Bruno Mars has been all over the charts this year with a voice that has been featured in songs by artists from Cee Lo to B.O.B. and two brand new hit singles. Join Red Karaoke as we take a look at this young star and his fast paced career.
Born Peter Gene Hernandez to a family of musicians, Bruno Mars was raised around music in his hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii. Mars grew up impersonating the moves and sounds of icons like Michael Jackson and was even featured in the 1992 film Honeymoon in Vegas as a “Little Elvis.”
After toying around with the music scene in his hometown, Mars decided to pursue a career in music under his stage name, derived from the nickname his father called him and adding Mars because, according to him, “I felt like I didn’t have no pizzazz, and a lot of girls say I’m out of this world, so I was like I guess I’m from Mars.”
Mars started out with the big boys by producing for other artists. Still, according to his future manager, Mars had stated that, though his ultimate goal was to be a solo artist, he was willing to write and produce for other artists, both to help improve his songwriting and help him discover the type of artist he ultimately wanted to be.
Mars’ first musical appearance as a singer was in Far East Movement’s second studio album Animal, featured on the track “3D”. After that, Mars lent his vocals to Nothin on you by BOB and the smash hit Billionaire by Travie McCoy. He also co-wrote Right Round by Flo Rida, Wavin flag by Jnaan and the ultra hit Forget you by Cee lo green.
After such huge production successes, its no wonder Mars’ debut album Doo wops & hooligans not only peaked at number three on the Billboard charts in 2010, but was also nominated for seven Grammy awards. With singles like Just the way you are, featured on Glee, and Grenades topping the charts and airwaves, its no doubt that Bruno Mars will see as much success in his solo career as his past productions.
Sing all of Bruno Mars’ hit songs here on Red Karaoke with the mp3 flash player or download your own mp3 instrumentals to take with you anywhere from the Red Karaoke Store.
Today we get to announce the three winners of this years Caroler’s Contest! But before we do, we’d like to give a special thanks to every one who took the time to share some holiday cheer and submit a spirited song for this contest. If you haven’t listened to all of the amazing entries, you should definitely take a stroll over to the forums to hear all these great Christmas and holiday renditions!
Choosing the winners this year was no easy task, but we have three lucky singers who I think we can all agree deserve their special prizes. So without further ado, this year’s winners are…
Third place and the prize of a free mp3 instrumental backing track from the Red Karaoke Store goes to Imanutbar with her heartwarming rendition of the classic Christmas hymn, Oh Holy Night. As one comment described, watching the emotion behind this woman’s beautiful singing will give you goosebumps as you listen to our third place winner.
Second place and two mp3 instrumental tracks of her choice go to the spirited Mizdollee and her fun version of everyone’s favorite cheeky holiday song, Santa Baby. Extra points go to this lovely lady for a fitting santa hat with the words “I’ve been good” and all the swagger Mizdollee showed us with her interpretation.
And finally, in first place this year, and the lucky winner of three mp3s from the Red Karaoke Store, is the awesome Barraba with his unique and talented version of Last Christmas. Besides having a wonderful voice, we especially loved the special touch Barraba put on his holiday recording.
Congratulations to all of our 2010 winners and special, special thanks to each and every singer who entered. Here at Red Karaoke we are wishing you a very happy holiday and hoping you have a wonderful New Year!
This year celebrity karaoke seems to have been at an all time high with actors, models and athletes alike taking to their local stages to belt out their favorite karaoke tunes. Red Karaoke has been keeping tabs on all of these hilarious karaoke videos and now we’ve gather our Top Ten Celebrity Karaoke videos for your viewing pleasure. Check out these celebrity renditions, then sing your own version of these karaoke hits on RK!
Jude Law sings Johnny be good
Who knew the sizzling hot actor Jude Law had a voice to match the face. But when a series of youtube videos surfaced of him singing dozens of karaoke tunes, including Johnny be good, the world discovered just how good Jude could be.
