Six years ago on the first season of The X Factor USA, a talented 14-year-old then known as Drew Ryniewicz wowed with her ethereal interpretation of Irena Cara’s iconic movie theme, “Flashdance… What a Feeling.” Now a grown-up, Nashville-based artist with two indie EPs to her credit and going by the simpler stage name Drew Ryn, the stunning singer is bringing her career full circle, by premiering a new video for the cover song that first thrust her into the national spotlight. “’What a Feeling’ is a truly special song to me. Ryn’s version eschews the over-the-top bombast of the original ‘80s anthem, transforming the Oscar-winning, Giorgio Moroder-penned megahit into a sweet, stark piano weeper, not unlike something you might hear on a Lorde or Imogen Heap album.
Alanis Morissette may have vented the rage of countless jilted ‘90s girlfriends when she exploded onto alt-rock radio with her bunnyboiling anthem “You Oughta Know” two decades ago, but hell truly hath no fury like a Golden Girl scorned. Or, like a drag queen scorned.
Since making the finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 (and historically quitting Drag Race All-Stars 2), Adore Delano has recorded pop with an R&B/EDM flair – almost more in line with the music she performed as Danny Noriega on American Idol in 2008 than with her modern-day “punk-rock mermaid” persona. “It’s a 100 percent alternative rock album, inspired by all the greats before I was on American Idol. Everything that inspired me when I was a little angry kid and when I was younger, during the Bush administration, came out of me during this political climate.
Back on Season 2 of The Voice, punk went pop when Juliet Simms, a Warped Tour veteran and former frontwoman for Automatic Loveletter, competed and made it all the way to the finale. Now she has teamed with her husband, Black Veil Brides singer Andy Black (also known as Andy Biersack and Andy Six) for the seventh installment in Fearless Records’ Punk Goes Pop compilation series, dueting on Adele’s “When We Were Young.” Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks is excited to premiere the rock ‘n’ roll couple’s gorgeous black-and-white video for their rendition of the 25 tearjerker today. “[Esteemed producer and Goldfinger singer/guitarist] John Feldmann and his excellent studio engineers helped us craft a rendition of the song that we both feel represents our love of the theatrical romantic ballads of a bygone era in music, while retaining a modern ‘rock’ feel throughout.
“I think there’s been talk that I’m going to be a judge [on American Idol] every year since I’ve been off the show,” chuckles Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert, when he’s asked about recent rumors that he’ll be joining his pal and Direct Management roster-mate Katy Perry behind the judges’ table on ABC’s Idol reboot. “I don’t know where this talk comes from! I don’t think I’m going to be a judge on American Idol. Lambert is forever grateful for his Idol experience (“I owe the show the world,” he says), but the man hardly has time to commit to a regular TV gig right now.
Sasha, a true visionary and rock ’n’ roller, elevates drag to a new level of performance art, pulling from the past while pushing the medium into the future.
As rumors swirl that Lionel Richie is being tapped to judge next year’s American Idol reboot, the contestant who changed the Idol game by covering Richie’s song “Hello,” Season 7 champion David Cook, has some thoughts about the series’ revival — and whether he’d ever want to be an Idol judge himself.
“My fans have been extremely patient, and if I could do anything to reward that, I’d like to,” American Idol Season 7 winner David Cook tells Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks, referring to his past lengthy recording hiatuses between releases. “They waited four years for [the 2015 album] Digital Vein, and I promised them at that CD release party that I wasn’t going to make them wait four years again. I’m inclined to keep that promise.”
Taylor Phelan was once known as one of the most-robbed Voice contestants of all time (here’s his famous “Sweater Weather” audition to remind you of what might have been in Season 7). But now he’s an indie artist on the rise — making a name for himself with his own music, outside of the reality-TV bubble. Phelan’s new EP 1 of 2 is due out this August, and Yahoo Music is excited to premiere the lyric video for the EP’s first single, “Settle Down.”
“It takes stones, it takes cojones, to sing with a straight gay face a song like ‘Macho Man,’” Randy Jones, aka the original Cowboy from LGBTQ disco sensations Village People, tells Yahoo Music with a laugh. Jones and his fellow uniformed macho men made a major impact in the 1970s, largely through network TV exposure — much like the Emmy-winning RuPaul Charles and the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race are infiltrating the mainstream today.
Casual America’s Got Talent viewers were in for the scary-clown shock of their lives this Tuesday, when a 6-foot-8, satin-pantalooned, Keane-eyed harlequin took the stage, and in an unexpectedly rich and glorious baritone belted Sia’s “Chandelier” on AGT’s Season 12 premiere. The 52-year-old crooner, who has fronted the Atlanta rock band Kingsized since 1995 under his real name, Mike Geier, is actually a massive YouTube star — his 2013 cover of Lorde’s “Royals,” with viral jazzbos Postmodern Jukebox, has racked up 19 million views to date, and his delightful “Puddles Pity Party” YouTube channel boasts more than 96,000 subscribers. Since his PMJ debut, the operatic comic has amazed the Interweb with his charming, genius covers of everyone from Bowie and Lennon to Blink-182 and twenty one pilots, and before that, he even toured with the Aqua Teen Hunger Force and indie band the Eels.
