Tuesday, June 27, 2017

We test the BMW X5

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It's no exaggeration to say that the BMW X5 was a bit of a revolution when it was first launched. Many have questioned and even tried to duplicate it. The BMW X5 the logic defying 4x4 that is hard to ignore even with its heavy price tag.

Top of the range xDrive50i comes with a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged eight-cylinder pumping out a hearty 445hp. It's insanely fast and is the perfect alternate for those who want an X5M but can't justify the higher price tag. Our pick however goes to the xDrive35d which comes with a silky smooth 3-liter turbo-diesel pumping out 255hp. The price tag isn't too much more than the xDrive35i trim and is perfect for those who do tons of highway driving.

On the road the X5 is actually very entertaining to drive. You'll forget that you're in a heavy 4x4 vehicle. Those who want an edgier driving experience may want to consider a lighter more agile M car or the M performance version of the X5. The ride comfort can get a little firm on some surfaces but it's far from uncomfortable or a deal breaker; too bad you'll have to pay the premium for the adaptive M suspension system to get the X5 to drive and handle the way it should. Wind and road noise are well suppressed and all engines sound smooth and refined at all speeds. The engine stop start system isn't all that refined and is rather disappointing because you'd expect a X5 with such a hefty price tag to have a smoother system.

Driver's will find their ideal driving position quite easily behind the wheel of the X5. You'll be very happy that all the controls and dials are within easy reach of the driver's hand. The new iDrive system is much easier to navigate through, however we aren't huge fans of the large infotainment screen that pops out the dash. It doesn't raise and lower into the dash like Audi's but it still is classy in its own right. Passengers in the second row won't even complain about space because it is in the bucket loads. Headroom is good and legroom is good, however if you option for the third row seat you'll only want to have kids back there. They won't have much fun either because it really is tight for space and the boot space will suffer with the third row seat in place. Fold that seat down and the space opens up dramatically. Fold the second row seat down and you've got yourself a cargo van.

You get what you pay for really does define BMW well. Xenon headlamps with LED day time running lamps come standard on all trims as well as, heated front seats, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and Bluetooth audio streaming. However, keyless, leather upholstery and rear view camera aren't even standard. We can think of quite a few rivals that offer these features standard and are similarly priced. Your investments will be well secured with the X5 however because it does enjoy high resale value even if the purchase price is step to downright insanely high.

Build quality is good thanks to many soft touch materials that feel sturdy and long lasting but BMW reliability becomes questionable after warranty expires. If you are planning to keep your X5 after standard warranty we strongly suggest opting for the extended warranty because the previous generation X5 was woeful in reliability and the newer generation we still hold that same concern. Safety is still on the top priority list of BMW and you get electronic stability program, brake assist, adaptive brake lamps and emergency brake assist. Side curtain airbags for both rows are standard and you can option for automatic high beam headlights to keep from dazzling oncoming traffic when high beams are activated.

The X5 really does defy logic. It handles well and can do some off-road trails as well. It can seat seven somewhat and is a classy well desirable option in the luxury 4x4 segment. However, the X5 doesn't go without its flaws. The engine stop start system isn't all that refined. Some options make the X5 more expensive than it already is, and the Volvo XC90 can carry seven people and is much classier inside out. It's hard ignoring the rivals for the X5 when some are cheaper and offer more kit that BMW puts as an option but for those seeking that BMW badge and won't settle for anything else, this is the car for you.

Likes: Logic defying on-road dynamics. Diesel engine option is quite good. It's classy image with excellent resale value.

Dislikes: Options and packages will sky rocket the price. Running costs won't be cheap either. No standard rear view camera and at this price point that's disappointing. We loathe the stop start system.

Xdrive35d is our pick of the range; that diesel engine is silky smooth and refined. If you do tons of highway driving this is the best way to go. Everyone else may want to consider the xDrive35i trim because it is slightly cheaper but most importantly it may find more appeal for those who won't be able to find a diesel refilling station in their area.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Pride Month: Pharrell Williams/N.E.R.D Song Facts


This song finds Miley Cyrus supplying some backing vocals to Pharrell's melange of sexual metaphors. He explained to The Sun: "I wanted her on that song as I love her tone. It just felt good and that's it and I wanted to make music with people who feel."

This isn't the first time the duo have worked together, Williams also produced "4x4" and "#GETITRIGHT" for Miley's Bangerz album, (plus a couple more on the Deluxe version).

"Bae" is short for "Before Anything Else," or alternatively another way to say babe or baby.

The song soundtracks Red Bull's 2014 commercial "World of Red Bull." The advert features clips of music artist AWOLNATION and Skrillex, as well as surfers Sally Fitzgibbons and Jamie O'Brien, b-boy Wing and freestyle motocross rider Thomas Pages.

The music video finds Pharrell taking on the role of casting agent as he sits in a studio apartment with a Super 8 camera observing girls dancing. Miley makes a brief appearance in the clip where she busts out some moves without any actual twerking.


Most hit songs around this time were written by teams of writers, but this one was entirely composed by Pharrell Williams, who was formerly the N.E.R.D. lead vocalist and Neptunes producer. He wrote and recorded the song for the soundtrack of the 3D computer-animated action comedy film Despicable Me 2. Williams also penned tunes for the first Despicable Me flick, including its lead single, "Despicable Me."
Finding a way to follow a trend and be unique at the same time seems like an impossible task, but that is exactly what Williams was facing with "Happy." It could have easily drowned in the stream of other songs - like "Treasure," "Blurred Lines" and "Get Lucky" - that blended R&B, Funk and Soul if not for some clever techniques to help it ride the wave to the top of the charts.

For one, it had to be an earworm, and to do that, repetition is key. Aside from repeating the uplifting title 56 times, over 62% of the song is dedicated to its memorable chorus (about 20% more chorus time than most hits of the era). To make room for that monstrous chorus, there is no pre-chorus, solo, instrumental break or outro.

