High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Post-Millennial Movers and Shakers: Girls Who Put the Fizz in Pop Rock!



Not all of the great music

was made in the 20th century.

This series proves it.

Welcome to part 11 of my salute to female
poppers, pop rockers and pop rappers -
the established hit makers of today
and the stars of tomorrow - young
women with millions of fans and
YouTube followers. These multi-
talented artists sing, write their
own songs, make videos and
films, host tutorial vlogs and
tour the U.S. and the world.
They richly deserve all the
recognition they are getting.



You first met this group in May in
part 2 of this series, Float Upstream.
They're The Pride of Poughkeepsie (NY) -
the pop rock band Against The Current -
featuring their exciting lead singer
Chrissy Costanza.

Chrissy has a lot going for her. When she's
not singing with ATC and collaborating with
other artists on recordings and videos, she
runs her popular YouTube channel and vlog
dispensing advice as a beauty guru.

Now please listen to Against The Current
performing "Talk," a song partly written
by Chrissy, from ATC's 2015 EP Gravity,
and see if you agree that Chrissy is
poised, polished and professional
as they come.

"Talk" - Against The Current
(from 2015 EP Gravity)

ZEDD ft.


I introduced Selena Gomez back in August
in Modern Material Girls. As you might recall,
Selena starred with James Franco in the movie
Spring Breakers (2012), filmed in and around
St. Petersburg, Florida, the area Shady has
called home for more than 32 years.

Another wildly popular Generaton Y
"it girl" Selena is firing on all cylinders -
a singer, actress and style icon. In the
spring of 2015, Selena was featured
vocalist on "I Want You To Know,"
a hit single by Zedd, a Grammy
Award winning Russian-German
producer of electro house music.

In the video we get a chance to tag along
and rub elbows with the beautiful people
as Selena hits the club. (I convinced the
burly bouncer at the front door to let
me in by insisting "I'm with her.")

 "I Want You To Know" 
 Zedd feat. Selena Gomez 
 (Mar./Apr. 2015, highest chart pos. 
 #17 Hot 100/#1 US Hot Dance/Electronic 
 from May 2015 Zedd album True Colors) 



The next four songs and videos flash us
boomers back to the 60s, 70s and 80s.

First, let's welcome for the second time
English child singing star Connie Talbot.
Connie, who turned 16 a week ago, sings
with maturity as she covers the 1964
Lesley Gore hit "You Don't Own Me,"
successfully covered in 2015 by the
Australian recording artist Grace.

"You Don't Own Me"
(Grace cover, originally by Lesley Gore)
Connie Talbot (December 2015)




Let's move the boomer timeline forward to
early 1970 as we meet Vazquez Sounds,
a trio of talented siblings from Mexicali,
Baja California, Mexico - Abe, Gustavo
and Angela "Angie" Vázquez.

Lead singer Angie was only 10 when she
and her brothers exploded on YouTube.
Since then Vazquez Sounds has released
two albums and at least 14 singles, most of
them in English and a few in Spanish. On
their 2012 debut album, Vazquez Sounds
performed a cover of "I Want You Back,"
the first chart topping hit for Motown's
sibling act, the Jackson Five. Listen as
11 year old Angie conjures up the
King of Pop, Michael Jackson,
in this live performance!

"I Want You Back" (Jackson Five cover) 
Vazquez Sounds (from July 2012
album Vazquez Sounds)

(The exciting live video I want to
show you was removed from YouTube.
Please be patient and view it here.)



Now the time machine transports us ahead
a few years to the late 70s when roller
skate dates were all the rage.

Megan Nicole, the pop prodigy from the
Houston area, is back to entertain us with
another great songvid. In Float Upstream
Megan portrayed a hot blooded actress in
the fictional Spanish telenovela Fiebre -
translation: ("Fever").

Today Megan stars in a Disco 70s inspired
vignette that recalls the 1979 Linda Blair movie
musical Roller Boogie. The intro seems to be
a mash-up of disco hits, "Doctor's Orders"
by Carol Douglas and "He's the Greatest
Dancer" by Sister Sledge. The song
Megan sings, "Silver Medal," has a
melody and arrangement that remind
me of Michael Jackson's late 1979 -
early 1980 single "Rock With You,"
one of the last hits of the disco era.

