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Tag: American Idol (61-70 of 183)

'American Idol' roundup: See new videos from Haley Reinhart, James Durbin, Anoop Desai, and Daughtry!

If you, like me, are an American Idol junkie and love to follow the careers of former contestants to see who has the grit to make it in a cruel post-Idol world, November has been a fun month.

Not only have Season 10 non-winners Haley Reinhart, Casey Abrams, and James Durbin (affectionately referred to as “The Durbs” by EW’s Dalton Ross) all released new music videos, but fellow contestant Paul McDonald recorded a surprisingly un-Twilight duet with his wife Nikki Reed, and older faces like Anoop Desai, Didi Benami, and Chris Daughtry have given us new music as well.

Below, check out Haley and Casey’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside” duet, which they recently told me “reminds you of the fireplace,” James Durbin’s fiery video for debut single, “Love Me Bad,” Anoop Desai’s sad but pretty “Want Your Love,” Daughtry’s live concert video of hard-rocking “Renegade,” and a quick preview of  dismissed-too-soon Didi Benami’s new project with singer-songwriter Keaton Simons. READ FULL STORY

Newlyweds Paul McDonald and Nikki Reed record duet: Listen here!

There’s nothing like young love.

In “Now That I’ve Found You” a song sung by season 10 American Idol contestant Paul McDonald and his brand-new wife, Twilight actress Nikki Reed, the duo offer up a sweet ode to romance.

With McDonald writing the melody and Reed penning the lyrics, the song isn’t stand-out memorable, but it sure is a nice treat and makes for some easy listening, making me think of picnics in the park and summer walks. The bluegrass-feeling tune (loving that harmonica!) stays in McDonald’s folk and country wheelhouse, with Reed providing some welcome back-up.

Take a listen below: READ FULL STORY

'Idol' alums Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams record 'Baby It's Cold Outside': Hear a preview here!

Season 10 of American Idol featured two of the jazziest contestants the show has ever hosted: Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams. The two growlers wowed audiences with their soulful performances, and their scat-tastic duet on “Moanin'” proved to be one of the highlights of the entire season.

Naturally, Haley and Casey didn’t want to let a good thing go, so they reunited to record the smooth Christmas classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which will be available for download on November 21.

You’ll have to wait until that day to hear the full track, but here on the Music Mix, we’ve got an exclusive 90-second preview of the seasonal anthem, which Abrams says “reminds you of the fireplace.” He lauds the track for being a “straight up a jazz standard” with “no four-on-the-floor bass drum.”

For the next 24 hours, give the sweetly sung song a listen below. After that, it’s gone! READ FULL STORY

Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze both dropped by their record label: For 'Idol', what a difference a year makes

American Idol Season 9 runner-up Crystal Bowersox has split with label RCA/Jive, a rep for the singer confirmed yesterday to TVLine.

Bowersox, whose debut album Farmer’s Daughter sold 210,000 copies (compared to Idol winner Lee Dewyze’s Live It Up, which moved just 168,000 copies.), said, “For not having any radio play and any great promotion, I think I’ve done pretty well on sales … I’m able to provide a good, comfortable life for my family, and that’s what I wanted out of it.” She says that she expects that her second album will be released independently.

Reports of Bowersox’s split arrive just two weeks after news that Lee DeWyze had been dropped by RCA as well. Apparently, Season 9 of American Idol, which many viewers felt was lackluster edition, just didn’t produce a bankable star. (Although, technically, the jury’s out on third-place finisher Casey James, who just released his debut country single “Let’s Don’t Call It A Night.” He seems to be Season 9’s last hope.)


Image Credit: Frank Micelotta/Fox/Picture Group

Meanwhile, Season 10’s top two finishers, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, both of whom are managed by Interscope and signed to Mercury Nashville, are both kicking off their careers with decidedly healthier results.

In its first two weeks on the chart, Scotty McCreery’s Clear As Day has sold a strong 285,000 copies, while Lauren Alaina’s Wildflower managed to sell 69,000 copies (the best female country debut since 2006) in its debut last week. HITS Daily Double predicts that those titles will sell an additional 65,000 and 30,000, respectively, this week. Not too shabby for a couple of teens!

Perhaps the better numbers are a result of country audiences more willingly buying whole albums than pop listeners, or perhaps Scotty and Lauren benefited from October release dates, rather than the more competitive mid-November (Lee) and December (Crystal) dates of their predecessors. Or maybe audiences just like them more—after all, Scotty and Lauren fit into the smiley, bright-eyed, big-dreaming mold of American Idol better than the more subdued Bowersox and DeWyze.

Whatever the reason, McCreery and Alaina (and hopefully Haley Reinhart one day soon!) are re-establishing American Idol as a brand that can produce stars—so long as they aren’t named Pia Toscano, of course. She just never really happened, did she?

What do you think? Will Bowersox and DeWyze find success on the indie circuit? Will McCreery and Alaina experience career longevity? Sound off about all your favorite Idol-ites in the comments below!

Lauren Alaina debuts in fifth place on the Billboard 200
‘American Idol’ roundup: Four new music videos from non-winners: What do you think?
Scotty McCreery sings the national anthem at the World Series

Follow Grady on Twitter: @EWGradySmith

Irish pop act Westlife announce 'amicable' split

Many Irish eyes won’t be smiling today with the news that Westlife have split up. In a statement on their official website, the long-running pop act announced  their intention to go their separate ways following a farewell tour next year. The Irish quartet described the split as “entirely amicable.”

