Tag Archives: Beautiful

PROFILE: Ben Rector Goes “Beautiful” On Radio Ready Single

Ben there, done that.

Ben there, done that.

You may have heard his name before or even a few of his songs through hit shows on ABC, ESPN and The CW, but despite his success with the college crowds and television execs, Ben Rector has never had a radio hit. Not one, and he’s been recording since 2006 with a number of well-received albums. The 26-year-old born in Oklahoma and now based in Tennessee may finally have his shot at a song that can be both critically and commercially successful with a song simply titled “Beautiful” and the results are just as the song title says.

The track is a release from Rector’s fifth full-length album, The Walking In Between. It’s the first recording on his own label, Aptly Named Recordings. It was released digitally two weeks ago and comes out in physical form on Tuesday, the 10th. It recently became his first release to break the top 20 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The music bug has always been around in his life, from playing piano as a child to eventually learning guitar and writing songs in high school. A self-titled EP of his in 2006 spread quickly and after a series of live gigs, he moved to Nashville in 2009 to try to make it as an artist. Into The Morning in 2010 gave him a taste of some digital love and landed him some opening slots with fellow singer-songwriters Dave Barnes and Five For Fighting, as well as on VH1’s Best Cruise Ever. 2011’s Something Like This saw similar results as well as a headlining tour, and he’s still playing dates as a part of The Rectour (gotta love the wordplay there) through at least November. He’s a busy guy to say the least.

If you already know Rector’s music, then you know that he’s a talented guy who blends folk, pop and rock masterfully into his works. I’m particularly a fan of his song “When A Heart Breaks”, which was introduced to me by a friend of mine, and what else can I say? It’s heartbreaking, and it makes for such an emotional experience that you have to apply it to your own life. It’s brilliant, and so is this latest single of his. It’s his signature soft rock sound mixed with a lyrical nostalgia about reliving the good old days of embracing love for the first time. He wants to go back to a time “when I was sixteen with an open heart/windows down in a beat-up car/when I was dumb and the world was young/And she was beautiful.” It’s smart, it’s relatable, and the guy has an undeniable and genuine charm about him and his compositions. I mean, what more could you ask for? He was bound to be big, and it’s a head-scratcher as to why he isn’t so far.

The good news is this could change very soon. “Beautiful” appears to be on its way to a potential charting at the AAA format with two keys adds this week according to the latest report: Cities 97 in Minneapolis and Lightning 100 in Nashville, which are both influential in their respective communities. That’s pretty good considering that he’s essentially a new act trying to break through, but a lack of major label support could prove to halt the song’s process no matter how good it is. That’s just the way it goes, even on this format with its share of independent acts. We’ll see if any record group wants to pick up the radio distribution for it; there’s a lot of potential in how far this one could go and it would be a shame to see it falter. Perhaps after being used as the musical backdrop to another advertisement or scene in a television drama, it’ll pick up some speed. Until then, it’s all about the waiting game.

For more on the latest round-up of Rector’s tour dates, check out his official website, and to see how “Beautiful” does on my own personal chart, don’t forget to come back on Sunday to see where it’s listed. The fall is just about to begin and I’m sure you’ll fall for Ben Rector as I did with his solid catalogue of music.

Buy “Beautiful” on iTunes. / Buy The Walking In Between on iTunes.

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Things That Need To Stop: #HashtagsInSongTitles



If you’re an act that’s looking to make a new single and deciding on a title for it, please reflect on this post for a moment, because it will spare you the embarrassment of years to come. Now, I know it’s trendy to trend yourself on Twitter using a hashtag and get some attention by finding your tag listed on the worldwide topics list according to the social media service. It’s fun and great if it works, but please, please spare yourself and don’t put a hashtag in your soon-to-be-hit’s title. When we look back on this era in song titles, it’ll rank up there with those awful ideas like the double r in “Dirrty” or “Hot In Herre” and songs with no vowels like “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs”. It’s just all shades of wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I get the feeling you’ve probably seen that several songs lately on the charts that have hashtags in them. A hashtag, for those of you still confused, is the use of a “#” symbol followed by a short word of phrase, like #whyamiwritingaboutthis or #thisissodumbguys. For example, “#Beautiful” by Mariah Carey and Miguel just debuted on the radio last week and “#thatPOWER” by will.i.am and Justin Bieber is doing well at both radio and retail. Pretty soon, Miley Cyrus will be collaborating with Pharrell Williams on a track from her new album, “#GetItRight”, and who knows what else will come after that. Point is, if this doesn’t stop now, the top 40 will be full of songs with hashtags, and do you really want to see a chart filled with songs titles and phrases that aren’t actually trending anywhere on Twitter? Plus, what was the problem with not calling them “Beautiful” or “Get It Right” or “That Power” in the first place?

