The producers and the Fox network already have to worry about sagging ratings (the average viewership in season 11 dropped 23 percent to below 20 million for the first time in nine years, and the show fell from No. 1 for the season”to No. 2”for the first time since 2005), not to mention less commercially viable Idols and external competition from The Voice, The X Factor, and pretty much any reality show that promises to make a nobody a star.
Now, the producers have to deal with pleasing Mariah Carey, who has signed on as a judge next season, replacing either Jennifer Lopez or Steven Tyler, both of whom left after two years in order to focus full-time on their music careers (and in the case of Lopez, her “acting” career, too).
I once interviewed Carey for an Us Weekly cover story, and I found her to be warm, intelligent and surprisingly funny, but she’s a diva through and through. (She actually walked into the living room of her New York City hotel suite cradling her miniature dog!) Idol will reportedly pay her a very diva-like sum of between $12 and $17 million a season (a hefty and not altogether worthwhile expense, considering that Carey is well past her pop heyday), and I don’t even want to think about her list of perks and demands.
Meanwhile, there are murmurings that Randy Jackson, the last remaining original judge, currently in contract negotiations, might be moving from the judge’s table into more of a mentoring role, in an attempt to revamp the show for season 12, launching in January of 2013. Sadly, that restructuring doesn’t extend to Ryan Seacrest, the inexplicably still-highly employable host, who has signed up for another two years at a pay rate of $15 million per season. Is it too late to invite ex-judge Ellen DeGeneres back for the job they should have offered her in the first place?
If this is going to be just another case of recent history repeating, a first blush of modest success (his Idol winner’s single “Home” entered Billboard’s Hot 100 at No. 10, with 278,000 downloads), maybe even a platinum post-Idol album (like his predecessor, Scotty McCreery), then… nothing much. Unlike American Idol‘s early seasons, which made durable stars out of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, taking the grand prize no longer comes with guaranteed gold or platinum (if only for one album).
Even Adam Lambert, Idol‘s eighth runner-up and the show’s lone international star launch in the past several seasons, is in the throes of a sophomore slump. Although Trespassing, his second studio album, released on May 15, entered Billboard’s Top 200 album chart at No. 1, it did so with only 77,000 copies sold its first week. That’s 120,000 less than his 2009 debut, For Your Entertainment, and the lowest one-week total for a No. 1 album since last August, when Adele’s 21 sold 76,000 copies in its 12th non-consecutive week at No. 1. (more…)
Weird Al Yankovic, Steven Tyler and Alice Cooper ring in NYE
Lots of big names played shows on New Year’s Eve, but no stage packed more star power into a smaller square footage than this one in Maui. Watch the holiday’s oddest trifecta play Come Together below.
Justin Timberlake off the market
NOOOOOOOO!!!! That’s us quoting every woman (and a fair share of dudes, too) who heard the rumor that Justin Timberlake got engaged to Jessica Biel this week. Let’s hope he put a ring in the box this time.
Rihanna and Chris Brown spark speculation
Tweeps following Chris Brown and Rihanna picked up on some heat waves this week when Brown tweeted a cryptic Love U more than u know!” followed a minute later by a similar tweet from Rihanna that read “I’ll always love u #1LOVE.” This wouldn’t be so weird if not for the fact that Chris Brown’s mother, Joyce Hawkins, tweeted this, which Rihanna seemed to respond to a minute later with this. You can read more about the antics of these two crazy kids here.
Miley Cyrus punks Khloe Kardashian
Miley Cyrus and Kelly Osbourne got Khloe Kardashian good for an upcoming episode of Punk’d. The two invited Kardashian over for a girl’s night, where a delivery boy accidentally zips up his ¦ well, just watch the clip.
Sinead O’Connor’s marriage back on
Sinead O’Connor has continued her tradition of over-sharing. After announcing last week that her marriage was over, the singer announced this week that it was back on with a bang. Her tweet was too TMI even for us, but if you simply must know what it said, you can read it here.
Katy Perry and Russell Brand split
After only eighteen months of marriage, loveable wack-jobs Katy Perry and Russell Brand are headed to splitsville. Brand filed for divorce this week, citing irreconcilable differences. Rumor has it the split is mutual, but Brand filed the paperwork due to Perry’s very religious beliefs. R.I.P., teenage dreamers.
- Mini Cooper’s name revealed
- Peter Frampton’s guitar found thirty years after plane crash
- Taylor Swift offered role in Les Miserables movie
- Ludacris to open restaurant at Atlanta airport
- 50 Cent thinks his days are numbered
- Feist plays “November Rain,” whacks a pinata
- X Factor winner Melanie Amaro signed to Epic Records
- Check out this lamp modeled after Amy Winehouse’s beehive
- Elton John wants Justin Timberlake to play him in biopic
- Clay Aiken, Debbie Gibson to compete on Celebrity Apprentice
- Maid claims Lady Gaga bathed in blood as part of Satanic ritual
- Rihanna accused of plagiarism thrice over
“I get high with a little help from my friends,” Ringo Starr sang on the Beatles‘ 1967 classic. These days, so do many of music’s top stars. Two’s company, and so is three and sometimes four. The more the merrier, the higher and higher they get.
On the charts, that is.
