Pamela Littky; BBGunPRThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place this Saturday in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and some of today's biggest stars will be on hand to induct -- and perform tributes to -- the iconic musicians who are entering the Hall this year.
Miley Cyrus, who's often spoken about her admiration for '80s rock icons Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, will get to usher them into the Hall, though it's not clear if she'll perform as well. Meanwhile, fun.'s Nate Ruess, who just kicked off his solo career, will perform in honor of another of this year's inductees, the late Lou Reed. In addition, John Legend will perform in honor of inductee Bill Withers, the soul singer best known for his hits "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Lean on Me."
Also, John Mayer will induct one of his heroes, the late guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, and his band Double Trouble, and take part in a tribute performance. Stevie Wonder will induct Bill Withers, while Paul McCartney will induct his Beatles band mate Ringo Starr.
Fall Out Boy will induct this year's youngest honorees, Green Day, and they're going to great lengths to do it: earlier that day, they'll be performing at the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day concert in Washington, D.C. along with Usher, Train and other acts. Then, they'll hop a plane to Cleveland to take part in the ceremony.
"It's really exciting for us," Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz tells ABC Radio about participating in ushering Billie Joe Armstrong and the guys into the Hall. "''Cause I think that, as punk rock bands, it's cool -- when one of us makes it, it's kind of like all of us [do], it seems like. To me, I think Green Day is definitely Rock Hall of Fame-worthy."
Green Day, and their hit-packed 1994 album Dookie had a huge influence on Fall Out Boy, says Pete, and that's why he's so happy that the band is being given such a prestigious honor.
"I think about [Green Day] on the iconic scale of a band like U2, and it's a cool moment to see that happen," Wentz says. "I think without Green Day putting out Dookie, I don't know if Fall Out Boy ends up in the same place that we end up. So I think that it's really special for us, personally."
Fall Out Boy hasn't been announced as actually performing at Saturday's induction ceremony, but they're perfectly happy just to be there.
"I would love to [perform], but I don't know if we do," Wentz says. "In 2009 we used to cover 'Basket Case' by Green Day. You can find those videos online somewhere."
He laughs, "It'd be cool. I have no idea. I don't know. We're just lucky enough to be going."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be taped on Saturday, and will air on HBO May 30.
Karwai Tang/WireImageTurns out Zayn Malik isn’t leaving the spotlight completely. Today the singer made his first red carpet appearance since exiting One Direction.
According to E! News, Zayn attended the Asian Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London and brought along his mom as his date. He also debuted a shaved head.
His appearance comes a day after his friend, producer Naughty Boy, shared a photo of him on Twitter with what appeared to be a new nose piercing.
The last red carpet event Zayn attended was the NRJ Music Awards with his band mates back in December. The rest of One Direction -- Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson -- are already at work on their new album, a follow-up to last year’s Four.
Zayn departed the group late last month, saying he wanted "to be a normal 22-year-old." On The Late Late Show with James CordenThursday, the band’s mentor, Simon Cowell, said Zayn’s departure wasn’t exactly a surprise. “I kind of knew this was coming, if I was being honest with you,” Simon said. "We had a few conversations."
Simon signed One Direction to his Syco label in 2011 after their stint on U.K.’s X Factor.
S-Curve RecordsEverything's all good with Andy Grammer's latest hit, "Honey I'm Good." While his first single, "Keep Your Head Up," is probably his best known tune, the insanely catchy "Honey I'm Good" has managed to climb to #34 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking his first-ever top-40 hit.
The success of "Honey, I'm Good" has also boosted sales of Andy's current album, Magazines or Novels. The album has now jumped from #73 to #57. That's the highest it's been on the album chart since it was released last August and entered the chart at #27.
RCA RecordsLady Gaga proved young pop stars and old music veterans can successfully work together when she recorded the Grammy-winning album Cheek to Cheek with 88-year-old Tony Bennett. Now, Sia, Britney Spears and Charli XCX are hoping for a similar success story.
