When I think of Lakeland, Florida, I think of my Grandma’s sisters who live in a retirement community down there. Well add to that, Christian contemporary singer/songwriter Jonny Diaz. The 26-year old newcomer is making a big splash on the CCM scene with his song, “Beauty Of The Cross”. The song has a great guitar driven feel and a message of the redemption given to us by Jesus. The song would also work as a worship tune which is also a plus for a worship leader like myself. Also throw in the little known fact that Jonny’s brother Matt Diaz is an outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies. The family is doing pretty good!
The committee that picks songs for the weekly free single on iTunes does a great job. Their latest pick is by the Huntington Beach, California pop/rock quintet Runner Runner. The single “Hey Alli” has a fun power chord driven chorus with mellow verses that talk about the very simple message of this great girl named Alli. I’m also a sucker for slight modulations which you hear in the bridge. The band made their debut last summer on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Their first single, “So Obvious”, had some minor success late last year.
It’s not often that a band from New Zealand appears on the American charts. But let me introduce The Naked And Famous. It’s not necessarily a band that I am going to pronounced loudly that I like (for similar reasons to saying, I like “Barenaked Ladies”), but their first U.S. single “Young Blood” is a catchy tune that combines elements of alternative, electronica and pop. The group has already been nominated for BBC awards in England and is doing very well in Europe.
It was over 55 years ago that Bill Haley and the Comets hit #1 on the Billboard chart with “Rock Around The Clock”. It became the first #1 song of the rock era. This week, an artist that is equally controversial as Bill Haley could be in his day scores the 1,000th #1 song of the rock era. Lady GaGa’s new single, “Born This Way”, debuts on the Hot 100 at #1. It becomes Lady GaGa’s fourth #1 career hit following “Just Dance”, “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance”.
Three songs rocket into the bottom half of the Top 10 this week. Cee Loo Green who appeared to have peaked several weeks ago is back up from 16-7 this week with his first Top 40 hit, “Forget You”. Making the biggest move of the week within the Top 40 is Rihanna who soars up from 31-8 with “S&M”. The move comes on the superstar’s 23rd birthday. She now has 14 Top 10 hits to her credit since her debut in 2005. And up from 19-9 is another song that appeared to have peaked awhile back. The Black Eyed Peas make the leap with “The Time (Dirty Bit)”.
Falling just short of the Top 10 despite a big move is Avril Lavigne’s “What The Hell” which is up from 23-11.
There are five debuts in the Top 40 this week. British hip hop star Jay Sean leads the way at #18 with “Hit The LIghts” featuring Lil Wayne. 25-year old California pop singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat scores her fourth Top 40 hit this week at #23 with “I Do”. Bieber Fever is back as Justin Bieber debuts at #25 with his sixth Top 40 hit, “Never Say Never” featuring Jaden Smith. And then two Glee Cast songs round out the new hits. They are at #34 with their cover of Katy Perry’s “Firework” (the original is #2 this week) and at #38 with “Thriller/Heads Will Roll”.