#DadAdvice…lessons taught through #PapaPope words

My dad is by far the best living man I have ever known- he is the standard for which all men are judged.  Some people say we look alike, have the same facial expressions, mannerisms, and blunt honesty.  So in honor of my dad and Father’s Day, I am giving a shout out to my favorite #PopStyle father… the one and only Mr. Eli Pope from the hit TV show #Scandal!!  I have compared my father to #PapaPope since he first appeared on the show in 2013.  And through the use of gifs and pics, you will see the #DadAdvice taught to me by my father, yet eloquently put by #PapaPope….. Enjoy!

Dont Fight the Law:  I tried to go up against my dad one time when I was 16…. 1 time… 1 time!!  Let’s just say I tried to fight the law, my life flashed before me, and the law (my dad) definitely won. 

pape pope 2
A Little Fear Has Never Hurt Anyone:  When I saw this pivotal scene in Scandal season 3, I was 100% positive of 2 things: 1)  I have had this conversation with my dad in some way, shape, or form  2) I believed that is #PapaPope’s  could be the hell and the high water, then so could my father.     hell-or-high-waterMy brother and I have always said that we were not chastised by our parents a lot because we lived under a “healthy sense of fear.”  And as a grown woman living 2 states away from her parents, I still live under that “healthy sense of fear.”  

Work For it!!: My dad is the epitome of hard work (borderline workaholic).  But his relentless determination to simultaneously be in self-practice as a medical doctor for 32 years, a full time pastor fpapa pope 4or 16 years, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a support system to others, as well as, be a professional body builder, amateur landscape artist, tap dance learning, Muay Thai instructing, grill master, and all other endeavors he sets his mind to do is beyond motivating and inspiring. Continue reading

How to Get Ready for a Beyonce Concert

Im going to the Beyonce #FormationWorldTour on tomorrow (Friday June 10th) in Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium with my diva ace/sister Arica.  And when I tell you I am STOKED!!!  I have been thinking about this concert for weeks!  It has kept me going through the 2nd half of my school semester!  Im about to be all #Yonced out!!  So here’s how I’ve been getting ready…

  1. GLOAT!!:  I randomly found a way to slip it in casual conversation that Im going to a Beyonce concert. For example, one said conversation went like this:

           Coworker Friend: Im so mad I cant go to Beyonce friday
           Me: Girl that concert is about to be lit!!  Im so excited!!
           Coworker:  (eye roll) (side eye) (overall hate look)
           Me: Sorry girl.  It probably wont be that good.  But then again it probably will. Shrug

2.  Outfit Selection:  I have gone through multiple outfit scenarios in my mind and have even tried some on.  My sister has sent 4 possible outfits herself for review. Shoot I even spent 2 hours at the mall looking for which Yonce I wanted to be!!  Do I wanna be Party Yonce?  Diva Yonce? XO Yonce?  Partition Yonce? Hold Up Yonce? Halo Yonce? 7/11 Yonce? Formation Yonce?  AAAAAHAHHHHHH!!!

3.  #Earworms and #Eargams:  Beyonce’s music has been on repeat all day and will continue to be so for the 48 hours (yes this means after the concert is over.  That way I can relive the moments on stage)

4.  Bye Family Pics:  I am known for running out of space on phone for having too many videos and pictures.  BUT NOT THIS TIME!!  I am erasing EVERY photo that could be deemed replaceable, unnecessary, bad lighting, or have “aquaintances” in the pic rather than real friends.  Sorry Charlie…. you’re out.. Beyonce is in!

5.  Glamourize yourself:  This stage cant take place until the day of the concert because it includes your hair style, nail polish game, accessory selection, and final outfit touches.  I’ll keep you posted on this.

So for all of you going to the concert, or have been, or will be going…. LET’S GET IN FORMATION!!!!

