‘The Voice’ Season 7 Premiere Is Hella Good, Thanks To Gwen Stefani And Pharrell Williams: Recap

If there was any question as to who NBC views as the main selling point of The Voice Season 7, it was answered within about 2.5 seconds of the season premiere. No medleys, covers or country hybrids were so much as hinted to, as Gwen Stefani led backup performers/fellow coaches Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton in a performance of No Doubt‘s hit “Hella Good.” The split-screen performance was hella meh, and the highlight was the look on Pharrell’s face that screamed, “I would have never let this country singer near this song when I was producing.”

And so begins this season of the ratings juggernaut, complete with self-congratulatory Emmy mentions, new alliances and a whole lot of Starbucks product placement. Joining perennials Adam Levine and Blake Shelton are new coaches Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams. As their coaching styles emerge, it begs the question of which voids they might fill. Will it be laid back Usher? Poetic Shakira? Brutal (but fierce) Christina Aguilera? Exotic-pet-toting-and-kind-of-cool-before-all-this-controversy Cee Lo?

Or something new altogether?

The coach personalities and alliances begin to take shape as the Blind Auditions begin. More »

Tove Lo’s “Thousand Miles”: Listen To The New ‘Queen Of The Clouds’ Single

Tove Lo‘s debut album Queen Of The Clouds (set for a September 30 release) is shaping up to be an electro-pop stunner, and the LP’s latest single does not disappoint! After our premiere of “Timebomb” last week, the Swedish singer-songwriter follows up with the incredible “Thousand Miles.” (And no, it’s not a Vanessa Carlton reference.)

Queen Of The Clouds is split into three sections – “The Sex,” “The Love,” and “The Pain.” “Thousand Miles” falls into “The Pain” category, and for evident reasons. The mid-tempo tune tells a story of a girl struggling to forget a rocky relationship with an ex, which is revved up by the singer’s emotionally distraught vocals and the thundering drum rhythms.

Listen to the new track below. More »

K. Michelle Switches It Up With Quirky “Love ‘Em All” Lyric Video: Idolator Premiere

k-michelle-love-em-all
Going Man To Man

K. Michelle has a habit of proving people wrong. The no-fucks-giving diva showed you could leverage reality TV fame into a successful music career — reaching number two on the Billboard 200 with debut LP Rebellious Soul and headlining a national tour. Hell, she even turned the album into a musical (with a little help from Idris Elba) and got herself another show. Well played!

And scarily, the sexy songstress is just getting started. She’s aiming even higher with sophomore set AWBAH (an as-yet-unexplained acronym), taking her first step towards crossover pop success with lead single “Love ‘Em All”. Produced by Shea Taylor, the tables-turning anthem lays down the hitmaker’s approach to dating over heavy synths and bouncy beats. It’s raw, catchy and very radio-friendly. Watch the mannequin-themed lyric video up top and do your best to get on K.’s level. More »

Kelly Clarkson To Be Honored, Nick Jonas And Shawn Mendes To Perform At Musicians On Call

Kelly Clarkson and Republic Records EVP Charlie Walk will be honored at the 15th anniversary celebration of Musician’s On Call, a nonprofit organization dedicated to organizing live performances and providing recordings to hospital patients across the country.

“Being involved with Musicians On Call has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I consider it a great gift to be able to share music and bring smiles to these brave children and their loved ones. It is healing for us all and I can’t wait to do it again!” Kelly said in an official statement.

The event will take place at Escape in New York City on November 18. In addition to the award ceremony, major pop stars including Jessie J, Nick Jonas and Shawn Mendes will also be performing in celebration of the organization, as well as “additional surprise performances” to be announced in coming weeks. Hmm!

You can now buy tickets for the event. Now this is the kind of news that should be happening more often in pop. Kudos to all the artists supporting this great program!

Imanos’ Mixtape ‘The New Republic’ Features The First Official Remix Of “Bang Bang”: Idolator Premiere

If you’ve set foot in a club in the past year, chances are you’ve been assaulted (in a good way!) by Imanos‘ beats. The rising producer, who recently signed to Casablanca Records, has featured in sets by Skrillex, Avicii, Steve Aoki and Dillon Francis. He also co-produced Diplo‘s monstrous “Revolution” and co-wrote the title track of Jessie J‘s new LP Sweet Talker.

