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Idol Chit-Chat
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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Kelly Postpones Her Tour

The Kelly Clarkson news just keeps getting worse and worse…

Kelly has postponed her entire summer tour. Kelly posted this announcement on her website: "I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to getting out there to perform for y'all. In the craziness of the music business, performing is what I look forward to doing the most, so it really is disappointing for me to have to tell you that I won't be coming out to tour this summer. The fact is that touring is just too much too soon. But I promise you that we're going to get back out there as soon as is humanly possible to give you a show that will be even better. Thanks for all of your love and continued support.”
Kelly’s rep made this statement to “Entertainment Weekly”: “Plans for Kelly Clarkson's summer tour have been shelved for now as the singer and her team re-evaluate her show's size and scope — a decision made even more difficult by the impending release of her album, My December.” LiveNation CEO Michael Rapino (the tour’s promoter) said in a statement, also to “EW,” “[T]icket sales have not been what we anticipated and we came to the realization that we had bit off more than we could chew. In the end, we are in the Kelly Clarkson business and for that reason we believe that this decision will only benefit her and her fans in the long run.”

Tickets are being refunded at the point of purchase.

Could her album be the next thing that gets shelved? Stay tuned…

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Kelly Fires Her Manager

Kelly Clarkson’s troubles continued this week as she fired her management team Monday night.

Though details are still a little sketchy, everyone agrees that the fight between Kelly and her label was the reason she fired Jeff Kwatinetz, CEO of The Firm.

A source told “Entertainment Weekly,” “He exacerbated a thermonuclear situation. Jeff did everything he could to control Kelly and her career suffered. He should have steered her in the right direction.”

E! Online reported that Kwatinetz is “taking the heat” for the lackluster radio reception for “Never Again” and so-so ticket sales for her tour. The “EW” source said, “It’s been a poor setup. Tour markets were misread and all the fighting with the label has taken attention away from the one thing that matters: her music.”

FOX News reported that last weekend, RCA learned that Kwatinetz was being listed as an executive producer on her album, which is not usual practice for managers. But a source told “US Magazine” that Kelly fired him after “they disagreed over the songs and the direction. Everyone is surprised.”

Ironically, you can read Kwatinetz defending Kelly’s music in the new issue of “Elle.” “The label didn’t even acknowledge her ASCAP awards. It’s upsetting. They don’t want her to be a songwriter. They just want her to shut up and sing. They want her to stay their little American Idol.”

So what happened here? Did Kwatinetz read the writing on the wall and try to talk Kelly into changing her CD, but she balked? I can’t believe that it’s a coincidence that this happens the week after “My December” was leaked on the Internet to a lukewarm response.

FOX News said that the CD was shaping up to be the equivalent of Lauryn Hill’s disastrous follow-up to her “Miseducation” CD. And I have to admit that what I’ve heard of it doesn’t make me disagree…

“My December” is scheduled for release June 26th…

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RCA Gives Up on "Never Again"

RCA has given up on Kelly Clarkson's "Never Again" and has already released a second single to radio stations.
You can hear "Sober" at www.myspace.com/kellyclarkson.

Since I like "Never Again," I'm disappointed by this move, but the song has not been making an impact on radio and it has been unable to sustain any momentum on the charts.

There is MUCH more to report on Kelly and her continuing struggles and I'll have that for you later tonight...

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Latest on Clive vs. Kelly...

Apparently the opinions expressed by Clive Davis do not represent those of his company or its employees…

TMZ reports that after Clive’s speech on “American Idol” that totally dissed Kelly (He didn’t even mention “My December.”), Sony/BMG executives tried to apologize to Kelly’s people, but they wouldn’t hear of it.

A rep for Clive Davis told TMZ, “There is no truth to this story whatsoever. The focus of Clive’s speech was on the recent Idol successes.”

But apparently other people within Sony/BMG don’t agree as an “insider” told the “New York Post”: “We are appalled he is picking apart one of our own acts—and one that we all love. Kelly wanted to make a deeply personal record. Here’s an artist who didn’t demand more money, who handed in her record on time in January, after making him millions, and now he rips her? The music business is collapsing, and this is why. They won’t let people put out their real music. This is about his huge ego.”

The insider explained that Kelly hasn’t demanded a renegotiation of her deal so she can have artistic control. “She only gets like $250,000 an album when she could get millions…And she has always turned out to be right. If Clive had had his way, she wouldn’t have sold nearly as many albums as she did.”

Need a further example of how out of touch Clive is becoming? The insider also said Clive routinely mocked “Because of You” in meetings and it turned out to be one of her most successful singles, earning her an ASCAP award.

I REALLY hope that “My December” is a HUGE hit. I am sick and tired of Clive Davis messing up careers (Clay Aiken, anyone?)…

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Taste of "My December"...