In the Top 40 of Billboard’s Hot 100 for the week ending December 10, seventeen songs were collaborations between separate recording entities. Four of them featured Drake, and three apiece featured Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, who both appeared on tracks with Drake and with each other. But will.i.am featuring Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger”and debuting at No. 36 with “T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever),” which the threesome performed on the November 20 American Music Awards”was probably the one that nobody saw coming.
Old-school Rolling Stones fans must be cringing at the idea of Jagger going anywhere near Lopez and will.i.am so soon after Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera went to No. 1 by invoking his hallowed name on “Moves Like Jagger.” But for a sixty-something legend like him, hit records”even if in name only, a la Duck Sauce‘s GRAMMY-nominated “Barbra Streisand”are a near-impossible dream unless they’re in tandem with other, often younger, stars.
Yes, the sixteen-year-old runner up on American Idol, who won praise from none other than judge Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, still lives in her hometown with her parents J.J. and Kristy Suddeth and attends high school there. Just don’t expect to see her working at CiCi, the pizza parlor where she held a part-time job before she became a professional recording artist. With her debut album Wildflower blasting up the charts to No. 2 so far, Alaina isn’t in need of the job.
I just looked at a house with my parents, said Alaina. We are having to move because the house I live in now we moved into when I was like four years old. We didn’t have a lot of stuff and we’ve collected a lot of stuff. This house [we’re considering] is big. It’s got three stories and it has a pool. That would be fun!
The smart money bets that Alaina is just beginning a life full of fun now that her singing talent has been discovered. Although she’s one of the youngest contestants ever toappear on American Idol, critics note Alaina sings with a maturity reminiscent of one-time Idol contestants Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson before her.
Although such success would turn some people’s heads, Alaina seemed very grounded, chatting about how nervous she was thinking of her upcoming road test for her driver’s license. But, she said, even if she passed she wouldn’t be driving the new Ford Mustang that she won for placing second on American Idol.
I’ll be driving my mom’s 2011 Kia Sorrento, said Alaina of her vehicle of choice, at least for now, because she doesn’t want to damage the powerful Mustang. We’re actually going to switch cars for a while.
There are plenty of components that make up an outstanding rock band. From a great guitar sound, to a killer bass line, there is so much rock greatness out there to grab your attention. But what makes a great rock vocalist? What kind of singer can produce a sound that shapes a generation and even other singers to come? And most of all, what does it to take to have a voice that flat-out ROCKS? Well, lets look at a few of the most well-known, respected voices in rock history.
Freddie Mercury, Queen‘s phenomenal frontman, is one of the rock voices that has always impressed me. The texture of his voice, his low growl, and the ease that he would glide from one vocal register to another are all truly remarkable. Unlike many rock singers, Freddie Mercury had an incredibly versatile voice which was raw and ferocious, while still being incredibly melodic and listenable to a wide array of music fans. His voice was huge part of what made Queen such a huge success, as well as the reason why they’ll continue to be an important piece of rock history.
How do you get him to go away? Pay for the pizza.
It’s cruel and inhumane jokes like these that surely led the following musicians to come out from behind the kit and take center stage. Please note that it was difficult and pointless to rank these artists against each other, so they are listed in no particular order.
10. Steven Tyler
Let’s not talk about what Aerosmith has become, and focus on the good times, when they made great records and rocked faces off with regularity, all while totally zonked on drugs. You know, the good times. Anyway, Tyler was and, okay, kind of still is a great frontman, but he got his start on the drums, pre-Aerosmith. While singing and songwriting were clearly his calling, he still bangs it up from time to time.
The biggest live music event in radio history hit Las Vegas this weekend when Clear Channel’s iheartradio Music Festival kicked off Friday night at the MGM Grand. Thousands of fans came from across the country to see the impressive line-up, which included the best of the best in every music genre. The festival marked the launch of Clear Channel’s new iheartradio app, which is designed to make users the program directors for their own fantasy radio station. Abandoning the traditional set-up of genre-specific set-lists, iheartradio allows fans to hear the latest and greatest music from their favorite artists, whether its Jay-Z or Rascal Flats. For a true music aficionado, the resulting playlist would probably sound a lot like the incredible mash-up of music offered at the two-night event.
Black Eyed Peas kicked off the show with Boom Boom Pow to an ecstatic crowd comprised of die-hard pop, country, hip hop and rock fans. The night went smoothly with stellar sets from Jane’s Addiction, Carrie Underwood, Bruno Mars and Kelly Clarkson, all of whom were there to celebrate radio and prove why they rule the charts. Coldplay delivered an amazing set including Clocks and Chris Martin came off as the ultimate front man. The set was enough to convert me into an instant Chris Martin fan.
Alicia Keys was a beaming beauty when she hit the stage to perform a medley of hits including Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart, Unthinkable and Empire State of Mind.Shealso debuted a new song, teasing fans, Is it OK for me to play something brand new? The inspirational number, A Place Of My Own was classic Keys, who delivered airy vocals over her perfect piano playing.
Next up was Hova himself, who seemed to be in a particularly good mood when he hit the stage for his forty-minute set. With Memphis Bleek by his side, he delivered hit after hit from his sixteen-year career. He repped The Black Album pretty hard and touched on his most successful singles, including Jigga What, 99 Problems, Give It To Me Run This Town, Big Pimpin’ and Dirt Off Your Shoulder. He closed the show with Empire State of Mind after Alicia Keys returned to the stage to belt out the huge hook.