Speaking of the British comeback queen, the Vancouver-born DJ’s latest mixtape Imanos x Casablanca Presents: The New Republic features the first official remix of “Bang Bang”. He transforms the Ariana Grande/Nicki Minaj earworm into a meaty house anthem with lashings of trap to keep things interesting. The 19-song set, which we are very excited to premiere, also features killer overhauls of hits by John Newman, The Weeknd and Somo. Start the party by pressing play after the jump. More »

Pentatonix’s Cover Of Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be”: Listen

Pentatonix fans have come out in full force today, as evidenced by the current iTunes chart placing of the vocal group’s latest release, PTX Vol. III — it’s at #3, out-selling such releases as Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga‘s Cheek To Cheek (#5), Lenny Kravitz‘s Strut (#7), LIGHTSLittle Machines (#15) and Jennifer Hudson‘s JHUD (#16).

One such curiosity from the PTX Vol. III tracklist we’ve had our eye on — and are now finally able to hear — is the quintet’s cover of Clean Bandit‘s current chart smash  “Rather Be.” The truth is, you can be as cynical as you want, but we dare you to not crack a smile while listening.

Head below to hear Pentatonix’s giddy take on the British group’s infectious hit. More »

Jennifer Hudson’s ‘JHUD’: Review Revue

Jennifer Hudson has become known for her powerhouse voice that is usually showcased with over-the-top ballads. Yet her third album JHUD (released today, September 23rd) shows a different side of the singer. Instead of moody tearjerkers, Hudson opts for a more danceable, disco-inspired vibe on the new LP.

JHUD features songs like “Dangerous” and the Iggy Azalea-assisted “He Ain’t Going Nowhere” - making it clear that Hudson wanted to stray away from her typical sound, and dive into a lighter fare that is more suited for the dance floor.

But what did music critics think of Hudson’s latest effort? Read on after the jump to find out! More »

Bette Midler Returns With ‘It’s The Girls’, A Tribute To Girl Groups, In November

Rejoice: The Divine Miss M is back!

Eight years after her last studio album Cool Yule, iconic chanteuse Bette Midler is returning with a brand new album on November 4.

And this time around, she’s tipping her hat to the ladies — girl groups, specifically — who have impacted her life the most, from The Ronettes to TLC. (Yes, really!)

The 15-track collection promises to include exciting rearrangements of the classics, including a “country-fied” take on The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love.” (!) And, in case you had any doubt, Queen Bette has exquisite taste in modern girl groups as well: “From the ’90s on, my favorites were TLC and Destiny’s Child. ‘Waterfalls’ was a heartbreaker, especially if you were a mom, and it had a big effect on me. I never thought I would have the nerve to sing it, but we had an idea for it that works, and I am so glad I took the chance,” she explained to Billboard. More »

Mary J. Blige’s ‘The London Sessions’ Tracklist Revealed: Listen To Lead Single “Therapy,” Co-Written By Sam Smith

As previously announced, Mary J. Blige recently found herself traveling to London for a month to work with such producers, songwriters and overall chart fixtures as Sam Smith, Disclosure, Emeli Sande, Naughty Boy and Jimmy Napes. The fruits of all this overseas labor is Blige’s upcoming, Rodney Jerkins-executive-produced 13th album The London Sessions (out December 2), which was made available for pre-order on iTunes today. Along with that comes the reveal of the tracklist and the availability of the LP’s lead single, “Therapy.” More »

Kendrick Lamar Releases “i”: Listen To The New Single

After the musical bomb that was good kid, m.A.A.d. city, Kendrick Lamar follows up his 2012 debut with a brand new single – simply titled, “i.” The song, produced by Rahki, is the first insight to the rapper’s highly anticipated, yet-to-be-titled sophomore album.

“i” is an inspiring track, where Lamar triumphantly shouts “I love myself” throughout the chorus. The Isley Brothers‘ “That Lady” sample also boosts the song’s groovy nature. “i” definitely doesn’t sound like anything that is on urban radio – there are no trap influences, heavy bass drops or overtly explicit lyrics.

But don’t just take our word for it! Listen to “i” after the jump. More »