Headlines: Katharine McPhee Ends ‘Waitress’ Run, Aretha Franklin Biopic Update

Aretha Franklin biopic: ‘Aretha was adamant that it be Jennifer (Hudson)’ playing her – “My duty is to do something that really honors Aretha and treats her in the manner I have been accustomed to dealing with her. I have a good feel for what she likes and doesn’t like. My whole goal is to do something … her fans would be proud of and something that stands up to her legacy.” Mason notes certain similarities between Franklin and Hudson. “They both sing with a lot of emotion. They both sing with a lot of range and power. It’s really hard to compare anyone with Aretha, though. I think the good thing about Jennifer is that was Aretha’s pick to play her. … There was a lot of discussion about a lot of people, but Aretha was adamant that it be Jennifer.” – Read more at USAToday

Katharine McPhee plays her last “Waitress” Show

Katharine McPhee says goodbye to Broadway, for now, with a little dance party.

How Aretha Franklin inspired reality singing competitions like ‘American Idol’ – If there was a prize for the song performed most frequently on a reality singing competition show, ”(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” would have an easy shot at the crown. “American Idol.” “The Voice.” “The X Factor.” “America’s Got Talent.” “The Four.” “Popstars.” “Rising Star.” “Nashville Star.” Those are just a few of the shows that featured the ballad performed by Aretha Franklin. It was one of the many unexpected ways Franklin, the iconic singer who died Thursday at 76, had an impact on modern music culture. The explosion of reality TV singing shows over the past two decades produced a number of celebrities, from the pop music world to Broadway, and quite a few of them named Franklin as an influence. They wanted to be like her, and they wanted to sing like her. Franklin songs from “Respect” to “Chain of Fools” to “Ain’t No Way” continue to be a reality show staple. – Read more at Worcester Telegram

Jessica Meuse Surpasses One Million Streams – LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA, August 17, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — The new country album “Halfhearted” by Jessica Meuse has only been out two weeks, but it hit Top 11 on iTunes Country Albums and has already amassed over one million song streams on Spotify, Apple Music, and other music services. “I don’t think there are words in any language that could express how excited I am about Halfhearted finally being released,” said Jessica. “It’s been a long and winding road, with ups and downs galore, but every trial and challenge has been worth it. – Read more at EINNews.com

Carrie Underwood talks new baby, touring and being clickbait – Just because Carrie Underwood wears pink, it doesn’t mean that she’s having a girl. Underwood has seen the speculation and she laughs it off. “I don’t know what it is,” she said. “You’ve got a 50 percent chance you’re correct. I have no idea.” Seated in the living area of a suite at a luxury Nashville hotel Monday, Underwood is, in fact, wearing pink. She looked glamorous with her long blond hair in soft curls that fell well past her shoulders and rested against her light pink dress. – Read more at Tennessean

About mj santilli 33682 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!


  1. I knew when she auditioned for Idol she was a no-turn contestant on TV. I assume I read it hear, because this is really the only place I look for info. I’m with you on the style of music. I like her country rock, but she has gone too country for me as ell.

  2. Can someone remind me what is considered an album stream? Because if you go on Spotify and look at any artist, you’ll see that some songs on his/her/their may have hundred of thousands, if not millions, of streams, while other songs on the same album may have less than 1000 streams.

    So with this sort of discrepancy between the songs on the same album, how do they determine what equals 1 full stream of the entire album?

  3. With the new streaming rules (paid vs. free), its changed. Before, 1,500 song streams from the album = 1 album sale. Now, if it’s a free streaming service its 3,750 song streams = 1 album sale. Paid is 1,250 = 1 album sale.

  4. If Jennifer Hudson gets the part, I hope they get a director able to pull a mediocre performance out of her because her acting hasn’t improved in the slightest since Dreamgirls.