Something is inevitably going to replace Twitter someday, and when that service doesn’t use hashtags as a way of promotion, you know that people will stop referencing to these songs without the “#” sign in them. Sure, you could argue that a song with a hashtag is “trending” up the charts when it rises; why can’t all of them be that way? The national charts, the genre charts, the digital charts, etc. do not equal Twitter. A hashtag is free to tweet out; buying a song isn’t, and while there are several hundred million accounts active on Twitter worldwide, not all of them use hashtags. Plus, the United States population far surpasses that. It looks odd on the charts when the majority of songs use a normal title. It looks odd on a compact disc case because it’s not like you can trend a song title up or down a tracklisting. However, I would think it would be most awkward for the disc jockey on the duty to properly front-sell or back-sell a song as “Hashtag Beautiful” or “Hashtag That Power”. That just screams unnecessary. Plus, like a Twitter trend, what happens when the number of times the DJ says the title goes up? Do they raise their voice an octave? (Please don’t do this, I beg of you.)

Before this Twitter phenomenon, the “#” was rarely used in a top 40 hit, and it was meant to signify a number, of course. Take a look at this list of those credits with the symbol as opposed to a “Number One” or a “No. 1”:

“Hashtags” in top 40 hits prior to 2013:
“Fool #1”, Brenda Lee (#3, 1961)
“Love Potion #9”, The Searchers (#3, 1964)
“Engine Engine #9”, Roger Miller (#7, 1965)
“Rainy Day Women #12 & #35”, Bob Dylan (#2, 1966)
“Westbound #9”, The Flaming Ember (#24, 1970)
“#9 Dream”, John Lennon (#9, 1975)
“#1 Crush”, Garbage (#29 Airplay, 1997)
“#1”, Nelly (#22, 2002)

So to you cowboys and crooners, divas and disc jockeys and all you bands out there, stop the madness. Yes, you have the artistic license to do whatever you want, but this isn’t art. It’s a shameless plug. If hashtags keep being integrated into song titles, you know acts will start creating songs with 140 characters total, then Billboard will start adding hashtags into their formulas for compiling their charts, and then the RIAA will take them into account for certifications. OK, some of this may not actually happen, but I’m keeping my eye for them. Let’s be honest, though, nobody wants to see #StairwayToHeaven to show up on the charts or a media player in that form. Why do that to yourself and make yourself instantly dated? It’s not worth it.

#HashtagsInSongTitles. They’re not stopping anytime soon, but they may be gone just around the trend.

Let me know what you think about this in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.


Filed under Charts/Trade Papers

SINGLE PREMIERE: Mariah Carey featuring Miguel – “#Beautiful” (+ Lyrics)

You'll be lovin' it long time.

You’ll be lovin’ it long time.

Mariah Carey is keeping it all in the Lambily with her new one, “#Beautiful”, featuring R&B singer Miguel. It’s the first single from her forthcoming album for which neither a title or release date has been revealed. We’ll likely find out that information soon. “#Beautiful” is the second title on note recently to include a hashtag in the title, following the recent hit for will.i.am and Justin Bieber, “#thatpower”. It was sent to radio this morning at 7AM Eastern to several formats and will be on iTunes at 8AM Eastern. Be sure to come back then for a link to the song. Also, stay tuned to your local pop-formatted Clear Channel to hear this collaboration every hour on the hour as a part of iHeartRadio’s artist integration program. It’s sure to have a huge first day on the airwaves under such circumstances. Will it give Carey her nineteenth #1 single on the Hot 100? That would be #beautiful, wouldn’t it? Check out the song below. Enjoy!

Listen to “#Beautiful” by Mariah Carey featuring Miguel. / Download “#Beautiful” on iTunes.


Miguel, Mariah

Ah, ah, you’re beautiful
Ah, ah, you’re beautiful

[Verse 1]
Hop on the back of my bike
Let the good wind blow through your hair
With an a** like that and a smile so bright
Oh, you’re killing me, you know it ain’t fair, yeah
Ride on through the middle of the night
Let the moonlight kiss your skin
When you dance like that, your jeans so tight
Oh, you’re killing me, baby do it again

You’re beautiful, and you’re mine, it’s f*cking beautiful
And I can’t pretend that that doesn’t mean a thing to me, to me, yeah
You’re beautiful, good lord, you’re f*cking beautiful
And I can’t pretend that that doesn’t mean a thing to me, to me, yeah, yeah

[Verse 2]
I like when you run red lights
Don’t stop ’til you thrill me, oh how you thrill me
Always in control, how you do it, I don’t know
But I don’t care, take me anywhere

‘Cause it’s beautiful, ooh you make me feel undressable
And I can’t pretend that that doesn’t mean a thing to me, to me, oh yeah
You’re beautiful, and you’re mine, it’s f*cking beautiful
And I can’t pretend that that doesn’t mean a thing to me, to me, yeah
You’re beautiful, good lord, you’re f*cking beautiful (so beautiful)
And I can’t pretend that that doesn’t mean a thing to me, to me, yeah
Yeah, yeah

[Middle 8]
Oh oh oh oh
Yeah yeah

You don’t know what you’re doing darling
Hop on back my bike darling

Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, etc.
Don’t you worry darling

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