Jennifer Hudson to sing at White House state dinner
Soul singer and Chicago native Jennifer Hudson has been confirmed to perform at the White House state dinner Tuesday evening, according to a representative at the singer’s label, Arista Records.
Amid the glitz and glamour, the 28-year-old Chicago native should feel right at home. Hudson first rose to fame as a contestant on the 2004 season of “American Idol” and went on to star in the 2006 film “Dreamgirls, ” snagging an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the process.
Overnight star Susan Boyle focus of TV special
The one-hour documentary, “I Dreamed a Dream: The Susan Boyle Story, ” will feature performances by Boyle, plus interviews with her as well as friends and celebrities including Simon Cowell, a producer of the special.
It was last January that the shy, dowdy 47-year-old Boyle stepped on stage to audition for “Britain’s Got Talent.” She electrified the judges and everyone else in earshot with her soaring rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream.”
The documentary, premiering Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. Eastern time, promises to track her journey from an obscure village in rural Scotland to that breakout performance and the global fame that has embraced her since.
Mary Murphy, Edyta Sliwinska, Alec Mazo To Join Broadway’s Burn the Floor on January 12
Mary Murphy of television’s So You Think You Can Dance, and Edyta Sliwinska and Alec Mazo, from ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, will join the company of the Broadway show Burn the Floor at the Longacre Theatre on January 12. The show will now run through February 14, before launching on an international tour.
More Idol Headlines After the JUMP…
Adam Lambert’s AMA Performance: The ‘Idol’ Experts Weigh In
Adam Lambert exploded onto the music scene at last night’s American Music Awards with a rough-and-tumble performance of “For Your Entertainment.” Unfortunately ‘â€ and it pains me to say this ‘â€ the results were mixed at best.
If Adam Lambert’s goal was to simply rile America, then he succeeded. The in-your-face sexuality was bold, brave and totally groundbreaking. (Whether it was “appropriate” for a major network awards show is another discussion entirely.) I applaud Adam and his team for not pulling any punches or watering down his or his single’s rawness.
Adam Lambert Drops By the ‘Late Show’
Fresh from his scandalous performance on the American Music Awards last night, Adam Lambert was spotted in New York City heading to the ‘David Letterman Show’ earlier today (November 23).
Using his coat and sunglasses as a disguise, the ‘Time for Miracles’ singer dodged the crowd and media attention as he headed inside the studio.
This year, for the first time in recent memory, ‘American Idol’ had a national sensation on its hands. Its name was Adam Lambert, a wayward musical theater kid with a flexible, operatic voice who each week appeared to have just had an accident in a Sephora.
‘Idol’ also had a winner, Kris Allen, though to many that seemed like some sort of inconvenience: Mr. Allen was an unassuming puppy who nuzzled and yipped his way to the finale, offending no one. Mr. Lambert, his supporters argued, had vision and edge and therefore should have won ‘â€ though, of course, they ultimately conceded, that must have been why he lost.
It’s a Sexy Job, But Adam Lambert’s Gotta Do It!
The Parents Television Council on Adam Lambert’s American Music Awards leash demonstration? Close. The Sept. 16, 1956, New York Times on Elvis Presley’s hip-censored Ed Sullivan performance.
If our outrage over rock stars is nothing new, then neither are our rock stars. From Elvis’ pelvis on down, they are nothing if not dedicated to sex, more sex, the next new single, which is probably about sex, and ticking off people who prefer their s-e-x to be not so explicit, thankyouverymuch.
Criticizing Lambert for what he did, smooched and pawed at the AMAs is like criticizing that Paula Deen lady on the Food Network because she made something with butter: It’s what they do.
And the other night, Lambert did his job very well.
Lambert, Boyle face off in record stores today
Adam Lambert and Susan Boyle, first runners up in their respective reality performance shows, have new CDs in stores today.
Not to be contrary, but does anyone remember that Kris Allen actually won Season 8 of “American Idol”? Poor guy’s CD came out a week and it would be a gross overstatement to call the reception muted.
Meanwhile, runner-up Adam Lambert’s glam-puss is inescapable, popping up everywhere save “Meet the Press.” Allen’s probably ready to reach for the Max Factor himself.
CD pick of the week: For Your Entertainment by Adam Lambert
Expectations aren’t typically associated with recordings cranked off the American Idol assembly line, but there’s been optimism even amongst folks who’ve never watched an episode that last season’s breakout star Adam Lambert might be in this for the long haul.
Evidently that’s where the industry money’s bet, anyway. Virtually every behind-the-scenes A-lister you can think of (Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Kara DioGuardi, Linda Perry) and few you might not expect here, such as Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, the Darkness’s Justin Hawkins and Muse’s Matthew Bellamy, were dragged in. The effect, as is custom with Idol albums, has been to muffle the singer’s personality, with Lambert mostly restricted to hair-metal-grade Queen worship and the Goldfrapp-ian electro-glam stomps with which Goldfrapp was finished long ago.