Roger Federer sings Simply the best
Who knows what got into the producers of the Roland Garros this year, but here at Red Karaoke we loved it! Tennis players turned singers were crammed into tiny party rooms to sing only the best of karaoke, including Roger Federer who made us smile with his rendition of Simply the best.
Rafa Nadal sings and dances La bamba
Of course, you can’t mention Federer without mentioning his consistent rival, Rafa Nadal, whose cute version of La Bamba paired with his sweet dancing has us wondering who would be the world’s best tennis turned karaoke singer.
Kelly Clarkson gets down to Ice ice baby
Though she’s hard to recognize, it was fun seeing the dozen or so youtube videos of Kelly Clarkson at a local grind singing karaoke in what seems like the epitome of a classic girl’s night. After hearing Kelly’s renditon of Ice ice baby though, we are glad she is sticking to the pop genre.
After singing in PS I Love you, we knew the sexy Gerard Butler had a solid gold voice, but man he loves to share it. Not only did he karaoke with Demi Moore, Michelle Monaghan and a bunch of fans, he’s also been spotted jamming with the likes of John Mayer.
Elijay wood and RZA make an odd pair
Talk about an odd couple. Whoever thought they’d hear about Elijah Wood and RZA of the Wu Tang Clan getting together to sing I gotta feeling.
Jimmy fallon and Justin Timberlake give us a lesson on hip hop
Jimmy fallon and Justin Timberlake created a viral hit when they got together on Fallon’s show to school just about everyone in Hip Hop 101 with a rap melody that covered all of the greatest hip hop hits in ultimately cool style.
Jewel goes undercover
Youtube was all abuzz about Funny or Die’s Undercover karaoke with Jewel. Even more exciting? It’s spawning a fun show where even more singer’s will go undercover to sing their hits at local karaoke joints.
In the key of “Ewok”
And last but not least, here at RK we loved this EWOK karaoke created by College Humor. Those little Star Wars bears are celebrity karaokers in our eyes.
This week Red Karaoke is featuring a new artist and song in our karaoke catalogue, the moving country hit I Wonder by American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler. Read about the beautiful story behind the song and the strength Pickler had found through her career.
After placing sixth in the popular singing contest American Idol, Kellie Pickler was able to work on her career and release a debut album in 2006, Small town girl, with amazing results. She sold over 79,000 copies in her first week, giving her the highest first week sales of any artist that year, and topping the country charts as well as placing ninth on the Billboard charts.
Though Pickler generally should a bubbly personality, her second single, I wonder, showed a deeper side to the spirited blonde. I wonder, co-written by Pickler, tells the story of a childhood without a mother, missed moments and surviving that kind of heartbreak.
Pickler first debuted the song on The View in a performance that moved her so much, she had to pause while the music kept playing to collect herself. She has been known to cry though many performances and often describes singing as personal therapy and a way to find strength after a turbulent childhood. Following The View performance of I wonder, Pickler’s album subsequently climbed from #83 to #51 on the Billboard Top 200.
Pickler performed I wonder, yet again in a heart wrenching performance through tears, at the 2007 CMA Awards, where she received a standing ovation after she broke down crying at the end of the song. That CMA appearance won “Performance of the Year” deservedly in the 2008 CMT Music Awards.
Nobody loves the holidays quite like we do at Red Karaoke, and this year we've chosen to share ten of our favorite holiday songs to invite you all to join in the holiday spirit. Join us as we take a look at each of these ten great holiday hits that you can sing for free in with Red Karaoke's brand new flash technology.
Here comes Santa Claus
Written by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman, this fun Christmas Carol was inspired by a horse ride in a holiday parade in which the crowd of onlookers cheered the words "Here comes Santa Claus". Autry recorded the song for the first time in 1947 creating a jingling sleigh bell hit that has been recorded by artists like Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby, Willie Nelson and even Ludacris.
