nightclubs like The Batcave gained popularity with disenfranchised kids looking for a new tribe. The mid-80s saw bands like the Sisters of Mercy and the Mission rise to success on the UK charts while indie rock and pop bands like the Smith’s, Orange Juice, and Aztec Camera were signed to labels such as Rough Trade Records. Morrisey, former lead singer from the Smiths, went on to create an important solo career and other bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain, New Order, the Cocteau Twins, and My Bloody Valentine started getting more and more airplay, both in Brittan and elsewhere.

Alternative: The Evolution

In the Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and others entering mainstream radio play, helped Alternative music explode on the scene as a viable alternative to classic rock and pop. The end of the 80s saw many indie bands signing with major labels. R.E.M. and Jane’s Addiction both went gold, then platinum. The Pixies became a major success overseas; leading to the music industry increasingly becoming aware of the commercial possibilities of Alternative rock.

nirvana Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistoryIn 1991, Nirvana’s second album, “Nevermind” catapulted Alternative rock onto a level of visibility never imagined. Pearl Jam came out with “Ten”, Soundgarden with “Badmotorfinger”, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers with “Blood Sugar Sex Magik.”. Commercial radio stations were playing more indie music while more Alternative bands were signed to mainstream labels. The year also introduced a category called “Alternative Music” at the Grammy and MTV Video Awards. The new Lollapalooza festival featured indie bands. Created by Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, he coined the name “Alternative Nation” for the bands joining the tour. Nine Inch Nails, the Smashing Pumpkins, Hole and many others became popular and available to mainstream audiences, especially with visibility on MTV and Vh3.

At the same time there were Alternative bands still leery of mainstream culture. New indie labels cropped up to accommodate these artists, such as Matador Records and Merge.

Upheavals came with the death of Kurt Kobain in 1994 along with Pearl Jam’s lawsuit against Ticketmaster for their high prices. In 1998, Lollapalooza couldn’t find a headliner and stopped dead in its tracks. Many popular indie bands broke up at the end of the 90s such as Rage Against the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots, and Alice in Chains, making way for new sounds to break though like the White Stripes, the Strokes, the Killers, Interpol, and Death Cab for Cutie.

There was also enormous growth of the genre in Britain during the 90s with indie bands like Oasis, Blue, Suede, and Pulp. Australia brought forward Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Vines, and the Go-Betweens. Canada had its bevy of Alternative bands with Barenaked Ladies and Crash Test Dummies, and Iceland had the Sugarcubes, ultimately giving birth to Bjork’s solo career. Japan, Mexico, Argentina, and other countries generated their own versions of indie artists, which continue to this day.

Alternative Music Online: The Phenomenon Now

radiohead Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistoryIn 2009, Radiohead won best Alternative Music Album of the Year at the Grammys for their tour de force, “In Rainbows.” Beck, Death Cab for Cutie, Gnarls Barkley, and My Morning Jacket were other award contenders who have received enormous attention from listeners, radio stations, and CD stores. With alternative music artists online and on TV receiving constant visibility through MTV, Vh3 and other music television venues along with heavy radio airplay, we can be sure to see upcoming artists enjoying the same kind of successes with alternative music online as their forebears did on the radio.

Online Music Privacy

There has been a lot of talk going on about your privacy on the Internet. Information can be easily accessed and retrieved without you even knowing. Most recently, Facebook, a social networking service, has been in the headlines for upsetting their users over privacy issues. Another company that was in the news for such an issue was Pandora. The issue is regarding playlists you create for your private use that are available to seen by the public. How private do you wish your taste in music to be?

Some people may not care who sees or listens to the music they choose for a playlist or music channel. Other people may want to hide the fact that their guilty pleasure is listening to the Backstreet Boys or Hannah Montana. If you are using Pandora, you may be unaware that your music stations are actually public. When you sign up to become a member of their music network, you have to provide an e-mail address. This is where the privacy issue becomes an issue. After providing an e-mail address, anyone who knows your address can search Pandora and find your customized music stations that you created.

Should social networking and music services make this information more readily available to their users? Or should there be easier options to control privacy settings? The Pandora privacy article was brought up on the Wired blog,, where you can read the full article of the Pandora problem, and how the blogger discovered his music station was not private as he, and other users, thought.

A lot of people use online music sites to listen to their favorite bands as opposed to buying CDs. An online archive of music is easily accessible and can be listened to from work or school; anywhere you have access to an Internet connection and your online music site. If you want your playlist to be private, you may want to consider using another service instead of Pandora. It is important when you are becoming a member of a social networking service to read the privacy policy before you register.