The boy band — who were signed to Simon Cowell’s Syco label until leaving the company earlier this year — never broke big here. But in Ireland and Great Britain they enjoyed a string of enormous hits including 1999’s “Swear It Again,” the first of the Westlife’s 14 U.K. chart-toppers.

In all, the group have have sold 44 million records around the world.

Read more:
20 Best Boy Bands Ever

'American Idol' roundup: Four new music videos from non-winners: What do you think?


It’s always fun to follow the careers of American Idol contestants who don’t win the show.

Most of them fade into relative obscurity once the American Idols LIVE! tour wraps, but some score record deals and go on to have fruitful careers in the music biz.

Season 9 contestant Casey James came in third place on the show, but he was quickly signed to Sony Music Nashville, and with his just-released music video for extra smooth country single “Let’s Don’t Call it a Night,” he’s making his best effort to stay relevant post-Idol. (The single currently sits at number 43 on the country chart.)

Check out James’ video below, along with new-ish new music videos from Siobhan Magnus, Josh Gracin, and Brooke White’s duo Jack and White. Which ones sound/look best to you? READ FULL STORY

Scotty McCreery sells 197,000 copies in first week: How does he stack up against other 'Idol' winners?


Apparently, you love him this big!

Scotty McCreery’s debut disc Clear As Day debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 this week, selling 197,000 copies in its first week.

That makes McCreery, 18, the first American Idol winner to top the chart since Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard’s Soulful opened at number one back in 2003. It also provides the Idol franchise a much-needed success story.

McCreery’s strong sales week improves greatly upon the 39,000 debut tally that Lee Dewyze’s Live It Up notched last year, as well as the 80,000 first week sales of Kris Allen’s self-titled 2009 offering.

Of course, McCreery didn’t sell as many albums as past winners Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson, but considering the current state of the record industry, the fact that David Cook and Jordin Sparks’ sophomore albums both recently floundered, and the musical irrelevance of Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks these days, Idol was in dire need of a fresh star, and it looks like it’s got one with McCreery. READ FULL STORY

Kelly Clarkson debuts new song 'What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)': Listen here!

Kelly Clarkson dropped a new single on her official website today, a straightforward pop anthem called “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger).”

The tune, which may or may not be the title track of Clarkson’s upcoming October 24 album—iTunes simply calls the song “Stronger,” but her website uses the longer title—falls right into the American Idol‘s belty pop/rock wheelhouse, and it should please fans who love that sound.

Personally, I’m more partial to the understated, sassy-but-soulful vibes on current lead single “Mr. Know It All,” but there’s chatter around the EW Music Dept. that Clarkson might have been better off releasing “What Doesn’t Kill You” as the first track from Stronger.

Take a listen below and decide for yourself. READ FULL STORY

Kellie Pickler deals with daddy issues, gets 'Tough' in new music video: Watch it here!

Kellie Pickler may have collaborated with Taylor Swift on the poppy “Best Days of Your Life,” but on her new single, “Tough,” she sounds like she’s headed in a more Miranda Lambert-ish direction. (Of course, it helps having Lambert’s producer, Frank Liddell on board!)

The just-released music video for “Tough” tells the story of a girl trying to connect with her incarcerated father, which reflects Pickler’s upbringing. Throughout her childhood, Kellie’s father was in and out of jail, and her mother, after abandoning her daughter when she was 2, eventually lost custody of Kellie, who was raised by her grandparents.

All that familial drama helped make Pickler “Tough,” and now she wants you to know it. “The way I see it, the hand of fate did me a favor with the hand he dealt my way,” she sasses while slinking through a hallway in a tight white tank top (She must be a Dierks Bentley fan!) Watch the clip below: READ FULL STORY

Scotty McCreery set to tour with Brad Paisley in 2012

Talk about a vote of confidence!

Just a week before the release of Scotty McCreery’s debut album, Clear As Day, country superstar Brad Paisley has announced that the American Idol winner will be joining him on the road in 2012.

On Sunday, as part of an encore performance during the final show on his H2O II: Wetter & Wilder World Tour, Paisley surprised audiences by bringing McCreery out on stage with him. “Do you want to go on tour with me?” he asked. When the North Carolina-native nodded “Yes,” Paisley responded, “Great, I’m going to take you out next year!” and later tweeted the above photo of the pair.

Details on the tour will be released soon, but it’s safe to say that McCreery is already excited about it. “it’s really humbling that somebody like him would invite me to tour w/ him,” he tweeted. “I just hope i’m ready for any pranks he throws my way.”

While it remains to be seen whether Scotty will enjoy true career longevity, the deep-voiced country crooner has certainly gotten off to a good start. Since Idol wrapped, his exclusive Wal-Mart disc, American Idol Season 10: Scotty McCreery EP, has sold 185,000 copies, and his coronation single “I Love You This Big,” reached number 15 on Billboard‘s Country Songs chart.

On top of that, this summer’s American Idols Live Tour proved extremely successful, selling out — or almost selling out — nearly every arena it visited. (That’s a big step up from Season 9’s tour, which only played to about 60 percent capacity.)

Are you ready for McPaisley? Will you be buying tickets to the show? And what do you think Paisley’s decision to tour with the young star says about McCreery’s future in country music?

Read more:
Scotty McCreery releases new single ‘The Trouble With Girls': Listen!
Jason Aldean’s gorgeous, patriotic ‘Tattoos On This Town’ video: Watch it here
Kid Rock’s album ‘Born Free’ goes platinum after 44 weeks: What albums took longer?

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