Month: October 2010

Icons: Musicians today, Icons tomorrow?

Here at Red Karaoke, we've shared some of our favorite icons from the 80's and 90's, but who will be the faces to watch for the future? Join us in our last installment of this icons series as we share our favorite musicians of today who we think may have staying power to become musical icons to future generations.


Lady Gaga



We might as well start our list off with a bang, and who better than that to do the unique, daring and a little bit crazy Lady Gaga. With an outrageous style and writing/vocal skills to match, its no surprise Gaga is at the top of her game. But what will give her staying power as a true icon is the feeling she gives to all her fans that the "fame" is for them too. Whether you sing her first big successs Just Dance or her mega hit Bad Romance, you can put on a crazy outfit, platinum wig and 6 inch heels and easily channel this icon of today's pop world.





One of the other reigning queens of music is the oh so divalicous Beyonce, whose incredible voice and beloved dance moves have her on a thrown swept right out from under the bottoms of generations before her. There is no denying Beyonce's star power and ability to put out an infectious hit, and with her beauty and style, she's got staying power too. Throw on a black leotard and dance around to Single ladies, or maybe channel your inner rebellious boy and sing Beyonce's If I were a boy.



Taylor Swift



You may want to argue this next one, but whether you like her or not, there is no denying Taylor Swift is an icon to millions of young girls, and some older ladies too. With her sweet, sentimental pop/country cross overs and that curly blonde hair, Swift is an instantly recognizable young star. And though she hasn't had an album top the unbelievable success of her debut album, she is still topping the charts with that familiar cute crooning. So grab your guitar and strum out Taylor Swift's Mine or maybe her first big single, Tim Mcgraw.



Kanye West



If you asked him, he'd probably tell you himself, Kanye West is most definately an icon of our time, even if he is a divisive, controversial one. With hit after hit and the ability to spin a few lyrics on a track to turn it to gold, West is undeniably music's newest big timer, and he knows it. Channel Kanye's cocky style with a pair of funky shade and sing anyone of his hits, or maybe just rock in the background of the latest up and comer's single… Kanye style.



Jay Z


Much like Kanye, everything Jay Z touches turns to gold, but this man deserves all the respect you can give him as one of the biggest music mogul's in the industry, though he has about half the egotism of his colleagues. Jay Z has built his career on the foundation and roots of hip hop. Pay tribute to the biggest icon of hip hop in our day and sing his huge success Empire state of mind.






As one of the most successful Spanish-English cross over artists, Shakira has become a staple in every young person's music collection and the epitome of sexiness for many. With a musical style inspired by world travel and her own unique tastes, it's hard to describe every song by Shakira, but she certainly knows how to write a dance hit too. Throw on your tightest pair of jeans and start shaking your hips to this Latina icon's hits She Wolf or Hips don't lie.



Jack Johnson


The beach bum guitarist of our generation, Jack Johnson's surfer dude persona and low key music has made him a musical icon, whether he cares to be one or not. With albums full of laid back tunes that a reminiscent of summer days or make you wish you grew up in California, this is one cool musician. Grab a pair of board shorts and mess up your hair a little for that Jack Johnson look, then  sing the epitome of perfect when it comes to chill love songs, Better Together.



Black Eyed Peas


Since the rise and fall of boy bands and girl groups in the nineties, with those groups dispersing and becoming solo acts that quadrupled the fame of their former groups (ie Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, etc.), its been rare to see a pop group that can really put out hits and appear to be all on the same page. But the iconic group Black Eyed Peas has put out one hit after another, playing on all the different talents of their members allowing them to create number 1 songs in every genre from hip hop to pop to dance. Whether your a Fergie or a Will.I.Am you can channel one of the BEP's many looks and sing their biggest hits on RK.



John Mayer



Possibly one of the greatest guitarists of our times, with a voice that makes the likes of Jennifer Aniston swoon and a cooler than you attitude, John Mayer has already reach rock star iconic status, and will probably hold a place along side other famous guitarists of the past. Sexy is simple for Mr. Mayer in his white tee and with a guitar strapped over his shoulder. See if you can channel his smooth voice and moves in his sexy hit Your body is a wonderland.



