Month: September 2010

Hip Hop History 101 with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake

Your lesson: Hip Hop History. Your teachers: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.



If you haven't seen it yet, you will. The video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake spitting their way with ease through a medley of hip hop's most recognizable beats has already gone viral and will probably gain a spot on one of those most viewed/notable youtube videos somewhere.



Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is known for producing some popular footage, and last night was no exception. After Timberlake joined Fallon to talk about his role in The Social Network, the duo oh so smoothly segued into an "impromptu" performance of Sugar Hill Gang's Rapper's Delight… which quickly turned into an impressive display from Timberlake and Fallon as the flowed into Run DMC's Peter Piper and followed with Beastie boys Paul revere to the pleasure of the audience.



Watch in amazement as the two effortlessly continue into Digital underground's Humpty dance and then, even to Timberlake's amazement, Fallon does a breathlessly perfect impression of Snoop dogg and Dr. Dre's Nuthin but a G thang. Wow is right.



But they don't stop there. The audience goes wild as Timberlake breaks into possibly the greatest rap song of all time, Tupac's California love, then into the Notorious BIG's Juicy followed appropriately by The Roots Seed 2.0.



Things just get crazy as the boys break out the dance moves and start getting in our faces with Eminem's My name is, Missy Elliot's Work it and of course a flawless performance of the infamous Soulja boy. Fallon and Timberlake round it out with a surprisingly awesome Live your life, a hilarious Gold digger and finally, the end all with Empire State of mind as the crowd joins in.



Thank you Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake, for giving us one incredibly impressive foray through Hip Hop's history. Could you do it better? Sing these and other hip hop hits here on Red Karaoke, and see if you could flow as good as Fallon and Timberlake.

Memories and Melodies: RK singers share their special memories

This past month I asked the singers here on RK to join in a slightly different challenge than our normal "who can sing this song better" contest. I asked users to sing a song that had a special meaning for them, and to share that memory with the rest of us. In this way we can all learn a little more about our fellow Red Karaoke singers, and also share the importance and power of music, which I'm sure we can all understand.



Here I have gathered some of the memories and music that you all shared. Take your time reading these beautiful messages and listening to these special songs.



Latinadulce not only shared the beautiful memory of her daughter Francine and her heartwarming rendition of Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton, she also shared a wonderful poem which everyone should take the time to read.

Tears in heavenVote for my rendition!

"This song touches my heart and I always sing it for my daughter Francine. She was only one month old and so beautiful. I miss her so much and I will never forget her." Latinadulce



Feyth shared her gorgeous voice, which she has shared since she was just a little girl, as she gave the words to Somewhere over the rainbow even more meaning with her memory of childhood and the wishes she has for her own children.

Over the rainbowVote for my rendition!

"Every day has its ups and downs, each one brings frustrations, challenges, worries, even small tragedies….but in the end, I am blessed. I always seem to have "enough", my children love me, I have the most amazing family and friends in the world, and I feel joy in my life every single day. So, it looks like my childhood wish came true." Feyth



Smudgerk shared You will never walk alone in honor of her "dear old dad", who always reminded her that thing would work out in the end, something all dad's are usually pretty good at.

You´ll Never Walk AloneVote for my rendition!

"I chose this song in memory of my dear old dad. When things got really bad for me at times he would always be there with a loving smile and warm embrace and say to me 'Come on girl keep your chin up. You will get through this.' Of course he was right." Smudgerk



Sweetheart4sure shared her rendition of Wynona's Testify to love, remembering a touching episode of Touched by an angel with a message of hope and faith that reached her heart.

Testify To LoveVote for my rendition!

"I remember the t.v. show Touched by an angel, and the little boy was sick going to die and he showed faith and trust and it gives me such hope, every time I hear the song." Sweetheart4sure



Yun5017 shared the cutest memory of first love and joining his high school band just to see more of her. We can all relate to that first serious crush and the leaps and bounds we will take for that special someone, even if we would've recognized The Beatles famous Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da!

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-DaVote for my rendition!

"I became an adult, and I knew Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da was a famous tune of The Beatles and was really surprised after wards because the lyrics resembled the memory of the first love very much. I still remember first love when I listen to this song." Yun5017



Karen_jara's rendition of The Last Waltz, as well as the story of her grandparent's and her own last waltz with her grandfather  touched my heart and nearly brought tears to my eyes.

THE LAST WALTZVote for my rendition!