The song's visual is the world's first ever 24-hour Music video. The clip was directed by the creative duo We Are From L.A. and was filmed entirely on Steady Cam, requiring the crew to walk nearly eight miles per day over the course of 11 days. The visual plays on an all-day loop and follows more than 400 different characters enjoying daily bliss. As well as everyday people dancing through the streets of Los Angeles, we see a host of familiar faces having fun, including Despicable Me 2 stars Steve Carell and Miranda Cosgrove and Williams himself, who appears 24 times. Also showcasing their versions of happy are Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt from Odd Future. Kelly Osbourne, Sérgio Mendes, Ana Ortiz, Issa Rae, Bevy Smith, Magic Johnson, Jimmy Kimmel Steve Martin, Janelle Monáe and Jamie Foxx. And naturally the Minions pop up in the day long promo.

If you have a whole day to kill, you can check out the full version of the video on 24hoursofhappy.com. There is also a more time-friendly version that clocks in at 4 minutes and 7 seconds.

The song plays during a pivotal moment in Despicable Me 2's storyline, and Williams wanted to re-create that feeling with the music video. "Gru, the lead character who's no longer a villain, has fallen in love and feels so much joy he literally dances through the streets," he explained. "That kind of happiness is so infectious; you can't help but smile."

Pharrell found a way to keep this song uplifting and interesting without overwhelming the listener. The momentum, tension and intensity levels (known in the biz as the MTI) are kept in a heightened state to match the feel-good mood of the song, but, of course, there has to be some variation to keep it fresh. This includes the careful implementation of background vocals, claps, conga, bass, electric piano and full drum elements to lift the song to its "happiest" state with a slight pull back on instrumentation on other parts of the song to give the chorus its full intensity.

Pharrell said during a listening party for his G I R L album that for this he attempted to temper his usual fare of "sweat and booty shaking" with a song that would reinforce joy and happiness "relentlessly."
This was the third UK #1 single in 2013 for Pharrell Williams. The Neptunes producer previously topped the charts on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," with writing credits on both. All three songs sold over a million copes and Williams became only the second artist after the Beatles to appear on three UK million-sellers inside 12 months.

The song featured in a Beats by Dre ad featuring people in different elated states. They included Pharrell himself dancing around the street and rapper Pusha T walking through a record store.
Pharrell told NPR that he created "seven to nine different actual full songs of trying to get that scene right" before coming up with "Happy." He explained: "With 'Happy' I went through everything that I thought was possible in my mind based off of what I understood about Gru and what I thought the people needed in terms of what the studio was looking for, and none of it was working."

"It was only until I was tapped out that I had to ask myself the fundamental question: they're asking for a song that's happy," he continued." They're asking for something where Gru is in a good mood, and that's when I realized that everything I needed was right there. I began to ask myself, 'What does feeling like a good mood feel like?' That's where 'Happy' came from, and that's how that happened. And it would have never happened if the studio wouldn't have kept telling me, 'No, it's not good enough. No, it's not good enough.'"

Williams makes sure the song never gets boring by using the "show, don't tell" rule in verse one and verse two. Instead of just telling us how happy he is, he shows he's carefree: "I'm a hot air balloon that could go to space, with the air like I don't care" and how bad news can't bring him down:

Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don't hold it back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I'll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don't waste your time

This was the fourth #1 on the Hot 100 for Williams, but his first as a lead artist. He'd previously topped the charts as a featured act on Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot," Ludacris' "Money Maker" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." Williams also produced and co-wrote two other Hot 100 chart-toppers on which he didn't have an artist billing: Nelly's "Hot In Herre" and Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl."

The song was nominated for an Oscar but lost out to the Frozen number "Let It Go."

"Trust me: when they read the results, my face was ... frozen," Pharrell joked to GQ. "But then I thought about it, and I just decided just to... let it go."

Happy's crossover appeal was demonstrated by it becoming the first song to top six distinct-format Billboard airplay charts. They were: Adult Contemporary, Adult Pop Songs, Adult R&B Songs, Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop, Pop Songs and Rhythmic Songs. Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love To You, Green Day's "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams," "Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know," Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" (on which Williams featured) all previously led five different airplay charts.

Williams originally gave this song to Cee Lo Green but the "Forget You" singer declined to record the tune. Speaking with Howard Stern, Pharrell explained: "The powers that be at the time did not see it fit for him. There was a much bigger agenda for him, he had an album to put out. He wanted to do it but some folks on his team just felt the priority should have been on his album at the time."

This was around the tenth song Pharrell presented to Despicable Me 2's producer Chris Meledandri. "I was at zero," he revealed to W Magazine. "After nine different songs, recorded fully, they were like, 'No, no, no, no.' So I went back and wrote 'Happy.' I didn't have the melody, just the chorus. For 20 minutes after I finished, I was jumping around the room. I told Chris to listen to the song in his car, that if he didn't like 'Happy,' I didn't know what to give him."

The song title tied in nicely with the movie's licensing partner McDonald's, which included as a marketing ploy collectable Minion toys (Despicable Me's little yellow henchmen) in its Happy Meals for children.
The song went to #1 on the singles charts in the Netherlands. Its success was partially as a result of radio station 3FM airplay, as well as it featuring in a Transavia commercial.

"Weird Al" Yankovic parodied this song as "Tacky" on his 2014 album, Mandatory Fun.
This picked up Grammy Awards for Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video at the 2015 ceremony. Pharrell performed the song at the event, doing a radically different arrangement while dressed as an elevator operator. He was joined in the performance by Hans Zimmer on guitar and Lang Lang on piano.
Pharrell Williams performed "Happy" on the Walking Big & Tall episode of The Simpsons sporting his signature hat. It found Pharrell being hired by Bart and Lisa Simpson to craft a new anthem for Springfield.


This is the title song from the soundtrack of Illumination Entertainment's computer-animated 3-D feature film Despicable Me. The tune was written and recorded by American recording artist Pharrell Williams, who is one half of the record production duo, The Neptunes. He is also the lead vocalist and drummer of rock band N.E.R.D.

Williams told Artist Direct the story behind this song: "I was standing there with the C.E.O. of Illumination Entertainment Chris Meledandri, Kathy Nelson and my manager. Chris told me that he really needed something that summed up the picture and the character of Gru all at once. All of a sudden, I just started thinking about bad L.A. traffic [Laughs]."


A number of reviewers have noted the similarities of this piano-led song to David Bowie's "Changes."

