As you may have heard, bands have been competing since 8 last night for a once in a lifetime recording contract from Republic Records in the Make a Band Famous contest, hosted by The All-American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter. Judging the competition are international pop star Natasha Bedingfield, famed musical director to the stars Adam Blackstone, YouTube music star Kurt Hugo Schneider, and indie artist / composer Robert Schwartzman. One of the coolest moments so far was the “Box Of Beats Challenge” where the bands were asked to cover a hit song from the past using only toy instruments. Not to be outdone, the celebrity judges and guest Bonnie McKee decided to work up their own toy instrument cover of one of the biggest hits of the season, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and you won’t believe how cool it came out.
The competition is still going strong and your vote matters so be a part of music history and head to MakeABandFamous.VH1.com to watch the live stream until tonight’s finale and continue to use #MABF and #(BandName) to see your favorite artist rise to the top!
The All-American Rejects are one of the most successful power pop bands to emerge since the dawn of the new millenium. They have had three singles— “Dirty Little Secret,” “Move Along,” and “Gives You Hell”— cross the 2 million downloads plateau, and their most recent single, “Beekeeper’s Daughter,” is performing quite nicely, too.
Lead singer Tyson Ritter and lead guitarist Nick Wheeler sat down with our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer recently for the latest installment in our long running Happy Hour series (brought to you by our friends at Chili’s). In it, the gents talk about Tyson’s “I am a golden god!” moment, taking on Michael Bublé for the title of King of the Crooners, and meeting Tom Cruise at a NASCAR event, among other things. ENJOY!
The true test of determining which songs will stand the test of time is their adaptability. If you were to change the arrangement —or even the genre— of a given song, does it still resonate with audiences? Lionel Richie took the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater last night with country music superstar Jason Aldean to prove that his 1985 smash, “Say You, Say Me” is one of the all-time greats by giving it a countryfied spin. The song went all the way to #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts when it was originally released, and even took home an Oscar for Best Original Song, and hasn’t aged a bit in 25 years.
This track, along with other Richie classics like “Stuck On You” and “Endless Love”, appear on Richie’s new jawn, Tuskegee. This is not a greatest hits record, though — Richie has gone back into the studio and put a twangy, country spin on the most beloved songs in his catalog. Thanks to the undeniably ace songwriting skills, this LP doesn’t feel like a shameless attempt to pander to Nashville audiences (who still buy albums in droves) like recent crossover attempts from the likes of Jessica Simpson and Jon Bon Jovi. Richie has experimented with many musical styles in his nearly 40-year career, from funk to pop to R&B, so this album feels more like a natural evolution and less like a calculated attempt to line his coiffers. Good on ya, LR!
The Ting Tings, Ke$ha‘s British counterparts, performed their new track “Hang It Up,” live on The Late Show With David Letterman last night. With their uber pop roots still apparent, the Ting Tings took on a rock edge, reminiscent of the noise pop popularised by Sleigh Bells, but not quite as aggressive or mosh-ready. Nevertheless, The Ting Tings bought high energy to the stage, with great vocals and the impressive playing of multiple interments by the drummer/guitarist who switched between the two seamlessly.