The singers have collaborated with 74-year-old disco and electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder for his first solo album in more than 30 years. The album, entitled Déjà Vu, will be released on June 16 and its title track, featuring Sia, is out today.
Charli is featured on the track “Diamonds,” while Britney sings on a cover of Suzanne Vega's 1987 hit “Tom’s Diner.” Foxes, who sang on the Zedd song “Clarity,” is also featured on the album, on a song called “Wildstar.” And Mikky Ekko, who sang with Rihanna on “Stay,” is showcased on a track called “Don’t Let Go.”
Giorgio, an Italian producer/DJ who essentially paved the way for the likes of Calvin Harris and Zedd, is best known for producing the late Donna Summer's legendary disco hits like "Love to Love You Baby" and "I Feel Love.” He also produced Blondie's "Call Me," Irene Cara's "Flashdance (What a Feeling)" and Berlin's "Take My Breath Away," from the movie Top Gun.
Giorgio appeared as a guest collaborator on the Grammy-winning Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories, and has remixed a bunch of tunes including Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett’s “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love.”
“As I sit back readily approaching my 75th birthday, I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Giorgio said in a statement. “I'm incredibly happy that I got to work with so many great and talented artists on this new record. This is dance music, it’s disco, it’s electronic, it’s here for you.”
Here is the complete track list:
“4 U with Love” “Déjà vu” (featuring Sia) “Diamonds” (featuring Charli XCX) “Don’t Let Go” (featuring Mikky Ekko) “Right Here, Right Now” (featuring Kylie Minogue) “Tempted” (featuring Matthew Koma) “74 Is the New 24” “Tom’s Diner” (featuring Britney Spears) “Wildstar” (featuring Foxes) “Back & Forth” (featuring Kelis) “I Do This for You" (featuring Marlene) “La Disco”
ABC/Donna SvennevikSelena Gomez is embracing her curves. The singer has been photographed sporting some skimpy bathing suits while on vacation in Mexico this week and while the photos have sparked many to comment on her fuller figure, Selena just wants everyone to know there’s more of her to love.
On Thursday, she Instagrammed a photo of herself lounging in a black bathing suit with mesh cut-outs, along with the caption: “I love being happy with me yall #theresmoretolove”
Take that, body-shaming critics!
According to Us Weekly, Selena’s been staying at Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis’ Casa Aramara estate in Punta Mita with a bunch of gal pals. She posted an Instagram video of her and some friends eating dinner on Wednesday, with the caption, “Girly moments at the Casa.”
Big Machine RecordsWhile Taylor Swift may be well-known for chronicling her personal heartbreak, her latest album 1989 is mostly missing those tales of woe...yet it's still been a massive success. Taylor says there's one major difference between 1989 and her last album Red: time.
While Red mostly focused on Taylor's feelings directly following one major breakup, she says with 1989, any songs she wrote about her love life were written after she'd had time to process her feelings about it. "Anything you hear on this album that is reflecting back on an old relationship is done with a lot of retrospect," she says. "It’s done with a lot of perspective."
Of course, Taylor's quick to point out that the main thrust of 1989 isn't songs about ex-boyfriends.
"It’s very much an album about the last two years of my life, which has involved a lot of independence, freedom, strength, happiness," she explains. "But that’s not to say that there aren’t songs on the album that are about struggles I went through."
What sort of struggles? One of them might be the incident that produced the song "Bad Blood," widely tipped to be the next single from 1989. Taylor told Rolling Stone that she wrote it after learning that another female artist -- widely assumed to be Katy Perry -- had tried to "sabotage" her tour by hiring all her dancers away.
Taylor's 1989 world tour kicks off May 20 in Bossier City, Louisiana, though before that, she has two shows in Japan, and will perform at the Rock in Rio USA festival in Las Vegas as well.
Pamela Littky/Columbia RecordsHow often do you get to see Train, Fall Out Boy, No Doubt and Usher all on the same bill...for free? Well, it's happening Saturday in Washington, D.C.
