Monday, April 25, 2016

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on May 1st, 2016

Graham Nash has scored his highest charting solo album since 1974 with his new studio effort This Path Tonight. Debuting on the Billboard Hot 200 at No. 93, the LP is Nash's first solo studio album since 2002 and his highest charting since 1974's Wild Tales, which rose to No. 34. Bonnie Raitt's latest album, Dig in Deep, has bowed at No. 100 on the chart by selling 6,000 units in pure album sales, only 1,000 less than Nash's album. Other '70s artists on the album charts include Ace Frehley, whose Origins, Vol. 1 has risen to No. 23, and Marie Osmond with her new LP Music Is Medicine, which has hit No. 10 on the Top Country Albums chart. It's her first solo top 10 on the tally since 1974's In My Little Corner of the World peaked at No. 10 that year. - Billboard, 4/29/16...... The BeatlesA new Beatles exhibition dubbed "The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition" began a 21-week run at The Henry Ford museum in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn on Apr. 30. Boasting 10,000 square feet of Fab Four memorabilia with more than 150 artifacts from the collection of Peter Miniaci & Associates, a Beatles memorabilia specialty firm, the exhibit interactive displays designed to give visitors a "unique approach" to the Beatles story, according to exhibit designer Geoffrey Curley. Although the exhibit hasn't been sanctioned by the Beatles and their Apple Corps., they're not standing in its way. "They basically, for all intents and purposes, said 'Good luck,'" said a rep for the St. Paul, Minn.-based Exhibits Development Group, which is producing the exhibit. The exhibit is set to run through Sept. 18, and is next slated for the Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa starting March 9, 2017. - Billboard, 4/29/16...... At an all-star concert celebrating International Jazz Day at the White House in Washington on Apr. 30, Aretha Franklin paid tribute to Prince by performing the rock/funk legend's "Purple Rain." "He was definitely an original and a one-of-a-kind. There was truly only one Prince. He put his stamp [on his sound]," said Franklin, who earlier kicked off the proceedings with a performance of "A Song For You." Also performing at the event were Sting and Herbie Hancock, among others. Meanwhile, investigators in Minnesota are looking into whether Prince died from an overdose and whether a doctor was prescribing him drugs in the weeks before he was found dead at his home in suburban Minneapolis on Apr. 21. Authorities are reportedly interested in whether a doctor was on a plane carrying Prince from his final concert in Atlanta to his home that made an emergency landing in Illinois on Apr. 15, less than a week before he died. Prince's plane made an emergency stop in Moline, in western Illinois, and he was found unconscious on the plane. Investigators are also looking into what kind of drugs were on the plane and at Prince's house in suburban Minneapolis, and they have also obtained a search warrant to collect evidence at Prince's Paisley Park estate. One official said investigators are looking at whether Prince overdosed on the plane and whether an overdose killed him, and at what kind of drugs were involved. One possibility is the powerful painkiller Percocet or something similar, the official said. As this occurs, the National Enquirer tabloid has published a story with an unidentified source who claims Prince had been suffering from AIDS before he died at age 57. The story claims Prince weighed just 80 lbs. by the time of his death, had been diagnosed with the crippling disease six months earlier, and had "preparing to die for a little while." "Doctors told Prince his blood count was unusually low and that his body temperature had dropped dangerously below the normal 98.6 degrees to 94 degrees," the source stated. "He was totally iron-deficient, very weak and often disoriented. He rarely ate and when he did, it all came right back up. His face was yellowish, the skin on his neck was hanging off and the tips of fingers were a brownish-yellow," the source added. Meanwhile on Apr. 26, Prince's sister Tyka Nelson filed papers at the Minnesota probate court that indicated Prince died without executing a will. With Prince's estate worth a reported $300 million by current estimates, tax experts say it could be paying up to half of that in taxes. Also on Apr. 26, AMC theaters announced Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain will be expanding into more than 200 of its theaters in the U.S. as a way of giving grieving fans continue to look for ways to celebrate his life and career. - New Musical Express/AP/The Daily Mail UK, 5/1/16...... Elvis CostelloElvis Costello and the Impostors were among the headliners at New Orleans Jazz Fest on Apr. 28, the fourth day of the event. Costello and his band wasted