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‘Morning Joe’ To Rockstar? Inside Joe Scarborough’s EP Release

JUNE 25, 2017 by admin

 

 

The news anchor sang to a room full of fans, media personalities and, of course, his fiancé and co-anchor Mika Brzezinski.
Picture by Miller Hawkins

The news anchor sang to a room full of fans, media personalities and, of course, his fiancé and co-anchor Mika Brzezinski.

Please excuse Joe Scarborough if he looked a little tired this morning as he took a a seat behind his desk on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the new healthcare plan and Trump’s latest tweets. Can you blame him? After all, last night he traded his news anchor persona for rockstar to celebrate the launch of his band Scarborough’s new EP Mystified.

On a stage equipped with fog machines and a psychedelic picture of the morning host at Midtown Manhattan’s The Cutting Room, Scarborough—in an untucked shirt, plaid pants and with hair as big as ever—played the guitar and crooned to his rock and funk tunes, backed up by a nine-piece band. His hour-long set consisted of entirely originals—apart from a thundering encore performance of “Proud Mary”—and he played to a crowd that included superfans, his look-alike family and NBC royalty Phil Griffin, Willie Geist and, of course, his fiancée and co-host Mika Brzezinski, who cheered, sang along and FaceTimed her mom in. Even Fox News-ers Shephard Smith and Eric Bolling came out to support their fellow newsman.

“This band reminds me so much of the show Joe created; he brings out the best in everyone,” said Brzezinski on stage, as the crowd let out a collective “aw”. (The “aw” was even more pronounced when Scarborough announced his only love song—”Let’s Fall in Love”—and looked her direction after joking that it was written for his guitarist.)

This being a cable news affair, a little politics was added to the mix. As she took a spot on stage, Brzezinski asked how many Republicans were in the crowd—a question that was met by silence apart from the Republican Scarborough who chimed in with, “This feels strangely like MSNBC.”

 Scarborough has been writing and playing music since he was a teenager and performs regularly in New York, but Mystified, which is released through Sony’s Red Music, marks his first album. For now, the album is only available digitally, but depending on its success, that may change.

Digital or not, there’s more to come. Scarborough expects to dig through his catalogue of 400 original songs and release one EP a month over the next two years.

“I think at this phase in my life, it’s time for me to just focus on writing songs and taking it as far as I can take it,” he recently told Vanity Fair. “My hope is that it’s something that I’ll be doing long after I’m off TV.”

So while it’s a side hustle for now, the intention is that it won’t always be.

“He really loves music; you can see it working together with him,” says his band’s musical director Nicholas Wells. “It’s exciting to work with someone so inspired by music.”

No matter how serious he is about music, it will be hard to beat the success that Scarborough has seen with the MSNBC morning show. In May, the show averaged over 1 million viewers for the first time since it started airing in 2007 (an 81% year-over-year increase in audience) and beat CNN’s New Day for the 27th consecutive month. These high ratings have meant an increase in ad dollars for the show: Morning Joe raked in $17.3 million for MSNBC in 2016, according to iSpot.tv, marking a 37% increase from its 2015 ad revenue.

All of this translates into a mid seven-figure salary for Scarborough—an amount that may be hard to come by right away through music, alone. But, then again, for a real rockstar, it isn’t all about the money.

For the latest on the entertainment industry, follow me on Twitter @MadelinePBerg.

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