The occasion is Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day, a free event that'll be held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. starting at 11 a.m. ET and running until 7:30 p.m. ET. Also on the bill: Mary J. Blige and rockers My Morning Jacket. Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am will co-host with Soledad O'Brien. If you can't make it to D.C., youll be able to watch a YouTube livestream at GlobalCitizenEarthDay.org, and follow along via a live blog at GlobalCitizen.org.
So what's the event all about? It's an expansion of the annual Global Citizen Festival held in New York City's Central Park, and it'll mark the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. The event is designed to educate and inspire people to take immediate action, not only to solve climate change but to end extreme poverty.
As for why they feel a free concert is the best way to do this, the organizers say in a statement, "We believe that music transcends boundaries and languages and serves as an outlet for raising awareness around the issues that face everyone." Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz tells ABC Radio that awareness of global issues is something that many U.S. citizens lack, which is why the band wanted to be involved in the event.
"Any time you're able to contribute or give something back it's important," he says. "To us, I think that global poverty is something that you, as an American who's doing all right, don't often think about. When we travel around the world and get to see that, I think that it's something that we should all work towards ending."
Train's Pat Monahan agrees that the "global" aspect is the key. "The idea behind global citizenship and all of us being in this together...it's just kind of basics," he tells ABC Radio. "This kind of event is just a lot of people getting together to remind everybody that, 'Hey, there's some big stuff we got to work out.'"
Monahan adds that he's looking forward to appearing on a bill with so many other artists, especially those he knows, like Usher and Fall Out Boy. "The thing that I always want when I'm in that kind of environment is to believe the artists that are there," he adds.
Performing in Washington, D.C. is also an attraction for the singer. "Every time we've played outdoor festivals and things like that in D.C. it's always one of our favorite times," he tells ABC Radio. "In fact, one of the shows I look forward to the most is going to D.C. Somehow there's a lot of real, serious love interaction between Train and D.C."
If you miss this concert, both Train and Fall Out have big summer tours coming up. Train's Picasso at the Wheel tour starts May 21, while Fall Out Boy's Boys of Zummer trek starts June 10.
Also on Thursday, Brown performed "You Changed Me" -- a collaboration from Jamie Foxx's new album Hollywood -- on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The Oscar winning actor confirmed to Kimmel that Brown's daughter was backstage. "I hope he doesn't mind me saying this," Foxx said, explaining seeing Brown with his little girl was "absolutely mindblowing."
The actor also commented of the controversial recording artist, "People ask me...why Chris [is] on my record. I've known Chris since he was 15, and some of the things that people don't get a chance to see Chris, on the inside -- like when he comes and dances with my sister who has Down syndrome for hours at the crib, and no one sees this...There's some really blessful things that this kid have to offer."
ABC/Randy HolmesSelena Gomez has teamed up with Adidas again for a new summer collection. And this time, she’s all about color.
The singer showed off the Adidas NEO collection with a behind-the-scenes look at her photo shoot for the label. “Welcome to my bright wonderland!” she says in the video.
She explains that while her past collections with the brand have been “a little edgy,” this time she wanted to lighten things up a bit. “What I’m really stoked about with this collection is that it’s very bright, and that represents where I am too, which is really fun,” she says.
The collection includes a maxi dress that says “Shine on Selena,” a pastel jumpsuit and matching sports bra, a denim jacket, marble-patterned leggings and a tank top with a cup of ice cream on it. For the accessories, the line includes a light blue tote with see-through sides, a straw fedora and peach-colored slip-on flats.
ABC/ Ida Mae AstuteKelly Clarkson brought her baby girl, River Rose, to her first hockey game, and it seems like the 10-month-old had a blast.
Kelly, her husband Brandon Blackstock and their little girl all attended the Nashville Predators' Stanley Cup playoff game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Nashville Wednesday. Kelly posted a picture of a smiling River on Instagram, with the caption: “River’s first sporting event! #GoPreds #Nashville she's so excited haha!"
In another photo, River, clad in a tiny Predators jersey, poses in her daddy’s arms. "River & daddy hanging at the game :) #GoPreds," Kelly wrote.
