Lawsuit Filed Says Sony Music Cheated American Idol Winners Including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal lawsuit filed in New York charges that Sony Music Entertainment cheated “American Idol” contestants including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood out of at least $10 million in royalties.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by 19 Recordings, a music company founded by “Idol” creator Simon Fuller.

The lawsuit says 19 discovered the royalty issue from two separate audits of Sony’s records.

Other artists named in the suit include Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry and Jordin Sparks.

Attorney Richard Busch, of the Nashville firm King & Ballow, says the legal action was necessary to protect the rights of 19’s artists.

A Sony spokeswoman said she had no comment on the lawsuit.

Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Merle Haggard & More “Tribute to the Troops”

Some of the biggest names in country music will be joining forces for an Academy of Country Music special: “A Tribute To The Troops” set to air this May. The special will be taped on May 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the night after the ACM Awards air LIVE on CBS.

So far, superstars Merle Haggard, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry are among the first artists named to join this special tribute. According to a CBS release, the concert will honor the country’s remarkable servicemen and women and include special moments and stories of incredible bravery and integrity. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit ACM’s charity, ACM Lifting Lives, which develops and funds music-related therapy and education programs, and serves members of the community who face unexpected hardships.

Expect more big names to be added to this star-studded event. The ACM Awards air LIVE from Vegas May 6 at 8/7c, hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan. ACM Tribute to the Troops will air May 20 at 9/8c.

Country Radio Broadcasters Award Carrie Underwood “Artist Humanitarian”

Following in the footsteps of Big & Rich, country superstar Carrie Underwood was awarded the “Artist Humanitarian” Award during the opening ceremonies of the Country Radio Seminar Wednesday morning in Nashville. The award is handed out each year by Country Radio Broadcasters to the artist that best demonstrates dedication to charitable efforts.

Following an incredibly busy and successful year for Underwood, this award proves to be an appropriate cap in recognizing her efforts. Carrie attributes her efforts to the example her parents set. She remembers them pulling over to the side of the road to offer money to those in need, as well as helping those at church. Underwood has made children and animals the focus of her efforts, stating that “they need us. They haven’t made any wrong decisions in their lives. They haven’t done anything to anyone that could be malicious. They live in the garden and they love and it’s our jobs to take care of them.”

Kenny Alphin and John Rich – of Big & Rich – presented the award to Underwood at the Nashville Convention Center. “Carrie is aware of the platform she’s been given and wants to use it beyond performing to help change the world.” This platform that Carrie has built donated $1 million of her “Blown Away Tour” proceeds to the American Red Cross for Oklahoma Relief Efforts in May 2013. In November 2012, Underwood donated 100% of proceeds from her New Jersey show to Hurricane Sandy efforts. She has also started her own foundation, C.A.T.S. (Checotah Animal, Town, and School Foundation), to help with local causes and issues in her hometown of Checotah, OK. She also devoted some of her time to cleaning out kennels at animal shelters, among many other highlights and efforts.

C.A.T.S Foundation has met local needs ranging from scholarship school programs to funds for the volunteer fire department to purchase oxygen masks and tools to new school and community playgrounds to donated musical instruments to name a few.

“Those kinds of things, I feel like, make the biggest difference. It’s easy to give money to stuff, and I feel like there’s a lot of stuff that my husband (Nashville Predators hockey player Mike Fisher) and I get to be a part of where we’re like, ‘Please don’t put it out there.’ You want to do things to help people, but not for stuff.”

The singer goes on to state that she views this as her responsibility. “I am super blessed and I’ve been given so much,” she said. “If I did nothing but buy shiny things and spend it on stupid things, I just don’t think my mama would be proud of that, I don’t think I could be proud of that and I don’t think the good Lord would be too proud of that.”

Underwood calls for others to follow her lead. “If you see someone who needs help, help them. If something needs help, help it. I feel like those are what make the best stories, not so and so wrote a check. Just so and so came and cleaned out awful nasty kennels.”

Webtastic Wednesday: An Entrance Fit For a Bride

Its no surprise that all eyes are on the bride as they walk down the aisle to marry the one they love. Arianna Pflederer, however, decided to have the attention on her grand entrance centered on something different. The newlywed chose to walk down the aisle singing to her husband-to-be and express just what she is feeling through the words of a Carrie Underwood song, “Look At Me.”

This video and grand entrance has garnered so much popularity and picked up so much steam that the track from Underwood’s “Play On” album, released in 2009, skyrocketed to the Top 30 on iTunes Singles chart…and the track was never released as a radio single!

“Look At Me” was originally recorded by Alan Jackson. In a Q&A, Arianna shares that her mother sang to her father when she walked down the aisle and she was just trying to carry on a family tradition.

How did Arianna pull it off? Check out the touching & emotional video below!

NBC Announces Next LIVE Broadway Production: “Peter Pan LIVE!”

On the heels of an extremely successful showing for “The Sound of Music LIVE!” starring Carrie Underwood, Laura Benanti, Christian Borle and Stephen Moyer, the execs over at NBC announced Sunday at the Television Critics Association tour that they have plans for another holiday special production.