~Ashlee Dawne
#PopStyle #Beyonce #FormationWorldTour #Formation #Baltimore #Yonce
@PopStyleBlog on Twitter
@manifested55 on Instagram


#MusicCrushAlert: Latin Listens

Hey Hey PopStylers!!  I have been a little absent on the music front lately but this summer I plan on making my #MusicCrushAlert more consistent.  Last year around this time I dropped my first #MusicCrushMonday for Janelle Monae for her song of the Summer “Yoga.”   And today Im dropping my list of Latin Faves for #Summer16!!

I’ve been on a Latin music kick for a couple week now and I just cant shake!  Maybe it’s the bright sun, the start of summer, the desire to eat Tacos, the need to be on a beach, or the exuberant flood of memories it brings from my birthday weekend in Miami (see my Bday lessons from Kanye here)…. either way I love me some Latin music right now… and NO! I dont speak Spanish.  I know maybe 10 words.. and the rest I make up as I go along LOL.  So here are my top 6 Latin Listens for #Summer16… ENJOY!!!

  1. Marc Anthony “Vivir Mi Vida” (2013)MY NUMBER ONE LATIN JAM RIGHT NOW!!  It just makes me want to be on speedboat in the Caribbean with the wind my hair toasting to the love of life!!


2. Romeo Santos- “Odio” (2014)–  I love me some Bachata sound.  As a dancer I love the use of the hips and the romantic feel the dance evokes.   Even though
the song is a message of spite and pinning for lost love, I find it sultry and seductive… guess that shows my current love life

3.  Ricky Martin “La Mordidita” (2015)Have you ever had that one song that just forced you to move and shake them non-lying hips like Shakira??  Well this is the song for me.  Welcome Back Ricky!

4.  Enrique Iglesias ft Wisin- “Duele Le Corazon” (2016)The latest release from early 2000 sensation Enrique Iglesias mwisinaking me wish to be at a latin club on a hot friday night!

5.Wisin ft. Ricky Martin- “Que Se Sienta El Deseo” (2015)Another popular dance song for me to groove to on the dance floor!

6.  Prince Royce “Back It Up” –  This song is just a good reggaeton dance song… sound the horns!!

Til next time, Keep it #PopStyle and enjoy these #LatinListens at the start of #Summer16

~Ashlee Dawne
@PopStyleBlog on Twitter
@manifested55 on Instagram
#PopStyle #MusicCrushAlert #LatinListens #Latinmusic #Summer16



Billboard Awards- My 1 Year Anniversary!!

Updated 11:46pm 5/22****I got 8 out of 36 predictions correct….. I am judging myself…. Im most proud of choosing the Top Latin Song correctly though!!  haha til next year!!!


Tonight will mark the 1 year anniversary of the launch of http://www.popstyleblog.com!!!  In May of 2015, I set my sights on writing my first blog post about the Billboard Music Awards and ever since I’ve been writing, commenting, and posting about various things in Pop Culture.  Anybody who knows me knows I am a lover of all things music…. I cant get enough of music award shows so tonight right up my alley.  And the fact it marks 1 year of this new journey is even more exciting!!!

Top Artist: Wrong again
Adele                Justin Bieber                  Drake            Taylor Swift              The Weeknd

Top New Artist: FINALLY I GOT 1 RIGHT!!!
Fetty Wap           OMI         Charlie Puth                  Silentó                    Bryson Tiller

Top Male Artist:  Damn… mixed it up with The Weeknd.. But I stand behind both picks
Justin Bieber             Drake                    Fetty Wap                    Ed Sheeran                   The Weeknd

Top Female Artist:  I really think Selena had a stand out year… shrug
Adele           Selena Gomez                     Ariana Grande                  Rihanna                  Taylor Swift

Top Duo/Group:
Maroon 5              One Direction          twenty one pilots              The Rolling Stones           U2

Top Billboard 200 Artist:
Adele            Justin Bieber                 Drake                     Taylor Swift                       The Weeknd

Top Hot 100 Artist: I can get with this even though I was wrong
Justin Bieber
               Drake               Fetty Wap                  Taylor Swift                      The Weeknd

Top Song Sales Artist: #2 right!
Adele               Justin Bieber                 Drake                        Fetty Wap                      The Weeknd

