Today Idol headlines after the jump ¦
Boiler Room gets help from Doolittle
American Idol finalist and Brentwood resident Melinda Doolittle belts it out for Boiler Room Theatre during Melinda Doolittle and Friends, a one-night-only benefit concert tonight….
Sparks to release album Nov. 20
….Working with 19 Recordings (and Jive Records) has its good side and bad.
The company, part of British entertainment wizard Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment, has the marketing power to get Idol alumni like Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken on the radio. But if an artist doesn’t have a clear artistic vision, his or her identity can get lost in the Idol machinery.
At age 17, Sparks has been wisely steered toward a style that samples pop and R&B sounds.
Sparks shows that she can muster up a soulful edge that sounds mature beyond her years on the CD’s debut single, Tattoo. An appealing song with an anthemlike chorus, Tattoo is the CD’s first single for a reason: It is hands-down the strongest of the album’s 13 tracks, which include a new “bonus” version of This Is My Now, performed on the Idol finale in May.
While there is really no other track here to rival Tattoo, there are several songs that show the promise that Sparks’ career holds….
LI market primed for Wachovia?
….By contrast, Wachovia entered the New York market in 2003 by holding a press conference to celebrate the opening of two Manhattan branches. On hand for the big moment were Mayor Mike Bloomberg and American Idol star Clay Aiken.
…Clay Aiken? Loomis asked.
Catching up with Elliott Yamin
For Elliott Yamin, ‘Idol’ fans are golden
….On his 10-day visit this fall to the Philippines:
“It was great, to go halfway around the world and see how much love and support is out there. I was blown away by how much they know my music. They’re very keen on ‘American Idol.’ They’re 10 times more fanatical than people here . . . [We were there for] a music tour. We did five acoustic shows to help promote my record. My song [‘Wait For You’] and video have been No. 1 over there for weeks and weeks and weeks . . . It was really awesome, man. Probably the best shows I’ve ever had in my life.
On how he’s adjusted to his new lifestyle and schedule:….
New Musical Ray Charles Live!, Starring Dixon, Opens Nov. 9 in Pasadena
….The cast also features Matthew Benjamin (The Hat Left Behind) as Tom Dowd, Aaron Brown (Pepito’s Story) and Christopher Brown (“Christmas Everyday”) as Little George, Yvette Cason (Play On!) as Retha Robinson, Wilkie Ferguson (Dreamgirls tour) as Young Ray, Maceo Oliver (Swing!) as Joe Adams, Jeremiah Whitfield-Pearson (Oliver) as Little Ray, Sabrina Sloan (Hairspray and “American Idol”) as Margie Hendricks, Daniel Tatar (Baby) as Ahmet Ertegun, Angela Teek (Ragtime) as Mary Ann Fisher and Harrison White (Sister Act, The Musical) as Jeff Brown….
COWELL: ‘SPEARS IS ENJOYING CONTROVERSY’
Music mogul SIMON COWELL is convinced BRITNEY SPEARS is enjoying the controversy surrounding her current legal troubles.
The American Idol judge believes Spears deliberately courts photographers, and loves being at the centre of attention as she battles her ex-husband Kevin Federline for custody of their two sons, and tackles hit and run dramas and lawsuits from ex-managers.
Cowell says, “The biggest stars in the world do not court or need the paparazzi or the buzz.
“I genuinely am starting to think that she’s enjoying this.”
T.I. Withdraws Thanksgiving Request; Plus Britney Spears, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Chris Brown & More, In For The Record
….Former “American Idol” Carrie Underwood repeated as Female Vocalist of the Year Wednesday night at the Country Music Association Awards. The singer also took home a trophy for Single of the Year for her hit “Before He Cheats” in a show that featured a performance from surprise Billboard albums chart-toppers the Eagles as well as another “American Idol” alum, Kellie Pickler. She broke down crying while singing “I Wonder, ” a tune about her estranged mother, who left the family when Pickler was 2 years old. … Don’t expect KT Tunstall to be congratulating Underwood on her new prizes ‘ the Scottish singer/songwriter lashed out at the country star in an interview due to appear in the new issue of Steppin’ Out, which hits newsstands Wednesday. Tunstall, whose songs have been used in “Idol, ” sounded off on Underwood’s Grammy win for Best New Artist, saying, “It’s pretty weird when the Best New Artist is someone from a reality TV show who sings other people’s music. It’s also very weird when Carrie Underwood thanks God and Simon Cowell. That’s pretty scary! I would hope the Best New Artist is somebody who’s writing their own music. Or at least something original.” Tunstall didn’t mince words about Britney Spears’ recent troubles either, saying, “It’s frustrating that there’s this anti-intellectualism going on with all the magazines who cover her. It’s almost like the days of gladiators. The people are begging for death. … On a spiritual level, I don’t want to be part of it. I don’t want to feed into it.” …
An ‘Idol’ who wows critics, auds
Fantasia has natural talent for singing
….Sanders along with fellow producer Oprah Winfrey, director Gary Griffin and casting director Bernard Telsey all thought Fantasia was conceptually right to play Alice Walker’s Celie. “But oh my god, she was beyond my dreams.”
