McCreery is New American Idol
17-year-old Scotty McCreery is this year’s American Idol winner. The Garner, North Carolina native beat out 16-year-old Lauren Alaina from Rossville, Georgia. Both singers will pursue a career in Country music. A record 122 million votes were cast by viewers following Scotty and Lauren’s final performances on May 24. The May 25 finale featured appearances by such superstars as Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, Marc Anthony with Jennifer Lopez, Tom Jones, Tony Bennett, and U2’s Bono and the Edge, among others. The day after winning the “American Idol” title, Scotty’s debut single, “I Love You This Big,” was the Number One song on iTunes. Lauren’s debut single is her version of the Country-pop ballad, “Like My Mother Does.”
Country's John Rich Wins Celebrity Apprentice
Country singer John Rich is the winner of this season’s Celebrity Apprentice reality show. His victory earned $250,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. During the finale, John sang his new song “For The Kids,” while runner-up Marlie Matlin, who is deaf, signed the lyrics. Rich has also teamed with fellow Celebrity Apprentice contestants Meatloaf, Lil Jon and Mark McGrath to record the charity song “Stand In The Storm.” Each artist will donate 100% of the proceeds from worldwide sales of the single to his favorite charity. Mark McGrath’s earnings will go to the Save the Music Foundation, Meat Loaf’s go to The Painted Turtle, John Rich’s go to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Lil Jon will donate his proceeds to The United Methodist Children’s Home of North Georgia Conference.
Joe Jonas Releases Solo Single
On June 3, the debut solo single by the Jonas Brothers’ Joe Jonas will be released. “See No More” was co-written by hip-hop singer Chris Brown. Joe’s first solo album will be out on September 6 on Hollywood Records. His younger brother, Nick Jonas, made his solo debut on the same label last year with “Who I Am.”
X Factor Drops British Judge Cheryl Cole
TMZ.com reports that British pop singer Cheryl Cole has been dropped as a judge for the upcoming American debut of X Factor. According to the website, reasons for her exit include Cole’s “thick accent” and a “lack of chemistry” with fellow judge Paula Abdul. The Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger will replace Cole, who has judged the British version of X Factor since 2008.
Swift Raises Money for US Tornado Victims
Country star Taylor Swift opened the final rehearsal for her “Speak Now” tour to the public to raise money for victims of the recent tornadoes that struck the Southeastern United States. The May 21 concert at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena brought in $750,000 in tickets sales. Taylor is also donating all proceeds from tour merchandise that was sold at the show.
New Album Releases May 31:
“Codes and Keys” by Death Cab For Cutie
“Ukulele Songs” by Eddie Vedder
“Circuital” by My Morning Jacket
“Unfinished” by Jordan Knight
“Natural History” by JD Souther
“Director’s Cut” by Kate Bush
“Light My Fire” by Eliane Elias
“Anything Goes” the Broadway Cast Recording
Rapper Eminem and teen pop star Justin Bieber led the winners of the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, which were handed out on May 22. Eminem was named Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top Rap Artist. His “Recovery” album also brought him the Top Rap Album and Top Billboard 200 Album awards, and he shared the Top Rap Song honor with Rihanna for their hit, “Love The Way You Lie.” Justin Bieber took home the Top New Artist, Top Social Artist, Top Streaming Artist and Top Digital Media Artist trophies. He also earned the Top Pop Album award for “My World 2.0” and the Top Streaming Song (Video) award for “Baby.” Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Usher, Taylor Swift, Mumford & Sons and Taio Cruz each won three Billboard Music Awards. Double winners included Katy Perry, Shakira, Chris Tomlin and Train.
R&B singer Chris Brown leads the nominees for the 2011 BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards. His six nominations include Best Male R&B Artist, Best Actor for his role in “Takers” and Video of the Year for “Look at Me Now.” Following close behind with five nods is rapper Lil Wayne with five mentions. Drake, Kanye West and Rihanna received three nominations apiece. (Complete list at www.bet.com.) The 2011 BET Awards will be presented on June 26 in Los Angeles.
Look Who's Going On Tour!
The Go-Go’s “Ladies Gone Wild” tour launched on May 29 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The 1980’s pop-rock band recently released the 30th Anniversary Edition of its multi-million-selling debut album, “Beauty and the Beat.” The collection produced the hits “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got the Beat.” The digitally remastered 30th Anniversary Edition features the complete original album and a second disc of previously unreleased concert audio recordings from 1981. A vinyl version was also released. The Go-Go’s will be added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in August.
On June 2, R. Kelly will begin an 18-date U.S. tour in Southaven, Mississippi. He’ll be supporting his latest album, “Love Letter.” Joining the Grammy-winning R&B singer are Keyshia Cole and former Floetry vocalist Marsha Ambrosius. The outing wraps up on July 3rd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Country star Brad Paisley kicks off his “H2O II World Tour” on June 3 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Special guests on the 33-city trek include Blake Shelton and Jerrod Niemann. Similar to his first “H2O Tour,” each city will have a “Water World Plaza” with a concert stage featuring opening acts Brent Anderson, Edens Edge and Sunny Sweeney, as well as various water-themed activities. Brad is the Country Music Association’s reigning Entertainer of the Year. His new CD, “This Is Country Music” was released last week (May 24).