"Silver Medal" - Megan Nicole
(2015 single)



I introduced the British girl group and
X Factor champs Little Mix at Halloween

The young women of Little Mix weren't even
born in 1986 when "Word Up!" was a top 10
hit single for the R&B and funk group Cameo.
In March 2014 Little Mix covered the song
for Sport Relief, a charity fund raiser
to help the poor. Word up...
Little Mix gets down!

"Word Up! - Cameo cover by Little Mix
(March 2014, highest chart pos.
#6 UK/#8 Scotland)

I hope you enjoyed volume 11 featuring more of
the up-and-coming pop and rock princesses who
became social media sensations on YouTube.
With their talent and poise these young
women could be the Mariah Careys,
Katy Perrys and Taylor Swifts of
the music industry by the time
we reach the Roaring Twenties
of the 21st century. Hard to
believe it's coming soon!

The Part 12 conclusion of this
year long series is coming up at
Christmas so please stick around.

Have a Shady day!


  1. This post has to be the best in the series. One of my favorite bands is back— Against the Current— and I really enjoyed the tributes to music of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I remember liking Connie Talbot and Megan Nicole in their first appearance at the beginning of the year— and I like them even more now. Connie’s version of You Don’t Own Me is magnificent— and Megan’s song and video really bring back the disco 70’s. Little Angela Vazquez sounds a lot like young Michael Jackson on that cover of I Want You Back. Those Mexican siblings are terrific! I remember watching Spring Breakers with you a few years ago. Selena Gomez has a great voice and I loved her song I Want You To Know. This was a blast— and I can’t wait for the series finale a few weeks from now.

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thanks for reporting in on Part 11. I’m delighted to know you found so much to like!

      I remember you singling out Against The Current in your comment earlier this year. You said you like the band because they put a solid rock edge on their pop music. Chrissy Costanza has appeared more often in this series than any other artist. I think she’s sensational.

      I too was blown away by the recordings and videos that pay tribute to artists and music styles of the 60s, 70s and 80s. It pleases me when young artists have a sense of history and acknowledge the groundbreaking artists and sounds of the past. Whenever I listen to Connie Talbot’s breathy jazz styling on that old Lesley Gore hit I get goosebumps. Megan Nicole and her girl posse do a fine job of capturing the essence of the disco years. I am also crazy about Angie Vazquez and her brothers, the Mexican act called Vazquez Sounds (aka V-Sounds). Their cover of the Jackson Five hit “I Want You Back” is contained on their album, but it costs a pretty penny and I haven't gotten around to buying it yet. I have the Little Mix cover of “Word Up” in my CD collection and consider their rousing rendition to be a classic in its own right.

      I’m glad I was able to convince you to watch Spring Breakers with me. Selena Gomez is by far the biggest and most established artist in this post. I’m glad you enjoyed her collaboration with Zedd on “I Want You To Know.”

      Thanks again for coming to the latest pop party, Kathryn, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  2. Connie Talbot's voice is amazing. Not the sound I expected to hear out of such a young lady!

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for dropping in, good buddy.

      I agree. Connie is not your typical pop flavor of the month. She does a remarkable job on her soft, minimalist interpretation of "You Don't Own Me," previously recorded by Aussie singer Grace and, of course, one of the biggest hits for the late Lesley Gore back in the 60s.

      Thanks again, Alex, and have a great Wednesday!

  3. Tom, Connie Talbot is incredible for an almost 16-year old. I think this little chicka is going to blow the charts some day! Her vocals are not only mature but she doesn't sound like all the other girls her age which is quite refreshing. Thanks for sharing a great line up of pop artists and tunes, my friend. Now, it's back to the kitchen I go. I'm trying to get a few Christmas goodies made early so December will be less stressful. :)

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thanks for coming over to see and hear the latest installment of my year long pop series.

