Beyoncé, 4 – After three hit albums and a bevy of chart-topping singles, what does one of the world’s biggest superstars do for an encore? Beyoncé Knowles says she took inspiration from literally everything around her and around the globe, from varying musical genres to the timbre of her voice during live performances. Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti was also a huge influence for the album, as is evident in the drum heavy debut track “Run the World (Girls).”
Blake Shelton, Red River Blue – Country music superstar and Ada, Okla., native Blake Shelton is having quite a year so far. His NBC show The Voice is a huge ratings success and has already been picked up for a second season, he recently married country music bad girl/sweetheart Miranda Lambert and he’s set to release his ninth studio album. The album’s lead single “Honey Bee” is already a Top 10 hit.
Joss Stone, LP1 – Smokey Robinson has referred to her as “Aretha Joplin,” and that’s a pretty apt description of this soulful British singer, who, at just 24, is releasing her fifth album – the first on her own label. Stone recorded the album in Nashville with Eurythmic turned super producer Dave Stewart. Coincidentally, Stone is also a part of the new Mick Jagger super group Super Heavy, along with Stewart, Damian Marley and Indian composer A. R. Rahman.
Greyson Chance, Hold On ‘Til the Night – A little more than a year ago, Greyson Chance posted a video to YouTube of himself performing Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” at a school event. The 13-year-old Edmond, Okla., resident’s video slowly gained attention, culminating with an appearance and performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Twenty-eight million YouTube hits and two singles later, Chance has worked with some of the biggest names in the recording industry, and will be the first album produced by Degeneres’ label, eleveneleven.