The Week In Music: New Judges On The Block
And your next "American Idol" judges are…"Jenny From The Block" and the man behind "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)." At a press conference on Wednesday, Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler were announced as the two new judges for season 10 of the revamped show. Contestants seemed to be brimming with sweet emotion regarding Tyler's new venture: "I'm super excited," said Kaeli Filpi, a contestant from Los Angeles. "My parents are all into '80s classic rock, so I'm a huge fan of him. I'm so excited." After nearly a decade with the predictably supportive Paula Abdul and skeptical Simon Cowell, viewers could be in for a pleasant change. How will J-Lo, Tyler and top dawg Randy Jackson fare? We'll find out when season 10 launches in January 2011.
Katy Perry is one California gurl that runs a little too hot for Bert and Ernie, Grover, Big Bird, Mr. Snuffleupagus, and the gang over at "Sesame Street." The show issued a statement saying it would not air a taped segment featuring Perry and everyone's favorite tickle buddy, Elmo, due to "feedback" they received. It appears Perry's wardrobe choice during her skit with Elmo and performance of "Hot 'N Cold" was deemed too revealing for the kids. A representative for Perry said the pop star enjoyed her time on the show. Elmo could not be reached for comment but did exclaim, "That tickles!" Meanwhile, the clip in question is available to view at Perry's website.
In real estate news, the last home of late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia is up for sale. The asking price? A cool $4 million. The 11-acre, 7,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style estate is located in Marin, Calif., just north of the famed psychedelic rock act's San Francisco base. The previous owner renovated the house shortly after Garcia's death in 1995, selling many of the home's fixtures to raise money for charity, including the guitarist's…toilet. Heading just six hours south you'll find the residence of late heavy metal icon Ronnie James Dio up for grabs. The 5,000-square-foot, English Manor-style home located in Encino, Calif., is on the market for approximately $3.4 million. Amenities include new appliances, a pub bar, 200-year-old wood floors, five bedrooms, and five bathrooms featuring five toilets that can be potentially sold for charity.
Billboard reported that the Michael Jackson estate has entered a licensing deal with SEE Virtual Worlds to create an online virtual world, "Planet Michael." The planet will live inside the Entropia Universe, a massive, multiplayer online game that has approximately 100,000 active users. Game play will focus on Jackson's dance moves and reflect his belief in nonviolence, which will be seen as a departure from other online multiplayer games such as "World Of Warcraft." "With Michael Jackson, we're aiming at different game play," said Martin Biallas, SEE Virtual Worlds CEO. The "Bad" virtual world is slated to be unleashed in late 2011.
Speaking of games, the Huffington Post released its list of Game Changers, celebrating 100 innovators, visionaries and leaders across entertainment, technology and media, among other categories. The main criteria for being included on the list? A willingness to take a risk by saying, "I think I have a better way." The lone musician game changer is will.i.am., who knows how to get things started. Other notables include Kalpen Modi, who parlayed his role as Kal Penn in films such as Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle into a position with the White House and has participated in The Recording Academy's GRAMMYs on the Hill advocacy event; and Apple chief Steve Jobs, who started an iRevolution.
"Glee" kicked off its sophomore year this past Tuesday and the ratings sang to a tune of an impressive 12.3 million viewers. In the season's debut episode, the cast performed hits from Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, and Lady Gaga. Of course, music and television have always fit together like peanut butter and jelly, evidenced by Billboard's list of top TV themes that have impacted the charts over the past three decades. Themes on the list include "Theme From The Dukes Of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys) " by Waylon Jennings, "Theme From Greatest American Hero (Believe It Or Not)" by Joey Scarbury, "Moonlighting (Theme)" by Al Jarreau, "As Long As We Got Each Other" (theme from "Growing Pains") by Steve Dorff & Friends, and "I'll Be There for You" by the Rembrandts (theme from "Friends"), among others. Sadly, the theme to "Saved By The Bell: The College Years" did not make the cut.
After hosting the 82nd Academy Awards last year, actor/comedian/GRAMMY winner Steve Martin has gotten in the business of handing out awards himself with the creation of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. This year's inaugural award went to banjoist Noam Pikelny of the Punch Brothers, who received a cash prize of $50,000, funded by the Steve Martin Charitable Foundation. Pikelny was chosen by a group of board members, including Béla Fleck, Martin, Earl Scruggs, and Pete Wernick.
Elvis Costello is taking an old-school route with the release of four tracks off his forthcoming album, National Ransom, on a pair of 78 rpm discs. The GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter posted a semi-cryptic announcement on his website to alert fans of the limited releases. Details on pricing were not mentioned, but 25 pressings of the limited-edition releases will be made available, each of them personally autographed by Costello.
Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are" is tops on the Billboard Hot 100 while "Empire State Of Mind (Glee Cast Version)" holds the No. 1 spot on the iTunes singles chart.
Any news we've missed? Comment below.