News Roundup: Justin Timberlake’s “Hallelujah,” Radiohead’s New Song, The Next MP3

Videos by American Songwriter


MTV has posted videos of the musical performances from Friday’s Hope For Haiti Telethon. Highlights included Mary J. Blige’s stirring rendition of “Hard Times Come Again No More,” and “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour),” a surprisingly solid new song from U2, Jay-Z and Rihanna. Justin Timberlake continued to make up for his previous musical sins in ‘N Sync by performing a stunning, Jeff Buckley-esque cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” with protege and former “Mickey Mouse Club” castmate Matt Morris.

Timberlake tells MTV News: “It’s always been one of my favorite songs. And my artist Matt, we always kinda sing that song when we’re messing around in the studio with ideas. The way that it’s written can be interpreted many different ways. But the emotion that comes through — the chords, the melody and also what’s being said in the song — it just kind of fit for the telethon.”

Fans can download video and audio of all of the night’s performances at iTunes, where the proceeds will go to help with the relief effort.

Radiohead unveiled a new song at their Haiti relief gig in Los Angeles Sunday. Dubbed “Lotus Flower,” it’s been played live before by Thom Yorke, but never by the band. Check out the video below. The band was able to raise $572,754 for Haiti that night by auctioning off tickets to the show. The highest bidder spent four thousand dollars on a pair of tickets.

Move over, MP3, here comes something fatter. The technological wizards behind the MP3 are reportedly working on a new format called “MusicDNA,” which could accommodate music, lyrics, videos, artwork, some 32 gigabytes total, in a single file. The “MusicDNA” format is expected to debut this summer.

Are you an artist trying to break into the music industry? Watch this video of Producer/musician Pharrell’s keynote address at MidemNet, the digital music conference still raging in Cannes, France.


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  1. Timberlake’s performance “stunning”? Uh, not quite. Pretty. Sure, and nicely done. But, no one, absolutely no one performs Hallelujah better than K.D. Lang. Apart from the author and composer of the song: Canadian Leonard Cohen, fellow Canadian KD sings Hallelujah like no one else on this planet.

  2. Leonard Cohen’s song for these times seems, Zelig-like, to fit in so many contexts. My sense is that, often, it’s the song, not the singer, that creates the impact with “Hallelujah”.

    I concur with P. in recommending a pair of quite different performers who bring their own artistry to Cohen’s magnificent creation. Allison Crowe is an amazing singer songwriter and interpreter in rock. imo, the best today in the genre. kd lang is supreme in her own classic musical territory, that of the crooner and balladeer.

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