This week the karaoke challenge is back with one of those classic love songs everybody knows – though it's still no easy song to sing – Can't help falling in love.
Can't help falling in love was written based on Plaisir d'amour by Jean Paul Egide Martini, a classical French orchesta arrangement turned pop hit. The most notable version of the song is, of course, Elvis Presley's beautiful cover, which was featured in the film Blue Hawaii and during many of Presley's live performances.
But if swoon worthy, deep vocals like those of Elvis or Michael Buble aren't your forte, you can try singing another style of Can't help falling in love, like UB40's chart topping reggae rendition or A*Teens fun, bubblegum pop version.
Whatever way you sing it, Can't help falling in love is a great challenge song and the perfect chance for you to try winning a spot in Red Karaoke's weekly newsletter and on our official facebook page. just post a link in the challenge forum and your rendition could win!
This week the RK World Tour ventures south of the border to check out the Mexican soft rock group Camila and the hits that have made them heart throbs throughout Latin America.
Camila, meaning “Close to God” on Spanish, is a trio of three young and talented musicians who joined together in 2005 to create sensitive, soft rock music that would catapult them to super star success.
Their first single, Abrazame became a huge radio hit after its release, and gained them enough noteriety to be nominated in 2006 for Best New Artist at the Premio Lo Nuestro 2007. Camila’s second hit, Coleccionista de Canciones was used as the theme song for the popular telenovela Las Dos Caras de Ana.
In March of 2007, Camila released Todo Cambio, a beautiful R&B single that became their most important release, helping them reach the US Latin Top 20. Their debut album of the same name was certified Platinum in Mexico and that same year songwriter Mario Domm received a Latin Grammy nomination for the writing of Todo Cambio, also nominated for Song of the year.
Camila ended up winning 2 Premios Lo Nuestro in 2008, Song of the year for Todo Cambio and Group or Duo of the year. The followed this success by rerecording Abrazame with Brazilian aritist Wanessa Camargo which was featured on the Brazilian telenovela A Favorita.
By the end of 2008, Camila had won two Latin Billboard awards and two Juventud Awards. In 2009 Camila also won yet another Premios Lo Nuestro. Dejarte de Amar, Camila’s second album, was released this year and has already seen the success of their lead single, Mientes.
You can find all these beautiful songs by the Mexican group Camila and sing your own renditions here on Red Karaoke.
To talk about Vicente Fernández in his home country, Mexico, is to refer to an idol for millions of people whose ranchera songs have kept him in the highest level of national music for decades.
Vicente Fernández Gómez was born February 17, 1940 in the small town of Huentitán el alto, Jalisco. His family was of humble origins and was forced to work from an early age in various jobs to earn money. At this point, nothing hinted at the fact that he would come to be known as "The Charro of Huentitán," or simply "El Rey" (The King).
Before becoming one of the greatest legends in the history of Mexican music, Fernández had to work hard to rise through the music ranks in his country. When he was 21, he debuted in the Amanecer Tapatío (singing both on the stage and at the tables) and on the TV show La Calandria Musical, where he earned his first salary as a Singer: 35 pesos. These experiences solidified his professional future, and he decided to leave all of his odd jobs to focus on becoming a singer and actor, making a move to Mexico City.
Fernández participed in José Luis Aguilar’s Mariachi Aguilar and performed in the Blanquita Theater. He also started to work with Televisa, where he met Raúl Velasco and had the opportunity to sing songs such as “Tu camino y el mío” and “Volver volver.”
In 1963, Fernández married his neighbor, María del Refugio Abarca Villaseñor, with whom he had three children, Vicente, Gerardo and singer Alejandro Fernández.
Fernández holds that some of the best memories of his career were on a special day when he sang in the Plaza de México in the Federal District in front of a crowd of more than 50,000. He is still the only artist to perform to such a large audience in this area. He holds other attendance records as well, such as in 2009, when more than 219,000 showed up to see him sing in the Zócalo in Mexico City. Fernández has had so much success in his country that radio stations nationwide instituted the celebration of Vicente Fernández Day on September 16.
It’s impossible to explain the importance of Fernández’s career without mentioning his extensive discography which includes around 60 albums since his debut, A pesar de todo, which was released in 1965. His long list of successful work includes titles such as El Cuatrero, Qué de raro tiene, and Aunque me duela el alma.