Top Radio Songs Artist:
Justin Bieber                Ellie Goulding              Ed Sheeran            Taylor Swift         The Weeknd

Top Streaming Songs Artist:
Justin Bieber                 Drake                         Fetty Wap                 Silentó                  The Weeknd

Top Social Media Artist:
Justin Bieber               Selena Gomez               Ariana Grande          Demi Lovato      Taylor Swift

Top Touring Artist:
Madonna                       One Direction               The Rolling Stones               Taylor Swift          U2

Top R&B Artist:
Chris Brown                     Jeremih                   Rihanna              Bryson Tiller              The Weeknd

Top Rap Artist:
Drake            Fetty Wap                Future                Wiz Khalifa                        Silentó

Top Rock Artist: #3!!
Fall Out Boy                Elle King          twenty one pilots        Walk the Moon         X Ambassadors
Continue reading

“Formation”-tap dance cover by Syncopated Ladies

Beyonce is no stranger to having her songs choreographed too and used for performances, but rarely is there a dance cover that showcase TAP DANCE!!!  Yes!!  FINALLY!!  Tap dancers showing their unique skill, hardwork, musicality, entertainment quality, and value in this world of hip hop covers.  (granted I love the hip hop covers, but can a tap dancer like myself get some love?)  So I present the viral video of Syncopated Ladies cover of “Formation.”


This video went so viral about 2 months ago that Syncopated Ladies were even asked to perform on Good Morning America AND perform in London for the debut of Beyonce’s activewear line Blue Ivy at Top Shop.  I guess it’s better late than never for people to see the worth of tap dancing.  Til next time… Keep it #PopStyle

~Ashlee Dawne
Twitter: @PopStyleBlog
Instagram :@manifested55

I salute my #PopMoms on Mother’s Day

The world just celebrated Mother’s Day ….. so happy belated Mother’s Day!!  I honored my own mother through a card, a prayer, a facebook/instagram post, a phone call, and some well wishes (I’ll make it up to her I swear).  All mothers are deserving of our love and honor…. and this is not to exclude those women who have also had a hand in raising, shaping, supporting, encouraging, and inspiring us along the way that may not be related to us.  So we salute the mothers, grandmothers, best friends, aunties, sisters, teachers, mentors….. and here at PopStyleBlog.com I also honor the #PopMoms who have done all those things as well.

I have a few #PopMoms.. NONE of which will EVER replace my real mother (please understand my mom is the best one out there)…. but I wouldn’t feel right without giving them some kind of shout out.  So here’s to:


  1.  Lady Gaga (duh) aka Mother Monster …..for her fearless and courageous perspective on living life as her authentic self.  You inspire me to be brave and bold and also be authentically me.  You are my ultimate pop culture mother figure because I am your Little Monster!!  I am a #Monster4Life because of you and I thank you for giving me a a place to belong.
  2. debbie-allen1Debbie Allen for being an example of black dance, theatrical production, creative endeavors, and humble talent.  You motivate me to take my gift of dance to another level and provide avenues for other children to experience dance the way I have.

  3. Britney Spears.… yes… Britney Spears.  I’ve been a fan since 1998 and I continued to be a fan even through your dark days and times.  But your will to get help and get healthy for the sake of your family anbritneyd overall happiness, and then your pursuit to get back to your art of performing and creating encourages me in my dark times.  We all go through them… but you are an example that you can come out better than you were before.  You betta work Brit!
  4. Angela Bassett…. you are the inspiration for of my body goals!!!  You carry yourself with poise, grace, elegance, and strength that you comAngela+Bassett+Dresses+Skirts+One+Shoulder+r6nf4N_N7d6xmand the room/red carpet/screen whenever you arrive.  Thank you for showing everyone that strength, physical health, beauty, and brains are not only achievable but admired.

