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David Archuleta Takes on Latin Ballad, Delivers

Archie

David Archuleta delivered a stunning rendition of the Luis Miguel track "Contigo En La Distancia" at the ALMA awards, which aired on Friday night.

Said Archuleta: "It was my first performance on an awards ceremony, and my first time performing on TV in Spanish! I have to say I was pretty stinkin’ nervous. I sang ‘Contigo en la Distancia,’ which is one of my favorite songs to sing so I’m really glad I got to sing it. I was so happy to be able to do it for all the Latin people too! I owe so much to the Hispanic culture since my mom and all of her family are Hispanic, and it’s definitely had a huge impact on the way I am."

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

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News: Mars, Neil Patrick Harris, Beijing, Lincoln Chafee, Bruno

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Wockner: Gay tsunami slams Obama.

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Schwarzenegger won't defend Prop 8 in federal court.

Marslake

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Definitive evidence of ancient lake on Mars discovered.

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Prince Harry checks the equipment.

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Wisconsin Senate approves domestic partnerships: "If domestic partnerships become law, Wisconsin would be the first state with an existing constitutional amendment banning both same-sex marriage and civil unions to provide domestic partnership protections for same-sex couples."

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Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka searching for surrogate mom.

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Henry Cavill goes Upstreet.

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Former U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee (RI): Gay Marriage a question of fairness. "Gays and lesbians have contributed to the diverse fabric of Rhode Island and the rest of the country for generations, strengthening our communities in innumerable ways...Once you acknowledge that homosexuality exists not by choice, the next obvious step is to grant gays and lesbians the same liberties and freedoms as every other American."

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David Archuleta's dad not so innocent.

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Katie Couric makes gay fan's dream come true.

Britcouple

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First gay couple to become fathers in the UK expecting fourth child: "Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow sparked outrage when they used donated eggs and surrogate mothers in the USA to have their nine-year-old twins Aspen and Saffron and  five-year-old son Orlando. The pair from Danbury in Essex, battled the American authorities to become the first gay couple to have both their names on their children's birth certificates. The millionaire couple revealed today that a surrogate mother is carrying a fourth child for them, with the possibility of another twin birth."

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For the Nth time: T.R. Knight officially done with Grey's Anatomy.

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Planet Out, Here Networks merge: "Here Networks on Wednesday completed a merger with the struggling PlanetOut to create a new company called Here Media. Here employs 200 people in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It's a public company though not actively traded. PlanetOut shareholders received 20% ownership in Here.
The merger preserves the remaining assets of PlanetOut, a once high-flying Internet company that had struggled with losses and debt as it ventured into offline businesses. Its shares once traded for more than $100 apiece, but even an investment from a hedge fund controlled by Bill Gates didn't save PlanetOut from slipping into penny-stock status before Here swooped in to rescue it. When the NASDAQ delisted the stock last week, it traded at 38 cents."

Jesus

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Jesus Luz does Sao Paulo fashion week.

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Beijing queer film festival makes progress: "The biggest change is that I'm not the only one doing this. There's more support from the gay community. Society has become more relaxed and open-minded in its thinking."

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Guardian Film Review: Bruno. "There's an eye-popping montage of extreme gay sex practices (imaginary, one hopes), a surfeit of waving penises, dildos, fetish gear, anal bleaching, and an excruciating mime in which Brüno fellates the ghost of a deceased member of Milli Vanilli in front of a psychic."

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Washington Post book critic: gay books aren't being published anymore.

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Brian Graden says good-bye to MTV: "For me, it's time to complement my television ambitions with some new passions already in motion - the writing of two books, making music, creating theater, speaking on subjects that matter to me, raising alpacas…okay, perhaps not all calls will be heeded right away. I have no idea if I possess any of these talents, but my friends who know me well know that these new adventures have been tapping my shoulder for a few years."