These are just a few of the faces that may impact the future of music. Who are your choices? Share your favorite icons of today in the forum and don't forget to enter into Red Karaoke's Halloween Icon Contest!

Launch of the new homepage!

We have the pleasure of presenting to you the new homepage of Red Karaoke. After more than two years with the old, it was time to renovate our space. Two years is a lifespan on the internet and the old home already wasn't the same was what we started with in September of 2008. So we put ourselves to work and this is what came out of it.


The first thing we'd like to bring your attention to in the new homepage is how much brighter it is than the old page, much more "clean" and easier to browse through the content. We have reorganized everything in such a way that it will be easier to find everything, and we have also brought to light content that was almost impossible to find before, such as the Mp3s upload by users.


We've also emphasized the importance of the community element. Now, we believe, it is easier to access all of the latest activity within Red Karaoke. This is what we have called, "The Buzz", the section where you can see all the latest posts in the forum, recent updates to personal blogs, get news and updates from the RK blog and see status updates of member profiles. In regards to the navigation menu, the forum, blogs and chats will be part of the Community tab.



We haven't forgotten about all those newcomers to our website. For them we have created a special area which gives a video tutorial explaining just how easy it is to sing on Red Karaoke.

We've also made sure to include more of the "playful" side of Red Karaoke. We've emphasized all of the great Forum Games that are so popular. The Ranking will also be included in this area, although it will continue functioning separately as it always has. Plus, we will have a special tab for contests that go on in the future, and many other fun things that will be coming.

Other elements that have been included in our new homepage are a log in area,  the ranking (as it always has been), the most sung songs, the most popular artists or mp3s that are sold the most in the store. We've also created new options like Sing a karaoke at random or The suggested song of the day. In both cases we have taken into account certain criteria to decide the song that are shown in this area, such as the number of times it has been sung, its quality, etc.


We hope that you truly enjoy the new page and that using Red Karaoke becomes easier and more fun. As always, you can leave us your questions, impressions and other comments in the forum on the new design. And finally, we'll leave you with an image of the old homepage… for sentimental value ;)


Icons: The music and moves of the 90s

The 90's marked plenty of beginnings in the music scene including the birth of grunge rock, the first huge hip hop disputes, the rise and fall of boy and girl bands, and many more iconic musical moments. In our three part series of musical icons from the 80s, 90s and now, perhaps the last decade of the 20th century is one of the most visually and musically interesting, whether you like it or not.





Growing out of the dark and dreary Seattle music scene and into one of the most iconic musicians of Generation X, practically everyone knows the name Kurt Cobain and what he did for the new genre of alternative rock, "Grunge" with his group Nirvana. Try encapsualting all of Cobain's angsty, rocker image while singing the mainstream hits that made him famous like Smells like teen spirit and Come as you are.



Mariah Carey



On the other side of the nineties music spectrum was the rise of pop and R&B artists like the undisputably divalicous Mariah Carey, who say immediate success with her first five singles topping the charts in the early nineties, making Carey the only artist to ever accomplish such a feat. The sultry singer has a voice and innocent sexiness that is hard to imitate, but why not give it a try on her first major single Vision of love or Emotions from her same titled second album.





Rounding out the nineties music scene, along side all that grunge and pop, there was the growth of hip hop, including the start of some its biggest rivalries, its most influential artists and of course, the nineties legacies that have lived on, such as the estimable Tupack Shakur, aka 2pac. Considered one of the most influential rappers of all time and certainly one of the highest selling musicians in the world, even artists like 50 Cent agree, "Every rapper who grew up in the Nineties owes something to Tupac."



Boys II Men


I almost forgot the fourth major thing that happened in the 90s music scene, the surge of girl and boy bands. Not just pop, not just R&B, but every genre in between. And on top of the heap of R&B boy bands, the four handsome faces behind Boys II Men. Known for each of their unique voices, see if you can get a group of your smoothest singing friends together and try Boys II Men's first major hit, End of the road.






The girls that topped Boys II Men for the number one R&B group, or just plain greatest musical trios of all time (according to Billboard magazine, were the lovely ladies of TLC. With creative costuming and brilliant music videos, these girls would be fun to dress up as. Why not try Ain't 2 proud 2 beg or No scrubs.



