Danny Gokey nearly done recording debut
Danny Gokey laid down vocals this morning for the next to last song for his forthcoming debut. He’ll be done with his recording by the end of the week.
“Today, then Saturday, and I’m done, ” Danny told me today at Nashville’s Starstruck Studios after making a couple runs through a song called Crazy Not To, written by Wendell Mobley, one of Rascal Flatts’ go-to songwriters, along with Marv Green and David Lee Murphy. “From that point, it’s all overdubs.”
So far, four songs from the album — likely to come out in March, though a release date and title have yet to be set — are finished and mixed: It’s Only, the ballad initially intended as Danny’s first single; My Best Days Are Ahead of Me, the uptempo tune eventually chosen as the lead single; Tiny Life, a Jeffrey Steele/Marv Green ballad that takes a big-picture view of life starting from the window of an airplane; and I Still Believe, which is essentially a statement of faith, penned by Kara DioGuardi, Michael Busbee and Barry Dean, with lyrics like, “I don’t really know what tomorrow will bring, but I’m open to all possibilities.”
The Idolator Interview: Ryan Tedder
The year’s almost over. Have you made amends with Kelly Clarkson after the whole ‘Halo’ /’ Already Gone’ drama?
Man, I haven’t talked to her, to be honest, since that went down. She has my email. Her attorney or somebody from her camp told somebody from my camp that she’s willing to work with me again. I was like, oh, thank you. I mean, I’m looking at your song right now and it’s #1 for the fourth week on Hot AC, so I’m sorry that I helped with that. I was absolutely livid when that whole thing came out because she had no idea what she was talking about when she said that.
One of the best albums you had a hand in was Blake Lewis’ first one, Audio Day Dream. It had to be disappointing that it didn’t take off like it should have.
But something weird happened on that project, and I can’t really go on the record saying exactly what it is. I have my suspicions. I feel like the label was in a transitional period when that album came out. They were switching heads of state, more or less, and that was one of those albums that had singles, I think, for days. I know it did. I know for a fact, because they researched the crap out of that album, and there were five songs that tested Top 10’â€which is astronomical, as far as research goes.
Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
Ellen DeGeneres to begin ‘Idol’ judging duties next month
Ellen DeGeneres officially begins her “American Idol” duties during the infamously grueling Hollywood Week — the rite of passage in which 200 contestants who passed initial rounds with judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi — prove they are worth singing in front of America.
Hollywood Week has traditionally been filmed in November, but producers changed it to January to accommodate Cowell’s schedule, which means contestants will be vying for the coveted 24 to 36 slots to appear on the live shows as America is already beginning to get to know them on TV.
The show premieres Jan. 12. Hollywood Week auditions will air in February.
Jackson radio host Jessika Baier remembered by family and friends; funeral arrangements announced
Jessika Baier could nail a fake British accent, plan a happening theme party or hold captive a karaoke audience, her friends said.
A bubbly and spontaneous extrovert with a messy car and maybe 100 pairs of high heels, she had big, if ever changing, plans.
“She never wanted to do just one thing. She wanted to do it all. She wanted to travel the world, ” said Baier’s boyfriend, David Beaton.
Clay Aiken Responds To Allegations Of Voter Fraud
Recently, I expressed my views and concern about the direction in which the newly elected members of the School Board propose to take Wake County schools. In a private blog, I stated strong opposition to the campaign rhetoric of the newly elected Board members. In response, the Wake County Republican Party has challenged my voter registration in Wake County.
It just goes to show the lengths to which some folks will go to silence an opposing view. I’ve remained registered at the permanent address that I’ve long used here in Wake County because I consider Raleigh home. While I believe my registration is perfectly valid, I’ve decided to change my registration from Wake County rather than get into a technical dispute.
Barbara spices up lineup this year
It’s a little like the “Seinfeld” creed — no hugging, no learning — with Barbara Walters as Larry David.
This fall, Walters set out deliberately to come up with an unusual list of characters for her annual, year-and-a-tear “10 Most Fascinating People” special.
Glenn Beck, Lady Gaga, Kate Gosselin, Jenny Sanford (the wife of wandering South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford), Tyler Perry, Michael Jackson’s three kids and, now famously, Adam Lambert.
“A lot of people nobody had ever heard of last year, ” Walters told The Post. “And a lot of it is about sexuality.”
