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Music News: Oprah Fêtes Leona Lewis And Journos Sum Up SXSW, Plus The Raconteurs, ABBA, The Feeling, Amy Winehouse, Groove Armada


GuestbloggerRobbie Daw presents a weekly pop music update here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own site called Chart Rigger.

Yesterday, Oprah had Simon Cowell and 22-year-old British singer Leona Lewis on her show. Lewis performed her single, "Bleeding Love," which was already a smash in the U.K. last fall. A showcase on Oprah is rarely one that fails to deliver; "Bleeding Love" is now the top download on iTunes.

Touted as both "the next Mariah Carey" and "the next Whitney Houston" -- often by none other than her own high-profile music biz handlers, Simon Cowell and Clive Davis -- Lewis previously won the 2006 season of Brit show The X Factor, which was created by Cowell. Now if only Clive would offer a U.S. deal to the equally vocally talented (and eye-pleasing) Shayne Ward, who won X Factor's first season.

Below are clips of the Next Mariah Carey from Oprah, and the Previous Mariah Carey with T-Pain, from this past weekend's SNL:

Leona Lewis' full album, Spirit, will be released on April 8.

Raconteursroad.jpg This year's South By Southwest (SXSW) festival: Jim Derogatis of the Chicago Sun-Times notes the great indie spirit, but laments the "sad decline to arena-rock mediocrity" of R.E.M. for the past 15 years. Meanwhile, Ross Simonini of the Seattle Post Intelligencer has to leave the festival ("Five people vomited within arm's length [of me].") to find decent bands, and the Los Angeles Times' Todd Martens leaves Perez Hilton's party unimpressed with Robyn and the insults hurtled at him.

road.jpg The Jack White school of making an album: finish it one week and put it out two weeks later. On the literally just-finished new album from The Raconteurs (pictured right), Consolers (due out next week): "We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc., all at the EXACT SAME TIME so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding it's availability, reception or perception."

road.jpg Ola Brunkert, believed to be the only session musician to play on all of ABBA's recordings, found dead after a freak accident at his home.

road.jpg The Feeling's Dan Gillespie Sells urges fellow pop stars to come out of the closet: "The world would be a healthier place if people were more honest about their sexuality and the entertainment industry would be healthier if people were more honest full stop. The more of us who come out, the easier it is for others. My advice for anyone considering coming out would be to do it for themselves. It's not fun living a lie."

road.jpg Giorgio Armani enlists George Clooney and Julia Roberts to help get Amy Winehouse to perform at his celebrity bash.

road.jpg And if you thought the album cover for Hard Candy was just a one-time look...


Almost a year after its U.K. release, Groove Armada's Soundboy Rock, the dance duo's seventh studio album, arrives in the U.S. It contains "Song 4 Mutya (Out Of Control,)" the pair's 2007 international hit featuring ex-Sugababes member Mutya Buena on vocals.

The Kills' Midnight Boom. The duo's "Cheap And Cheerful" is also iTunes' free download single of the week.

A week ahead of its physical CD availability, Gnarls Barkley's The Odd Couple hits iTunes.

If you were totally jazzed with Flo Rida's 10-week stint at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with "Low," then why not check out his full length album, Mail On Sunday?

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  1. It's not so unusual that they compare Lewis to Houston and Carey - two of the most revolting 'legends' in pop history - because Lewis has studied them both in vocal histrionics, melisma and theatrical mannerisms. Only, unlike Carey and Houston, there isn't a hummable or memorable song on the whole darned CD.

    Posted by: jeffreychrist | Mar 18, 2008 4:02:33 PM

  2. That Groove Armada single has been out for nearly a year, although I still listen to "Song for Mutya (Out of Control)" constantly. It's an excellent song...

    Posted by: jason | Mar 18, 2008 4:08:37 PM

  3. My god. Madonna and her stylist are out of their minds. Has she run through so many look that "beat up old white trash slag" was the only one left?

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 18, 2008 4:25:26 PM

  4. The reviews represented in this horribly brief SXSW blip are far from accurate. The festival was amazing, as it always is. These reviewers focused more on the capacity of the venues and the people who attended. I am offended by Ross Simonini's review; where are the university students supposed to go if not to SXSW? I say he knows nothing of the spirit of SXSW if he couldn't handle a couple of days in Austin, TX. What a jerkoff. And as for Perez Hilton's party, what did people expect from him? Its effing Perez Hilton. He says Perez brought a bit of LA- cupcakes fruity drinks and gift bags. That is NOT Austin TX. Go back to California if you don't like beer, you ass. And in regards to the insults hurled at him, someone called him jaded. Big fucking deal. He probably was jaded because he didn't know who NERD was.

    Posted by: Stephen | Mar 18, 2008 6:38:19 PM

  5. oprah dumb, amy winehouse wear 2 much make up like my gf try look like her

    Posted by: Mike Paahana | Mar 18, 2008 6:43:52 PM

  6. oprah dumb, amy winehouse wear 2 much make up like my gf try look like her

    Posted by: Mike Paahana | Mar 18, 2008 6:44:35 PM

  7. Mariah & Whitney revolting? I don't think that's true. That said, Leona's song was climbing the charts before the Oprah performance.

    Posted by: Brandon | Mar 18, 2008 8:53:47 PM

  8. I saw her album in my local music store and she is the spitting image of an Australian Artist Jade McRae. Now I know who she is. Can't wait to listen to the album!

    Posted by: Courtney Act | Mar 18, 2008 10:35:07 PM

  9. I've been following Leona Lewis since she appeared on the "X Factor" in England. It's amazing that, in all of the years of "American Idol", we have not found someone as talented as Leona Lewis in this country. She blows away Kelly, Clay, Carrie, and Fantasia. When she sang, "Over the Rainbow" on the "X Factor", Simon Cowell said it was the best performance he had seen on any of the competition shows. And he is right. Watch her sing, "I Will Always Love You," and "All By Myself" on YouTube. She is going to be a major superstar....and deserves to be. Most of the "American Idol" contestants are mediocre. Leona Lewis shows what this type of show can really accomplish - bring a truly talented performer the fame she deserves.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Mar 19, 2008 12:15:42 AM

  10. Ward won season two, not season one. (Sorry)

    Posted by: RG | Mar 19, 2008 12:54:59 AM

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