Monday night The Late Show with David Letterman served up the dynamic duo of Wyclef Jean and Cyndi Lauper, who presented “Slumdog Millionaire” from Jean’s new EP, “From the Hut, to the Projects to the Mansion,” released on November 10. Jean and Lauper delivered energetic vocals in their matching leather jackets. “Slumdog Millionaire” combined Lauper’s signature 80s beats with Jean’s more modern hip-hop infusions. This unexpected combination was accompanied by an even more unexpected instrument — the sitar, common in Hindustani music. This worldly addition connected the ‘hoods Jean presents in his lyrics to the Indian slum represented in the award-winning 2008 film to which the song pays homage.
Meanwhile, on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, Carrie Underwood, known as a force in the country music industry, failed to live up to her reputation. While she looked beautiful in her flattering make-up and red-gown, her voice marred her appearance. Later in her interview with O’Brien, it sounded like she had a sore throat. However, even if her voice was off, the song she presented, “Temporary Home” from her new album, “Play On,” sounded like a long, slow whine. While Underwood may be trying to deviate from the pop influence of her American Idol days, she must retain her signature edge, which she lost in this new song.