Twenty-Five Years of Wide Open Spaces – Garden & Gun – Garden & Gun

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Looking back on the Chicks’ breakout 1998 album and a quarter-century of chasing the highest stakes
By Dacey Orr Sivewright
January 27, 2023
photo: AP Photo/Reed Saxon
“Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about?” 
I was seven, almost eight, when Wide Open Spaces came out. I can’t say I remember the album’s release specifically—I wasn’t exactly trolling record stores or analyzing music criticism in between recess and snack time—but the CD was a fast favorite in our family minivan, and even as an elementary schooler I felt sure that I did, indeed, know what Natalie Maines was talking about. 
My mom loves to clarify that she liked country music “before it was cool,” and to me, she must mean before the Chicks. Between the fiddle and the vocal twang, you couldn’t say they weren’t country. You definitely couldn’t say they weren’t cool: The Chicks kicked down genre boundaries, gaining notoriety in corners of pop culture where country music had previously been shut out or laughed at. Wide Open Spaces was a major milestone both for women in country and for country music in general.
The title track traveled its own unlikely road before finding blockbuster success with the trio in ’98. Written by Susan Gibson, the song took shape years earlier when, in traveling back and forth between Texas and Montana for college, she left a notebook with its scribbled beginnings at her parents’ house. She ultimately completed the number at the encouragement of her mother, who included the pages in a care package. When Gibson went to record “Wide Open Spaces” with her band the Groobees later in the nineties, producer Lloyd Maines thought the song might also work for another Texas act he knew: his daughter, Natalie, and the Chicks, who were preparing to record their major label debut. The band and the label agreed, and we all know what happened next.
Of course, Wide Open Spaces was so much bigger than one song. “There’s Your Trouble” and “I Can Love You Better” embody the assertive, independent spirit most people have come to associate with the Chicks. And coupled with more tender, vulnerable numbers like “You Were Mine” or the J.D. Souther cover “I’ll Take Care of You,” the album captures both a craving for freedom and nostalgia for familiar comforts, romantic or otherwise. 
In 1998, the Chicks sold more CDs than every other country music group combined. The album nabbed trophies at the ACMs, the CMAs, and the Grammys, with plenty of other accolades along the way. By 2003, it achieved RIAA diamond status, boasting more than 12 million units shipped in the U.S. alone. The Chicks would go on to inspire such talents as Maren Morris, Taylor Swift, and Brittney Spencer, not only for their reimagination of what country could be, but for their artistic resolve—a perseverance and a willingness to go against the grain that, in retrospect, makes Wide Open Spaces feel all the more prescient. 
Even with all these superlatives, the album’s most unique accomplishment might be the way it can feel wholly relevant twenty-five years later, even for folks who were in vastly different phases of life when they first belted “Let ’Er Rip” in the car or “Wide Open Spaces” on karaoke night. 
Those same wide open spaces can offer us the opportunity to look back across the expanse and see how far we’ve come. My “highest stakes” have changed a little since those nervous days making friends on the playground. My “big mistakes” have (mostly) been ones I’ve learned and grown from. And I continue to find joy in the “new faces,” even as many of them have become old friends.  I can only hope we’re all still singing the lyrics together in 2058.
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Smokey Robinson, 'King of Motown,' to release new solo album – The Associated Press – en Español

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s been nearly a decade since Smokey Robinson’s last album, but new music from the King of Motown is on the horizon.
Robinson will release the nine-track album “Gasms” on April 28, the music legend behind hits like “My Girl” and “The Way You Do the Things You Do” announced Friday.
“Gasms” features new songs produced and written by Robinson himself. The former vice president of Motown Records released his last collaborative album nine years ago, “Smokey & Friends,” which featured musicians like Elton John, John Legend, Steven Tyler and Mary J. Blige.
The upcoming album’s first single, “If We Don’t Have Each Other,” is now available on streaming services.
Robinson is a legendary music producer, songwriter, record label executive and solo musician who’s penned over 4,000 songs and been inducted into the the Rock ‘n’ Roll and Songwriters’ halls of fame.
The musician has worked with other historic Motown artists like the Temptations, Mary Wells, Brenda Holloway and Marvin Gaye.
Robinson will soon be honored alongside fellow Motown musician Berry Gordy as the 2023 “Persons Of The Year” at the Recording Academy’s annual MusiCares event on Feb. 3 in Los Angeles.


