The power of music cannot be denied. Often referred to as “the language we all speak”, music can help us understand ourselves and others by transcending boundaries of colour, religion and language to bring people together in a way that little else can.

Music, as a form of artistic expression, has the advantage of being very loud: it attracts attention and influences opinion. It can help in healing, in breaking down barriers and borders, in reconciling, and it can also educate. As a cultural right, music can help to promote and protect other human rights (civil, political, economic or social).

The music of Elvis (namely his first single, “That’s All Right”) brought down racial boundaries when a white kid from Memphis started singing black music. In the 80s and 90s artists came together to raise money for poverty, hunger and HIV. U2 became advocates for justice and equality. Artists like Katy Perry, Gaga and Beyonce continue to fight for equality for all races, genders and sexual orientation.

Four humanitarian singers who made an especially large impact through both creating and supporting various foundations, and in whose footsteps we would like all our Talent Search finalists to follow are:

  1. Shakira

Shakira gained worldwide fame for her pop music with a Latin flare. However, she also leads a philanthropic career outside of music. The artist primarily focuses on universal education and early childhood development. She founded the Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet) Foundation that looks to “bring education to every child in the world.”

Shakira also supports the ONE campaign, which mobilizes individuals to do their part to end extreme poverty and Habitat for Humanity, which strives to give everyone in the world adequate housing.

  1. Bono

Bono is not only the leader singer of the world renowned band U2, but he is also well known for his humanitarian efforts. He has helped fight poverty by supporting and creating multiple campaigns and projects. These include the ONE campaign and (RED), which advocates for an AIDS free globe. Bono also supports EDUN which encourages trade between impoverished countries in order to boost their economies.

In addition, he often participates in fundraising concerts to help raise money for these foundations and to promote important causes. He works directly with world leaders and policy makers in his mission to eradicate poverty and improve the world’s living conditions. No wonder he has been ranked the top celebrity humanitarian.

  1. Elton John

Don’t let the sun go down on Elton John: he’s ready to change the world. The well-known singer and songwriter is also a supporter in the quest to eliminate AIDS around the world.

He created the Elton John AIDS Foundation in order to help reduce the AIDS epidemic. Consequently, his foundation has raised over $125 million, which has gone to support 55 different countries. This support promotes education prevention and provides services to those in need. He also supports other foundations, such as AIDS LIFE, World AIDS Day and War Child.

  1. Alicia Keys

“No One” can deny Alicia Keys’ contributions toward fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This singer also uses her powerhouse singing voice to speak for the unheard individuals. She co-founded Keep a Child Alive, which focuses on the millions of children that die from AIDS in places where medical treatment is sub-par or unavailable. This foundation offers a range of services, including diagnostic testing and health care training.

With our Talent Search competition we look for artists who want to bring about change. Like Bono once said, “Music can change the world because it can change people.” That is what we strongly believe.



There are so many reasons why artists write their own music. Some of the more popular reasons why people write songs, probably are:

  1. They feel they have something to say- many people have a message they want to get across, sometimes it’s for moral or religious reasons, and sometimes it’s to uplift or to inspire. Other times the writer is promoting an idea or cause they believe in.
  2. They were inspired to write- Ever heard of people saying they woke up with an idea in their head, or that they were “given” a song, and didn’t know where it came from? Inspiration can strike at any time.
  3. They enjoy performing and want to perform their own songs- Some artists are born performers and love to be on stage, but not necessarily like performing covers. They then rather write their own songs, trying to define themselves as performers.
  4. Writing is therapy- Sometimes it feels good to bleed on paper, to scream, vent and get it all out on paper. Sometimes you don’t want anyone to ever perform it, but just want to get stuff of your chest.
  5. They simply love the process- These writers just enjoy writing. So they do. This is probably my favourite type of writer- practice never makes perfect, but it makes you a damn good writer in the end.

Discovering your true motivation for writing can help you figure out how and what to write.  If you write for yourself, you write differently than if you are writing for others to perform.  Writing for therapy is completely different than just writing to write. Many of us write for all of these reasons at one time or another.  Give it some thought.  Figure out what causes you to write songs and you’re onto something interesting.

Melody is natural. It is one line. It can be imagined. It can be heard in your mind. This means it is one of the greatest vehicles for unlocking creativity. So what is creativity? Creativity to me is not necessarily coming up with something ground-breaking for the world. Creativity is really about coming up with something that is ground-breaking in your world. It is about making a new connection with things that you already know.

So how should you approach creativity? It is not something that you can just approach head on, and say you are going to be creative. Instead you have to trick it. The best way to do this is to remove inhibition. By this I mean, you want to stop censoring yourself and accept the ideas you have created. The best way to do this is to not stop while you’re composing. When you get an idea, run with it. Write it down, and continue writing it down, until you have all of it.

Melody to me is the heart and soul of music, because melody is something we can all relate to. It is what you hum to yourself when you are alone.

