Halftime Havoc: The best Super Bowl halftime shows EVAR!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers set to headline this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show, we thought we’d take a little time to countdown some our favorite halftime performances and moments from past Super Bowls. So take a break from the party prep (the chili-cheese dip can wait) and check out our fav-5!

#5 Janet and Justin: “Wardrobe malfunction” (NSFW) It’s been 10 years since the infamous “Nipplegate” incident at Super Bowl XXXVIII (38), but Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson will never live it down… mostly because we won’t let them. The controversial ending moment may have stolen the spotlight (and pretty much all of the media’s attention), but it’s a shame that it had to detract from what was otherwise a great halftime performance.

#4 Beyoncé: It’s DestinyThe best concerts aren’t limited to glitz, glamour, and special effects, although Beyoncé‘s outstanding halftime performance at Super Bowl XLVII (47) certainly had all that. What really sets a performance apart is the performer him/herself. In today’s music industry Beyoncé is beyond compare in this category and she proved it with last year’s performance. But that wasn’t all! Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the audience was treated to a surprise Destiny’s Child reunion as former band mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams exploded onto stage and joined Queen Bey for a few unforgettable moments. Amazing.

#3 U2: We will never forget — Music, as an artform, is all about emotion. And nothing brings out more emotion in us Americans than remembering the tragic events of 9/11. Just months after that horrific day U2 kicked off the Super Bowl XXXVI (36) halftime show with their song “Beautiful Day,” but it was their stirring tribute to those lost on 9/11 that will always be remembered. The band performed their classic hit  “Where The Streets Have No Name” as a running list of victim’s names filled the background and brought tears to the eyes of many of us watching at home.

#2 Prince: The artist STILL known as awesome — Only three years after Janet’s infamous wardrobe “malfunction,” tensions were still running high regarding live television performances, so choosing an artist  well-known for his highly sensual music videos and live performances to headline the halftime show at Super Bowl XLI (41) seemed like a risky choice. True to form, however, Prince used the opportunity to prove why he is one of the most legendary performers in music history and once again solidified his status as the “Prince of Rock.” Watch the full performance here!

#1 Michael Jackson: The “King of Pop” is the king of halftime — No auto-tune, no surprize guest appearances, no fancy monitor effects. There is one thing that made Michael Jackson #1 at everything he did; pure talent. Say what you will about his controversial personal life and legal issues, there is no one who rivaled the King of Pop when it came to live musical performances. Jackson’s iconic performance at the Super Bowl XXVII (27) halftime show in 1993 (even if it was lip-synced) proved this even further as it marked the first time in history that Super Bowl viewership increased during halftime.

What was your favorite Super Bowl halftime performance? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to check out Karaoke Cloud and Sing-N-Share (like us on Facebook!) so that you can sing along to hits from several of the artists listed above and many, many more. You may now resume your party preparations.

“King James” and Miami Heat Set Karaoke Charity Event Ablaze!

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Monday night (Jan. 27) LeBron James led the charge at Shane Battier’s 3rd annual karaoke charity event, “Battioke.” LeBron, along with other Miami Heat players and celebrities, successfully helped raise money and awareness for the Battier Take Charge Foundation, an organization which helps support education for underprivileged youth and teens.

The event included several big names and big performances, such as this… um, “attempt” at Tom Jones‘ “It’s Not Unusual” by Chris Bosh. He even provides his own version of the “Carlton Dance!”

Athletes weren’t the only ones taking part in the festivities! Miami Heat team president Pat Riley joined forces with the legendary Jimmy Buffett to perform a duet of “I Heard It Through The Grape Vine” as made famous by Marvin Gaye… or the California Raisins, depending on your generation. Fair warning; the following performance makes Chris Bosh sound like a Grammy winner. 🙂

In their defense, this probably sounds a lot better if you’re listening to it in “Margaritaville.”

All jokes and jabs aside, we love to see people having fun with karaoke, especially when that fun helps to raise money for a great cause. The best part is you don’t have to be a celebrity or professional athlete to do it. Just about anyone can karaoke! You can host your own karaoke benefit party and support local causes in your own community. Karaoke Cloud can help with its extensive catalog of over 12,000 songs, and with our free Sing-N-Share app you can spread the love anywhere!

