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, December 21, 2016

Poppin' Around the Christmas Tree! Little Mix - Big Sound... and Who Did Shady Pick As Pop Artist of the Year?



L I T T L E   M I X !

X Factor alumni Little Mix are back to
perform for us in this the 12th and final
volume of my year long series on the
exciting young female stars of pop.

Little Mix specializes in girl power anthems
like "Wings," the lead single from their 2012
debut album DNA. "Wings" vaulted to #1
on the charts in the UK, Scotland and
Ireland. I love the cold intro on this
recording. With "Wings" these
fly girls take off and soar!

"Wings" - Little Mix
(Aug./Sept. 2012, h.c.p. #26
US Mainstream Top 40,
#1 UK, Scotland & Ireland,
from Nov. 2012 album DNA)

In the fall of 2013, Little Mix released
their second studio album Salute.

"Move," the album's lead single,
is a bass heavy R&B style song
inspired by 90s club sounds.

"Move" - Little Mix
(Nov. 2013, h.c.p. #3 UK,
#2 Scotland/#5 Ireland,
from Nov. 2013 album Salute)

Get Weird, the third Little Mix studio
album, dropped in the fall of 2015.

"Hair," a dance-pop single from
the album, features guest vocals
by Grammy nominated Jamaican
dancehall/reggae artist Sean Paul.

"Hair" - Little Mix
(Apr. 2016, highest chart pos. #11 UK,
#10 Australia, #7 Scotland, from
Nov. 2015 album Get Weird)

"Love Me Like You" is another
Little Mix single from Get Weird.

The retro style video recalls 60s proms
and sock hops along with girl groups
like the Ronettes and Supremes.

"Love Me Like You (Christmas Mix)" -
Little Mix (Christmas season 2015,
h.c.p. #1 New Zealand Heatseekers,
#11 UK, #5 Scotland/#8 Ireland,
from Nov. 2015 album Get Weird)


Jada Facer is best known as an actress.

Born in Utah, now living in Los Angeles,
Jada won the Young Artist Award for
Best Leading Young Actress in a TV
Movie for her part in the 2011 film
Love's Christmas Journey. In 2014
and 2015, Jada had a recurring
role on the ABC Family TV
series Melissa & Joey.

Thanks to her YouTube channel, Jada is
getting noticed for her ability as a singer
and musician. Listen to Jada's pure, sweet
voice on this next song. Accompanied on
guitar by singer, songwriter and producer
Tyler Ward, 15 year old Jada performs a
 cover of "Shout Out To My Ex," the lead
single from the just released Little Mix
album Glory Days. Shady sez: as an
actress, singer, or both, Jada Facer
is destined for stardom!

"Shout Out To My Ex" 
Dec. 2016 Little Mix cover
by Jada Facer ft. Tyler Ward

Now it's time for me to name my Pick To Click
for the entire 12-part series. Taking into account
her age: 14... her voice: incredible... and her
star potential: ginormous... I proclaim our
hometown heroine, Tampa Bay native

Skylar Stecker

Pop Artist of the Year!

You might be saying "Let it snow,"
but here in Florida we say
"Let It Show."

"Let It Show" - Skylar Stecker
(Aug. 2016 single)

"Rascal" - Skylar Stecker
(single from Sept. 2015
album This Is Me)

"That's What's Up" - Skylar Stecker
(single from Sept. 2015
album This Is Me)

What a journey it has been!

Thank you very much for following me
all this year as I presented some of the
greatest, most exciting young female
performers of modern pop, pop rock
and pop rap. We now return to our
regularly scheduled programming.



  1. I remember Little Mix and their song Black Magic from your Halloween episode— It was a treat to hear more of their songs today. The Little Mix women are talented, energetic and enthusiastic— their songs have catchy melodies— and it is no surprise these were all hits.

    Jada Facer has a smooth, soft voice— and I enjoyed her Little Mix cover song. If she sticks with it I can see her becoming a singing star.

    Tampa’s Skylar Stecker is an excellent choice for your Artist of the Year. She has a great voice and lots of poise and maturity for her age-- she is a very exciting performer and should go far in the music business.

    You did a great job with this 12 part pop series— introduced dozens of artists I never heard before— and it was a lot of fun!