Now you can get a taste of what all the fuss is about…

AOL Music has snippets of three songs from Kelly Clarkson’s upcoming “My December” album: “Sober,” “Maybe” and “Can I Have a Kiss.”

And yes, it is definitely a different Kelly than we’re used to hearing, but I wouldn’t say that’s a totally bad thing. I would say that AOL didn’t do Kelly any favors with the clip from “Sober.” Her constant repetition of the words “three months” is a little annoying. But then, maybe Clive Davis picked the clips…

You can listen for yourself at:
http://music.aol.com/franchise/firstlisten/kelly-clarkson-new-album-preview

Be sure to come back and let me know what you think…

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Monday, June 4, 2007

More Chart News...

Daughtry’s “Home,” which finally cracked the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 last week, moves up to #5 on this week’s chart…

After debuting at #8, Kelly Clarkson’s “Never Again” had been in a bit of a freefall. But her appearance on the “Idol” finale kicked it back up to #9…

And after a strong bounce to #31 after his “Idol” appearance, Elliott Yamin’s “Wait For You” falls to #35…

Over on the Hot Country Songs chart, Bucky Covington moves up to #17 with “A Different World,” while Kellie Pickler nips at his heels at #19 with “I Wonder”…

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Friday, May 4, 2007

Has Kelly Scrapped Her Album?

The big story on the Internet today was that Kelly Clarkson has scrapped her album after Sony BMG chief Clive Davis trashed it. But is it true?

The UK “Daily Star” reported that in a meeting of top label executives, Davis showcased the proposed first four singles from the CD and “poured scorn on each one.” An unnamed source said, “It was an extraordinary presentation. Clive was absolutely merciless in his criticism of Kelly. She’s one of the biggest priorities on the label and her new songs were savaged.”

The “Daily Star” also reports that Kelly is now “hastily working on further material that she hopes will please her boss a little more” and that the CD’s release has been rescheduled for December.

“Entertainment Weekly” reports that the story, according to Kelly’s rep, is not true, but like most rumors, there is a shred of truth to it…

According to the story, the disagreement between RCA and Kelly stems from her desire to do things on her own terms and Kelly has said herself in interviews that her label was not completely thrilled with her new direction.

In an interview with “Entertainment Weekly,” Kelly said, “They just didn’t prefer the album, really, at all. They don’t like me writing a whole lot, just to be honest with you. Not even after I’ve written No. 1 [songs]. So, yeah, they’re not big into that. But they’re coming around, and they like it now, and obviously it’s doing well on radio right now, so they’re liking it even more. And taking credit!”

When “EW” asked whether she had people trying to force songs or songwriters on this album, she said, “They’re trying to make money, so they want to come out with ‘Breakaway II.’ And I don’t want to come out with ‘Breakaway II,’ because I already have that record. It’s a little hard for them sometimes to come around, just because taking a different artistic path is a chance. And I get it—they’re obviously a record label trying to make money. But now people at the label are really starting to dig it, and it just kind of took a while for them. They didn’t like ‘Breakaway’ either, and they didn’t like ‘Thankful’ either. So it’s the same for every record. But it’s turning around; they like it now.”

Kelly was honored with the ASCAP Song of the Year Award for “Because of You.” “EW” asked her if it was true the song was a tough sell. “That’s what I’m saying. It happens every time. It’s not like, ‘Whoo, different!’ Every time it’s a task to get something of mine on the record. But yeah, that song, they didn’t like it for the first [album], and I totally got shut down. Second album, I just kept pressing the issue, and finally I just went and found the people I wanted to do it with. I actually went through my lawyer, and ended up writing with Ben Moody and David Hodges from Evanescence. And we did a pretty good job on it, I think. They like it now; obviously, it’s successful, so…”

Does that sound like a person who would allow her album to be scrapped?

This is an interesting situation here. Obviously, Kelly has earned the right to have input on her CD after the success of “Breakaway,” but everything I’m hearing about the “story” of “My December” sounds a little scary, so you can see why RCA would want to hold her back a little.

Kelly is scheduled to appear on “Today” May 8th, so maybe she can straighten some of this stuff out then. But I seriously doubt that RCA would pitch an album whose lead single just debuted in the top 10. If they did, then it truly proves that Clive Davis has lost touch with today’s music world…

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Chart News: Carrie's New Hit and Kelly's Strong Debut

Kelly Clarkson’s new single, “Never Again,” had a strong debut on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, coming in at #8…

Kelly would have debuted higher if not for the debut of Carrie Underwood’s “I’ll Stand By You” at #6. It’s the first iTunes exclusive to debut in the top 10…

Other “Idol Gives Back” songs cracking the chart are Kelly’s “Up To the Mountain” at #56 and “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban and the African Children’s Choir at #78…

Daughtry’s “Home” now sits at #21…

By the way, the #1 song this week is Maroon 5’s “Makes Me Wonder,” which jumps from #64, the largest leap to the top in Billboard history, breaking the record held by Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This,” which jumped from #52 to #1 in 2002…

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Kelly's New Single

When Derek passed along the link to Kelly Clarkson’s new single, he said it reminded him of Alanis Morissette from a few years ago.

