Hailee Steinfeld Honors Troops With ‘Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular’

NUP_178552_0001.jpgHailee Steinfeld’s acting career, which shot off like a rocket thanks to her Oscar nomination for True Grit, is also a successful music artist. Steinfeld puts her pop stylings on display at Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular.

The 41st annual event, which takes place along New York’s East River, also features performances from Jennifer Lopez, Lady Antebellum, Sheryl Crow, Charlie Puth, and Brad Paisley. America Ninja Warrior’s Kristine Leahy, Matt Iseman, and Akbar Gbajabiamila host the celebration.

“Obviously what is the most important to remember is our troops and everything they are doing for us, have done for us and plan to do for us for our freedom and our country, ” said Steinfeld. “It’s because of them that we get to celebrate our independence.”

Click on the media bar below to hear Steinfeld talk about why New York is the perfect place to hold the event.

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular airs July 4 on NBC (8 pm et/pt).

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Keith Urban Sees ‘American Idol’ As Great ‘Performance University’

idol8With last night’s elimination of powerhouse singers Olivia Rox and Gianna Isabella, there’s only eight remaining singers left to take the final American Idol crown. It’s been a solid season thus far, and the remaining contestants’ varying musical influences should ensure a healthy share of unique performances.

“This show has always been about diversity in styles,” said Idol judge Keith Urban. “We’ve certainly got that represented even as of now with Top 8. So it will be interesting to see who doesn’t make it from here.”

Winning American Idol is just an aspect on why this experience is beneficial for singers. Click on the media bar below to hear Keith Urban explain why American Idol is the perfect training ground for these aspiring artists.

What did you think of last night’s eliminations? Did an all too mature song choice (“If I Ain’t Got You”) lead to Gianna Isabella’s exit, and were you surprised that early favorite Olivia Rox was also sent home? Feel free to comment below!

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Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi

Harry Connick Jr. “Thrilled” To Be Part of ‘American Idol’ Final Season

connick88The 15th and final season of American Idol starts Wednesday, January 6 on FOX, and although they say good things must come to an end, it’s hard to see such a television stalwart leave the airwaves. Harry Connick Jr., Keith Urban, and Jennifer Lopez have carved out a distinct chemistry with one another over the seasons, with Connick Jr. serving as the strictest judge of them all. Though his criticism can often be deemed as unsparing, it’s Connick Jr.’s tough love that effectively balances the overall sweetness behind Lopez and Urban’s handling of the contestants.

Whether it’s his lifelong love for jazz or his early comparisons to Frank Sinatra (anyone remember his work on the When Harry Met Sally or The Godfather III soundtracks?), Connick Jr. has carved out a diverse music career. Acting has also been part of his skill set, as his start began all the way back to the 1990 movie Memphis Belle (his most recent film was the 2014 release Dolphin Tale 2).

In the audio clip below, Connick Jr. compares American Idol’s popularity to I Love Lucy and he adds that he’s “thrilled” to be a part of its final season:

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Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi

Jennifer Lopez Talks “American Idol” – “It’s Been A Great Season”

American Idol is now down to its top 5, as C.J. Harris was eliminated on this week’s show. The blues-rock singer and Jessica Meuse received the lowest number of votes on the show. During his final moments on the show, Harris thanked the hard working Idol band for all their help during his journey. He then dished out a wonderful rendition of the Marshall Tucker Band tune “Can’t You See” before getting his share of hugs and love from his fellow colleagues.

“You can tell by when the other contestants were saying goodbye to him, how they felt about him,” said Lopez. “I don’t think you’ve ever seen that kind of embrace that held on for that long. He’s a good guy.”

Click on the media bar below as Jennifer Lopez gives her thoughts on this season’s American Idol:

To check out an interview with C.J. Harris, read the post on our sister site Deepest Dream.

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‘American Idol’ Recap: Majesty Rose Is..Your Next Commercial Model??

American Idol (FOX, Michael Becker)

It was definitely tough seeing Majesty Rose go last night on American Idol, but unfortunately her performance of Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” received a lukewarm response. Rose was actually one of the show’s early frontrunners thanks to her vocal prowess, natural ease with the cameras, and talented musicianship (her audition performance of Coldplay’s “Violet Hill” is one of this season’s highlights).

Still, there are no free rides on American Idol and even the most talked about singers can go home the following week. “I think it’s really about each performance,” says judge Keith Urban ” ‘Cause I think, you know, she’s been in the top three a lot and for whatever reason the performance last night didn’t register with everybody as much as previous performances have, so who knows?  It’s a funny thing when we have to deliberate and make a decision.  Everyone’s booing us not saving her, but what we’re really doing is agreeing with the rest of America.”

As for Connick Jr., he understands that sometimes American Idol results may shock viewers. “I mean at this point, you know, really, what is the right choice,” said the singer. “Because you have nine artists and eight of them are going to go home.  So they’re all talented in their own right, so it’s just a matter of who America votes for.  And sometimes it’s so, so surprising, but you know, you have to respect the process.”

As for Rose, she managed to remain upbeat after her elimination, stating that she would love to also be a commercial model (along with being a pre-school teacher and a singer).

Click on the media bar below to hear Majesty Rose:

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