David Archuleta's Gaydar Functioning Properly

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Former Idol contestant David Archuleta discusses Adam Lambert and musicians who come out of the closet:

"I don't think it was a big surprise. I don't think he was trying to be all secretive and sneaky about it...I just kind of assumed it. I think everyone else did too, but I don't think it's a bad thing or anything. He's a really cool guy. He seems really confident on stage but I don't think it comes across as cocky or anything...[For people like Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken, that's] up to them, [coming out is] their choice. As long as they're doing music, I think that's their main concern anyway. I know it's always interesting and surprising and shocking when they say those things, but I think that's up to them. It's their lives."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Music News: A Final Listen To 2008

Finallisten2008

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

Another year, almost over. At the onset each January, the music fan in me looks ahead, anticipating new whatever intriguing new releases may be on the way. Yet for many reasons, politics took the front seat to pretty much everything in 2008.

Listening to and waxing philosophical on pop just kind of felt insignificant at many points over the past 12 months.

That said, this being my last Towleroad music column of the year, I decided to take a look back at just some random music-related points from 2008: Some that maybe didn't get mention here, some that did. Some perhaps unimportant in the grand scheme, but all of which are off the top of my head on this cold mid-December day:

200pxinghostcoloursroad.jpg   Lil Wayne had the best selling album of the year with Tha Carter III, which moved 2.7 copies. The second best-selling was Coldplay's Viva La Vida, which sold 1.9 million. By comparison, the top-selling album of 1998 was the Titanic soundtrack, at 7 million copies.

road.jpg   I was bummed that I missed catching Aussie dance trio Cut Copy live at every turn. Their latest album In Ghost Colors is pretty groovy, and definitely worth checking out (particularly the track "Lights & Music").

road.jpg   I did get to see MGMT live at Austin City Limits—which, as I read in Billboard today, was the fifth top-grossing music festival of the year, with $11.7 million in ticket sales. The band was a bit disappointing live. Chalk it up to the Texas heat? Meanwhile, there are two awesome new Pet Shop Boys mixes of MGMT's current single "Kids" out there—the "PSB Abstrakt Mix" and "PSB Synthpop Mix."

Take_that_the_circusroad.jpg   I'm not sure pop really got more perfect than Chris Brown's "Forever" in 2008.

road.jpg   Albums that will be worth revisiting after December 31: The Ting Tings' We Started Nothing, Robyn's Robyn, Cyndi Lauper's Bring Ya To The Brink and Kylie Minogue's X.

road.jpg   Ones that were perhaps a bit ahead of their time, or underappreciated: Santogold's Santogold, Keane's Perfect Symmetry and The Killers' Day & Age.

road.jpg   One import worth snagging: Take That's The Circus. That said, rumor has it the album is getting a U.S. release in 2009.

road.jpg At $282 in earnings, by year's end Madonna is set to see her Sticky & Sweet tour become the top-grossing jaunt ever for both a female and solo artist.

road.jpg   It was jarring to see Britney Spears on the cover of Rolling Stone in February for a story titled "Inside An American Tragedy," then nine months later with "Yes She Can: Britney Returns!"  But return she did, scoring her first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 since her 1998 debut single. She also landed her first two back-to-back Top 10 singles ("Womanizer" and "Circus") last week.

Britneyspearsrollingstoneroad.jpg   It didn't seem possible for any artist to make an equally-impactful version of "Run" as Snow Patrol's 2004 original, but Leona Lewis somehow came close. Her cover has been the #1 U.K. single for two weeks now, and was just added to U.S. iTunes today.

road.jpg    In the spring we all pondered whether Katy Perry was offensive with her songs "Ur So Gay" and "I Kissed A Girl." Who knew she had a decent jam like "Hot N Cold" up her sleeve, to boot?

road.jpg Kevin Cogill cooperated with authorities and pleaded guilty to leaking tracks from Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy online over the summer, ahead of the album's November release. He could face a year in prison.

road.jpg   Whoever can count the amount of times Andy Towle mentioned Lady GaGa gets a gold star.

road.jpg   Following in the tradition of Sugababes and Girls Aloud, the Saturdays are the next in the line of great British girl groups who may never get proper exposure this side of the pond.

road.jpg   David Archuleta sure is merry, lively and spirited!

road.jpg   Finally, if ever there was a starlet deserving of claiming she sufffers from the grand Hollywood malady of "exhaustion," it just might be Rihanna.

road.jpg A FEW CLIPS FOR THE WEEK:

ELLEN DEGENERES AND BRITNEY SPEARS: Christmas caroling in L.A.

SARA BAREILLES AND INGRID MICHAELSON: "Winter Song," from the compilation Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs.