  5. Gwen Stefgwenani…. I just think you are probably one of the coolest mom’s I would ever meet.  You have been my #1 girl crush since I secretly started to listen to No Doubt back in high school.  I’ve admired your femininity mixed with your “hang with the boys” confidence.  You know how to rock a runway while remaining chill, cool, vibrant, and down to earth. Thank you showing us girls that we can be one of the boys but still remain a girl.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!! And happy Mother’s Day to my #PopMoms!!  Without them, I would have missing pieces.  Thank you for filling in those parts of me that my real mother whole heartedly and fully supports in her daughter.  LOVE YOU MOMMY!!!  Til next time…. keep it #PopStyle!!

~Ashlee Dawne
Twitter: @PopStyleBlog
Instagram: @manifested55
#PopStyle #Monster4Life #PopMoms

Prince Died-“R U Ok?”

It was 1:20pm on Thursday April 21, 2016 when I saw a text message notification on my phone.  I opened it and my brother had sent me a screenshot of this…..

I screamed out loud.  Mind you, I am a high school teacher and students were still in the classroom.  Here is how the immediate moments played out:

Me:  Drops phone on counter:: opens laptop and scrolls through my twitter @PopStyleBlog account
Student A:  “Are you ok?”
Me: Shakes head slowly as my mouth gaps open… mumbling to myself “Oh my gosh!”
Student B: “Ms. McKinnon are you ok?”
Me: Picks up cell phone and says under my breath “I have to text Khristi.”
Students: (Whispering) “I think she got bad news guys.”
Me: texting best friend Khristi-  “R u Ok?”
Student A:  “Ms. McKinnon what happened? Are u ok”



“What? Oh sorry guys. But Prince died!”

Students: “Who?”
Me: “Prince….. the singer!”
Students: “Oh… the old guy with the hair?”




RIP Prince Rogers Nelson.  The doves in heaven and earth  are crying for you.  (1958-2016) #PopStyle
~Ashlee Dawne

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LADY GAGA!! 8 reasons you are my inspiration!!

TODAY IS THE ONE, THE ONLY LADY GAGA’S BIRTHDAY!!!!!!  The Queen of Pop, the Mother of Monsters, the ArtPop Innovator herself is turning the big 3-0!!  First let me start gaga venusby wishing my artistic muse and inspiration a happy happy and blessed birthday today!!

As many of you know, I am a huge Lady Gaga fan, follower, lover, advocate, and all around stan…. like a big one!!!  I own so many t-shirts with her face on it, my students and coworkers think I’m a walking cliche!!  I go off on tangents with family, friends, coworkers, students, and strangers on just how wonderful she is and what she means to me.  I cant help myself!!  I’m a Little Monster to the core (the name of her fans) and I AM PROUD OF IT!!!  So in honor of her birthday today…. I want to list 8 reasons why I love her so much. This will certainly answer the question “Why do you like her so much?”87th Annual Academy Awards - Show

  1. Getting technical training in your art form is necessary….. Gaga studied voice and piano at NYU and continues to use her training to confound the foolish…. As a dance
    r, some people don’t see the validity to traditional training… it builds our foundation as artists!!
  2. Family support for your artistic decisions are necessary…. I am very close with my family and as much headache and confusion I’m sure I’ve put them through pursuing dance in college and refusing to find a career path that did not involve it (even to this day), I appreciate them so much for supporting my artistic journey.
  3. Using yourself as motivation is enough…. She was quoted in Rolling Stone magazine in 2010 as saying “When I wake up in the morning, I feel like any other insecure 24-year-old girl. Then I say,’Bitch, you’re Lady Gaga, you get up and walk the walk today.”  If a super star like her can look within herself to draw motivation for the day. then surely I am good enough to draw motivation from myself too.
  4. She uses her passion and calling to help others…. As a teacher, I know I am called to help the younger generation, to expose them new experiences, ways of thinking, perspective, challenges, and triumphs.  As a dance teacher, I use my passion and art to make that happen.  I may not have a foundation like the Born This Way Foundation, but I definitely know that my art and calling is not just for me.
  5. Lady Gaga is not afraid to take risks…. I was the spontaneous child who would do anything for the thrill of it.  I lived life like I did not have any limitations or restrictions.  The more structured I became, the more confined I felt.  I need to take risks to feel free… to feel like me.lady gaga
  6. She’s not afraid to show the world another side of her… Many people, especially in the past year, have felt Gaga is “moving away from” or “shedding” her old self to be more refined and classy.  But that’s not true!  She’s simply showing the world another side of herself that they refused to see before… I want to keep the world guessing… I want to keep revealing new levels, aspects, and depths to who I am… There is more to me than what you see.
  7. Lady Gaga speaks her truth, whether it’s accepted and or not…. One thing I admire the most about her is that she speaks from her experiences and her experiences only.  She does not try to emulate others or claim others’ stories… she uses her own feelings, stories, memories, experiences, etc to tell her story.  I admire her vulnerability to be that open and free so thhttp://gagaimages.orgat others may hear her truth.
  8. She’s unapologetically secure in the fact that she is supposed to be her EXACTLY THE WAY SHE IS!!!  Many times I think to myself “I’m awesome”  and I mean it.  I am!!  My parents raised me to feel confident and secure and instilled in me a mindset that I can do ANYTHING that I believe I can or should do.  To see someone else live out that persona of being “Unapologetically Me” is inspirational, motivated, and confirms that I too should continue to be no one else than Ashlee!