The ex factor: Miley Cyrus smashes records with breakup anthem – The Guardian

Shakira and SZA have also found recent chart success with songs celebrating female empowerment
Miley Cyrus can buy herself flowers, she can write her name in the sand. She can take herself dancing, and she can hold her own hand.
That’s the message the pop star imparts in her new single, Flowers, which smashed Spotify’s one-week streaming record with more than 96m streams last week, and topped charts around the world including in the UK, Australia, Canada and China.
The song, reportedly about Cyrus’s divorce from the Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, has become an anthem for female empowerment after heartbreak. Cyrus even released it on her ex-husband’s birthday, spawning countless headlines, TikToks and memes about Hemsworth’s rumoured shortcomings.
Liam Hemsworth's references in Miley Cyrus' "Flowers" music video and song 🌺
As the adage, rightly or wrongly attributed to the late poet Dorothy Parker goes, writing well truly is the best revenge. Even Gloria Gaynor, whose 1978 breakup anthem I Will Survive cemented her status as an empowering musical icon, has shared and commented on Cyrus’s hit.
“I’m in Nashville working on new music and just heard ‘Flowers’ for the first time,” she said. “Your song carries the torch of empowerment and encourages everyone to find the strength in themselves to persevere and thrive. Well done Miley!”
But Cyrus isn’t the only star whose breakup song has found success in the charts recently. The Colombian singer Shakira topped Spotify’s top 50 global chart with a “diss track” about her ex, the former Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué. The song, a collaboration with the Argentinian producer and DJ Bizarrap, broke records as the most watched new Latin song in YouTube’s history (currently at 200m views) and was the top song in Spanish-speaking markets including Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Mexico.
With lyrics such as “You traded a Ferrari for a [Renault] Twingo, you traded a Rolex for a Casio,” Shakira’s single also sparked global intrigue in fans already captivated by the singer’s scorched-earth mentality – including claims she used a jar of jam to catch Piqué cheating and set up a lifesize witch doll on her balcony that reportedly overlooks her former mother-in-law’s home.
shakira looking into her refrigerator
Shakira inside the jam jar investigating how much was missing
Meanwhile, two other stars with top three singles in both the UK and US are the R&B singer SZA with her track Kill Bill – which is about a fantasy to exact revenge on an ex-boyfriend – and queen of the breakup ballad, Taylor Swift, with Anti-Hero. While Anti-Hero isn’t a breakup song, Swift’s popularity largely derives from her ability to leave tantalising clues about her exes in songs (one that was thought to be about Jake Gyllenhaal led to the actor’s social media being inundated with Swifties).
Last month, Lana Del Rey bought a billboard in her ex’s home town to promote her new album, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, commenting that this one was “personal”. She also announced her album and dropped the title track on her ex’s birthday.
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Lana Del Rey had an album billboard placed in her ex's hometown:

“There's only one and it's in Tulsa ☠️”
According to the chart analyst James Masterton, breakup songs “date back to the dawn of pop music history”. The fourth song ever to top the British charts was Outside of Heaven, by Eddie Fisher, and one of the biggest hits of 1957 was Singing the Blues as performed by Guy Mitchell and Tommy Steele – both about the end of a relationship.
But breakup songs take on a special frisson when they are about the performers’ own experiences. “The most moving and heart-rending Abba song of all is The Winner Takes It All as they sing about their divorces from each other,” Masterton said.
What’s most fascinating, he added, was the “gender divide” in the songs. “Breakup songs sung by men are [often] in the noble blues tradition of ‘my baby she left me’ as they sit feeling sorry for themselves. But while there are plenty of heartbroken women, there are just as many songs about a woman picking herself up and moving on. Both Gaynor’s I Will Survive and Cyrus’s Flowers are essentially feminist anthems. The women are empowered by their breakup, not destroyed by it. No wonder it turns out to be such a rich seam of songwriting.”
Alex Goat, the chief executive of the youth culture specialists Livity, said: “If Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved and Forget Me sit firmly in the depression phase, Flowers feels like you’re coming out the other side, alongside Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now, which brings a sense of acceptance and empowerment to ‘owning your breakup’.”
But, she said, what felt different and current about Flowers was that the sentiment and the music video vocalise – and visualise – self-care and self-love.
“For today’s younger generation, self-care rituals and practices are huge. From the unbelievable boom in wellness to Selena Gomez’s heartfelt appearance on The Boss Wives last year, physical and emotional self-care and self-love – the hashtag of which has 52bn TikTok views – capture the spirit of how so many young people are approaching and prioritising the relationship they have with themselves.”