GIRLS ALOUD: New single "The Loving Kind," co-written by Pet Shop Boys and Xenomania, and officially out in the U.K. next month.

LILY ALLEN: "The Fear," new single (on iTunes now) from her upcoming second album It's Not Me, It's You.


Joseph_better_you_than_meroad.jpg THIS WEEK'S NEW RELEASES:

Fall Out Boy's fifth album Folie à Deux, produced by Neal Avron and Pharrell Williams.

The Killers' third annual Product Red AIDS charity single "Joseph, Better You Than Me," also featuring Elton John and the Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant on vocals.

Keyshia Cole's third album A Different Me.

Holiday songs by Lady GaGa ("Christmas Tree"), Slim ("This Christmas") and Lady Antebellum ("Baby, It's Cold Outside").

New singles from Leona Lewis ("Run"), Bruce Springsteen ("The Wrestler") and R. Kelly ("I Believe").


David Archuleta Gets Poked by Lady Gaga

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Lady Gaga collides with David Archuleta at Z100's Jingle Ball in New York over the weekend. Later, discussions of deli sandwiches and shopping at Barney's ensue.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Music News: You're Not Supposed To Buy The New Smiths Compilation, Plus David Archuleta, Same Difference, Christina Aguilera, Steps

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

The two-disc "Deluxe Edition" Sound Of The Smiths was released on Tuesday by Sire/Rhino, and I told myself I wouldn't buy it. After all, wasn't it Morrissey who sang, "Best of, most of, satiate the need/ Slip them into diffferent sleeves, buy both and feel deceived," in "Paint A Vulgar Picture" 21 years ago?

SmithsdeluxeYeah, so I bought it. And the band pictures inside the included booklet are lush and glossy. Most of them I've never even seen before. The booklet itself  even smells like the books you bought as a kid to put all your Scratch-and-Sniff stickers in.

Previously unavailable (in the U.S.) b-sides "Jeane" and "Wonderful Woman," the "New York Vocal" remix of "This Charming Man" and the demo of "Pretty Girls Make Graves" might still evoke some interest from those who are a tad dubious about giving Warner Bros. any more money for yet another Smiths compilation...so it's good that The Sound Of The Smiths is available on iTunes, for single-song picking and choosing.

None of the band's prior albums had ever been put up for download at the online store, possibly because of Morrissey and Johnny Marr's longstanding legal woes with their former bandmates. Also fulfilling the "Paint A Vulgar Picture" lyrical prophecy of "Extra track and a tacky badge," the iTunes edition of the collection contains the rarity "The Draize Train."

It should be stated that in the whole 28-page booklet, there aren't any liner notes. But those photos are really glossy.

road.jpg  Some music clips for the week:

1. Christina Aguilera, "Keeps Gettin' Better": Title track from her greatest hits set, out this week in Target stores only, and available everywhere next Tuesday.

2. Same Difference, "We R One": Debut U.K. single from the brother-sister duo who were last year's X Factor runner-ups. It's like Grease and High School Musical meets Steps.

3. Steps, "Stomp": In the spirit of Same Difference, the lead single from the now-disbanded pop quintet's third and final album.

4. David Archuleta, "Crush" on the Today Show. Pretty flat, but kudos for actually singing live.


David_archuletaroad.jpg  THE WEEK'S NEW RELEASES:

American Idol runner-up David Archuleta's self-titled debut.

Taylor Swift's second studio album Fearless. First day sales totalled 217,000. By comparison, this week's #1 album, the Twilight soundtrack, sold 165,000 over the course of the whole week prior.

Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Tracy Chapman's Our Bright Future.

Enrique Iglesias' Greatest Hits, containing the new songs "Away" (featuring Sean Garrett) and "Takin' Back My Love" (featuring Ciara).

Lost_2R&B singer Deborah Cox's The Promise.

Coldplay's "Lost!" EP, containing a stripped-down piano version of the song, a live version and a remix featuring Jay-Z.

T-Pain's third album Thr33 Ringz.

Enya's winter/holiday-themed seventh album And Winter Came... .

Seal's collection of cover versions, Soul.

New singles from Keith Urban ("Sweet Thing"), The Script ("Before The Worst") and Nickelback ("If Today Was Your Last Day").


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