Backstreet Boys and N'Sync


If you were a teen girl in the nineties, or the parent of one, chances are you know all the words to these two boy bands deliciously poppy hits. Now, the hard part was choosing your favorite group of overly stylized, gell haired boys: the take them home to mamma Backstreet boys, or the group that seemed like they'd rather take you for a spin on the motorcycle (maybe just a moped), N'Sync.



Courtney Love


The nineties leading lady of grunge Courtney Love got all the media attention she could, with her combat boots and slip dresses, her rise and fall in and out of rehab, her relationship with Kurt Cobain, and most importantly, her hard and deliberately shocking musical style.



Spice Girls



Though 80s musical icons can be easily mocked for the style and lyrics choice many a time, the 90s certainly had its gems when it came to the same. Take for instance, the world famous Spice Girls, with their Girl Power themed songs that spurred Spicemania and their whacky outfits fitting each of their five personas. But weather you loved them or hated them (I loved them), they are certainly one of the most recognizable musical groups of the nineties, with hits like Wannabe and Who do you think you are?



Puff Daddy


Before he was P. Diddy, or Puffy, Sean Combs was known as plain old Puff Daddy. As a music mogul and with a more than succesful fashion line, as well as the infamous Bad Boy records, Puff Daddy is one of those hip hop artists that nothing and noone can stop, which he illustrated early on in his career with his nineties single, Can't nobody hold me down.



Alanis Morissette



While Alanis Morissette has a unique, indie look and interesting voice to mimic, I'd recommend not trying to imitate her infamous music video for her late nineties hit Thank U in which she parades around naked. Instead try some of her earlier work, filled to the brim with sentimental and sometimes scathing lyrics, such as You oughta know and You learn.



Celine Dion



Everyone knows Celine Dion. Everybody loves Celine Dion. And although she got her start on the road to world wide diva domination in the 80s, her breakthrough really came in the early 90s with her first sweeping, classically influenced ballads, the theme to Disney's film of the same name, Beauty and the beast. But you may want to channel the Celine that came after her US success. Put on a cream colored suit, slap yourself in the chest a few times and try singing the world conquering All by myself (Bridget Jones anyone?) or It's all coming back to me now (Meatloaf anyone?) or even Because you loved me.



Pearl Jam


I already mentioned the group considered the spearhead of grunge, but perhaps your tastes lean more towards their nineties rival Pearl Jam (mine do), led by a man with one of the most distinguishable voices in alternative music, Eddie Vedder. Though their look is as easy as Nirvana to imitate (grungy, dark colored clothes and greasy hair), Pearl Jam's hits like Even flow and Jeremy have nuances that may be a little harder to channel.



These are just a handful of some of the amazing musical icons that came out of the nineties. Who are your favorites? Share in the forum and don't forget to enter in October's Halloween Iconic Karaoke Contest for your chance to win a free Mp3 pack from the Red Karaoke Store.

Icons: The face and voices of the 80s

When you think of the 80's, there are certain things that come to mind. Whether it's Bad hair, crazy fashion or those incredible musicians that seem to epitomize that decade. With our Iconic Karaoke Contest going on during the month of October, we thought we'd do a special three part series on some of our favorite musical icons from the 80's, 90's and those stars that are becoming icons right now.



So take a seat on our trip down memory lane as we start with a look at some of the most iconic singers of the 80's.






Starting off our list of 80's icons are those "Bad Boys from Boston", Aerosmith, led by the instantly recognizable, whether it's for his melodic scream or the lips that scream comes from, Steven Tyler. Though Aerosmith got their start in the seventies and some of their biggest hits didn't come around until the nineties, the eighties held some infamous stories for the group, as well as some classic hits like Dude looks like a lady and Janie's got a gun.



Billy Idol


From the bleached blonde hair to the leather and spikes, Billy Idol was catapulted to true "Idol" status during the baby steps of MTV and did wonders for the pretty boys of punk rock. Why not try mimicking Billy Idol's iconic hits White wedding or Dancing with myself and see if your version can stand up to the song that made Billy a household name.





New wave never had a leading lady as fabulous as Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry, and never was there as great an icon to mimick if you're a fan of the origins of synthpop. Go grab your bleached blonde wig and give the karaoke staple Heart of glass or Blondie's biggest hit Call me a try.