"One day was different. When we got home, we went into the kitchen and my grandfather took my hands and started waltzing around the kitchen with me singing this song. I was so happy and so was he. My grandmother was shocked and told me that he doesn´t like to dance, not even with her. She said that he must be so happy because I was there." Karen_jara



Thank you to everyone who took the time to sing a song and share their own special memory. The stories were truly touching and a joy to read. I hope this month we all thought about how powerful and strong music can be, and what a place like Red Karaoke can do for us, allowing us to sing out our joys and sadness.


Enjoy reading everyone's memories in the forum, or feel free to share your own!

2010 KWC: Recording contracts, karaoke machines and 1 million dumplings

Sunday concluded yet another exciting Karaoke World Championship. 2010's KWC held in Moscow was bigger than better than ever, with 31 singers from all over the world, great coverage from ABC, 1 million dumplings and, of course, plenty of karaoke!



While the 31 singers from countries all over the world may have been vying for a recording contract, they set the tone of the event early by joining together on the first night and singing a lovely rendition of We are the world, certainly a highlight of the whole competition.



There were plenty of notable singers within the competition to wow and woo the huge audience and picky judges. Russia's Fyodor Rytikov who, even singing the lesser known song Nessun Dorma, placed second over all, was very charismatic and a personal favorite with his wacky demeanor.



Tami Marie, the US female representative from New Mexico, was incredible throughout the competition and her heartfelt version of Pink and Steven Tyler's Misery was enough to place third over all, coming behind the Women's runner up, Yulia Kurileva with the interesting choice of Pink Floyd's Great gig in the sky.



In the end, the title of King and Queen, as well as recording contracts and fancy karoake machines, went to Finland's Sam Moudden, who performed Je Suis Malade, and Saarimaa-Ylitalo, who sang Celine Dion's I Surrender.



Whatever happened to Ed Pimental, the male US rep with the perfect R&B voice? He was voted crowd favorite after smoking performances of some of Usher's sexy DJ's got us fallin' in love, and walked away with 1 million Russian dumplings, enough to last him 27 years – if he can eat 100 dumplings a day!



With this year's KWC already at an end, it's time to start preparing for next year! The 2011 KWC will be held in Ireland next year, with full coverage of the USA regional and national competitions all the way through the world finals by the ABC television network. Make sure to read all about this years event at the official KWC website and check out how to register for next year at the official US website.



Until then, figure out what your winning song would be if you were representing the USA at the World Karaoke Championships… and remember: Practice, practice, practice!

Karaoke Challenge: Baby I’m a want you

This week's challenge is one of the most popular ballads from American soft rock group, Bread, the single Baby I'm a want you.



Baby I'm a want you was released in 1971 and was also the title track for Bread's album released the following year. The song became their highest charting single, peaking at number three on the Hot 100 and number one on the Adult Contemporary chart, making it the third of four top five hits by Bread.



Enjoy this fun and easy challenge and put your heart into the lovably cheesy lyrics of Baby I'm a want you. Post a link to your rendition in the forum and you could be featured in next week's newsletter and on the official red karaoke facebook page.

The 2010 Karaoke World Championship starts today!

Today marks the beginning of the Karaoke World Championships, the world's largest and most prestigious karaoke competition featuring male and female representatives from over 20 countries, all competing to be the world's reigning king and queen of karaoke!



Read on to learn more about this exciting competition and what you can look forward to this weekend, not to mention how you could end up in next year's Karaoke World Championship.





The Karaoke World Championships began in Heinola, Finland back in 2003, with a four day competition that welcomed over 10,000 visitors and featured Finnish musicians and singesr from seven different countries. England took the first KWC competition's crowns for King and Queen.



The next year the number of countries doubled, and that year Lebanon and Austrian competitors took the coveted crowns. By 2005, the number of countries competing was up to 21 and in 2006 the special event was held on a cruise ship that visited not only Finland, but also Estonia. 2006 established a new series of eliminations with more than one chance to wow the judges, as well as many more opportunities for audiences to join in karaoke fun, including the chance to appear on Finland's "Grab the mike" celebrity karaoke show.



In 2007 the KWC was held for the first time in Asia, in one of the karaoke capitols of the world, Bangkok, Thailand. 2007 was also the first year the USA made a truly grand showing at the competition, with Michael Moses placing second. That year the first place winners both received studio time to record a single, the first year a recording deal with IVK Records was offered.



By the most recent 2009 competition, which returned to Finland to the township of Lahti, there were 32 countries competing in what became the world's largest karaoke gathering in history.



