GRIEVING STAR EYES SINGING AT INAUGURAL
OSCAR winner and former “American Idol” star Jennifer Hudson hasn’t been able to perform since her mother, sister and nephew were brutally murdered in October – but sources say she may be summoning up the strength for President-elect Barack Obama. “Organizers want Jennifer to sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at the Inauguration on Jan. 20, ” our source said. “They are talking to Jennifer about it. It would be the first time she performed since the murders. She is from Chicago and a huge Obama supporter.” Hudson sang the national anthem at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August. Her rep didn’t return calls.
Idol runner-up to headline inaugural
Four years ago, when he sang “The Star Spangled Banner” at Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.’s inauguration at Abravanel Hall, few had heard of David Archuleta.
When the American Idol runner-up from Murray performs the national anthem next week at Huntsman’s second inaugural it will be a very different scene.
The inaugural ceremonies for Utah’s five statewide elected office holders — Huntsman, Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, Auditor Auston Johnson and Treasurer Richard Ellis — is scheduled for Monday on the steps of the state Capitol.
The event, scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m. on the south steps of the Capitol is open to the public, but seating is limited. Weather forecasters are predicting a mostly cloudy day with a high near 32 and a chance of snow.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
‘Idol’ tries to keep No. 1 title
Stand back — here comes another season of “American Idol.” That’s pretty much how Fox’s Big Four rivals react this time of year as the “Idol” steamroller revs up for its January debut.
But this year, the competition is putting on more of a game face. CBS and ABC in particular are hoping to field credible counterprogramming (read: shows with ratings that won’t hit historic lows) to the “Idol” juggernaut, and CW execs are bravely gambling that teen-bait “90210” won’t wither in the Tuesday 8 p.m. shadow of “Idol.” (If it does, they’ll move it out of the way in a Beverly Hills minute.)
Kara DioGuardi: Here Comes the New ‘Idol’ judge
Kara DioGuardi is ensconced in the black velvet cocoon of a small home-recording studio, laying down a demo track while warmed by the glow of spice-scented candles. She’s crooning a song she co-wrote ‘ an encapsulation of falling in love that involves shooting stars and dancing shadows ‘ in a powerhouse pop voice that lies somewhere between Natasha Bedingfield and Sara Bareilles. Somewhere good, that is. ”She kills it every time she sings, ” raves her writing partner, Jason Reeves. ”He’s one of the greatest melody writers I’ve ever worked with, ” DioGuardi returns.
“The American Idol Experience” opens Feb. 14, 2009 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park
IT’S SHOWTIME!: Disney’s Hollywood Studios raises the curtain on the newest showbiz-themed attraction, “The American Idol Experience.” Opening Feb. 14, 2009, all the excitement of the popular “American Idol” TV show comes to life in a first-of-its-kind attraction. Walt Disney World guests can vote on their favorite performance, or audition with the chance to perform on stage. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (David Roark, photographer)
LAST CHANCE: Liza, Hairspray, Boeing, Frankenstein, 13, Grease and More
Concluding Jan. 4
Grease (on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre). The reality television-fueled Broadway revival of the 1950’s-set musical, directed by Kathleen Marshall, stars Ashley Spencer, Derek Keeling, Janine DiVita and “American Idol” finalist Ace Young as the rock ‘n’ rolling students of Rydell High. For tickets visit GreaseOnBroadway.
Rock of Ages (Off-Broadway at New World Stages). Constantine Maroulis, Will Swenson, Lauren Molina and Kelli Barrett star in the Broadway-bound eighties rock tuner that features songs by Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia and Whitesnake. For tickets visit Ticketmaster
The Broadway Year of Taylor Hicks
Winner of the fifth season of American Idol, Taylor Hicks contributed greatly to Broadway in 2008. Reports say that Hicks has the lowest selling American Idol winner album. Even so, in 2008 Hicks played ‹Teen Angel in GREASE on Broadway. Hicks fans came from all over the country to see his performance. Critics pointed out that Hicks really was only on stage for a very short time. However, fans still praised his performance and ticket sales reflected this fact. Some say, arguably, Hicks saved GREASE from closing on Broadway during the summer of 2008.
Idols: How they ranked in 2008
I’m back, and I apologize for not posting before I left on vacation, as semi-promised. Turns out we had to move up the date of our departure, so time ran out on me. Anyway, I have more info to add to what I was going to post, so this becomes an overall summary of how Idols ranked on various industry charts and lists (minus some sales — the final figures for the full year come out Wednesday sometime). You may have seen some of it elsewhere, but this will be a useful summary, I hope. So take a deep metaphorical breath — here goes with what’s kind of a data dump: a list of achievements, alphabetically by Idol:
Digital Tracks Set New Weekly Record
Weekly digital track sales have set a new record, with 47.7 million sold in the U.S. between Dec. 22 ‘ Dec. 28, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
That figure for Christmas week represents a 126% spike from the week prior, a likely reflection of consumers redeeming download gift cards or receiving MP3 players as gifts. The week top-selling digital song was Interscope artist Lady GaGa …Just Dance, with 419, 000 downloads.