Kelly likes sharing photos of her daughter’s “firsts.” Last year, she shared a pic of River at her first concert.
The family saw an exciting game, unfortunately for them it was won by the Blackhawks 4-3 in double-overtime.
Ben WattsCould Ed Sheeran be coming to Westeros? According to British tabloid The Sun, the singer wants a part on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Ed, who’s a huge fan of the show, will reportedly be “hounding” producers to appear on the show.
“There were talks ages ago of me being an extra, which could have been cool,” The Sun quotes Ed as saying. “But every time they shoot it’s the time I tour in the UK.”
This year, though, the timing might work out. “But I’ve got that time off this year, so I’m going to hound them,” Ed reportedly said.
Music stars have made cameos on the show before, so Ed might have a shot. Coldplay drummer Will Champion and Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody each appeared on the show in 2013.
Last week, Ed was gifted a replica of Jon Snow’s sword by a New Zealand radio station. His excited reaction was captured on video, and he called the sword “one of the best birthday presents” he ever received.
Game of Thrones just debuted its fifth season last Sunday.
Denise TruscelloWhat made Britney Spears so angry at her Las Vegas residency show Wednesday night? The singer was caught on video dropping a couple of choice words while on stage.
Britney was performing her 2011 single “Till the World Ends,” when something happened that prompted her to say into her microphone: “F**king a**holes!”
TMZ initially reported that Britney was responding to a heckler who called her a “fat b**ch,” but then later backtracked and said that might not have been the case. Sources told TMZ that Britney may have been reacting to a comment someone made in the audience, but they don’t know what was said. TMZ also speculates that she could have been annoyed that the music possibly started late.
Either way, Britney finished out the performance like a pro. Her Piece of Me residency at Planet Hollywood is scheduled to run through September, but there’s a chance it’ll get extended through 2017.
ABC/Lou RoccoFrom her mega-musical success to her unflagging generosity towards fans, it’s no wonder Taylor Swift made TIME magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2015.
Mariska Hargitay agrees. The actress penned an essay about Taylor for the magazine, describing the singer’s vast influence and appeal. And it seems only fitting, since Taylor named her cat Olivia Benson, after Mariska’s character on Law & Order: SVU.
“I’m amazed at how much earned wisdom Taylor threads into her work,” the actress writes. “She seems tuned in to the greater good, and she embraces -- thoughtfully and authentically -- the chance to contribute to the world.”
Mariska adds, “I’m always trying to find the best words to talk to my kids (and myself) about growing up, but you can’t top her beautifully articulated advice. The haters are gonna hate, but, well, shake it off. She illuminates our inner music that lets us dance to our own beat.”
Hargitay concludes by saying that she believes the best is yet to come from Taylor. “Along with her staggering list of accomplishments, perhaps the most exciting thing about Taylor is that she’s just getting started with what she plans to mine from her fierce, curious, boundlessly talented and beautiful heart,” Mariska writes. “Also, it doesn’t hurt that she named her cat after me.”
Taylor, in turn, wrote an essay for the magazine about one of its other most influential people: cooking show host Ina Garten. “She shows us how to create memories that we’ll treasure for years to come,” Taylor writes of Ina. “For that, we will always cherish the merry and magnificent Ina Garten.”
ABC/Lou RoccoYou may have missed the debut of Rihanna's "American Oxygen" music video, which premiered earlier this month on Tidal. Luckily, the singer has posted the clip on her official YouTube page.
The visual for the song, which soundtracked the NCAA's March Madness commercials last month, features tons of patriotic imagery as well as crash-course in American history, ranging from footage of 9/11 to President Obama’s inauguration.
"Breathe out, breathe in, American oxygen/This is the new America," Rih sings while standing in front of an American flag. "This is the new America/ We are the new America."
"American Oxygen" will appear on Rihanna’s upcoming eighth album, arriving later this year.
Kurt IswarienkoColbie Caillat has found a buyer for her Hidden Hills, California home, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Mediterranean-style house was snapped up for $6.2 million, a little more than a month after the singer put it up for sale.