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thanks for coming to the grand finale of my year long series on the up-and-coming young women of pop along with a smattering of established singing stars.

      Little Mix has to be my favorite vocal group of the year. Every album they release is loaded with gems and I am eager to buy their latest, Glory Days. All four of the Little Mix selections in today’s post knock me out, as did “Black Magic” in that October post. Their song “Move” contains a riff that reminds me of “Vertigo/Relight My Fire,” the 1979 hit by Dan Hartman feat. Loleatta Holloway. Listen for it.

      I think Jada Facer did a fine job covering "Shout Out To My Ex," the lead single from the new little Mix album Glory Days. Jada is one of the current crop of poised, confident young singers that I presented this year, girls who are bubbling under and just waiting to break through to stardom.

      Of course, another such performer is Skylar Stecker, daughter of one time Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ running back Aaron Stecker. Skylar won me over this year more than any other single artist. Skylar is the kind of artist I trust to the extent that I would pre-order her next album even before sampling it. She’s that good. Latin flavored pop is my favorite sub-genre this year and there is a distinctive Latin influence in many of Skylar’s recordings. I think 2017 will be a big year for Skylar Stecker.

      Thank you again for being here today and for checking out the whole series, Kathryn!

  2. Happy Winter, Shady! I may have missed some of your 12 volumes of Pop queens, but, I found something good about each one I did see. You made a good choice with Skylar. "Rascal" is very good, she is cute and very talented.

    I have to say that I totally love Jada's "Shout Out to My Ex". I didn't think I was going to like it at first, but she kept me watching. Her voice range and tones make me think of Sheryl Crow's early stuff, and Tyler was great with her.

    Little Mix is really good. "Love Me Like You" is the best! You're you the late 50's feel of the Ronettes, and Dixie Cups. The vocals on this song are really good, they are a great mix. It would be nice to have some girl groups hit it big these days in the US. And, "Wings" was very good too. It's a good dance song, also with fantastic vocals!

    Well, Shadmeister, confident that you have not exhausted all your resources for finding great music and great artists, we will all be checking out the Dell in this new coming year for some smashing tunes.

    Thank you for your work on this series...I enjoyed meeting these girl groups and hearing their great songs! I'm sending wishes to you and your family for a very Merry Christmas. God Bless! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Thank you very much for popping over for the conclusion of my year long series. I'm very happy to see you, dear friend!

      That's right. It is now officially winter and, believe it or nuts, the temperature has dipped a few degrees here in Central Florida, making it a lot more pleasant than it's been lately. Even so, we are not counting on a white Christmas. :)

      I'm delighted you enjoyed the singing of my Pop Artist of the Year, Tampa Bay's own Skylar Stecker. "Rascal," a song Skylar penned herself, is also my favorite of hers thus far. Skylar was born in Tampa in 2002 while her dad, Aaron Stecker, was playing football for the Bucs and helping them through their most successful season which culminated in the NFL team's first Super Bowl win in January of 2003.

      I'm thrilled that you also enjoyed up-and-comer Jada Facer. Like most of these teenage performers I have spotlighted throughout the year, Jada is multi-talented, with a developing career as an actress.

      If Skylar is my Pop Artist of the Year, then surely Little Mix is my Pop Girl Group of the Year. No other act that I have profiled this year has as many great songs and videos.

      Thank you again for joining the fun during Christmas week, dear friend Suzanne. I hope you and Scootie have a wonderful time together and that you experience an abundance of joy. I'll be back with one more post this year, another biggie, right after Christmas. You are invited to join me for the second annual (drum roll)

      New Year's Rockin' Eve in the Shady!

      A star studded cast will be on hand to help ring out the old and ring in 2017.

      Once again, Merry Christmas, dear friend Suzanne!

  3. Those two young ladies are so skinny. Someone get them each a Twinkie.
    Think Little Mix is a play on Little Miss?

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for coming by for the grand finale of my 12-part pop series, good buddy!

      Yes, most of these young poppers are wafer thin. I wish I had their energy and metabolism. :

      In the beginning when Little Mix competed on the UK version of the TV singing competition The X Factor, the girl group was originally called Rhythmix. However, it was discovered that there was a UK children's charity of the same name. The decision was made to change the group's name to Little Mix.

