People's Choice Awards 2016: Rating the Music Awards
After a brief rundown focusing on the screen side of the People's Choice Awards, it is time to analyse and rate the musical side of the show.
Honestly, I get a lot more excited for this half, since the winners are genuinely usually a reflection of what artists/songs/albums left the the biggest impact on the audience (and the industry) over the previous 12 months.
Favourite Male Artist: Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran has dominated the airwaves for well over two years now. His 2014 release, X, has spawned 5 hit singles, with 'Thinking Out Loud' and 'Sing' reaching the number one spot in the UK charts. The former peaked at number 2 on the US charts. The album itself topped the charts in nearly all the markets that matter (except France, were it peaked at number 5) and has gone 8x Platinum.
So, Sheeran is the obvious choice for Favourite Male Artist, even if he had a stronger 2014 than 2015. The only other nominee that could have challenged the Ginger Pop Star was Justin Bieber. Purpose is a rather strong comeback for the young artist and shows maturity were before there was nothing at all.
Unfortunately, Bieber's public stock has dipped considerably over the last year or so and has only started to rebound with the release of his new album, which dropped towards the end of 2015. Sheeran owns the People's Choice Awards for 2016, BUT I would be very surprised if anyone other than Justin Bieber takes it next year.
Rating: 9/10. My Pick: Ed Sheeran.
Favourite Female Artist: Taylor Swift
This category was a foregone conclusion. Everybody, and I do mean every single body, knew who would be taking home the coveted Favourite Female Artist award: Taylor Swift. 1989 is THE album of 2015.
Released at the tail end of 2014, the year began with 'Shake It Off' and 'Blank Space' dominating the airwaves. Despite my personal hatred for the former, it was impossible to get away from either of these two tracks (it still is) and more would follow with 'Style', 'Bad Blood' and 'Wildest Dreams'.
It goes without saying that 1989 topped the album charts in both the UK and US, while going a billion times Platinum. Despite artists like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato releasing, possibly, their best work to date, nobody other than Taylor Swift deserved to take this home.
With the release of the Out of the Woods music video, 2016 could be the year of the Swift aswell.
Rating: 10/10. My Pick: Taylor Swift.
Favourite Group: Fifth Harmony
Mainstream rock is truly dead when all two rock bands manage to work their way into the Favourite Group category; and when one of those groups is Imagine Dragons, then it leaves one longing for the days of Nirvana.
Fifth Harmony are a mildly entertaining all female group, although they are seeming to struggle to really distinguish themselves from other similar groups. Their big hit, 'I'm Worth It', is annoyingly catchy, even if it feels like it was manufactured in a lab. Still, they are an okay pick out of a rather bad bunch.
Rating: 5/10. My Pick: Fall Out Boy.
Favourite Breakout Star: Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes is pretty much Justin Bieber 2.0: And it took Bieber about 6 years to became somewhat tolerable. So, yeah, this kid is horrible. Stitches is one of the worse songs currently on the radio, nothing feels genuine about it. When anyone could sing the song and nothing is really lost, then there is nothing real to latch on to.
Saying that, this is about Favourite Breakout Star: He does not have to be the finished article. Just someone who entered the mass consciousness over the last year. Shawn Mendes is hardly a household name but he was a minor part of the pop scene in 2015, although time will tell if he makes it beyond the year.
In terms of quality, Tori Kelly and The Weeknd probably released the best material between the five nominees. I would argue that The Weeknd already had a following well before this year, but he did take it to another level over the last few months.
Rating: 4/10. My Pick: The Weeknd.
Favourite Pop Star: Taylor Swift
Well, since Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran won the Favourite Male and Female Artist awards, then it makes logical sense that they are the only ones in the running for Favourite Pop Artist. They have already won bigger accolades, so none of Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez or Kelly Clarkson stand a chance here.
Not surprising, Taylor Swift took this one too. Although they both had big releases, X peaked in 2014, with Sheeran's biggest hits coming out that year. 1989 was released later and peaked in the beginning of 2015, while remaining strong over the year. Again, this was really no competition for Ms. Swift.
I am sure if somebody invented a Favourite Person Alive Right Now (or Possibly Ever) award, Taylor Swift would win it to. And I would not argue against the decision.
Rating: 10/10. My Pick: Taylor Swift.
Favourite Hip-Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
Kendrick Lamar released the best Hip-Hop album of the year. Let's just get that out of the way. But this award goes for Favourite and not best, so Nicki Minaj kind of makes sense. She is easily the most known of the five artist nominated (even though she did not have a particularly successful 2015) and has an image that does resonate with a lot of people.
Still, when an album like To Pimp a Butterfly tops a 'Best of 2015' list on a notoriously metal site like Sputnikmusic.com, then you know you have something special on your hands.
Rating: 6/10. My Pick: Kendrick Lamar.
Favourite Album: Meghan Trainor
Continuing from previously discussed category, how did Lamar's album not get nominated for Favourite Album of 2015? It does not make sense, he is clearly a known quantity (with the Hip-Hop nomination and also featuring on a nominated Taylor Swift song) but somehow his album loses out to Meghan Trainor and Imagine Dragons.
Sorry about that. Needed a little rant. Anyway, Trainor winning this is a bit surprising, mostly because her hit singles (especially 'Dear Future Husband') have suffered some backlash over the last few months. I honestly thought the heat had cooled down a bit on her, but apparently her album did something right since it one this category.
I do wonder why Justin Bieber's Purpose was not nominated. It is far from a perfect album, but it has already spawned about four hit singles and will, probably, continue to own the airwaves for most of 2016.
Rating: 4/10. My Pick: Beauty Behind the Madness by The Weeknd .
Favourite Song: Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber gets his solitary victory for the year (proving that his fans are willing to forgive some of his behaviour) with his hit single, What Do You Mean?, taking home the Favourite Song award. The rest of the nominees were quite good too, with the exception of See You Again which always felt like little more than an opportunistic marketing ploy.
Rating: 8/10. My Pick: Bad Blood.
Favourite Video Game: Super Smash Bros
Might as well throw this one in here: Super Smash Bros. Takes the Favourite Video Game victory cake home to Nintendo. An exclusive to the worst selling concole of the generation wins it, that must sting Playstation and Microsoft. Actually, I doubt you care much.
Not much to add here; Super Smash Bros. Is an awesome game and there is no denying that. The Witcher 3 is easily my favourite game of the year, but that was not even nominated.
Rating: 8/10. My Pick: Batman Arkham Knight.
That's all for this year folks. I had a lot of fun watching the show and writing up this quick article. I went into a bit more depth compared to my film/TV one, but that's only because that half of the show tens to send me into fits of rage.
Good Night and Good Day!