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Tag: American Idol (81-90 of 182)

As Lady Gaga tweets her support for ill Clarence Clemons, we look back at the Big Man's extraordinary career

Lady Gaga has tweeted her support for Clarence Clemons, following the news that the famed saxophonist suffered a stroke over the weekend at his home in Florida.

The 69-year-old Clemons, a four-decade member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and the go-to sax man for countless other artists, had been particularly active lately, appearing on two singles—“Hair” and “The Edge of Glory”—on Gaga’s Born This Way, and performing with the pop star at the recent American Idol finale.

“Little monsters, my very close friend +musician on The Edge of Glory, Clarence Clemons is very sick,” the singer tweeted earlier today. “Can we all make some get well videos?” Of course, Clemons’ collaborations with Gaga are just the latest chapter in the storied career of the artist who has also worked with Aretha Franklin, Roy Orbison, Jackson Browne, and, yes, a certain Boss man, to name but a very few. READ FULL STORY

NBC's musical series 'Smash' and its star, 'American Idol' alum Katharine McPhee, get record deals

Move over, Glee—there’s a new musical-TV competitor coming, and it goes by the name of Smash.

That’s right: NBC’s Broadway-set series is poised to give FOX’s behemoth singing series a run for its money in the genre with its own Glee-style production numbers woven into its storylines.

And now, NBC has signed a deal with Columbia (the same label that releases Glee‘s music) to produce a soundtrack for the show. The announcement came with a bonus: Smash‘s star, American Idol season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee, has also signed a solo record deal.

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Scotty McCreery's second single 'Out of Summertime' leaks online

Well, that was fast.

American Idol champ Scotty McCreery’s first single, “I Love You This Big,” has only been out for about two weeks, but what’s likely to be his second single, “Out of Summertime,” has already leaked on the internet.

Based purely on a few cursory listens, there’s big potential in his latest effort. Compared to “This Big,” “Summertime” is more uptempo, with twangy runs that would tickle nearly anyone at a county fair. And that’s just about right: Scotty intones in the song, “What we felt on that ferris wheel, was just too right and just too real.”

Surprise: It’s a love song! Nods to the title comes early and often in the song, too: “She could have been mine, but we ran out of summertime.” But the seasonal references don’t stop there: “She was hot as July, sweet as sunshine.”

Armed with that fair-weather formula and McCreery’s currently hot status, “Summertime” certainly has the opportunity to burn up the country charts during the coming, hot months.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix

Read more:
Scotty McCreery’s ‘I Love You This Big’: The EW single review
Scotty McCreery backstage Q&A after the ‘American Idol’ finale: ‘I’m on top of the world right now.’
‘American Idol’: Scotty McCreery’s crowning performance — VIDEO

'American Idol' winners Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina make big Hot 100 debuts

Last week, America declared Scotty McCreery the best singer of the show’s tenth season giving him the Idol title and leaving Lauren Alaina with the second-place consolation prize. So do the charts agree with the show’s voters?

McCreery debut single “I Love You This Big” immediately shot to the top 5 of the iTunes music chart (it remains in the top 10), and bowed at no. 11 on this week’s Billboard Hot 100.

Alaina’s single “Like My Mother Does” also did well, if slightly less so, coming in nine spots lower at no. 20 on the Hot 100. Both Alaina and McCreery bested season nine winner Lee DeWyze, whose first single (a cover of U2′s “Beautiful Day”) slipped onto the chart at number 24.

In fact, McCreery’s debut is the highest for an Idol alum since Kris Allen crashed the Hot 100 with “No Boundaries,” though the all-time highest debut for an Idol single is still a tie between Carrie Underwood’s “Inside Your Heaven,” Fantasia’s “I Believe,” Clay Aiken’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This,” all of which debuted at no. 1.

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Scotty McCreery's 'I Love You This Big': The EW single review

American Idol winner Scotty McCreery almost certainly wouldn’t have become as big as he is going to get (and you can count on this guy being huge, perhaps challenging Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood for Idol-alum dominance) had he not gotten on television—mostly because you need the juxtaposition of his baby face with the rich, nuanced, weathered baritone that comes out of it. Every time McCreery took the stage, it was a little bit jarring, and it certainly kept him in the game and pushed him to the victory.

But without any visual accompaniment, does Scotty McCreery still work? Based on “I Love You This Big,” the answer is, tentatively, yes. McCreery said that he didn’t think the song quite matched his potential, but it’s an ideal vehicle to present him to the world. The simple, ambling melody offers plenty of crevices into which he can pour his rich voice, and the lyric sheet is an excellent combination of wide-eyed, youthful earnestness and knowing veteran wisdom. There’s even a tongue-in-cheek nod to his rather eccentric approach to facials (he actually sings the line “I know I look a little crazy,” which can’t simply be a coincidence).

All told, “I Love You This Big” doesn’t have “instant smash” written on it (it isn’t quite catchy or dynamic enough), but it’s a better showcase than Lauren Alaina’s “Like My Mother Does,” and it gets across everything that Scotty is in about three minutes. This guy is going to sell a billion albums, and this is as good a start as you could want. B+

Is Scotty McCreery’s track better than Lauren Alaina’s, or does “Like My Mother Does” reign supreme? Let us know in the comments.