This Tuesday on The Voice Season 12, in perhaps the biggest finale shocker since Josh Kaufman won over Jake Worthington and Christina Grimmie six seasons ago, Team Alicia’s Chris Blue beat out Team Blake’s presumed frontrunner, iTunes queen Lauren Duski. Lauren had dominated iTunes all season (even this week, she held the chart’s top two spots, with her original co-write hitting No. 1), but Chris — the last contestant picked during this season’s Blind Auditions process, and a rare finalist that actually tried out for the show via an open call — still prevailed. Chris earned his victory, especially with his phenomenal “Diamonds and Pearls” and “Rhythm Nation” performances this week, and as the most current and pop-leaning Voice winner yet, he could have a real future in the real world.
Alicia Keys is leaving The Voice after this season — vacating her red chair for this fall’s incoming coach Jennifer Hudson, followed by spring 2018’s Kelly Clarkson. Not only was this a historic victory for Alicia (it was her first win, and only the second win in the series’ 12-season history for a female coach), but Chris — the very last contestant picked in this season’s selection process — became the first male R&B champ since Season 2’s Jermaine Paul, and the first person of color to prevail since Season 5’s Tessanne Chin. Alicia was delighted, of course, but this was a truly emotional night for 26-year-old Knoxville worship leader Chris, who was joined onstage by his family and his cancer-survivor fiancée, Stephanie, while he sobbed triumphantly and pointed heavenward.
A dark cloud loomed over the Voice soundstage Monday, on what was supposed to be a celebratory night: part one of the Season 12 finale. Just a couple hours before the broadcast, disaster had rocked the pop world, when a suspected terrorist explosion at a U.K. Ariana Grande concert killed at least 22 people and injured dozens more. Host Carson Daly addressed the tragedy at the top of the show, saying, “Before we get going on this huge night of performances, on behalf of everybody here at The Voice, our hearts go out to the people in the Manchester, England… Lives have been lost, and many hurt. ...
As Team Alicia’s Chris Blue, Team Blake’s Lauren Duski and Aliyah Moulden, and Team Adam’s Jesse Larson prepare to compete on next week’s The Voice Season 12 finale, Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks catches up with them in the studio, where they are laying down their final iTunes recordings of the season — including their coach duets.
This crazy top eight week on The Voice semifinals, also known as the “Red Chair Wedding,” four contestants went home, all at once, including both of Gwen Stefani’s presumed frontrunners, Hunter Plake and Brennley Brown, aka “Hennley.” (Two other worthy contenders, Team Alicia’s Vanessa Ferguson and Team Blake’s TSoul, also didn’t survive this bloodbath.) And today, my “The Day After” co-host, Season 9 Team Gwen finalist Jeffery Austin, and I are still in shock/mourning. Along with last night’s quadruple-elimination shocker and Monday’s mostly excellent performances, there’s an entire Twitterverse of conspiracy theories, plus our predictions for which of the remaining top four — Team Blake’s Lauren Duski and Aliyah Moulden, Team Adam’s Jesse Larson, and Team Alicia’s Chris Blue — will win next week.
In perhaps the most shocking Voice result since Jermaine Paul beat out Juliet Simms, Tony Lucca, and Chris Mann five years ago, on this Tuesday’s quadruple-elimination show, a pair of presumed frontrunners and consistent iTunes charters — indie wunderkind Hunter Plake and sweet country teen Brennley Brown — went home, heartbreakingly just one week before the big Season 12 finale. Instead, two dark-horse contestants galloped through to the finals: Team Blake’s pop-soul prodigy Aliyah Moulden, who made the top three via Monday’s public vote (along with Team Blake’s country crooner Lauren Duski and Team Alicia’s soulful showman Chris Blue), and Team Adam’s bluesman Jesse Larson, who won the real-time Instant Save Twitter vote in a nail-biting sing-off against Hunter and Brennley.
This Tuesday, half of Season 12’s very talented hopefuls will go home, all at once — and there may be some unexpected, painful cuts, particularly for Team Gwen.
As Clarkson and Hudson search for a new singing star, they may be directly competing for ratings with the TV show that made them superstars in the first place.
Long before America’s Got Talent turned Jackie Evancho and Grace VanderWaal into overnight child-star sensations, there was Bianca Ryan, who at age 11 was the very first AGT winner in 2006, thanks to standout performances like “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”
This week on The Voice Season 12, two contestants went home, and they both happened to be Team Adam contestants. Unless Jesse Larson can survive next week’s quadruple-elimination bloodbath, it looks like this might be the first time since Season 4 that the hyper-competitive Adam Levine will out a finale.
Every Voice season seems to take longer than Gwen Stefani takes between solo albums to get to the live competitive episodes — with a seemingly endless cycle of Blind Auditions, Battle Rounds, Knockout Rounds, Coach Comebacks, and, of course, “Best of the Blinds” and “Road to the Lives” clip shows.
This week on The Voice Season 12, Team Alicia’s Stephanie Rice shockingly went home in 11th place, triggering waves of outrage across the Interweb — or at least the 41 percent of the East Coast-based Interweb that uses Twitter and watches The Voice in real time.