The Week in 'American Idol': Haley Reinhart blossoms, Clay Aiken takes a stand, and more

Next Wednesday (April 25), Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen will perform in a group number with the top 6 finalists on a Queen-themed performance show.  Season 5, the year of Taylor Hicks, was the last time American Idol featured Queen songs. On next Thursday’s results show, the official touring Queen tribute, The Queen Extravaganza, will perform the classic hit “Somebody to Love.” Katy Perry and season 10 alum Stefano Langone will also appear. (Listen to Langone’s new single “On A Roll,” featuring New Boyz and Rock Mafia, at RyanSecrest.com.)

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Current American Idol champ Scotty McCreery has been nominated for two Billboard Awards, including Top New Artist and Top Country Album, for his platinum selling debut, Clear as Day.  Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood is set to perform.

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Chris Daughtry and his band took time off from their tour Thursday to perform with hundreds of Guilford County, North Carolina students in his capacity as chairman of the “On Stage!” benefit talent showcase. The annual event raises money for arts education in Guilford County schools. Daughtry says he got involved with the organization because school music programs changed his life growing up in Virginia. The singer says he was moved by having the students join him on stage to sing his hit “Home.” “It’s very humbling for me,” Daughtry told the local Fox affiliate, MyFOXx8. ” I wrote this song that 300 to 400 kids are all singing. You have to step back and go, ‘Wow, did you ever see that years and years ago?’”

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Never one to mince words (just watch him speak his mind on the current season of Celebrity Apprentice), season 2 Idol alum Clay Aiken is on a personal crusade to stop the passage of Amendment One, a measure on North Carolina’s May 8 ballot that would outlaw gay marriage and domestic partnerships. Aiken tells the Charlotte Observer, “I think most voters should know we don’t want to be on the wrong side of history. I feel very strongly these rights will happen. I have no doubt that in my lifetime I will be able to marry the man that I love in the state I love.”

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Following her American Idol stint last season, Filipino-American singer and Idol season 10 alum Thia Megia is headed to Asia for a series of concerts in Manila, Taipei, Bali, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur from April 19 until May 3. Last summer, Thia performed in Manilla as part of the Idol season 10 summer tour.

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Blues Traveler celebrates its 25th anniversary with a brand new album that guest stars Crystal Bowersox. The season 9 runner up– who contributed as both a songwriter and a performer — is featured on the tune “Don’t Wanna Go.”  The album, Suzie Cracks the Whip, will be available June 26.

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It can be tough to be a 17-year-old singer on the road, especially if it means missing out on your own prom.  But if you can’t go to your prom, bring the prom to you. On Saturday night in Kentucky, as the opening act for Sugarland, Lauren Alaina invited a young man named Ryan on stage to dance with her as she sang Lady Antebellum’s hit, “Dancing Away with My Heart.” It’s a very sweet moment.

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Season 9 Idol Siobhan Magnus and season 10’s Haley Reinhart performed at the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington D.C. on Saturday.  Haley sang her new single, “Free” from high atop a parade float, while Siobhan performed Patti Labelle’s “Are You Ready For a Miracle” with The Praise and Glory Tabernacle Gospel Choir.

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After performing at the American Idol results show last Thursday night, Season 10 alum James Durbin headed over to the Viper Room to kick off his tour in support of his debut album, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster. Check out James performing his latest single, “Higher than Heaven”.

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Kris Allen played new songs from his forthcoming album in Napa Valley at the Live at the Vineyard event last Friday night.  One of the tunes, “Loves Me Not,” was performed with singer Meiko, who recorded the duet with the season 8 Idol champ for his album, Thank You Camellia, which is set to be released May 22.

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