February 14, 2011 at 11:46 am , by Sonia Harmon
Last year’s American Idol runner up Crystal Bowersox clearly hasn’t let fame go to her head. When she visited the LHJ offices last week she actually arrived early—not late, like you might expect from most rock stars—and was chatty and down-to-earth.
She treated staffers to a special acoustic performance of several songs from her debut album, Farmer’s Daughter, including the deeply personal title track that brought more than a few people to tears. Bowersox, an avid songwriter, also performed two bonus tracks not on the album: the uplifting “Finally Got it Right” and the more somber “Numb.”
Since her time on American Idol, Bowersox has toured with her fellow Idol contestants and gotten married to musician Brian Walker. A type 1 diabetic, she’s also decided to use her celebrity to work with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. So how is the 25-year-old handling it all? “My life definitely isn’t the same but I feel like I’ve returned to a sense of normalcy,” she said. “I’m a married woman now and my son just turned two so life is good! The best part about all of this is just finally having the ability to share my music with the fans and with other musicians. I’m doing what I love for a living. I’m so happy right now.”
Watch a bonus performance from Crystal after the jump! Read more
January 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm , by Louise Sloan
In a post a few months ago, I briefly mentioned our new friend Nelson, a Brooklyn neighbor who happens to be an up-and-coming r&b/reggae/hip-hop artist going by the stage name “Cherry L.” The other LHJ ladies and I were astounded when my mommy-blog post was basically mobbed by adoring Cherry L fans. “Who exactly IS this guy?” we wondered. So we invited Cherry L to stop by the Ladies’ Lounge and tell us a bit of his story.
LHJ: Nelson, you do seem to be quite the ladies’ man.
Cherry L: [laughing] Yes, I do love the ladies.
LHJ: In your native St. Lucia, looks like you’re pretty much a rock star. You’ve had top radio hits there with “Turn Me Loose” and “Like That,” won the Best New Artist award, and—according to the Youtube videos of your live concerts—you’ve played to packed venues with screaming women in the front row trying to get their hands on you. When did you come to the U.S. and what’s the reception been here?
Cherry L: I came to New York in 2008, and that first year, I was the only reggae artist to win one of the biggest hip-hop showcases in New York, called Faces in the Crowd. I’ve been performing at various clubs and bars around the city and people love the Caribbean element I bring to my shows.
LHJ: Your lyrics sometimes get raunchy but there are none of the demeaning expletives about women that so many other hip-hop artists use to sound cool. Why not?
Cherry L: It comes from the way I was brought up. I love my mom, who is a music teacher, and Read more
December 8, 2010 at 11:42 am , by Sonia Harmon
In 2008, Grammy winning artist Steven Curtis Chapman and his family suffered a tragic loss, when their 5-year-old adopted daughter, Maria, was accidentally struck and killed by the car her older brother was driving. Since then, Steven, his wife Mary Beth, and their five children have used their faith, along with support from family, friends and fans, to help pull them through. They’ve also focused on their passion for adoption— Mary Beth wrote the New York Times best-selling memoir, Choosing to See, and together they started the non-profit organization, Show Hope, which helps others adopt.
Steven, meanwhile, turned to his music. He just received his 15th Grammy Award nomination for his latest album, Beauty Will Rise. He also recorded the heartfelt tune, “Meant to Be,” for the latest VeggieTales DVD, It’s A Meaningful Life. We caught up with the couple to see how they are coping, and to hear an exclusive performance of “Meant to Be,” which you can check out below.
Ladies’ Home Journal: Is “Meant to Be” a tribute to Maria?
Steven: Maria’s story and life was definitely a thread woven through this song. I think what anchored us through the time of grief and loss was knowing that God really does orchestrate things. I met Maria when I was in Beijing and I bumped into a family working for an orphanage in China— they wanted to get an autograph—and they were holding these two little orphan girls and I just wanted to hold one of them because I was missing my two girls at home. Her name was Maria and I fell in love with her. So I think about that “chance” meeting and how meant to be her life was. The song for me was very much inspired by the life of Maria and how she touched the lives of so many people. Read more
March 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm , by Sonia Harmon
Before and After is the latest album from singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer, and while her name might not sound familiar at first, this is her twelfth album and she’s toured with acts like Alison Krauss and Union Station. Her sound is smooth and folksy, and she’s on tour promoting her album through May.
Carrie is mostly praised for her spiritual, storytelling lyrics, but we also love her willingness to give to others—ten percent of her tour sales will be donated to the Center for Courage and Renewal‘s scholarship fund. Last year she also represented the U.S. as a cultural ambassador in India, where she taught workshops on songwriting and community service and visited slum programs for at risk women and children.
What makes me a lady: I believe that being strong and courageous usually has little to do with being fearless. Courage is more about loving something or someone so much that you’ll risk doing what is hard or scary. So many times I have stood at that crossroads and chosen the hard or scary path, because that was what love required. It is the depth of our love that makes us strong women and courageous ladies.
Favorite guilty pleasure: Dark chocolate. I love traveling and performing, but it can be very physically and spiritually demanding, so I try to eat healthy and move everyday. But most days, in the choice between a carrot and a piece of good chocolate—the chocolate would easily win. Read more
February 5, 2010 at 1:42 pm , by Rachel Shippy
Throwing a birthday party for your pet might give some people pause (paws?), but I’m not one of them! That’s why I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a pet playlist — a “mix tape” celebrating our four-legged pals that can also double as the soundtrack to your pet’s next party!
1. Cat Scratch Fever: Ted Nugent
2. Who Let The Dogs Out: Baha Men
3. Three Little Birds: Bob Marley
4. Another Saturday Night: Cat Stevens
5. Puppy Love: Paul Anka
6. I’m Like A Bird: Nelly Furtado
7. Three Cool Cats: The Beatles
8. Hound Dog: Elvis Presley
9. Free Bird: Lynard Skynard
10. Honky Cat: Elton John
11. Beautiful: Snoop Dogg
12. Hummingbird: Wilco
13. Float On: Modest Mouse
14. Black Dog: Led Zeppelin
15. Free As A Bird: The Beatles
What would YOUR pets listen to?