There is plenty more I could write but it would turn into a book. HAHA  So until next time…. keep it #PopStyle.  AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY LADY GAGA!!!!

~Ashlee Dawne
@PopStyleBlog on Twitter
@manifested55 on Instagram

An Ode to Artistry: Grammy Night Recap- 2016

This year’s Grammys were alot less fanfare than usual.  Granted there were twice as many performances as there were awards actually handed out…. but the level of artistry was so on point this year, rather than the hype of entertainment which plagues and runs the music industry nowadays.

As a self proclaimed lover of pop music and pop culture, I am not above a good time!  I love being entertained and hate when I dont get that “YYYAAAAASSSSS” feeling when something is going on.  But as an artist (#dancerlife), I love to see art do its magic.  Art is its most beautiful, pure, and poignant self when it just speaks from within.  Langston Hughes said “An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.”  This quote sums up the many different performances and tributes that were done on the Grammy Stage last night. My top 5 are….

  1. alabama-shakes-glasses102-13 Alabama Shakes “Don’t Wanna Fight”  A bluesy, soulful, southern Rock group.
    They won Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Alternative Music Album…. Check out “Sound and Color” please!!
  2. Kendrick Lamar’s performance- Africa is Compton!!
    K Dot ripped into the ear drums and retinas of America with his passionately charged rendition of Blacker the Berry, Alright, and To Pimp a Bukendrick-lamar-grammys-performancetterfly.  He visually captivated the audience in the room and at home with his unapologetically Black references (Prison pipeline, African Dance).  He also took home Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance, Best Music Video with Taylor Swift, and Best Rap Album
  3. Lady Gaga’s tribute to the legendary David Bowiegaga as bowie
    She didn’t present and she lost the 1 category she was nominated in… but she really only came to the Grammy’s tonight to honor one of her musical icons Mr. David Bowie.  She was the ONLY person who would able to pull off such a tribute with such honesty, authenticity, and integrity.  Infusing fashion, dance, technology, graphics, and more, Lady Gaga seared the memory of David Bowie into all of our minds.  Gaga, Bowie would be proud- We Salute You.
  4. Tori Kelly and James Bay– Two Best New Artists Nominees with Timeless Talent.  These 2 nominees sang together in their performance- 2 microphones, 2 acoustic guitars, 2 voices….1 soon to be (fingers crossed) duet album!!  Take a listen below and prepared to be amazed…
  5. Andra Day-  The Voice of an Angel andra day
    Andra shared the stage with Ellie Golding, which honestly she should not have had to do.  Andra outshined Ellie in every way…. presence, range, power, passion, ability to touch the heart and inspire.  Andra Day is a voice not to fall on deaf ears.  Listen to the performance as it will pierce your eardrum and run straight to your heart.


    That’s it for this year’s Grammy Awards!  Hope you enjoyed the artistry, messages, and return to musicianship.  And til next time, keep it #PopStyle!!!