The music video for this song was directed by The Malloys ("Icky Thump," "Don't Phunk With My Heart"), and features a cameo by professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, who is the star of the MTV reality series Rob & Big. Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D had previously produced the official anthem of Dyrdek's skating crew, "Hoppin' Over Fences."

Williams explained to MTV News about how the daily headlines about the worldwide economic problems inspired the visuals for the clip. He explained: "We were talking about how the stock market crashed and how the world economy is so terrible, so the [directors] came up with this concept right around this same time."

SPAZ by N.E.R.D.

Pharrell Williams explained to Rolling Stone this not very PC song title: "Our fans want to jump around and go spastic. Hence, one of our new song titles: 'Spaz.'" In England, the term is a derogatory reference to someone with cerebral palsy, in America it is more often used to describe someone with a great deal of uncontrolled energy.

This was used in the soundtrack in some adverts for the Microsoft Zune digital products.

N.E.R.D are Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, whose day job is the production duo The Neptunes, plus their sometimes vocal partner and drummer Shay Haley. N.E.R.D stands for their basic belief that "No-one Ever Really Dies." Among the numerous hit songs The Neptunes have production credits for are "Rock Your Body" for Justin Timberlake, "Hot In Herre" for Nelly and "I'm A Slave 4 U" for Britney Spears.

We 'escape' with the new Ford crossover

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We love the Nissan Rogue but the Ford Escape has a few tricks up its sleeve that may make give the Rogue a good run for its money.

The standard 2.5 four-cylinder is only offered in the base S Trim. You'll have to step up to the SE or top of the range Titanium trim to get the optional 1.5ecoboost four-cylinder pumping out 180hp and the 2-liter ecoboost four-cylinder pumping out 240hp. We'd say the best way to go with the Escape is the 1.5ecoboost engine. It feels much more flexible than the standard 2.5 and you can option for all-wheel-drive if you desire the extra traction. Our tester car was the 1.5ecoboost in the Titanium trim which came ticked with all-wheel-drive and it did come in handy when we drove through a very severe rain storm. The Escape managed to offer really good steering feedback while the chassis managed to handle  the corners and bends well. We know that this isn't a sports car but the confidence that it provides is still really good. There's a little bit of road noise that sneaks into the cabin at higher speeds and some wind noise can be beard around the side mirrors. These are merely nitpicks at best though.

We enjoyed driving the Escape around especially on the highway. The 1.5ecoboost engine doesn't feel short on pull thanks to high torque at low revs. We've tested the Escape before and managed to drive both the 2.5 and the previous 2-liter turbo engine which only pumped out 230hp at the time. The 2.5 is fine for those who are on a budget and really do want an Escape. The running costs are so identical to the 1.5ecoboost that we wouldn't even bother choosing the 2.5. The Escape is easy to squeeze around tight urban streets and can hold its own well on faster paced roads.

The driver's seat offers plenty of adjustments and comfort for driver's of all sizes. The rear seat is comfortable with plenty of headroom and legroom. You shouldn't have any trouble squeezing cargo into the boot as it is plentiful in space. It may not offer the third-row seating option as the Nissan Rogue, but in this case we are willing to ignore that. Most buyers won't really need a third-row seat and besides the Explorer is such a good option to step up to if you do need that extra space. The Ford SYNC system is much easier to use than it was in the Escape we tested. The menus are much easier to navigate through and the dash board isn't as button happy as it once was. We do however wish that Ford made a little more effort in the standard S Trim which really does wear the budget starting price to a tee.

Our tester car came equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, voice-activated navigation system and of course the 1.5ecoboost four-cylinder with all-wheel-drive. Along with those optional features, the standard kit is really good and it should be considering the Titanium trim is the highest trim in the range and is the most expensive as well. We wouldn't bother with this trim as the mid-range SE trim will satisfy most buyers needs. You can choose from the same two engines as the Titanium and if you need all-wheel-drive you can also option for that. It seems though that the all-wheel-drive adds a hefty premium to the overall package and is best avoided unless you have to have the extra traction. We will repeat ourselves again, the all-wheel-drive is a nice added features especially when we were driving around the outer city limits through a rain storm. We however didn't feel it was needed as we've driven an Escape with front-wheel-drive in similar driving conditions and it managed to hold its own just as well.

It's hard to fault the Escape with this refreshened exterior and interior. The new engines on hand are flexible and offer decent running costs. We just feel that Ford has priced the Escape a bit too ambitiously as some keen rivals offer better value for similar money. The Titanium trim while it is good in its own right, we wouldn't bother with it because it can get too expensive for what it is. You'll have to badly want to pay the premium to justify it. The SE trim does the job well and is our pick of the range. Overall the Escape is a smart choice that's made even better.
Likes: The 1.5ecoboost engine is the best of the range. The touch screen infotainment system is much easier to use and the Escape refinement has improved.

Dislikes: All-wheel-drive is an expensive and probably unneeded option for many. Exterior styling fell on mixed opinion.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Awful pun inserted: This Mini is no 'club-head'

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The Mini Brand offers tons of quirky niche vehicles that are fun to drive. But what if you want the quirkiest of the bunch? The Clubman is the Mini that will appeal to you the most.

Performance: The Clubman comes with a three engine options. The Standard Cooper trim comes with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder which is our favorite engine choice. The Cooper S comes with a familiar 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 189hp while the JCW uses the same 2-liter turbo pumping out an additional 228hp. You can choose the Cooper and Cooper S with optional all-wheel-drive while the JCW trim comes standard with all-wheel-drive. Pick of the range is the Cooper S trim which offers the best blend between performance, low running costs and price.

Ride & handling: The Clubman is just as fun to drive as the hardtop Mini. Even though the Clubman has a longer wheelbase, the overall feel in the corners and bends is still spot on. Ride comfort however isn’t as disappointing as the Countryman. Although the fun to drive character is still there, it still leaves a lot to be desired when compared to the hardtop Mini.

Refinement: The engines sound sporty and are fun to rev. The Cooper S and JCW versions offer the most engaging driving experience. Wind noise can be heard in the cabin at higher speeds but it’s far from intrusive. Some road noise will sneak into the cabin also. The manual gearbox gear pattern shoves the reverse gear in front of first gear, which makes it very easy for you to select reverse instead of first gear.

