15 items from 2011
Aside from providing a cautionary tale about why you should never build a feature-length movie around a doo-wop song, there has never been any use for Sandra Bullock's 1992 flop Love Potion No. 9. Until today -- because its plot has apparently inspired Jennifer Lopez's first post-break-up music video "Papi." Tate Donovan, this could be the pop culture relevance you've been waiting for. »
Songwriting legend Jerry Leiber has died in Los Angeles at the age of 78. He suffered a cardiopulmonary failure and passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Monday (22Aug11). With songwriting partner Mike Stoller, Leiber created a songbook full of some of the 20th century's most beloved tunes, including Elvis Presley hits Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole, and rock 'n' roll standards Searchin', Yakety Yak, Poison Ivy and Love Potion No. 9. As well as Elvis, their hits were recorded by Buddy Holly, the Clovers, the Coasters, the Drifters, Barbra Streisand, the Rolling Stones, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Beatles, among others. Leiber and Stoller were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years later (87). © WENN »
Leiber, 78, died in Los Angeles of cardio-pulmonary failure. Ashford, who was 70, died in New York after suffering from throat cancer.
With partner Mike Stoller, Leiber wrote dozens of early rock 'n' roll hits for artists including the Drifters, the Coasters and Elvis Presley, who had No. 1 singles with several of their songs, including "Jailhouse Rock," "Hound Dog" and "Don't."
Some of the duo's other classics include "Kansas City," "Yakety Yak," "Love Potion No. 9," "I'm a Woman," "Stand by Me" (which they wrote with singer Ben E. King), "On Broadway" and "Charlie Brown." They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Ashford and Valerie Simpson began as a songwriting team for Motown Records and wrote or produced some of the label's all-time great songs, including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Ain't Nothing Like »
How does James Durbin feel about his unexpected fourth place exit on American Idol? “Sad, relieved, excited, not disappointed at all,” Durbin told EW backstage about 90 minutes after the results show was over. He added, with a chuckle, “Man, only nine other people can say they got fourth place on American Idol. That’s a great way to look at it.”
While he said he felt “strange” when he got up Thursday morning, as if he may go home, he has no regrets about his performances of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Love Potion No. 9″ by songwriters Leiber & Stoller. »
- Adam B. Vary
Imagine watching a boxing match where a fighter gets bound tightly to the corner post, then relentlessly pummeled by his foe. Or a race where one horse is led to the starting gate, only to be pointed in the opposite direction of the remaining runners. Or a figure-skating competition where everyone performs on ice, except for one girl who gets violently hurled into a lake and told by the judges, “Hey, it’s not our fault you couldn’t get the water to freeze!” That’s kind of what Wednesday night’s edition of American Idol felt like, with Haley Reinhart »
- Michael Slezak
A wise woman (and a rapping cat hallucination) once sang, "I take two steps forward, two steps back. We go together 'cause opposites attract." "American Idol" bought into that reasoning by booking Lady Gaga as a mentor for Leiber & Stoller night. They snagged one of the biggest pop stars making music today ... to talk about songs that may have been written before Scotty McCreery's grandparents were born. (Anyone know how old Grandma Piquita is? Tweet me! This is important!)
The top four had added pressure to be "in it to win it" because next week's home visits are dangling in front of them like a carrot on a string. Nobody wants to go home before home visits! Your "hero" parade is canceled! That's like going to a wedding and leaving before the main course is served. A free filet mignon is a terrible thing to waste.
In an added »
- Jim Cantiello
Dedicating a cover of Martina McBride's "Anyway" to victims of the recent tornadoes in Alabama, the aspiring country star nailed every note and every emotion during her first time on stage, causing self-proclaimed heartbreak for Steven Tyler.
See what we mean here:
Lauren Alaina Covers "Anyway"
However, Alaina's follow-up attempt to act sassy during a version of "Trouble" came across as forced. Tyler admitted he wasn't sure if she pulled it off.
Scotty McCreery had an equally uneven evening, bringing tears to the eyes of viewers with the post 9/11 ballad "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)," yet getting overly hokey with an odd rendition of "Young Blood."
- email@example.com (Matt Richenthal)
The four finalists of "American Idol" were returning to the stage on Wednesday, May 11 to compete for the top three spots. With Lady GaGa as guest mentor, they performed two songs: one is an inspirational song, and the other is from Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's catalog.