      I knew this Connie Talbot performance would draw favorable comments. I agree that she has great maturity and is anything but another cookie cutter pop wannabe. Connie doesn't seem to go in for songs with provocative themes and lyrics like so many others do. Did you realize that Connie and Shady share a birthday? On the 20th she turned 16 and I turned 15. :) Although Connie is still very young, she is already a veteran, having started performing as a child. I think she will find a niche and go far.

      If you're making Christmas goodies, watch out. You run the risk that temptation will get the best of DH and he will abscond with them, hide in the closet and eat them all. :)

      Thanks again for your friendly visit and comment, dear Cathy, Enjoy the rest of your week!

    2. Tom,

      You're absolutely right about DH. I made a small batch of Maple Nut Fudge and another of Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge. Let's just say...ahem...there isn't much of the Chocolate PB Fudge today. I will be making more of both if I plan to give any to the children this year.

      Oh, I didn't realize you and Connie share a B-day. I think I may try to feature her in my Saturday Songsuasion series if not this month perhaps next.

      Oh good news, DH got his official job offer letter and start date (Dec. 12th) yesterday. We're ecstatic!

      Have a good afternoon, my friend and thanks for stopping by to vote in my latest round of BoTB!

    3. Hi, Cathy!

      Seems like you have your very own cookie monster! :) Either DH has a very sweet tooth or you make irresistible goodies... or both. :)

      I am thrilled to learn that he has a confirmed start date 11 days from now. All things considered this has been a great year for you guys and I am very happy for you.

      Yessum, Connie T. and I were both born Nov. 20, and only a few years apart. :)

      Thank you for the return visit, dear friend Cathy. I appreciate it. Enjoy the rest of your day and have a nice Friday and a safe and happy weekend!

    4. Tom,

      DH indeed has a sweet tooth the size of Texas but he claims I'm a good little baker, too. :) He could be saying that just to keep his stash of cookies flowing. lol I love to make candy and bake, especially during the Christmas season. It gives me great pleasure. Well, I need to cut this visit short as we have to make a quick errand. Have a good day, my friend!

    5. Hi, Cathy!

      Thanks for dropping by again, dear friend!

      Mrs. Shady has been baking up a storm, too. She made a half dozen pumpkin pies followed by brownies. Now she's getting ready to crank out batch after batch of Christmas cookies. :) I'm happy to know that baking gives you as much pleasure as it gives Mrs. S. She loves to feed the masses during the holidays.

      Thanks again for coming, dear friend Cathy, and have a wonderful week!

  4. I rather like Against The Current and Connie Talbot has a terrific voice.
    These post of your must take so much time or maybe you just have such a background in music.
    They are really interesting but for me I take such a long time to read them. Sorry I am always late to the music.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Hi, Gayle!

      How are you, dear friend? How's thehamish? Thanks for coming!

      I'm happy to find out that you enjoyed ATC and Connie Talbot. I don't really have a background in music. I only post what interests and pleases me and I always do my homework in order to write accurate intros. If you are worried about reading every word of the post or listening to every note of the music, please don't. The avid music lover might want to do that, but what I recommend for the average reader is to click and listen to 10 seconds of each song to get the gist of it and form an impression. 6 songs X 10 seconds per song means you are finished in one minute flat if that's all the time you have.

      Thanks again for making time for a visit and comment, dear friend Gayle. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  5. Wow, this post is jammed packed with talented youngsters! Connie Talbot is amazing. Her voice is so mature and it's refreshing to see her perform without all the dance moves and dress up that the other artists had. I did enjoy Selena Gomez and have always thought she was talented. I was a bit worried for her when she was with that Beiber dude but she's seems to have matured into a wonderful performer and one of the most beautiful young ladies of her age group. The last group just needed some big hair to make it official 80's! These kids are lucky to have the technology of today to spin them into the spotlight and give many the opportunity to hear their music. I remember many of your previous posts that had talented groups from the 50's and 60's that never made it. Wouldn't they have benefited from You Tube!? I can't believe November is over and now the Christmas rush is on. Have a good weekend coming up Shady and thanks for a fun post again!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you very much for hustling back over again tonight. I am very happy to see you, dear friend!

