Today Idol headlines after the jump ¦
With CD debut, Sparks veers away from ‘Idol’
Valley star braces for her future – and her 18th birthday
…..Although she has “graduated” from American Idol, Sparks is committed to a one-year deal with 19 Management, part of the empire of Britain’s Simon Fuller, who created the show. She also has signed with Jive Records, whose roster includes Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Usher, and with Creative Artists Agency, a high-powered public-relations firm.
Sparks said she is excited by being on a record label with artists she admires and feels like 19 Management gave her plenty of say in choosing material for her album.
“He (Fuller) is sweet, and he definitely knows what he’s doing, ” Sparks said. “He listens to songs and says whether or not he likes them, and then we all decide. It’s cool because it’s not like I don’t have any say in choosing the songs.”
Sparks’ work ethic and agreeable personality helped make recording the album on a tight schedule a success, according to the Jive executive who shepherded the project.
“It’s hard to make these American Idol (winner) albums because you really have no time to make them, ” said Jeff Fenster of the Zomba Label Group. “They’re expected to come out the same year (as the Idol finale).” ….
Kelly Clarkson and fans turn purgatory into a rockin party
A grimy fog crept through Universal City on Sunday evening just before Kelly Clarkson took the stage at the Gibson Amphitheatre. No buzzing crowd of latecomers rushed in from the parking garages; a lone scalper tried to hawk his tickets for $10. The will-call ticket line was devoid of VIPs — they were all downtown at the American Music Awards, watching this year’s bestselling stars glad hand each other. The scene out front at a show is rarely this quiet. So this was what pop purgatory looked like.
Inside the building, though, something bright and hopeful was happening. The lobby buzzed with young women thrilled to be so close to Clarkson. Moms with tweens, twentysomethings in perfumed packs, slightly older ladies dragging along dutiful dates — and a few male free agents, proud in their “Addicted to Kelly” T-shirts — zoomed toward their seats, eager for Clarkson to emerge…….
‘American Idol’ Runner-Up Blake Lewis Creates Own Genre On A.D.D. Debut
Beatboxing singer offers advice to next season’s crop of ‘Idol’ hopefuls.
The last thing the world needs is another genre of music ‘ but don’t tell that to Blake Lewis.
The atypical “American Idol” alumnus, who was the runner-up during the show’s sixth and most recent season, will release his debut album, A.D.D. (Audio Day Dream), in just two weeks (December 4). According to the beatboxing bottle blond, the disc will contain a new sound ‘ one none of us has ever heard before, maybe.
“It’s my new genre I made up, ” the singer, who was heavily influenced by 1980s pop, proudly told MTV News during a recent interview. “I call it 2080, because it’s a mix of all the great pop music that’s inspired me.” Lewis claims the record is a blend of electronic elements fused with funk, soul, rock and pop ‘ pretty much everything, kitchen sink included………
Glam Chats With Jordin Sparks
This bubbly and sweet 17-year-old is deceivingly mature. (And her music is sophisticated beyond her years too.) Jordin Sparks blew us away as the adorably dimpled teenager with the incredibly powerful voice on American Idol. Glam chatted with the bubbly and gorgeous girl about the upcoming release of her self-titled album. We touched on her favorite songs, her Thanksgiving plans, and her holiday wish list ¦
Former Idol Sierra pleads guilty
…..In court last summer, Sierra bought more time by joining a celebrity rehab show.
“I thank all my fans for being here supporting me, ” she told reporters afterward.
Monday, when Sierra stood in court, she dressed conservatively, her blonde trusses now darkened, as she entered no contest pleas to the felonies, and was sentenced to a year’s probation and extensive drug testing.
Prosecutors agreed with the deal…..
Snap judgment: Elliott Yamin’s ‘One Word’ video
….That said, I’m not so blind a fan that I can’t be honest and say Elliott should never again rock the white shirt-white pant-white vest-white shoe-white tie combo. At least not while standing in a white room. Also, that opening setup, with Elliott in a black jacket, and a smaller Elliott dancing in the upper right corner, kind of reminds me of my fifth grade class photo featuring me, and an inset of mini-me! And finally, dude is not much of a dancer…..
