“Idol” fans sing a loud “Hallelujah”
A cover of a song written by a composer who’s now 73 and performed by a singer who died more than 10 years ago may not sound like the ingredients of a top-selling download. But when the straw that stirs is “American Idol, ” throw out the recipes.
Contestant Jason Castro delivered “Hallelujah” on the top-rated Fox juggernaut — not a version reminiscent of the original take by its author, new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Leonard Cohen, but one that paid homage to second-generation musician Jeff Buckley, who drowned in 1997.
Castro’s performance obviously struck a chord with viewers, as Buckley’s version tops Hot Digital Songs with 178, 000 downloads sold, the largest song spike yet from an “American Idol” performance.
“Hallelujah” for Idol
According to Buckley’s record label, the song, which slipped to No. 5 by Friday, is the first No. 1 anything on a U.S. chart for the acclaimed singer-songwriter who accidentally drowned in 1997 at the age of 30.
“We couldn’t pay people to make that choice, ” said Buckley’s mother, Mary Guibert, of Jason Castro’s decision to sing “Hallelujah” on the Mar. 4 Idol.
The song earned Castro raves, Cohen a rare prime-time mention for a poet, and Buckley a tribute from none other than the Dark Lord of the Sith, judge Simon Cowell.
Bonkers for Buckley: America’s Dead Idol
When the producers of American Idol announced at the start of this season that, for the first time, they would be selling contestants’ performances on iTunes, but that iTunes had agreed not to report those sales publicly or to Billboard, we chart geeks grumbled. How would we know how big an impact the show had on consumers’ instant whims?
For anyone who still has doubts that “American Idol” is changing the landscape of music, look no further than the top of the digital songs chart this week. Not only is the show exposing us to new singers each year that are finding their way to the top of some of Billboard’s key charts, not to mention turning unknown non-contestants such as Daniel Powter (“Bad Day”) into chart-topping singers by exposing their original music to the masses, but now we have a song from the past being catapulted to the top of the charts merely by having it sung by a contestant on the show.
David Cook brings rock chops to ‹Idol
Beneath his shaggy hair and mild-mannered demeanor, …American Idol contestant David Cook is a seasoned musician who rocked his way through the gritty club scene in America heartland.
The 25-year-old native of Blue Springs, Mo., brought his aspiring music career to Tulsa two years ago after graduating from Central Missouri State University with a degree in graphic design. But despite a college degree and even a few career opportunities, Cook friends and band mates from Tulsa say there nothing Cook would rather be doing than performing and making music.
AI OD: A farewell to David Hernandez – VIDEOS
David Hernandez was always a bit of a wild card for me. He was handsome but fairly nondescript and forgettable. He had a nice enough voice but again how memorable was he. Then, the internet blew up with the story about his having worked as a male stripper prior to American Idol and suddenly he was arguably the most recognized face on the show … and abs … and chest …
I knew Id need something to hop to after finishing the Taylor Hicks memoir, Heart Full of Soul. Because Im like Amanda Overmyer, always with my nose in a book, you see. So I chose Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul. I was serious when I said it really existed. And I found a cheap copy online, way less than the retail price of $14.95, but so far it been worth every penny, each page reminding me that you cant really put a price on inspiration. It so true. Just today I read about how Clay Aiken helped a young female fan body image by appearing to enjoy the company of a plus-size young woman in his hit …Invisible video. From that moment on he requested that only regular-looking people be in his videos. This had nothing at all to do with making him look less geeky. He had love and inner healing to deliver.
Idol-ology: Who Will Win ‘American Idol?’
Complete with rockers (David Cook and Amanda Overmeyer), country crooners (Kristy Lee Cook), international contestants from both Ireland (Carly Smithson) and Australia (Michael Johns), and yes, even a Chikezie, it’s safe to say that this season of American Idol has something for everyone. With futures on the line and the competition fiercer than ever before, the next few months on “Idol” are likely to be very exciting.
Yet nothing has been more exciting than the voting thus far. In a pop culture dominated by the somewhat nauseating “bubblegum” movement – led by Disney channel gems like Hannah Montana and the High School Musical franchise – it is virtually unheard of to see the rough and raspy-voiced Overmeyer still in the running while the more pop-oriented contestants (such as Kady Malloy and David Hernandez) have been sent home.
‹American Idol sweeps top three spots in Canadian TV ratings
Canadian TV Ratings: March 3 – 9, 2008
Bo Bice and Wife Caroline Expecting a Second Child
Former American Idol runner-up Bo Bice and his wife, Caroline Fisher, are expecting their second child, the singer tells PEOPLE exclusively.
…Im proud to be a dad again, says Bice, adding that his wife is due in August. …We dont know if it a boy or girl yet and dont care as long as it healthy and has all its fingers and toes.
The couple, who have been together five years, married in their home state of Alabama on June 15, 2005. Their first child, a boy named Aidan Bice, was born Sept. 24, 2005.
Catching Up With Past “American Idol” Finalists
Ruben Studdard, Ace Young, Sanjaya Malakar, and Ace Young were among many former “American Idol” contestants assembled to guest star on “American Idol Extra, ” the Fox Reality Channel series that airs Thursdays. The weekly series features an interview with the seventh season “Idol” finalist who is eliminated during the results show on Wednesday and performances and interviews with former “Idols.” Billboard.com was present at the recent “American Idol Extra” taping and caught up with a dozen former contestants to find out what is going on in their lives.