      Yessum, this post contains a mix of up-and-coming YouTube stars along with two established acts with many hit records between them - Selena Gomez and Little Mix.

      I hope you took a little extra time to go off site and listen to Vazquez Sounds do their cover of the Jackson Five hit "I Want You Back." It's a wonderful performance by 10 year old Angie. I was disappointed when that vid got yanked from YouTube and I needed to go looking for it elsewhere.

      I'm thrilled to see Connie Talbot's home studio recording of "You Don't Own Me" getting lots of praise. I get chills listening to it.

      You raise a very interesting question, YaYa. Surely those struggling, obscure artists, groups and bands of the 50s and 60s would have benefited from exposure on YouTube. I'm thinking that music styles would probably have changed more rapidly with artists having instant access to millions of listeners day to day.

      Yessum, this year has sped by. Like every year, there have been some happy times and some disappointments. Genuine friendship transcends all other considerations and I am thankful to have you as a faithful friend as 2016 nears an end. I hope the coming weeks of Christmas bring joy to you and your family.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, dear friend YaYa, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  6. Good Evening "Artie Del Knight"! I'm running late, but, at least I'm still running!

    What a line up! Isn't Selena Gomez just one of the prettiest girls around? This is the first time I've heard her singing voice, usually I just see her in shampoo ads. She is very talented as a singer and dancer.
    I went to you tube to hear the Vazquez group, but there was so much buffering, it wouldn't play all the way. I did, however get a good sampling of it. They are such a good group of musicians, and Angie does a great job on "I Want You Back".
    Although, Connie Talbot has such a mature and strong voice, I didn't care much for her version of "You Don't Own Me". Guess I'm just partial to Lesley Gore.
    I always wanted to roller dance, but, never could even roller skate very well, haha! "Silver Medal" is a good song and video!
    Love the name 'Chrissy Costanza'! "Talk" is a good song, and the video played it out perfectly with great energy. She is a prety girl, 'beauty guru' is right!
    Aw, must I always save the best for last? Don't you know "Word Up" is such a cool song! Karo and I would go to dance clubs once in a while, and they would play that song...we would always dance to it. Little Mix is great-the video really rocked! Guess you know that was my favorite!

    So, 'Sir Mix A Bunch'! More of your great finds! It's been a busy day, the weather was pretty great, but it has cooled off a bunch tonite. Thank you for sending some great fund and music this way. Hope you're having a great week so far. Take care, see you soon! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Thank you for making it over here this evening, dear friend. I'm delighted to see you!

      I'm pleased to know you found a lot to like in this lineup. Yessum, Selena Gomez has an awful lot going for her. She's running on all cylinders with successful careers as a recording artist, actress, model and commercial spokesperson.

      YouTube does not have the version of "I Want You Back" that I wanted you to hear. Just click on the word "here" in pink and you will be taken to a different site that has the video. You might have to watch a 10 or 15 second commercial first, but the wait is well worth it. Thanks!

      You are the first person to say you didn't care for Connie Talbot's rendition of the old Lesley Gore hit. Connie's video is actually labeled, not as a Lesley Gore cover, but as a cover of the updated version recorded by the Australian artist Grace who also turned in a rather quiet and subdued performance of the song.

      I'm pleased that you enjoyed Chrissy Costanza and her band ATC along with the discofied late 70s style song and video by Megan Nicole. I am very happy that you singled out the Little Mix cover as your favorite. I have that song in my collection, both by Cameo and by Little Mix, and never get tired of listening to either one.

      Here in Florida we are still running the air conditioner most days and nights and would welcome a blast of cool from over your way. :) Thanks again for joining the fun tonight, dear friend Suzanne. Have a wonderful Thursday and enjoy the rest of your week!

  7. Great flashbacks! I love Cameo's Word Up and used to dance to that song all the time back in the day. Little Mix did a good job with it.
    Also thought the roller-skating video was fun. That brought back some 70s memories for sure.
    I went and checked out Vasquez Sounds but that was simply too young for me. She did remind me of Michael Jackson though, back in the day of the early Jackson Five.
    Although no one can do it quite like Lesley Gore, Connie Talbot did an amazing job with You Don't Own Me. Such a great song!
    It's obvious why Selena Gomez is a star: she does a really good job. I enjoyed her with Zedd.
    And Talk was interesting too. I like the band's name (Against the Current): these kids are definitely that! Good for them.