‘Idol’ Jordin Sparks debuts 1st album
This year’s “American Idol” won the day with her pliant, effortless singing and musical versatility, appealing to multiple age groups. But the producers of her debut album, “Jordin Sparks” (19 Recordings/Jive/Zomba, B-), ain’t taking any chances this time, as the label did last year with oddball winner Taylor Hicks. His skewing-old, mixed-bag album proved a marketing dud.
Sparks’ album is targeted strictly to young girls with romance on their minds. Some of the most active teams in contemporary pop today – Stargate, the Underdogs and Bloodshy & Avant (doesn’t anybody use their real names anymore?) – have contributed tracks, so you’d think there would be some sonic variety.
But the set is chock-full of bouncing, same-sounding tunes laced with music-box-style tinkling keyboards, synth strings and endless hand-clap percusison effects. The whole thing blends together and, to my ear, seems generic as all get out…..
American Idol alum Anwar Robinson, now in the national tour of Rent, will be part of Thursday’s Thanksgiving parade. Rent will stop at the Academy of Music for a Jan. 4-6 engagement. A float will feature skaters from High School Musical: The Ice Tour, which will come to the Wachovia Center over New Year’s. The float’s surface is made of Glice, an artificial ice. Good Morning America’s Sam Champion got wind of this and asked to do his weather shots in front of it.
‘Idol’ winner Sparks flutters on debut CD
When Jordin Sparks won “American Idol” way back in May, many wondered how, after nationwide auditions and three months of competition, it was Sparks who was being crowned the show’s victor.
Her voice was pleasant but not remarkable, she didn’t have a particularly notable style, and her best assets were her 1, 000-watt smile and her eager-to-please, “let’s do this!” attitude. Successful pop careers have been hung on much less, to be sure, but few were counting on Sparks to become the next Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood, and the season was written off as a dud.
Now comes Sparks’ self-titled debut, a breezy affair made up of light pop and R&B. And, surprisingly, it’s pretty good. She might not be Clarkson or Underwood, but she’s not going to end up a “Where Are They Now?”like Taylor Hicks, either………
Sweet marks for Sparks’ album
Jordin Sparks is “Young And In Love” — and “Just For the Record, ” she’s into that “Shy Boy.”
Those are some of the song titles from Sparks’ self-titled debut album, which oozes the earnestness that endeared the bubbly 17-year-old to gazillions of tween girls — and their mothers — as she sang to victory on “American Idol.”
Sparks has the wholesome appeal of a Disney Channel star — clearly an asset, at a time when Miley Cyrus/”Hannah Montana” is selling out stadiums in no less than four minutes……..
Elliot Yamin’s ‘Wait’ takes him to Top 10 on the charts
A year and a half ago, viewers of the fifth season of Fox TV’s American Idol voted Elliot Yamin into third place, basically telling him they believed that winner Taylor Hicks and runner-up Katharine McPhee were more talented.
When the show ended, the prestigious 19 Productions talent agency told him the same thing ‘ signing both Hicks and McPhee, but not him.
These days, record buyers and radio listeners are telling Yamin they think he’s the man.
MTV Green-Lights Randy Jackson Dance Competition
MTV ordered up a new weekly reality competition from American Idol judge Randy Jackson.
The American Idol-like show, with the working title Randy Jackson Presents America Best Dance Crew, will seek out the best hip-hop dance crews from around the country. The finalists will perform live, and the audience decides who stays and who goes and, ultimately, which team is best……
Is Carrie considering an acting career?
Carrie Underwood isn’t just an American Idol winner, an award-winning singer and a real cutey-patootey.
She may also be a good actress, if she ever decides to try her hand at acting.
Underwood talked about fashion, her favorite princess and an acting career at the Saturday premiere of Disney’s adorable family movie, “Enchanted, ” the night before she won three big honors at the American Music Awards.
Why was she at “Enchanted?” Because she sings the final song in the film!
CD reviews: Jordin Sparks, Sebastian Bach, Hives
….THIS IS HER NOW: The 17-year-old gets credit, first of all, for staying in her expected lane; there are no puffy pop confections or stilted, sex-starved pseudo-songs. That’s a good thing, since Ms. Sparks’ vocal ability would’ve been cheapened otherwise. She has the ability to beguile, as displayed in the soothing self-esteem ode “God Loves Ugly” and on the danceable ditty “Freeze” (which she co-wrote). The duet “No Air, ” featuring label mate Chris Brown, wasn’t recorded as such, but the lilting, lovelorn delivery will have listeners believing otherwise.
