Whitney Houston salutes Clive Davis
Grammy nominees in attendance included Duffy, Estelle, the Jonas Brothers, Chris Brown, Katy Perry, Eric BenÃƒÆ’ ©t, Rihanna, Sheryl Crow, Fantasia, Wayne Brady, will.i.am and Jazmine Sullivan.
American Idol was represented by alumni Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry, host Ryan Seacrest and judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi.
After belting new hit My Life Would Suck Without You, Kelly Clarkson tackled Janis Joplin’s Piece of My Heart. The Idol champ says it was one of the first songs she sang in talent shows.
Josh Groban, a last-minute substitute for Usher, did Bridge Over Troubled Water, and Jennifer Hudson sang Spotlight before sharing the spotlight with Barry Manilow for a duet.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
Whitney Houston makes triumphant comback at party
Clarkson got one of the evening’s biggest ovations with her performance of her new single, “My Life Would Suck Without You” and the Joplin gem “Piece of My Heart.”
But Hudson was perhaps the night’s biggest star ‘ until Houston hit the stage. Starting with the Super Bowl last Sunday, Hudson has been raising her profile after spending months in seclusion following the slayings of her mother, brother and nephew last October.
A smiling Houston performed her hit “Spotlight, ” which earned her one of her four Grammy nominations, and got a standing ovation from the crowd. But she raised the bar with a pairing with Barry Manilow, injecting one of his signature songs, “Weekend in New England, ” with a lacking ingredient ‘ soul.
Afterward, the Oscar-winner joined the audience (and friend Fantasia), stood in the front and danced and sang as Houston performed.
Whitney: Clean, Sober and Soaring
And that saying a lot at Davis famous pre-Grammy show. Last night the featured perfomers before Houston took the stage included a magnificent Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, as well as Rod Stewart, Barry Manilow, Josh Groban (substituting for Usher), rockers Kings of Leon, and Sean Puffy Combs featuring Faith Evans in the evening one misstep.
The Idols on display were Fantasia, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Taylor Swift, and of course Jennifer Hudson.
Grammy rehearsals with Carrie Underwood: She’s a JoBros fan
Carrie_underwood Are you ready for the country? Carrie Underwood is.
Underwood is just one of a number of artists making up the Nashville contingent at the Grammy Awards this Sunday. Other performers include Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and Sugarland.
“A few years ago I performed on the Grammys and Rascal Flatts and I were the only country acts, ” Underwood said at this morning’s rehearsals. “We did a tribute to Bob Wills and the Eagles … now this year, there’s a ton of country. It’s so exciting.”
Grammy Rehearsals, Day Three: Radiohead, Carrie Underwood, Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and some dude named Stevie
I didn’t envy Carrie Underwood having to follow that lot into the room, but then I remembered it’s a rehearsal, not a competition. Still, the blonde held her own, and you gotta respect a gal who can work a bedazzled microphone and a bombastic song like “Last Name” at 10:30 in the morning. Clearly, the kid wakes up warmed up and able to drill notes that go far above and beyond the soundcheck call of duty, using her patented grip-the-mic-and-crank-it body language to summon her platinum-selling wail from wherever it is housed and get random people in the front row to give her a standing ovation. She nailed the song at full power three times in a row. “She is very loud, ” I texted a friend of mine. “It’s because she’s 20, ” he texted back. She’s 25, but anyway, you get the point. I like that Carrie went with her Cuervo song instead of that prom queen number she did on the People’s Choice Awards — it’ll balance out Chesney’s choice of sincerity quite well, I think — and I also enjoy her female guitarist, who was up there shredding like Slash, if Slash had a perky ponytail.
Grammy weekend kicks off with Neil Diamond tribute
Coldplay, Foo Fighters and Jennifer Hudson were among the pop stars paying tribute to Neil Diamond Friday night in Los Angeles to kick off Grammy weekend charity event, MusicCares Person of the Year.
Hudson moving rendition of …Holly Holy and Coldplay smooth version of Diamond …Im A Believer, made famous by the Monkees were among the highlighted performances showcasing Diamond 50-year body of work. The Jonas Brothers kicked off the show with …Forever in Blue Jeans.
Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl: White Knot for Gay Marriage
Meanwhile, could freshman American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi actually be afraid of being on the receiving end of Simon Cowell nasty zingers?
DioGuardi says she has no plans to perform …Temporary, her duet with Nick Lachey from the former Newlyweds star upcoming album, on AI anytime soon.