  5. 1. “8 Letters” Music Video – Why Don’t We
    2. “Won’t He Do It” Music Video – Koryn Hawthorne
    3. “Born Again” Music Video – Austin French
    4. “Still Rolling Stones” Audio – Lauren Daigle
    5. “Finally Free” Audio – Niall Horan
    6. “God Bless The Broken Road” Trailer – Jordin Sparks (September 7)

  6. Sounds like Jess is doing well with her new music and the streaming thing…good for her. I hope that gets translated to $$ for her at some point…for album sales, or gigs and booking fees and Merch and M&G’s or something more concrete than a fraction of a cent per stream.

    ”…Jessica’s first single, “Thank God It Didn’t Work,” is currently being promoted at country radio. “The song is easily relatable to folks everywhere who have been faced with challenges in their life and then looked back later grateful that they didn’t work out,” related Meuse. “Initially, I auditioned for The Voice, but not one of the judges turned around. I was crushed. But, had I known that less than a year later I’d make Top 4 on American Idol, I wouldn’t have worried so much about it.”

    Did we know that Jess was another “No-Chair Turn” contestant on The Voice? I don’t recall knowing that. Hmmm. While it eventually became clear that the instrumentation and arrangements behind her songs was going to be entirely too country sounding for my tastes, I was originally really interested in Jess Meuse’s original music on Idol, back when it had a Southern Rock flavor…and when she delivered an interpretation of “Jolene” that led me to think perhaps Jolene better watch her back! ?. I regarded “Blue-Eyed Lie” as an example of what she could do, given a chance. That isn’t the direction she went with her chance, but I wish her Good Fortune with this album.

  7. Bottom line. No one is buying singles/albums anymore unless you are a part of the few A+list artists out there. The labels have to make money somewhere and if the labels aren’t making money on their artists than every artist might as well go indie. Streaming is now
    were they make their money. It’s not like artists were making money on their singles/albums sales in the past anyway. It takes a lot of money to promote an artist and get their music out there. It has always been the case that costs to promote an artist came out of the artist’s pocket and any money left after the label get their share went to the artist which was never a huge amount for 99% of artists. Streaming just like singles/albums sales is just part of the promotional tool to get the public to hopefully pay money to see you on tour where you as an artist make your money. For indie artists it may be enough to just sell to your base but for most artists that are looking for a bigger audience it’s a trade off for them.

  8. Obviously Spotify or the other streaming services will know what is a paid stream and what is a free stream. But how does an artist who has no access to that type of data find out how many of their streams came from paid accounts and how many came from free accounts?

  9. Some of the replies are funny.

    But poor Kris…33 is so old to a teenager, lol

  10. I seem to be asking this a lot more recently. But what connection does Austin French have to a reality show? Yet another person I don’t remember from AI or The Voice.

  11. I assume artists don’t have any way of knowing unless their label tells them. For example, in the country genre labels promote that their roster artist has their single with this much on-demand streams without ads which is basically paid streaming. I could see other genres having the same type of label promo.

  12. And how does an Indie know if the reckoning of who streamed their music, and how often, is accurate? Do they have any access to the data, in lieu of having a label, or would that also cost them a fee? It seems the self-appointed fox (pun not intended, I think) is in charge of the henhouse…and the funds. The whole deal reeks, IMO.

  13. I have absolutely no idea how streaming is calculated…I read the fan psa’s about how BillBoard uses streaming to determine placement on lists and other stuff like that for everyone now…so put artists you like on playlists and stream them, and stream other people’s playlists, and then some entity counts them and declares they have meaning. Whoever charges for the playlist makes the money….the artists get the dubious numbers and the price of a caramel latte, mostly, maybe. ?

    I pretty much think it sucks, it’s an artificial money-grab, and has zip, zero and zilch to do with the way I consume music. So I have a dedicated device that plays their silly game with updated variations, all day with the volume off…while I listen to the music from my library…that I already paid for. It’s entirely ridic…but that is all I know about it, sorry….?

    (I may have a suspicion that the streaming services are each a subsidiary satelitte type company that somehow belongs to one or more of the companies that own the big labels…but that’s only because I am a deeply cynical person…not because I actually know anything to prove that.)

  14. Of course I know I am not their targeted demo, but they would still like to have me pay for their useless streaming service and give me nothing in return that I don’t already have, if possible.. As far as Agism? That’s a Fact of Life…and I hate to tell you, but everyone gets there, eventually…so you figure out what works for you, when it comes to consuming music, or anything else…without regard to the currently popular shell games.