    Hard to believe we're coming up on a year of your Up and Comers series. How time flies...

    Happy December Shady. Hope the holiday season treats you well...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      It's great to see you, dear friend! Thank you for coming over for volume 11 of the series.

      I'm happy to learn that you enjoyed the flashbacks. I hesitate to call the Little Mix remake of "Word Up!" definitive, but it is certainly a modern girl group classic. If you remember the disco hit "Doctors Orders" you might agree that the telephone bit at the beginning of "Silver Medal" was inspired by it. The video reminds me a lot of Linda Blair's movie Roller Boogie. I am filled with delight when I see young groups paying homage to the old sounds and that's why I enjoyed that early performance by V-Sounds. Michael Jackson was only age 10 (a month away from turning 11) when he recorded the lead vocal on the Jackson 5 hit "I Want You Back." Angela Vazquez was about the same age when she recorded the cover. The squeaky immaturity in her voice (and in Michael's) is what makes the song. If this was a BOTB, Connie Talbot would be collecting most of the votes. I'm happy to know your ears match mine on her Grace/Lesley Gore cover. I'm also happy to know you appreciated Selena Gomez's hit collaboration with Zedd and my latest offering from Chrissy and ATC.

      Yessum, it's soon time to finish this year long series. The finale is coming up just before Christmas. I have discovered hundreds of great pop, pop rock and pop rap recordings since it began and I will continue to bring you the best of them in new series in the future including my 50 part salute to Soul Train which begins early next year.

      As always I again thank you for your kind visit and comments, dear friend Michele. Happy December to you as well!

  8. No flash back for me ... sorry, friend Shady ... either me was 2 lil at that time or somethin else ... but did enjoy your girl power videos nonetheless ... thank you ... Love, cat.

    1. ... air conditioner, u say ??? ... gimme sum of ur heat den, baby ... greetings from AB ... smiles ... Love, cat.

    2. Hi, kitty cat!

      How are you today, dear feline friend? :) Thanks for coming down to experience another set of modern poppers, some of them paying tribute to great artists and recordings of the past - early to mid 60s girl pop, the birth of Motown's phenomenal band of brothers The Jackson 5 circa 1970, The Last Days of Disco in the late 70s, and mid 80s urban funk. I'm delighted to know you enjoyed the sights and sounds even though you were not around (or merely a kitten) when the original recordings were on the charts.

      Thanks again for your sweet words, dear friend cat!

    3. Hi again, cat!

      I always get two comments from you, dearie, which is AOK with me. :)

      Yessum, here in central Florida we are still running the air conditioner day and night. I'm tired of being uncomfortably warm. HELP!!! :) You send plenty of warmth my way with your cheery visits and words, dear cat. I wish that I could reciprocate by sending a warm front up to your part of Canada. Maybe its time for you to make another trip to an island in the South Pacific. :)

      Lubbins lubbins lubbins, dear friend cat!

  9. Enjoyed this post! I think it's interesting that a lot of these artists also dabble in the world of YouTube with fashion, makeup, and food. Very entrepreneurial!
    Have a terrific weekend!

    1. Hi, Sherry!

      Thanks for joining the fun at my 11th pop party of 2016, dear friend. I'm pleased to see you!

      Yessum, while Shady is sucking his thumb and playing with his belly button, these young women are excelling at many things, not just one thing. YouTube has changed the game for young people and they are smart to exploit the opportunities it affords them.

      Thanks again for dropping by, dear friend Sherry, and have a great weekend yourself!

  10. Korn did a cover of "Word Up" in 2004. I loved Korn's version and I like Little Mix's version too. I guess I just don't like Bobby Brown.

    I love Against the Current! They sound great, I'm going to have to download them after the holidays.

    Have a great Sunday, dear friend. Have a great week ahead as well!