It’s easy to see why someone would shell out the big bucks. The six-bedroom, eight-bathroom house has a courtyard entrance, a game room with a wet bar and a home theater. And the backyard boasts even more luxuries. A pool, a spa, an outdoor kitchen, a putting green and a vegetable garden are also included on the grounds.
Other famous residents within the Hidden Hills gated community include Jessica Simpson and her hubby Eric Johnson, and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
Colbie owned the property for less than a year. She bought it last August for $6.1 million.
Epic RecordsAfter revealing not long ago that she was incapacitated for months with Lyme disease, Avril Lagivne is now optimistic about the future.
"I believe that I will come out of this healthier and stronger than I was before," she said on Thursday's Good Morning America. "I've gained a lot of perspective on my life. I've never had so much down time in my life, so it’s been good in that sense and I'm really just choosing to look at the positives."
Avril began feeling ill while on tour last April. Doctors told her it was just dehydration and exhaustion, but she said she knew it was more than that.
The singer called the search for her diagnosis "unacceptable" and "frustrating."
"I went from doctor to doctor for about eight months until I found somebody that had the knowledge of Lyme disease and the experience of treating it," Avril explained. "I actually knew I had it the whole time, probably since the summer, and was just up against a lot of doctors telling me, 'You're crazy.' Some of them were like, 'It doesn’t exist.'"
She added, "I was like, 'But this is happening to me.'"
After receiving the diagnosis, which Avril believes she got from a tick bite last spring, the singer was bedridden for five months in her Ontario home.
Avril kept a low profile during her recovery, sending a tweet to a concerned fan on Twitter in December and then publicly revealing her Lyme disease in an interview that was published earlier this month in Peoplemagazine. Now the singer is back on the music scene with her song "Fly," which will be featured during the 2015 Special Olympics World Games July 25-August 2 in Los Angeles.
"It’s just about inner strength and courage," Avril said of the song, which she wrote a few years ago before partnering with the Special Olympics. "This song took on a whole new meaning for me during the time that I've been sick, which was pretty magical."
Avril debuted the music video for "Fly" Thursday on GMA. "I wanted the athletes to be the stars of the video and, just like the message of the song, to show the world that they can overcome the challenges and that everyone is meant to shine," she said.
The song is available now on iTunes and all the net proceeds of "Fly" will go to Special Olympics, according to Avril.
Beluga Heights/Warner Bros.Jason Derulo's album Talk Dirty was released a year ago this week, and looking back on the past 12 months, Jason says he still can't believe the success of the album and what it's done for his career.
Prior to the release of Talk Dirty, Jason was coming off a tough period: plans to promote his previous album Future History were put on hold when, in January of 2012, he broke his vertebrae while rehearsing for his tour. It took him months to recover, and the album only produced one top-20 hit. But Talk Dirty was another story: it was his first top-five album and his highest-charting album in the U.S. to date. From 2013 through the end of 2014, it spun off five hit singles: "The Other Side," "Talk Dirty," "Wiggle," "Marry Me" and "Trumpets."
Thanks to the success of the album and its singles, Jason's career experienced a huge revival: he was able to launch his first U.S. headlining tour, he appeared on seemingly every major TV show all around the world and he's even been tapped to be a judge on the upcoming season of So You Think You Can Dance. But when asked to name the #1 highlight of the past year, Jason couldn't really come up with anything.
"I don’t know that there’s one specific moment," he tells ABC Radio. "I really feel like it was the culmination of it all, y'know? The five songs that came out and everybody was digging them, it’s crazy. I didn’t think for a second that my album would have five successful songs. So the fact that that happened is a blessing, for sure."
About the only negative thing that happened to Jason in the past 12 months, it seems, was his messy breakup with longtime girlfriend Jordin Sparks, who inspired "Marry Me," "The Other Side" and others.
