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Jennifer Hudson – Actress and Musician

Many remember Jennifer Hudson from American Idol. Although she didn’t win on Idol, she did win in regards to exposure. The reality show boosted her career into not only recognition for her music but also her work as an actress.

Jennifer Hudson was born in Chicago, Illinois. She is the youngest of three. Growing up, she attended Dunbar Vocational Career Academy and sang with her church choir while doing community theater. As a small girl her idols were music sensations Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle. Although Hudson was used to performing before audiences, including her stint with Disney Cruise Lines, she sometimes struggled while on American Idol. She barely made it through the semifinals and was brought back on the show through a wild card round to be in the Top 12. Switching up song choices, she finally began to show her true colors when singing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing”. Her Barry Manilow song “Weekend in New England” was considered her best performance on the show – but despite it all, she was eliminated. This was in 2004. By 2006 she was cast in the film Dreamgirls and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, NAACP Image Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. In 2008 she released her debut album “Jennifer Hudson” and won a Grammy Award on it as well, selling over 700,000 copies in the US and over 1 million copies worldwide.

The rising star was on top of the world until that same year when her mother, brother and nephew were killed in a shooting. Hudson stepped away from her career for a while, not making a public appearance until Super Bowl XLIII. She was also invited by President Obama to appear with him at a fundraiser in Beverly Hills in May 2009.

Acting in Dreamgirls was not Hudson’s only role. She has appeared in the movie Sex and the City in 2007 and The Secret Life Of Bees in 2008. In the film The Secret Life of Bees she starred next to Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah and Alicia Keys. The film won two of the People’s Choice Awards in 2009 and nine Black Reel Awards. Hudson was nominated for her performances by various film institutions.

Hudson followed this work by staring in the film Fragments, again with Dakota Fanning and also with Forest Whitaker. The movie was hauntingly enough was about a killer on a shooting spree and how the survivors cope.

Currently Hudson is working on the film Winnie where she will star as the wife of Nelson Mandela. This will give Hudson a lead role.

As for Hudson’s music, in 2008, Hudson’s single “Spotlight” became her first top 40, peaking at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Her second single, “If This Isn’t Love” followed it, which wasn’t released until 2009 and peaked at #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #37 on the UK Singles Chart. According to Hudson, “Spotlight” showcases what she calls “the sarcastic voice,” a story of insecurities within a relationship. In her third single “Pocketbook,” she calls it funky. Featuring rapper Ludacris, she says it is “very sassy, very much me. I spoke with each of the writers and they created a feel for me, for who I am. This song represents one side of my personality! This is something I would say – it has attitude yet it’s playful.”

The actress/musician is still new in her career. Where will Jennifer Hudson be in ten more years? At the rate she is going, it could just be anywhere.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

A History Lesson about Internet Radio

One of the greatest, if not the greatest, inventions of our lifetime is the Internet. It is a way to bring together millions of people from across the world to connect and share information. The Internet offers the user social networking, file sharing, music, and a plethora of information about every subject you want to know about. Radio stations have had to readapt the way they operate since the invention and technology of the Internet. Traditional radio has had a long history and now Internet radio is the current story being written. The history of radio online dates back less than twenty years and is considered modern history.

Online radio stations were first broadcasted in the early 1990s and did not take off right away. The stations, or websites, had to invent themselves and be presented to reach their target audience. Some radio stations were streaming broadcasts of music, talk shows, and some Internet radio is also considered to be a music library of songs found online. Unlike traditional radio, online radio can be accessed anywhere in the world, and in turn anyone in the world can listen to music from another city, state, country, or continent.

Originally, the Internet was a medium for communication, education, and government purposes. As the popularity of the World Wide Web grew, Congress approved the Internet to be used for commercial purposes. The first radio program to be broadcasted online was in 1993, and it was a talk show about computers and the Internet. A year later, the music industry would start to utilize the medium. The Rolling Stones broadcasted their concert live on the Internet. After that, radio stations followed their act and started to stream their shows online.

As the music hype started to spread via the Internet, music file sharing and downloading spread like wild fire. There were a lot of controversies from artists and listeners because the music industry took a hit from decreased record sales and royalties. It was not until 1998 that President Bill Clinton signed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which included laws to protect musicians and copyrighted material. This means that Internet radio stations have to also pay royalties for music. This also meant that music found online was not free and had to be paid for.

