What’s your excitement level for the return of ‘American Idol’?
American Idol is to me what that demon in The Exorcist was to Linda Blair. Every January, the show takes possession of my mind, body, and soul, makes my head spin uncontrollably, and fills my ears with loud, cacophonous sounds. (Oh, audition episodes, how you make me cringe!) Except, to paraphrase “Love Hangover”-era Diana Ross, I don’t need no cure. And I never will, not as long as there are undiscovered Fantasia Barrinos and Kelly Clarksons and Elliott Yamins left in the world.
Country Album Sales Dropped 16.3 Percent in 2007
Country albums in 2007 suffered a 16.3 percent dip in sales from those of a year before, falling from almost 75 million copies to just under 63 million, according to the annual compilation from Nielsen SoundScan.
It was the same bleak story in different shades of red for albums in all the other musical formats. Rap was down 30 percent, alternative 19 percent, rock 12 percent and Latin nearly 16 percent. Christian-gospel, classical, jazz, metal, new age, rhythm & blues and soundtracks all suffered substantial declines.
It was quite a good year, though, for the Eagles, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and a few other country acts.
Bride to be Katharine McPhee sings at FedEx Orange Bowl
Katharine McPhee gave her own special rendition of the National Anthem to help kick off the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl football game between Kansas University and Virginia Tech, at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida., Thursday, January 3.
Star magazine reports that the 23-year-old American Idol Season 5 runner up and fiancÃƒÆ’ ©, actor Nick Cokas, 42 have settled on a marriage date.
“They’re getting married in Los Angeles in February, ” the insider tells Star. “They’ve sent out pre-invites asking their friends to ‘save the date, ‘ and the actual invitations with all the information will be coming soon.”
Reality show remains ‹Idol of TV ratings
“American Idol, ” returning with a four-hour splash starting Jan. 15, seems to live in an alternate TV universe.
Other shows fret about fading fans and drooping ratings. “Idol” did decline a bit last season, but can shrug it off.
“If we lost 50 percent of our ratings, we’d still be the No. 1 show, ” producer Nigel Lythgoe says, exaggerating only slightly.
And as the effects of the writers’ strike grew, “Idol” seemed immune. “People say we’re going to have a bumper year, ” Lythgoe says.
Other shows fear that a reality overload will leave all shows seeming like rag-tag rejects. “Idol, ” however, has its place set: It was already No. 1, even when TV still had writers and scripts and choices.
CMT ‘Gone Country’ a celebrity fish out of water series
“Gone Country” premieres with a special one-hour episode on Friday, January 25 at 8:00 p.m. ‘ 9:00 p.m., ET/PT. Respective episodes will be half-hour shows; with the series finale running one-hour on Friday, March 7.
The players are Bobby Brown ‘ R&B singer, Carnie Wilson ‘ former member of Wilson Phillips; Dee Snider ‘ lead singer Twisted Sister; Diana DeGarmo ‘ ex American Idol finalist, 2004; Julio Iglesias, Jr. ‘ pop singer; Maureen McCormick ‘ Marsha Marsha Marsha from …The Brady Bunch; and SisqÃƒÆ’ ³ ‘ a former member of the group Dru Hill.
The non country artists are thrown into the crock-pot of country vocal training and styling; hats optional.
They get to perform with Nashville’ own redneck woman, Gretchen Wilson, and are steeped in a crash course of white-bread southern living and “activities.”
Bucky Covington Is Critic’s Choice
Critics remembered Bucky Covington fondly at the end of the year, as several selected his self-titled debut CD as a top country release for 2007.
Howard Cohen of the Miami Herald chose Bucky’s album as one of only four country CDs in the publication’s Top 100 Notable Happenings in 2007, calling it “the most heartfelt, honest CD to come out of the American Idol factory.” Bucky also made it into the top 10 of Mario Tarradell’s list of Top Country Discs for 2007 in the Dallas Morning News, where his album was described as a “worthy, honest, workingman’s country-by-way-of-Southern-rock CD.”
In addition, Bucky wrapped the year as Country Aircheck’s No. 1 New Artist for 2007, based on the strength of his Top 5 first single “A Different World” and his current hit, “It’s Good To Be Us.” Cumulatively, both singles earned more than 643 million audience impressions in 2007.
The Blender Bible ‘ January 2008
Instant pop omniscience ‘ and the 20 songs you should download this month.
18. …Keep Bleeding, Leona Lewis (J)
X-Factor champ belts (and hemorrhages) like hell.
17. …Break Another, Blake Lewis (Arista)
The argyle-lovin Idol calls out hit-and-run scuzzbags on his percolating funk-hop debut.
Kimberly Locke celebrated a big birthday last night!
The American Idol alum rang in her 30th at The Plumm in NYC. And she has plenty of reason to celebrate.
First, she got to snuggle up to Running With Scissors cutie Joseph Cross.
Secondly, her fab new single, Band of Gold, has just gone to #1 on the Billboard club play charts.
“A.I.” Reject Says It’s Raining Men — Hallelujah!
Kimberley Locke is angling to replace the girls we’ve grown to love on the party circuit. She was passed around like an hors d’oeuvres tray at the Plumm in NYC, where she celebrated her 30th b-day. Club owner Noel Ashman was among the gents cozying up to Kim.
Anwar Robinson back in the limelight in ‘Rent’
By the time he was 10, Robinson had been accepted to the Newark Boys Chorus School and had opportunities to learn, travel and hone his skills. That process continued at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, where Robinson earned his degree in music education. …My high school choral teacher encouraged me to audition for Westminster, which was her alma mater. Fortunately, my family has always been very supportive of my musical endeavors, and I’ll always be grateful for that.
Today, he is probably best known as the music teacher who skyrocketed to fame on Season 4 of …American Idol, landing a spot in the Top 10, and going on to travel with the …Idols” Live show. Paula Abdul touted Robinson as … … technically, the best singer of the competition.
LA Power Pop Girl Band Rocket To Tour With Horrorpops, Pink Spiders
In September of 2007, Rocket was named “one of the top ten bands in Los Angeles” by the editors of the L.A. Weekly. But by October 2007, they were already one of the top twelve unsigned bands in America, according to the Fox Television show “The Next Great American Band.” Rocket was not only the sole all-girl band in the competition, but also the only band with a female singer.
Lead-singer Lauren Rocket states, “The competition was one of the greatest experiences we’ve had in our two-years together. But after not touring for over five months, we are so happy to jump back in our van and play our hearts out.”
Several performances will be with the Horrorpops (Hellcat/Epitaph) and The Pink Spiders (Suretone/Geffen).