Boy George



Definitely an unforgettable face, Boy George's unique, androgynous look started his rise to icon status and helped make the music of Culture Club super popular in the early eighties with hits like Do you really want to hurt me and Karma Chameleon before moving on to his own succesful solo career in the UK.



Bruce Springsteen


Though he may be on the more conservative side of our icon list with his heartland rock, there is no denying that Bruce Springsteen, whose breakthrough album Born to run carried him into the 80's and rock history. "The Boss" knew how to relate to the struggle of American life as well as make a strong political statement with songs like Born in the USA.



David Bowie


David Bowie was born to be an icon, exploding on to the scene in the sixties but really expoloded into megastar status in the 80s with his hit single Ashes to Ashes and his work with another eighties icon Queen for their mutual hit Under pressure. With his flamboyant glam rock appearance and his incredible voice, Bowie is no easy star to imitate, but his hits China girl or Let's dance are certainly worth a try.



Cyndi Lauper



Before there was Lady Gaga, there was Madonna, but before there was Madonna, there was Cyndi Lauper bouncing around in her bubblegum punk image and co-authoring teenage anthems like Girls just wanna have fun. Channel one of the original eighties pop princesses with some spiky hair and poofy skirts and try singing Lauper's Time after time.





With the championing efforts of our earlier icon David Bowie, Devo was able to see their unique music efforts reach commercial fame in the early eighties. And while the group is no Queen, nobody can forget the iconic red plastic hats that accompanied their major eighties hit Whip it.



Duran Duran


One of the biggest bands of the eighties, Duran duran had a killer sound to match their look as "the prettiest boys in rock". From beginning to end, the boys of Duran duran had incredible hits throught the decadantly pop filled eighites such as Careless Memories and Hungry like the wolf.



George Michael


Another stunner on our eighties icon lists is the handsome George Michael, who became controversial after his hit I want your sex and well known for his blue jeans, white t-shirt and infamous leather jacket appearance in the video for Faith. The jacket even went on to make an appearance in his remake of Freedom, though it was featured on a different kind of sex symbol – the leading supermodels of the time including Cindy Crawford.



Janet Jackson



While the first Jackson that always comes to mind may be the King of Pop, Janet held her own in the shadow of her big brother's spotlight. Miss Jackson got her solo start in the early eighties and by the end of the decade had a handful of billboard cart toppers under her belt, including What have you done for me lately and Nasty boys.



Joan Jett


Everybody loves a Rock N Roll girl, and tough as nails Joan Jett, best known for her stint with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, loves her some rock n' roll. With her hard rock persona and status as the "Godmother of punk", who wouldn't want to put on some black threads, eyeliner and imitate the original riot girl's hits like Do you wanna hurt me and I hate myself for loving you.



Lionel Richie


Whether you recognize him from the Comodores, Motown or his solo career, Lionel Richie's face is a star whose face we all have seen, but back in the 80's it was just him, that distinctive curly due, the red leather jacket and the music. Singing hits like Truly, Hello and All night long are a fun way to pay tribute to this 80's icon.



MC Hammer



An innovator of hip hop, MC Hammer was the first rap artist to receive diamond status on an album, before it was cool to be a rapper. It all started in the eighties with that flashy wardrobe and the hits U can't touch this, Pump it up, and Let's get it started.



Those are some of our favorite icons from the eighties, but we certainly left out a few. Share your favorite eighties icon in the forum and make sure to enter into this year's Halloween Iconic Karaoke Contest.

RK Celebrates Breast Cancer Survivors

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we thought we'd take this opportunity to honor five of our favorite Breast Cancer Survivors, who also happen to be beautiful and talented musicians who have shown strength and courage and help to spread breast cancer awareness.



First on our list is the incredible Melissa Etheridge who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. At the 2005 Grammy awards show, in which she was nominated for her song Breathe, Etheridge, despite being bald from chemotherapy treatment at the time, took the stage and performed a moving and memorable tribute to Janis Joplin with Piece of my heart. Etheridge was commended for the performance and was honored by fellow musician India Arie through her song I am not my hair.