      Thanks again for coming, good buddy Alex. I hope to see you back here for New Year's Rockin' Eve in the Shady.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  4. Hi Shady!

    Happy holidays! I hope you and Mrs. Shady enjoy your Christmas. :)

    I've never heard of these artists, but I like them. I'm going to have to buy them from iTunes. Thanks again. :)

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      How are you, dear friend? Thanks for coming over for a look and a listen as I wrap up my year long modern pop series.

      I am pleased to have introduced you to artists and songs that you like. I'm sure you can find most of these on iTunes. Keep your eye on Jada and Skylar. I predict big things from them in 2017.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, dear friend JM!

    2. Thanks for the head's up. :) Today is relax day for me before festivities with mom's family. I'm going to spend today listening to music and writing.

      I might post a music wrap up this year. :) We'll wait and see.

    3. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      A post featuring your musical favorites of 2016 is a great idea. I will be there for it!

      I can't think of a better way to spend Christmas Eve than listening to music and writing.

      Have fun and have a wonderful Christmas, dear friend JM!

  5. Hi Shady! I had to pop over before this crazy week gets done and see what you had for this finale. I enjoyed all these super talented ladies/girls and wonder how they managed to have beauty and so much talent all rolled into one! Plus the age of Jada and Skylar make it all the more amazing. I'm sure they will be bigger hits as time goes on. I think your pick of Skylar is a good one. Hope your holiday is fabulous and I'll look forward to more fun posts in the new year. Hard to believe 2016 is almost over. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Mrs. Shady!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thanks so much for dropping by in the middle of your busy Christmas preparations to see what I had to offer in the series finale. I greatly appreciate your visit, dear friend!

      I'm thrilled that you recognize the greatness in these young women and like their songs.

      Yessum, today's entertainers are multifaceted. They do many things well, not just one thing. They get started early and develop poise, confidence, style and flair far beyond their years. Clearly that's what it takes to set yourself apart from the wannabes and achieve success in today's competitive music business. I agree that Jada and Skylar are the major stars of the future.

      Thank you again for making time for a visit, YaYa. I am very grateful to have you with me as we close another year and get ready to welcome a new one. I wish you and your large and wonderful family the happiest Christmas ever and all the best in the coming year.

      God bless, YaYa!

  6. I love Little Mix and their latest album is doing so well. The girls really can sing. I have all their albums but will wait to hear a few more of the singles from their latest one to see where to splash out a tenner for their latest cd.

    1. Hi, Joey!

      Thanks for coming over for the part 12 grand finale, good buddy!

      I remember you posting "Ex" recently, the lead single from Glory Days, and how we agreed that it was more like the menu than the meal. That's why I decided to post Jada Facer's cover. The thing about Little Mix, however, is that their songs tend to grow on you. The catchy hooks and melodies get stuck in your head and before you know it, songs that didn't grab you upon first listen become familiar favorites.

      I hope you enjoyed my introduction of Tampa Bay's Skylar Stecker. She's one to watch in 2017.

      Thanks again for contributing, Joey. Have a great Thursday, a wonderful weekend and a merry Christmas!

  7. Tom,

    Little Mix reminds me a lot of the Spice Girls. In today’s conclusion my two favorite picks are “Wings” and “Love Me Like You”. They are a talented girl band and much of their mewsic is danceable which is one of the things I look for in a good song. I went back to your October post featuring Little Mix singing “Black Magic”. That’s a good one, too!

    Jada Facer reminds me a bit of Meghan Trainor, except I like her voice better. She has a softer edge to her vocals. Eager to hear more, I went to YouTube to listen to a more mewsic vids. It’ll be interesting to see if her mewsic career does more. She has talent. I wonder which is more important, acting or singing to Jada?

    Skylar is a pretty gal. Her vocals are totally awesome in “Let It Show” with great range and control. The other two featured songs by her didn’t appeal to me like “Let It Show”.

    Well, dear friend I’ve appreciated all variety mewsic you’ve shared this year. You’ve put together some great old and new stuff, most of which was new to my ears. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2017 mewsic choices you post. Have a Merry Christmas and I’ll see you in the New Year!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      I'm so glad you made it over, dear friend. Thank you for coming this morning!