So Who’s Up For an Adam Lambert Appearance at the Oscars?
Adam Shankman’s Twitter followers, that’s who. The Oscarcast producer last weekend solicited show-planning suggestions from his 48, 000 devotees, sparking a torrent of feedback and burgeoning transparency that ‘â€ according to at least one report ‘â€ isn’t making the Academy terribly comfortable. But with the downmarket promise wielded by solicitations like, ‘So weird question; would u watch the oscars with more exitement [sic] if I cast some sytycd dancers if there are musical #s, ‘ who wouldn’t want to see just how far the hoi polloi can influence Hollywood’s grandest show?
Hey, Adam Lambert Fans: I Take It All Back!
I’m sorry, Adam Lambert fans. I’ve been thinking, and I take back those nasty things I said about your guy.
I would love to see him performing on the Oscars, just as you all suggested to producer Adam Shankman on Sunday.
I read your comments on Twitter after I suggested otherwise, and you forced me to reconsider with remarks like this:
‘What is your problem? How you homophobic or just plain hater?’
The Top 10 of Everything 2009
1. “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson
This monster hit, created by pop Frankensteins Max Martin and Dr. Luke, has rhythm and melody lines ripped indiscriminately from all their other hits and lyrical inspiration courtesy of a high schooler’s Facebook wall. (“I know that I’ve got issues/ But you’re pretty messed up too.”) Where a lesser singer might have tried to animate the parts with a vocal lightning storm, Kelly Clarkson sings the words with her signature ease, building to an emotional crescendo that’s pointless to resist. Nearly a decade after her journey from waitress to American Idol, Clarkson’s lack of pretension remains her greatest asset.
10. “Mad World” by Adam Lambert
“Talent is a trend, ” goes the old record-company proverb, and Adam Lambert proved it repeatedly on the reality talent show that no one remembers he didn’t win. In particular, Lambert’s performance of this slowly building Tears for Fears track shows off his ability to interpret a song and create dramatic tension ‘â€ a lost art in pop music. It also helps that he holds his notes with remarkable clarity and has such obvious vocal star power that America couldn’t help but make him the … well, whatever.
Unique plot lines mean stellar year in television
By far the season’s best new show, ‘Glee’ has taken that wannabe performer in all of us and given it a spotlight, while also making high school drama kids cool again.
Equal parts comedy, soap opera and musical, ‘Glee’ is responsible for talk of phantom pregnancies, confused football players and their homoerotic tendencies and a rendition of ‘Gold Digger’ that’ll have Taylor Swift interrupting Kanye to talk about who really is the best of all time.
10. ‘American Idol’
America’s favorite reality singing competition began a rapid decline two years ago after the departure of Chris Daughtry. A revamped format and what producers hoped was a fresh approach were put in place this year to save the flagship program.
In reality, it was controversial glam rocker Adam Lambert that did the saving. Lambert’s off-the-wall antics, insane vocal range and intriguing song choices single-handedly attracted viewers and put ‘Idol’ back on the right track.
Decade’s best: Eminem tops in sales; Beatles get No. ‘1’ album
The race to dominate the decade in music has come down to Eminem and The Beatles in the stretch. The winner?
Both. The rapper emerges as the top-selling artist of the past 10 years, and the Fab Four have bragging rights to the best-selling album.
With 32.2 million copies sold, Eminem leads the pack in overall album sales, followed by The Beatles with 30 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which releases its decade tabulations today. Data were tallied through Nov. 1, and though figures could rise through Dec. 31, they won’t alter the rankings.
The Best Songs Of 2009, In Bigger Than The Sound
17. Kelly Clarkson: “I Do Not Hook Up” Originally written for Katy Perry, it’s probably a good thing she passed on it, since I can’t imagine anyone other than Clarkson doing it justice. It’s breakneck electro-pop with a big, rushing chorus and vocal fireworks galore. The best Kelly Clarkson song in years, from the best Kelly Clarkson album in years (All I Ever Wanted). We all win, even Katy Perry.
David Archuleta sings from the heart in Christmas album
Christmas songs are intrinsically beautiful for imparting the message of love and hope. This means singers need only to render these well to deliver their magic and purpose.
David Archuleta does just that. In the CD “Christmas From The Heart, ” the “American Idol” runner-up passes up on grand ambitions, opting instead to use his soaring pipes for simple yet soulful renditions of the 13 tracks here.
