Scotty McCreery’s “In Between” Soars to No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart

Make that three in a row for Scotty McCreery…  

The 26-year-old part-Puerto Rican country music singer and former American Idol champion hasnotched his third consecutive and total No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart as “In Between” blasts from No. 8 to the top spot on the list dated June 27.

Scotty McCreery

In the tracking week ending June 21, McCreery’s song increased 25% to 26.7 million audience impressions. It drew its biggest gains on WIVK Knoxville, Tenn., WKHK Richmond, Va. (up 260,000 impressions); WNSH New York (up 247,000) and KSCS Dallas (up 235,000). 

The track’s 8-1 rise is the second greatest to the Country Airplay summit in the chart’s 30-year history. 

On the October 12, 1991-dated chart, another song with the word “between” in its title leapt 9-1: Ricky Van Shelton’s “Keep It Between the Lines.”

Scotty McCreery to Appear on “American Idol” Finale for Special “We Are The World” Performance

Scotty McCreery is returning to his Idol roots…

The 26-year-old part-Puerto Rican American singer and former American Idol champion will appear in this year’s AI finale.

Scotty McCreery

Even though it won’t be the typical AI finale to announce the winner of season 18 due to the COVID-19 lockdown, next Sunday’s (8:00 – 10:00 pm ET, May 17) shelter-at-home-based season-ender will still feature A-listers, including McCreery, who claimed the crown in Season 10.

During Sunday’s semifinal, host Ryan Seacrest revealed some of the special guests who’ll dial in for the finale, which include two performances from the top five (who’ll be announced at the beginning of the episode after two eliminations) preceding the live vote to determine this year’s winner. 

The top five will then perform a song celebrating their induction into the semifinal round, followed by a previously performed song and, then, their official AIsingle. (The winner will be determined live in a real-time vote on the East Coast broadcast.)

In addition to the return of the top 11 and a fan favorite from this season, there’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime special performance of “We Are The World” by the inspiring anthem’s co-writer, Idoljudge Lionel Richie. In the first television take on the song in 35 years, Richie will team up with fellow judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan to pay tribute to all the families at home around the world now. 

Joining the judges on the all-star anthem will be a giant cast of former Idolcontestants including last year’s runner-up, Alejandro “ScaryPoolParty” ArandaGabby BarrettJordin SparksKatharine McPheeKellie PicklerLaine Hardy, Lauren AlainaPhillip PhillipsRuben Studdard and McCreery.

Additionally, Cynthia Erivo singing a medley of Aretha Franklin songs, two-time Idol contestant Lauren Daigle singing her hit “You Say,” as well as Rascal Flatts and Doug Kiker doing “Bless the Broken Road,” Bryan performing his single “One Margarita” and Perry offering up the television debut of her new single, “Daisies.”

After Sunday night’s Mother’s Day special, the top seven semi-finalists are: Just Sam (Samantha Diaz), Louis KnightFrancisco MartinJulia GarganoArthur GunnDillon James and Jonny West.

Scotty McCreery Earns Second No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart with “This Is It”

Scotty McCreery is back at the top of the charts…

The 25-year-old part-Puerto Rican country singer and former American Idol champion has notched his second No. 1 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart, as “This Is It” ascends 2-1 in its 37th week on the chart dated February 16. 

Scotty McCreery

The ballad increased by 8 percent to 39.6 million audience impressions in the week ending February 10, according to Nielsen Music

On the airplay-, streaming- and sales-blended Hot Country Songschart, it enters the top five (6-4).

McCreery co-authored the song, with Frank Rogersand Aaron Eshuis, for his then-longtime girlfriend Gabi Dugal, and sang it at their wedding last June 16. 

“Two weeks before I proposed, we wrote ‘This Is It’ as a love song for Gabi,” McCreery tells Billboard. “It’s our story. If the song existed solely for she and I, that would be completely fine with me. But to have our story on the radio and then reach No. 1 on the Billboard chart just makes my heart sing. Gabi is my world, she inspires me every day, and I think people can feel the realness of our love story when they listen to the song and watch the video. The fact that so many couples are now using ‘This’ in their own weddings gives me chills.”

McCreery, who won American Idol in 2011, earns his second Country Airplay leader in a row from his album Seasons Change, which became his third Top Country AlbumsNo. 1 in March 2018. He notched his first Country Airplay No. 1 with the album’s first single, “Five More Minutes,” which led for a week the same month.

Mariah Carey to Serve as Key Advisor During NBC’s “The Voice” Knockout Rounds

Mariah Carey is a knockout

The 48-year-old half-Venezuelan American singer, who served as a judge on American Idol during Season 12, has been revealed as a key advisor for the Knockouts Rounds on NBC’s The Voice.

Mariah Carey

Carey will start helping contestants out beginning October 29, mentoring the remaining 32 singers alongside coaches Jennifer Hudson, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Adam Levine.

