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Kelly Clarkson’s 10 Greatest Performances

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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Kelly Clarkson performs at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Feb. 10, 2013 in Los Angeles.

There’s a reason Kelly Clarkson stole our hearts on the inaugural season ofAmerican Idol: that voice. With a string of undeniable hits like «Walk Away,» «Since U Been Gone» and «Stronger,» the wide-eyed, blue-jean-shirt-making talent from Burleson, Texas, quickly became one of the strongest forces in modern pop music.

Armed with three Grammys and countless other industry hardware, Clarkson is currently eyeing her first album for Atlantic Records in a brand-new long-term deal. The yet-untitled new disc is expected to be a soul/R&B-inspired collection and should drop in 2017. «We have already started creating a record that I have been wanting to make since I was a little girl, and a record that fans have been asking me to make for years,» she said when she signed. «Here’s to the future.»

Billboard has compiled 10 of Clarkson’s most powerful and undeniable performances through the years as we wait for what’s next. Read on for some of Kelly’s onstage moments that have stood the test of time:

«Sober,» Live From the Troubadour (2011)

«Sometimes, you gotta pick the people out of your life that are cancers for you,» she introduces one of her best co-writes, lifted from her most personal record to date, My December. Backed by a lone guitar, Clarkson certainly doesn’t «crash and burn,» so to speak; instead, she rips into the track until there’s nothing left but lyric and heart.

«Tennesse Waltz»/»Natural Woman,» 2013 Grammy Awards

Clarkson’s take on two truly iconic songs was a satisfying blend of two of her biggest influences, Patti Page and Carole King, and the poppy sheen of «Tennessee Waltz» proved an appropriate counterbalance to the rootsy soul of «Natural Woman.» She was made for this kind of music.

«Why Haven’t I Heard from You,» CMT Giants: Reba (2006)

The rollicking, honky-tonk vibe of this classic Reba hit fits Clarkson like a glove. The 1994 kiss-off may seem a bit dated — «now there’s one [a telephone] on every corner, in the back of every bar, you can carry one in your briefcase, on a plane or in your car,» reads the opening lyric — but it still carries the weight of every broken heart in the world, and who can’t relate to that?

«Creep,» Stronger Tour (2012)

This Radiohead song, something of a modern classic, packs a punch — but even without its prominent F-bomb, Clarkson’s heartfelt rendering is just as powerful. During the run of her worldwide Stronger Tour, she covered countless pop hits, but none have stood up quite as well as this special moment.

«Cryin’,» Lifetime’s Women Rock (2004)

Who would have thought this bubbly girl from Burleson could tackle Aerosmith with such ease? Even when she’s tearing our hearts out on that bridge, there is a specificity and alertness few others could deliver — when her voice cracks, it’s just icing on the proverbial cake.

«Up to the Mountain,» Idol Gives Back (2007)

You may want to stock up on tissues before this one — not only does the melody sit in Clarkson’s sweet spot, but the lyrics tap into her ability to cut right to the core of a story. Sure, the Patty Griffin original is the gold standard, but this Idol does a pretty bang-up job.

«Piece by Piece,» American Idol (2016)

When she made her grand return on the final season, no one could have anticipated such a tear-jerking moment. Stripping down the title cut from her latest studio album Piece by Piece, the pop titan was pushed to the brink — the song is incredibly personal, written about her father’s absence during her childhood. Unintentionally and unexpectedly, she schooled the entire franchise’s contestants on how to deliver a truly memorable performance.

«Because of You,» Grammy Awards (2006)

Here, Clarkson serves up her signature power ballad backed by lush orchestration, sending chills through the crowd shortly before picking up two statues: best pop vocal album for Breakaway and best female pop vocal performance for «Since U Been Gone.»

«You Don’t Know Me» (with John Legend), ABC’s Duets (2012)

Clarkson’s hilarious rambling on a TV screen every week? Check. Musical collaborations with her teammates and fellow judges? Double check. Duets had it all, including this cover: the smoothness of Legend’s inflection pushed Clarkson to explore a vastly different part of her voice. Much like any other genre of music, the slow-marching Ray Charles standard was right up Clarkson’s alley.

«Already Gone,» American Music Awards (2009)

No one does a ballad like KC — here, lush string-laden production and haunting harmonies help take her performance to the next level.

