One exercise I like to do before a song is an artist introduction. In this activity the teacher reads a short bio of the artist and writes comprehension questions on the board. The questions can be on the board as the teacher reads or written after. This is a great way to test the students listening skills as well as give them information about the artist and song they are about to hear.
I especially like to showcase artists from my country. Students enjoy learning about music from around the world, especially from English speaking cultures.
Questions can include:
Where was the singer born?
How many albums has he sold?
How many awards has she won?
The extension of this activity is to have the students do the same thing. They can choose an English speaking artist and read a bio on that singer. Then they play their songs for the class. The bios can be written by the students or simply read from the Internet. Wikipedia is a great place to find short, simply written bios.