These are the most popular dolls, figures and accessories on tonnerdoll.com last week. Click on any title to see more details and photos.
Set of 6 acrylic cutout hangers with metal hooks
Pairs of flat feet, ballerina feet, and high heel feet...
Throughout modern history, women have made significant contributions to music in virtually every genre, be it R&B, pop, country, disco, rap/hip-hop, gospel, opera, electronic, reggae, funk...you name it. With March being Women's History Month, what better time is there than right now to shine the spotlight on those who've had the most impact in music over the years. With that in mind, I've created the countdown of countdowns, the 100 Greatest Women in Music for the Past 50 Years. This special djroblist is one for the ages. It is about as diverse a list as you'll encounter of this type (believe me, I scoured the Internet to back up that claim). Women from many generations and various genres are represented here. As with nearly every Internet list, there are a few caveats I must cover. First, this is a secular music list. So the many artists who are exclusively gospel or Christian musicians are not represented here. That's not to say their contributions over the past five decades haven't been notable - quite the contrary. Groundbreaking artists like Tramaine Hawkins, Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, CeCe Winans, Albertina Walker and, of course, Mahalia Jackson certainly deserve praise for all they've done for gospel and to inspire others. But in the final analysis, the playing field was an uneven one for gospel singers. Over the years and even still today, many of the metrics that benefit mainstream musicians (like massive sales, widespread exposure through radio airplay, video channels and streaming) place gospel artists at a comparative disadvantage. Also, this list is a tribute to individual accomplishments, so you won't see any groups. Hence, musical acts like TLC, Dixie Chicks, En Vogue, Salt-n-Pepa, Destiny's Child, Pointer Sisters, Sister Sledge and the Supremes are not listed. However, their individual members may be listed if they had noteworthy or significant roles in the group's success or if they also had qualifying solo success (e.g., Diana Ross, Stevie Nicks, Beyoncé). So how did I create this ranking? I used some of the standard metrics, like chart positions, record sales, or numbers of hits...along with career longevity. Also, more subjective factors like innovation, creativity and artistry came into play. Artists who've been recognized by credible music industry authorities (like Billboard or Rolling Stone magazine, or various halls of fame), awards committees (like the Grammys, BET) and music critics likely fared better than others, even if their sales and overall popularity would suggest otherwise. Also, the list gives more credence to an artist's prime years, with little or no detraction for the inevitable decline that occurs. Obviously, singers whose prime years lasted longer have an advantage over others. But most importantly, the list is influenced by opinion - both mine and yours. Any Internet list of singers, particularly one that ranks women, is bound to create some controversy. I don't expect this to be any different. Unlike many other djroblists, this one gives you the ability to weigh in on each item. So feel free to vote and/or comment on them as you read it. Now, without further ado, I'll let the ladies tell it... Here are the 100 Women with the Greatest Impact on Music over the Past 50 Years!
Our "Freak Flags" Should Be Flying Half-Staff Right Now. Last week, the R&B world lost a noteworthy singer/songwriter/producer whose passing went largely unnoticed by music fans and music journalists alike. Leon Haywood, 74, died April 5 in Los Angeles and, although his name is not one you'll hear mentioned alongside the many legendary artists who've left us in recent years, he left behind a small but memorable legacy that is worth celebrating nonetheless. Haywood gave us early '80s post-disco hits like "Don't Push It, Don't Force It" (all of you diehards over the age of 40 remember that one, admit it) and the timeless "She's A Bad Mama Jama," the smash million-selling tune he wrote and produced for the late Carl Carlton in 1981. Those two tunes alone don't qualify Haywood as a legend in music circles, but they're considered R&B staples of their day, especially "Mama Jama," which is included on many funk compilations and retro old-school playlists some 35 years after its initial popularity. But Haywood should also be remembered for the song that became his only top-40 pop hit as a singer: the sexy, slow-burning, "I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You" in 1975. That tune is notable for several reasons, not the least of which was the famous intro that was looped and sampled for Dr. Dre's "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" in 1993. That legendary rap hit introduced the world to Snoop Dogg and has been considered by some to be the best hip-hop song of the 1990s. But there's another reason Haywood's hit should be celebrated