This year the competition moves to Moscow, Russia, with plenty of singing and exciting competition for everyone.



The USA Representatives


This year New Mexico swept the National Karaoke Championships in Houson, Texas, with Tami Marie and Edward Pimental wowing not only a live crowd, but also an internet audience and ABC viewers, going on to win the US crowns of karaoke and the trip to compete in Moscow this weekend.



Ed Pimentel, who won with his rendition of Can we Talk, has been in the music scene since he discovered his own voice through his high school band. He has competed in singing competitions all over New Mexico, including making to 7th place in last years New Mexico Karaoke Championships singing I will always love you. After a year of "practice, practice, practice" Pimental has worked his way to the top and will be fighting to be king of the world – the karaoke world that is.



Tami Marie came from a family of musicians and has spent years of her life on stage and in karaoke contests, which showed in her wining interpretation of River deep mountain high. After entering on a whim and making it to third place in last years regional competition, this year Tami Marie got serious and took the national title, and is ready to represent the US in the KWC.



Today starts the four day event that will decide the 2010 Karaoke World Champions, a king and queen we are all definitely interested in watching the crowning of. So check out the official website for the Karaoke World Championship for all the highlights and updates from the weekend, including photos and videos, and stay tuned for an update after the weekend where hopefully Red Karaoke can announce the USA's first crowning as Karaoke World Champions!

New on RK: Bulletproof by La Roux

I'm sure you've heard it somewhere, whether on the radio or last Saturday night at the club. I'm sure you've had the infectious beat and clever, but not trying too hard lyrics stuck in your head. Maybe you had no idea who was singing, or maybe you went and downloaded all of the group's songs because you can't get enough of them.



Either way, I am happy that this week we can announce the new addition of La Roux's amazing hit Bulletproof to The Red Karaoke Store… so here is a little information on the duo behind the beat.



La Roux, French for "the red one", is a group of two hailing from our English speaking friends just across the atlantic; Eleanor Kate Jackson and Ben Langmaid. Many people mistake La Roux for a solo project, since Langmaid likes to stay behind the curtain producing and writing, while the unforgettable presence of Jackson is who we see in music videos and live performances, but it is very much a group production of some of the best electro and synth pop music in a long time, giving projects like Owl City a marathon of a run for their money.



Jackson, who quotes influences such as David Bowie, Prince and The knife, met up with Langmaid, a veteran in the music production scene, in 2006 through a mutual friend which led to their first, majority acoustic project Automan.



In 2008, as La Roux, they released their first single, Quicksand and were quickly signed to Polydor Records in order to release their debut album. In for the kill was La Roux's second single, released in 2009, and remixed be several different prominent producers, helping it to reach number 11 on the UK charts and finally peaking at number 2.



Bulletproof came just a few months later, debuting at number 1 in the UK and topping the US Dance/Club charts upon its release stateside. This past summer it peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 after becoming the 11th most played single. La Roux has also released I'm not your toy, which has an absolutely mesmerizing and creative music video, and will soon be releasing As if by magic.



La Roux has toured with artists such as Lilly Allen and has already had their own North American tour as well as appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! They have already scheduled another US tour, as well as a UK tour, and have sold out their only shows in Australia. The Guardian featured the group on the Best new act of 2009 and the Brit Awards nominated them for Breakthrough Act and top British Single for In for the kill.



Check out the incredible music and lyrics from La Roux here on Red Karaoke and purchase your own Mp3 backing track of Bulletproof in The Red Karaoke Store.

Karaoke Challenge: Land of Confusion

We love it when you all give us suggestions for the karaoke challenge, and this week is no exception with the exciting request from Quickblade for a Genesis challenge. Let's see how the singers on Red Karaoke can handle Land of Confusion, and remember, if you have a suggestion you can post it in the forums.



If you don't recognize the song, Land of Confusion was written in 1986 for Genesis' popular album Invisible Touch and is most widely remember for it's criticism of society's greed… well, that and the weird music video featuring puppets from a British show that aired at the time called Spitting Image.



Though the song's video features all kind of puppet cameos, including of the Phill Collins and the rest of the band members, and almost won Best Concept Video at the 1988 Grammy's, but ironically lost to Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer (the previous lead singer of Genesis).



Sing your own rendition of Land of Confusion and post a link to it in the forums. You could have the chance to be featured in Red Karaoke's Newsletter and Official Facebook Page!