Frosty the Snowman
The storybook song about the snowman named Frosty that comes alive was written by Walter "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson, and recorded by Gene Autry after the success of their previous holiday hit, Rudolph the rednose reindeer. Many artists have covered the popular children's song, from classic Christmas musicians like Bing Crosby to modern day artists like Fiona Apple.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Judy Garland introduced the world to this beautiful Christmas Carol in the 1944's musical Meet me in St. Louis, turning it into one of the world's most beloved carols that has been sung by hundreds of artists from Frank Sinatra to pop stars like Christina Aguilera.
Where are you Christmas
Originally written for the Jim Carrey film How the grinch stole Christmas, Where are you Christmas is a slightly longer and unique version co-written by James Horner, Will Jennings and Mariah Carey. The song was originally recorded by Carey, but due to a legal reasons was re-recorded and released by Faith Hill and featured along with the film.
Jingle bell rock
Another popular song recorded by dozens upon dozens of artists, this lively holiday tune was first recorded by Bobby Helms in 1957 and has become one of the highest radio played musical selections during the holiday season with its spirited rockabilly sound.
Oh holy night
Mariah Carey is known for her incredible holiday albums and songs, particulary for her hit All I want for Christmas. But here at Red Karaoke we really love her beautiful renditon of the traditional holiday hymn Oh holy night.
Rockin' around the Christmas tree
Despite it being one of the most popular and high energy songs on most Christmas albums, Rockin' around the Christmas tree actually didn't gain very much popularity after its 1958 release until the boom of popularity its lead singer Brenda Lee received in 1960. Now the hit has been in dozens of holiday movies.
Feliz Navidad was written in 1970 by the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter José Feliciano. With its simple Spanish chorus mirroring the traditional Christmas/New Year greeting, "Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad" or "Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year", and equally simple English verse "I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart", it has become a classic Christmas pop song that is fun and spirited.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
Though you make think of this holiday song on the first snow day of the year, this song was actually written in California on the hottest days of the year in 1945 by Sammy Cahn and July Styne. With its cheery feel, it's no wonder this became a popular song to sing during the holidays.
The Christmas song
Commonly known as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire“ or “Merry Christmas to You”, The Christmas Song is a classic song written in 1944 by vocalist Mel Tormé and Bob Wells. According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer in an effort to “stay cool by thinking cool,” and in turn performed by the legendary Nat King Cole creating one of the most performed holiday songs and our most favorite of Christmas in existence.
Queen got its start in 1968 when virtuoso guitarist Brian May joined with bassist Tim Staffell and drummer Roger Taylor, forming the group Smile, signing a contract with Mercury Records in 1970. Shortly after, Staffell’s fellow art student Farrokh Bulsara, known as Freddie, joined the group as their lead singer. By late 1970, Staffell had left the band to pursue other projects. Led by Bulsara, the rest of the group continued working together, now calling themselves “Queen.”
At this time, the band auditioned several bassists until agreeing on then 19 year old John Deacon in February 1971, and began recording their first album. After several delays, Queen released their first album, Queen, in 1973. The album was influenced by heavy metal and then contemporary progressive rock and received generally favorable critical reviews, featuring lead single “Keep Yourself Alive.” Despite positive reviews, the album failed to gain mainstream attention. By this time, Bulsara had changed his name to his well-known stage name Freddie Mercury, inspired by a line in his own song “My Fairy King,” also featured in the album.
Queen followed this act in 1974 with the release of Queen II, their first album to chart in the UK, peaking at #5. Lead single “Seven Seas of Rhye,” written by Mercury, became their first hit single, reaching #10 in the UK. The album spawned tours in the UK and US, supporting fellow English rockers Mott the Hoople, where Queen gained recognition for their energetic and engaging live performances. Again, album sales were low despite good reviews.
Later in the year Queen would land a big hit with Sheer Heart Attack (1974), recognized as their breakthrough album. Sheer Heart Attack would reach #2 on British Album Charts, and went gold in the US. The album featured a range of musical styles, including British music hall, heavy metal, ballads, ragtime and Caribbean, but generally tended toward more pop, song-oriented arrangements. “Killer Queen” peaked at #2 on British charts, and would become their first US hit, reaching # 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album achieved widespread critical acclaim and commercial success, leading to a world tour in 1975, where Queen performed as headliners for the first time.