Later that year, Etheridge appeared on the Tonight Show  to perform her song I Run for Life, which references her own fight with breast cancer and her determination to overcome it, and seeks to encourage other breast cancer survivors and their families. Etheridge will also be featured in UniGlobe Entertainment's breast cancer documentary and drama titled 1 A Minute.



Another celebrity survivor featured in 1 A Minute and second on our list is Olivia Newton John. Newton John was primed for a comeback in 1992 with Back To Basics and planned her first tour in ten years. But shortly after the album's release, Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer, forcing her to cancel all publicity for the album, including the tour.


After Newton John's recovery, not only did she become more active as a songwriter, making more personal music, she also has become a tireless advocate for breast cancer research and other health issues. Newton John has been a spokesperson for the Liv-Kit, a breast self-examination product, she founded the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia and she is co-owner of the Gaia Retreat and Spa in Byron Bay, Australia.



Our third featured breast cancer survivor is also from the down under, the beautiful Kylie Minogue. Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2005, leading to the postponement of the remainder of her Showgirl Tour and her withdrawal from the Glastonbury Festival. In July of 2005, she made her first public appearance after surgery for her cancer, when she visited a children's cancer ward at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital.


Minogue returned to France where she completed her chemotherapy treatment at the Institut Gustave-Roussy. On her return to Australia for her concert tour, she discussed her illness, and said that her chemotherapy treatment had been like "experiencing a nuclear bomb". Minogue was acknowledged for the impact she had made by publicly discussing her cancer diagnosis and treatment when in May 2008, the French Cultural Minister Christine Albanel said, "Doctors now even go as far as saying there is a 'Kylie effect' that encourages young women to have regular checks."



The next inspiring story on our list is that of euro pop star Anastacia. In January if 2003, Anastacia decided to have her breasts reduced because of back strain which led to her discovery of breast cancer. She immediately started and successfully completed surgery and radiotherapy.


Anastacia decided afterwards to establish the Anastacia Fund to promote awareness of breast cancer among younger women. She has attributed her health scare to being an inspiration for the sound and content of her third album, which she named after herself. It's fourth single Heavy on My Heart was one of her biggest and proceeds from the sale of it went towards her Anastacia Fund.



And last but certainly not least on our list is the fun loving, gorgeous singer Sheryl Crow. Crow was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in February of 2006. The singer appeared on Larry King Live to talk about her experience as a breast cancer survivor. A couple of years later, Crow wrote a foreword for the book Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips, based on the film Crazy Sexy Cancer.



These are just a few inspiring breast cancer survivor stories, but we know their a heroes all around us. Tell us who your hero is in the forum and remember to think about the importance of Breast Cancer Awareness, no matter who you are.

Top Ten Musicals We Love to Sing Along With

While we can't all enjoy three weeks of new and exciting musical theatre at New York City's Musical Theatre Festival, we can enjoy singing along to our favorite classic musicals we know and love. Join us as we take a look at our top ten musicals and the songs we can sing over and over again.



Fiddler on the roof



I don't know if it's the theme of Tradition and loyalty to your roots, or the fact that Tevye reminds me of my own father, but Fiddler on the roof is one of those musicals that has a great story about a family with struggles we couldn't even imagine, layered on top of the simple and eternal boy meets girl, girl leaves father struggle.



My fair lady



My fair lady is the heart warming story of an egotistical aristocrat that takes in a humble street worker and turns her into a lady, meanwhile falling in love, though in the movie he oh so stubbornly won't admit it. It's Cinderella made into musical numbers that we loved as kids like I could've danced all night, and it's such a good story it's been remade a dozen times (Pretty woman, She's all that, etc.).






I'm just going to admit it right now. I've never seen Cabaret. I know in my heart it's a shame, because even though I've never seen a single performance of this show, I absolutely adore every song from it, whether it's If you could see her or Tomorrow belongs to me or any other song peppering it's soundtrack.






On the younger and hipper side of musicals there are movies like Rent, a novelty of a rock opera in its day that expressed all the energy and anguish that the young artists of bohemian New York City experienced, with amazing songs that matched the pulsating energy of the story.






Hairspray is another hat off to the younger side of musicals, this time taking on the problem of racial segregation and other issues of superficiality and appearances, with a protagonist who doesn't fit inside the mold of the perfect American girl. It's one of those high energy musicals that will get your out of your seat singing and dancing along.