If anyone was hoping to stumble on a secret formula, that hope should quickly be shattered. As Motown legend Lamont Dozier once said: “I’ve written about 78 top 10 songs, and I still don’t know what a hit is. I can only go by what I feel. The world doesn’t need any more good songs. What we need are great songs.” Or, to take the idea a bit further, the enemy of great is good.

One of the advantages of being a songwriter instead of a performer is that, while artists have a hard time recovering their reputation when a record bombs, the only time the public pays attention to who wrote a song is when it’s a hit. Most people don’t realise that, even for successful writers, the good-v-great ratio is low: Guy Chambers, acclaimed song writer for artists like Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, Katie Melua, James Blunt, The Wanted, Tina Turner and many more, has written more than 1,000 songs in the last 15 years, of which 21 ranked in the top 10 – that’s one hit for every 47 songs. That may sound like a frustrating process, but most writers would agree it’s necessary to write non-hits to get to the nuggets. As with athletes, it’s important to exercise the writing muscle.


For all music lovers, The Greatest Showman is definitely a film to watch, kicking off 2018 with spectacular visuals, costumes and a soundtrack which will delight any lover of a good old fashioned musical.

But the song stealing the show is without a doubt This Is Me. Written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the pair who were also responsible for the soundtrack to La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen, and performed by Keala Settle in the film and by Kesha, it has already won a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song. With the Academy Awards around the corner in March, it is a sure bet to receive a nomination, and possibly a win. The soundtrack was also Benj and Justin’s 3rd Top 10 album. And on Sunday the pair scored their first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman. Here’s hoping the soundtrack will also receive a nomination for best musical score.

Below are both versions of This Is Me. Decide for yourself who does it best.




What an amazing year in music 2017 has been! It was a year of epic comebacks from artists like P!nk, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Shania Twain, Sam Smith and Eminem. Each member of One Direction made huge solo debuts. Country music was ruled by artists like Sam Hunt, Russell Dickerson and the two Brett’s (Eldredge and Young). Afrikaans music had an end-of-year single which was on everyone’s lips, and Jay and Lianie did it again with a song you just couldn’t get out of your head.

It was also a year where some established artists like Kesha, Selena Gomez, Rita Ora and Miley Cyrus for the first time proved they were forces to be reckoned with. The stand-out groups for 2017 was definitely The Chainsmokers, Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons and Little Mix.

But 2017 will probably best be remembered as the year Latin Pop broke through. Incredible songs by Camila Cabello, CNCO, Shakira and, of course, Luis Fonsi, proved Latin Pop is here to stay. Luis Fonsi’s duet with Demi Lovato was a smash-hit, but the song of the year had to be his infectious Despacito with Daddy Yankee. For a song most people didn’t know the words to (although everyone sang along), the song of the year spent 16 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, making it the joint longest-running No 1 in US history; it was a chart-topper everywhere from the Philippines to the Czech Republic; both the second and third most-streamed song of the year on Spotify (the remix featuring Bieber just pipping the original version); and the first YouTube video in history to reach 4bn views.

But 2017 belonged to one artist- Ed Sheeran. Divide was the biggest opening week for a solo male artist. Divide moved more units in its first week than the next 500 most popular albums in the U.K. combined. After a week it already hit double platinum certification. And on top of that all 16 singles on Divide was in the Top 20, a first for any artist to achieve. And he now holds the record for having 9 of his singles in the Top 10 at the same time.

Our Top 50 is based on album sales, chart history and YouTube hits. As you look back on 2017,  raise your glass and enjoy our Top 50 with us, and from everyone at COPPERSTONE Happy New Year!


Here is our first end of year Top 50 Hits for 2017:

50. Something I’m Good At

49. Walk on Water

48. Vir Ewig Jonk

47. Something Just Like This

46. Only You

45. Younger Now

44. River

43. Lonely Together

42. Don’t Give me those Eyes

41. Love my Life

40. Miss You

39. Sorry Not Sorry

38. Anywhere

37. Da’ Vat Hy

36. Green Light

35. Yours

34. Praying

33. Beautiful Trauma

32. It Ain’t Me

31. Happier

30. Slow Hands

29. Body Like a Back Road

28. Reggaeton Lento

27. There’s Nothing Holding Me Back

26. Whatever It Takes

25. Issues

24. Ready For It

23. What Lovers Do

22. In Case You Didn’t Know

21. Touch

20. Strip That Down

19. Paris

18. Sign of the Times

17. Galway Girl

16. What About Us?

15. Havana

14. Malibu

13. Swish Swish

12. Thunder

11. Echame La Culpa

10. Castle on the Hill

9. Too Good At Goodbyes

8. Attention

7. I Don’t Wanna Live Forever

6. Perfect

5. Symphony

4. Dusk Till Dawn

3. New Rules

2. Shape Of You

1 Despacito