Jay Z For President! New chart shows that rap & hip-hop rule the nation.

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Everyone has a favorite artist or band. Want to know how your choice stacks up nationally? Well, here you go. Paul Lamere of the Huffington Post has released a map showing the most popular artists in the US, state-by-state.

After looking at the map for no more than 2 seconds one thing is easily apparent; rap rules the nation. Rock and roll has taken a backseat to rap and hip-hop as artists like Jay Z and Drake lead the musical coup d’état.

This was a landslide by any definition of the term! Rap/hip-hop decimated all other genres by taking forty-four of the fifty states. Jay Z, voted one of the two most powerful people in the music industry by Billboard, proved his staying power by taking a whopping 22 states all by himself. Other popular hip-hop artists were Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (11 states), Drake (8 states), and Eminem (3 states).

It wasn’t a total no-hitter for rap, however, as the Grammy Award winning dance/electronic duo Daft Punk took four states. Fellow Grammy winners Lorde and Imagine Dragons each eked out spots taking a state a piece.

So what do you think? Is this chart accurate? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out KaraokeOnVEVO and Sing-N-Share for more of your favorite artists.

 

The “Friend Zone:” Hall of Famer David Byrne covers Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend.”

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Many say that trying new things is what keeps us young. If that’s the case then former Talking Heads founding member David Byrne must still be in his 20’s! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member spent Tuesday evening (February 25) covering Biz Markie‘s 1989 hit “Just A Friend” in a karaoke-esque performance for an “Artist’s Pay For Radio Play” benefit in New York City.

This certainly isn’t the first time the New Wave pioneer has covered songs from other artists. Byrne has performed songs from the likes of Whitney Houston, Beyonce, and even Missy Elliott. One of my personal favorites was his 2011 duet performance of “You Can Call Me Al” with Paul Simon himself. As an 80’s fan I definitely geeked out on this one.

So here’s the thing. If a rock and roll visionary and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who has won Oscars, Grammys, and Golden Globes can try new things, why can’t you? Check out KaraokeOnVEVO and Sing-N-Share now to perform your own covers of your favorite songs. Or heck, do something really new and learn how to play guitar with our easy-to-follow Play a Tab program. The sky’s the limit and the only one holding you back… is you!

Wooing The World With Karaoke: “Soft power diplomacy, baby!”

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Let’s face it, politics and fun tend to go together about as well as alligators and puppies; they just don’t mix well. US Ambassador Kirk Wagner is trying desperately to change that through “Soft power” in his post as ambassador to Singapore, and he thinks Karaoke may be the key!

Soft power” is a term coined by American political scientist Joseph Nye to describe the extension of US influence through the lure of American culture, values, or policies as opposed to hard-line diplomatic tactics or even force. Ambassador Wagner’s version of this approach incorporates some downtime with karaoke, which has certainly become a part of our American culture.

US Ambassador Kirk Wagner (right) enjoying some "soft power" downtime

US Ambassador Kirk Wagner (right) enjoying some “soft power” downtime: photo courtesy of the Washington Post

“Soft power diplomacy, baby!” Wagner posted on his Facebook page according to the Washington Post. He also apparently uploaded a picture of himself on stage with mic in-hand doing karaoke in a Singapore night club, though I have yet to find said pic.

“Learned something new today,” Wagner’s status update read. “Singapore had never seen an Ambassador from the United States do karaoke. I have rectified that situation. I hope it’s a good thing …”

We all do, sir. We all do. 🙂

Harold Ramis: Saying goodbye to a legend

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Fans and movie-goers across the world (myself included) are mourning the death of Hollywood legend Harold Ramis. The comedic actor, director, and screenwriter passed away in his Chicago-based home Monday (Feb. 24) due to complications stemming from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a complicated disease which attacks the blood vessels. Ramis was 69 years old.

Ramis’ career was legendary, spanning more than 40 years. Even members of the younger generation who may not be very familiar with his name are bound to know several of the iconic movies which bear his signature. In memoriam of one of the greatest writers/directors of this or any generation, we proudly present a list of some of the best Harold Ramis films, which also just happen to be some of the most popular comedies of all time.

Ghostbusters (1984) — Written by Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd, this New York based supernatural comedy is a mainstay of American pop-culture. The movie stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson as a quartet of wannabe paranormal investigators who become heroes by saving the city (and the world) from the demonic Gozer. They also happen to roast a 100-ft. tall Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Caddyshack (1980) — Ramis directed and co-wrote this perfect example of comic genius. Starring Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Michael O’Keefe and Rodney Dangerfield, Caddyshack follows the exploits of the rich and eccentric members of a prestigious country club along with those of its much-less-well-off, but no less “interesting” employees. Come on, who doesn’t love a movie with a trouble-making dancing gopher?