But Jason's career shows no sign of slowing down, since he's currently climbing the charts with his new smash, "Want to Want Me." While it seems like only five minutes have passed since the release of "Trumpets," the final single from Talk Dirty, Jason says all those songs were old news to him, and he couldn't wait to write and record new music.
"That cycle was almost a year and a half, counting all the singles," he tells ABC Radio. "You know in America it takes almost six months for a successful single to run its course. And of course, you put the next song out before the song is done. But y'know, five songs later, I mean, a lot of time has gone by!"
"Want to Want Me" is from Jason's new album Everything Is 4, which will be out June 2, one day after Jason makes his debut on So You Think You Can Dance.
Douglas Gorenstein/NBCEarlier this year, Sam Smith briefly dated a guy he met on a video shoot, and plastered photos of the two on vacation together all over his social media accounts. Now that the two have split, though, Sam says the experience taught him something: if you're a celebrity, don't over-share when it comes to your love life.
“I learned some lessons in that brief relationship, definitely,” Sam tells an Australian news site. “I’ve got to keep some things to myself. I’m so honest and so open in everything I do that it’s unnatural for me to be hiding stuff. But it’s important for me to keep my boyfriends to myself moving forward. All the gossip will be in the music.”
Along those same lines, Sam refuses to confirm a British tabloid report that claimed that the man who inspired his Grammy-winning album, In the Lonely Hour, was one of his managers. "I’m never going to discuss who the record is about, so there’s always going to be speculation,” he explains.
As for the "gossip" being in the music, Sam is working on his next album, but don't expect to hear anything about it until 2016. "I’ve written a few songs that I’m really excited about but I don’t want to release anything until it’s perfect,” Sam says.
In that same interview, Sam also reveals a few other interesting things:
--He decided to lose weight after seeing a paparazzi photo of himself in a bathing suit. "I don’t want to be the perfect pop star because I’m far from that. But I did see that...picture and thought, ‘F***ing hell, I hate how I look’ so I’m working on trying to be a little bit healthier."
--When he meets celebrities like Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Madonna, "we mainly talk about music,” he says, adding, "I did have a conversation with Beyonce about food, which was great.”
--He says one of his idols, Lady Gaga, "saved" his Grammy experience earlier this year. "She called me two days before and talked me through it and made me feel very happy about it because I was so nervous," he says.
Michael Becker/FOXThe top six finalists were revealed on Wednesday’s two-hour edition of American Idol, an installment that featured one contestant being saved by the fans for the third straight week, and another contestant making a controversial remark.
After learning that he was the last safe artist, and that Joey Cook and Rayvon Owen would be singing for the "Fan Save," Quentin Alexander angered judge Harry Connick, Jr. by commenting, “This whole thing is wack.” Harry found the remark "disrespectful," noting Quentin was biting the hand that feeds him. He also offered the Idol hopeful the chance to leave the competition if he had a problem with it. Alexander later clarified his statement, explaining it wasn’t the show, but rather the situation that offended him.
Host Ryan Seacrest announced the return of the “Fan Save.” After the top five contestants performed, the two remaining hopefuls sang for a “Fan Save.” Viewers had a five-minute window to cast their vote on Twitter to save one of them.
The five contestants who advanced as a result of America’s votes are: Tyanna Jones, Nick Fradiani, Jax, Clark Beckham and Quentin Alexander.
The final contestant to advance thanks to the "Fan Save," for the third week in a row, is Rayvon Owen.
Joey Cook was sent home.
Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. were back behind the judges' table, and Idol mentor Scott Borchetta was also on hand.
The theme this week was the “American Classics.”
The top seven contestants each performed two classic American tunes chosen by the fans, who were asked to tweet their suggestions over the past week.
Here's a rundown of Wednesday's performances:
Tyanna Jones' first song was Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers’ “Why Do Fools Fall in Love.” Keith thought the performance could’ve used a little more “edge.” Jennifer agreed, adding the 17-year-old needed to not think too much about the performance. Harry echoed what mentor Borchetta had told the teen earlier, that she needed to move around and engage the audience more. Tyanna did better her second time around, tackling Ike & Tina Turner’s version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit “Proud Mary.” Harry, noting Jones had to nail this performance, dubbed it “close to perfect.” Jennifer added that Jones got to “stretch and play a little bit,” which is where the singer “lives.”