Victor Monument review: A solid record player for under $200 – Matridox

If you’re looking for an affordable way to play music on traditional formats – while remaining in the 21st century – get the Victor Monument.
Physical media has had something of a resurgence over the past few years, at least when it comes to music. Artists have begun relying on CDs, vinyl records, and even cassettes to drive album sales and give fans a reason to hand them money instead of just streaming their content for mere pennies. Of course, with measurable growth in both the CD and vinyl markets comes an obvious question: where do you play it?
There are plenty of vinyl record players on the market, and a recent addition has been the return of Victor. An iconic name in the world of entertainment systems, Victor has found its way back on record players thanks to a new licensing agreement with NAXA Electronics out of Vernon, California. Together, the companies developed a new line of music centers that couple Victor’s classic design language with 21st century technology.
One of their flagship centers is the Monument, a $199 record player that includes seven additional functions – like a CD player, FM radio, a cassette player, and Bluetooth input/output – in a design ripped right out of the history books. Its broad list of capabilities, good looks, and modern technologies make this a great option if you need a new record player and don’t want to spend a fortune. It’s not perfect, but it’s earned a permanent spot in my home despite that.
The Victor brand is synonymous with design that feels natural and timeless, which is what the Monument is able to capture. The wooden construction and metallic accents predate the looks of most modern record players on the market, yet to this day remain eye-catching and sophisticated in the case of the Monument. Yes, you can tell this is a modern music center with all the knobs and analog screen on the front, but it’s easy to see where the Monument’s aesthetic stems from.
My review unit came in Graphite, which has a dark gray finish on the wood and silver aluminum everywhere else. It adds a modern flair to the retro aesthetic of the player, and I dig it. The color way won’t be for everyone, and if you find that it’s not really your vibe, it’s also available in Mahogany and Espresso.
Everything is well crafted and feels premium, from the locking mechanism for the lid to the mode switcher on the front. The player has a good amount of weight to it which helps with stability, and its size is a bit bigger than you might expect. You’ll definitely want some extra room on the table you plan to set it on before setting it up.
You’ll find the CD drive on the front along with the FM/AM radio, volume controls, and mode switcher. On the right side is the cassette player, while the back houses power and auxiliary ports. There’s also an antenna that uncoils to extend its reach for better radio reception.
The platter is made out of plastic, while the tone arm uses a cheap-feeling metal. It’s obviously not as nice as what you’d get with a dedicated turntable, but it’s serviceable given the price and target demographic.
Overall, the Monument is a great looking record player. The only thing I’d advise you to keep in mind is the where you wind up placing it, since you won’t want anything blocking the right side and restricting access to the cassette player.
After taking it out of the box and plugging it in, all you have to do to get up and running is remove the plastic cap from the record needle and untwist a fastener to move it. It was incredibly simple and straightforward. Of course, I followed the instructions anyway to ensure I didn’t screw anything up, but it’s next to impossible given the simplicity of it.
Victor designed the Monument to be the center of your home’s music system, and with all the different ways you can play your music, it does a great job at achieving just that.
Here’s the full list of music formats it supports.
Victor says the Monument is supposed to be an “8-in-1” music center, but that language is a bit misleading since it oddly counts the built-in speakers.