Of all of his albums, it is necessary to note 2002’s Vicente Fernández’s 35th Anniversary, Lo major de Lara, a tribute to his long and significant artistic career. It’s also important to cite some of his most famous songs: “El Rey,” “Cruz de olvido,” “Mi viejo,” and “Yo quiero ser,” to name only a few of the songs with which he has broken barriers across the Spanish-speaking world.
In addition to the widespread success achieved by his ranchero songs with his fans, Vicente Fernández has been recognized at both the national and international levels. In 1997, after having sold 40 million records worldwide, he was bestowed various awards from Billboard, Diosas de Plata, and Los Heraldos, alongside five Grammy nominations. In 2002 he won a Grammy for Best Ranchero Album. He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998.
What better way than to finish this artist feature than with one of Vicente Fernández’s most famous songs worldwide!
This week the Red Karaoke catalogue not only added a new song, but also a new artist to it’s ranks with the hit Break your heart by Taio Cruz.
Taio Cruz born in London, began his career in the music industry with work on Will Young’s 2004 single Your game. Cruz followed this by founding Rokstarr Music London and releasing his debut single I just wanna know, forming partnerships with Universal Music Group, Island Records and Mercury Records.
After his debut, Cruz released Moving on in 2007, reaching the top 30 in the UK, and finally entered the top 5 with his third hit, Come on girl. In 2008, Cruz released a remix of his songs entitled She’s like a star which featured rapper Busta Rhymes and the Sugababes and peaked at number 20.
Cruz released his follow up album, Rokstarr, entirely written and produced by himself, whose lead single Break your heart broke number 1 in the UK and in the US. The remix of Break your heart, the single released in the US, features rapper Ludacris, and the catchy, upbeat single ended up becoming a huge club hit.
This week the RK World Tour is headed to Italy with one of the world's most popular artists, award winning classical singer Andrea Boccelli. Join us as we take a look at his incredible and extensive career as one of the best selling Italian and Classical artists in musical history.
Born to a farming family in La Sterza, an area of Tuscany, Italy, Andrea Bocelli showed early signs of problems with his sight which could only be comforted through his young passion for music, according to his mother. At the age of six Bocelli began piano, and later learned many other instruments as well. By 12, Bocelli became totally blind following a soccer accident.
When Bocelli was 14 he won his first song competition, though he continued in school and even went to Law school before beginning any major attempts to break into the music world.
In 1992, Bocelli had his first big break when he was discovered by Caterina Caselli, still his manager and producer today, and his demo tape was sent to Luciano Pavarotti who was set on using Bocelli to create a demo of the song Miserere for the album of the same name. Pavarotti eventually recorded the song with Bocelli and it became a huge hit, leading to live performances and Bocelli signing with Sugar Music Label in Milan.
In December of the same year he entered into the Sanremo Music Festival and won with the highest marks ever in the Newcomers section leading to his debut in the classical world at the Teatro Romolo Valli in Reggio Emilia. 1994 saw his entrance and record breaking win in the main Sanremo Festival, giving his debut album the boost it needed to immediately enter the Italian Top 10.
As newcomer winner of the Sanremo Festival, he was invited to return and entered the main competition with Con te partiro, finishing in fourth place. The song was included on his album Bocelli, which was followed by the Fall release of his album Viaggio Italiano, and included Miserere and Funiculi, funicula. Con te partiro at this point became his most popular single, and in Belgium was the best selling song of all time.
Bocelli's was invited in 1996 to sing a duet with Sarah Brightman, who with him, reworked Con te partiro into the world famous Time to say goodbye. Bocelli and Brightman rerecorded the song with the London Symphony Orchestra and the song became a world wide hit, joining his other Romanza hit, Vivo por ella at the top of the charts.
In 1997 after winning Best Single of the Year for Time to say goodbye, Bocelli performed at many festivals and concerts, including in the presence of the Pope. He also received Best Seller of the Year in September for Viaggio Italiano.
Bocelli's stateside breakthrough came after his fifth album Aria and a concert in Washington DC followed by a reception at the White House in 1998. Two world music awards, Best Italian Singer and Best classical interpretation, were awarded to him in Monte Carlo that year and he was named one of People Magazine's 50 most beautiful people.