Behind the wheel: Even though the Clubman is bigger than your standard Mini hardtop, the seating position and overall view out of the car is still spot on. Only problem we have is the barn doors styled tailgate. It creates an awkward blind spot when parking and looking through the rearview mirror. The dashboard like other Minis is just fussy and fiddly to operate. Many of the controls are jammed in where ever there’s space, which makes it awkward and overly complicated to navigate through.

Space & practicality: This is where the Clubman shines. Thanks to the added length and wheelbase, there is plenty of space for actual passengers in the rear. Two adults can sit comfortably thanks to added headroom, legroom and even hip room. The newest Clubman has conventional rear doors. The boot is also well sized and shaped. The barn doors styled tailgate adds a touch of quirk to the overall appeal of the car.

Equipment: All three trim levels are equally equipped with the same level of kit. You’ll have to pay extra for desired features that should be standard. The Cooper S trim and JCW trim adds special body-kit trim and few other touches to separate them from the Cooper trim. If price is a concern for you, we’d suggest sticking with the Cooper trim and stay clear of the options list.

Buying & owning: The Clubman is slightly more expensive than the hardtop Mini, but in return you do get more space for rear passengers and a distinct image all round. Running costs shouldn’t be too bad thanks to decent fuel economy, while resale value won’t be a problem at all thanks to strong demand for the Mini Badge.

Quality & reliability: The Clubman and all other Minis have a premium small car image. It’s a shame that the interior quality is a big let down. Some switchgear and controls are iffy in terms of quality. Mini Customers are a happy bunch and rate Mini high in customer satisfaction, even though the company’s reliability record is patchy.

Safety & Security: Front and side curtain airbags are standard across the range. As well as traction control, electronic stability program, anti-lock brakes and a tire pressure monitor. An engine immobilizer is standard as well as deadlocks; you’ll have to pay extra for an alarm.

If you want the most distinct and quirky Mini of them all, the Clubman is clearly the choice hands down. It's just as roomy as the Countryman and the boot space is even more generous than it was before. The Clubman may not be as good as the Golf Sportwagen but it does have a strong case for itself.

Devon's Pick: Mini Clubman S is the most fun to drive of the range without being overly expensive like the JCW trim. You still have to pay extra for bits that you may want, but it's still entertaining to drive and the most popular form of the Clubman.

Likes: Fun to drive with roomy interior for four passengers. Decent running costs with quirky club doors and tailgate.

Dislikes: Some controls are fiddly to operate. Desired options push price sky high, while standard kit is considered stingy. Reverse gear too easily selected instead of first gear.

Devon’s Pick: The Cooper S is the best trim to pick. You may have to pay the premium price for it, but it offers the most engaging driving experience. All while offering decent running costs.

Pride Month: Sia Song Facts


In the video The making of Colour the Small One, Sia says: "'Breathe Me' is about feeling worried, generally anxious. Being overwhelmed by your own inner dialogue and having some sort of conniption fit and potentially doing yourself some harm, then asking for help."

This was used on the last episode of the TV show Six Feet Under during the montage where it reveals what happened in the characters' lives and their deaths.

Sia told ilikemusic.com about recording this track: "It always felt like a good song that one. Sam and Felix had put the drums and bass down, they played it all live together one night after they'd been to dinner, and I was really sick with flu and I walked in the next day and the track was there without me singing on it and it was just so sleek. I don't really listen to my own music. I don't think most people listen to their own music after they've recorded it. Some of my musician friends get really anal and listen to it all the time, analyzing it. But once I've done it, I listen to it once and put it to bed, but with that one I was like, 'yeah! Again! Again!'"


A single from the deluxe edition of This Is Acting, this is a powerful anthem about refusing to give up. The theme of perseverance and resilience is one that Sia has visited several times previously, including on her This Is Acting track "Unstoppable" and the David Guetta single "Bang My Head."

Sia wrote the song with Greg Kurstin. The American producer's other collaborations with the Australian singer-songwriter include her first US #1 hit "Cheap Thrills."

The song features a Kendrick Lamar guest verse in which the Compton rapper testifies to the wisdom he has gained through his struggles and peoples' criticism of him.

The Stacy Moscatelli-directed music video features Sia's dancing avatar Maddie Ziegler. It omits the Lamar verse and - true to form - the shy songstress herself.

For the single's promotion, Sia shared a picture of herself and Ziegler with rainbow makeup on their faces indicating a pro-LGBT message. The nightclub setting at the end of the video with bullet holes in the back wall, appears to confirm it is a message of encouragement to the gay community in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, which claimed 49 lives. There are 49 dancers in the clip, including Ziegler, who wears a black wig in place of white.


This sunny jam finds Sia singing of getting ready to go clubbing:

It's Saturday and it won't be long
Gotta paint my nails, put my high heels on
It's Saturday and I won't be long
Til I hit the dance floor

Like most of the other This is Acting tracks, this was written for another artist but rejected. In this instance, Sia penned the carefree tune with Greg Kurstin ("What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)", "Hello") for Rihanna.

"Her manager said "We want 'Diamonds.'" [Sia wrote "Diamonds" for Rihanna] We need soul. We want some music that has feeling," she recalled to Rolling Stone. "I went to Greg and that's what we came up with. I realized just as soon as I was cutting it that it sounded a little bit too Brit-pop for her. It's more Icona Pop. We did actually send it to her, but they passed on it, and then I just couldn't stop listening to it in the car."

"There's something really uplifting about it that put me in a good mood, and I would just pretend it wasn't me singing [laughs]," Sia continued. "It felt very summer and fun, and I was like, "I'll put that on there."

A remix of the track was released featuring reggae artist Sean Paul. His verse gives the song a whole new dancehall makeover. It was released as This is Acting's second single.

A black-and-white lyric video was released, parodying vintage variety shows with dancing contests. We see a new type of dance break out featuring energetic faceless dancers wearing signature Sia wigs. The visual was directed by Lior Molcho, who also worked on the clip for the This Is Acting lead single "Alive."