Still, all of this functionality makes the Monument incredibly versatile, enough that it can act as your primary entertainment system. You can plug whatever device you want into the aux port to play music, and even connect wirelessly thanks to the inclusion of Bluetooth 5.0. This also works when you want to output music from the Monument, so you can pair wired or wireless speakers and enjoy your vinyls or CDs on them.
I’ve tested all of this, and it works as you’d expect. I primarily played vinyls on it since I’ve had a few I kept in shrink wrap waiting for the day I bought a new record player. The Monument has three playback speeds: 33, 45, and 78 RPM. There’s an adapter in the box if you plan on playing 45s, while everything else works immediately after you set it up.
I didn’t experience any skipping or speed issues with my unit, although sometimes it was tricky positioning the Monument in a way that the needle wouldn’t float too far off the top of the record I was playing. I eventually got it just right and haven’t experienced any quality issues since.
The vinyls I played during my testing were Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous, Michael Bublé’s Christmas, Jason Aldean’s 9, and Logic’s Vinyl Days. These were all brand-new pressings so I expected them to sound great, and they did. I had a blast listening to the crackling of the vinyl with the terrific tracks on each of these LPs. I get why record collectors prefer vinyl over other music formats – it’s a truly delightful experience.
Playing CDs and cassettes was also simple and issue-free. There are a suite of buttons on the front of the Monument for controlling playback, skipping songs, and adjusting the volume, all of which were easy to figure out.
They also work for music you play over Bluetooth 5.1, which is one of the Monument’s flagship features. Once paired to your phone or laptop, playing music was as straightforward as you’d expect. You can use some of the physical buttons to play, pause, or flick between tracks which is nice, and the pairing process was easy.
Listening to FM and AM radio stations was also simple, although it felt a bit lackluster. You can easily sift through the available stations in your area, but there’s no way to set favorites, forcing you to surf the airwaves every time you want to tune into your favorite station.
In addition, I found the controls for navigating a USB drive pretty tedious, if only because of the tiny screen on the front. It can’t show you a ton of information, which might force you to spend a lot of time finding the track you want to play if your drive is full of content.
The Monument supports various ways of outputting audio that travels through its systems, and thank God, because the integrated speakers are everything but good.
I’ll admit, they can get really loud and fill a room fairly easily, but there’s not a lot of definition in them, and they have a noticeable lack of bass that makes them sound tinnier than they are. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t terrible, but any pair of external drivers will serve you better.
To pair external speakers, you’ll find Line Out ports on the back as well as Bluetooth output. There’s no option for auxiliary output, unfortunately, so wired headphones won’t work with the Monument. However, with a little work, Bluetooth headphones work fine.
For $199, the Victor Monument provides a solid music listening experience, with enough versatility that it can easily fit into anyone’s setup.
With its classic design, support for your entire physical music collection, and modern technologies like Bluetooth, it’s as complete an experience you could ask for at this price point. Its biggest drawback are the disappointing integrated speakers, but swap those for some external drivers and you’ve got yourself a stellar music center.
I’ll be recommending the Monument to anyone looking for a record player under $200. It’s that good.
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Blackpink adds 6 Guinness World Record titles – UPI News

