Category Archives: Uncategorized

Future pop stars – Star Education’s Rock Star program for kids

August 19, 2014

The kids were totally rockin’ the Sunset Strip and belting out pop star anthems at The House of Blues in Los Angeles the weekend of May 1-2.

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STAR Education’s RockSTAR afterschool program for elementary school kids was holding its 9th annual Battle of the Bands at the iconic club, and it was LOUD in there!   Bands with names like  The Wacky Watermelons, Rubber Bands, Wicked Crickets and Super Bone Breakers played covers of songs like “Roar” (Katy Perry), “Applause” (Lady Gaga), “Blitzkreig Bop” (The Ramones) and “Back In Black” (AC/DC) during the two day event.  Bands playing original songs (yes, original, written by the kids!) included the Pacific Pallisades band Skull Stars with “Rock It To The Top”, the Richland School band Unbreakable with “Epic Impossible”, the Kester School band The Nightmare Kids with “More Than A Dream”, and the  Broadway School band  Babba Kookoo Cheenies with “Choo Choo Bumpy”.  The determination and focus of all of the bands was impressive, and we saw performances from a few mega-talented kids who are definitely on their way to being the pop stars of tomorrow.

9th Annual Battle of the Bands at the House of Blues.  Photo courtesy of STAR Education.

9th Annual Battle of the Bands at the House of Blues. Photo courtesy of STAR Education.


RockSTAR’s non-profit program was founded nine years ago, based on the fundamental missions of creating and inspiring young musicians, and bringing music back into schools that have had their own music programs reduced or eliminated altogether due to budget cuts. The program began with only six elementary schools, and in less than a decade it has grown to the point of reaching kids in more than 100 different schools throughout Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, New York City and Nashville.

RockSTAR also sponsors a Winter Rockfest, held at various other venues, including famous Sunset Strip clubs The Roxy, the Viper Room and the Key Club, as well as  Avalon in the heart of Hollywood.  What a great experience for the kids to perform at these clubs!  The kids in the program start as early as first grade learning to sing lead or background vocals or to play an instrument — guitar, bass, drums or keyboard. Every performance by every band in the program is presented 100% live with no pre-recorded elements of any kind.  The results are not always perfect, but we’ve got to give the kids, especially those only six or seven years old, props for having the courage to step out onto the stage and play or sing for sometimes hundreds of fans.  Their confidence, and the smiles on their faces as they perform, are something to see.

The Cool Kids perform at the Key Club during Winter Rockfest.  Photo courtesy of STAR Education.

The Cool Kids perform at the Key Club during Winter Rockfest. Photo courtesy of Star Education.

Among the many pop and rock stars that lend their support to the RockSTAR program (i.e., the members of the RockSTAR “galaxy”) are Britney Spears, Linkin Park, Sammy Haggar, Rick Springfield, Chris Isaak, Rod Stewart, Green Day, Colbie Caillat, Adam Lambert, Gene Simmons and Gavin DeGraw.   There are also many dedicated guitar-bass-drums teachers and vocal coaches who work with the kids one-on-one,  to teach them to play and sing, and additional support is given by the program directors at the many different schools and the  parents who pay for participation in the program and provide instruments in their homes so the kids can practice more than the one hour per week allotted for band rehearsals.   We appreciate the contributions of this galaxy of supporters for everything they do to keep this excellent and worthwhile program running.

Here’s a link to a complete list of the bands participating in the May 1-2, 2014 House of Blues Battle-of-the-Bands event, as well as the Los Angeles schools they represent and the songs they performed:

And for more info on STAR Education’s RockSTAR program:

You can also follow RockStar on their Facebook page:

© 2014 Popstar Galaxy. Original content on this website may not be reprinted or used without the express permission of Popstar Galaxy. All rights reserved.


The 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards (RDMA) winners & the Galaxy that got them there



June 20, 2014

A couple of months ago we once again took our 7-year-old to the live Radio Disney Music Awards show at the Nokia Theater. It was a great time and we had a blast dancing, singing and screaming our excitement at seeing all of the famous presenters and performers live and in person.

As expected, there was the usual celebration of the pop stars and their individual successes, but we heard no mention at all of the important contributions of the behind-the-scenes music people who helped create the songs and recordings that brought the artists their RDMA nominations and wins. So, in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, here’s a quick look at some of the artists who won an “Ardy” award this year and the songs and music teams (aka “the Galaxy”) that made it happen for them.

They’re The One – Best Music Group

UK boy band One Direction (1D) won the Ardy for this one. Their most successful song to date is still “What Makes You Beautiful”, from their 2011 debut album “Up All Night”.