Under new manager John Reid (also Elton John’s manager), Queen topped Sheer Heart Attack with A Night at the Opera in late 1975, named after the popular Marx Brother’s movie. The album, considered by many to be Queen’s greatest work, debuted at #1 in the UK and #4 in the US where it went triple-platinum, and is featured as one of Rolling Stones “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
The highlight of the recording was “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which remained at #1 on British Charts for nine weeks, and became Britain’s third best selling single of all time. After a re-release in 1992, “Bohemian Rhapsody” would have a repeat success, and stands as the only single to sell over a million copies twice. In order to promote the song, Queen decided to produce a music video and allowed any willing TV station to air it. This groundbreaking production is credited as being the first “true” music video (i.e. not specifically made for a television show), and paved the way for the now common practice.
In 1976 Queen followed with A Day at the Races, also named for a Marx Brother’s film. Another strong musical effort, the album reached #1 on UK charts and landed hit single “Somebody to Love,” which featured a multi-tracked composition of Mercury, May and Taylor’s voices, simulating the effect of a 100-voice gospel choir. The same year Queen played a famous free live show at Hyde Park in London, with a record of over 150,000 in attendance.
In 1977 Queen released News of the World, which reached #4 in the US and contained stadium rock anthems “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions.” The following year saw the release of Jazz, which landed hits “Fat Bottomed Girls” and “Bicycle Race.” The album was noted to contain many styles of music but conspicuously lacked jazz, with the album title seeming to refer to the general sense of the word rather than the musical genre.
Queen complemented their studio success with their first live album in 1979, Live Killers, which went double-platinum in the US. The same year they also released a dual UK/US #1 single “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” which was their first chart-topping hit in America. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” joined “Another One Bites the Dust,” another #1 single, on the 1980 album The Game, which remained at #1 on US album charts for four weeks. The album was Queen’s first to feature synthesizers, although the multi-layered guitar tracks from previous albums had often been mistaken for synths.
In 1981 the band went on tour in Latin America, becoming the first major rock act to sell out stadiums in the area, and played multiple shows to audiences of 120,000+ people in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
The next year, in a spontaneous collaboration with David Bowie, Queen released single “Under Pressure,” yet another #1 hit in the UK. Later in the year the group would put out a compilation of their best work from 1974-1981, entitled Greatest Hits, which is currently Britain’s Best-Selling Album of all time. Queen released their next studio album Hot Space in 1982, which to the dismay of many hardcore fans diverged from the band’s harder rock roots toward a more funk, disco, pop, and dance influenced style. The album was less popular than previous works, although it did contain hit “Under Pressure.”
While taking a year off from touring in 1983, the band recorded The Works, which produced hit singles “Radio Ga Ga” and “I Want to Break Free,” although failing to achieve commercial success in the States. While touring to support the album, the band added keyboardist Spike Edney to their live shows.
In 1985 headlined the "Rock in Rio" Festival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, where they performed two shows to massive audiences of over 300,000 fans. The show was filmed and released on VHS as Queen Live in Rio. The band followed this act with their legendary performance at the July 1985 Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium, noted as one of the greatest live performances ever.
Queen’s next album, A Kind of Magic, was release in 1986, producing multiple hits including the title track “A Kind of Magic.” The band followed with a sold-out tour, again featuring keyboardist Spike Edney, that was highlighted by yet another brilliant performance at Wembley that resulted in a CD and video release, Queen Live at Wembley Stadium. The tour set a record at the time, as over one million people saw the band play worldwide.
After a couple years of pursuing solo projects, the band regrouped to produce The Miracle in 1989, continuing the band’s pop-rock trends as well as including a few heavier songs. At this point Queen began writing more of their material collectively, still managing to produce hits throughout Europe.