Sing the VMA Winning Songs on RK

This past Sunday's annual Video Music Awards were pretty exciting, what with all the hyped up Kanye-Swift drama and Lady Gaga sweeping the awards with 8 wins. Take a look with Red Karaoke as we recap the winning videos and take the chance to sing your own rendition of these hit songs.



Lady Gaga: Bad Romance



While we could list the VMA winners by award, it might get a little repetitive this year considering Lady Gaga's hit Bad Romance dominated the entire night, raking in a total of seven awards including Best Female Video, Best Dance Music Video, Best Pop Video, etc. etc… but let's face it, Lady Gaga in barely a year of breaking onto the scene has destroyed all boundaries in making music videos – and pop music all together – so she's really just getting the props she deserves.



Eminem: Not Afraid



Eminem's music this past year shows a uniquely (for him) mature side of his personality, which apparently went a long way with his wins in the Best Male Video and Best Hip Hop Video for Not Afraid.



Justin Beiber featuring Ludacris: Baby



After the Miley Cyrus craze, its no wonder the Best New Artist category was won by tween Justin Beiber for his song Baby, featuring Ludacris. But with puberty right around the corner, it waits to be seen if Beiber will do as well next year.



Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce: Telephone



Whether you loved it or hated it, Lady Gaga's Telephone, featuring Beyonce was indeed one of music's biggest collaborations of the year so it's no wonder the video won this award, giving Gaga her 8th trophy.



30 Seconds to Mars: Kings and Queens



30 Seconds to Mars may not be very familiar to many of our RK users, but their song and video for Kings and Queens was certainly worthy of the award for Best Rock Video, and is worth a listen to, as well as the rest of this rock group's music.



Florence + The Machine: Dog Days Are Over



If you didn't know who 30 Second to Mars were, you probably don't know who Florence + The Machine is, but again, their award winning music video for Dog Days are over is a pretty impressive piece of artistic expression.



Jay-Z and Alicia Keys: Empire State of Mind



Everyone knows and loves the NYC anthem Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys that rocked the radio and all the award shows this year, and the video is equally as stunning with cinematography that deserved the best of the year award.



Muse: Uprising



And last but not least, British born Muse won for the awesome display of special effects in the video for their song Uprising.



Check out all these artists and their hits here on Red karaoke, or shop for their tracks in the Red Karaoke Store and make your own music video worthy of a VMA.

Karaoke Challenge: Layla

This week's karaoke challenge is no easy song to take on, a ballad from rock and roll love legend, Eric Clapton's Layla.



Layla was written for the Bluesy rock band Derek and the Dominos, though the tale of unrequited love was actually inspired by Eric Clapton's not so secret love for model and wife of his best friend, Pattie Boyd. Born out of this taboo love and composed by two very contrasting artists, Clapton and Jim Gordon, Layla – though initially unsuccessful – became one of the greatest rock songs of all time, and it's acoustic version won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.



If you don't know the story, it's a good one. Back in the 60's, George Harrison of the Beatles married a model, Pattie Boyd, after working with her on A Hard Day's Night. Sometime after this, Clapton met the couple and began working with Harrison on music for both the group Cream and The Beatles, though meanwhile he was working on his own emotional experience with Harrison's wife.



Though Clapton openly admitted his feelings to both Harrison and Boyd, even going as far to play Layla (named after a tragic Persion love story that mirrored his feelings) for Boyd. Oddly, the three remained friends, even through Boyd divorcing Harrison a few years later and marrying Clapton.



Pattie Boyd inspired some beautiful work from Clapton, including one of my favorites, Wonderful Tonight. But this week you have a real challenge with Layla. Sing your own rendition of Layla and share it in the challenge forum for a chance to be featured in next week's newsletter and on the official Red Karaoke facebook page.

Karaoke Challenge: Get Together

This week's karaoke challenge is a new addition to the Red Karaoke catalogue, the sixties song Get Together by the group The Youngbloods.



Get Together was originally written by Chet Powers, aka Dino Valenti, in the early 60s, as an appeal for peace and brotherhood and was recorded by The Kings Trio for their 1964 album Back in Town. Their version reached the top forties, the best the song ever did on the charts before the Youngbloods remake.



The Youngbloods released their version of Get Together in 1967 which became a minor hit for them, until it was re-released in 1969 and reached number 5, becoming the most popular version of the song.



Now you can sing your own version of Get Together for this week's karaoke challenge. Post a link to your rendition in the forums and you could be featured in next week's newsletter and on the offical Red karaoke facebook page.