Read more from EW.com:
Scotty McCreery backstage Q&A after the ‘American Idol’ finale: ‘I’m on top of the world right now.’
‘American Idol’: Scotty McCreery’s crowning performance — VIDEO
‘American Idol’ season finale recap: Baby Lock Them Doors Because The Winner Needs Security

Lauren Alaina's 'Like My Mother Does': The EW single review

It’s telling that American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina’s first single was originally recorded by fellow countrified Idol contestant Kristy Lee Cook, since her performance of the song on Tuesday night (which included a guest appearance from Alaina’s actual mother, who had become something of a supporting star in her own right) was about as pandering as Kristy’s take on “God Bless the USA” back in the show’s seventh season. (Though apparently the stars and stripes are more bulletproof than mothers—Kristy was safe that week and Lauren lost out in the end.)

The silliness of the performance distracted from the song itself, which might have been a blessing. Even as far as inspirational country ballads go, “Like My Mother Does” is pretty paint-by-numbers, with all the nods to classic country (those fiddles, that banjo) tucked neatly behind walls of over-produced guitar so as not to upset the crossover potential.

Alaina’s voice is perfectly functional and pleasant, and she is able to carry the melody quite well, though that little bit of rasp that snuck into her performance on the show this week is deeply missed in the recorded version (country usually sounds better when soaked in whiskey and cigarettes, though Alaina isn’t old enough to buy either).

Alaina certainly has the potential to craft a lovely collection of modern country tunes, but “Like My Mother Does” doesn’t do her any favors, nor does it clearly play to her strengths the way rival Scotty McCreery’s “I Love You This Big” does. Really, “Like My Mother Does” is a lot like Alaina herself: Sweet but bland, pretty but forgettable. C+

Read more from EW.com:
Lauren Alaina backstage Q&A after the ‘American Idol’ finale: ‘I’m so ecstatic to have just even made it this far.’
‘American Idol’ season finale recap: Baby Lock Them Doors Because The Winner Needs Security
‘American Idol’: Scotty and Lauren duke it out in the Nokia, on the scene for the performance finale

David Cook's 'The Last Goodbye' video first look -- EXCLUSIVE

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David Cook’s second major-label album This Loud Morning hits stores on June 28; On Monday, Cook pulls back the curtain on the tongue-in-cheek video for lead single  “The Last Goodbye,” and the image above is the exclusive first look at the clip.

In the video, which was directed by Nigel Dick (Britney Spears’ “Oops…I Did It Again,” Oasis’ “Wonderwall,” Nickelback’s “Photograph”), Cook goes AWOL from his band’s tour and loses his wallet on the beach. The band finds his stuff, and believes that he has gone missing and might have drowned. Cook, meanwhile, is oblivious to their concerns.

“It would have been easy to just set the band up and do a broody performance video,” Cook explained to EW. “But I wanted to do something a little more fun.”

In the preview shot above, Cook discovers a newspaper that contains the headline “David Cook Feared Drowned,” a prop he was particularly proud of. “I’m going to frame it and hang it in the house,” he said. “It’s probably one of the best perks or gifts I’ve ever gotten from this whole experience.”

The video will be premiering online on Monday (May 23), and Cook hopes that the positive vibe on set comes across in the clip. “We had so much fun over the two day shoot, and I really think people will be able to see that.”

Read more from EW.com:
‘American Idol’: David Cook’s Journey
New singles: David Cook, Willow Smith, TV on the Radio
‘American Idol’: David Cook’s ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ cover named cast-off song

Carrie Underwood passes Kelly Clarkson as most successful 'Idol' winner as two country stars square off in finals

While this season’s final contestents, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, battle it out for the metaphorical championship belt on American Idol, marking the first time in the history of the show that two country-based artists will be squaring off in the finals.

That could prove to be a boon for whoever walks away the victor, because season four winner Carrie Underwood just became the top-earning contestant in the history of Idol.

She just passed first season winner Kelly Clarkson on Billboard magazine’s tally, selling over 12 million albums and 18 million digital tracks since she picked up the duke in 2005. Clarkson slips to number two on the list, having sold 10 million albums and nearly 16 million downloads.

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Steven Tyler's '(It) Feels So Good' -- a bigger comeback than J.Lo? Hear his new single here

American Idol hasn’t produced a true hitmaker in a few seasons (David Cook was arguably the last “star” the show made), but it has certainly been a great launch pad for the judges’ careers.

Kara DioGuardi found more new work as a songwriter and TV star, Jennifer Lopez resurrected her career with some hot singles (“On the Floor”; “I’m Into You”), and now Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has delivered his first solo single “(It) Feels So Good.” Hear it after the jump:

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Iggy Pop, 'American Idol' judge? It almost happened, says the punk legend

A few weeks ago, Iggy Pop performed “Real Wild Child (Wild One)” on an episode of American Idol. It was a lot like most of Iggy’s public appearances, which is to say it was manic, full-throated, passionate and shirtless.

He looked a little out of place on the Idol stage (even with Aerosmith frontman and former cocaine enthusiast Steven Tyler rocking the place up significantly this season), but can you imagine if Pop himself was the guy sitting behind the judges’ table trading bon mots with Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez?

Apparently, neither could Pop, though apparently that was a plan for a hot minute. In an interview with Billboard, Iggy said that the producers of the show dipped their toes into his pool for a brief second before hiring the new pair of judges.

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