It’s that time of year again when another American Idol season is upon us. Before tonight’s premiere, I thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and rank the best songs from previous Idol contestants. If American Idol didn’t exist, perhaps a few of these songs would’ve never been hits. Love it or hate it, American Idol is a huge force in the music industry and has churned out one multi-platinum artist after another.
Originally, I was going to keep it down to ten tracks, but I couldn’t narrow it down to just ten. Another thing to keep in mind while checking out the list is, I imposed a two song maximum per artist. Let’s face it, I could’ve filled the list completely from songs solely from Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood alone. Also, no coronation songs were eligible since I’m doing a post, ranking the American Idol cheesy winner’s song at a later date. Without further ado, here’s my Top 15 Tracks From American Idol Contestants.
Traditionally come January time, I wait with bated breath for “American Idol” to premiere. After the addicting first season of “The Voice“, I’m actually looking more forward for the NBC singing competition to begin rather than Fox’s venerable hit. I never thought I’d say that, but you can’t deny the blind auditions are absolutely brilliant. I’d rather watch two hours of Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton spinning around in their swivel-chairs than those planted awful auditions on Idol. I still love Idol, but I’m so tired of those bad singers monopolizing the early part of the competition. Can I get an “amen”?
Given that the second season premiere of “The Voice” is airing after Super Bowl XLVI, it’s only fitting that the NBC reality show is super-sizing some aspects of the show for its return. Last season, each judge had a fellow musician help them mentor their respective team during the battle rounds. This time around, Christina, Adam, Cee Lo and Blake will each have two music superstars at their side. The other day, I first revealed that Kelly Clarkson and Miranda Lambert will be working with Shelton with his army of singers. Now find out who the other judges have by their side.
“These renowned musicians will bring their unique and recognizable musical styles to the teams. They are well-respected singers whose invaluable experience will be a tremendous asset to Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton’s artists,” Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president, late night and alternative programming stated.
VH1′s beloved franchise “Divas Live” which raises funds for their Save The Music Foundation aired it’s concert last night. Headlining the 2011 concert were Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Florence + The Machine, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J. and Jill Scott. In past years, they’ve revolved the show around a particular diva or honored people, like the US troops last year. This time around, the Divas celebrated music from great soul cities like Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia.
I have to say, it was definitely one of the better VH1 Divas concerts in recent memory. The evening kicked things off in style with a banging group number by Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Hudson. In addition to the Divas, the evening included an incredible line-up of performers including Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Boyz II Men, Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius, Travie McCoy, Mavis Staples, Wanda Jackson, Martha Reeves and Ledisi. Even though they didn’t headline the show, Badu, Ambrosius and Ledisi all impressed whenever they took the stage. Jill Scott should’ve been swapped out for one of these three ladies.
On deck to present film segments and performances were Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah, Terrence Howard, Nas, Common, Sherri Shepherd, La La Anthony, and Archie Panjabi. PS. Is anyone else out there looking forward to Latifah and Parton’s upcoming comedy, “Joyful Noise“? It definitely looks cheesy, but I totally want to see it. I’m definitely calling dibs on press passes.
Some people may be over the idea of a flash mob but Kelly Clarkson sure doesn’t think so. She used the popular viral idea to create the concept for her newest music video. The title track off her album Stronger is an anthem like we’re used to hearing from the Idol winner. While it may not have garnered the success of previous tracks like Since You Been Gone, this cute little video and a little airplay could definitely help her out. The lyrics ring out:
You think you got the best of me
Think you had the last laugh
Bet you think that everything good is gone.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone.
Classic Kelly don’t you think? In the video, we watch as Kelly seems to be the commander of YouTube as she pulls levers and twists nobs that control viewing of different people dancing to her new track. Kelly and her team actually did a call out on Facebook and Twitter for people to submit their videos. These were the lucky winners who now appear in the video. In the end, Kelly jumps off the stage and joins a flash mob of her own in a little courtyard. Check out the latest video below.
It looks like releasing a Christmas tune, album or EP is the new trend for musicians this holiday season and reports are coming out saying the Christmas music is actually boosting radio ratings. So with that, I’d like to share a Christmas classic, revamped by one of my favorites, Kelly Clarkson. Instead of taking a standard and making it a Top 40/Pop track, Kelly took the jazz route to keep it traditional and the result is amazing!
Kelly’s vocals sound absolutely amazing on the track. Even though we’ve heard this song covered many times, no one can deny that Kelly has a voice to give anyone goosebumps. So why a sudden itch to record a Christmas track? It’s actually part a special iTunes package Kelly and her team are putting together; a new EP with Kelly taking new spins on old Kelly songs. WHAT?! This sounds amazing!
With that comes the addition of one Christmas tune. Kelly even said she can’t wait to write a Christmas album. Working on one song was such a tease. I personally would love a Christmas album from the former Idol superstar. Give a listen to I’ll Be Home For Christmas after the jump.
Let’s just jump right into the action this week. Seriously, tonight’s results show flew by. Every week should have Kelly Clarkson and Bruno Mars’ performances along with a double elimination. Clarkson performed “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)“, while Mars sang “It Will Rain” from the “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”.
Kelly, as usual, blew it out the park. My only complaint and suggestion is that she think twice about her wardrobe choices. IMHO, it was a little too tight and shiny. Someone looks like they’ve been inside Christina Aguilera’s closet. My man Bruno also fared well. I just wished the graphics on the huge screens would’ve been images from Twilight and beautiful shots rainfall. Perhaps that was too literal for the show given the song’s lyrics and background.
As if I wasn’t already excited to see Kelly Clarkson’s “VH1 Unplugged” special, but this newly-released trailer brings my anticipation to a boiling point. Can we please just fast forward to November 17th so I can watch Kelly kill it on stage. I’ve always been a fan of the Unplugged specials and have no doubt Kelly’s set will rank as one of my all-time favorites. The original “American Idol” will perform songs from her forthcoming album “Stronger” as well as other past favorites. To my surprise, one of the songs she’ll be singing is a cover of another “American Idol” winner’s track.
Clarkson takes on Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t“- a track from her 2007 album “Carnival Ride“. Kelly gives the country ballad a stripped down acoustic treatment and it pays dividends. I like it much better than the arrangement on Underwood’s album. She seriously slays it. That being said, I’m sure Carrie, my other favorite Idol, would kill it too with the same arrangement. Who else thinks that Kelly and Carrie should perform a duet? Something in the vein of Brandy & Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine“. How awesome would that be? While we wait for that unlikely collaboration, check out Kelly’s cover of Carrie’s track and cast your vote on which you prefer.
It’s no secret that the mo’s all love us some Kelly Clarkson. Come on, we were cheering for her the moment she stepped on stage during American Idol. However, the southern bell has more than proven herself worthy of being more than just a former Idol contestant. With albums hitting gold and platinum, singles topping the charts for weeks on end and kicking off record holders like The Beatles and Britney Spears, there is no denying that the original US Idol winner is a pop voice that’s here to stay. Her latest album titled Stronger brought us back to the Clarkson we know and love and I think all fans of the songstress agree.
In a recent interview with Idolator, the crew decided to test Ms. Clarkson on some trivia. They called it Ms. Know It All. The trivia in question? All pertaining to Kelly of course. How does Kelly know herself, her music and the records that she has set? It’s quite entertaining as the video goes on. They ask her questions like who has sung about Kelly Clarkson in their songs or who else has covered songs that she has. What’s more fun is watching Kelly’s true personality shine throughout the entire thing. Watch it all go down below.