Directed by Sia with Daniel Askill, the song's music video is the Australian singer-songwriter's fourth collaboration with Maddie Ziegler. The young dancer previously appeared in Sia's visuals for "Chandelier," "Elastic Heart" and "Big Girls Cry."

The song was Sia's first Hot 100 chart-topper as an artist. She'd previously reached #1 as the writer of Rihanna's "Diamonds."

Sia was 40 years and seven months old when this song topped the chart. It was the first time a woman over 40 had reached the peak position since the 42-year-old Madonna achieved the feat with "Music" back in 2000.

The song was Sean Paul's fourth Hot 100 #1. He previously led with "Get Busy" in 2003, as a featured artist on Beyonce's "Baby Boy" the same year, and "Temperature" in 2006.

Asked by Billboard magazine what his reaction was when Sia first came to him about guesting on this song, Sean Paul replied: "I just thought: 'What a big sound, nice hook and melody she had put down.' I'm a huge fan of her voice. She spans generations. My mum is a big fan of her voice and her songs and writing."

Which song of 2016 had the most people reaching for their phone to find out what on earth it was? According to data released by the music identification app Shazam, "Cheap Thrills" was the year's most Shazamed song.


In this moral fable the narrator finally walks away from her needy friend, as she was tired of the friend using her as a crutch.

Sia told Stereo Subversion that although Some People Have Real Problems was an easy album to write for, "The Girl You Lost" took longer to pen than the other tracks. She explained: "It's like a bath. It's a big bath. I can sit down with my friends and play three chords or whatever or we'll hunt around and find the right three chords. Then they'll tell me what the song's about. Usually a sentence or a feeling will come or I can even just say to the person I'm with to tell me what it's about and give me a theme. Then eight minutes later, there it is. 'Academia' took eight minutes. 'Little Black Sandals' was five minutes. Then there are other songs that might take longer. 'The Girl You Lost to Cocaine' took a bit longer, but I don't remember why. I think I listened to it too much. It's different every time, but usually if it's a good one, it's like a bath."

A remix by Dutch DJ Sander van Doorn reached the Top 20 of the Netherlands charts. Van Doorn told UK dance DJ Dave Pearce how he came to work with Sia: "I got a promo from her with the Stonebridge remix and liked the track so much that I signed it to my label Doorn records for the BeNeLux. I also decided to do my own remix and that's how it came about!"

Sia told glasswerk.co.uk about the album title: "It's a note to self that when we're all complaining about our rich people's problems like a bitter latte or sh--ty traffic, there are people with no rice or maybe a lung missing who aren't complaining, if you get me."


This swooping serenade about a party girl's life was the first solo single by Sia in four years, following the release of her 2010 studio album We Are Born. (She did contribute "Elastic Heart" to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack in 2013 with Diplo and The Weeknd). Between the two releases, the Australian singer-songwriter "retired" and began co-writing hit songs for the likes of Rihanna ("Diamonds"), David Guetta ("Titanium") and Flo Rida "Wild Ones"). Speaking with Billboard magazine, Sia discussed her decision to remain out of the spotlight. "I don't care about commercial success," she said. "I get to do what I love and communicate whatever I want."

The song stemmed from an impromptu jam session between Sia and pop producer Jesse Shatkin. "I usually think, 'Oh this would work for Rihanna, or this would be a good one for B or Katy,'" Sia said to Ryan Seacrest. "But this time I was like, 'Uh oh I think I just wrote a full-blown pop song for myself by accident!'"

Shatkin and Sia came up with the song whilst working with hit producer Greg Kurstin (Pink, Kesha, Kelly Clarkson). "At some point, Greg had to run out, and me and Sia were in his live room with his piano and drum set and just kind of jammed for a second," Shatkin recalled to MuuMuse. "Greg has a marimba, so I was playing marimba - some weird notes - and Sia was playing the piano."

"She records everything on her phone, so we just kind of figured out a chord progression together," Shatkin continued. "She sent it to me on a voice note, and I turned it into a track. She already had the melody instinctively while she was writing the chords. We were real excited that she wanted to do this for her record, and then Greg added his production. I was really proud of it."

Kurstin explained his contribution to Rock Genius: "'Chandelier' was written by Sia and Jesse Shatkin," he said. "Sia brought it in for me to work on and tie into the other songs on the record. I added some acoustic piano, Mellotron and live drums over the track. I left most of Jesse's production; which was awesome."

The song's music video features a dance performance from a Sia-wigged Maddie Ziegler. The 11-year-old star of Lifetime's Dance Moms was personally asked to be in the clip by the singer. Sia co-directed the visual with Daniel Askill, who previously helmed the visual for her hit single "Breathe Me."

Speaking with Dazed, Sia explained the blonde bob worn by her in the 1000 Forms of Fear artwork and by Maddie Ziegler in the music video is a layer of protection from the outside world. "I already have a much larger concept for this album and for how I'm going to present it and that was: I don't want to be famous," she said. "If Amy Winehouse was a beehive then I guess I'm a blonde bob. I thought 'well if that's my brand, how can I avoid having to use my face to sell something', so my intention was to create a blonde bob brand."

The song is a rejoinder to all those pop tunes that celebrate the non-stop party. It is rooted in the now-sober Sia's past struggles with alcoholism. "That's why 'Chandelier' was interesting to me. I wrote the song because there's so many party-girl anthems in pop," she told NPR. "And I thought it'd be interesting to do a different take on that."

Sia and Greg Kurstin wrote this very quickly. "'Chandelier' took like four minutes to write the chords, then like 12-15 minutes to write the lyrics," she told NPR. "Probably 10 or 15 minutes to cut the vocals."

1000 Forms Of Fear topped the US albums chart. Sia's previous best was 2008's Some People Have Real Problems, which peaked at #26. In addition to reaching #1 on the Billboard list, the LP reached the summit on the iTunes albums chart in 47 countries.

The song was a wordwide hit, topping the singles charts in France, Israel and Poland.

This song featured in a 2014 Saturday Night Live skit where Jim Carrey and Kate McKinnon each show up to a Halloween office gathering dressed as "the child dancer from Sia's 'Chandelier' music video." The sketch resolves with the pair dancing to the song throughout the entire studio.