Song Title: “What Makes You Beautiful”

Performer: One Direction (1D)

Songwriters: Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk & Savan Kotecha

Producers: Rami Yacoub & Carl Falk

Music Publishers: Chrysalis Music (BMG), EMI Music, Kobalt Songs

Music Label: Syco Records/Columbia Records


The Bestest – Song of the Year

Song title: “Come & Get it”

Performer: Selena Gomez

Songwriters: Ester Dean, Mikkel Eriksen & Tor Hermansen

Producers: Stargate (Eriksen & Hermansen)

Music Publishers: EMI Music, Dat Damn Dean Music, Songs of Universal

Music Label: Hollywood Records (Disney)

Selena also won an Ardy in the Best Song To Dance To category with the song “Birthday”.  “Come and Get It” is from Selena’s 2013 solo debut album “Stars Dance”, her first album without The Scene (aka Joey Clement, Greg Garman, Dane Forrest and Drew Taubenfeld).


The Freshest – Best New Artist

The winner of this Ardy was 17-year-old Los Angeles native Becky G (Rebecca “Becky” Gomez), who also performed live on the show.  She’s a favorite at our house and we crown her the new princess of pop stardom.

Song title: “Can’t Get Enough”

Performer: Becky G featuring Pitbull

Songwriters: Becky G, Lukasz Gottwald (aka Dr. Luke), Niles Holowell-Dhar, Max Martin, Armando Perez (aka Pitbull), Tzvetin Todorov, Gregor Van Offeren, Urales Vargas & Henry Russell

Producer: Dr. Luke

Music Publishers: Belmondo Publishing, Indie Pop Music, Kasz Money Publishing, MXM Music AB, Oneirology Publishing, Prescription Songs, Sony/ATV Tunes, Kobalt Songs

Music Label: Dr. Luke’s label Kemosabe Records (RCA/Sony)



Becky G performs at the 2014 RDMA’s (photo courtesy of Popstar Galaxy).

Hit The Road – Favorite Roadtrip Song

Song Title: “Made In The USA”

Performer: Demi Lovato

Songwriters: Demi Lovato, Jonas Jeberg, Jason Evigan, Corey Gibson & Blair Perkins

Producer: Jonas Jebergh

Music Publishers: BMG Platinum Songs, Demi Lovato Publishing, Blair Perkins Publishing (Disney), Seven Peaks Music (Disney), Bad Robot (BMG), Sony ATV Songs

Music Label: Hollywood Records (Disney)

Demi, who also took home an Ardy in the She’s The One – Best Female Artist category, of course also recorded the huge hit “Let it Go” last year for the end titles of the Disney film “Frozen”.  Also, a couple of Sundays ago we saw Demi perform live on a float on Santa Monica Boulevard, as Grand Marshall of the annual West Hollywood Gay Pride parade.  She performed her new song “Really Don’t Care“, and she sounded amazing.  The large crowd went crazy when she passed by.   At the end of the song, she spoke to the small crowd of fans surrounding her float and said she hoped we liked the performance, that it was an honor to participate in the parade, and that the cameras accompanying her were recording footage for the new music video that was being made to go with the song (to be released on June 26).  Very cool, Demi, and thank you for being such a positive role model for my 7-year-old and her friend, who were both there with me to see you perform live.   They are big fans of yours, and they look up to you.  As a mom, I totally approve.  You rock!

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato performs live at Los Angeles Gay Pride (photo courtesy of








You’ve Got Swag! – Artist with the Best Style

In addition to starring in the Disney TV show Shake It Up and competing on Dancing With The Stars, in 2013 Zendaya Coleman also released the hit song “Replay”. This song, as well as Z’s dancing in the song’s video, display a whole new level of sophistication for this ultra-talented pop star.

Song title: “Replay”

Performer: Zendaya

Songwriters: Zendaya Coleman, Tiffany Fred, Mick Schultz & Paul Shelton

Producers: Mick Schultz

Music Publishers: Almo/Rondor/Irving Music (Universal), TFred Publishing, Underdog West Songs, Mick Schultz Publishing, Seven Summits Music (Disney), Z Swagg Music (Disney)

Music Label: Hollywood Records (Disney)

Zendaya “Replay” (courtesy of Zendaya/Hollywood Records).






Radio Disney Chart Topper Award

Ariana Grande won this one in recognition of her multi-song success and radio play longevity.  She performed this new hit song live at the show, and what a hit it’s proving to be!

Song title: “Problem”

Performer: Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea

Songwriters: Ariana Grande, Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, Ilya & Iggy Azalea

Producers: Max Martin, Shellback (Karl Schuster) & Ilya

Music Publishers: Warner/Chappel, Wolf Cousins,

Music Label: Republic (Universal)


Radio Disney Showstopper Award

One of our favorite bands, R5, grabbed the Ardy in this category. They also performed live at the show, and Ross, Riker, Rocky, Rydel and Ellington had the place jumping with their rockin’ performance.

Song title: “(I Can’t) Forget About You”

Performer: R5

Songwriters: R5 (Ross Lynch, Riker Lynch, Rocky Lynch, Rydel Lynch, Ellington Ratliff), Andrew Goldstein, Emanuel Kiriakou, Evan Bogart & Lindy Robbins

Music Publishers: Seven Peaks Music (Disney), Hey Kiddo Music, Music Is Poetry Publishing, Never Been Kissed Music, Riker One Music, Rock Loud Music, Roditis Music, Kobalt Music, Fueled By Music, Here’s Lookin’ At You Kidd Music, Sony/ATV Songs, Stays Friday, Warner/Chappell

Music Label: Hollywood Records (Disney)


R5 (photo courtesy of R5/Hollywood Records).