 

“Turn, Turn, Turn.” A fond farewell to Pete Seeger

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Photo courtesy of ABC News

Legendary folk-music singer and political activist Pete Seeger passed away last night at the age of 94. Seeger’s grandson, Kitama Cahill-Jackson, said that his grandfather died peacefully in his sleep at around 9:30 p.m. Monday night at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Born in 1919 to classical musicians, Seeger became a regular on nationwide radio in the 1940s. He also had a run of hit records in the 1950s as a member of the folk band The Weavers.

Seeger is also well known as a songwriter, having written or co-written such influential songs as “Where Have All The Flowers Gone,” made famous by both The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary, and “Turn, Turn, Turn,” which Seeger adapted from the Biblical Book of Ecclesiastes. The song became a number 1 hit for American rock band The Byrds in the mid-1960s.

Seeger’s career was not without controversy. He was a well known political activist and, along with other members of The Weavers, he was “blacklisted” during the McCarthy Era due to his anti-war sentiments. Much of his musical career was dedicated to “protest music” in support of such issues as civil rights, international disarmament, and environmentalism. Seeger is credited with popularizing the spiritual classic “We Shall Overcome,” which became the anthem of the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

In 2009 a concert was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City in honor of Seeger’s 90th birthday. The list of performers and attendees — Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, and Emmylou Harris, just to name a few — made it abundantly clear just how influential the legendary musician truly was. He will be greatly missed.

The 2014 Grammy Awards: Big winners and big moments.

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“Music’s biggest night” always leaves us talking the next day, and the 56th Annual Grammy Awards were no exception! Star-studded and packed with big moments (which, of course, have already gone viral), it was a tour de force of conversation starters. Here were some of our favorites.

Punking the Competition: The French electronic/dance artists, Daft Punk, “Get Lucky” and steal the show with 4 big wins, including Album of the Year (“Random Access Memories“), Record of the Year (“Get Lucky”), Pop/Duo Group Performance of the Year (“Get Lucky”), and Dance/Electronica Album of the Year (“Random Access Memories”).

Ringo and Paul, Together Again: It may not have quite been a Beatles reunion tour, but anytime Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney get together it’s an opportunity for music lovers to rejoice. Sunday night these two legends reunited and gave the crowd something to cheer for.

4 More for Macklemore: After kicking off 2014 by winning the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Hip-Hop Artist, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis extend their winning streak by taking home 4 Grammys; Rap Performance of the Year, Rap Song of the Year (both for “Thrift Shop”), Rap Album of the Year (“The Heist“), and New Artist of the Year.

The First Couple of Music Kick Things Off With a Steamy Performance: Fresh off being named the most powerful people in the music industry (check out our post on Billboard’s Power 100), Jay Z and Beyoncé heat things up with their lead-off performance of “Drunk In Love.”

From the Super Bowl of Music to the Actual Super Bowl? Winning! Primed to entertain the masses at the Super Bowl XLVIII half-time show, Bruno Mars warms up at the Grammys by taking home the coveted Pop Vocal Album of the Year award for his second studio album “Unorthodox Jukebox.” Don’t ever change, Bruno! We love you “Just The Way You Are.”

What were your favorite moments from this year’s Grammy Awards? Let us know in the comments below. Afterwards, be sure to check out all of the Karaoke Cloud powered apps and products (KaraokeOnVEVO, Sing-N-Share, etc.) where you can give your own performances of today’s hottest songs from many of today’s biggest artists!

Jay Z and Beyonce: Masters of the (Music) Universe!

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Jay Z and Beyonce top Billboard’s Power 100 List – Illustration By Sean McCabe (photo: Win McNamee/AFP/Getty Images)

Billboard has just released it’s Power 100 list revealing the most powerful individuals currently in the music industry, and, to many, it’s no surprize who’s topping that list. Since their marriage in 2008, Jay Z and Beyoncé have been one of the hottest power couples in the entertainment world, but their meteoric rise to the top has secured the pair a spot normally occupied by label executives and CEOs.