    1. Hey Hey Hey, JM!

      How are you this weekend? Thanks for stopping by!

      I didn't know about that Korn kover. I'll check it out. I'm happy to know you dig Chrissy and her group ATC. I think Chrissy has appeared in more posts of this series than any other artist. Don't miss the series finale coming up the week of Christmas.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and cheery comment, dear friend Jessica Marie. I wish you a great week, too!

  11. What a pop party, Shady. It's a stroll through decades of music, fashion and talent. Loved listening to the songs and seeing how the music video scene has changed... and so quickly!

    1. Hi, Cheryl Lee!

      Thanks for joining the fun, dear friend!

      Yessum, this post brought you the movers and shakers of modern pop, some performing in the latest style and others harking back to artists and hits of the past. I admire young people who have a sense of history and that includes music history.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, dear friend C-Lee!

  12. Selena is the most popular gal right now and she is good. I also didn't mind the last group because their voices were different especially that blonde gal. My favourite is the little 16 year old. She has a set of pipes and can really belt that song out.

    1. Hi again, dear Birgit!

      I really appreciate you for making time to visit and comment on two of my posts, given the fact that you are facing multiple challenges right now. I hope the clouds part and bright sunny days find you in time for Christmas.

      I'm pleased to know you like a few of these modern poppers. Selena and Little Mix are the big names in this bunch, but watch out for those up-and-comers. When you picked the 16 year old as your favorite, I assume you meant Connie Talbot with her cover of "You Don't Own Me." It mesmerizes me whenever I listen to it.

      Thanks again for your loyal friendship, sweet BB. Please take good care of yourself and have a good week. I'm thinking about you every day!

    2. Thank you so much Shady. I fell on my ass with my relies at my blog. I come home and expect Mia to come and see me. The hard part is my mom-a wonderful lady who, I can see, is nearing the end of her amazing life but, knowing her, she could live another 2 years! She still has spunk in her. Yes I did mean Connie Talbot and would love to hear more of her

    3. I found this comment, dearie, and thank you very much for it. I care about you, Birgit and your friendship means a lot to me. Your happiness is mine and so is your sadness.

      I pray that your mother hangs on. Keeping a positive attitude and not giving up is half the battle won.

      I hope your other pets are adjusting to not having Mia around. My Toto has been gone three and a half years and I still see her around the house in all the familiar spots she loved.

      Thanks again for being a trusted friend, dear BB!

  13. I really enjoyed this post! I'm always late to the party but i got here as soon as i could. My dang job is getting in the way of my blogging activities. HAHA!
    A little fun fact about Selena- she's from Texas and my dear friends son was in a movie with her many years ago when they were just kids. It never made it to the big screen but my friend has their movie poster framed.
    She also announced that she has Lupus which is very sad because my mom has Lupus and its a rough disease. On the other hand, i'm hoping her fame will bring more attention to the disease.
    I really liked Connie and cant believe her mature voice. I enjoyed word up but i do prefer the original.
    I loved loved loved to roller skate! I used to go every friday night all thru middle school and some high school. I remember the movie Roller Boogie. I was in my skating every week phase when that movie came out.
    Good stroll down memory lane!!

    1. Hi again, Holliwood N. Vine! :)

      I need to remember to look for multiple comments from you including those on my back pages. :) I appreciate your support more than I can express, dear friend, and sorry that you've been too busy to post since Holliween.

      Thanks for sharing the anecdote about your friend's son's "brush with greatness" - appearing in a movie with Selena Gomez when they were kids (probably around the time she was a regular on Barney & Friends). Yessum, Selena's fame and popularity will help draw attention to Lupus, a little known disease that needs to have some light shed on it.

      I'm pleased as punch to learn that you appreciated Connie Taobot's mature interpretation of the Lesley Gore (and Grace) hit "You Don't Own Me." The song was penned by two of Philly's phinest - songwriters and producers John Madara and David White, and I will be bringing you a 3-part series on their work here on SDMM.

      I'm pleased to know Megan Nicole's song and vid brought back happy memories of your disco roller skating years.

      Thanks again for strolling down memory lane with the Shadester, dear friend Holli!


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