Jan. 27 (UPI) — K-pop girl group Blackpink has earned six new Guinness World Records titles with its second studio album Born Pink and member Lisa’s flourishing solo career, its agency YG Entertainment said Friday.

Blackpink has been certified as the first K-pop girl group to rank at No. 1 on the U.K. albums chart and the first K-pop girl group to top the U.S. Billboard’s main albums chart.


The quartet also won an award for Best Metaverse Performance for their performance of new single “Ready For Love” in the video game PUBG Mobile, previously known as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Its member Lisa has set a trio of new world records as her first solo single “Lalisa” has achieved global success since its release in September 2021.

The rapper was certified as the first solo K-pop winner at the MTV Video Music Awards, where she won Best K-pop Video, an award that had been exclusively won by K-pop boy band BTS since its introduction in 2019.

Lisa was also bestowed as the first solo Best K-pop winner at the MTV Europe Music Awards and was the most-followed K-pop artist on Instagram with 86.3 million followers as of Jan. 19.


Other current Guinness World Records held by Blackpink include the most subscribers for a band on YouTube. The girl group’s 2020 single “How You Like That” also previously held the title of the most viewed video on YouTube within 24 hours, a record later overtaken by BTS’ “Dynamite.”

Read More

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  • Topics
  • Guinness World Records
  • BTS
  • K-pop

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Jan. 27 (UPI) — K-pop girl group Blackpink has earned six new Guinness World Records titles with its second studio album Born Pink and member Lisa’s flourishing solo career, its agency YG Entertainment said Friday.
Blackpink has been certified as the first K-pop girl group to rank at No. 1 on the U.K. albums chart and the first K-pop girl group to top the U.S. Billboard’s main albums chart.


The quartet also won an award for Best Metaverse Performance for their performance of new single “Ready For Love” in the video game PUBG Mobile, previously known as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Its member Lisa has set a trio of new world records as her first solo single “Lalisa” has achieved global success since its release in September 2021.
The rapper was certified as the first solo K-pop winner at the MTV Video Music Awards, where she won Best K-pop Video, an award that had been exclusively won by K-pop boy band BTS since its introduction in 2019.
Lisa was also bestowed as the first solo Best K-pop winner at the MTV Europe Music Awards and was the most-followed K-pop artist on Instagram with 86.3 million followers as of Jan. 19.


Other current Guinness World Records held by Blackpink include the most subscribers for a band on YouTube. The girl group’s 2020 single “How You Like That” also previously held the title of the most viewed video on YouTube within 24 hours, a record later overtaken by BTS’ “Dynamite.”


VS-01 upright vinyl record player $599 – Geeky Gadgets

Geeky Gadgets
Gadgets and Technology News
upright vinyl record player
If you enjoy listening to vinyl records you might be interested in a new record player in the form of the VS-01 which has launched by Kickstarter this month. Equipped with a Ortofon MM OM 5E stylus head the upright turntable design features Bluetooth connectivity, adjustable needle pressure, a carbon fibre tonearm and supports both 33.3 and 45 rpm speeds.
Backer early bird pledges are now available for the innovatory project from roughly $599 or £486 (depending on current exchange rates), offering a considerable discount of approximately 33% off the retail price, while the Kickstarter crowd funding is under way.
The original upright vinyl record player combined with the sound quality of a vinyl record player, is a collision of fashionable appearance and classic music mode. VS-01 integrates Nordic modernity style and classic feelings, to adopt Danish stylus head (Ortofon OM 5E), paying tribute to the golden age of vinyl, and creates a record player with visual freshness and professional sound quality for you.”
vinyl record players
“That crisp yet crackling vinyl sound is one of the most appealing aspects of avintage record player. But we believe another fascinating component is the vinyl artwork itself. That’s why, instead of creating a generic flattop design, we’ve chosen to erect the turntable and put your records in full view.Aside from ensuring our Bluetooth and vinyl record player produces impeccable sound, we’ve placed equal importance on its overall aesthetic design.
With the assumption that the VS-01 crowd funding campaign successfully raises its required pledge goal and production progresses smoothly, worldwide shipping is expected to take place sometime around March 2023. To learn more about the VS-01 upright vinyl record player project scrutinize the promotional video below.

“The record and transmission shaft on the turntable are also placed vertically to reduce the area of dust falling, so that the needle is stable and does not slip during playback. The record rotates slowly with the music, making it easier for you to immerse yourself in the music.”
upright vinyl record player features
For a complete list of all available early bird pledges, stretch goals, extra media and engineering specifications for the upright vinyl record player, jump over to the official VS-01 crowd funding campaign page by clicking the link below.
Source : Kickstarter

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'Bluey: Dance Mode!' Album: Release Date, And Every Single Track … – Fatherly