If the company does not protect your privacy or does not make their policies clear, you may want to reconsider joining or limit the information you post. It is always important to remember that once something is put on the Internet, it will be there forever. Be safe, and be smart when using a social networking service and creating playlists on online music sites.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

Macy Gray: Soul Singer

Macy Gray, born September 6, 1967, has been famed for her raspy voice, extreme fashion statements and newfound film roles. Generally plated in the R&B genre, several of her peers have noted her as an original artist with a sound far outside the lines.

Macy Gray’s beginnings were in her twenties, where she agreed to write a session of songs for a friend. After the friend did not turn up to the scheduled demo session, Gray decided to sing the songs herself. The demo project was followed by many small opportunities in the Los Angeles arena. In 1998 she was signed with Epic records, after they listed to the initial demo tape recorded due to her friend’s absence.

In 1999 Gray released the album, On How Life Is, which was welcomed by a worldwide audience with excitement. Her second album, I Try, is the album in which Macy Gray saw as her entry into the successful world of musical artistry. The song, ‘I Try’, was featured on the romantic-comedy soundtrack of Picture Perfect, featuring actress Jennifer Aniston.

In 2001 Gray won numerous awards for her works, including a Grammy Award for ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’, for ‘I Try’. The song was also nominated for ‘Song of the Year’, as the album was nominated for ‘Album of the Year’.

After much success with ‘I Try’, the collaboration requested began to line up. To date, Gray has worked with such artists as: Justin Timberlake, The Black Eyed Peas, Natalie Cole, Fergie, Santana, Erykah Badu and Fatboy Slim. Gray was also asked to appear in movies such as, Spiderman, Training Day and Idlewild.

Currently, Gray has appeared on Bravo’s Celebrity Poker Showdown playing for Habitat For Humanity. In 2002 she was the voice for Seeiah Owens in the video game SSX Tricky. She also sang the theme song for the cartoon show on Nickelodeon, appeared on the 2008 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, headlined at the 2008 Summer Sundae music festival in Leicester, England, sang the American National Anthem as part of the Israeli flag-raising ceremony, and collaborated with Australian DJ and singer Kaz James. She also worked with Carmit Bachar on songs for her upcoming solo album.

Gray has been a political activist as well, mixing her music with her beliefs. In 2007 she performed at the Brazilian leg of Live Earth at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Gray and her band members wore politically-motivated messages and on her dress she had the words “Darfur Red Alert” written.

Macy Gray was born Natalie Renee McIntyre and also called Natalie Hinds in her music. To date she has released four studio albums, one compilation album and one live album.

In her personal life, Macy Gray was married to Tracy Hinds for two years, with whom she mothered three children (Aanisah, Tahmel and Cassius). She, politically, also was a supporter of Barak Obama for approximately two years before his presidential campaign. Gray has also been noted for her work with underprivileged teenagers looking to pursue careers in the music industry.

Macy Gray’s fifth studio album, “The Sellout”, which includes a duet with Bobby Brown, is to be released on June 22, 2010.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

Online Music Store Lala Shuts Down

If you are a fan of great music then you are probably no stranger to music stores online and Internet radio stations. You may be such a fanatic that you also buy old records and CDs of your favorite artists as a way to archive music. Perhaps you are on your computer so much that you prefer to do all your shopping online including music buying. You may also listen to all your music online and use your computer as your personal radio station creating playlists of your favorite tunes.

If you are a fan of Apple and have an iPhone, you may have heard of or are currently using their music store called Lala. It was originally created by Bill Nguyen, an entrepreneur from Silicon Valley. On December 4, 2009, Apple bought the music store. The service allows its members to create personalized playlists and play full length songs, purchase CDs, purchase MP3 versions of songs, and participate in forums and be involved in an online music community.

Apple recently announced that they are shutting down Lala. All services will be ended on the 31st of this month, and no new members are being accepted at this time. For current members who have credit on their site, all monies will be refunded but only in the form of iTunes credits. You may or may not be a fan of this announcement. If you do not use iTunes, I can see how you would be bothered by this type of refund.

If you are not purchasing music or CDs from online music stores, but still prefer to listen to online music you may want to consider finding an Internet radio station. There are a lot of channels with different genres that play the music you like. Some Internet radio stations allow you to create personalized playlists where you become the DJ and offer iPhone apps to listen to the music from your playlist.

Many people are wondering the motive behind Apple’s decision. Are they trying to push sales on iTunes? Are they developing a new online music store? Are they creating a new cloud based phone application for streaming music? If you are a member of Lala you only have until the end of the month to find a new outlet for listening to music online. If you liked the online community and forums that Lala had, you will be pleased to know that a lot of Internet radio stations have the same type of communities.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

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