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Spotlight in Stereo – Valentine’s Day Duel!

February 14, 2024

It’s the most romantic day of the year if you’re happily in love. If you’re not, then it’s quite possibly the most tedious, lonely and depressing one on the calendar. Ever the diplomats, here in the Spotlight Office we want to include all our colleagues in the celebrations and commiserations, so we created two Valentine’s playlists; one for Everybody In Love and another for those who are Single.  

Be My Valentine

George Michael – Careless Whisper

With its sensual opening refrain, this song oozes romance. Ironically, George explained in later years that he came up with the melody while rather unsexily boarding a local bus. Released in 1984, the track was a co-write between George and his WHAM! partner Andrew Ridgeley. The track went to number one in the UK and US and has surely been played around the world on February 14th for the past thirty years. 

Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You

Originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton, Whitney’s version for the 1992 movie The Bodyguard has overtaken its predecessor. It spent fourteen weeks at the top of the US chart and won Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at that year’s Grammys. Not only is this monster ballad an international hit, it’s also the perfect way to soundtrack any special moment this month.

Billy Joel – She’s Always a Woman

Taken from his 1977 album The Stranger, this romantic classic has surely accompanied many special moments over the years. US singer P!NK famously walked down the aisle to it, while a cover by Fyfe Dangerfield was made infamous by an emotive John Lewis advert in 2010. No matter what moment in life you’re at, this song is the perfect companion. 

Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This

Penned by legendary songwriter Diane Warren, this 2014 single by Paloma Faith is an epic piece of balladry delving into the raw emotions that only romance can inflict. In recent years, the song has found a new audience around the world after going viral on platforms like TikTok, so everyone can create their own heartrending montage. 

JLS – Everybody in Love

The demo for this 2009 hit was sent to JLS’ Marvin Humes as a present on his 24th birthday. To this day, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. A euphoric cut of heartbeat pop, it became the group’s second UK number one where it’s also been certified platinum. So if you’re in love, put your hands up and press play on this instant hit.

Don’t Mention the V Word

Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone

This 2004 hit embodies strength and empowerment. A ferocious cut of pop-rock, it was a top ten hit in the US and the UK, and won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance making Kelly the first American Idol alum to earn one of the esteemed trophies. An anthem for independence, it’s the perfect antidote to Valentine’s Day schmaltz. 

Natasha Bedingfield – Single

“No I don’t need another half to make me whole,” sings Natasha on her debut single, Single. Released in 2004 as the first track from her Unwritten album, it was a statement of independence and intent. A top five hit in the UK, it remains one of her most popular songs to date, and just goes to prove that a lot of us agree with Natasha’s self-sufficient assertion. 

P!NK – Blow Me (One Last Kiss)

A departure sealed with a kiss, P!NK’s 2012 hit is an adamant ode to the liberation of singledom. Taken from her sixth album, the aptly titled The Truth About Love, and co-written with longtime collaborator Greg Kurstin, the track celebrates in its defiance. Talking to Australia’s Today Show about the song, P!NK said, “I can picture everyone extremely drunk dancing late at night together.” If you haven’t made plans for the 14th yet, you know what to do. 

*NSYNC- Bye Bye Bye

Another breakup-inspired anthem for those recently singled, Bye Bye Bye is all about self-respect. “Don’t want to be a fool for you,” asserts our protagonist before walking out the door and into a rush of bombastic defiance. Released in 2000 as the lead single from *NSYNC’s third record No Strings Attached, the album became the best-selling record of the decade in the US. How’s that for an exit? 

TLC – No Scrubs

Scrub; A guy who mooches off of everyone else and has nothing going for him in life. This TLC’s classic not only popularised the term, but created an anthem for those who value their standards. The lead single from their third record, the seminal FanMail, No Scrubs was a number one in the US and to this day, has become a statement of self-worth and confidence for anyone living their best single life.

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