Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lee DeWyze Debuts his NEW Single "Beautiful Like You" LIVE on American Idol

American Idol Season 9 champion Lee DeWyze debuts his latest single "Beautiful Like You" on the Idol Top 12 Results Show. This is the second single from Lee's chart-topping album Live It Up. The first single, "Sweet Serendipity," premiered on On Air with Ryan Seacrest on October 13, 2010.

After winning Season 9 of American Idol on May 27, 2010, DeWyze signed a recording contract with 19 Entertainment and RCA Records. He started recording soon after and continued during the American Idols LIVE! Tour and completed in early October 2010, releasing the album November 16, 2010. He worked with Toby Gad, John Shanks, Espionage, and other producers. Lee DeWyze co-wrote ten of the eleven songs on Live It Up. He explained about the album and work:

"To see my name listed in the credits on each song was really important to me because I’m a songwriter. I also loved working with such talented writers. They all brought so much to the table and really helped me flesh out my sound. I grew up listening to Simon & Garfunkel, The Mamas & The Papas, Cat Stevens, and Kris Kristofferson. I love hard-edged vocals over pretty melodies — that’s what I’m about.″

Lee DeWyze's Pre-American Idol Albums

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American Idol says "Goodbye" to Karen Rodriguez: The Curtain Call Interview

American Idol Season 10 bids farewell to the beautiful and talented Karen Rodriguez. Karen auditioned for Season 10 of American Idol first on Myspace and then in Los Angeles, California. She was one of the Top 5 female vote getters in the semi-final round to advance to the Top 13. On March 17, 2011, Rodriguez was eliminated from American Idol, finishing in 12th place. The judges chose not to save her, but the decision was not unanimous. Karen later revealed Jennifer Lopez wanted to save her.

21 year old Karen Rodriguez was born on March 22, 1989 and comes from New York, NY. Her father is Dominican and her mother is Peruvian. Karen started singing as a child. She went to New York's LaGuardia Arts School, as did her fellow Idol contestant Pia Toscano. She starred as Maria in "West Side Story" as a freshman. In 2008, she appeared in the fifth season of a Puerto Rican talent show Objetivo Fama and finished in seventh place. She considers Selena to be her biggest idol, and is a fan of Juan Gabriel and Juan Luis Guerra.

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Getting to Know American Idol's Naima Adedapo

Naima Adedapo: Umbrella - Naima Adedapo - American Idol

American Idol Season 10's most original contestant Naima Adedapo is 26 years old and comes from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Naima auditioned for the tenth season of American Idol in Milwaukee, and was given a 'Golden Ticket' to Hollywood. (This was Naima's second time trying out for Idol.) Unfortunately, Naima was not one the Top 5 female vote getters in the semi-final round to advance to the Top 13. The judges chose six of the Top 24 finalists (3 girls and 3 guys) to sing for a 'Wild Card' spot, and then she advanced to the Top 13 along with two other 'Wild Cards', Ashthon Jones and Stefano Langone.

Naima is a dancer and actress as well as a singer. Her urban, hip-hop dance moves, in performances such as Rihanna's "Umbrella", have livened up her performances. She is one of the most dynamic finalists on Idol this season, showing off her personal flair by wearing outfits she has designed. The judges and audience love that Naima is so unique; not just another cookie-cutter singer that is encountered so often on American Idol. Judge Jennifer Lopez told Naima, "You bring your own specific flavor to everything you do. You got fire, Girl." Randy Jackson loves her individuality too. "You look hot and you got the flavor," he told Naima, but he's called her out twice now for pitchiness. The eccentric Steven Tyler loves contestants who bring their own unique style to the Idol stage. He has praised Naima over and over, saying, "Naima, you’re crazy good. I love ya. A little pitchy. You brought flavor tonight. You brought another little something. I adore you for that," and adding the following week, "You opened up a can of whoop-de-do on us tonight! You got a sorcerers grasp of melody girl."

Naima's favorite quote is: "Stay humble and true to yourself." Her musical influences include her mother Adekola, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, India Arie and Lauryn Hill.

Naima Adedapo was born in Maywood, Illinois and her family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin when she was ten. Naima is the daughter of Milwaukee area jazz singer Adekola Adedapo. She graduated high school from St. Joan Antida and majored in Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Naima is married with two daughters, age one and three, and three stepdaughters. She was formerly a maintenance worker at Summerfest in Milwaukee.

Adedapo is a dancer with Ko-Thi, an Afri-centric dance company, and sings with her husband in R.A.S. Movement, a reggae and world beat band. Naima was one of the top 38 finalists on MTV/P.Diddy's "Making the Band 3". She also once sang with a group called Crossfit Cali Band.

