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Category: Music (1-10 of 40)

Help 'Today' pick a 'Sound of Music' family -- VIDEO

In honor of the upcoming live telecast of The Sound of Music on NBC starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer, the Today show has launched its own search for the next great musical family. Families across the country submitted their own spin on the classic “Do Re Mi” from the musical and three finalists have been picked. Watch the audition tapes below and make sure to vote for your favorite family to perform live on Today.

Disney's 'Frozen': Composers talk unexpected influences (Gaga!) and accidentally aping 'Arrested Development'

Disney’s newest feature, Frozen, is many things: a loose adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, a moving tale of sisterly love, an action-packed comedy that shares more than a bit of DNA with Disney’s own Tangled. (One example: In that film, the male hero’s best buddy is a dog-like horse named Maximus. In this film, the male hero’s best buddy is a dog-like reindeer named Sven.)

Frozen also happens to be an old-fashioned animated musical, featuring eight catchy songs by the husband-and-wife team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The pair has worked with Disney once before, writing tunes for 2011’s Winnie the Pooh – though Lopez is best known as the Tony-winning co-writer of edgy Broadway hits Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon. (Talk about range!) READ FULL STORY

Fifth Harmony, Cody Simpson celebrate launch of Nick Radio

Nickelodeon celebrated the launch of its online music streaming platform Nick Radio Thursday night with stars, screaming fans, and — what else? — slime.

Hosted by the station’s DJs and Big Time Rush actress Ciara Bravo, the event, which was also streamed online, drew fans (and their parents) to New York’s iHeartRadio Theater for performances from girl band Fifth Harmony and singer Cody Simpson. Both artists have been mainstays on the station’s playlist since it began streaming Sept. 30.

For Simpson, the event meant an opportunity to showcase his acoustic set, crooning five songs including his 2010 debut single “iYiYi,” as well as tracks from his album Surfer’s Paradise.

“[Nick Radio] is a really great outlet for me to be at and share my music with my fans,” said the 16-year-old singer. “I’ve been in a really different mindset…. I’ll be turning 17 at the top of the year, and I’m really looking to make something that’s gonna surprise people, that’s a little more timeless. It’s the album I’ve been waiting to create. I want to branch off into my own sound and show people my voice.” READ FULL STORY

'Little Mermaid' Blu-ray: Howard Ashman explains the moment you fell in love with Ariel -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Younger generations might take Disney animation for granted today, but The Little Mermaid maintains a special place in the heart of moviegoers who were around to experience it in theaters in 1989. Who Framed Roger Rabbit had opened the industry’s eyes just the year before to the renewed potential of animation, but Disney, which had barely survived a hostile takeover a few years earlier, hadn’t attempted a fairy tale — its bread and butter — in 30 years. The Little Mermaid wasn’t just a return to form; it represented an entirely new artistic template that melded superior storytelling with Broadway-caliber music, courtesy of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.

The duo came to Disney’s attention after their off-Broadway hit, Little Shop of Horrors, and Ashman, in particular, gave voice to this new Disney spirit. “Howard was from a different world,” says co-writer and co-director John Musker, who along with Ron Clements, was part of a new wave of ambitious young Disney animators. “He was kind of a chain-smoking theater guy. And we were non-smoking, California, low-key, animation guys, and it was an interesting mix of our sensibilities. Howard was kind of mentor for us, in terms of the way he approached the songs and his thinking behind the songs.”

The Little Mermaid became a box-office hit and earned two Oscars for its music. Menken and Ashman went on to work on Beauty and the Beast, the first animated film to score a Best Picture nod, and they’d started writing songs for Aladdin when Ashman died in 1991 from complications related to AIDS. He was only 40 years old.

In the new Diamond Edition Blu-ray for The Little Mermaid, which comes out on Tuesday, Disneyphiles can view rare footage of Ashman as he gives a lunchtime lecture to the staff during the making of that pivotal film. In it, he explains the essential importance of what he calls the girl’s “I Want Song” — the crucial tune where the heroine “plunks herself down on a tree-trunk somewhere to sing about what she dreams about.”

