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Well this is a piece of news noone was expecting… Taylor Swift, another pop star at the height of her career, has joined Season 7 of The Voice as an advisor. As the title suggests, Swift will advise the Voice hopefuls across all four teams. The announcement comes via Us Weekly, who also note that Taylor will be taking over the role from Season 6 advisor Chris Martin.
Raise your hand, if you weren't expecting this move from Taylor Swift.
Apparently, Swift has already made her valuable contribution to the season, with a source for Us saying: “Taylor was an absolute pleasure to work with. She had great feedback for all the contestants. She made for an amazing mentor.”
With Motown being revived in the form of a Broadway show, we explore the vibrant music scene of Detroit.
Beyoncé and Jay Z let their music do the talking as they attract a host of stars to their On The Run Tour over the weekend
They might struggle to behave themselves in an elevator but put Beyoncé and Jay Z up on a stage in front of thousands of fans and they know exactly what to do. The power couple once again shrugged off relentless rumours about their marriage troubles to perform the latest set of their On The Run Tour in Los Angeles.
Natalie Portman was one of many famous guests who watched the Carters in action over the weekend
Continue reading: Beyonce And Jay Z Have A Lot Of Famous Fans [Pictures]
Oscar-nominated hip-hop artist, Pharrell Williams, explains the reason he decided to name his son Rocket Ayers Williams.
Pharrell Williams, the hip-hop artist best known for the Oscar-nominated single 'Happy', revealed the meaning behind the name of his son Rocket Ayer, born in 2008. The name serves as a homage to Williams' favourite musicians, Roy Ayers, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock.
Williams stated that he and his wife, designer/model Helen Lasichanh, wanted to give their son an inspirational name while also honouring their musical idols. This was achieved through the name 'Rocket', as it serves as both a symbol of souring high, and is found in the name of a song by several artists that Williams enjoys.
Continue reading: Pharrell Williams Explains The Reasons Behind His Son's Name, Rocket.
Entertaining and uplifting, this Oscar-winning documentary tells the unknown story of the back-up singers who made classic records so memorable. Packed with lively, engaging people and fantastic music, the film also offers a sharp look at the music industry over the past 60 years in parallel with the fight for civil rights in America.
In the 1950s, background singers were usually white girls who read sheet-music perfectly. But they were quickly replaced with black artists who learned their craft in churches and could improvise harmonies with the lead singers. Suddenly, pop songs were infused with passion and life, as a handful of unknown singers performed backing vocals on virtually every classic hit since then. With their powerhouse voices and larger-than-life personalities, most have also tried to find success as solo artists. Others prefer to stay in the shadows.
For example, even though established stars acknowledge that she has more talent than any of them, Lisa Fischer prefers the quiet life out of the spotlight. Other belters like Merry Clayton, Tata Vega and Claudia Lennear can be heard on hundreds of timeless classics and are known throughout the industry, but never managed to get their solo careers off the ground. Judith Hill is a young artist who does soaring backing work while waiting for her own music to take off. And Darlene Love is the exception who managed both long background and solo careers.
Continue reading: 20 Feet From Stardom Review
A Motley Crue announcement, an out-of-this-world Grammys gig and an angry Quentin Tarantino: there wasn't a dull moment in the news this week.
Grammy Awards Glory: Last Sunday's Grammy Awards proved probably the most spectacular ceremony in living memory. The most enviable of all performance line-ups entertained a near-record 28.5 million viewers, with Madonna, Daft Punk, Beyoncé and Jay Z, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Stevie Wonder, Nile Rodgers, Ringo Starr, Sir Paul McCartney, Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age and Dave Grohl all showing off their skills.
As for the small matter of the actual awards, Pharrell Williams, Daft Punk and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were the evening's big winners whilst newcomer Lorde picked up two gongs and Jay Z and Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Kacey Musgraves and Black Sabbath were also prominent victors. This, year, perfect pop princess Taylor Swift went home empty-handed, which made for some pretty funny videos.