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Getting to Know American Idol's Lauren Alaina

Lauren Alaina - Contestants - American Idol

American Idol Season 10's Lauren Alaina (Suddeth) is 16 years old and comes from Rossville, Georgia, a suburb of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Lauren auditioned for Season 10 of American Idol in Nashville, Tennessee and was put through to Hollywood, eventually making it to the Top 24. She is currently a finalist in the Top 11.

Lauren has such amazing stage-presence, confidence and swagger for a girl so young! Plus she's sweet as a Georgia peach and a born comedienne. This 16 year old beauty has wowed the judges ever since her first audition, where she sang Faith Hill's "Like We Never Loved at All" then duetted with Steven Tyler on Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing". Jennifer Lopez told Lauren, “You don’t even have to try. The voice is so effortless. I know there’s more in there. Amazing.” And judge Randy Jackson said, “You have a natural gift. You can sing anything. I don’t think you even know how talented you are.” Randy went on to call Lauren a cross between Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood! Last week, Lauren had to perform with the flu. This girl was better than some other contestants who were perfectly healthy! Randy Jackson said, "I don't know, cold or whatever's happening...that was very nice. So have a cold every week." Steven Tyler raved, "I loved you the first time I heard you. You're beautiful. You did it again. You're a shining star!"

Lauren Alaina's favorite quote is "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Lauren named Carrie Underwood as her biggest musical influence.

Lauren Alaina was born on November 8, 1994 to Kristy and J.J. Suddeth of Rossville, Georgia. Her father works as a process technician in Chattanooga, TN. Lauren is a sophomore at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in Georgia. Lauren was inspired to sing, and try out for American Idol, by her cousin, Holly Witherow, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Prior to American Idol, Alaina performed at several Chattanooga area venues and was the first winner of the WinnieStar youth talent contest at Lake Winnepesaukah amusement park in 2009.

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Getting to Know American Idol's Resident Rocker JAMES DURBIN

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American Idol Season 10 Top 11 rocker James Durbin is 22 year old and comes from Santa Cruz, California. Durbin had previously auditioned for American Idol in Season 8, but did not get the 'Golden Ticket' to Hollywood. James auditioned again, for Season 10 of American Idol in San Francisco, California. After making it through the Hollywood and Las Vegas rounds, James was one of the Top 5 male vote getters in the semi-final round to advance to the Top 13.

Sticking mainly to his Rock-n-Roll roots, James has even dared to sing Heavy Metal on American Idol - being the first contestant EVER to perform Judas Priest! James has a very loyal following, including the three Idol judges. He can hold a very long 'scream' like the best of the old-time rockers. What many fans appreciate about James is that his 'scream' is on-key and pleasant, not a long, drawn-out screech. Judge Randy Jackson raved, “You’re one of my favs in this whole thing. I love this kind of voice. James Durbin is dangerous, America.” And, "What you do always is you figure out how to make it your own. You found a way to put your high note in, but not overdo it. Very tastefully done Dude." And Jennifer Lopez praised James saying, “You have such a quality. You have what the greatest rock singers have. You’re melodic.” And the judge who knows Rock-n-Roll the best, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler told James, "That man right there has a rich vein of inner crazy."

James Durbin's favorite quote is, "You can't change the wind, but you can set your sails in the direction you want." James' musical influences include Robert Plant, Freddie Mercury of Queen, Steven Tyler and Ronnie James Dio.

James Durbin was born on January 6,1989 to Judy Settle-Durbin. His father Willy Durbin, a musician, died of drug overdose when James was was only 9. James was diagnosed with Tourette's and Asperger's syndrome shortly after his father died. He has facial tics, some social awkwardness, and restricted interests. But, James does not allow these disorders to stop him from being the most dynamic and entertaining Idol on stage!

James has a wife, Heidi, whom he met in a bar and considers his 'rock'. They have a son together named Hunter. He was unemployed prior to appearing on Idol.

In 2006, Durbin performed in the Santa Cruz-based children's theater group called Kids on Broadway and played the lead role in "Beauty and the Beast" and "Singin' in the Rain". In 2007, he played the leading roles of Tony in "West Side Story" and Oscar in "Sweet Charity" - both productions produced by All About Theatre, a Santa Cruz community theater company. James was also the lead singer in a Heavy Metal band called The Hollywood Scars. In the past, Durbin has also done some country music.

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Getting to Know American Idol's JACOB LUSK!

Jacob Lusk - Contestants - American Idol

American Idol Season 10 Top 11 finalist Jacob Lusk is 23 years old. Jacob comes from Compton, CA, and auditioned for the tenth season of American Idol in nearby Los Angeles.

Jacob received high praise from Randy Jackson for his rendition of "God Bless the Child" by Billie Holiday during the Hollywood rounds as the best performance ever seen on Idol. The audience has fallen in love with Jacob's pure voice and amazing range. There is a certain innocence about Jacob, and he definitely sings like an angel! The judges have given Jacob praise for every performance since the Hollywood round as well. Aerosmith's Steven Tyler told him, "I think gospel had a baby and they named it Jacob Lusk!" And judge Jennifer Lopez likes that Jacob gives himself "completely to every moment and every performance." Jacob received exceptionally high praise after singing "A House is Not a Home," written for Dionne Warwick, and made famous by Luther Vandross. Randy Jackson said, “Luther would be so proud of you. I don’t think there’s anything you can’t do.” Jacob is inspirational!