Total digital track sales this year were 1, 070, 000, 000 ‘ up 27% from 2007, based on full year-end data.
All but two songs on Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart increased their sales by triple-digit percentages last week. During the corresponding week last year, ten songs on that chart sold more than 200, 000 downloads; this Christmas week, 15 songs did so.
Josh Gracin – Simon Would Be Ashamed
Josh Gracin, who went from “American Idol” loser to country star, now sadly has all those polite country trappings….i.e., he won’t even trash Jessica Simpson, unless you read between the lines. And he wouldn’t even call Paula Abdul crazy.
Jason Castro sings ‘White Christmas’
Bing Crosby is now rolling his eyes in amazement somewhere at the sight of dreadlocked, ukelele-strumming Jason Castro doing this lovely rendition of “White Christmas” at his hometown Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas. The video, recorded by the church, has been making the rounds on the Web feeding the insatiable dreadhead appetite for Jason material.
Gina Glocksen plans an Idol New Year’s wedding
Ginaglocksen Season six’s pioneering Idol female rocker, Gina Glocksen, will be tying the knot on New Year’s Eve. According to a story in her hometown paper, the Beacon News, the “American Idol” theme will be prominent throughout the festivities. Gina will be taking the vows with her longtime boyfriend, Joe Ruzicka, a high school science teacher whom Idol watchers will remember as Gina’s ardent supporter in the audience throughout season six — eventually donning the Team Glocksen trademark red streak in his hair.
Clay Aiken is a caricature of himself
Clay Aiken has always sort of mystified me. I never understood why he hid his sexuality (ok, that’s not true, I understood, but I just wanted him to be loud and proud and get down with his bad self, no matter what sexuality that bad self might be). I didn’t really understand why he was famous, and to be honest, I found his single quite disturbing. I mean, come on. If he was invisible, then he would just watch me in my room?
Here Clay is at famous NYC spot Sardi’s, next to his very own caricature. He’s officially made it! Sardi’s is known for its star sketches. It’s pretty much a C-list equivalent of getting your star in Hollywood. Way to go, Clay!
Amanda Overmyer to perform in Logansport
Former American Idol finalist Amanda Overmyer will be appearing in January in Cincinnati and Logansport.
Overmyer, a graduate of Delphi Community High School, achieved international fame as a 2008 Top 12 finalist on the popular television program American Idol.
Compared to the late Janis Joplin, her boogie rock and roll vocal style is a carefully selected mixture of classic and southern rock with a hint of blues.
With a brand new album, “Solidify” just completed on her own Chile Records label, Overmyer will appear Jan. 3 at the Madison Theater in Cincinnati.
On Jan. 24 she will be appearing in concert at McHale Performing Arts Center in Logansport. Tickets are available at Security Federal in Delphi.
“Solidify” contains 12 tracks of original material, both written and arranged by Overmyer.
Seacrest on New Year’s duty again with Clark
Neither sleet, snow, rain nor the residual effects of a stroke can keep Dick Clark down. At least on New Year’s Eve.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest returns to ABC tonight, hosted primarily by American Idol’s one-man media conglomerate. Though it’s unclear how much airtime Clark, 79, will have, he’s scheduled to appear for the fourth straight year and the 36th of 37 shows since it premiered in 1972.
“Dick will do the countdown and bring the ball in, and we’ll do a bunch of (short segments) with him, ” says longtime show producer Larry Klein.
Sinitta: Simon Cowell brought out the possessive woman in me
Sinitta admits that Simon Cowell brought out her jealous streak when they were together.
The singer dated The X Factor judge on and off for years.
But she says their relationship was tempestuous.
‹He brought out the possessive woman in me, she admits.
‹Even before he was Simon Cowell, the big mogul, women were attracted to him, and as a young girl dating him, I felt terribly threatened because he was always such a flirt.
Paula Abdul Pulls out the Pom Poms!
Paula Abdul is going from celebrity judge to celebrity coach.
“American Idol” premieres in less than two weeks but, in the meantime, Paula has a new show where she shows her school spirit by coaching cheerleading.
On MTV’s “Rah” Paula coaches five collegiate cheerleading squads who are competing to be the best in the country.
“I always knew the power of cheerleading – it’s the backbone of my breaking into show business, ” she says of her days as a Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader.
Paula’s coaching skills can be seen this Saturday on MTV.