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2014 MTV Music Video Award Nominees

With the live broadcast show set to take place on August 24 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards nominations have been announced, with Beyoncé leading the field with eight nominations, including for the coveted Video of the Year for Drunk in Love. The superstar's other nominations include Best Female Video for Partition; Best Collaboration (featuring Jay-Z) for Drunk in Love; Best Direction for Pretty Hurts; Best Choreography for Pretty Hurts, and Best Video with a Social Message for Pretty Hurts. Eminem and Iggy Azalea follow close on Beyoncé's heels with several nominations each. Other artists with multiple nominations include Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, Ariana Grande, Lorde, Pitbull, Zedd and Hayley Williams.

In addition to Beyoncé, nominees in the Video of the Year category include Iggy Azalea (featuring Charli XCX) for Fancy; Miley Cyrus for Wrecking Ball; Sia for Chandelier; and Pharrell Williams for Happy.

In the Artist to Watch category of the MTV Music Video Awards are 5 Seconds of Summer with She Looks So Perfect; Charli XCX with Boom Clap; Schoolboy Q with Man of the Year; Sam Smith with Stay with Me; and Fifth Harmony with Miss Movin' On.

Born Charlotte Emma Aitchison on 2 August 1992 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Charli XCX started writing songs at the age of fourteen and recorded her debut album, entitled 14 in 2007. Although the album, which was financed by a loan from her parents, was never released commercially, two singles from the album - Emelline/Art Bitch and !Franchesckaar! - were released under Orgy Music in late 2008. She has featured on songs by other artists, including Iggy Azalea's Fancy, written songs for other artists and released some singles through her website. Her album True Romance enjoyed some success and her single Boom Clap peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Charli XCX is reportedly working on a new studio album, which no doubt her growing fanbase is looking forward to.

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Spotlight on The Monkees

Backed by a seven piece band, The Monkees recently entertained fans at The Paramount in Huntington, Long Island, confirming that they still have the star quality that put them in the spotlight in the 1960s. Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork opened their set with their ageless hit Last Train to Clarksville with scenes from the television series that started it all showing on a big screen as a backdrop. Other songs featured in the live concert included Papa Gene's Blues, Your Auntie Grizelda, The Kind of Girl I Could Love, I’m a Believer, Mary, Mary and Sweet Young Thing. The band paid tribute to Davy Jones, who passed away in February 2012, with a soulful rendition of Shades of Grey.

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The Musical Heritage of Gerry Goffin

While performing artists and musicians are often in the limelight, songwriters are sometimes forgotten or receive only some of the reflected glory. The recent passing of Gerry Goffin at the age of 75 has reminded music-lovers of the many songs he penned, either solo or with his first partner Carole King and other songwriters. Husband and wife from 1959 to 1968, the duo were honored for their contribution to music by being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Following their divorce, Goffin and King continued to write chart-topping songs together for some time, and he also collaborated with other songwriters, including Russ Titelman, Barry Mann, Barry Goldberg and Michael Masser.

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