The soul singer will release 'When The World Began' next year.
Stevie Wonder has ended his eight year album drought by announcing that 2014 will bring not just one, but two brand new albums filled with plenty of original material. The 63 year-old funk and soul artist said that recent events in his life, such as his divorce from Karen Millard-Morris, had inspired him to head back into the recording studio.
Wonderful: Stevie Wonder Announces Two New Albums To Be Released Next Year.
Additionally, Wonder said that he'd been drawing inspiration from hip-hop music recently: "I listen a lot to rap, and I'm inspired to take it, to use it in another way, to get the message across," he said, via Sky News.
Continue reading: Stevie Wonder Announces Two Brand New Albums For 2014
Kings of Leon opened the Global Citizen festival this weekend.
The Global Citizen festival is now in full swing after a roaring start last night (Saturday, September 28,) courtesy of Kings Of Leon. The band played to an enthusiastic crowd of some 60,000 people, with the gig being dedicated to ending world poverty. The band kicked off the charity concert with their latest single Supersoaker, a bright, uptempo guitar track perfect for the occasion.
It was a solid festival set from the Kings, featuring a lot of fan favorites.
They soon dialed it back, however, with an earlier hit – The Bucket. Things got even more electrifying when the band had gotten warmed up and powered straight through Don’t Matter and a nice mix of old and new power anthems like Family Tree, Beautiful War and that classic Sex on Fire got turned into a crowd pleasing sing-along. KoL ended the set with another fan favorite – Use Somebody, before clearing the stage for John Mayer, followed by Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder. It was a solid, if ever so slightly predictable set from the band, however many reviewers noted that the Kings sounded surer than they have in previous years.
It was an intimate wedding in the Italian countryside.
Congratulations, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen! The Grammy award-winning singer and the world famous model tied the knot at long last. According to Us Weekly, the pair had a small, private at Villa Pizzo in Lake Como, Italy on Saturday, Sept. 14.
Congratulations to the happy couple!
Kings of Leon make their return with 'Supersoaker.'
Kings Of Leon have released 'Supersoaker,' the first single from their forthcoming album Mechanical Bull. The soulful effort features the band's signature anthemic guitar bursts and Caleb Followill's scowling vocals. All in all, it's pretty standard fare from the Nashville four-piece and it suggests more of the same for the band's sixth LP.
Rocker Bruce Springsteen dedicated his song 41 Shots (American Skin) to the shot teenager Trayvon Martin who was killed in 2012.
Bruce Springsteen is not the first musician to voice their view on the recent controversial Trayvon Martin shooting case, whereby a teenager was shot by a man named George Zimmerman who has been acquitted by the jury due to Florida's 'stand your ground' law which condones murder as a form of self-defence. Stevie Wonder also chose to interrupt his own concert to announce that he'd be boycotting the state of Florida, and anywhere else that has the same law, until the 'stand your ground' was abolished.
Bruce Springsteen Showed His Support For Trayvon Martin Who Was Shot Dead.
During Springsteen's Limerick concert in Ireland last night (16th July), he introduced one of his songs, '41 Shots (American Skin)' by referring to the killed teenager and the hope for justice in the ongoing court case, as reported by NME. "I want to send this one out as a letter for back home. For justice for Trayvon Martin," he said as he and his band descended into the opening strains of the song which was first written following the death of Guinea immigrant Amadou Diallo, who was shot dead by four police officers in New York City in 1999.
The singer has been sent to a federal prison in Connecticut to serve out her three month sentence for tax dodging
Lauryn Hill is officially a jail bird, as the rapper/singer has begun her three month stay behind bars for tax evasion charges. According to TMZ, Hill checked into the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury on Monday (July 8) morning at approximately 11.15 a.m. EST, where she will serve out the entirety of her short stay in prison.