Billboard magazine chose this as their Best Song of 2014. They said: "The towering YOLO anthem 'Chandelier' took months to reach the Top 10 of the Hot 100 chart, but pop purveyors embraced its sentiment and Sia's performance almost immediately, turning the camera-shy Australian into an American star."

Sia concealed her face during performances of this song. When she was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, she sang it with her face obscured by her wig while a mine acted out the song next to her. On The Graham Norton Show, she faced a wall while the dancer Denna Thomsen performed. Sia's faceless appearances were her reaction to the soul-sucking nature of fame and predatory, vapid celebrity journalism.

This was nominated for Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Music Video and Best Pop Solo Performance, but didn't win any as Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" took the first two and Pharrell Williams' "Happy" the later two.

Sia did perform the song, however, singing it while facing a wall in a set that resembled the music video, while Kristen Wiig and Maddie Ziegler did the interpretive dance.

The video was choreographed by Ryan Heffington, who also did Sia's "Elastic Heart" clip. Speaking with Bullett magazine, he explained: "The song is about addiction, yet the video concept is more abstract than just this. What I find important is that this piece of art has so many interpretations. I don't think I could (or in fact want to) create such definition of the plot, it lives much more vibrant if I do not."

He added: "Early on I requested the architectural detailing of the character's living space and what furniture would inhabit it. Like any of our dwellings we spend an absorbent amount of time in, all material components becomes part of the physical dialogue between us and these objects - walls, furniture, hallways. Although muddled in color and sparse in content, it was a choice to have the environment be rich in means of activity for the character. How often do children find a pile of dirt and a hose the most enthralling playmates? Yes, she may be isolated from other humans or environments, but seemingly rich in imagination with the ability to utilize fantasy to entertain herself via exploring new physical conversations with what simply existed before her eyes."

BMW 340i vs Jaguar XE 35t

Image result for bmw 3-series vs jaguar xe no copyright photo

BMW 340i vs Jaguar XE 35t AWD

This will be our first ever head to head comparison test. The BMW 3-series holds the benchmark for what a luxury sports sedan should be. It’s been the crème de la crème of the segment. However, the Jaguar XE is here and well it’s ready to shake things up. Let’s see how well these two go head to head and who the winner will be in the end.

Performance: The 340i uses a familiar 3-liter turbocharged six-cylinder pumping out 320hp, which is an increase of 20hp over the previous model year. We love this six-cylinder engine as it is smooth and offers amazing performance. It may seem like the tamer version of an M3, but if you desire all-wheel-drive and don’t want to pay the premium of the M3 this maybe your best bet. We had the opportunity to test drive both the manual gearbox and auto gearbox choices. The auto maybe faster but we would certainly stick with the manual as it is the more fun to drive configuration to have.

The Jaguar XE 35t AWD trim comes with a similar 3-liter six-cylinder but Jag went with a supercharger instead to pull an additional 20hp more than the 340i. The XE is quite literally fast and it doesn’t feel like its short on puff. We love how distinct the engine sounds compared to most turbocharged rivals and the flexibility is nothing to complain of. You’ll enjoy this engine the most because it’s distinct in character and really does match the XE.

Winner: We have to go with the XE on this one. The XE carried the slight edge over the 3-series that we couldn’t ignore. We love the 3-series with that engine but the XE won this by the closest margin we’ve ever seen.

Ride & Handling: The 340i came equipped with the adaptive M suspension which helps the 340i drive and handle like a dream. Steering input is precise and communicative and the suspension soaks up bumps well in comfort mode, while tearing up corners and bends in sport mode. You could quite literally take this to the track then drive it home. Everyone else who won’t drive this on the track will enjoy how easy it is to live with. It doesn’t beat you up on the daily commute and it is such a handsome car to look at.

The XE is also a track king as well. We love how well it handles and steering is actually better than the 3-series. We tried hard to find fault in the XE but came out enjoying ourselves. The XE did come fitted with air suspension which in comfort mode you’ll enjoy the most. We however kept it in sport mode because it felt like it livened things up a bit more. It’s quick in the corners and you feel confident pushing it harder into bends than you’d normally would do. The styling is more discrete compared to the 3-series but it has a level of charm that the 3-series doesn’t have.

Winner: We’d have to go with the XE here again. The 3-series may have the slight edge when it comes to daily comfort, but the XE is a doodle to drive. It really does make the daily grind a joyous experience.

Refinement: (Tie) Both are very refined when it comes to road and wind noise. The engines on both are smooth and the transmission pairing between the two of them are perfection. The 3-series has a slight edge when it comes to the stop/start technology; it seems slightly smoother than that of the Jag.

Behind the wheel: The 3-series has the better interior layout compared to the Jag. The minimalistic approach to the interior has a very classy feel to it while keeping everything within reach of the driver’s hand. The iDrive interface is much easier to use as well.

The XE has the British simplicity that we love but the quality of that infotainment system is what brings Jag down in this. The tester car we had for this review the infotainment system still felt fiddly to use and the several menus made it a tad bit more distracting. We had several issues with it in a previous review and so far things haven’t really changed much going into this one.

Winner: The 3-series hands down won this with flying colors. We hope that Jag does improve this because it would push the XE ahead of the 3-series.

Space & practicality: The 3-series again has the slight edge over the XE. The front seats offer plenty of support, while visibility is good all round. You may feel a bit shortchanged sitting in the rear seat but it is far from a deal breaker. The boot space is generous too.

The XE’s cabin feels narrow and cramped. The front seats offer the best in comfort while those in the back may not want to be back there for too long. While it does offer some space for two passengers, the slopping roofline means headroom isn’t generous and legroom is also in the same boat. The boot space isn’t as generous as in the 3-series either.

Winner: We’d have to go with the 3-series on this one as well. It doesn’t feel as cramped as the XE.

Equipment: Despite the XE being the most expensive between the two. You do get rewarded with plenty of kit standard. Navigation system, perforated leather seats, front and rear parking aids, blind spot monitoring system and adaptive xenon headlamps. The 340i trim we had, several of the features that are standard on the XE and were optional on the 3-series. We just don’t understand why parking sensors are optional on this BMW as it is the most expensive of the 3-series range.