Clark Beckham hit it out of the park with his first song of the night, Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” which began with a bluesy guitar solo that Beckham mimicked with his voice. J-Lo noted Clark is “starting to look like a star.” Connick agreed, as did Urban, who suggested that Clark could move around better if he wore the guitar a lot lower on his body. His second number, Frank Sinatra’s “Moon River,” got a mixed reaction. J-Lo called the performance “smooth and creamy,” but Connick noted that Beckham, playing the piano this time, needed to challenge himself by dressing up the arrangement with bigger-sounding chords.
Jax tackled Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart” for her first number. And the judges all agreed she gave a strong performance. Her second song of the night was Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” which got rave reviews from the panel. Connick loved seeing Jax “run around the stage and act like a complete idiot.” Keith called the performance “contagious.” Jennifer, echoing Harry’s remark, but a little more tactfully, declared Jax looked “cool.”
Nick Fradiani, the competition’s oldest contestant, told Borchetta he’s finding his groove at the right time in the competition. He sang Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ “American Girl” for his first go-round of the night. Urban noted he was “engaged the whole way through.” Lopez declared Fradiani had a “radio-ready voice.” Connick said the performance was “dead-on.” For his second go-round, Fradiani delivered a laid-back rendition of Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young.” Urban loved the arrangement, giving Nick a “10 out of 10.” Lopez agreed, but Connick called the performance “self-involved,” explaining that unlike the original, Nick didn’t appear to be singing to the girl in the song.
Quentin Alexander’s first song of the night was Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way.” Jennifer thought the whole performance “worked,” but warned Quentin about his tendency to go off pitch. Harry complimented Alexander’s artistry, but thought the hopeful’s vocals just copied the original version, adding he was overshadowed by the band. Urban disagreed, noting Quentin “held his own.” Alexander returned later with Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence,” which Jennifer called “dramatic and moody.” Harry once again reminded him about singing on pitch. Keith wasn’t blown away by the performance, but said he loved what Alexander was going for.
In between the top five’s first and second performances, Seacrest announced that Joey Cook and Rayvon Owen were in the bottom two and therefore left to sing for the “Fan Save.” Each performed two songs – one in the middle of the show and one at the end. Joey’s first song was another Sinatra tune, “My Funny Valentine.” Connick thought she did a good job with the song. Urban commended Cook on her artistry, but thought the performance fell flat. Jennifer also noted the performance “didn’t move” her. Owen sang The Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Runnin.’” Keith thought Rayvon had the “killer instinct,” but wanted to see a little more edge. Jennifer noted the artist was “fighting.” Harry thought he was lacking “the perfect song.” The person saved was announced at the end of the show.
Later, Rayvon sang Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind” for his second song. Urban thought it was the right song, sung well. J-Lo said it gave her “goosies.” Connick noted Owen was a ballad singer and nailed the song. Joey Cook returned with Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love.” Jennifer liked this performance better than the first, noting it was more intense. Harry also thought it was a solid performance, as did Keith.
In a close vote, the fans saved Rayvon for the third week in a row. Cook was sent home.
The theme of the show next week will be “Arena Anthems.”
American Idol airs next Wednesday on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Avril says the song, "Fly," means a lot to her personally. The singer, whose Avril Lavigne Foundation supports children and youth living with serious illnesses or disabilities, explains in a statement, “It is inspired by the many young people I’ve met throughout my work with my Foundation. They pursue their dreams no matter what obstacles they face.”
“Special Olympics’ mission is to unleash the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, so they’re a natural fit for this song,” she adds.
ABC's Good Morning America will premiere the music video for "Fly" this morning. It features Avril and Special Olympics athletes from around the world.
Net proceeds from the sales of the song will benefit the Special Olympics. The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games will be held July 25-August 2 in Los Angeles.