Thursday, June 23, 2011


Big Hits and their Covers

Summer is finally here! School is out; time to sleep late, hang out with friends and watch a lot of videos! Here are two very popular music videos for songs you are hearing on the radio, along with covers from members of the YouTube community.

Thanks to everyone who emailed Kenny about the YouTubeStars Guest Blogger openings! We found a few people that we may work with, but we are still looking for others. WE PAY WRITERS to Guest Blog for YouTubeStars! If you are interested in GETTING PAID to write some Guest Blogs about interesting videos and videomakers, please email Kenny and be sure to include a LINK to your YouTube channel in the email.

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Today we will watch music videos from Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, as well as cover versions of their songs, made by talented YouTube members.

But first, The News!

This week's Featured Video on our Top 100 and Top 200 Charts is a really well made pop music video of an original song written by a young lady from Utah. Austin Wolfe is just 14 but she writes catchy pop tunes with good lyrics. She also plays keyboards and sings very well! Austin's YouTube channel is utahwolfe and it has videos of Austin on local TV and performing live. Watch the Featured Video of her original song "Goodbye" right here; click on it!

We have a NEW Featured Video every week on our YouTube Top 100 Chart. If you missed any of our Previously Featured Videos, you can still watch them here.

Check out our Top 100 and Top 200 Charts of the Most Subscribed YouTube Channels every week!

Now, enjoy these original hits and covers!

I have to admit, when I first heard the lyrics in Katy Perry's new hit "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" I wondered if she was advocating living a life of utter chaos! Clearly, if you are waking up with strangers in your bed, smelling like a mini-bar, with the chandelier on the floor and your dress ripped; and you have maxed out your credit cards and have warrants out for your arrest - you are headed for disaster!

The other thing that struck me was the vague similarity to that other song about Friday - "Friday" by Rebecca Black. We covered that phenomenon in great detail back in March and April; here, here and here. I also knew that Katy Perry sang part of "Friday" at one or more of her concerts recently. So it was not a huge shock when I saw the preview for "Last Friday Night (T.G.I F.)" with Rebecca Black in the Katy Perry video! Now many people think that "Last Friday Night (T.G.I F.)" is a new song by Katy Perry and may think it is cashing in on "Friday"'s fame. But this is not the case - "Last Friday Night (T.G.I F.)" was track 2 on Katy Perry's CD "Teenage Dream" which was released August 24, 2010. So was ARK inspired to write "Friday" by Katy's tune? We do not know!

Recent news about Rebecca Black, since Ryan Seacrest got her a billboard celebrating her 100 Millionth video view of Friday, had been sparse. We heard she hired a management team, was making a new song, and turned 14 a few days ago on June 21st. The full version of "Last Friday Night (T.G.I F.)" hit YouTube on June 12th and there, in a very major starring role, was Ms. Rebecca Black herself! Quite a birthday present to see her second appearance on video hitting nearly 30 million views.

Meanwhile, over at ARK Music, we hear that there is a legal dispute over the "Friday" video. Also, ARK had planned and announced a singing contest between 18 of their top site members who would be eliminated one each week by member votes, leaving a winner who would be flown to L.A. and given the ARK treatment. However, the announcement has been removed and the contest has not begun. It was supposed to be timed to finish in the last weeks of summer vacation, but the timing would be off now, should it finally get underway. Still, ARK runs a very nice fan site with quite a good amount of people, mostly kids, in their chat room at any given time.

Back to the "Last Friday Night (T.G.I F.)" video. It is said that the idea was to parody the teen movies of the 80s. Teen stars Corey Feldman and Debbie Gibson are in the video, playing the parents of Katy's character - Kathy Beth Terry. But there is texting, social networks, game consoles and other current technology in the 8 minute mini-movie. Rebecca Black has a starring role as herself - a girl who lives next to the Terry family and is hosting a wild party. She gets nerdy Kathy to loosen up - gives her cool clothes and removes her "headgear" braces with pliers!

Now that I have seen the video (and really enjoyed it!), I am still a bit concerned about the message it, and the song, send to fans, especially the younger ones. If you have nerdish tendencies - interests in modeling the solar system and other scientific endeavors - do you really have to drink excessively, dress and look the same as everyone else in order to be accepted? Maybe in the 80s, but these days, people join the Nerd Fighters and other social movements and proudly claim the nerd name. Bill Gates was a nerd and he did just fine for himself! Also, RB Rebecca Black was just 13 when this was filmed. Yes, she is said to be a "good girl" and I think she probably is. But did they corrupt that image with this video? 13 is a little young for some of the things going on at this party, and even in the 80s, they rarely showed characters this young getting this crazy. This video is very different than her "Friday" video. People like Miley Cyrus usually wait until they are 17 or so before they begin to go for that more adult image. Watch the video; what do YOU think?

As I said above, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I F.)" came out last summer. By September, YouTube Star Shane Dawson put out a parody of "Last Friday Night (T.G.I F.)" that he made with several other top YouTube Stars such as OlgaKay and TayZonday. Have a look at this video from Shane's YouTube channel and see if you think that maybe, just maybe, Katy Perry's people watched this and were inspired by it in the making of their own video for "Last Friday Night (T.G.I F.)" Warning: language!

Before I ever heard Taylor Swift's hit song "The Story Of Us" - I saw a cover of it on YouTube! A talented young man originally from Libya named Bahjat is a huge Taylor Swift fan and a musician himself. I had subscribed to his original channel last year so I could hear the interesting covers that he makes by singing and accompanying himself on guitar. I liked his cover of "The Story Of Us" even though I had never heard the original.

Now, Taylor Swift's "The Story Of Us" is on the radio all the time, and I really like it! Last month, we got to see the Official Video for Taylor Swift's hit "The Story Of Us" and it's great! The video is set in a school library and we see the interaction between the man and woman in the song who had a relationship that is turning into a tragedy now. Next Chapter! The End! Have a look at this video and let me know if you notice that the beautiful Taylor Swift looks a little like our own guest blogger, CelestialSam (pic at the top ot this post)!

Late last year, we interviewed YouTube Star Krista Nicole (KristaHeartzuz). One of the people who won a Krista Nicole CD in our contest was YouTube singer Stephanie Bullock from Canada. I checked out her channel during the contest and found some fun videos of cover songs. Stephanie really gets into it and that makes her nice singing even more enjoyable! Watch talented Stephanie sing Taylor Swift's "The Story Of Us" - complete with a cute "Next Chapter" and "The End!"

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1. Austin Wolfe sings really well!
2. I like the Katy Perry video too and Rebecca Black is great in it!
3. The Ark contest is starting around July 15,
4. Stephanie has a great voice!
ok bye!

Thanks for the multi-part comment!
Yeah I think the reason their contest got delayed is because they have been doing the "One Week To Hit It Big" thing with Good Morning America and ABC. They picked Lexi St George (Twitter)and you can watch the videos on ARK's YouTube channel. Lexi is very good; check out her videos!

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