Winner: The XE may be slightly more expensive than the 3-series but at least you are rewarded with more standard kit. The 3-series did mirror the XE in optional extras but parking sensors are optional and the rearview parking camera is an option as well. I know several indirect rivals that have a rearview parking camera standard and aren’t even nearly as expensive.

Quality & reliability: The 3-series holds yet another advantage over the XE. We’ve had several issues with the XE over the infotainment system and not to mention Jag doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to reliability. BMW is also in the same boat as well, but at least the BMW feels more substantial in areas that matter the most. The interior quality is far better and the overall impression of the 3-series gives it the win here.

Overall: Whether you choose the XE 35t AWD or 340i. You’ll be greeted with two fantastic vehicles to drive and own. The XE pretty much destroys the 3-series when it comes to performance, driving dynamics and overall value for money. Sadly however we’d have to go with the 3-series on this one. BMW maybe a bit stingy when it comes to standard kit, but the 3-series has the slight edge when it comes to practicality and overall user friendly interior. We were swayed by the XE as it is the best when it comes to overall driving satisfaction but the infotainment system is a nightmare, the cabin is too narrow for our tastes and reliability is still iffy. You’d buy the 3-series as the logical choice and the XE because it leaves you feeling satisfied. This is why we stated this several times, the XE is the only car that can give the 3-series a real run for its money. It truly is a gem.

Current voting status: We asked voters which one is better.

BMW 3-series: 63%
Jaguar XE: 38% 


BMW 340i
Likes: The driving dynamics are what you’d expect from a 3-series. It has the slight edge in practicality and refinement.

Dislikes: You’ll pay an arm and a leg for options that should be standard.

Jaguar XE 35t AWD
Likes: Dynamically and performance wise the XE is by far the best choice. This really does give the 3-series a run for its money.

Dislike: The infotainment system is a disaster and reliability record is iffy.


BMW 340i
3-liter turbocharged six-cylinder, 320hp ($59,140*)

Jaguar XE 35t AWD
3-liter supercharged six-cylinder, 340hp ($61,290*)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pride Month: Whitney Houston Song facts


This song was co-written and co-produced by Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis, who helmed Fugees' 1996 album The Score and also acted as the group's bass guitarist. Fugees member and Wonda's cousin Wyclef Jean was the other co-writer and co-producer.

Wonda recalled the story of the song in an interview with The Boombox: "It's actually a song that I remember me and Clef cooked the beat for on the bus while we were on tour," he said. "When Whitney showed up, she was with her daughter and I remember when we put her daughter [in front of the mic] and she said, 'Sing Mommy!' She loved it so much, it was like, she'd be like, 'Cue my daughter's voice loud!' We'd turn it up, she'd be like, 'No! Louder! Louder!"'

The tune was a massive hit worldwide, becoming another one of Houston's signature songs. It topped the European Hot 100 Singles Chart for a week and also peaked at #1 in New Zealand.

The song featured backing vocals from The Family Friends Community Choir.

This was sampled by Duke Dumont on his 2014 UK chart-topper "I Got U." He told MTV UK: "With things like that you need to seek permission to use the vocal and Wyclef is kind of quite tough with his music. He doesn't let people use his music for a lot of things but he was willing for us to use the Whitney recording. That was quite nice getting a little bit of respect from his side. So that was a nice touch to it."


This was featured in the movie Waiting To Exhale, which starred Houston as one of four women struggling to deal with the men in their lives. The song reflects the emotional state of the women in the film.

In the US, this spent 11 weeks at #2 after a single week at #1. It marked the longest consecutive stretches that the same two records have been 1-2 on the chart (this and "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men), and spent the most weeks at #2 after being #1.

According to BBC Radio 2 DJ Paul Gambaccini, the song's writer, Babyface, couldn't call this "The Shoop Shoop Song" as Betty Everett had already recorded a song with that title, so he put "Shoop Shoop" in brackets instead.

Babyface said he included the "Shoop Shoop" part because he couldn't think of any other lyrics. He told Billboard: "It felt like it should groove there. But I knew it couldn't groove without any vocals, so I started humming along with it and that's what happened. The 'shoops' came. But they felt so good, I thought 'Why not?' It doesn't have to mean anything."

This won a Grammy Award in 1997 for Best R&B Song. It was also nominated for Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.

Actor Forest Whitaker made his directorial debut with the film and also directed the music video, which features close-ups of Houston singing and includes scenes from the movie. Several US theaters used the clip as a trailer to promote the movie.

R&B singer Robin Thicke covered the song in 2012 shortly after Houston's death.

In an interview with Songwriter Universe magazine, Babyface explained his ability to write songs from a female perspective: "When I wrote for female artists, I knew from being in relationships or having my heart broken, what the woman was feeling, because I would be feeling the same emotions. So when I wrote for a female, I could understand how to write from their perspective, because it was from the heart."


Most definitely not to be confused with the classic of the same name made famous by Elvis Presley, "Heartbreak Hotel" was written by Kenneth Karlin, Tamara Savage and Carsten Schack. Recorded in September 1998, it was released on the Arista label on December 15. The album version runs to 4 minutes 41 seconds, the radio edit to 4 minutes 8 seconds. Though not a particularly memorable song, it may well become Houston's epitaph, because she died in a Los Angeles hotel room on the eve of the February 2012 Grammy Awards.

The song features R&B vocalists Faith Evans and Kelly Price, who offer empathetic vocals alongside the heartbroken Whitney. Faith Evans is best known to many for her contribution to Puff Daddy's tribute to her late husband, Notorious B.I.G, "I'll Be Missing You." Kelly Price also has a connection with the fallen rapper, having provided the female vocals on Biggie's hit single "Mo Money Mo Problems."

Whitney performed the song with Faith Evans and Kelly Price for the first time live on the November 23, 1998 episode of The Rosie O'Donnell Show.


This was written by songwriters Michael Masser and Linda Creed. Linda Creed was recovering from breast cancer when they wrote the song in 1977. Originally recorded by George Benson, his version went to #24 in the US. In 1985, the song was revived by Whitney Houston, and on May 17, 1986, it went to #1 for the first of three weeks.