Hill began her 3 month stay in prison on Monday
According to the report from TMZ, the former Fugees singer and rapper will be held in a minimum security facility where inmates are housed in army barrack-like buildings and are given a considerable amount of freedom compared to inmates at higher security prisons. Hill will be living among the general prison population and will not be given special, isolated treatment because of her celebrity status.
Continue reading: Lauryn Hill Begins Three Month Stay In Prison For Tax Evasion
Plus, Taylor Swift scoops eight Billboard Awards and Stevie Wonder closes Hangout in style in our weekly round-up...
This Week In Albums... There was only album anyone was really talking about wasn't there? Daft Punk's much anticipated fourth LP Random Access Memories was streamed early after it leaked on the internet allowing the world's media their chance to get in quick with their gut-check reactions. Our man Joe Wilde was a little more reflective in his assessments though, and found much to love about the French duo's comeback - even if hasn't ended up being the classic that so many people were hoping for. He wrote: "Guy-Manuel and Thomas are perfectionists in every sense, and whilst the album itself isn't a perfect listen, it is still a thoroughly rewarding and worthwhile one; and what more could we and the robots have asked for?"
There were some other much-vaunted French types releasing their comeback album this Spring too; it's a case of if it ain't broke don't fix it for Phoenix. Hoewever that means we once again get an LP of intelligent pop that's as catchy as it is inventive. Jim Pusey found it to be an enjoyable listen, although he felt it lacked something that its mainstream-breaking predecessor Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix had; he commented "There's much here to like, but it lacks some of the charm that made Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix quite so endearing."
Stevie Wonder proved that he still knows how to put on a show-stopping performance in Alabama this weekend.
Stevie Wonder headlined the final day of the three day Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama, this weekend, closing the event with a marvellous display that included covers and renditions of classic tracks of his own. The singer sent home thousands of happy punters who had also seen Kendrick Lamar, the Roots, Kings of Leon, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Imagine Dragons perform over the weekend.
Of course none came close to matching the enormity of Wonder's performance. He took to the stage on Sunday (May 19) evening and went on to perform for more than two hours, blending his own hits with a selection of wonderfully handled covers form artists that have inspired him over the years. The R&B legend got the ball rolling with a keytar cover of fellow Motown legend Marvin Gaye's hit 'How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),' before playing 'Master Blaster (Jammin')' from 1980's Hotter Than July, followed by another cover from another Motown legend, this time 'The Way You Make Me Feel' by Michael Jackson.
Any set from Stevie is likely to be littered with massive hits, but his insistence on performing covers of some of his favourite songs meant that the evening was even more of a success. The crowd stuck around until late into the Alabama evening to hear Wonder run through the Beatles' 'Day Tripper' and moving rendition of John Lennon's 'Imagine' towards the end of his set, the reception Wonder's cover of 'Imagine' in Bible-belt America giving a slight indication of the artist's overwhelming success and wide-spread admiration.
Continue reading: Stevie Wonder Closes Hangout Festival The Only Way He Knows How
Stevie Wonder will be performing on Super Bowl weekend in New Orleans. The entertainer will be gathering crowds at an outdoor concert on February 2 at the Wyndham Waterfront Hotel – the evening before the big game.
According to the LA Times, the show will be sponsored by Bud Light – highly appropriate, considering the mood and theme of the Super Bowl itself, which can be summarized as “football and beer”. A number of other performers will also join the Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame veteran, including the Texan blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr.
The Super Bowl is always a weekend-long treat for sports fans, packed with all kinds of entertainment, but this year will be especially interesting given the scheduled returns and reunions by some of the iconic acts of the last decade. The half-time show will not only include an interactive performance by Beyonce, with the participation of her fans, but also, reportedly, an onstage reunion of Destiny’s Child, for the first time since the power trio’s final performance together at the NBA All Star game in 2006. Additionally, this weekend will see Justin Timberlake performing live for the first time in four years at DirecTV’s Super Saturday Night Concert. All in all, football is far from the only thing on the agenda next weekend.