Carrie Underwood ‘Cheats’ fate of fading ‘Idols’ stars
Try to imagine Carrie Underwood’s hit song ”Before He Cheats” as a dance remix.
Underwood couldn’t. She wouldn’t — even though her producers liked the idea.
”I had to beg and plead, and finally put my foot down and not do it, ” Underwood says during a phone interview.
Nevertheless, on Feb. 10, she performed a mildly remixed version on the Grammy Awards, then took home a couple of Grammys for the original cut. She won best female country vocal performance and ”Before He Cheats” won best country song.
Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood a truly dynamic duo in Anaheim
Carrie Underwood simply couldn’t have picked a better neo-country star to hook up with on tour than Keith Urban.
True, on the charts the “American Idol” champ may outsell the hunky New Zealander by at least a 2-to-1 margin, which may explain why the duo’s outing, which delighted a packed crowd at Honda Center Thursday night, is technically billed as a co-headlining jaunt. But even in the country realm, where fans are traditionally more devoted to supporting every facet of their favorites’ careers, selling records doesn’t instantly equate to putting butts in seats.
Carrie, Little Big Town & More on “Opry Live”
Carrie Underwood returns to the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville on Saturday when she appears on GAC’s telecast of the “Opry Live” Carrie, who sings the title track in the album How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites From The Grand Ole Opry, will be joined in the hour-long show by Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum, making their first appearance on national TV.
Music, fireworks make Rascal Flatts concert at Alltel Arena a blast
The opening act was American Idol Season 5 hopeful Kellie Pickler, who made it to top six in 2005 before being voted off the show. Pickler was comfortable for the concert, wearing bluejeans with a black tank top. She treated the crowd like close friends, talking to them about her songs before singing them. Her hit …Things That Never Cross a Man Mind proved to be good sing-along as the audience joined in, and during the guitar solo in …Didnt You Know How Much I Loved You, Pickler danced back and forth softly. But …Small Town Girl proved repetitive as she kept singing the words …small town girl over and over. Before singing …I Wonder, Pickler told the audience the song was her story; she sat on a stool and every time she paused during the song, the audience cheered and clapped.
City plans culture and arts celebration in April
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the City’s Commission on Culture and the Arts, the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts presents the first-ever Art on the Block from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 19, on the Fasi Civic Center grounds surrounding the Skygate sculpture.
Open to the public and free of charge, Hawaii’s “American Idol”Jasmine Trias and singer Kristian Lei will headline this all-day event.
Photo Coverage: L.A.’s 24th Annual STAGE Benefit
AIDS Project Los Angeles received nearly $350, 000 from the 24th annual Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (S.T.A.G.E.), celebrating the music of composer Burt Bacharach, on March 8 and 9 at the Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills.
…American Idol’s Justin Guarini sang …The Look of Love while singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester chose a medley of …Anyone Who Had a Heart and …I Just Dont Know What To Do With Myself and Deniece Williams performed …Magic Moments. Later …Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Jai Rodriguez did …Go Ask Shakespeare, ” Stefanie Powers sang “Walk on By” and McKechnie and Pettiford performed “House is Not a Home” and “Alfie” respectively.
Sex And The City’ Star Sarah Jessica Parker Says Carrie Experiences ‘A Loss’ In The Film
When we caught up with the incomparable Sarah Jessica Parker on Thursday at the ShoWest movie convention, we found her to be every bit as charming, fashionable and affable as her iconic “Sex and the City” character, Carrie Bradshaw. But once we started talking turkey about the May 30 film that will bring the fab four femmes to the big screen, things took a surprisingly dark turn.
Carrie Bradshaw once said, “One woman’s Titanic is another woman’s Love Boat.” Appropriately, Parker talked about the film’s love and laughter, welcoming “Dreamgirls” star Jennifer Hudson, and why she loved Carrie more than ever after reading the top-secret script centering on an ominous iceberg.
Paula Calls Simon and Ryan “Botox Buddies”
After trying to decipher Paula Abdul wonky words every week on American Idol (and to a greater extent on Hey Paula), one thing is for sure: if the 45-year-old is in the vicinity, you’re bound to end up with a brilliant sound bite! Case and point: Paula was on Sirius Radio’s “Morning Mash Up” today and dropped some brilliant bombshells over the course of her interview.
Simon Cowell admits to spying on his Beverly Hills neighbours
We could think of a few phrases to describe Simon Cowell – rich, charming, influential, er, nasty.
But “Peeping Tom” certainly wouldn’t have been one of them. So we were stunned when the X Factor supremo revealed to us that he has started snooping on neighbours in his spare time.
Simon installed a telescope in his kitchen after becoming obsessed with 10, Dudley Moore’s classic film comedy.
The World According to Simon
“Extra’s” own Terri Seymour sat down with “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell in an exclusive interview, and the critical wit dishes about plastic surgery, Paula Abdul’s reported engagement and what triggered his recent weight loss.