today. "I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You" introduced the pop radio market to a never-before-used (in music, that is) "F" word that has since been like a call to arms to the many who dare to self-identify with it: "Freak." That's right. In 1975, Leon Haywood flew his freak flag high before anyone ever thought about doing "Le Freak," getting their freak on, or hanging with "Super Freaks." Haywood incorporated the word "freak" in his song's title and watched it literally moan and slither its way to the upper portion of the charts (both R&B and pop), thus paving the way for other one-track-minded songs to grace popular music radio. Memorably, 1970s R&B was already well known for its subtle use of vague metaphors and innuendo when describing bedroom affairs, but Haywood left no doubt what he was referring to as he sang lyrics like "your love is like a mountain, I'd love to slide down into your canyon." To add to his "freakish" tendencies, Haywood sang of acrobatic prowess ("all twelve positions of the zodiac signs, I won't quit until I blow your mind"), embraced reckless abandon ("compatible or not, I'll hit the spot") and incorporated sexy female backing vocals, including one whose climactic moans you hear throughout the song, particularly during that famous "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang" intro. Those moans and others like 'em were becoming more commonplace during the decade, with prominent examples being Donna Summer ("Love to Love You Baby") and Major Harris ("Love Won't Let Me Wait"). But lyrically (excluding the moans of course), both those two tunes could still pull off a G rating - or at worst, a PG one. This was less so for Haywood, whose song's X-rated imagery was both vivid and inescapable (to wit, he sang "I'll put it where you want it, as long as you need it...I won't mistreat it"). Now, I doubt Haywood realized at the time just how revolutionary his only top-40 pop hit would become, but never before then had a song that celebrated being a "freak" wrapped itself around mainstream radio airwaves like his did (although I'd be willing to bet many stations likely banned the song during its height in popularity). Nevertheless, "I Want'a Do" was indeed revolutionary, and we've been getting our freak on - musically and otherwise - ever since. Today, the urban dictionary has an entry for "freak" that is more aligned with Haywood's thinking than the traditional definition found in Webster's. Of course, there's no evidence to suggest that Haywood should receive ALL the credit for that cultural shift, but it's certainly true that his 1975 soul classic was a game changer, one that made it okay to hear the word "freak" and it's various derivatives on American pop radio...for the first time in 1975, and in every year since. And, as his tune's lyrics would suggest, he did it "in the name of love with everything he had." So, as a celebration of Haywood's legacy, I've created the following countdown of the 15 most memorable "freaky" songs - with all eligible songs incorporating a variation of the word "freak" in their titles. It's a countdown you'll be tempted to play over and over again... To Leon Haywood: May you rest well. To the readers: I hope you enjoy the musical freak show that Haywood was instrumental in starting. And, as always, thanks for all the love and support of djrobblog.
So you want to make the switch to electric and you aren't looking back. Whatever the reason behind your decision, to save money, stop supporting big oil, or you are tired of the heavy influence oil has on our foreign policy, you want to buy a electric vehicle. And really who can blame you? Technology continues to push electric vehicles and improve performance and range with each passing year. There's now a bigger market for electric vehicles than ever before, as evidenced by many of the [new cars you can buy in 2015](http://list.ly/list/feX-ten-best-fuel-efficient-cars-of-2015). But many of the latest and greatest electric vehicles still have price tags that are more reflective of our technological limitations as opposed to anything else. The BMW and Mercedes-Benz entries into the Electric Vehicle (EV) segment are relatively affordable for electric vehicle standards, but still push the price break well above $40,000. If you want something like the Tesla Model S P85D, it's going to cost you well over six figures making it a pipe dream for most consumers. Technology is quickly catching up to the demand for an affordable electric vehicle, because over the past 12 months there's been several new entries to this segment. Combine this fact with the increases to federal and state rebates, and many of these new electric vehicles check in well under the $25,000 dollar mark. This list is comprised of the best 2015 electric vehicles that you can buy under $25,000 dollars. This list uses the federal and state rebates and any incentives to factor the price shown. Your state or region may have more or less tax rebates or incentives in place, make sure to check with your local regulatory laws as they pertain to electric vehicles.