James Durbin opened with Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' ". Randy Jackson said, "That was the highest degree of difficulty and you did it," and Steven Tyler added, "You did it right, man." Jennifer Lopez called it "a really, really great job."
Haley Reinhart delivered her version of Michael Jackson's "The Earth Song". J.Lo felt the song "did inspire" Haley, but she should have picked a song that is as popular as the one sung by James. Randy said, "It confused me with who you are as an artist...I didn't like it. I thought you were screaming," but Steven disagreed, stating "They're both wrong. »
In addition to getting to dance with Lady Gaga, James Durbin took to the stage during the "American Idol" Top 4 and slayed his second performance. He has easily come out the best of the four finalists left.
His "Love Potion No. 9" was an odd choice to us (at first). But he proved us very, very wrong. It completely rocked. He managed to make a very dated song sound extremely current (and hard-core and manly).
The judges loved it. J.Lo expressed the same trepidation about James handling the Leiber and Stoller songbook choices, but admits she was completely wrong to doubt him after that performance. So is it just a matter of who joins James in the finals now? »
The "American Idol" judges come out and I am struck by how much Tyler looks like somebody's wacky maiden aunt named Helen. Conversely, when the Idols come out - Haley and Lauren look amazing. Amazing.
Lady Gaga is on hand to mentor the Idols, which is cool. The two themes are Inspirational for the first song and then the Leiber and Stoller songbook for song two, which is the part Gaga mentored.
Before we get to the rankings of the Idols from best to worst, just let me say that it was pretty [not nice word] of Randy and J.Lo to say that everybody did well in round one except Haley. Seriously? You can't just act like you can't pick who was best? You have to say, "All of you were good but Haley"? You didn't beat her up enough after her song was over? D*** move. And it did not smack »
Watching the “judges” “performing” their “duties” tonight on American Idol brought to mind a classic Sesame Street ditty: “One of these things is not like the others. Which one is different, do you know? Can you tell which thing is not like the others? I’ll tell you if it is so.”
Yes, folks, it was another evening of watching Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson heap copious amounts of praise on anything and everything (and I do mean anything and everything) that came from the mouths of Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery, and James Durbin, then suddenly summon the ability to give direct, »
- Michael Slezak
I’m not sure much could trump the appearance of tonight’s very modern mentor Lady Gaga and her fascinating two-toned hair and face-dot on tonight’s “American Idol,” but the contestants tried with some rock star performances.
America got a double-treat from the remaining four Idol hopefuls with two songs per contestant. The first was to be a song that inspired the »
- Stephanie Krikorian
Talk about one amazing night! Amazing Race winners Meghan Rickey and Cheyne Whitney gathered over 200 of their closest friends and family for their romantic and stylish nuptials Saturday evening at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego. "I'm a little bit hoarse, a little sick, but I'm excited," Rickey told People. "This is our day!" Added Whitney: "It's been perfect. The ceremony couldn't have been better." Related: Who Will Win the Amazing Race? With a nod to the Amazing Race, the couple included three teams of contestants from the show in the bridal party: Tiffany Michelle and Maria Ho (professional female »
- Jennifer Garcia
The remaining finalists on this season's "American Idol" will be going Gaga next Wednesday. Fox said on Thursday that "Born This Way" chanteuse Lady Gaga will mentor "Idol"'s Top 4 on the May 11 performance episode. The remaining contestants will perform selections from the songbook of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, composers of classics such as "Hound Dog," "Stand by Me" and "Love Potion No. 9," on the episode. Also read: "Lady Gaga's 'Judas' Video Betrays a Familiar Taste for Spectacle" Following Thursday's ouster of Jacob Lusk, the Final 4 consists of Lauren »
It's an interesting week to have Gaga as the mentor, since she very much the hot thing right now and Leiber and Stoller songs are largely from the 1950s and 1960s. But maybe having someone as off-the-wall as Gaga will help the Idols not be too old-fashioned with their oldies theme.
And - this past week the Idols did the "Now and Then" theme and overall, the oldies were better than the new songs, so Leiber and Stoller might be alright. Their hits include "There Goes My Baby," "Hound Dog," "Yakety Yak," "Stand By Me" (with Ben E. King), "Jailhouse Rock," "Love Potion No. 9," "I'm a Woman" and "On Broadway."
The last time "Idol" did Leiber and Stoller, »
15 items from 2011
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