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The 5 best music videos of 2014

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Over the past few decades, music videos have gone from promotional larks to a nascent cable network’s cornerstones to relics of an old promotional strategy to perhaps the single most important element of an artist’s rollout plan. A good music video can completely make an artist, or turn a song from a mild hit into a phenomenon. And since most of the Billboard charts now take streaming numbers into account when making calculations, a well-watched clip can be the difference between a write-off on your business expenses and chart dominance.

This was a pretty excellent year for music videos. Though there are only five picks below, they were culled from a list of several dozen, many of which served not only as vessels for excellent songs but also as gripping short films.  READ FULL STORY

Hear Odesza's brand-new remix of Grammy nominee Sia's 'Big Girls Cry'

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Singer, songwriter, and (as of Friday morning) three-time Grammy nominee Sia has two primary musical modes she tends to stick to: cathartic dance pop like her breakout single “Chandelier” and brooding power ballads like “Pretty Hurts” (which she wrote with Beyoncé). The album version of “Big Girls Cry,” from her 1000 Forms of Fear, is firmly of the second sort, but for a new official remix the rising EDM production duo ODESZA strips away the song’s angst and replaces it with the low-key but rave-able energy that they’ve made their trademark.

EW has an exclusive first listen.

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Blood Orange releases wonderfully sad remix of Sia's 'Chandelier'

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Dev Hynes, better known as avant-R&B genius Blood Orange, has been lying low since suffering a catastrophic apartment fire back in the winter. But he’s been starting to regain some of the momentum that last November’s Cupid Deluxe album had begun to generate. He’s been getting back to releasing his series of consistently entertaining videos for Cupid Deluxe tracks.

Now, he’s released a radically deconstructed remix of Sia’s summer jam “Chandelier” that strips the song of its triumphal arena rock swagger and, well, pretty much everything else, which he’s replaced with his own vocals, a twitchy drum part, and a tasteful thumb piano part. In the process he’s remade one of the most inspirational get-pumped anthems of the year into an anxiety-ridden slow jam, stripping Sia’s chorus from its surroundings to let it hang almost unadorned in a way that transmutes its YOLO-ness into something starkly desperate. It does the exact opposite of the original, but it’s just as compelling.

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Listen to Jay-Z's 'The Great Gatsby' soundtrack sampler, featuring Fergie, Lana Del Rey, Jack White and more

No matter how The Great Gatsby does at the box office when it finally arrives in theaters next month, it’s eclectic, star-studded soundtrack is already a newsmaker.

Curated by Jay-Z, the Gatsby soundtrack includes tracks by Jay himself, Beyoncé, Jack White, Fergie, Sia, Lana Del Rey, the xx and more. Twelve of the 14 total core tracks are currently available in snippet form on YouTube, which you can stream below.

Highlights include Florence Welch wailing on the track “Over the Love” and the swing version of Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” delivered by Emeli Sandé.

There’s also the already-released “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” by Fergie, Q-Tip, and GoonRock, which must be ironically titled given the fate of one Gatsby‘s main characters.

Listen to these, as well as Jack White’s cover of U2’s “Love Is Blindness” (as featured in the trailer to the film), a spin below: READ FULL STORY

Sia does 'Diamonds,' which she wrote for Rihanna: Watch the video here

Rihanna is having a solid week, which means Sia Furler is too.

As you probably know, the Australian singer and songsmith actually wrote and produced Rihanna’s top Unapologetic single “Diamonds,” and now she’s actually singing the thing herself. She, along with Stargate, performed the No. 1 song at yesterday’s Norweigan-American Achievement Award ceremony in New York. (Stargate, it should be noted, was the night’s honoree.)

Sia, of course, has been on quite the streak lately, lending her talents to successful singles like Flo Rida’s “Whistle” and David Guetta’s “Titanium,” both of which also made the top ten of Billboard’s Hot 100.

Take a listen to Sia’s “Diamonds” rendition in the video below and let us know how you think it compares to Rihanna’s: READ FULL STORY

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