By the late 90s, there were thousands, and still are, of Internet Radio programs. Radio stations online stream live talk show programs and music stations. There are sites that are genre specific, play a mix of different music, and other that play artists that are unsigned by record labels. Having Internet radio has changed the culture and way that people listen to and find music. Bands can gain popularity through the Internet. It is easier to be heard and get heard.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

How to Become an Internet Radio DJ

A fun job where you can connect with thousands of people and entertain for your living is to be a disc jockey, also known as a DJ. It is a dream job for people who love music, people, and entertainment. There are many different approaches for the type of show and audience you want to connect to. You have a radio program that discusses politics, religion, life’s situations, or music for example. You need pizzazz, a “radio voice,” and a few other components to become a disc jockey. Here are some tips on how to become a DJ on a radio station on the Internet.

One of the most important components for this job is knowledge. You have to be an expert on the topic your show is about. If you are a DJ for a music station, you should know as much as possible about music. Most stations are genre specific, so you should know all the top hits, musicians, and style of music. Radio stations on the Internet are both genre specific and mixed. Usually there are links to a type of genre on one site. If you are the DJ for all channels on the site, you will have to immerse yourself in music knowledge. You can only be a great and well liked DJ if you are playing the type of music that people want to hear on the station.

After you have gained knowledge about the topic you want to DJ about, you will need the necessary materials and technology. For the Internet, it will be very important that you have a fast connection if you are working from home and streaming with a station online. The host will have a minimum connection speed and bandwidth that you will need to stream properly without interruptions. You will also need a microphone and a laptop or computer with a lot of memory and speed. If you are hosting an Internet radio music program that already has a playlist, you will need to familiarize yourself with the music they want to play. Others will require that you develop your own playlist. The playlist you compile should include top hits from the music genre you are broadcasting.

Once you have the right technology and an awesome playlist, you will need to find the Internet Radio station that you want to DJ for. Do you want to be part of a company that is streaming talk shows or music? What genre of music are you the most knowledgeable about? You will need to do a lot of research about the radio station, the type of music or talk show they stream, and if you would be a good fit or not. Once you have selected the Internet radio station you want to work with, you can send a resume, sample playlists, and samples of your voice.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Who Are the BoDeans?

The South by South West music festival just took place in Austin, TX. There were hundreds of great bands and musicians from all over the world. Some classic hit bands from the 80s came back to give outstanding free performances for their fans at Auditorium Shores. Hit bands such as The Stone Temple Pilots and Cheap Trick showed up for long lasting fans from their earlier years. People of all ages came to the free concert series to see the BoDeans perform. They rocked the house and had everyone in the audience singing and dancing along with their music.

The BoDeans were formed by musicians Sam Llanas and Kurt Neumann in Wisconsin back in the early 1980s. Slash/Warner records signed them on with their music label after a full band was formed by adding a bassist and drummer. They immediately began to record their music, and the first album called Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams was released in 1986. Soon after, they were voted the Best New American Band by the Rolling Stones magazine.

Since the release of their first album, they have released eight more albums. The most recent which will be released in April of this year is called Mr. Sad Clown, and it will be their ninth studio album. You may remember one of their hits if you watched the 90s television program Party of Five. The song Closer to Free from the album Go Slow Down was chosen for the theme song of the series. It instantly brought them more fans and increased their level of fame and exposure. The song was also used in the movie Heavyweights.

Their music is categorized under the genres of alternative rock, roots rock, and rock. Their music has topped the mainstream rock and adult contemporary charts. The band has seen some new members since the original formation back in the 80s. The current members, who include the two original founders Kurt and Sam, and: Noah Levy, Eric Holden, and Bukka Allen. Kurt does the vocals and plays the electric guitar, and Sam performs vocals and the acoustic guitar.

The band has been very successful and has a loyal following of fans that have stuck by them since the 80s. Two of the band members have worked on solo projects but still continue to fuel the success of the band as a whole. The two founders Kurt and Sam have worked on solo projects. Kurt Neumann recorded an album in the late 90s called Shy Dog, and Sam Llanas recorded his album in 1998 called A Good Day to Die.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Musicians Discovered on YouTube

YouTube has made a lot of people famous who may never have had the opportunity to become discovered. While not everybody gets a chance of stardom, a few have and they have done it up big. Who are the top musicians who have been discovered through this medium?