XOXO – Best Crush Song

Song title: “Still Into You”

Performer: Paramore

Songwriters: Hayley Williams & Taylor York

Producers: Justin Meldal-Johnsen

Music Publishers: But Father I Just Want To Sing Music, Hunterboro Music, W B Music Corp., Warner/Chappell Music Inc. (ASCAP)

Music Label: Fueled by Ramen

Note: Hayley Williams is lead vocalist of Paramour and Taylor York is the band’s guitarist.


My Jam – Best Song To Rock Out To With My BFF

Song title: “Me & My Girls”

Performer: Fifth Harmony

Songwriters: PJ Bianco, Ally Brooke, Julian Bunetta, Camila Cabello, Beau Dozier, Dinah Jane Hansen, Lauren Jauregui, Normani Kordei & John Ryan

Producers: PJ Bianco, Julian Bunetta, Dozier & KnocDown

Music Publishers: BMG Platinum Songs US, Bob Erotik Music, Fifth Harmony Publishing, Holy Cannoli Music (Songs of Universal), Like Father Like Son Music, Music of Big Deal, The Family Songbook, Villa Bianco Songs (BMI), and possible additional ASCAP publishers

Music Label: Epic Records and Syco Music (the latter owned by TV talent show contest judge Simon Cowell)

Note: “X-Factor” group Fifth Harmony also won an Ardy this year for Breakout Artist of the Year. We were thrilled to be in the audience when they performed the song “Miss Movin On” at this year’s RDMA’s.


Fifth Harmony performs at the 2014 RDMA awards (photo courtesy of Popstar Galaxy).








Musical Mashup – Best Musical Collaboration

Song title: “Everything Has Changed”

Performers: Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran

Songwriters: Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran

Producers: Butch Walker

Music Publishers: Sony/ATV Songs LLC, Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Taylor Swift Music (BMI), and possible other ASCAP publishers

Music Labels: Big Machine & Republic (Universal Records)

Note: We recently visited the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Taylor Swift exhibit there is very cool. The exhibit features flat screen TV’s playing  footage of Taylor performing, as well as some of her guitars and banjos and actual concert wardrobe.

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The Taylor Swift exhibit at the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona (photo courtesy of MIM).








So Happy – Best Song That Makes You Smile

Song Title: “Ooh La La”

Performer: Britney Spears

Songwriters: Lukasz Gottwald, Joshua Coleman, Henry Walter, Bonnie McKee, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Lola Blanc & Fransisca Hall

Producers: Lukasz Gottwald (aka “Dr. Luke”), Ammo, Cirkut & Emily Wright

Music Publishers: Bonnie McKee Music (Songs of Kobalt), Columbia Boulevard Music Inc. (Sony/ATV Music), Songs of Pulse Recording (Downtown Music), Where Da Kasz At (BMI) / Columbia Avenue Music Inc., EMI April Music Inc., J Kasher Publishing, Kasz Money Publishing, Kevinthecity Publishing, Oneirology Publishing, Prescription Songs, Sony/ATV Tunes LLC, Whatabout Fran (ASCAP)

Music Labels: Kemosabe Kids (Sony Music) & RCA Records


Stuck In Our Heads – Catchiest New Song

Song title: ”The Fox (What Does The Fox Say)”

Performer: Ylvis

Songwriters: Bard Ylvisaker, Vegard Ylvisaker, Christian Lochstoer, Tor Erik Hermansen, Mikkel S. Eriksen & Nicholas Boundy

Producers: Stargate & M4SONIC

Music Publishers: Stellar Songs Ltd., EMI Music Publishing Ltd. (ASCAP)

Music Labels: Concorde TV, Parlophone (Warner Records) & EMI Norway

Note: We loved the dance number based on this song on last season’s DANCING WITH THE STARS TV show.

Dancing With The Stars performance of “The Fox” (photo courtesy of ABC).








One additional note of interest: Two of the above songs, Becky G’s “Can’t Get Enough” and Ariana Grande’s “Problem”, were co-written by prolific producer/songwriter Max Martin (aka Martin Sandberg), a frequent Dr. Luke collaborator who has also co-written mega successful songs for Katy Perry (“California Gurls”, “Roar”, “I Kissed A Girl”, “Teenage Dream”, “The One That Got Away”), Taylor Swift (“I Knew You Were Trouble”, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”), P!nk (“Raise Your Glass”, “So What”), Taio Cruz (“Dynamite”), Britney Spears (“Baby One More Time”, “Oops I Did It Again”), Justin Bieber (“Beauty and A Beat”), Kelly Clarkson (“Since U Been Gone”), Celine Dion (“That’s The Way It is”) and the Backstreet Boys (“As Long As You Love Me”), to name just a few. Every pop star should want Max Martin to be part of their galaxy!

© 2014 Popstar Galaxy. Original content on this website may not be reprinted or used without the express permission of Popstar Galaxy. All rights reserved.