Starting Point Playlist — Tuesday, February 28, 2012


From Soledad's playlist today comes Nicki Minaj's current single "Starships." The singer's recent Grammy performance raised some eyebrows but it paid off: "Starships" debuted in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100.
CNN correspondent Jennifer Rogers played Dolly Parton's "9 to 5," the title song to her hit 1980 movie. Parton has received much media attention lately after the death of Whitney Houston as she originally wrote and released "I Will Always Love You," which Houston later covered with massive success.
Television commentator and Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill's pick this morning was Luther Vandross's 1981 classic "Never Too Much." The song can be recognized for its notable media appearances, including WKRP In Cincinnati and the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
    "To All The Girls I've Loved Before," CNN Contributor Will Cain's playlist pick, was a big country hit for Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias in 1984. The song is credited with helping Iglesias break into the English-speaking market, where he has paved the way for dozens of Latino artists, including his son, Enrique.
    Usher's 2010 smash "OMG" was Soledad's second playlist pick today. The song was a milestone in Usher's career as it brought him into a very exclusive club: having had a Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper in three different decades. The only other artists to have accomplished this feat are Britney Spears (like Usher, in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s), Janet Jackson & Madonna ('80s, '90s and '00s) and Stevie Wonder ('60s, '70s and '80s).
    A few additional artists have accomplished having three number ones in three decades under different names. Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison all had number one hits together as The Beatles in the '60s and in their individual solo careers in the '70s and '80s. Following that same pattern, Diana Ross hit number one as both a member of The Supremes and solo. Likewise, Cher hit number one as part of Sonny and Cher in the '60s, and had solo chart toppers in the '70s and '90s.
    "Where the Green Grass Grows" by Tim McGraw was Will Cain's next playlist pick this morning. McGraw has been omnipresent in media over the last twenty years. He is married to fellow county superstar Faith Hill, has acted in films such as the Academy Award-winning hit The Blind Side, and has even been the topic of other artists' hits, such as Taylor Swift's debut single, "Tim McGraw".
    Will Cain also picked Whitesnake's 1982 smash hit "Here I Go Again." The song,  written by Whitesnake lead singer David Coverdale, was just one phase in his long career. He had previously played with Deep Purple (known for hits such as "Smoke On The Water") and has had success both as a solo artist and in collaborations with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.
      Paolo Nutini, the young Scottish singer-songwriter, also made Cain's playlist with "Jenny Don't Be Hasty." Nutini was one of the final artists signed to Atlantic Records during legendary founder Ahmet Ertegun's lifetime. Nutini later performed at the 2007 tribute concert to Ertegun, which was headlined by a reunited Led Zeppelin.
      Finally, another pick from Soledad's playlist today was Bruno Mars' recent hit "Runaway Baby." Mars has experienced success as a singer and also as a songwriter, writing and co-writing hits for other artists such as "Right Round" by Flo Rida featuring Ke$ha and "Forget You" by CeeLo.