‘Idol’ finalist Archuleta in Waukegan for holiday concert
As Adam Lambert proves, being an “American Idol” runner-up isn’t a bad thing.
It certainly has worked out well for David Archuleta, the smiley, clean-cut, Utah teenager who finished second to David Cook on 2008’s “American Idol.”
In his life after “Idol, ” Archuleta has had three songs on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, put out two CDs and become a teen heartthrob.
David Archuleta: ‘Music Has Been a Blessing’
David Archuleta enters a fan VIP meet and greet, flashes his sunbeam smile, then sits at a keyboard and sings. When someone asks for a song he’s not sure he can play, Archuleta does it a capella. His soulful tenor, perfect pitch rendition is flawless.
To his fans, Archuleta is perfect – a magical singer they admire for his “heart.” The 18-year-old from Utah has gone far since placing second on American Idol in 2008.
“I certainly don’t see myself as perfect, ” he says. “I have my faults. There are plenty of them. I take longer to do things than most people. I forget things a lot. I’m clumsy. I spill my lunch. I think imperfections make us who we are. That’s what makes us unique.”
So Much to Love About the Carrie Underwood TV Special
After watching Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special last night for two straight hours, I couldn’t help but feel a little up in the air. Yes, Underwood did a wonderful job entertaining the world. But what about her poor sister, Stephanie? Carrie tried repeatedly to find her sister a man, but by the end of the show, nothing.
That family drama aside, the special really did have something for everyone. It wasn’t even all that Christmasy. Just kind of an old-school variety show. But Underwood managed to show her range vocally (which she always does) and dramatically (which is kind of new for her).
Exclusive ‘American Idol’ Katharine McPhee clip: ‘The music inspired the hair’
It’s no secret “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee has a new sassy blonde ‘do to go with her new album. Watch our exclusive clip to find out why she decided to try a new look, plus brand-new pictures of this blonde having more fun.
In about a month, Katharine McPhee will be giving a live performance for Soundcheck and Zap2it is your source for exclusive previews, videos and photos. Today (Tuesday, Dec. 8) we’re teasing her new look and next week tune in for an exclusive preview of Katharine’s January performance, which coincides with the release of her second album.
‘Idol’ Alum Kimberley Locke Wants Diamond Ring for Christmas
‘American Idol’ season 2 contestant Kimberley Locke has one item on her Christmas list: a diamond ring. But she tells PopEater that it likely won’t happen. “I don’t think I’m going to get it, but I think that’s a good thing. My boyfriend is like, ‘I don’t want to do it around the holidays. I want it to be your special day, ‘” Locke says. “I’m like ‘I don’t care when you do it. Just do it.'” Locke is dating the notoriously tough trainer Harvey Walden from VH1’s ‘Celebrity Fit Club’. Their romance developed after Locke finished her stint on the fitness reality show in 2007. Watch PopEater’s exclusive interview >>
CMA makes largest music education donation to date
Mayor Karl Dean paused for a moment on Tuesday, as he pondered the day’s good news: The Country Music Association is donating $1, 066, 632 this year ‘â€ its largest music education donation to date ‘â€ to Nashville public schools through its ‘Keep the Music Playing’ campaign.
Nine ‘All-Star’ groups comprised of Nashville public school students performed on Tuesday evening at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center at an event in which the CMA’s donation was announced. Country artist Kellie Pickler was there to introduce some of the students and to make the check presentation.
Tony Cummings charts the fascinating journey to a CCM recording contract for singer/songwriter PHIL STACEY
There are plenty of critics lambasting the huge influence TV talent searches have had on the British and American music industries. But few can deny that such programmes undoubtedly bring to light some fine vocal talents. This truth was again demonstrated in September when Integrity-Provident released the ‘Into The Light’ album by American Idol finalist Phil Stacey. The Cross Rhythms reviewer enthused, “Stacey’s vocal performance is almost flawless, from husky sensitivity to gutsy emoting on the choruses.” ‘Into The Light’ was produced by one of Christendom’s most talented studio men, Brown Bannister (Steven Curtis Chapman, MercyMe). Bannister himself was hugely enthusiastic. “Working with Phil was such a gift. It’s been a long time since I’ve produced someone with his abilities as a writer and vocalist. This distinctive, powerful voice is a breath of fresh air in this market.”