BOTTOM LINE: Some of the tracks are too sterile and simplistic; a preschooler banging on a Fisher-Price keyboard could create a more compelling beat than what fuels “Young and In Love, ” for example. But more sophisticated songs such as “Now You Tell Me” and “Permanent Monday” offset those absurdities.
‘Idol’ winner Jordin Sparks debuts first album
Jordin Sparks, winner of this year’s American Idol vocal competition, made her way on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart with a pair of ballads, “This Is My Now” and “Tattoo, ” but if art imitated life, she’d be singing a remake of Michael Jackson’s “Working Day and Night.”
“Oh, my God, you have no idea, ” the 17-year-old groans at the start of a recent phone chat from New York City. “A friend just asked me where I was going, and I swear, I drew a complete blank and didn’t even remember! I’ve just been running so much!”
Not that she’s ungrateful. The Glendale, Ariz., native is positively bubbly when she describes the whirlwind that’s been 2007. Aside from winning the car, the recording contract and the cash (“I haven’t had a chance to spend any of it; I haven’t been home”), Ms. Sparks completed photo shoots, handled endless press interviews and still managed to squeeze in recording sessions to complete her self-titled major-label debut while on the road with the other top AI finalists last summer during the American Idols Live tour.
As she awaited today’s official release of the CD, Ms. Sparks enthusiastically discussed her music, her Texas connection, the tattoo she plans to get when she turns 18 next month, and what she hopes to do one-on-one with label mate Chris Brown (it’s classy, not trashy, y’all)…….
‘American Idol’ winner makes satisfying debut
Jordin Sparks didn’t win the sixth season of “American Idol” because she was the most consistent performer – that was pro ace Melinda Doolittle – or the showiest entertainer – hello busy beat-boxing runner-up Blake Lewis. The 17-year-old won, in part, because she lived up to her surname by applying the kind of bright-eyed “why not?” enthusiasm that only an overachieving teenager could to everything from moldy, aged melodramatic ballads to spunky contemporary rock songs. Even as she floundered through Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” she was obviously having fun and the most dial-happy viewers of “Idol” – teens likely doing a little vicarious living – rewarded her moxie.
On her self-titled debut, out today, Sparks and a cast of au courant pop producers combine that sense of sparkle, striving, and her powerful pipes for an age-appropriate, uniformly pleasant release that shouldn’t disappoint those voters…….
‘PATHETIC’ LA MUSIC BASH
….The after-party in the adjacent parking lot was “a total mess, ” our spies said. One music industry insider who has gone to many award shows and after-parties said, “The door was being run by a woman who was nuts – she didn’t know anyone and would literally ask people like Chris Brown, ‘What do you want?’ when they approached her and her many security guards. She wouldn’t let Chris’ friends in and refused entry to Fergie’s manager. There were also problems with Will.i.am, but the sad thing was that, when you finally made it past that door beast, there was no one in there – just Chris Daughtry. It was pathetic.” A rep for the AMAs didn’t return our calls.
Will Jordin Sparks Be the Next Carrie Underwood?
‘Idol’ Huge Industry Force but Doesn’t Guarantee Success
….But is Sparks poised to become another success story for the “Idol” franchise? Some fans of the show believe that fellow contestant Melinda Doolittle actually deserved to win the talent competition.
“I said Melinda should’ve won, ” judge Simon Cowell told “Good Morning America” last May after Sparks’ win. “She tried the hardest, was consistently the best, and had the best voice.”
Regardless of the dispute, the Fox franchise is a powerhouse for the featured singers, according to one professor.
“Clearly this ‘American Idol’ engine has proved to be a powerful one, ” said Syracuse University television and popular culture professor Robert Thompson. “Overall, the people who have won — and I think that their success in recording — shows this works really well.”…..
Pop Tarts: Carrie Underwood’s Love Blues
….Speaking of fairy tales, Carrie says she still can’t believe her good luck since “Idol.”
“I’ve been blessed with this opportunity and I’m still pinching myself that it’s been two years since all this happened, ” she said.
“I’ve been involved with the new season of ‘American Idol’ and I talk to those guys all the time. And I’ll do anything they need, whatever they ask me to do I will do. I can’t thank the team enough.”…..