Yesterday my pal Jami and I took a two-hours-and-change drive to Allentown, Pa., the home of the Great Allentown Fair (now in its 157th year). The reason: The evening’s grandstand entertainment was headlined by Kelly Clarkson, who was bookended by the Earth, Wind & Fire/Chicago double bill and Tim McGraw on the fair’s roster of entertainment, and who was there to show a slice of northeastern America just what being an American Idol means in this time of fragmented pop landscapes and Taylor Hicks victories. More »
In this edition of our noontime headlines roundup: Faith Hill’s “Comic Strip” poses, Billy Joel gets out of hand with a Sharpie, and Justin Timberlake returns to the Saturday Night Live stage for the 454th time. More »
The Academy of Country Music Awards have some obligation to be slightly edgier due to their Las Vegas location and “always a bridesmaid” relationship to the similarly acronymed CMAs, but other than the spectacle Jamie Foxx shouting out Barack Obama on stage, the show’s reason for existence wasn’t always apparent. The broadcast mostly stuck to its business of acknowledging musicians for their hard work selling lots and lots of records, with a few jokes (Willie Nelson and Michael Phelps are recording an album of Doobie Brothers covers! Hilarious!) and B-list celebrities thrown in for kicks.
The idea of former Senator Bill Frist becoming governor of Tennessee in 2010 is a distressing thought to Tennessee Democrats, the party at large, and those of us still bitter over the crackdown on Internet gambling. (How am I supposed to place my wasted bets on the U.S. to win the World Cup now?) So, it’s time to bring out the big guns, and even Rep. Harold Ford Jr. cannot match up to the starpower of Mr. Faith Hill… I mean, Tim McGraw.
Tim McGraw will host the Nov. 22 episode of… More »
“Okay, it’s official,” I wrote to Maura midday on Thursday, when Billboard released the new Hot 100. “I have seriously underestimated ‘Whatever You Like.’”
That durable smash by Atlanta rap deity T.I. moves into the penthouse for the third time since late August. Directly behind it is T.I.’s simultaneous hit, the Rihanna duet “Live Your Life,” which moves up to No. 2 two weeks after it spent a sole week in the top spot.
After I bravely predicted a few weeks ago that the irresistible “Life” would dominate the fall and make “Whatever” a distant memory, the T-and-Ri pairing has had a hard time holding onto the top spot. Last week’s coup by Britney Spears’s well-hyped “Womanizer” was pretty predictable. But the idea that T.I.’s new hit would also have to fight off his older one—a loping, sluggish song that’s neither a ballad nor a club jam—was a development few saw coming, least of all me.
If there’s one thing it shows, it’s that for all our talk here in recent weeks about the dominance of digital sales on the charts these days, airplay still matters. “Whatever” wouldn’t still be competing for the top slot without radio’s fervent support.