300px-PeterPan-SandyDuncanTaking flight on December 4, 2014, NBC presents “Peter Pan LIVE!” a new TV version of the James M. Barrie’s revered musical. NBC President Robert Greenblatt stated that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who produced “The Sound of Music Live!” will again executive produce the production. Per the official release, casting is currently “on a fast track.”

“The Sound of Music Live!” that starred Carrie Underwood averaged a phenomenal 5.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 22 million viewers overall in the live-plus-7 totals from its Dec. 5 telecast.

“We’re very pleased to be underway on ‘Peter Pan’ as our next live holiday musical for the whole family,” said Greenblatt. “We were all delighted to see how ‘The Sound of Music Live!’ struck such a chord in December and brought nearly 19 million people to the live telecast plus another several million viewers over the weekend. In the hopes that lightning strikes twice, we think we’ve landed on another great Broadway musical — which ironically also starred Mary Martin — that is a timeless classic for all audiences, young and old, who just never want to grow up.”

“We’re thrilled to be reteaming with NBC and Bob Greenblatt in bringing ‘Peter Pan’ back to its roots as a live television event,” said Zadan and Meron. “We hope to create the joy that has made this musical so beloved. We would like a whole new generation to experience ‘Peter Pan’ and for families across the country to share the magic.”

Greenblatt did state that Peter Pan will likely be a male, unlike the original Broadway production which starred women in the leading role.

Who would you like to see star in the upcoming production?

NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live” Promotion Gears Up

The Sound of Music Live! - Season 2013Time is dwindling as NBC’s Live stage production of “The Sound of Music” nears. Carrie Underwood, starring as Maria von Trapp, and the von Trapp children were set to perform a special number during NBC’s telecast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, however, given weather conditions and increased risk for illness just a week before the big day, NBC and TSOM production made an 11th hour decision Wed night to cancel the performance. Michael Campayno (Rolf) and Ariane Rinehart (Liesl) were on hand to perform “Sixteen Going On Seventeen.” That didn’t stop NBC from airing a special new promotion of dress rehearsal footage. Check it out below!

Also in the cast are Stephen Moyer (“True Blood”) as Capt. Georg von Trapp, five-time Tony & two-time Grammy winner Audra McDonald (“Private Practice”) as Mother Abbess, Tony Award winner Christian Borle (“Smash”) as Max Detweiler, and Tony winner Laura Benanti (“Go On”) as Elsa Schrader, the captain’s one-time fiancee. Produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, the feature will be directed by Rob Ashford (“Evita”) and Beth McCarthy-Miller (“30 Rock”). The one-time LIVE event will broadcast from Long Island Thursday, Dec 5 starting at 8/7c!

It’s Official: Carrie Underwood To Replace Faith Hill on NBC’s Sunday Night Football

0023ae606f170cd9a70817Update, May 7 4pm ET: NBC Sports and Carrie Underwood confirmed during a press call that the country superstar will be joining the Sunday Night Football team, starting this fall. Sunday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli said on a press call, “Carrie Underwood will now open television’s highest rated show with a brand new version of ‘I’ve Been Waiting All Day For Sunday Night.” Carrie went on to say that this is a “perfect fit” and that this is a “very special” event. “Carrie Underwood was our first and only choice to perform the Sunday Night Football opening,” said SNF producer Fred Gaudelli. “She’s one of America’s most popular entertainers and the perfect fit for our show.” Underwood was actually considered back in 2006, but “stars didn’t align” at the time. Underwood’s debut will be on NBC’s September 8th opener.

Rumors are swirling and the puzzle pieces are slowly falling into place. Recently, NBC Sports announced that Faith Hill will no longer be a part of their Sunday Night Football team. The award winning country beauty has been doing the Sunday Night Football theme, “I’ve Been Waiting All Day For Sunday Night,” with NBC since the network since 2007. The Peacock gained the broadcast rights in 2006, where famed P!nk sang the theme for the inaugural season.

Once word came out that Faith Hill will no longer be doing the honors, rumors began swirling as to just might who take her place. The two most prominent seem to be fellow country superstar Carrie Underwood and Black Eyed Peas

On Monday afternoon, NBC released a memo to us and other members of the press that a conference call will be held Tuesday afternoon to announce new talent on “Sunday Night Football.” Not long after, Carrie Underwood tweeted the following anticipatory tweet,

Carrie SNF

Carrie Underwood and NBC are already joining forces when the network plans to launch a live version of “The Sound of Music,” starring the country superstar, this December. Carrie Underwood also recently teamed with the NFL when she sang the National Anthem in 2010.

Sunday Night Football, which averaged 21.8 million viewers in the 2012 season, is primetime television’s No. 1 program.