June, July and August saw Bocelli's North and South American tour sell out and several more award nominations and wins. Bocelli was a guest of Celine Dion's during her television special These are special times, in which he performed with her The prayer and Ave Maria solo. The prayer appeared on the Quest for Camelot soundtrack and also Bocelli's album Sogno, winning Golden Globe for Best Original Song and helping him gain a nomination for Best New Artist at the Grammys, the first time a classical artist had been nominated for that award since 1961.
Bocelli's seventh album Sacred Arias, which contains exclusively sacred music reached first place in the USA Classic Billboard charts two weeks after its release, making Bocelli the first vocalist to hold all top three places on the chart, with Aria, the opera album in second place, and Viaggio Italiano in third place. Sacred Arias eventually became the biggest-selling classical album by a solo artist of all time.
After years of touring and awards, Bocelli launched his own label Clacksong and in 2003 as a producer at the Sanremo Festival, watched the young artists Allunati and Jacqueline Ferry sing for his new label. That year his second complete opear Tosca was released and he also received two awards for his album Sentimento. Bocelli ended the year by beginning yet another tour in the United States and with performances in Asia.
After releasing the abulm Amore in 2006, Bocelli was honoured by the Italian state with a Grande Ufficiale Italian Order of Merit (Grand Officer of the Italian Republic) for his worldwide work for his country as a singer, presented to him at the Sanremo festival where he performed a duet with Christina Aguilera.
In 2008 Bocelli released the album Incanto and also received the Italian TV award Telegatto, performing Dare to live and La voce del silenzio during the reception ceremony. Bocelli promoted the album with many live performances and also appeared on the Alan Titchmarsh Show on BBC and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Bocelli's first holiday album, My Christmas, was released in 2009. The album, which became the best holiday album of the year, included God bless us everyone and Silent night, which in the streets of London, Bocelli led the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, and more than 14,000 people across the capital, as they broke the Official Guinness World Record for the biggest ever Christmas Carol sing-along.
This year Bocelli joined forces with Mary J Blige and David Foster to sing Bridge over troubled water to raise awareness for Haiti victims of the earthquake. Bocelli was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Bocelli's most recent performance was headlining the Celebrate Africa: The Grand Finale concert for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he was joined by Bryan Adams, Andrea Griminelli and South African artists Nianel and Pretty Yende.
Widely regarded as the world's most succesful and most amazing classical artists, you can enjoy Andrea Bocelli's award winning songs and attempt to master them yourself through karaoke here on Red Karaoke.
This week's karaoke challenge is the late 60's classic, For once in my life, a song that has been recorded by such a variety of artists, there are plenty of ideas on how you could spice up your own rendition.
Possibly the most well known version of the hit, and certainly my favorite, is the jazzed up recording done by Stevie Wonder, shelved by Motown until Berry Gordy finally allowed it to hit the market. Good for him, because Wonder's rendition ended up charting at the #2 spot on the Billboards.
Now you can sing your own version of For once in my life in this week's challenge. Share a link of your recording in the challenge forum and you could be featured on next week's newsletter and on the official Red Karaoke facebook page.
This week Red Karaoke's World Tour takes a trip to Belgium to check out the petite pop princess Kate Ryan and the international dance hits that have peppered her career.
Kate Ryan, born Katrien Verbeeck in the small Belgian town of Tessenderlo, was nurtured by a musical family and at the age of eight could already play the piano and guitar. By the time she was a teenage, Ryan was frequently performing in local bars and cafes which gained her attention from the managar of pop group Melt.
Despite being a member of Melt for two years, the group never released any commercial material and Ryan left the group to join up with producer Andy Janssens. After joining with Janssens, Ryan helped write their debut single Scream for more, which became a chart success in 2001 though Ryan's solo cover of Mylene Farmer'sDésenchantée really gained her the attention she needed to sign with EMI Belgium records.
Ryan released her debut album Different in 2002, which sold more than 250,000 copies throughout Europe and became popular among the dance-pop fans in Europe, despite the album only being available as an import title. Ryan's first official US single was Scream for more, whose nightclub success was followed by Desenchantee/U R My Love.