CREDITS TO BILLBOARD.-

Listen to Lady Gaga’s Hooky New Single, ‘A-YO’

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The Zane Lowe-debuted track is the third song to arrive off the upcoming ‘Joanne.’

Yesterday, Lady Gaga shared the cover art for her third and latest single «A-YO,» alerting fans to its nearing arrival. Today (Oct. 18), the song premiered on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio show and has since been made available to stream.

Departing from the pop-geared lead single «Perfect Illusion» and harmonious ballad «Million Reasons» — both of which she has previously shared — Gaga channels more of a rock vibe here, complete with riffs and a catchy chorus.

Ahead of the upcoming album Joanne, which is due out Oct. 21, Gaga is currently performing a small series of dive bar shows across the country. She will also take to the field as this year’s Super Bowl halftime performer come February.

Listen to «A-YO» below.

CREDITS TO BILLBOARD.-

Meghan Trainor presentó a su nuevo amor y es uno de tus ídolos de la infancia (+ Foto)

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Meghan Trainor hizo oficial en Instagram su relación con Daryl Sabara, y sabemos que esa es la verdadera señal de que las cosas van en serio.

La cantante de 22 años finalmente confirmó su romance no tan secreto con la estrella de Spy Kids, y publicó en las redes sociales un selfie con con el.

Pero no es necesariamente la foto la que dice más que mil palabras, ya ha compartido otras imágenes con él. En vez de eso, el texto es lo revelador: «Yo [corazón] Madrid… y a este chico», escribió, confesando su amor por él. ¡Tierno!

Los rumores comenzaron cuando Trainor compartió un selfie de Instagram con él, dos semanas atrás, en el cierre de su gira.

La mostraba a Sabara y ella, los dos vestidos con pijamas de unicornio. «¡Lo logramos! Sobrevivimos una gira completa sin cancelar ningún show», escribió antes de agregar: «Gracias @darylsabara por ser tan maravilloso».

Su relación pareció más obvia cuando la cantante de «NO» compartió otra foto de los dos tomados de la mano en el aeropuerto.

«Saliendo a España», escribió, y etiquetó a Sabara en la foto.

A Trainor la vincularon anteriormente con el asistente de Nick Jonas, Cory Andersen, en 2015. Una fuente le confirmó los detalles a E! News en aquel momento. «100% seguro de que se están cortejando», agregó la fuente. «Que están saliendo podría ser una afirmación arriesgada, pero definitivamente se están viendo».

Trainer una vez nos confesó qué buscaba en una pareja:

Dijo que le encantan «los cariños y hacer música». Sin embargo, precisó: «Puedes hacer música o no, está bien, lo que sea, pero también deberías ser muy cool y hacerme reír. Eso es todo. Es todo lo que tienes que hacer».

Parece que finalmente encontró al indicado.

CREDITS TO E!

Listen Up, Orlando Bloom! Katy Perry Admits Children “Are Becoming a Big Focus” in Her Personal Life

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Katy Perry‘s got baby on the brain!

E! News caught up with the «Rise» songstress as she stepped out for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles «Once Upon a Time Gala» Saturday evening in a stunning Marchesa gown, where she dropped a major hint about what might just be right around the corner for her and Orlando Bloom.

Recalling her passion for bringing music therapy programs to sick children as well as recently helping deliver her sister’s baby, Perry told us, «I see the amazing thing of birth and children and the vulnerability and we just have to take care of them and how, how big of an impression we have. We have such a responsibility!»

Katy continued, «Children to me are becoming a big focus. I don’t even have mine but I see it in my sister’s kids and just how much nurturing and love they need…

Katy Perry

Rich Polk/Getty Images for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

A big focus, eh? Perry’s confession falls right in line with what an insider told E! News about the lovebirds’ increasingly more serious relationship.

Almost a year after Katy and Orlando’s romance first went public at the 2016 Golden Globes, a source revealed to us the duo has discussed marriage and children, adding, «They are in love and happier than ever. [Orlando] would like to get engaged to [Katy] before the year is up.»

Perry also believes a second chance at marriage is in her future since divorcing comedian Russell Brand in 2011. The source dished, «[Marriage and children] is something Katy has always wanted when she met the man she was ready to settle down with.»

From our latest conversation with Katy, she might have just found the guy!

CREDITS TO E!

Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan Lead Music Royalty, Friends & Family For Concert Tribute to Prince

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Courtesy Photo
Prince photographed in 2013.

Twelve years ago, during his St. Paul leg of 2004’s Musicology tour, Prince was holding court in the midst of an immaculately timed and performed set at the Xcel Energy Center when he took a moment to tease out the first few lines of «Heartbreak Hotel» — and then promptly cut himself off and quipped «you gotta be a Prince before you become a King.»

Prince’s passing earlier this year was as shocking and resonant as Elvis’s was in 1977, and in many of the same ways, particularly in that it happened in the home turf he’d long resisted leaving no matter how high his star rose. Seeing the international reaction radiate in and out of the Twin Cities, from Paisley Park and First Avenue out to the rest of the world, has only extended the lost-icon vibe that the state still hasn’t shaken nearly six months later. The notion to put together an all-star tribute show to the man who put the Minneapolis Sound on the map was, above all else, a foregone conclusion.

But the logistics weren’t. A venue change from the massive new Minnesota Vikings stadium — where Prince had originally been scheduled to christen with its first concert in August — to the (comparatively) more modest Xcel hockey arena took some wrangling. And some of the artists who had originally been pencilled in had to cancel less than a week before show date due to scheduling conflicts (John Mayer) or medical orders (Christina Aguilera, told by doctors to rest her throat) or unknown reasons (Anita Baker). All the way up to the very day of the show (Oct. 13), it seemed like a few knots still had to be untied.

And yet even with all the potential snafus thrown into the works, the big takeaway from what was billed as The Official Prince Tribute was that an arena show heavy on friends, family, collaborators and old bandmates felt more true to the spirit of a home-rooted local megastar like Prince than anything twice as big and star-studded could warrant. The five-hour set, which extended well past its stated 11 P.M. ending time, was less an all star celebrity showcase than a rousing jam session by a collection of his peers – some of which happened to be stratospheric talents, early influences, and a bunch of friends he brought along into an incredible inner circle of talent.

Sometimes they were all three categories at once — like multi-instrumentalist Andre Cymone, the teen-years friend of Prince who became a member of his pre-Revolution touring band in the late ’70s; Cymone renewed his youthful come-up energy as one of the most dynamic and prominent stage presences during the whole show from his rendition of «Uptown» onwards. But it never felt like a hierarchical situation: drummer Bobby Z got to hold forth about his first time hearing Prince in 1977, practicing every instrument he could get his hands on at Minneapolis’s Moonsound Studio, but more recent collaborators and proteges like early ’10s backing band 3RDEYEGIRL had just as much of a presence as the assembled New Power Generation alumni they seamlessly riffed off. It was a collection of artists who all felt like they fit together, no matter what directions intervening time and trends had pulled them.

 

While the show had the initial feel of a compacted festival lineup — first there was St. Paul R&B favorites Mint Condition, searing through an intense, almost hard-rocking opening set of «America,» «DMSR,» and «When Doves Cry,» followed in turn by a rapidfire, «Jungle Love»-blasting set by Morris Day & the Time –– the lines got blurred quick enough between hosts and guests. The New Power Generation house band worked tirelessly through two 2-and-a-hour sets, separated by a half-hour intermission but otherwise relentless, leads swapping between the rotating cast of NPG singers and the special appearances.

Late additions Jessie J (who belted her way through a «Nothing Compares 2 U» duet with late ’90s NPG vet Kip Blackshire) and Nicole Scherzinger (playing up Prince’s pop side with «Nasty Girl» and «Baby I’m a Star») made the most of their pinch-hitting appearances, and Luke James’s intense falsetto was well-suited to take on «Do Me Baby» and «The Most Beautiful Girl in the World». But sometimes a longstanding member of Prince’s inner circle was what a song really called for — and the early set’s rapid succession of NPG singers, from Shelby J’s «Erotic City» to Liv Warfield’s «Hot Thing» to Marva King’s «Kiss» to Blackshire’s «Anotherloverholenyohead,» felt as much of an eclectic talent showcase as the big-name appearances did later on.

That one of those big names was Judith Hill, who recorded her Prince-co-produced debut Back in Time at Paisley Park two years after 20 Feet From Stardom introduced her to the wider world, attests to Prince’s ear for nurturing talent — and, through her performance, emphasized the gospel-choir undercurrents of spirituality in his music, whether explicitly religious («The Cross») or emotionally secular («How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?»). It was the culmination of a long throughline showing how Prince could be pop, contemporary (and often futurist) R&B, and throwback soul with just the slightest, most natural shift in perspective, whether it was his own or through the lens of an artist he’d inspired. And that it took all these artists from differing eras and background to even start to cover it all said a lot.

Of course, the show said a lot of a lot — as previously mentioned, the show went five hours, and included everything from a bellydance performance by Prince’s first wife Mayte Garcia (balancing a sword on her head one moment, sinuously moving to «7» the next) to Portugese fado singer Ana Moura, who turned «Little Red Corvette» into a slow ride on a cold night to Doug E. Fresh turning «Pop Life» into a loud hip-hop call and response. Prince, it should be remembered, had a ton of friends, even if you just stuck to the P-Funk-sized house band that bandleader Morris Hayes put through an absolute marathon.

And the two artists who really drove it home were the ones whose renown preceded Prince’s, yet benefited immensely from his inspiration and collaboration. Chaka Khan has the honors of being one of the few artists who could truly own a Prince song after he’d already recorded it, and of course the anticipation for «I Feel For You» hung heavy in the crowd. But in leading up to it with the underrated 1998 Prince co-write «Betcha I» (from her Paisley Park-cut Come 2 My House) and jumping back to ’75 for Rufus’s «Sweet Thing,» Khan slyly grounded her connections as both an influencee and influencer before bringing out Stevie Wonder himself to reprise his harmonica lead on «I Feel For You.» And while they were both out there, hey: why not a duet on «1999»?

The longer the show went, the more free-flowing it felt: a post-intermission selection of 3RDEYEGIRL’s recent Prince-goes-Zeppelin heaviness segued into Bilal going nova on «The Beautiful Ones,» literally falling to his knees and curling up on the stage once he wailed its «BABY BABY BABY I WANT YOU» coda to the rafters. Guests dropped in and out and in again — Doug E Fresh might’ve had his own personal revolving door — and moments that felt like they could’ve been big-deal finales in any other context just segued into new surprises. Tori Kelly emerging for the mood-swing two-fer of «Let’s Go Crazy» and «Diamonds and Pearls» might’ve been remarkable enough, but then Stevie came back out again to join her in duets of «Take Me With U» and «Raspberry Beret.» This was all after bandleader Hayes joked about all the hits they still didn’t have the chance to play, and insinuated that there were so many they might have to make a return engagement.

More than an hour after the show was set to end, Stevie addressed a crowd that had noticeably thinned but still hadn’t lost its energy. «I will miss him so much,» he said of Prince, «he had so many plans to make the world a better place… I just hope that for the rest of my life, every single day of it, I’ll continue to heal in the spirit of this man.» And then, after a penultimate set that covered Donny Hathaway’s «Someday We’ll All Be Free» and an extended vamp on Wonder’s own «Superstition,» the band closed out with an encore of the only song they really could close with — and the only voice that had been absent to that point. «Purple Rain» actually used a vocal track recording of Prince himself, an bittersweet ending that only got more so when a recording of him saying «I love you» echoed through the purple glitter confetti-strewn arena at the conclusion. It was an exhausting show — emotionally and physically — but it was exhaustion among friends.

CREDITS TO BILLBOARD.-

Lady Gaga Says Donald Trump’s Words ‘Sent Abused Women Into a Panic’

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Courtesy Photo
Lady Gaga performs «Million Reasons» during the first stop on the Bud Light x Lady Gaga Dive Bar Tour in Nashville, Tenn.

Lady Gaga has applauded women who speak out against sexual abusers and shared her thoughts — from personal experience — on why many don’t report assault right away.

The pop superstar turned to Twitter after multiple women made fresh allegations that Donald Trump behaved inappropriately, with some reported incidents dating back to the ‘80s.

Anderson Cooper’s 360 current affairs program shed light on some of these new accusations, which Trump supporters have been quick to denounce.

Gaga, herself a survivor of rape, tweeted: “Check out&trend #WhyWomenDontReport to have a better understanding. For me, it was like re-living it all over again. I applaud these women.”

Gaga is an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual violence, both through her nonprofit work and her Oscar-winning song “Til It Happens To You,» which was featured in The Hunting Ground, a documentary on campus rape.

Gaga, whose new album Joanne is out Oct. 21, also praised Michelle Obama after the First Lady delivered a speech in New Hampshire on Thursday (Oct. 13) in which she denounced the Republican candidate for his actions and his unsavory comments about groping women. Gaga wrote she was “in tears” after watching Obama’s speech. “You are a true role model and leader.”

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