Stripes (1981)  Yet another comedy classic for which Ramis has both an acting and writing credit. Ramis and Bill Murray star as two down-on-their-luck best friends who decide to be all they can be by joining the US Army… and it goes about as well as you would expect.

Analyze This (1999) — Harold Ramis directed and co-wrote this gem of a film which mixes two of my personal favorite genres, comedies and gangster movies. Robert De Nero and Billy Crystal are absolutely perfect together in this telling a mafia boss (De Nero) who “consults” a psychiatrist (Crystal) in order to deal with his deep-seeded anxiety issues before a historical meeting of mob families. One of my favorite comedies of all time. Warning: the clip below is NSFW.

National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) — Animal House was Ramis’ big break in the screen-writing aspect of movie industry. Kicking off Hollywood’s “gross-out” genre, Animal House, starring John Belushi, Karen Allen, and Tom Hulce, quickly became the hallmark of hedonistic college movies and a beloved American classic.

Knoxville Unplugged Grand Prize Winner Announced!

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The first of two local music competitions being sponsored by DigiTrax Entertainment has come to a close and the grand prize winner announced. Congratulations to 12 year-old (yes… 12 years old) Sydni Stinnett, winner of the Knoxville Unplugged singing competition organized by Mornings With Fox 43!

Sydni’s final performance was good enough to sway the judges and solidify her spot at #1 in a competition that included several impressively talented musicians/singers. This amazing young lady has earned herself a professional recording session at DigiTrax Entertainment’s state-of-the-art recording studio in south Knoxville, TN.

Congratulations, Sydni! We hope this is the start of something great for you and we’re honored to be a part of it. Thank you to all of the awesome performers who took part in this competition. Keep pushing forward and never give up on your dreams!

American Authors: They’re everywhere!

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Pop, hard rock, rap, or metal; regardless of what type of music you listen to, there’s a very good chance you’ve heard the American Authors. Their song “Best Day Of My Life” seems to be everywhere, and that’s just the way they like it!

In the music industry a lot of people like to throw around the term “selling out” when an artist or band allows their music to be used for promotional or advertising reasons, but the American Authors reject such judgements. In an interview with Radio.com, bassist Dave Rublin stated, “We embrace any platform that picks up the song. It shows that it can transcend what anybody would normally categorize it as.”

“Best Day Of My Life” is not only getting wicked playtime on the radio, but it can be heard as part of the soundtrack for Vince Vaughn‘s new movie Delivery Man, a new promo for the 2014 MLB Fan Cave, and was even used in a Lowe’s commercial which aired during this year’s Super Bowl. The music video for the song has garnered more than 4.2 million views on Youtube and our KaraokeOnVEVO version has seen more than 2,500 hits in just 3 days! Check it out for yourself.

People can talk about “selling out” all they want, but the fact is that the American Authors are selling like crazy and there’s no doubt that these are, indeed, the best days of their lives!

Elton And Kanye, Bonnaroo Buddies!

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Ok, well maybe they’re not “buddies,” per se, but this morning Reuters announced that music industry titans Elton John and Kanye West will both be performing at this year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. They will be joining the likes of Lionel Richie, Arctic Monkeys, Jack White, and Ice Cube along with many other artists and bands scheduled to play at the 4-day party-fest.

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The “Piano Man” has taken top-billing for this year’s Bonnaroo festival, but the question on everybody’s mind has got to be not “if,” but “how” will Kanye attempt to steal the spotlight. Let’s face it, he isn’t exactly known for his laid-back attitude or humility. In 2008 Kanye performed at Bonnaroo, but began his set 8 hours late. The following year he infamously interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards by grabbing a mic and practically worshiping Beyoncé on national TV. Let’s hope this year’s Bonnaroo performance is a step in the right direction for the controversial artist.

Sir Elton, on the other hand, is thought of by many as the epitome of class. In a career that has spanned 5 decades he has sold more than 300 million records and recorded over fifty top-40 hits, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. His honors don’t stop there, however, as in 1998 Elton John became “Sir” Elton John, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his multiple charitable contributions, including the establishment of the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992.

Bonnaroo takes place June 12-15 in Manchester, TN, about 65 miles southeast of Nashville. Approximately 80,000 people (“Roonies”) are expected to attend.

There’s no doubt that it’s going to be a hell of a party, but why wait? You can hold your own “Kararoo” with Karaoke Cloud and Sing-N-Share! Check us out today.