Jerrod Niemann, Jake Owen, Lauren Alaina and Others Head to Summer Camp – It’s a different kind of camp with very special campers. And the counselors? Well, they’re the best in the biz!
It’s the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp for individuals with Williams syndrome—a genetic condition that causes mental and developmental problems. And this year’s counselors include Jerrod Niemann, Jake Owen, Lauren Alaina, Love and Theft and hit songwriter Dallas Davidson. – Read more at Country Weekly
Steven Tyler: I wasn’t honest with ‘American Idol’ hopefuls – Rocker Steven Tyler has revealed he was far from honest when he was a judge on “American Idol” because he let too many singers he didn’t care for make it through to the finals. The Aerosmith front man spent two seasons on the TV talent show alongside Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez before he quit last year, and now he admits that although he liked being a judge, he didn’t have the necessary mean streak to tell wannabes they couldn’t sing. – Read more at SFGate.com
Lakisha Jones talks appearance on NBC’s ‘And The Winner Is,’ future plans – Jones said she is “still in disbelief” at the results, but that her experience of being eliminated as a finalist from “American Idol” helped her deal with the loss. In the meantime, the episode was still “great exposure” for a return to TV. “It was bittersweet, because I did have a goal of staying on the show. But I still left the show with the same thing I went with: my voice. No one can take that away from me,” she said. “…It’s great to hear from fans, and people tweeting me, telling me that I’m still giving them chills after six years.” – Read more at MLive
Sting, Billy Joel, Elton John at Songwriters Hall – Sting performed in honor of Elton John, Billy Joel sang snippets of Foreigner’s hits when introducing the band and Smokey Robinson debuted part of a new song he wrote about Berry Gordy. The 44th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony was full of star power that included Alison Krauss, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Nickelback, Petula Clark, Wiz Khalifa, Jordin Sparks and a video message from Bill Clinton. – Read more at the Associated Press
Jordin tweeted, “It was an absolute honor to perform ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ by the incomparable Sam Cooke. The song received the ‘Towering Song Award’ tonight. (Pictured) I’ve never performed/sang that song for anyone, ever, so….Singing it in front of some of Sam’s family & important people in his life was nerve wracking! I had a blast!”
Flora-Bama, Taylor Hicks ready for first ‘Shindig on the Sand’ this weekend (photos, video) – Hicks, who played the Flora-Bama many times before making it big on Idol, got to see the main room for the first time since its renovation. The main bar was demolished after Hurricane Ivan in 2004, but last year the bar’s owners painstakingly recreated the treasured main room with mostly original materials salvaged from the old bar. “It reminds me so much of what it was,” Hicks said after seeing the renovations. “I’m really excited to get back and play here because I had so many special moments in the main room growing up as an entertainer.” – Read more at AL.com
Q&A: Sasha Allen Reflects on Her Time on ‘The Voice’ – After putting her career as a backup singer for the likes of John Legend and Christina Aguilera on hold to raise a family, Sasha Allen auditioned for The Voice in hope of making a comeback. After the blind auditions, she nabbed a spot on coach Adam Levine’s team, only to be cut during the battle rounds after losing to Amber Carrington. That’s when Shakira scooped her up with a steal – and Allen wound up keeping Team Shakira alive week after week, becoming a fan favorite before being eliminated from the competition earlier this week alongside Carrington – one week shy of the finals. – Read more at Rolling Stone
Blake Shelton tweets, “Had such a great first date last night… I’m so glad we’re finally going there!!!” Trying to make Adam jealous, Blake? Ha.
‘X Factor’: No Divas Here, Says Kelly Rowland – Veteran judge Demi Lovato insisted there won’t be any drama between the foursome, saying, “Nobody likes to watch drama unfold on a panel… we’re having fun.” Kelly added, “We’re here to find talent, we’re not about judging each other.” Paulina told Mario, “I’m really happy. I’m learning and enjoying the moment, and Simon is being nice (laughs).”
Sebastien De La Cruz, 11, Sings National Anthem at NBA Finals, Sparks Racist Tweets – Sebastien De La Cruz’s performance of the national anthem at Game 3 of the NBA finals on Tuesday, June 11, should have been one of the best moments of his young life. But while he was greeted with applause inside the arena, the reaction on Twitter wasn’t as kind, with some basketball fans unleashing racist comments about the 11-year-old singer’s heritage — he’s Mexican-American — and his outfit — a mariachi costume. Sebastien, a San Antonio native who first gained fame on America’s Got Talent last season, was asked to sing at the Spurs game after country star Darius Rucker had to cancel. He took the court confidently and delivered a spirited, patriotic version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” — at one point gesturing proudly to the American flag — but still some Twitter users slammed him as an “illegal” (among other things). – Read more at US Magazine