The knockout rounds will feature the 32 budding stars facing off against a teammate as they sing a song of their choosing. Carey will be on hand to help the coaches and their teams prep for the challenge.

Carey, who is preparing to release her album Caution on November 16, also announced the dates of her Caution world tour on Monday, with the 22-city outing slated to kick off on February 27 at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Dallas.

Juan Pablo Di Pace to Compete on the New Season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”

Juan Pablo Di Pace is ready to move…

ABC has revealed the full cast for the 27th season of Dancing with the Stars, with the 39-year-old Argentinian actor and singer making the cut.

Juan Pablo di Pace

Di Pace, who stars as Fernando on Netflix’s Fuller House, the sequel series to Full House, is the third cast member to compete, following Candace Cameron Bure, (Season 18), and Jodie Sweetin (Season 22).

Di Pace, who also appeared in DallasMamma Mia and A.D. The Bible Continues, will be paired with Cheryl Burke.

Di Pace will face off against Harry Potter alum Evanna Lynch, former Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider and comedian Nikki Glaser, as well as radio host and American Idol mentor Bobby Bones, singer Tinashe and Instagram model Alexis Ren, along with athletes Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton, Paralympian Danelle Umstead and former NFL player and Super Bowl champion DeMarcus Ware.

They join previously confirmed Facts of Life alum Nancy McKeon, Milo Manheim (Disney Channel’s Zombies) and Joe Amabile (Bachelorette Season 14).

Dancing With the Stars Season 27 premieres on Monday, September 24, at 8/7c on ABC.

Fergie to Host Fox’s New Singing Competition “The Four: Battle for Stardom”

It’s a case of Connect Four for Fergie

The 42-year-old part-Mexican American singer and Black Eyed Peas member will host Fox’s new primetime singing competition show The Four: Battle for Stardom, the six-episode series that will air at 8:00 pm Thursdays beginning January 4.

Fergie

“This is a unique and modern show format that I believe will set the standard for the next generation of singing competition series on TV,” said Fergie, who has hosted the Los Angeles segments of ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve for the past few years. “I am looking forward to being by the contestants’ sides during what could be the most important performances of their lives. Along with these amazing panelists whom I know and love, I hope my experiences as a solo artist and as a member of the Black Eyed Peas can help guide them in their quest to make it in the music industry.”

Created by Armoza Formats and produced by ITV Entertainment in association with Armoza, The Four also features expert panelists Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Khaled, singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor and record label exec Charlie Walk.

The format works backwards from typical competition shows: Four finalists, chosen from their auditions, will try to defend their coveted spots on the stage, as they are challenged by new singers determined to replace them. Each week, if any of the four are outperformed as determined by a panel of judges, they’ll go home and their challengers will take their place.

The singer who is the last standing at the end of the competition will see the panel of industry experts become key players on their team. The elite group will then guide the winner’s career to help make him or her a breakout star.

“Fergie is a genuine superstar,” said Rob Wade, President of Alternative Programming and Specials at Fox Broadcasting Company. “She’s fierce, she’s a force in her own right, and she knows exactly what these singers are going through. So who better than her to help guide them as they fight their way to the finish?”

The Four will beat to air ABC’s reboot of former Fox mega hit American Idol, which will launch in March and air on Sundays. Fox’s response to Idol 2.0 also will air while NBC’s rival singing competition The Voice is on hiatus, on one of the nights the original aired on Fox toward the end of its run.

Karen Rodriguez to Perform at Jay Z’s Made in America Festival

Karen Rodriguez is ready to take (Made in) America by storm…

The Peruvian and Dominican American singer and American Idol finalist will perform at Jay Z’s Made in America festival.

Karen Rodriguez

Rodriguez, who earned kudos for her bilingual cover of Adele’s “Hello,” joins a lineup that includes J. Cole, The Chainsmokers, Migos and Solange.

The Made in America festival will take place on September 2-3 in Philadelphia.

Cervantes to Star in the Chicago Production of “Hamilton”

Miguel Cervantes is helping bring Broadway’s hottest musical to the Windy City.

The Latino actor has landed the lead role of Alexander Hamilton for the upcoming Chicago production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton.

Miguel Cervantes

Cervantes previously appeared on Broadway in If/ThenAmerican Idiot and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Karen Olivo, a Tony winner for the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story and an original castmember of Miranda’s breakout musical, In the Heights, will play Anjelica Schuyler. The role of King George III will be played by stage veteran Alexander Gemignani, who starred as Jean Valjean in the 2009 revival of Les Miserables and has also appeared on Broadway in Violet, AssassinsSunday in the Park with George and Sweeney Todd.

The Chicago staging of Hamilton will feature former American Idol contestant Ari Asfar as Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, Chris Lee as Lafayette and Jefferson, Joseph Morales as Cervantes’ alternate, Jose Ramos as John Laurens and Phillip Hamilton, Wallace Smith as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison, and Samantha Marie Ware as Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds. Both Lee and Morales are alumni of the In the Heights national tour.