    I know all the back stories, Napster, etc. I’m not Rip Van Winkle. I’ve been buying and listening to music through all those incarnations….but I am old school, I pay for what I want..and the corporate playlists on Terrestrial radio haven’t mattered to me in many years. I am also *not their demo*, and I don’t *choose* only Indie artists, that happens by default, that is usually who is making the music and doing the concerts I care to support.

    “Up and coming young artists” will be very happy to take my money, if they make music that pleases me…so age is not a qualifier from my side of the equation. But it’s a rather rare thing when an artist I like is signed to a label, and I make no secret here of how I feel about the present country music industry, AKA the Borg. Heh.

    When playing someone else’s wheel, my philosophy has always been to turn the wheel the way it goes, only more so…and wait for the “Next Big Thing” to come along… ;-)

  15. Like ptebwwong said artists get that information from their labels. All the labels have some sort of deal/contracts with these streaming services. The labels know every cent and dollar owe to them so no worry that they are getting cheated. The trust with the label and artist is another issue. From everything that I’ve heard artists are not clueless. They get informed almost on a daily basis what’s going on. Their trust in their label is that the label are being truthful and upfront. As for whether the artists think they are getting paid enough is another story. Even if artists had access to all the data would they have the time to break down all the numbers. That’s why they all have digital teams that spend all day dealing with streaming services.

  16. There’s no such thing as an album stream. A certain number of streams of a particular song is equivalent to 1 sale of that song. A certain larger number of streams of any song from an album’s track list is equivalent to 1 sale of the album.

  17. Great story on Twitter tonight…the DJ is not named – but someone was Cookified! …

    Tina In NY

    @thedavidcook I heard TOML on 100.7 fm today (NY). DJ came on after the song was over, said how great you were, talked about you starring as Charlie in @KinkyBootsBway and urged all the listeners to go see and see you perform.

    That just made my day!

  18. Rising Star? What show was that? Was that the one where they started their performance behind a wall? The one Josh Groban hosted?

  19. But not everyone is signed to a label. So how do independent artists get the info?

    For example, I get reports from TuneCore telling me how many streams my songs get, but they aren’t broken down into free streams and paid streams.

  20. Yeah, I know who benefits from this streaming ploy. All sounds like the same old justification why someone other than the artist deserves the lion’s share of the money…and that deal is between an artist and whatever label they sign with…NMB. I am one of the *no ones* who still buys singles and albums, and intends to continue doing so.

    But as the artists whose music I buy and listen to tend to all be Indies, and the Indies are paying their own way for anything they want…the streaming services have to tap dance faster than the average bear to convince me they deserve any of the artists money…or mine!

    I paid for the music once already, I can play it fine without their help; the Indie artists paid for their own promotion, PR, distribution and touring costs, etc…and these graspy entities with their double dipping can just back the hell off, as far as I am concerned. They have nothing I want. YMMV. I play their game to one extent only, the streaming nonsense with the volume off.

  21. I am one of the *no ones* who still buys singles and albums, and intends to continue doing so.

    But as the artists whose music I buy and listen to tend to all be Indies, and the Indies are paying their own way for anything they want…the streaming services have to tap dance faster than the average bear to convince me they deserve any of the artists money…or mine!

    I hate to tell you but you’re not their targeted demo. Up and coming young artists and labels are not in the business to convince you how to change your 50+years spending habit. Is it ageism? of course but it’s been like that forever. If you choose to support only Indie artists than you are exactly the kind of consumer they care less about. You can thank mainstream radio also because they no longer play genres like Rock, R&B ect to the masses that leaned more to an older demographic. There’s always Country music tho. The music business is not like it was 25years ago. The younger generation who grew up on Napster ect.. is what the labels are targeting. Actually the labels were pretty late in the game because had they not try to fight the inevitable they could have had a leg up. It’s only now they are playing catch up. But I think you supporting only Indie artists is good because they need fans to.