Creed's cancer claimed her life on April 10, 1986. She was later inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on the strength of this song and the many hits she co-wrote for The Spinners, The Stylistics, and other acts on the Philadelphia International label. Phil Hurtt, who also wrote for the label, told us, "There are thousands of ways to say I Love You, and the difficulty is trying to find a nuance, a new way to say what's been said thousands of times, and Linda Creed is someone who was able to do that."

Masser and Creed wrote this for the 1977 film biography of Muhammad Ali, The Greatest, and the song first appeared on the film's soundtrack recorded by George Benson. Ali played himself in the movie, essentially recreating his defining moments intercut with clips of his actual fights. Ali was the heavyweight champ at the time of the film's release.

Houston's version was originally the B-side of "You Give Good Love" but the amount of airplay it received persuaded Arista to release it as a single


Dolly Parton wrote this and did the original version in 1974, which went to #1 on the Country chart that year. She recorded another version for the 1982 movie The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, which also hit #1 on the Country chart. She wrote the song after the breakup of the musical partnership she had with country singer Porter Wagoner. They were never romantically involved.

The lyrics are sad in the sense that the singer will always love the person she is singing to, yet she knows they are not right for each other and must let him go. It is often misinterpreted as a song about people who will be together forever, and even gets played at some weddings.

This was featured in the movie The Bodyguard, which Houston starred in with Kevin Costner. Houston played a famous singer and Costner her bodyguard. Of course, they fall in love. Costner picked it for the movie.

Whitney originally intended to cover Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" as the lead single from The Bodyguard. However, after she found out the song had been used just one year earlier in the 1991 film Fried Green Tomatoes, Costner suggested she record Dolly Parton's country hit instead. Houston loved the choice but Clive Davis, the Arista Records boss who acted as mentor for the singer throughout her career, was puzzled by the selection. Costner, who also produced the film, knew it would be perfect for the picture and stuck to his guns. "I said, 'This is a very important song in this movie,'" he recalled to CMT. "I didn't care if it was ever on the radio. I didn't care. I said, 'We're also going to do this a cappella at the beginning. I need it to be a cappella because it shows a measure of how much she digs this guy - that she sings without music.'"

Parton's original version was a country ballad. Houston's recording had more lavish production and became a pop, soul, and adult contemporary hit. The tremendous crossover appeal meant that radio stations of many different formats played the song, giving it a huge audience. It ended up being a groundbreaker, but it was a big risk, as there wasn't much crossover between the country and R&B audiences. "Truth be told, the musical side of her camp was very unsure about this little country song," recalled Kevin Costner.

While she was crushing the convention that a soul singer shouldn't do country, Houston also proved that her fans would accept her in an on-screen interracial romance, which she had with Costner in the movie. In the film, the race issue wasn't mentioned.

This stayed at #1 US for 14 weeks, a record at the time. In 1995, this record was broken by "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, which held the top spot for 16 weeks. "I Will Always Love You" does hold the record for the most weeks at #1 for a song that first appeared on a soundtrack.

For a time, this was second only to "We Are The World" as the biggest-selling single ever. It was bumped to #3 n 1997, when Elton John's new version of "Candle In The Wind" became the biggest.

Houston performed this at the Grammys in 1993. It won for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The song also won the 1992 Soul Train Music Award for R&B Song of the Year.

It did not, however, win an Oscar, since it was not eligible for the Best Original Song award. That award can only go to songs that are written specifically for a film.

According to Kevin Costner, he really wanted Whitney Houston to star in The Bodyguard with him, so much so that he postponed shooting for a year until she was available. Costner was one of the few people in Hollywood who could convince a movie studio to do this; he had lots of sway after his movie Dances with Wolves won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1991.

The Bodyguard is the best-selling soundtrack of all time.

In 2002, while the US was preparing to go to war with Iraq, Saddam Hussein ran TV and radio ads using this song as he prepared to be re-elected. Houston's record label filed a complaint with the Iraqi mission to the United Nations.

Elvis Presley wanted to record this song but demanded half the publishing rights. Dolly Parton refused and was vindicated when years later Whitney Houston's version earned her $6 million. Parton commented to Observer Music Monthly April 2008: "'I think stories like that are the reason why younger female artists say I've influenced them."

In an interview with UK music magazine Q, Dolly Parton said she "was blown away" by Whitney's version. She said: "The way she took that simple song of mine and made it such a mighty thing, it almost became her song. Some writers say, 'Ooh, I hate the way they've done that to my song or that version wasn't what I had in mind.' I just think it's wonderful that people can take a song and do it so many different ways."

David Foster produced this song. When the decision was made to record it for the movie, Foster went to a record store and bought the Linda Ronstadt version so Whitney could learn the song. When he called Dolly Parton to let her know they were using her song, Dolly told him something very important: the Ronstadt version leaves out the last verse ("I wish you joy and happiness..."), which changes the tone of the song. Parton gave him the lyrics and Whitney recorded the full version. Foster had to tell the film's director, Mick Jackson, that he needed an extra 40 seconds of screen time, as it had been placed in the film minus the last verse.

Foster, who has produced Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and Michael Bublé, called it "The love song of the century."

The song returned to the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart following Houston's death. Its comeback was fueled by an enormous resurgence in digital sales in the week after her passing of 195,000, an increase of 6723%, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The song was performed by Amber Riley on the 'Heart' episode of Glee. The tape of the show was delivered to the Fox network the day before the untimely death of Whitney and broadcast four days after her passing. Riley's character Mercedes sings the ballad as part of a plot line revolving around her indecision over two romantic interests.

When this reached #3 in the Hot 100 in 2011, it became the fifth song to become a top 10 hit in two different chart runs. So, what were the other four? They were:

"The Twist" by Chubby Checker - #1 in 1960 and #1 in 1962.

"Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and The Cryptkickers - #1 in 1962 and #10 in 1973.

"Stand By Me" by Ben E. King - #4 in 1961 and #9 in 1986.

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen - #9 in 1976 #2 in 1992.

After Houston died on February 11, 2012, "I Will Always Love You" was used in many tributes to the singer, as it was her best-known song. The night after Houston's death, Jennifer Hudson sang a moving rendition in honor of Houston at the Grammy Awards ceremony.