~Ashlee Dawne
@PopStyleBlog on Twitter
@manifested55 on Instagram
Follow me on Spotify!!  

58th Annual Grammy Awards Tonight!!!

*THE ONES I GOT RIGHT ARE BOLDED!  I got 12 out of 20 correct!!!  I know my music!!

Hey PopStylers!!!  Tonight is the 58th Grammy Award Show!!  If you know me, then you know that the Grammys are my show!!  I LIVE for the MUSIC and the PERFORMERS and the ACTION of this show!! And of course my #1 artistic muse and boo thang Lady Gaga is performing and nominated so I am excited!!

Here are my predictions for some of the bigger categories winners and should be winners….. Granted I dont know some of the nominees in the categories (like Country, music for film) but that’s not gonna stop me from predicting a winner haha

1. RECORD OF THE YEAR:   Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars
2. ALBUM OF THE YEAR: This is a tough one because Ive recently gotten into “Sound and Color” by Alabama Shakes.  But Im gonna say the winner is “1989” by Taylor Swift
3. SONG OF THE YEAR:  “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar HANDS DOWN!!  This was the anthem of the summer and the anthem of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.  FTW!! I even posted about this back in June 2015….MusicCrushMonday- Kendrick Lamar June 2015
tori kelly

Tori Kelly…. a sincere, genuine, authentic artist with real talent… This what I wrote about her back in June 2015  
5.  BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE: “Thinking Out Loud” Ed Sheeran.  This video is gorgeous!!
6. BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE:  It comes down to 3 nominees in this category… I think Kendrick Lamar should be recognized for his duo with Taylor Swift, but it’ll probably go to Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth for “See You Again”…. can we say heart strings??  (MISS YOU Paul Walker!!)
7. BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM:  1989 by Taylor Swift

8. BEST DANCE RECORDING: Where Are Ü Now by Skrillex And Diplo With Justin Bieber


9. BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE: Don’t Wanna Fight by Alabama Shakes…. this group is growing on me strong

10. BEST ROCK ALBUM:  I like the sound of Muse… I’ll give it to Muse

11. BEST R&B PERFORMANCE: Rise Up by Andra Day is the epitome of what real R&B should sound like!!  Dear God please let her win this and reclaim R&B!!!
12. BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM: I love me some Canadian Weeknd…. so I choose Beauty Behind The Madness by The Weeknd  He was my Music Crush Monday post in July 2015
13. BEST R&B ALBUM: Jazmine Sullivan came back with a strong alum after years of being gone from music scene….
14. BEST RAP PERFORMANCE:  Even President Obama referenced these lyrics with his “pop off” comment….Back To Back  by Drake FTW!
15. BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION:  I feel like I should say Glory, but Im gonna say “These Walls” instead… it’s a nice sound for Kendrick Lamar

16. BEST RAP SONG: Once again…. Alright by Kendrick Lamar FTW!!  Even though Trap Queen will never get old….

17. BEST RAP ALBUM:  THIS IS TOUGH!!!  3 way tie between Drake, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar… sorry I cant choose!  (We sort of)
18. BEST COUNTRY DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE: I dont know country music like that anymore… but I LOVE the song “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town… FTW!!!
87th Annual Academy Awards - Show

HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 22: Lady Gaga performs onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

19. BEST SONG WRITTEN FOR VISUAL MEDIA:  Ummm… this is my boo’s category…. so clearly Im voting for Lady Gaga because well…. she deserves it and she’s amazing and this song is about rape…. talent and an activist… visually captivating message and lyrically informing… FTW!!!  Til It Happens To You by Lady Gaga & Diane Warren, songwriters (Lady Gaga)

20. BEST MUSIC VIDEO: “Alright”  by Kendrick Lamar   Watch it!
Hope to see you on social media tonight… 8pm on CBS!!  And til next time…. Keep it #Popstyle!!!
~Ashlee Dawne
@Popstyleblog on Twitter
@manifested55 on Instagram