Lots of noise, little heart in touring “Grease”
Finally, there’s Taylor Hicks, he of the multiple cardboard cut-outs in the lobby and zero acting and dancing talent. As Teen Angel, Hicks descends in glory from a metallic ice cream coffin atop the Burger Palace, croons “Beauty School Dropout” to an amusingly stunned Frenchy (Kate Morgan Chadwick), then retreats into darkness. It’s not so bad, though for the tour to claim he “stars” is a major stretch.
Lucky for fans of the former American Idol, Hicks returns for a tacked-on bit following the curtain call. Out of costume and strumming his guitar, Hicks races through the countrified “Seven Mile Breakdown, ” the second release from his new album.
It’s a fine song, and it’s better than anything Hicks does during “Grease.” But it feels perfunctory and unasked-for. As Hicks strums, an older couple tries to sneak out without attracting notice.
Trapped in our seats, we jealously watch them go.
Scott Brown wins GOP primary, readies for race vs. Coakley
NEWTON — State Senator Scott P. Brown, a telegenic triathlete and military lawyer who has won nine consecutive elections since the mid-1980s, tonight won an easy victory in the Republican primary for US Senate, launching him on an uphill battle to become the first Republican to represent Massachusetts in the United States Senate in 30 years.
Brown, who boasts that he can run two miles in just over 13 minutes, garnered some notoriety at age 22, in 1982, by posing nude for an issue of Cosmopolitan magazine about “America’s Sexiest Man.” But his family members are even better-known — one of his daughters, Ayla, was a finalist on “American Idol” in 2006 and is a four-year starter on the basketball team at Boston College. And Brown’s wife of 23 years, Gail Huff, is a veteran reporter at WCVB-TV. The couple also have another daughter, Arianna, a freshman at Syracuse University.
Ayla was actually a semi-finalist
‘So You Think You Can Dance’ recap: Pulling Out All the Stops
Does time fly or what, fellow SYTYCD fans? We’re just one week away from the finale, and from the looks of last night’s bizarre two-hour performance night, our dancers are starting to feel the pressure. Why else would they have pulled out gimmicks to stay in the competition? Jakob performed gymnastics(!) during his solo. Legacy whipped out a cell phone. And Russell inexplicably dressed like Santa Claus.
‘So You Think You Can Dance’: Russell Ferguson, your table is ready
Top8IMG_0734Now is the time I can finally admit this: For me, Russell Ferguson had never really popped this season the way I had wanted him to. I think the first time we met him, we all could tell that he was something special: a krumper who could take on different genres like it was nothing. But I was waiting for him to really light up the stage, and while he had done a good job before, he never blew me away.
Tonight he finally brought it.
X FACTOR bosses sprung a surprise by revealing one finalist will be axed on Saturday.
Stacey Solomon, Olly Murs and Joe McElderry were expecting to discover their fate on Sunday’s results show.
But the one with the lowest public vote will go home early.
Olly will duet with Robbie Williams, Joe with George Michael and Stacey with Michael Buble.
All three will also perform a Christmas song for judges including Simon Cowell.
The final two will battle it out on Sunday. An insider said: “This shocked the finalists.”
Will Cowell lose X-Factor Christmas Number 1 battle to The Muppets?
Simon Cowell could be set to lose his iron tight grip on the Christmas Number 1 spot.
A Muppets version of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is the latest competitor taking on the X-Factor machine having taken YouTube by storm, a single of the track will be released, download-only, on 14 Dec.
Whether the song without the video will have the same appeal, time will tell. The video will also be available for download – the label insist on calling this a ‘vingle’ – though it is unclear whether that counts in terms of chart position.
Some hope the Muppets doing Queen might have the novelty appeal to finally stop the ‘X-Factor’ winner from automatically getting the once coveted Christmas number one spot in the singles chart.
Susan Boyle Scores Duet With Her Idol Elaine Paige
Susan Boyle reached another pinnacle in her career after producers arranged for her to sing a duet with her idol, Elaine Paige. The surprise was kept a secret from Boyle until shortly before the performance, reports UK’s Daily Mail. The pair sang Paige’s song ‘I Know Him So Well.’ After the duet, the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ runner-up said, “I never thought I would see myself standing on the same stage with such an icon from West End theater, let alone singing with her as an equal.” The performance is part of a TV special called ‘I Dreamed A Dream: The Susan Boyle Story.’