I was confused by that until I heard the opening words of “Never Again”:

“I hope the ring you gave to her turns her finger green. I hope when you’re in bed with her, you think of me.”

If you thought Kelly was angry before (“Since U Been Gone,” “Because of You”), you ain’t heard nothin’ yet—especially since she uses the word “sucks” in the chorus.

And I can’t believe that this song will fit in with the whole “Idol Gives Back” vibe. Surely she’ll sing something else.

You can hear it for yourself at www.myspace.com/kellyclarkson. Be sure to let me know what you think…

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Monday, April 9, 2007

Kelly will unleash "December" during the summer...

Here’s the scoop on Kelly Clarkson’s new album…

It’s called “My December” and it will be out this summer. Kelly tells her fan club it’s “the story of [her] life” and it’s her favorite album so far. “It has some killer rock songs and some fun soul tracks, and a few slower, intimate songs, and it’s all me!”

The first single, “Never Again,” will hit radio this week. She’s also expected to perform it during her appearance on “Idol Gives Back.” It is not the same song she performed at the Daytona 500.

Kelly will be touring this summer in support of the album.

Also coming up for Kelly is an appearance on “CMT Crossroads” with Reba McEntire. “Crossroads” is the show that combines a country artist with an artist of another genre and has them sing each other’s songs. The Kelly-Reba episode was taped in Nashville February 22nd and will air later this year to coincide with Reba’s duets CD, which features a song with Kelly. You may recall that during the first season of “Idol,” Kelly said that Reba was her Idol…

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Kelly rocks Daytona, but...


Last night, as part of Manic Monday, I watched (on tape) Kelly Clarkson’s performance at the “Nextel Salute to Heroes” during the Daytona 500 pre-race festivities.

And she certainly rocked the house. I just didn’t feel like she connected with her audience as well as past Daytona performers have…

Kelly started her three-song set with “Since U Been Gone.” She had some trouble with the lower notes, so she quickly switched to a higher key and did a great job with it minus the small blunder toward the end when she lost her place in the song.

She then went straight into a new song that I’m going to guess is called “One Minute Goes Fast.” If this is on her next CD, it’s obvious that she’s trying some new things—but that’s not a bad thing. I have no idea if this is her next single because no one at RCA has bothered to update her website since October. I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything. She may have just chosen this one because it works well with the NASCAR theme and it will sound great on her “NASCAR: How bad have you got it?” ad.

Kelly closed the set with an excellent version of “Miss Independent.” Kelly has come a long way since that first train wreck of a performance of this song on “American Idol.”

I was hoping to hear Kelly do “Go,” but I’m guessing those of us who were hoping that song would eventually become a single are out of luck.

As much as I like Kelly (though I question her obsession with the backless tops), I still have to question this whole NASCAR thing. Last year, the entire infield was rocking to Bon Jovi—including several of the drivers. That wasn’t the case this year. I know that NASCAR is trying to reach out to a wider audience but there just seemed to be a major disconnect. Maybe it was just me…

And I didn’t really care for her NASCAR Day commercial either…

You can see Kelly perform the “One Minute” song at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg-p7xaeYes.

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Friday, February 9, 2007

Kelly Is a "Go" With NASCAR

Those of you who are NASCAR fans know that the Ford commercials featuring Kelly Clarkson’s “Go” were a regular staple during races.

I guess NASCAR must’ve noticed, because they’re making Kelly a major part of their promotions this year.

In the “largest and most comprehensive” deal NASCAR has ever signed with an artist, Kelly will be “integrated into all aspects of NASCAR.”

The deal will kick off on February 18th as Kelly will headline the “Nextel Tribute to America,” which will air on FOX prior to the Daytona 500. Kelly will also film a “NASCAR. How bad have you got it?” commercial that will air throughout the season. The ad will feature a new song from Kelly’s third CD, due mid-year.

In addition, Kelly will serve as the spokesperson for NASCAR Day May 18th. A spot for the day will premiere during the Daytona 500.

And finally, Kelly will perform at the Nextel Cup Series Awards Ceremony in New York City November 30th. The ceremony will be broadcast live on ESPN.

It’s obvious that NASCAR is trying to expand its fan base, but I’m not sure what the advantage for Kelly is—other than the money. No details have been disclosed, but I’m sure the deal means a nice chunk of change.

By the way, I hope you caught Kelly on “Reba.” Her guest turn as the naïve country weather girl was hilarious. And Brock, Cheyenne and Van’s impersonations of Randy, Paula and Simon were hysterical…

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