1. Arnel Pineda – Once a Filipino singer and songwriter, now lead singer for the rock band Journey. Videos of Pineda performing cover songs for Journey, Survivor, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Air Supply, The Eagles and Kenny Loggins began appearing on YouTube in 2007. From the videos, that same year, Pineda was asked to audition for Journey. By the end of the year 2007, Pineda was named the lead singer of the band.

2. Justin Bieber – Bieber may be one of the biggest rising stars right now and he’s only 16. This Canadian pop and R&B singer was discovered on YouTube by Scooter Braun, who later became his manager. Bieber was flown into Atlanta, Georgia where he had the opportunity to consult with musician Usher. Bieber soon signed with Usher creating the Raymond-Braun Music Group and then later with L.A. Reid and Island Def Jam. Bieber is known for his breakthrough single “One Time”, which was released in the summer of 2009 and charted on the top thirty in ten countries. HE followed this single up with his “My World.” His studio release “My World 2.0″ will be released March 23, 2010.

Bieber started performing at the age of 12 where he won second in a local singing competition. He also taught himself how to play the piano, drums, guitar and trumpet. It was in 2007 that his mother began posting videos on YouTube so that his family and friends, who could not attend his performances, could see him sing. Once discovered, Bieber became a hot commodity. He has appeared on The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Good Morning America and Chelsea Lately to name a few. He also had the opportunity to perform for U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House Christmas In Washington music special that benefited the National Children’s Medical Center. Beiber has toured with Taylor Swift on her two-stop return to the United Kingdom Fearless Tour. Bieber was named the hottest star of 2009 by J-14, newcomer of the year by MuchMusic, and listed by Celebuzz as one of the Top 10 YouTube stars of the 2000s decade

3. Esmee Denters – This Dutch singer-songwriter attracted the attention of Justin Timberlake in 2008, who later went on to sign her to his label Tennman Records. In 2009 she released her debut studio album “Outta Here”. The album reached number five in the Netherlands. Her debut single, also the title song of the album was released in the Netherlands in 2009. So far it has reached the top 10 in several European countries. The album was released in the UK on January 11, 2010 and features the previous 2008 charity duet with Timberlake, “Follow My Lead” as an additional bonus song.

4. Terra Naomi – This rock and pop artist became famous with her song “Say It’s Possible” through YouTube. Naomi is from New York State but currently lives is Los Angles. She writes, performs and plays guitar and piano. Naomi won the first YouTube “Best Music Video” award in 2006. She signed a publishing deal with Universal Publishing and a record deal with Island Records in 2007.

5. Lisa Lavie – Another Canadian born singer and songwriter who used the Internet to promote her music has had her vocals appear on soundtracks of major motion pictures. Lavie released her debut album in 2008 “Everything or Nothing”. Her album reached #20 on iTunes pop chart. Her featured video was a finalist among all videos in the 2007 YouTube Awards.

6. Mia Rose – Rose, is an English/Portuguese singer songwriter. Rose posted daily videos singing cover songs on YouTube starting 2006. She set a record within a month for the number of subscribers. In 2009 she wrote and recorded “Let Go” selling it on iTunes in Portugal where it became the best selling download and number 2 in Portuguese charts. Rose has been featured in Rolling Stone, The Sun, The Age and BBC Radio 5 Live.

Getting a chance to be heard, as a musician, is always a difficult task. Getting discovered is even more challenging unless you are somebody who knows somebody. Thanks to new social networks, musicians that normally wouldn’t get their chance, finally are.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Alicia Keys Going On Ten Years of Success

It’s hard to believe Alicia Keys has had 10 years of success under her belt. Keys’ has proven she is not a one-hit wonder since releasing her hits in 2000, “Rock Wit U” and “Rear View Mirror” – both of which were featured on the soundtracks to the films Shaft and Dr. Dolittle 2, respectively.

What is Keys doing now, ten years later? She is currently touring on her “Freedom Tour”, which has been around the world and is now in the United States.

Alica Keys was born Alicia Augello Cook. She was raised by a single mother in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan in New York City. Keys loved classical music and began playing at the age of seven. Keys was not only musically inclined she was also highly intelligent. She graduated from the Professional Performing Arts School at the age of 16 and as Valedictorian. She then attended Columbia University, which was followed by the signing of her first album with J Records. Although Keys released singles for soundtracks, it was in 2001 that her commercial success came with the release of Songs In A Minor. The album sold over 12 million copies worldwide. Keys also earned five Grammy Awards, became the Best New Artist and won Song of the Year for “Fallin”.