The audacity of hype
Can a first impression be trusted anymore?
That was the prevailing question in pop music in 2009, which could very well go down as the year we fabricated superstars out of entertainers who had little to warrant the wave of hype they rode right into our living rooms and into our hearts.
This week, we get to see what some of the year’s biggest names are made of, with the release of debuts from Susan Boyle and Adam Lambert, a left turn from Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira, and a second helping of Lady Gaga’s electro-dance tunes.
Pop Top: Kris Allen shows why he should have lost ‘Idol’
CD » Kris Allen seems like a nice guy, but he is inarguably the least talented singer to ever win “American Idol.” His debut “Kris Allen” is unfortunately what we have come to expect from the contractually obligated album that the “American Idol” winner has to deliver before Black Friday: uninspired and unremarkable. The relentlessly bland mid-tempo songs, recorded by 11 producers, reveal nothing of Allen’s personality and show a laziness exemplified by calling a song “Live Like We’re Dying, ” which is not the similarly named Tim McGraw song. While Allen should be applauded by leaving off his coronation song “No Boundaries, ” this is inoffensive and flat-out boring adult pop that takes no chances. At least he included “Heartless.”
“I was born with glitter on my face/My baby clothes made of leather and lace, ” crows Adam Lambert. The American Idol runner-up is on a mission to revive the camp theatricality of glam, one lip-liner stroke and upper-register operatic shriek at a time. His debut corrals A-list pop songwriters and producers to supply power-chord pomp (“Music Again, ” written by fellow Queen worshipper Justin Hawkins of the Darkness), wind-swept Orientalist arias (“Soaked”) and other showcases for Lambert’s amazing vocal instrument. The songs sound great but feel strangely stuffy ‘â€ Entertainment seems like a disc that was overthought. Next time, the hugely talented Lambert should make sure he’s going straight for the gut.
‘Idol’ runner-up’s debut sticks to the formula
You may not have liked the guy at all, but he wasn’t a cipher. It felt as if he was drawing a line every time he strutted into view, as if to say, “Love or hate it, but there’s no in-between.”
For those reasons, there was hope that “For Your Entertainment” would be the first post-“Idol” debut to break the mold of industry-manicured pap. Instead, it’s a series of hedged bets. It stuffs Lambert into a box of formulas that keep his musical flamboyance in check.
‘Idol’ airplay: Kelly Clarkson has ‘Gone’ to Number One
Idol Chatter readers are probably used to Kelly Clarkson’s Already Gone being at the top of the American Idol chart — it’s been there for six weeks, after all. But this week, it also takes the top slot on the Hot AC format chart, according to Mediabase.
In fact, the Hot AC chart seems to be where all the action is this week. Carrie Underwood’s Cowboy Casanova, having previously topped USA TODAY’s Country chart, now moves into the Hot AC top 40. And Kris Allen’s Live Like We’re Dying makes the Hot AC top 20, coming in at No. 19. Daughtry has two tracks, No Surprise and Life After You, on the chart.
The New American Sweetheart
The standout tracks are a real delight for fans and will likely see some new converts: ‘Before We Come Undone’ sticks out from the rest of the album with its insanely catchy chorus and has the most potential to stir up the pop charts, while ‘Alright With Me’ is likely to resonate with radio audiences with its pulsating beats and highly engaging vocal performance. ‘I Need To Know’ sounds like the ‘Heartless’ singer’s most vulnerable yet; the track is drenched in melancholy that is perfectly executed with the Idol winner’s natural flair for weaving narratives. He pleads: ‘Feels so far away / I want to see your face / Are you even there? / Can you show me? / Can you make me believe? / I need to know’ ¦’
Allison Iraheta readies ‘Just Like You’ debut
t’s a moment that Allison Iraheta isn’t fond of recalling. After performing in one of the early rounds of “American Idol, ” host Ryan Seacrest approached her for the standard chat-’em-up interview. And by her own admission, Iraheta flubbed it. She stammered, stumbled and looked like she was going to collapse into a fit of giggles – or tears.
“Yeah, that was an awesome first timer with Ryan Seacrest, ” she says with a laugh. “Being on the show and the tour definitely helped prepare us all for what we’re going to be doing now. I’m much more comfortable on the big stage.”
American Idol’s Scott MacIntyre joins Alice Cooper for Christmas Pudding
American Idol’s Scott MacIntyre will join Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, December 18.
Also appearing will be Dee Snider, Warrant, Lita Ford, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Gary Mule Deer, Runaway Phoenix, River of Life Choir, ventriliquist Ronn Lucas and world champion magician Murry Sawchuk. Brad Perry will be the MC for evening and will perform with his band, Acoustic Fingerprints.