Beyoncé and Jay Z are the only performing artists found on the entire list, to say nothing of the top 10. According to Billboard columnist Andrew Hampp, the reason the dynamic duo trumped the competition is that by “Leveraging their star power to release new albums in unprecedented ways—Jay Z through Samsung and Beyoncé through iTunes—they instantly changed how the industry and fans thought about interacting with music.”

There is no doubt that the music industry in general has been changing drastically over the last decade. From the way consumers purchase their music to the innovative ways in which artists and producers are releasing new tracks and albums, the old marketing model is fading away. Artists like Jay Z and Beyoncé are at the forefront of that change and, in my opinion, their spot at the top of the Billboard Power 100 list is well deserved.

You can sing along with several hits from both Beyoncé and Jay Z on our KaraokeOnVEVO channel or with our free Sing-N-Share app, available now for all Android and Apple devices.

Rave Reviews Continue For Sing-N-Share!

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They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. I’m not 100% sure I agree with that, but I do know that good publicity is always good! And that’s what Sing-N-Share continues to rake in as more and more bloggers and tech-reviewers weigh in on our new mobile karaoke app.

This latest positive review comes from Faryaal Khan of ilovefreesoftware.com. Mr. Khan gives a glowing review of the app in which he presses home how easy and convenient it is to use in addition to its entertainment value. “The main page of the app has many categories of songs, like: Pop, Country, R&B, Rock. Each category has hundreds of hit songs that you can sing along with this app. You can easily search your favorite song using the alphabetical filter.”

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Faryaal goes on to itemize each of the outstanding features of Sing-N-Share, such as “attractive user interface with soft colors, easy to access features, login using Facebook or Twitter accounts,” and, “more than 12,000 songs available.”

While Mr. Khan was thorough in his review, the only thing I can see that was omitted is the fact that Sing-N-Share is available in both Google Play (Android) and the Apple App Store (iOS). “Khhhhaaaaann!!” *in my best William Shatner voice*

Sorry… I couldn’t resist!

We are more than willing to forgive such an oversight, however, when a reviewer ends a piece like so: “Sing-N-Share is a fun app for Android. I feel so lucky to have found this app. All my friends are gonna have a blast in our next party, singing songs with this karaoke app. I absolutely love this app. Try it yourself, it will surely cheer up your mood.”

But don’t just take his word for it! Download Sing-N-Share now at singnshare.com and see for yourself how easy it is to share the fun.

Sweet Home Alabama: Karaoke with Kiffin

Lane+Kiffin+USC+v+Arizona+State+HrgD3SLQCaul-660x375Former USC head coach and new University of Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is no stranger to having a microphone in front of him. Still, this might have been just a little different than facing the media after a big game. In an act of southern hospitality, and likely a bit of hazing, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban welcomed the newest addition to his staff with a bit of coerced karaoke.

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According to Sportingnews.com, Nick Saban hosted members of his coaching staff and new recruits, along with their parents, at his house for a little meet-and-greet and some downtime that included a bit of karaoke.

Donetris Scarbrough, mother of Crimson Tide commitment Bo Scarbrough, told BamaOnline.com, “I think if you’re new there, you have to do karaoke. It’s kind of the theme with the new coaches. Everyone has to do a karaoke night.”

You would think that after years in the media spotlight Kiffin would be comfortable on the mic in a small, comfortable, family-like environment. Then again, maybe not. “It was his turn and he kept on hiding,” Ms. Scarbrough continued. “He told me, ‘I think I’ll go ahead and do it, if you sing with me.’ He told me it would make it easier and be fun. We tried to figure out what song we would do first. He said ‘come on up here and do it with me, I don’t want to do it by myself.’ “ Kiffin’s final song of choice? Why, Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s classic “Sweet Home Alabama,” of course.

On a personal note, being a fan of both college football and impromptu karaoke performances, I love this story! As a University of Tennessee fan, however, I can’t help but wish that the hazing period for Kiffin would have also included some form of acid or a fully-stocked shark tank. Oh, well. To each their own.