West side story



Who wouldn't love the story of Romeo and Juliet set in New York City with dancing gangs and to the words of some of the most memorable musical songs like I feel pretty instead of Shakespeare? Arthur Laurents, the writer of West Side Story knew a winning combination for a musical when he saw it.



Mamma mia!



You may try to argue with me about this one, but Mamma Mia! is one of the most pleasurable experiences to watch and sing along with. It's the sweetest story of a mother and daughter, young and old love. It's like Fiddler on the roof dressed in pink. And who doesn't love singing along to two hours of Abba hits?



Singin' in the rain



Singin' in the rain is one of those iconic musical movies, featuring one of those iconic musical stars, and a song that you will never forget. I don't know a single person who hasn't at least thought of jumping on a light pole and swinging around it in the rain while belting out the lyrics to Singin in the rain.






For every musician out there that is a story of their struggle for fame. Chicago is the musical that they relate to as they watch two very different women who just wanted a little fame, go to prison, only to become even more famous. What am I talking about? Chicago is just one more fun musical to sing along with, whether it's the broadway version or the movie reamake.






And last but not least, a musical we all know every scene and lyric by heart, the infamous Grease and all it's leather catsuit and gelled up hair glory is certainly one of the best musicals to sing along with as you pretend you are part of the T-Birds or the Pink Ladies.



These are just ten of our favorite musicals to sing along with, but there are so many more to choose from! Check out all the Broadway and Musical karaokes we have to offer, and tell us your favorites in the forum.

Halloween 2010: Iconic Karaoke Contest

October, one of the most fun months of the year has arrived, and this year's Red Karaoke Halloween contest will be better than ever! Are you ready to put your costuming and singing skills to the test? Read on to learn about one of the best RK contests of the year and how you could win a free Mp3 pack from the Red Karaoke Store!



About the Iconic Karaoke Contest


The Iconic Karaoke Contest will be a test of Red Karaoke user's singing abilities and video creativity. We invite you to get as creative as possible and mimic your favorite iconic singer in the Halloween spirit, making a video that instantly makes us think of the iconic singer you have chosen.



How to join the Iconic Karaoke Contest


To join in this year's Halloween contest you will need to be extra creative and put in a lot of effort, but the prize will be well worth it!


Choose your favorite distinctive, iconic singer and a recognizable song by them. It should be somebody like Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, or whoever you like, as long as they have a look and song that is instantly recognizable.



Next, make a video of yourself singing your choice of icon's song. Make the video as creative as possible. Mimic what your iconic singer wears or looks like. Mimic their voice or accent if they have one. If you want, you could even recreate a music video of one of the singer's iconic hits.


You have to record or upload a VIDEO through Red Karaoke in order to compete. We need to see you at least dressed up as your icon. If you do not create a video, you will not be considered for the prize.


Post a link to your videos in the Iconic Karaoke Contest thread in the Contests and Competitions forum. Only videos that are linked through this thread will be considered submissions.



Judging of the Iconic Karaoke Contest


You may submit videos until Midnight, Pacific time, of October 30th.


Judging will take place on October 31st by a panel of judges.


Judges will choose three winners based on these criteria: icon and song choice, costume and video creativity, singing ability, quality of sound and video, etc. Please try to make sure your voice is audible above the music.



Prizes of the Iconic Karaoke Contest


The winners for the Iconic Karaoke Contest will be announced on November 1st.


There will be a third, second and first place winner for the Iconic Karaoke Contest.


Third and second place winners will be featured in the Red Karaoke blog and the official Red Karaoke facebook page.


The first place winner will be featured in the Red Karaoke blog, the official Red Karaoke facebook page, the newsletter and the first place winner will receive a special pack of Mp3s from the Red Karaoke Store for free!



This is a great opportunity for everyone to get into the Halloween spirit, dress like their favorite iconic singer and create a truly unique video to share on Red Karaoke. There are plenty of great ideas out on the web, just take a look at some of these youtube videos!




Halloween is just around the corner, so get started on your own Iconic Karaoke Contest entry! And remember, if you have any questions, you can ask us in the forum!