  22. That’s an imaginative video, the track list in a teardrop is certainly novel…although a bit hard to read…and lately there seems to be a thing for Alums to have titles with Ghosts in them…? ?

  23. You find Spotify convenient, I find babysitting it annoying and tedious, its usefulness is entirely subjective…the size of the catalog has no relation to the quality or types of music offered, it just makes it more time consuming to fool with…I have better ways to pick up the odd new track,when I’m in the mood. On the average, I may buy one or two new tracks a month, usually – and none of them because of Spotify, or any streaming service.

    The only reason (for me) to use it at all would be to help artists I support to collect stats, and making the paid tier count more for that purpose to encourage their revenue is just a slightly unsavory way to take advantage of the forced connection with the charts. IMO. Of Course. YMMV, and obviously does. ?

  24. Streaming services are far from useless. They provide access to a huge catalog of music, one that is far bigger than all the music you’ve ever bought in your life. Unless you are completely unwilling to ever try listening to music you don’t know and own, streaming services should be useful to you, too.

    Also, Spotify has an add supported tier, so you don’t have to pay for anything if you don’t want to.

    Since starting using Spotify (and Apple Music for a short while) I almost stopped buying music on iTunes. I haven’t bought any music in 2018, but I do plan to buy a few albums from my favorite artist later this year. That said, I won’t be listening to my purchased files much, Spotify is way more convenient.

  25. I think streaming is here to stay unless something better/cheaper/convenient comes along??? That said I still buy/support artists I favor but I keep forgetting to stream—it’s just not on my radar. I’m sure it’s definitely an ageism thing! If I want to hear a song I go to YT.

  26. Spotify has a whole Spotify for Artists platform/app that gives the artists and their teams all kinds of info that isn’t available to the general public. The free/paid streams info may be included in that or they may not be at this time.

  27. It is a given that rap acts gets better streaming numbers in general than other genres. But it is still good for someone to be interested enough to get you on good playlists or for fans to stream enough and increase your exposure. I was looking at the CNN special last night (a repeat) and they were showing just how far rock had dropped and country and rap have increased. Very few new rock acts today can fill arenas by themselves or as they did years ago. The album sales have been devastated (for all but the few) in every genre because of stealing and Spotify was the counter to a degree. Streaming is here to stay. Just as it was with albums and singles, some will do better than others. But certifications with just album and single sales is going to be difficult for most.

  28. Streaming services are far from useless. They provide access to a huge catalog of music, one that is far bigger than all the music you’ve ever bought in your life.

    Old person here!!! And I’ve completely changed the way I consume music. I can’t remember the last time I bought a CD. Maybe 3 or 4 years ago when I bought the entire Beatles catalog (before they finally caved to Apple).

    The advantage to streaming is just like you said–the access to a huge catalog of music is the thing. Also there is the added bonus of not adding more clutter to my life with physical media.

  29. A 500-800 capacity venue isn’t technically considered small. The majority of touring artists play in venues that have capacities under 500, in some cases, well under.

    In terms of streaming, there’s also the debate about which is better in terms — monthly listeners or followers. Obviously, the best thing is to have a lot of monthly listeners and a lot of followers. But a lot of the time that’s not the case.

  30. Yeah, I’ve noticed a big difference in those two stats for a lot of artists.
    For example, with QR’s on average 1.7 mil listeners a month, they only have around 500k followers. Is that normal/average?
    Honestly, not really sure it all matters that much. More important, IMO, is the fact their touring draw #s have actually gotten better since James joined a year and a half ago now.

    (Now if only James would finally put his solo albums on spotify.)

  31. I think streaming is more useful to the artists who can put up big numbers. It helps with certifications and for touring. If your numbers are not in many millions, the usefulness is less visible but it is still additional exposure. I also subscribe to Spotify and Apple but I still buy from the artists that I like and want to support. Many don’t. But the system was not set up for an individual need or want, it is for how the masses consume music now. Like it or not streaming is here.

  32. Well, there are reminders for fans to do the streaming thing for the stats at DCO, and weekly Spotify reports on the Numbers Thread on the effectiveness, and/or playlists, etc. so that keeps the issue front of mind. That is the only reason it is on my radar…I take it seriously only as the latest tool…set up whatever is available and let it go, on mute. That’s what it’s for.