In 2003 she released The Diary of Alicia Keys, which was another success, nationally and worldwide. Selling eight million copies, again she obtained four more Grammy Awards.

Keys sound and style was not only popular, the television and movie industry was also interested in her character. She made several appearances on the TV series Charmed. In 2007 she also was in the film Smokin’ Aces and The Nanny Diaries. After releasing another successful album “As I Am’, she appeared in the movie The Secret Life of Bees, which earned her a nomination at the NAACP Image Awards. Being before audiences wasn’t new to Keys when she released her first album nor when she stared on Charmed. In 1985, Keys actually made an appearance on The Cosby Show, when she was four, playing the part of Rudy Huxtable’s sleepover guest.

In 2007, Keys released her third studio album, “As I Am”. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album’s lead single “No One” peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Sons, becoming Keys’ third and fifth number one single on each chart respectively. The album’s second single, “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” was released in late 2007 and peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.

If this wasn’t enough, Key’s released her fourth album, “The Element of Freedom” in 2009, which became her first chart-topping album in the United Kingdom.

Keys, being multidimensional, of course has other irons in the fire beyond her albums. She plans to continue acting as she signed on to remake the film Bell, Book and Candle, a 1958 comedy, in which Keys stars as a witch who casts a love spell to lure a rival’s fiancé. Keys’ is also expected to play a 1940s biracial piano child prodigy in a film entitled Compositions in Black and White.

Ten years ago Alicia Keys worried she would be a one-hit wonder, today she is possibly wondering what it is she can’t do and become a hit at.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Cheap Trick Pulling Another Tour Out Of Its Hat

Some bands never die – Cheap Trick may be one of them. This 70s band is now talking about going back on tour with a full run of album shows. Frontman Robin Zander said they are thinking about doing again what they did in the 90s. Guitarist Rick Neilson felt that the 90s shows created somewhat of a trend. At the time, the group played its first three studio albums during multi-night stands, resulting in the creation of the 1999 live album “Music For Hangovers.”

Cheap Trick was originally formed in 1974 with band members Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos. The band grew in popularity as ‘power pop music’ with a hard-edged yet melodic pop sound. The band was compared to the Beatles with an edge, Cheap Trick’s biggest hits include: “Surrender”, “I Want You To Want Me”, “Dream Police”, and “The Flame”. VH1 labeled the band #25 on their list of 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

The band released its first album, labeled “Cheap Trick” in early 1977. The band developed a large fan base in Japan and the continued to push forward in popularity. Their second album “In Color” was released later that same year and was more pop-oriented than the first album. Despite their attempt to lighten up, the album failed to chart in America. Cheap Trick tried again with a third album released in 1978, “Heaven Tonight”. Again, not much of a following in America, but the band became megastars in Japan.

Japan continued to support the group and all three of Cheap Trick’s albums became gold records. When the group toured the country for the first time in 1978, they received a welcome that was compared to Beatlemania. During the tour, Cheap Trick recorded two concerts for their loyal Japanese fans at the Nippon Budokan. Video footage was also filmed at the first concert. Ten tracks taken from both shows were compiled and released as a live album titled Cheap Trick at Budokan, which was intended to be exclusive to Japan. The album suddenly became a popular import in the United States, and demand for the album became so great that Epic Records finally issued the album in the US in 1979.

The album “Cheap Trick At Budokan” went triple platinum in the United States. Finally the track “I Want You To Want Me” became recognized in the United States and skyrocketed to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album became Cheap Trick’s biggest selling single. The second single “Ain’t That A Shame” also peaked at #35.

In 1979 “Dream Police” was released. The album didn’t do as well as expected as it was considered an ‘experimental’ style. Before the album was released, Petersson left the group. He rejoined the group in 1987 and helped them record “Lap of Luxury.” Their song “The Flame” became the band’s first ever #1 single.

Like all bands, in 1991, Cheap Trick released their “Greatest Hits” album. The group pressed on throughout the 90s to produce more albums and they even changed their sound to a little more hard rock. The band toured with other bands including Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam. By 1997, they attempted to re-introduce themselves to a new generation. With failing record labels, the attempt was difficult to pull off.

Finally the band released another album in 2009 entitled “The Latest”. The album was issued on standard CD as well as limited pressings of vinyl and 8-Track tapes.

What will Cheap Trick do in 2010? Will they attempt to go on tour, yet again and find renewed success? Time will tell.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

 
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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

    For more information please visit 977music.com.
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