In 1991, despite lead singer Freddie Mercury’s declining health, the band released Innuendo, and then Greatest Hits II, a follow up to their previous best-of compilation. In November of 1991 Mercury publicly announced that he suffered from AIDS and died shortly thereafter due to bronchial pneumonia. Queen honored their fallen member by re-releasing “Bohemian Rhapsody” and donating initial proceeds to the Terrence Higgins Trust, an AIDS awareness foundation. Following this, the band was joined by artists such as Elton John, David Bowie, and Guns N’ Roses for the Freddy Mercury Benefit Concert, which raised more than £20,000,000 for AIDS charities.
Queen’s final album including Mercury’s work was released in 1995, called Made in Heaven, using the band’s final recordings with Mercury before his death in 1991, as well as other previously unreleased material. 1997 saw the final recording that including remaining members May, Taylor and Deacon, in a single called “No One but You (Only the Good Die Young),” which reached #13 in the UK. After Deacon’s retirement, Queen released Greatest Hits III in 1999, which contained many collaborations on Queen hits with a variety of artists.
From 2004 to 2009, May and Taylor joined with singer Paul Rodgers and toured under the name Queen + Paul Rodgers, noting that he was a featured artist and not a replacement for the late Freddie Mercury. As recently as November 2009, May and Taylor have performed together for TV events such as American Idol and The X Factor alongside finalists. May announced that the band does not plan to tour in 2010, but has not ruled it out. Queen’s most recent release in late 2009 was Absolute Greatest, a collection of 20 of the group’s best songs throughout their career.
Just as new to the pop rock music scene as they are to our karaoke catalogue, Red Karaoke has the pleasure of introducing the unique duo Layla Lane and their peppy, similarly titled hit Happy Lane for your reading and singing pleasure.
Made up of two young talents hailing from L.A. who met at a gathering of musicians, Layla Lane combines the classical skills of award winning pianist Valerie Stern with the skillful songwriting skills of Hidehito Ikumo to create their simultaneaously vintage and cutting edge sound.
Though still just stepping into the spotlight, the duo shows promise after their single No more already being featured in the summer film Killers starring Ashton Kutcher and Katheringe Heigl.
Their biggest fan following has formed in Japan, particularly with their latest hit and the newest addition to Red Karaoke Happy Lane sounding in an energetic Coca Cola commercial and becoming a huge hit.
You can sing this young duo’s big hit Happy Lane on Red Karaoke and be ahead of the curve with a group that is on the cusp of success.
For this week’s installment of Discover and Download, Red Karaoke takes a trip to the Down Under for a look at a country duo at the heart of the country music scene in Australia, The Sunny Cowgirls and their hit Summer.
Born and bred Australian sisters Sophie and Celeste Clabburn were raised in Sunninghill, the family farm for generations and the inspiration for this downhome duo’s name. But the Clabburn sisters didn’t just use their home to inspire what they go around calling themselves. According to these sisters, life on the farm, life down under and the people that live there inspire every one of their songs.
Back in 2005, the Clabburn sisters traveled around Australia working hard and performing at small gigs as The Sunny Cowgirls to raise money before approaching the well known producer of Perth Records. Their hard work secured them places as aspiring artists in the CMAA College of Country Music, held before the Tamworth Country Music Festival each year and eventually to a deal with Compass Bros Records.
Since the early success of their first album Little bit rusty, which peaked at number 3 on the ARIA country charts, The Sunny Cowgirls have been at the forefront of the country music scene in Australia hoping to share the warmth and spirit of country life in Australia.
With their 2010 album and their infectious lead single Summer, they manage to, as their site says, “convey all those unique experiences that make the hot months Down Under so memorable”. Summer is sure to be a summer anthem in the US, and for those of us who are lucky enough to hear it stateside, get us dreaming about the long gone summer months here.
If you’re a country singing fan you’ll love taking a stab at this fun and classicly twangy hit Summer by The Sunny Girls available now in the Red Karaoke Store.
With two brand new hit singles and album that is breaking records, sexy R&B singer Usher is at the top of his game, even after being in it for three decades. Join Red Karaoke as we take a look at Usher’s amazing career and his latest additions to our karaoke catalogue.
