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Friday, December 2, 2011

10 Recording Artists That Shaped Our Year

by Cyrus Webb

Since the Conversations brand began in July 2003 with the radio show it has always included music. Why? Because music is a part of our lives like few things can be. It can reflect our moods, inspire us and in some cases spur us to action.

In 2011 there are lots of musicians that appeared on Conversations the radio show as well as in the pages of the magazine, but in the December issue I wanted to recognize 10 recording artists that have inspired me by their work ethic, their creativity and the music they have produced.



1. LADY GAGA: If I had an artist of the year for 2011 it would have to be the one and only Lady Gaga. In 2011 she has not only continued to push the envelope, but allowed her talent for writing and performing amazing music to shine. Whether it was the anthem BORN THIS WAY or the reflective YOU AND I, she tops my lists as an artist that is at the top of her game. www.ladygaga.com

2. DASHAWN: This R&B singer is more than just what you see. He sings and gives from the heart. I have profiled Dashawn a few times on the radio show and the magazine mainly because he keeps reaching for the stars and taking his fans along for the ride. Look for Dashawn on the cover of the music issue of Conversations Magazine that will be re-released in January 2012. The songs that have gotten people talking, singing and slow dancing (if not more) have been CAN YOU HANDLE IT and LATE NIGHT SHOW. http://www.reverbnation.com/dashawn

3. VICKIE WINANS: Who doesn't love Vickie Winans? She has inspired people literally around the world not just with her music but her love for life and others. When I first interviewed Ms. Winans in 2009 I saw it as an honor like no other. She was promoting her single HOW I GOT OVER at the time, and that song still speaks to me when I am feeling down. This year she also gave the world RELEASE IT, another great testimony to help those holding on to things that are sure to bring them down. She is definitely a go-to for anyone looking to be reminded of the love God has for all of us. www.vickiewinans.com

4. SHANNON MICOL: Once I heard the song CAN YOU SAVE ME IN THE MORNING I knew I was going to be a Shannon Micol fan for quite some time. We have featured the Canadian singer/songwriter both on the radio and magazine this year, and her album NO MORE CINDERELLA is still one of those I can put on, press repeat and just take the journey with her. I think we are just beginning to see where her talent will take her. If I were you, I would get on board now. www.shannonmicol.com

5. TOMAS DONCKER: Tomas Doncker does everything from the heart, and that is evident with each and every album he releases. It was first LUCKY DAY from his Small World album that got me interested in him, and from there I have been one of many that have now come to know what I believe he has known all the time: Tomas has a gift that was meant to change the world. His new album Power of the Trinity is just as thought-provoking, and the single ONLY THE FAITHFUL is sure to be another hit. Find Tomas at www.tomasdoncker.net.

6. JULIE GELLER: I first learned about Julie last year through a mutual friend, Dafna Michaelson, because of her song WHEN YOU BELIEVE---and I have been hooked since then. On her album You're With Me we get a feel of the folk singer's ability to sweep the listener up in her spell through powerful lyrics and melodic tones that just make you smile. The stand out tracks from the album are LET IT BE LOVE, YOU'RE WITH ME and I MISS YOU. www.juliegeller.com

7. MIN. MARCUS JENNINGS: If there is a cd that I listen to from beginning to end more than once a day it is Due Season by Min. Marcus Jennings. In songs like PREPARATION and I EXPECT we are able to see that no matter what we are going through, our Heavenly Father is there and able to provide a way out. Whether you are looking for songs of praise or inspiration, this is one of those artists that meets you where you are. www.marcusjenningsmusic.com

8. ADELE: Wow. She had me at CHASING PAVEMENTS, but with the new album 21 I have become an Adele fan for life. It's the voice, the words, the music all creating the perfect storm of what I see as perfection. ROLLING IN THE DEEP was one of those songs I thought I related to like none other...that is until I then heard SOMEONE LIKE YOU. Everything about her rings genuine to me, and that is why Adele continues to affect people around the world the way she does. Her musical presence is definitely a blessing. www.adele.tv

9. KAREN BRIGGS: Her album The Soulchestral Groove was introduced to me by a mutual friend named April Mahoney, but it is now on my playlist at least 3 times a week. Karen Briggs is a gifted interpreter of music, and takes you into the world she is able to creates through the notes she plays. Simply a talent that deserve all of the greatness coming her way. http://www.myspace.com/karenbriggs

10. JUSTIN CASH: Just because he is last on my list makes Justin Cash no more relevant or inspiring as the others that I've profiled. He has the ability to make you feel. What a gift! I was introduced to Justin by our Assistant Music Editor Stanley Clark, and I was won over right away. After inviting him on the radio show to discuss his journey, I knew this was someone that was going to affect the way people feel just by being himself. And then there is the title track from his album BEAUTIFUL WORLD that just really sealed the deal. If you want someone who is authentic and really rocks, Justin Cash is your guy. www.gojustincash.com

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