“It’s a really unique document nowadays because there isn’t that much footage of Howard and certainly of Howard explaining his working process,” says Musker. “It’s a really great clip.”

Click below to see an exclusive portion of Ashman’s lecture and the voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson, as she explains working with him on Mermaid‘s “I Want Song,” “Part of Your World.” READ FULL STORY

New 'Equestria Girls' video casts real kids as ponies-turned-people -- EXCLUSIVE


Cartoon ponies turned cartoon humans turned actual humans — is your head spinning yet?

No? In that case, you’ll enjoy this brand-new music video for “The Magic of Friendship,” a kicky pop tune being used as the “brand anthem” for My Little Pony Equestria Girls. In the clip, real girls cast as avatars for the movie’s animated characters — who are themselves hominid versions of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic‘s Mane 6 — introduce a school cafeteria to, you guessed it, the joys of companionship. They also teach a new dance called the EG Stomp, performed more easily with hands and feet than hooves.

Watch below:


'Now Let's Dance' along with Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell -- VIDEO


Family-oriented folk stars Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell with You Are My Flower have teamed up to release a new album, Turn Turn Turn. But before the album’s Aug. 27 release, Zanes and Mitchell invite fans of all ages to “twirl and whirl” in the music video premiere for their single “Now Let’s Dance.”

Zanes and Mitchell are also set to perform on Sprout’s Sunny Side Up Show, a live programming block aimed at preparing preschoolers to start the day.

Watch Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell with You Are My Flower perform “Now Let’s Dance” in an outdoor groove session here:

So this is how 'Empire State of Mind' sounds (and looks) as a lullaby -- FIRST LOOK


Spoiler alert: It’s pretty soothing!

Call this the music box version of Jay Z and Alicia Keys’s rousing New York City anthem — complete with a charming video that shows snapshots from a teddy bear’s tour of the Big Apple. First he’s out in Brooklyn, then he’s down in TriBeCa…


Check out retro Mickey Mouse pics from never-seen-before hand-drawn short

The mouse isn’t in the house — he’s on a horse.

In the new black-and-white short, “Get A Horse!” viewers can join Mickey Mouse as he invites his gal pal Minnie to join him on a musical haywagon ride.  Featuring Walt Disney himself as the voice of Mickey, “Get A Horse!” is a hand-drawn theatrical short that makes its debut August 9 at Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim.

In addition to the photo above, check out another photo from “Get A Horse” below, where Peg-Leg Pete interrupts the couple’s date: READ FULL STORY

Big Time Rush prepare for big-time finale -- EXCLUSIVE CLIP


Nickelodeon’s Rush is almost over.

In tonight’s special series finale, the boys of BTR will find themselves partying with stars including Nick Cannon, Alexa Vega, Austin Mahone, Karmin, Mindless Behavior and Fabio at the “Tween Choice Awards.” (Meta alert!) The fly in the ointment: Someone’s also plotting to brainwash the show’s audience. Now Kendall, James, Carlos, and Logan must find a way to thwart the villain — and look good doing it.

Can the guys save the show and still make their dreams come true? Tune in to “Big Time Dreams” tonight at 8pm to find out — and get a taste of what’s to come in this exclusive clip.

Kindiefest to shut down


The first music festival designed for family entertainment is closing up shop. The producers behind Kindiefest announced today that the festival, which had grown into a full fledged industry and entertainment conference over its five years, expanding its programming to include two full days of panels at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) this past March, won’t be back next year.

“The producers each had increasing responsibilities in our professional and personal lives and felt with that it was time for a change. We will all be continuing active roles in the family music world and look forward to seeing everyone around the scene,” says Stephanie Mayers, festival co-founder and executive producer. READ FULL STORY

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