      Little Mix has a big sound and a big fan base on both sides of the pond. I'm glad you like them, too. They get my vote as Girl Group of the Year. Many of their songs are classics of the genre thanks to their catchy melodies, soulful R&B influenced vocals, glorious group harmony and the dance friendly beat which you already mentioned.

      I'm pleased that you enjoyed Jada Facer. Her voice is like buttah. As you might have discovered, the videos on Jada's YouTube channel are homemade covers with sparse accompaniment. Jada's soft, smooth, clear voice sells the songs, a sign that she's got what it takes for stardom.

      I too was very impressed by the vocal gymnastics required of Skylar Stecker on the song "Let It Show." (She also has a version of "Let It Snow" on her Y/T channel.) It's funny, but my first reaction to Skylar a little more than a year ago was on the negative side, but as I got more interested in modern pop and developed a taste for Latin influenced song styling, I realized that Skylar's vocal style is more to my liking than any other artist I can think of. (Skylar lists Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys as her mewsical influences.) I have bought everything of Skylar's that I can get my hands on and I am eager for her to release more recordings in 2017.

      Thanks again for dropping by and for being such a great friend, Cathy. I wish you and Rob a wonderful Christmas and all the best in the coming year!

  8. Hi Shady. A great way to wrap up your 12 part series on today's young female pop stars! I wasn't familiar with Little Mix but they remind me of the Saturdays a little bit. I enjoyed the Saturdays and watched a few episodes of their TV show Chasing the Saturdays. Do you know of them? I think they're on hiatus for now. Little Mix just reminded me of them. I loved their song Wings! What a great sentiment and message. I also liked their song Move. Definitely a good song to move to!

    Jada's Shout Out to My Ex was a really fun song! The video was cute and I liked her sass. I wonder what direction her career will take: will she venture more into music or stick with acting? Will be interesting to see.

    Good choice for your Pick to Click: Skylar Stecker definitely has big star potential.

    Thanks for all your work in presenting an excellent series on the young female pop stars. Almost all of them were new to me (no surprise there: I'm a dinosaur rocker :) ) and it was cool to be brought up to date with today's youth.

    Merry Christmas to you and Mrs. Shady! I hope you have a stunning and star-studded holiday!
    Have fun!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thanks so much for coming back over to experience the final installment of my year long series on modern female poppers, rappers and pop-rockers.

      All of today's artists and indeed most in this entire series were brand new to me until 2015 when I suddenly caught the bug and got into this category of music. There are dozens if not hundreds of other acts that could have been and should have been included in the series, and I will be working them into future posts including episodes of my Soul Train series which begins next month.

      Yessum, I am familiar with the English-Irish girl group The Saturdays and own one of their CDs. I also have several Saturdays songs coming up in future posts. As I assembled this 12-part series I discovered, to my surprise, that there are just as many great UK girl groups and solo artists as U.S. artists.

      I'm delighted to know you enjoyed the two babies of the bunch, 15 year old Jada and 14 year old Skylar.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, dear friend Michele, and merry merry merry Christmas to you, to your mom back home, to your greyhounds and to everyone you love and care about. I care about you! :)

    2. Thanks Tom! That was a nice Christmas wish! A very merry Christmas to you as well. <3

  9. Lovely girls. Lovely songs. And those red platforms are to die for! Each generation comes up with some very exciting pop stars. Thanks for these, and here's to a wonderful Christmas. See you in 2017!

    1. Hi, Cheryl Lee!

      How are you, dear friend? I hope you are on the mend in the wake of your recent mishap. Thanks for making time for a visit!

      I agree with you. There is no shortage of talented young artists on the current modern pop scene and it has been a pleasure to introduce a few of them. I could easily have extended this series to 20 parts to include more of my faves, but instead I will be inserting them into future posts.

      Having your friendship is a wonderful gift, C-Lee. Thanks again for joining the fun today and for being a faithful follower in the months we have known each other. I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year!

  10. Yeah I remember them, just, my memory is full of Christmas stuff at the moment

    1. Hi, Jo-Anne!

      Thanks for coming by, my dear Australian friend. I'm happy to see you!

      You say you are familiar with the UK girl group Little Mix? I'm glad to hear it. I hope that means you like their style. In this post and the one that ran at H-ween I picked a half dozen of their songs that I like best. Hope you like them, too.

      Merry Christmas, dear Jo-Anne!


You talkin' to me?