    But I listen to music around the clock from my own music library…it is the most hands off, perfectly painless way to curate the sound all day long…pick one of my 14 hour playlists, and push the button. No commercials, no pauses because I didn’t touch the device, no songs or artists I can’t stand suddenly *suggested* that I have to reject in the middle of doing something else…no Idol-as-a-music-genre crappola – no albums showing up on a playlist because I listened to it one time and rejected it, etc etc etc, and in the case of Indie artists, I am not rewarding the wrong people, my money goes to the creatives first – none of the agida creating nonsense built into the *streaming experience* – tried it a few times – did NOT like it.

    JMO. of Course.

  33. Something not addressed here so far is also the false sense of popularity that spotify numbers can create. By that I mean some artists that have millions of streams and listeners a month, but can’t sell out even small (500-800) capacity venues. Labels getting some of their artists on popular playlists and boosting streaming#s can sometimes be a case of “smoke and mirrors” of an artist’s real drawing power as far as touring goes. And that’s where they actually make their money.

    For example, Quiet Riot’s current (I just checked) listeners per month on spotify is at 1,697,142. But they have been on the bill lately touring with other similar rock acts with wildly different spotify numbers (rock in general isn’t a genre that streams as much as others). They’ve opened for bands with half that number that actually draw better #s in touring, and some that are the complete opposite. My point; streaming numbers in rock don’t always tell the whole story, since most rock fans still buy their favorite bands’ new albums when they release them.

    (As a side note, QR’s most popular city listed happens to be Mexico City with the current per month listener count at 60,323. That amount has gone up some since their upcoming fall Mexican tour was announced a few months ago. But that city had always been high on the popularity list which could have played into the decision to book a tour for Mexico. So streaming amounts and where they come from could have played a role in deciding that tour.)

  34. Heh. if David C were to play the cities that are in the Top 5 for streaming his music…that would often be Quezon City, Chicago, LA, Singapore, and another city in the Philippines…

    Stats are interesting, but interpreting them is another skillset…
    ..someday I hope there will be some research done into who profited initially from that switch in how people were encouraged to consume music, or saw that they could gradually cut out the Indie Artist and force a middleman into the process who got the bulk of the monies, just like the labels had been doing all along. Also, has radio Not Payola been shrinking in relation to the growth of streaming, and if so, what is Corporate doing about that? I would read it, if anyone would honestly address it. But it takes time to get the real story about anything…so maybe I’ll never get those answers. who knows? after all….Who writes honestly about Not Payola? ?

  35. I don’t really do Spotify, or should I say rarely. But I do like to tell Alexa what to play, and since Amazon music comes with Prime, it works for me. ETA: another old person

  36. The monthy listeners tend to go up or down depending if the artist has any current music out. Ex: when Adam last album dropped his monthly listeners reach almost 2million it since has dropped a little.

    Some interesting stats for some Idol:

    Top 5 former American Idols most streamed on Spotify

    1. Kelly Clarkson 1,277,648,000 billion streams
    8,156,962 monthly listeners

    Top 5 Countries/Cities
    London, Mexico, LA, Chicago, Brazil

    2. Carrie Underwood 762,768.000 million streams

    (No stats)

    3. Daughtry 424,655.000 million streams
    1,939,593 monthly listeners
    Chicago ,Phillipine, Dallas,Singapore, LA

    4. Adam Lambert 402,670.000 million streams
    1,709,092 monthly listeners
    Mexico city, Brazil,Sweden, UK, Singapore

    5. Phillip Phillips 276,795.000 million streams
    1,713,655 monthly listeners
    Brazil, Mexico, LA, Chicago, Dallas

  37. ETA: When it comes to solo touring Kelly, Daughtry and Adam averages 2500+capacity with some arena tours. Phillip averaging 1000-1500. Carrie does arena and stadium tours. Adam headlining arena and stadiums with Queen.

    Scotty is not included in the top 5 Spotify list but is the only other Idol to average 2500+ solo headlining tour.

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