WIN blinkbox music UK Live tickets!

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Are you ready to have the time of your life? That’s what’s in store at our three blinkbox music UK Live shows this June.

Taking in dates at Sunderland (22nd June), Ipswich (28th June) and Weston Super Mare (29th June), the series of shows promises a line-up practically bursting with all round pop goodness. Check out the little list below and tell us we don’t like to treat you:

Jessie J

Jason Derulo

Rizzle Kicks

The Saturdays

The Vamps

Katy B

Union J

Neon Jungle

Rixton

Amazing, right?! And if you fancy being there on one of the three dates, we’ve got just the competition for you.

All you need to do is pop on over to the following page, where you’ll find all the details on how to enter. Good luck!

Chart battle ahoy! Cheryl Cole vs. Cher Lloyd

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Us Brits love a good chart battle, don’t we? From Blur vs. Oasis to One Direction vs. The Wanted, we can’t resist our favourite stars duking it out for the honour of being ‘the best’.

And this year we’ve got a cracker on our hands as Cheryl Cole and her former X Factor mentee and mini-me Cher Lloyd prepare to go head to head on 21st July. Mark the date in your diaries, you won’t want to miss it.

In the red corner, we’ve got Cher Lloyd’s pop bonanza of a single – ‘Sirens’. Her big comeback following all kinds of mega-success in the States, the track packs a soaring chorus line and wears its US influences clearly on its sleeve. You could easily imagine the likes of Demi Lovato singing this one. It’s pop on a widescreen, movie-soundtrack scale. 

In the blue corner there’s nation’s sweetheart Cheryl Cole - a dab hand at all this pop business now - as she gets ready to release her fourth album (yup, that’s right, FOURTH!)

Neatly timed to coincide with her return to the X Factor, ‘Crazy Stupid Love’ sees Chezza strut her usual sultry stuff in this summery dancehall-influenced cut. You’ve even got Tinie Tempah popping up mid-song on guest rap duties. Talk about getting bang for your buck.

So, important question, which team are you on? Fancy a bit of Cheryl’s sax ‘n’ summer combo? Or maybe Cher’s epic uber-ballad is more your thing? Either way, be sure to join us on the 21st July when both tracks hit the shelves and we’ll be biting our fingers in anticipation over who’ll come out on top…

Fourth X Factor judge confirmed!

Mel B will be spicing up this year’s X Factor by joining Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Louis Walsh on the judging panel. 

We’re going to leave it to Spice Girls super-fan (and our BFF) Emma Stone to share our thoughts on the matter:

Well said, Emma. Well said.

Chrissie Hynde shares her influences and inspirations

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As lead singer of The Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde has carved out an impressive career, from the band’s 1979 debut going to No. 1 in the UK to unforgettable singles like Don’t Get Me Wrong, Brass In Pocket and I’ll Stand By You.

This June will see Chrissie tackle new challenges however as she gears up to release her first ever solo album. Entitled ‘Stockholm’, the record was recorded in the city of the same name and even features a cameo from the legendary Neil Young.

Speaking of her thinking behind the album, Chrissie says ‘’I think life is serious, and you should take it seriously, but in rock n roll either have a laugh or don’t come to the party.’’

He’s without a doubt one of the great songwriters of all time, from any era. He’s really got the most poetry of any songwriter, he does it like no one else. – Chrissie on Morrissey.

With that playful spirit coming across heavily in the cheery choruses of new single You Or No One, we thought who better to introduce some of the key influences behind the record than Chrissie herself!

Tune in to our exclusive Hosted By station below to hear her discuss everything from her love for Morrissey and the Black Keys to working with the likes of Ali Campbell and Sheryl Crow.

I just totally dig their sound and their scene. There’s something about their new album Turn Blue; you’d have to be from north-eastern Ohio to know where that reference comes from. I’ll certainly be sticking around at Latitude festival to see them. – Chrissie on the Black Keys

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The Pierces introduce their favourite songs!

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They say siblings have a natural knack for making great music together, and LA-based sister act The Pierces certainly hold true to that. 

From early success in the mid 2000s where their tuneful ear for rich folk-influenced melodies saw their songs appear on a host of American TV shows, a productive team-up with Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman saw them release their fourth album You & I to newfound success in the UK.

Catherine and I have different writing processes. For me, I sit down with a guitar and start playing chords, and the melody will start to unfold and evolve. The lyrics just find themselves. It’s a magical process for me; every time it happens I sit in wonder because I don’t even feel like I’m doing it. It’s a really beautiful process. – Allison Pierce

Now returning with follow-up album Creation, The Pierces are once again winning strong UK airplay with songs like Believe In Me recalling dreamy summer days and classic Fleetwood Mac.

Allison and Catherine Pierce recently dropped by to share a few of their favourite records and influences with us, and you can hear them introduce them all in our exclusive Hosted By station below!

We use each-other as a sounding board. Whenever I write a song I come to Allison and she’s the first person who hears it and she tells me what she thinks. And I usually listen to her! I’m glad I have somewhere there to push me a little further. But sometimes she’ll be like ‘Oh, I don’t like this song’ and I’m like ‘I know she’s wrong!’, but that’s the fun of being in a band with your sister, I guess! – Catherine Pierce

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Ella Henderson introduces her favourite songs!

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If the word on the street is anything to go by, Ella Henderson is shaping up to be one of the most successful X Factor graduates in quite some time.

After a shock early exit from the 2012 series of the show, the 18 year old songstress took time away to knuckle down and put together a collection of songs she could be truly proud of.

“I can now call him a close friend. That’s Mr. Ryan Tedder. This song just reminds me of turning 18, because it was on the radio at the time I was writing Ghost with him. It was an amazing point in my career.” Ella on Counting Stars by OneRepublic

Fast-forward to this year and Ella’s on the cusp of releasing her debut single – Ghost – penned with a little help from man-of-the-moment Ryan Tedder. Blending her incredible vocals with a irresistible, gospel-esque groove, we reckon it’s a sure-fire radio smash.

We caught up with Ella recently to dig a little deeper into the music that gets her going, and discovered a deep love of iconic voices and classic soul.

“One of my earliest memories is listening to songs with my granddad in his kitchen on his old record player. He was the guy that really set it off for me and got me into music from day one.” Ella on God Bless The Child by Billie Holiday

So if you fancy hearing Ella introduce some of her favourite songs of all time, including the likes of Billie Holiday, Jocelyn Brown, Beyonce and Amy Winehouse, why not tune into our exclusive Hosted By station below!

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