Casting for the joint lead role of Aaron Burr in Chicago has not yet been announced.

Performances of Hamilton begin Sept. 27 at Chicago’s PrivateBank Theatre, marking the first production of the show beyond New York.

A separate touring production kicks off next March in San Francisco, while a London production will also begin in 2017.

Hamilton has been the biggest smash to hit Broadway in decades, winning 11 Tony Awards and selling out for months in advance. The show’s cumulative box office since it began performances at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on July 13 last year has hit $88 million.

Longoria Hosting Special Night of Music to Raise Funds for Homeless LGBT Youth

Michael Longoria is singing for Homeless LGBT Youth…

The Mexican-American Broadway veteran is teaming up with American Idol alumni Constantine Maroulis and Diana DeGarmo for a special night of music on Thursday supporting the nonprofit organization New Alternatives at the New York City club Hardware.

Michael Longoria

The benefit, co-hosted by Ashley Austin Morris, will raise money for New Alternatives — an organization that helps homeless LGBT youth become self-sufficient and transition out of the shelter system and into stable adult lives. The center — which provides services including case management, education, life-skills training, community-building recreational opportunities for self-expression and support services for HIV-positive youth — will be losing its donated space after August, and Longoria hopes the benefit will raise enough money as well as awareness to keep the program alive.

“It’s a very dangerous situation for young people, where the only reason they’re homeless is because their family has abandoned them,” he tells Billboard. “That’s the only reason they’re in there, and that’s what we need to get involved in — if we don’t look out for them, who will?”

Programs like New Alternatives are necessary, he said, to help homeless youth map out their futures while staying out of “harm’s way.” “This organization is specifically for these people that go to these other shelters and are harassed or physically hurt because people don’t accept young gay people,” he said.

The event — which kicks off at 9 p.m. — will also feature raffles for a Broadway records album package, a bottle of Pinot by Tituss wine autographed by Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess, as well as tickets to The Color PurpleFiddler on the RoofKinky Boots, Finding NeverlandHimself, Nora, Trip of Love and Feinstein’s/54 Below.

The evening will serve as a celebration of Pride Week and a reminder to the community to remain vigilant in the face of hate and bigotry in light of the tragic massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 and injuring 53.

“What happened in Orlando is just a reminder that no matter how much love we have, other sources of evil are always going to resist, so let’s find a way to get serious in a positive way that shows our support for each other and our love for each other in public,” he said. “The people that need to be the most out and proud are the youth — the young people that are seeing all this violence are now scared to be themselves. … I feel like now more than ever is the time we need to show affection and we need to show who we are, because those people that were in that nightclub were people that were living their lives and showing their love for one another.”

Longoria — who said he has visited Pulse while on tour with various productions — was heartbroken to learn of a mother who was killed in the club while out dancing with her son. “To know that that mother was there in support of her son and loved her son and was accepting of her son and she lost her life in that tragic moment was just the worst news that I got, and ultimately, it’s just an attack on all Americans, humanity and our American way of life,” he said. “In a gay club, we are in a place where we can be ourselves and be free and not worry about any of that judgment and live our lives, and to have an attack on that freedom is an attack on every freedom in America, and that’s why all Americans need to be paying attention and getting involved in hopes of preventing this kind of thing from happening again in the future.”

Longoria — an original member of the cast of Jersey Boys in the role of Frankie Valli after a run in Hairspray — is currently supporting his new CD, Broadway Brick by Brick: a Latin-infused collection of Broadway classics including “Maria” (West Side Story), “The Sound of Music” (The Sound of Music) and “Music and the Mirror” (A Chorus Line). The record weaves in Longoria’s own personal story of his youth in Los Angeles leading to his success on The Great White Way.

“It became an autobiography of my life, my journey as a very young opera singer in a Mexican-American culture, a very heterosexual, Catholic culture, and finding myself in musical theater, in Broadway songs, and realizing that I was gay all the while,” he said. “Each song I chose tells a milestone of my journey, starting with my father, getting accepted to NYU and not having a means to get there, and getting the scholarship and getting on a plane in Los Angeles and leaving my family behind.”

A $10 donation is suggested to attend. Hardware is located at 697 10th Ave. in New York.

Lopez Debuts “Ain’t Your Mama” on “American Idol” Finale

Jennifer Lopez is one hot Mama, just not your mama…

The 46-year-old singer, actress and American Idol judge debuted her brand new single

Ain’t Your Mama” with a show-stopping performance on the series finale of the Fox singing competition.

Jennifer Lopez on American Idol

Dressed in a sparkly bodysuit and a silk apron and flanked by several backup dancers, Lopez lit up the stage and delighted the audience with her performance of the track, which was written by Meghan Trainor.

After ripping off her apron, Lopez switched gears and performed her hit “Let’s Get Loud,” which was written by Gloria Estefan.

“Ain’t Your Mama” is available for download on iTunes.