Dallas born and Chattanooga raised, Usher, a.k.a Raymond got his singing start when he joined his mother and grandmother’s church choir. But even at the tender age of 11, Usher had a voice that stood out and made people take notice, including his family. The packed up and made the move to Atlanta, a city made for new begginings in music, which is exactly what he got. Usher had the fortune of joining group Nu Beginnings and recording more than 10 songs and an album with the group, before pulling out and giving himself a shot at solo stardom.
At 13, Usher made his big break when he was spotted during a Star Search by an agent from LeFace Records which led to a record deal. Working the P Diddy, Usher was able to pull together a very successful debut album that peaked at the 25th spot on the billboard charts and opened up plenty of doors for the young R&B singer with a handsome face.
My Way, Usher’s second album, put him at the top of the charts and on his way to ruling the R&b world. The 90′s albume produced the number one hit Nice and slow and You make me wanna, which one him his first Grammy Award nomination and won him Best Male R&B/Soul Single at the Soul Train Music Award. Usher’s follow up 8701 produced the ground breaking hits U Remind me and U got it bad, helping him to sell over 8 million copies of both albums and making him one of the highest selling R&B artists of the nineties.
In 2004, Usher’s album Confessions was welcomed with the highest first week sales of any R&B artist in history, selling over 20 million copies worlwide and giving Usher four consecutive chart toppers; Yeah, Burn, Confessions Part II and My Boo. Usher’s 2008 album saw over five million in sales and another leading hit Love in this club.
Usher saw a return to his early success with Raymond v Raymond, which gave him his ninth number one single OMG, the first artist of 2010 to collect number one singles in three consecutive decades and the fourth artist of all time to do so. Ushers extended version of Raymond V Raymond also included the hit DJ got us fallin’ in love.
With over 45 million albums sold worldwide, a handful of Grammies, AMAS and Billboard awards as well as a dozen sex symbol titles, Usher is without a doubt one of the most influential and popular R&B men alive. Now you can sing his latest hits including DJ got us fallin’ in love and OMG right here on Red Karaoke in high quality mp3.
December is finally here and it's beginning to look a lot like a Red Karaoke Christmas! This holiday season there are a lot of fun ways to celebrate with all the new changes and features we've had, like the new Flash recording system, the premium services and of course, the Red Karaoke Store! Keep reading for all the fun ways you can join in the holiday cheer!
Sing Christmas Mp3s for Free!
This year Red Karaoke has a special gift for our karaoke family, the gift of song! Check out our Christmas Special and sing any of our ten selected holiday songs for FREE with the new flash recordings system! From Blue Christmas to Winter Wonderland, you can record with the best online karaoke all you want this holiday season and share your recordings as a special holiday greeting!
Give the gift of song!
Want to send a creative seasonal greeting that your family and friends will appreciate? Why not record a holiday song and send some musical merry tidings! You can record a fun holiday video with a message of love and well wishes using any of our hundreds of carols or record a free Flash video and send it through e-mail, facebook, twitter or share the link however else you want!
And for that special someone who can't get enough karaoke in their lives, why not browse through the Red Karaoke Store and find that perfect track for them to sing along with! With thousands of high quality mp3 backing tracks ranging from classics to the latest hits, including your favorite holiday songs, you'll be sure to find something for that special singer in your life.
Share holiday cheer in the forums!
Red Karaoke is a community of wonderful karaoke fans from all walks of life all over the world. Why not share your love for karaoke, along with all of your holiday cheer, in the season forums this year? Join in the Christmas Caroling thread and share your recordings while listening to others or try the Holiday Ho Ho Ho Let's Go thread to share all your holiday traditions and recordings as well. Everyone is in the holiday spirit and waiting for you to join in!
2010 Carolers Contest
This year the 2010 Carolers Contest is offering some really cool prizes to three lucky winners, as well as the chance to join in some great spirited fun! Go to the forum to check out all the info and rules and get your chance to win free mp3s from the Red Karaoke Store and some great publicity for your recordings!