The network announced the news today (Dec 20) that Berry and Khan would be amongst next years inductees into the honour list, with basketball star Lisa Leslie, music executive Clarence Avant and religious leader T.D. Jakes also being honoured. The ceremony will take place on January 12th in Washington, D.C., at the Warner Theatre. The show special airs on BET a month later on February 11th, with a host of special performances also taking place on the night.
BET Honors are awarded yearly to African Americans who have been recognised by BET as having exceeded in their fields of music, literature, entertainment, education and more. The awards presentation was devised in 2008 by the broadcasting company to coincide with Black History Month, with Alicia Keys, Tyra Banks, Magic Johnson, Tyler Perry, Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder having been honoured in the past. Next years ceremony will be presented by Gabrielle Union, with the list of performers at the event being held for the time being. At least this gives Halle something to look forward to, should she be fearing her Christmas celebrations go the same way as her Thanksgiving festivities went.
Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson documentary BAD25 has been hailed as a success. Spike Lee, of course, has personal knowledge of working with Jackson – he directed his 1996 video ‘The Don’t Care About Us,’ so the documentary is lent an intimate air, as he conducts the interviews himself. Featured in the interviewee’s chair are a host of stars, all influenced, or touched by Jackson and the music of his hit album Bad (released 25 years ago this year).
Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey and Stevie Wonder are amongst those discussing Jackson’s creative vision, on the album that sold over 30 million copies and spawned five consecutive number ones. According to Boston.com, the film plays out with a series of oral accounts of the recording period. Lee speaks to all of the major players in the recording studio as ell as those involved in his videos and the accompanying tour (surprisingly, including the only solo North American tour that Jackson would ever headline).
Some of the cinematographic vignettes include footage of Martin Scorsese directing Michael Jackson (and Wesley Snipes, before he was famous) in the video for ‘Bad’ and Sheryl Crow, talking of the time that she worked as a back-up singer for Jackson. “The molecules changed in the room,” she said. Although Spike Lee is a vivacious character in his own right, he steps back and lets the interviewees do the talking here. The documentary will be aired this evening (November 21, 2012) at 9:30pm EST, on ABC.
With Justin Bieber, MC Hammer joining Psy on stage and Stevie Wonder paying tribute to the late Dick Clark, The American Music Awards was supposed to be a huge televisual event, but not many people switched on to watch it.
We say 'not many', but Sunday's ceremony and performance show broadcast live on Walt Disney Co's ABC television was watched by an average 9.5 million viewers. Still, that's down from 12 million in 2011, and represents the worst return in terms of viewership in the show's history. Perhaps more importantly, the show dropped 21 percent of its viewers compared to last year in the much coveted and key 18-49 demographic most prized by advertisers, who fund the networks with their big bucks. The reason of this could be because it was up against football, which brings in huge figures, and ABC said the telecast was the top TV show of the night with women and teens.
The night also saw a touching tribute to the show's creator, Dick Clark, who created the American Music Awards as an alternative to The Grammys. Ryan Seacrest said of Clark, "Dick loved the power of music and its ability to create pure joy." Stevie Wonder, a great friend of Clarks, said, "I remember his friendship and his kindness. I remember his love for music and his love for people. I challenge you, you as communicators, leaders, politicians, spiritual leaders: Put your love first like we musicians put our music first... Then we can be jamming until the break of dawn," The Washington Post quoted him as saying.
Stevie Wonder Saturday 2nd April 2011 Nickelodeon's 2011 Kids Choice Awards held at USC's Galen Center Los Angeles, California
Stevie Wonder Thursday 20th November 2008 arriving at Prego Restaurant with his wife. Los Angeles, California
Stevie Wonder Saturday 29th September 2007 The Alfred Mann Foundation Gala held at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles, California
Date of birth
13th May, 1950
The virus still there but we can't see it. #COVID19
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