Yak Roundup: Did Adele Really Give It to Chris Brown? And More TV News…

adele-chris-brown-1360693397All over the interwebs, sites mislead and misguide readers all over based on one simple picture. What many may have you to believe is that Adele wasn’t having Chris Brown not giving Frank Ocean a standing O after losing to him. And her solution? Yell at him, likely based on anger from the Rihanna fiasco. But what many aren’t sharing is the following photo (seen below) where Adele and Chris Brown are happily posing for a photo op. There really is no proof whether Adele and Brown shared some beef or if they had just a casual Grammy encounter.

In more music news, the country music Hall of Fame has plans to bring a Blown Away Tour exhibit to Music City, celebrating Grammy winner Carrie Underwood’s latest successful tour. The exhibit opens early June and will be open until mid-November and will feature clothing, set pieces, mics and other special memorabilia from Underwood’s latest tour.

adele-chris-brown-2-1360693428In TV news, Showtime has released a trailer teasing The Big C: Hereafter, which returns in April. The show’s final mini-season promises to be an emotional roller coaster. Also from Showtime, a full length trailer of Ray Donovan, which premieres after Dexter on June 30, has been released. And finally on the premium TV front, Veep will premiere its second season on April 14 at 10/9c.

Billboards Announces Top Selling Albums and Songs of 2012

21-AdeleDepending on where your heart aligns with music, 2012 was either an excellent year or a terrible year musically for you. That’s the beauty of music. Billboard, early Thursday, announced the top selling albums and songs of 2012, based on their records and compilation of sales. Longevity is all that matters in the eyes of Adele fans, as “21,” although released in 2011, was the top selling album of 2012 with 4.41 million records sold. She took home the honor in 2011, as well. Rounding out the Top 10 was Jason Aldean’s, “Night Train.”

Related | YakkityYaks Best of 2012 in Television, Movies, Music, & More

Sales were compiled from Jan 2, 2012 and ended on December 30, 2012. Billboard notes that “21” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart way back on the list March, 21, 2011. It has yet to leave the tally and has never been absent from the weekly top 40. Trailing behind Adele, in the No. 2 spot, was “Red” by Taylor Swift (3.11 million sold), which is pretty significant seeing that the album was released in October 2012. It’s the fourth time Swift has had an album ranked among a year’s top three sellers. Also making the list were One Direction, Justin Bieber, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Lionel Richie and Mumford and Sons. One Direction marks the first time, since SoundScan began keeping track in 1991, that an act has two albums that debuted in the same year taking two of the top five spots. Swift and Garth Brooks have come close to such an honor. 2012 also marks the first year that more than four country albums hold a place in the top ten, as 5 of the Top 10 albums of 2012 are country albums.

In 2012, overall album and physical CD sales decreased a little bit, while digital downloads expectantly increased. The top selling digital album of 2012? “21” by Adele, as well. Also of note, Billboard notes that for the fifth consecutive year, more vinyl albums were sold than in any other year since SoundScan launched in 1991. Finally, 2012 was a record year for digital downloads where a record 1.336 billion tracks were sold digitally, an increase of 5% from 2011. Check out the full list of the top album and song sales of 2012 below!

Top 10 Album Sales of 2012

“21” – Adele, 4.41 Million
“Red” – Taylor Swift, 3.11 Million
“Up All Night” – One Direction, 1.62 Million
“Babel” – Mumford & Sons, 1.46 Million
“Take Me Home” – One Direction, 1.34 Million
“Believe” – Justin Bieber, 1.34 Million
“Blown Away” – Carrie Underwood, 1.20 Million
“Tailgates & Tanlines” – Luke Bryan, 1.10 Million
“Tuskegee” – Lionel Richie, 1.07 Million
“Night Train” – Jason Aldean, 1.02 Million

Top 10 Song Sales of 2012

“Somebody That I Used To Know” – Gotye (feat. Kimbra), 6.80 Million
“Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen, 6.47 Million
“We Are Young” – fun. (feat. Janelle Monae), 5.95 Million
“Payphone” – Maroon 5 (feat. Wiz Khalifa), 4.76 Million
“Starships” – Nicki Minaj, 3.98 Million
“What Makes You Beautiful” – One Direction, 3.89 Million
“Some Nights” – fun., 3.84 Million
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” – Kelly Clarkson, 3.82 Million
“Gangnam Style” – Psy, 3.59 Million
“One More Night” – Maroon 5, 3.46 Million

The Votes Are In: The Best of 2012 Are …

best_2012_smOther sites have been making lists based on their preference, telling you what they believe made up 2012. We here at the Yak like to do it another way … put you in command. You nominated, you voted, and now it’s time to reveal who YOU chose as the Best of 2012. 2013 just got underway, so we figured it’s time to take you down memory lane as we reminisce about what made these people, TV shows, songs, albums, and celebrities the best (or in some cases the worst) of 2012. There were some EXTREMELY tight races this year, but fans came out in full force to make sure their favorites got to the top. No more yakking, let’s just get right to it. What are we waiting for? Check out the gallery below and see who and what made YOUR list of favorites in television, music, movies and more in 2012. Check out the honorable mentions below … some of these races were just too tight, so we had to throw them in!

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Song of the Year:

Favorite Live Performance of the Year:

Most Viral Video of the Year: