The Week In Music: Russell Brand Is Going For The Gold

Comedian/actor to sing Sex Pistols and Beatles songs at the closing ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics
  • Photo: Jerod Harris/WireImage.com
    Russell Brand
July 20, 2012 -- 7:00 am PDT
GRAMMY.com

Starting July 27, the world's finest athletes from Angola to Zambia will compete for the gold, silver and bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Once the fierce competition is over, all will bask in the glory of the Olympics' closing ceremonies, where some of music's finest will take over and perform during a concert extravaganza titled A Symphony Of British Music. The concert will feature performances exclusively from British artists, including Queen, Take That, Annie Lennox, George Michael, and Russell Brand, among others. Yes, you read correctly, Russell Brand. According to a Mirror report, the actor/comedian will sing a "comedy version" of the Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant" in full punk regalia and also perform a rendition of the Beatles' "I Am The Walrus." We here at TWIM are looking forward to his performance and the spectacle, but some are wondering what kind of reaction Katy Perry's ex-husband will receive. "No one knows if Brand can sing and his drugs past makes him a surprising choice for an occasion that's all about health, sport and keeping fit," said an anonymous Olympics organizing committee member. "He could well clear the stadium."

Staying abroad, in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the UK's Official Singles Chart, the Official Charts Company recently conducted a poll in a bid to find the nation's favorite No. 1 hit. Arguably, the smart money for the top spot would have been on the Fab Four from Liverpool, but voters had different ideas. Placing second was the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, with "Billie Jean," followed by Adele's "Someone Like You" at No. 3 and Oasis' "Don't Look Back In Anger" at No. 4. The Beatles did round out the top five with Paul McCartney's classic sing-along ballad "Hey Jude." Coming in at No. 1? Queen's signature chestnut "Bohemian Rhapsody," which features the soaring vocals of Freddie Mercury and tasty riffs courtesy of guitarist Brian May. Poker clichés notwithstanding, it would seem queens definitely trump kings.

After a successful two-weekend stay in April under the sun in Indio, Calif., the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is swapping the California desert for the Caribbean Sea (if only for a month) as the inaugural S.S. Coachella cruise is preparing to set sail in December. The music voyage will offer fans a choice between two destinations — a trip to the Bahamas from Dec. 16–19, or a visit to Jamaica from Dec. 19–23. Artists set to perform on both excursions include a plethora of indie pop and dance/electronica acts, including Pulp, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, Girl Talk, Sleigh Bells, and a DJ set from LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, among others. Aside from the music, there will also be plenty of onboard activities to keep guests happy, including live DJ tutorials, wine tasting with Murphy, arts and crafts workshops, and a Dear Diary session where attendees will share their juiciest young adulthood secrets. Not a fan of the sea? You can still attend the civilian Coachella festival in April 2013.

With the recent departures of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler from "American Idol," the reality TV show is on the hunt for new judges, and they could be looking at adding a soulful songstress and a volatile actor. According to a report, GRAMMY winner Aretha Franklin and onscreen "winner" Charlie Sheen could be on tap to judge the next season of "American Idol." While some (read: Kathie Lee Gifford) may think Franklin is an odd choice to judge the hit reality TV series, Franklin says her audience and fans "span the age of 8 to 90. … I could enjoy being a judge for a season or two. Let's kick it up a few notches and have a slammin', jammin' season." As for Sheen, he was presented with the idea when show producer Nigel Lythgoe threw his name into the mix. "It seems so out of the blue that it almost made perfect sense," said Sheen in a recent interview on Ryan Seacrest's Los Angeles-based radio show. "Seriously … I'm genuinely interested. It's so different, it could be radical." While details on the new "Idol" judges are still being worked out, if Sheen does end up joining the show, we think a name change to "Winning American Idol" is in order.  

Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" is tops on the Billboard Hot 100 and Jason Aldean's "Take A Little Ride" is No. 1 on the iTunes singles chart.

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