Billboard Bits: James Taylor, Bon Jovi, MySpace Karaoke
James Taylor will play five shows in North Carolina in the coming days in support of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.James Taylor will play five shows in North Carolina in the coming days in support of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Details are still coming together, but he will perform Sunday (Oct. 19) in Charlotte and Asheville, Monday in Chapel Hill and Tuesday in Raleigh and Wilmington.
North Carolina is near and dear to Taylor; he grew up in Chapel Hill while his father served as the dean of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
Taylor's new album, "Covers," has sold 139,000 copies in its first two weeks of U.S. release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Add Bon Jovi to the list of artists none too thrilled with the use of their music without permission by the McCain/Palin presidential ticket. The candidates played "Who Says You Can't Go Home" at campaign rallies yesterday and today, prompting a statement from Jon Bon Jovi.
"We wrote this song as a thank you to those who have supported us over the past 25 years," he says, "The song has since become a banner for our home state of New Jersey and the de-facto theme song for our partnerships around the country to build homes and rebuild communities. Although we were not asked, we do not approve of their use of 'Home.'"
Of late, Survivor, Foo Fighters, Jackson Browne and Heart have denounced use of their songs by the McCain campaign.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
On the heels of its new MySpace Music venture, the social networking site has relaunched its MySpace Karaoke service as well. Most notably, the service now includes a video recording function, where users can film themselves singing and post the video to the site. Previously, only audio recordings were possible.
In the six months since MySpace first introduced the karaoke feature, more than four million members used the service, leaving more than 500,000 recordings. MySpace senior VP and GM of MySpace Karaoke Nimrod Lev says he expects the number of recordings to expand now that video is available.
As part of the relaunch, MySpace will unveil a series of nationwide karaoke contests, hosted in partnership with such artists as Jesse McCartney and Seal. The artists will choose the winning karaoke versions of their hit songs, with the first kicking off Oct. 15-27 with McCartney. Seal will follow with a Nov. 11-24 contest.
-- Antony Bruno, Denver