Of course, Fantasia Barrino had made her name and gained her fame as an “American Idol” winner, but she was not the first “Idol” to make it to Broadway. “Idol” alums Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”), Frenchie Davis (“Rent”), Diana DeGarmo (“Hairspray”) and Constantine Maroulis (“The Wedding Singer”) all preceded Fantasia to the Great White Way with their accompanying fans and at least initial box office. Not coincidentally, all these shows were cast by Telsey.
Casting from “American Idol” has turned into a habit for Telsey. It’s just another version of open calls, a free television open call that he doesn’t have to organize or run. “I religiously watch it and religiously go after the losers because the losers are free to do theater, ” Telsey says. “Of course, now that changes with having Fantasia. It’s a new way of finding really great singers who aren’t necessarily theater-trained or acting-trained, but have a natural talent. I think ‘Idol’ is going to have an amazing and lasting impact on Broadway. It’s one of my favorite things.”….
`Bourne’ Earns 3 People Choice Nods
20. Favorite Game Show: “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?;” “Deal or No Deal;” “Jeopardy”
29. Favorite Group: Daughtry; Maroon 5; Rascal Flatts
30. Favorite Rock Song: “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s; “Home” by Daughtry; “Makes Me Wonder” by Maroon 5
Holding nothing back
To update a phrase from the eternal chick flick …Dirty Dancing, nobody puts Kelly Clarkson in a corner.
The Texas native weathered a storm of controversy over the release of her third album, …My December, last summer. The scrutiny only intensified when the CD leaked onto the Internet and Clarkson fired her manager and scrapped her summer arena tour after sales were slow.
…American Idol most well-known alumnus has since rescheduled at smaller venues, and her comeback bid will bring her to Seattle Paramount Theatre on Monday.
In the midst of all the turmoil, Clarkson has appeared resolute about her choices.
…It not about making people upset, she said during a taping of …Nissan Live Sets on Yahoo Music. …It about not settling……
Blake Lewis’ Audio Daydream
The cover for American Idol runner-up Blake Lewis’ new album Audio Daydream has been released. The first single “Break Anotha” broke last week, and while it’s got his signature beatbox style in there, I can’t say I’ve been won over. It’s definitely something different than your typical idol fare though……
Just Asking… Leslie Hunt
Eight months after appearing on …American Idol, St. Charles native Leslie Hunt is busy carving out a music career as she prepares for her wedding in June.
The 25-year-old Hunt, a 2000 graduate of St. Charles High School, was among the final 10 females on …American Idol last season before being eliminated from the show in March.
Hunt will perform a concert tonight to benefit DayOneNetwork, a nonprofit agency that serves children and adults with disabilities.
Hunt recently talked about her current activities and what she learned from being on …American Idol………….
Web Extra: Complete Chris Daughtry Interview
Here is Julie Luck’s complete, unedited interview with Chris Daughtry.
Bon Jovi teams with Daughtry for two nights in Anaheim
So you’ve been clamoring to see Daughtryin one of his many local showings but you just haven’t made it happen yet?
Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. Bad news: it’s going to cost you $49.50-$132.50. Good news: Bon Jovi’s closing the show….
Life after ‘Idol’ is great for Pickler
It has been a good year for Kellie Pickler, who will appear Saturday at Cowboys Dance Hall.
“I Wonder” is her second single in a row to crack the Top 20, and she didn’t get bombed by a bird.
Last month, the 21-year-old singer/songwriter from North Carolina received an award from ASCAP for her first single, the sassy “Red High Heels, ” one of the most played songs last year.
“Last year on the red carpet, I got pooped on by a bird, and last night I got an award, so I’d say it’s definitely been a better year, ” she said in a post on her Web site.
She has done more, too…..
Daughtry’s wild ride returns to N. Texas
…”We actually played the PBR [Professional Bull Riders] event in Madison Square Garden — that was our first experience with a rodeo — and we got to watch a little bit of it, and I’ll tell you what, it’s pretty brutal, ” Daughtry says. “It made me glad I was on the stage and not out there.”
Although his debut album has been out less than a year (and hits such as Home, It’s Not Over and Over You continue to dominate radio playlists), Daughtry says he’s already chipping away at the follow-up, although at this point, he can’t elaborate much on the album’s focus.
“I’m writing for it all the time, trying to get a head start on as much material as I can, ” Daughtry says. “I can’t imagine steering too far away from the formula that’s made us successful.”
So with all these unceasing demands upon his time, just how does the rocker keep moving forward?…
Owner closes CD store before losing his edge
….Dismantling Laser’s Edge before its closing isn’t an option, he says. On a recent weekday, the store shows no signs of its impending demise. As always, the inventory — an estimated 5, 500 to 6, 000 CDs and DVDs — places an emphasis on classical and jazz recordings, along with a carefully chosen selection of rock, pop, folk, country, blues, R&B and world music.
Discs by local musicians occupy a prominent niche. In fact, three brown boxes stacked in a corner hold hundreds of copies of an item exclusive to the store: Taylor Hicks’ 2005 independent CD, “Under the Radar.”
When the “American Idol” winner was competing for the title on national TV in 20006, Hicks, a Hoover native, and Osuna struck a deal to make “Under the Radar” available to fans around the globe. No other retailer was permitted to sell it.
“I saw an opportunity and I jumped on it, ” Osuna says. “The adrenaline was pushing, and it was fun. People from all over the world have come to the store because of it, from Finland and Japan and Canada.” ….