Fox411 Exclusive: Katharine McPhee spills on her Thanksgiving special with Greta Van Susteren
American Idol runner up Katharine McPhee is getting ready to release her second album in January, but first, she’s putting in some Fox News holiday time with Greta Van Susteren!
“I was just in Washington D.C., seeing Greta and filming a special for Fox News that airs over Thanksgiving, ” the newly blonde singer told Fox411 at VH1’s Save the Music Big Shopping event. “It was so cool! I was singing for cancer survivors and it was wonderful to be there.”
Suddenly Skinny: Paula Abdul Opens Up About Her Post-‘Idol’ Weight Loss
But Abdul insisted that her sudden weight loss was all in good health with no mention of post-‘Idol’ stress and trauma.
“First and foremost I’ve had the ability to have time to have a schedule that allows me to take care of myself and dance and workout, ” Abdul explained backstage. “It’s been great, but now I’m back to work.”
On the note of work, the 47-year-old remained pretty tight-lipped on her upcoming projects (apparently she gets to “wear a lot of hats” and be creative again), although she made it clear she has very much distanced herself from the musical franchise that made her a reality TV sensation.
‘A Very Special Christmas 7’ features fresh young voices
A Very Special Christmas 7, out this week, is the latest installment in a franchise that has raised $100 million for Special Olympics. This first batch since 2003 offers 13 tunes, from Kellie Pickler’s sassy Santa Baby to Gloriana’s reverent Silent Night.
Photo Coverage: Rosie’s Broadway Extravanganza for Queen Latifah
Rosie O’Donnell hosted “A Broadway Extravaganza, a benefit for Rosie’s Broadway Kids” at 8PM on Monday, November 23. This years celebration included a star-studded tribute performance honoring the one and only Queen Latifah at the world famous Palace Theatre.
The evening featured unforgettable performances by Nikki Blonsky (HAIRSPRAY Movie), Melinda Doolittle (AMERICAN IDOL), Montego Glover (MEMPHIS), Norm Lewis (LITTLE MERMAID), and special performances by Judy Gold, The Cast of Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter and of course – Rosie’s Broadway Kids.
Role showcases Mercado’s voice and acting skills
The new revival of “Dreamgirls” takes something familiar and gives it a beautiful new sheen and exciting energy at the historic Apollo Theater.
Charting the rise of a young female singing group that resembles Diana Ross and the Supremes, it becomes a thrill ride of music, vocal prowess and emotionally moving stories.
It is also a marvelous showcase for Sarasota’s Syesha Mercado, who plays Deena Jones in a thrilling style that allows audiences to watch her grow from exuberant youngster to mature star, just as local fans have done since her days as a student at Manatee School for the Arts and Booker High School through her third-place finish on “American Idol.”
Danyl Johnson jokes ‘I am dating Lucie Jones and Jamie Afro’
X Factor hopeful Danyl Johnson has insisted that he has recaptured his “mojo” after recent knocks shattered his confidence. The 27-year-old from Reading told reporters that he faced a struggle to win over the support of the public.
‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: A Real Threesome
On Monday night’s Dancing With the Stars performance finale, Mya, Kelly Osbourne, and Donny Osmond danced a final standard or Latin, barely kept up during a daunting “Megamix Challenge” (what is this, Jock Jams? I wish!), and attempted to wow us with the dreaded/revered freestyle round. More shocking than any of the performances was the fact that this episode was only 90 minutes long. What did you readers do with your extra half hour? I spent a good deal of mine coating my laptop with a fresh coat of spray tan because you can never be too safe, googling ”where to buy cute gray hat with leather strap that Kelly Osbourne wears during rehearsal, ” and weeping that we didn’t get to see the DANCMSTR vanity plate a single time in season 9. WTF? I refer to this jerk by his cutesy moniker for an entire season and he can’t even validate my insanity with even a glimpse of the reasoning behind it?! The exploding mirror ball of frustration within my heart has vomited out this short poem:
‘Dancing With the Stars’: Megamixed finals
But rather than go the regular route of having each finalist perform two routines — one standard and one freestyle — the producers have tried to jazz up their own combination of choreography and entertainment by introducing something new into this program: the Megamix. Which, as it turns out, is neither an intrastate lottery nor a CD compilation of hair-metal music. No, the Megamix is a routine in which all couples dance the same dance back to back, in unison (this one just so happened to be choreographed by Seasons 2 and 3 pro Nick Kosovich). But instead of a groovy rendition worthy of a volume of “Now That’s What I Call Dance, ” the Megamix kind of turned out to be a mixed bag, no? It went so quickly and kind of clunkily from the Viennese waltz to the samba to the jive that it was hard to keep up. And I think Kelly still may be taking off her skirt in the transition.