The next record your family needs to listen to together arrives in April.
Bluey is known for many great things. But sometimes the music is overlooked. That said, a new album of Bluey music is coming on April 21, 2023, and a new single — “Dance Mode” — has just dropped. And there’s so much to know about it! The new album —Bluey: Dance Mode! — is actually the second soundtrack record ever. The first, released in 2021, was the aptly titled Bluey: The Album, which took the number one spot on the US Kids Billboards charts, something it already accomplished in Australia only a wee bit earlier.
So, what should we expect from the sequel album? Bluey: Dance Mode! features songs from all three seasons, with fan favorites that are ready to delight Heeler family fanatics across the world. The tracks range from high-octane EDM-inspired kicks, to tender laid-back songs that soothe, but it’s indisputable that each one is catchy and always uplifting. And don’t worry, Unicorse is not a featured singer in any of the tunes.
But what’s the deal with all of these songs? Which Bluey episodes do they come from? Who sings? When does the whole album drop? Will it be on vinyl? Let’s get into it in great detail.
The cover of the album Bluey: Dance Mode!
The second Bluey album as an actual record, for real life! Pre-order now!
Bluey: Dance Mode! will be available on April 21, 2023, from Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and other digital streaming platforms, along with a vinyl version which you can snag on Amazon, Vinyl, and other retailers. The single is out now and you can listen to it right here.
Want to know how the song “Dance Mode” was made? Here’s an exclusive look.
Bluey is streaming on Dinsey+.


Universal Records Philippines partners with Ingrooves Music Group for global distribution – Manila Bulletin

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Published January 27, 2023, 6:07 PM
by Manila Bulletin Entertainment
Ingrooves Music Group, a world leader in music distribution, marketing, and technology, has signed Universal Records, one of the Philippines’ leading independent record labels to a global distribution deal.  The first release under the new deal is the release of a Christian Bautista tribute album, The Way You Look at Me: The Songs of Christian Bautista, out on March 3.
The album marks the 20th anniversary of when the celebrated singer came onto the music scene. Bautista is also planning a 20th Anniversary concert which is being held at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater in Circuit Makati on Jan. 28.
Headquartered in Quezon City, Universal Records Philippines, Inc. is one of the most successful record labels ever to exist in the Philippines. Over the years, some of the iconic and award-winning Filipino artists became part of the UR family like Jose Mari Chan, Gary Valenciano, Apo Hiking Society, Parokya Ni Edgar, Christian Bautista, Julie Anne San Jose, Gloc-9, Shanti Dope, Kyle Juliano, Donny Pangilinan, Paolo Sandejas, Timmy Albert, Ken San Jose, The Ransom Collective and many more. Other new releases via Ingrooves in the coming weeks include projects from Sam Concepcion, Gloc-9 featuring Liezel and Ramdiss, Zephanie, Shanti Dope featuring HELLMERRY, KZ Tandingan and others.
“For decades, Universal Records has proven again and again that they know how to build a sustainable music business in the Philippines and beyond. We’re honored that Universal Records has chosen Ingrooves as their strategic growth partner to collaborate, support, and empower their commercial and creative vision,” said Nina Rabe-Cairns, Managing Director APAC for Ingrooves Music Group. “Guji Lorenzana and the Philippines’ team are dedicated to offering top-notch service, which, combined with our innovative marketing technology and global team, will enable Universal Records to thrive in new and exciting ways.”
Kathleen Dy-Go, Managing Director of Universal Records commented: “We strongly feel that this partnership is a chance to begin again while carrying the wisdom of the past that taught us so many things. I believe that we can reach new heights with this bold move. And of course, we have high hopes that we can gain a different perspective in this continuously evolving and thriving music industry with the help of our partner Ingrooves Music Group.”
“Without a doubt Universal Records is one of the most important record labels in the country,” said Guji Lorenzana, Country Manager of the Philippines for Ingrooves Music Group. “Working with their team on this hugely iconic collection from Christian Bautista is really a dream come true for all of us at Ingrooves.”
“Universal Records is the gold standard of independent record labels in the Philippines, and we are excited to welcome them to the Universal Music Group family through their partnership with Ingrooves Music Group,” said Enzo Valdez, Managing Director, Universal Music Group PH.
Artists and songs included on The Way You Look at Me: The Songs Of Christian Bautista Album:
I Belong To The Zoo, “Hands To Heaven”
Morissette, “Colour Everywhere”
Kyle Juliano, “Everything You Do”
Julie Anne San Jose and Rayver Cruz, “Pag-ibig Na Kaya”
Ben&Ben, “The Way You Look At Me”
Sam Concepcion, “Kapit”
Zephanie, “Since I Found You”
KZ Tandingan, “Kailan Pa Ma’y Ikaw”
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