A Tribute to "Friendship" There's nothing better in life than knowing you've got family and friends to share it with. It is my belief that when you have the unconditional love and support of the people around you, you can't help but succeed in life, no matter the obstacles! This blog is a testament to that, as well as the outpouring of love I experienced over the past ten days as I celebrated a milestone 50th birthday here in Chitown. It was truly overwhelming as many, many friends and family poured into downtown Chicago from places all over the country - and some from Canada - to help me celebrate. And those that couldn't be here were here in spirit. To all of you, I say thank you. Thank you for being a friend and showing me what true friendship really is. Not just for the great occasion this weekend, but throughout life. You've been there for me through it all and I can only hope that I've been half as good a friend to you as you have been to me. This article is dedicated to all of you. What you're about to experience is a countdown of the best "friendly" songs. This a compilation of the greatest songs to incorporate the word "friend" in their titles. I've picked 40 of the best, but I'm sure I've left out some. If you can think of more, feel free to comment and suggest them for possible addition. This djroblist is ranked based on primarily two criteria: 1) they're the songs I've loved over the years and/or 2) they struck a nerve with America based on how well they did nationally on Billboard's Hot 100 or R&B charts (or in some cases, the country chart). As a disclaimer, however, these are not ranked solely based on chart performance; there are songs on this list that didn't place highly (or at all in some cases) on Billboard's lists, and that's okay, they're still good! So please hold any comments suggesting otherwise. Now, without any further delay, here's the djroblist of the 40 Greatest "Friends" in Song...from #40 to #1!
The April 21st death of rock, soul and funk legend Prince at age 57 has left the music world in utter sadness, shock and disbelief. The suddenness of it and his young age makes it as hard or harder a pill to swallow as the losses of fellow icons like David Bowie, Whitney Houston or Michael Jackson. The outpouring of love for The Purple One in the three days since his death has been nothing short of phenomenal, whether it's been via social media, in dance-offs performed in city streets across the world, or on radio station (land, satellite and Internet-based) marathons of His Purple Highness' vast playlist of classic jams. You may even be listening to your own favorite Prince tunes as you read this, while trying to decide which ones you really liked better than the others. Tough choices, aren't they? Considering that the legacy Prince left behind is about as prolific a catalog of hits (and non-hits) as any artist's in modern history, on any given day your favorite Prince tune might change. In an era when artists, especially superstar ones, recorded an album every two or three years and then slowly milked it dry with lengthy singles promotional campaigns, the Purple One recorded an average of at least one album a year for a total of 39 between 1978 and 2015. You'd have hundreds of Prince jams from which to choose when deciding that favorite. By comparison, Michael Jackson only released six albums (not counting greatest hits compilations or the EP record, _Blood on The Dance Floor_) between 1979 and 2009 when he died, with two more released posthumously. In terms of sheer volume, no other contemporary pop artist can claim such an accomplishment as Prince's. Make no mistake though, Prince was able to flex his extensive creative muscle largely because of his immense popularity and success in the 1980s. Selling nearly 100 million records worldwide in that decade alone was enough to land him the large recording complex he called Paisley Park Studios, where much of his creative genius occurred. The artistic freedom he must have experienced in that studio - without the constraints of schedule pressure, booking fees and A&R people/record execs breathing down his neck - likely served as further inspiration for the man who crafted his art without boundaries. Prince's death comes at a time when we've hardly had time to grieve the others who've left us in this year of artists' reckoning. Preceding him in 2016 were fellow 20th-century legends like Glenn Frey, David Bowie, Maurice White and Merle Haggard. But remember him we will. And for me it continues with this third tribute djrobblog article: a special djroblist of the greatest Prince songs of the classic era, 1978 - 1996. To me there are basically three types of Prince fans: 1) ones that only know the popular singles or think his career began with _1999_ (or worse, _Purple Rain_!); 2) those that know everything from his heyday (1978 - 1996), including album cuts, B-sides, etc.; and 3) those that know and appreciate everything, all the way up to 2015's _HITnRUN_ albums. The djroblist that follows caters to those in the middle category - a sort of compromise if you will. It's a list of 57 songs - one for every full year that the man lived. I realize that only considering the first half of his nearly 40-year career is blasphemous to the truest Prince fans (the third type) out there, and this may leave some of you a bit dissatisfied. I even believe that some of those later songs are possibly better - from a quality standpoint - than what's included here. But I'll leave it to the Type 3s to create a countdown that includes stuff from his last 20 or so albums (post-1996's _Emancipation_), or provide comments and convince me to add them to this list. For now, the focus is the classic years and the songs that "brung 'em"...the ones for which we'll remember him most. So here they are, the 57 Best Songs by Prince - the Classic Years: 1978 - 1996.
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