…I think well stick to the contestants, DioGuardi said with a laugh.
Dave Grohl, Coldplay, Jennifer Hudson Lead All-Star Tribute to Neil Diamond at MusiCares Gala
Naturally, the event spanned every stage of Diamond four decade-plus songwriting career. Among the highlights from the early years: Coldplay acoustic take on the 1967 Monkees hit, …Im A Believer, which Chris Martin led quartet-style with a squeaky Casio, Raul Malo country spin on 1966 …Solitary Man, and Jennifer Hudson moving turn on 1969 …Holly Holy, for which she received the first standing ovation of the night. Kid Rock came next with …Thank the Lord for the Night Time, and later joked backstage, …Im gonna kill whoever made me follow Jennifer Hudson. Thanks!
Inside the All-Star MusiCares Tribute to Neil Diamond
The night was a tribute to Neil Diamond, but it was Jennifer Hudson’s moving take on his 1969 hit “Holly Holy” that brought down the house.
Wearing a gold jacket and black satin pantsuit, Hudson ‘ backed by three singers ‘ was serious and soulful in her powerful performance, which drew cheers from the audience three times during the song, especially when she hit high notes with a lot of vibrato.
Rock of Ages’ Constantine Maroulis to Guest at James Barbour’s Love Songs Concert
Constantine Maroulis will make a special appearance at James Barbour’s new concert series, Love Songs at Sardi’s, on January 13.
He will be joined by additional special guest Morgan James. Maroulis first came to fame as a contestant on American Idol. He starred Off-Broadway in Rock of Ages, and is expected to star in the Broadway production of the show later this season. Additional theater credits include The Wedding Singer on Broadway and the Off-Broadway revival of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.
Melinda Doolittle CD Review: “Comin’ Back” Big
I usually review CDs track by track; but with this one it almost too hard to do because the CD has such a seamless flow to it.
The mix of covers and originals have a real funky Motown sound to it and you guys know I love my Motown ¦
Things get off to a rocking start with …Fundamental Things, as Melinda proves very quickly that she has not lost her beautiful phrasing ability or her gritty soulful sound ¦
She then gets jazzy with …It Your Love, the first single. Though I question its single possibilities, I do think it a good showcase for Melinda voice ¦
CD reviews: Melinda Doolittle; Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel
This soulful, frisky debut by Doolittle, a finalist on the sixth season of “American Idol, ” is a quantum cut above the “Idol” norm. Al Green, Tina Turner, Gladys Knight and Sarah Vaughan are not physically on this disc, but Doolittle absorbed their auditory DNA as a young girl in Tennessee, and their influences bleed through on this raw and rockin’ disc.
Will Jennifer Hudson win a Grammy?
Her comeback will culminate in a performance of “You Pulled Me Through, ” a track from her self-titled album. The soaring ballad, which was written by Diane Warren, has some powerful lyrics that really speak to what Jennifer’s been through in the past three months. I’m betting there won’t be a dry eye in the house when she finishes that song.
The big question is, will Jennifer take home a Grammy, and if so, which one? Let’s check out the various categories for which she is nominated and analyze her chances in each one.
By Popular Demand – Marriott’s ‘Spirit Of Aloha’ West Coast Promo Tour Heads East
The Hawaii promo tour is being extended to Minneapolis (Feb. 10-14), Chicago (Feb. 15-18), New York City (Feb. 19-22), and Washington, D.C. (Feb. 24-26). In each city, travel trade professionals and consumers will enjoy the music, dance and people of Hawaii, while learning how affordable travel is to Hawaii – an especially attractive offer this winter. A number of media appearances are also being scheduled.
The tour team comprising of Marriott Resorts Hawaii executives, Hawaiian Airlines, Polynesian Cultural Center dancers and Maui’s Camile Velasco of American Idol fame, greeted and entertained travel agents, meeting planners, wholesalers, and members of the public at Costco Warehouses and other venues in the major West Coast cities. Velasco, Marriott’s ambassador of aloha, made television, radio and public appearances in each of the cities. Her new music CD called “Koy” will be launched in April 2009.
VIDEO: Paula Abdul Calls Simon Cowell a Beauty “Junkie”
Simon Cowell is a big-time beauty addict, Paula Abdul reveals in the newest issue of Us Weekly.
The American Idol judge — who’s admitted he uses Botox — “is a skin-care product junkie, ” Abdul says. “He goes on the Internet and says, ‘I found this! I found that!'”