2004 saw the European and North American release of Ryan's album Stronger, which included two popular singles Another day and The rain, supposedly inspired by the Twilight series. Though Ryan had been fairly successful, her promotion was poor and she was unable to garner the attention she needed to make any major breakthroughs.
Ryan finally had a chance to gain major international fame when she became the 2006 Belgian entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest, singing her hit Je t'adore. Though she only placed 12th and did not make it into the final, Ryans was voted the best dressed performer and gained her even more noteriety among the European music charts.
Ryan followed Je t'adore with Alive, from the album of the same name, and the single All for you. Voyage voyage and We all belong became her next two biggest hits, the latter was even chosen as the official anthem of the 2007 Eurogames in Antwerp.
In 2008 Ryan released those two single on the album Free along with brand new singles L.I.L.Y. (Like I love you), Ella, Elle L'a and a featured duet with Soraya Arnelas, another Eurovision contestant and winner. Ella, Ella L'a and the album Free helped Ryan achieve a #1 spot on the UK MTV Dance Charts, as well as the World Music Award for The Best Selling Benelux Artist.
Kate Ryan released French Connection last year which she calls the "end of an era" as she prepares to release new material that is entirely her own. French Connection featured the cover Babacar and remixes of some of her biggest hits. Her next concept album is due to be released in 2011. Until then, enjoy singing Kate Ryan's hits here on Red Karaoke.
This week we are bringing back RK's Fave 5, a look backwards at our five favorite karaokes by some of our most favorite artists. We're kicking it off with a look at some amazing songs and renditions from the early career of the beautiful Sheryl Crow, whose upcoming album boasts a return to the soul sounds that endeared her to us and the music industry back in the early 90's.
All I wanna do
Back before she was a household name, Sheryl Crow released a slow to start debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club. Luckily, after her appearance in Rolling Stone's Fresh Faces and the release of the album's second single, All I wanna do, Crow was catapulted into the billboard chart fame and All I wanna do became the biggest hit of 1995 – and of Crow's career, winning her two grammies. Based on the poem "Fun" by Wyn Cooper, All I wanna do is a relaxed song about getting by and having a good time.
If it makes you happy
Crow's follow up self titled album was closer to her heart with songs about more serious matters such as homelessness and war. The album spawned several hits including it's first single, If it makes you happy, an angsty pop rock hit that signaled Crow's direction away from the good times feel of her first album and garnered Crow two more grammies.
Everyday is a winding road
The second single from the album Sheryl Crow, Everyday is a winding road, with a little bit of a lighter sound was greeted with radio success and a grammy nomination, and even was covered by Prince and used in the film Erin Brockovich.
My favorite mistake
In 1998 Crow released The Globe Sessions and it's gossip fueling first single My favorite mistake, supposedly referencing an affair with Eric Clapton, an explanation denied by Crow herself. Whoever My favorite mistake is about, it's one of my favorite Sheryl Crow songs, describing perfectly the bad relationship you just can't let go of.
Soak up the sun
Though Crow does angsty rock emotion well, 2002 saw her return to the early lightness of All I wanna do with the album C'mon, C'mon and it's lead single, Soak up the sun, a hugely succesful radio hit and a great summer song to sing.
Since then, Sheryl Crow has ventured from pop to country and back again, but with her upcoming album, 100 Miles from Memphis, and it's lead single Summer Day, it seems Crow will be channeling the soul that started her out on her music path. Until next Tuesday's release of Crow's seventh studio album, enjoy singing your own rendition of these classic hits from the gorgeous singer.
The 4th of July has come and gone and the summer heat seems to be weighing down on everyone. What better time to pick a summer song for the challenge, so instead of the blistering heat, we can think about all the nice things that make us look forward to summer year round.
All Summer Long was a 2008 single released by Kid Rock during on of his forays into a more country sound and mashed up the songs Werewolves in London and Sweet Home Alabama, including a lyrical reference to a young kid rock and his friends singing the song through the summer months.
The nostalgic and upbeat tune about summer fun and romance became a worldwide hit, giving Kid Rock his first top ten country song and a number one single in eight different countries. Basically Kid Rock's lighter side gave him not only the biggest hit of 2008, but also of his career.
All Summer Long is a fun summertime tune, great to sing along with whether your enjoying a vacation from school and work or just reminiscing about your youthful holidays. Either way, give this fun challenge a shot, post your rendition in the forum and you could be featured in next week's newsletter and on the official Red Karaoke facebook page.
You may not recognize the name Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasm, but you have probably heard her instantly recognizable single, the international hit Paper Planes produced under better known stage name MIA. Join us as we take a look at this incredible Sri Lankan songwriter/political activist and down right renaissance woman.
Maya was born in London, but since six months of age had been living with her family in their native Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Maya's father, Arular, was a political activist there and was a founding member of the Eelam Revolutionary Organization of Students, a political group that worked towards and independent Tamil Eelam.
Because of her father's political activities and the Sri Lankan civil war, the first eight years of Maya's life were marked by displacement and very limited contact with her father. Eventually her family was forced to move to India for safety, though even their life was very dangerous. After her school was destroyed in an attack, Maya 's mother, two siblings and herself returned to London as refugees.
After attending London's Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and obtaining a degree in fine arts, film and video, Maya eventually began her visual arts career with her first exhibition in 2001, a series of paintings featuring graffiti art and spray paint canvasses that stirred together Tamil political street art and images of London consumerist culture. Maya also showed an interest in fashion and textiles, influenced by her mother's career as a seamstress, and began designing her own creations that were full of bright, fluorescent colors.
Maya's early accomplishments as a visual artist led to her work with the group Elastica as they toured in the US. While working on a video document of the event and directing their music videos, Maya was introduced to the band Peaches, who in turn introduced her to the Roland MC-505 sequencing drum machine and encouraged Maya to experiment with her least ventured art form, music.
After returning to London, Maya created a demo which included the songs Lady killa, M.I.A. and Galang, arousing interest with her mix of dance, techno, electro and worl music. Showbiz Records took notice and produced 500 copies of the single Galang which, along with the single Sunshowers, Maya pushed into prominence using file sharing on the internet. By 2004, MIA was an internationally recognized name in clubs and on the internet before Maya had ever graced a stage, and she was signed with XL recordings.
Galang was re-released in 2004 with an accompanying music video that featured MIA and her political graffiti artwork. Sunshowers was released later the same year to good critical reviews and with a video filmed in the jungles of South India. At the end of the year, Piracy funds terrorism was released, this time through the internet and MIA's live shows.
In 2005, Arular, MIA's debut album was finally released to universal critical acclaim, appearing on many of the year's top rated album lists. With Arular, MIA openly acknowledged her father's past and experimented greatly with bold sounds and reflective lyrics of her experiences with identity, politics and culture.
MIA not only gained millions of fans due to her ground breaking music, she also attracted the attention of other artists. Rapper Nas, in 2005 referred to MIA, praising her sound as "the future". In the same year, MIA was featured on a Missy Elliott track, Bad man, from the album The Cookbook and she toured with Gwen Stefani briefly.
2006 saw the release of MIA's second album, Kala, named for her mother. The album has an even more diverse sound, due largely to the Kala's recording in various locations due to visa problems Maya was facing. The music, along with the artwork for Kala, had as much raw political and cultural commentary racing through it's lyrics as the first album and featured the songs Hit that, Bird flu and Come around, which was also a bonus track on Timbaland's album Shock Value.
Kala achieved best album titles from many publications, including Rolling Stone and Blender, and the 2008 release of Paper Planes – Homeland Security cemented MIA's success on the US charts and led to two Grammy nominations and an Academy Award.
By the end of 2008, after touring in support of Kala, MIA had canceled the rest of her shows and had already launched her next project, the record label N.E.E.T. The label's first release was the soundtrack for Slumdog Millionaire, featuring an award winning contribution to A. R. Rahman's score from MIA, O… Saya. The label went on to sign several indie rock groups and singers, with the hope of exposing new, underground musicians and visual artists.
MIA's third album, /\/\ /\ Y /\, is due July 13th and has already had several songs leaked and it's first single, XXXO released, a remix of which was released by Jay-Z. MIA will tour this summer, debuting her upcoming album's material live, and was also featured as a co-writer for the single Elastic Love on Christina Aguilera's latest album.