Jacob Lusk's favorite quote is "Be yourself!" And says his father is his main musical influence. Although Jacob's mom says, "Jacob gets his talent from both sides of the family," Jacob maintains, "I did NOT get my singing voice from my mother! If she goes near a mic, take it away!"

Jacob Lusk was born on June 23, 1987 in Southern California. He began singing when he was only four years old. Jacob is a minister of music at his church. Prior to auditioning for American Idol Season 10, Lusk worked as a spa concierge. In 2007, Jacob joined a gospel group called InNate Praise formed by the late hip-hop singer Nate Dogg, and he performed with the group at churches around Los Angeles County.

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Getting to Know American Idol's Haley Reinhart

Haley Reinhart - Contestants - American Idol

American Idol Season 10 Top 11 finalist Haley Reinhart is 20 years old and comes from Wheeling, IL. Reinhart first auditioned for Season 9 of American Idol in Chicago, but unfortunately did not advance to the Hollywood round. Haley then auditioned for American Idol Season 10 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and was put through to Hollywood, eventually making it through to the Top 24. She is currently a contestant in the Top 11.

Adorable Haley Reinhart has a sexy-innocence to her, like a young Hollywood starlet or ingenue. The judges, especially Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, are totally smitten by Haley. After Haley sang LeAnn Rimes' "Blue", Steven said, “That was beautiful. You can hear the rest of the country roaring. You did such a good job today. So, so fine.” He thinks Haley has "the right amount of style and just the right amount of sexy." Jennifer Lopez thinks Haley can do things with her voice that no one else in the competition can. “You do really special things. It’s so unique to you. Really special.” Randy Jackson agrees, “I like that you can do anything."

Haley's favorite quote: "I believe everything happens for an important reason. And with this, I always say, 'Que sera -- whatever will be, will be.'" Haley's musical influences are all over the map! They include 50's Motown, classic rock, funk, blues, disco and pop!

Haley Reinhart was born on September 9, 1990 to Patti Miller-Reinhart and Harry Reinhart, both musicians. Haley began singing when she was only 8 years old, and she performed with her parents’ band Midnight, which covers rock songs from the ’60s and ’70s. She attended Mark Twain Elementary School and Wheeling High School. After graduating high school in 2009, Reinhart attended Harper College in Palatine, Illinois in 2009-2010, where she studied jazz. She has performed at the 2009 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland with her high school's jazz band and at Harper College with the college's Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Lab.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

American Idol's Karen Rodriguez Shows off Her Latin Sizzle with "Love Will Lead You Back"

American Idol Season 10's sizzling-hot Karen Rodriguez performs "Love Will Lead You Back" on the Top 12 Show. This week's theme was 'songs from your birth year'. Karen was born March 22, 1989, "the year of big hair, preppy clothes and bright colors." Karen choose to sing "Love Will Lead You Back," a #1 hit by Taylor Dayne - a pop icon of the late 80's.

The bright blue neon wall opens to Karen Rodriguez, a classically beautiful girl - dressed like Barbarella!? And, unfortunately, she doesn't change up the song at all - make it current, except to translate part of it into Spanish. None of the judges are smiling. Randy Jackson starts out with his staccato "YO", meaning this review isn't going to be great. "It started a little rough, but by the time you hit the chorus, you kinda found the pitch and found the range. I think it was definitely better than last week. But I'm still not jumping up and down," said Randy. Steven Tyler said, "I love it when you break into your ethnic what-it-is-ness." Okay... Jennifer Lopez added, "I could tell you were a little bit scared when you came attacked it. Never expose your weaknesses, play to your strengths. You sing beautifully. Just perform it from your heart."

"Love Will Lead You Back" is a song performed by Taylor Dayne. Released as the second single from Dayne's second album Can't Fight Fate (following the more uptempo "With Every Beat of My Heart"), the ballad debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on January 27, 1990. It reached #1 that same year and spent 15 weeks in the Top 40. It also reached #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and was certified a Gold Record. Taylor Dayne has 17 individual Top Tens on Billboard Charts including, most recently, her 2008 Billboard #1 "Beautiful".

The song, written by Diane Warren, is about a woman who is willing to set her lover free because she is confident that one day his love will lead him back to her: "Sometimes it takes some time out on your own now / to find your way back home". Warren has stated that she began writing the song while in a hotel in Russia, and that she had originally intended the song to be offered to R&B singer Whitney Houston, but Arista Records president Clive Davis wanted to let Dayne record the song.

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