no time getting into his greatest hits, kicking off with "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" and "Watching the Detectives," "Mystery Dance" and "Radio Radio." The second half of Costello's set was dedicated to his late friend and New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint, with performances of Toussaint's piano-driven "Ascension Day" and the Lee Dorsey-sung/Toussaint-penned classic "Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?." - Billboard, 4/29/16...... A May 10 trial date has been set for a California jury to decide whether Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" unfairly borrowed from an instrumental track called "Taurus" by L.A. rockers Spirit that came three years before it. Apparently, lawyers representing Spirit are now willing to settle their case for the seemingly low price of one American dollar. The catch is, Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, the co-writers of "Stairway to Heaven," would have to give songwriting credit to Spirit's Randy California, which would amount to much for than $1 towards the estate of the late California, who died in 1997. On April 25, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner decided the plaintiffs will not be able to present jurors with testimony involving Zeppelin's wealth and drug usage nor persuade them with evidence falling outside the original 1967 copyright of "Taurus." - Billboard, 4/27/16...... Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band wrapped the US leg of their The River tour on Apr. 25 at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Attended by some 18,000 fans, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Springsteen and the band once again performed the 1980 double LP The River's 21 songs and 15 additional hits, which was, according to the Boss, the last time he and the band will perform The River from top to bottom. "Tonight this is going to be our last official performance of The River from start to finish... We're going to open up our set list overseas," Springsteen told the crowd. "We've had a great time performing this record for all of you. We hope you have enjoyed it in the United States. So let's go down to the River one more time and see what we find." The tour began on Jan. 16 in Pittsburgh. - Billboard, 4/26/16...... Bob Dylan has released a second track from his forthcoming second covers album of Frank Sinatra songs, Fallen Angels. "All the Way" follows "Melancholy Mood," which was unveiled in April. Fallen Angels, which also features the Sinatra standards "Young at Heart," "That Old Black Magic" and "Come Rain or Come Shine," drops on May 20. - NME, 4/29/16...... Elton John and Lady Gaga are partnering on a new line of exclusive fashion and accessories with a political bent called Love Bravery. According to a press release, Love Bravery will be "a high-spirited, limited-edition line of clothing and accessories that inspire compassion and combat prejudice" and will span several categories including shirts, sweats, outerwear, clutches, backpacks, scarves, beanies, keychains and pins. Sales will benefit the artists' respective charites, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. "I love the idea of fusing who you are on the inside -- your passions and dreams -- with what you wear on the outside," John said in the statement. - Billboard, 4/27/16...... Neil YoungOn Apr. 29, Neil Young announced he will be releasing a new live album called EARTH that will feature recordings from his 2015 "The Monsanto Years" tour, along with the previously unreleased song "I Won't Quit." According to a press release, the album will also include highlights from Young's extensive discography, with new musical overdubs added to the mixes as well as a host of nature-inspired sounds including bears, birds, crickets, bees, horses, cows, and "sounds of the earth." Young will be playing the album in its entirety on May 6, ahead of its release on June 17, at the Natural History Museum Los Angeles County, as well as discussing the construction of the record. Meanwhile, Young's entire catalog -- 57 albums, including his 125-song Archives Volume I [1963 - 1972] set -- have been made available for streaming on the site. Tidal appears to have qualmed Young's well-known resistance to the inferior sound quality of streaming by offering a $19.99/month high-fidelity streaming option, which boasts better sound quality. But curiously, the catalog is also available via Tidal's standard (which it calls "premium") $9.99/month option, an about-face for the veteran rocker. In July 2015, Young posted on his website that "I don't need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution." - New Musical Express/Billboard, 4/29/16...... A life-size statue of late AC/DC frontman was unveiled over the UK bank holiday (Apr. 30-May 2) during the annual BonFest at the singer's Scottish hometown of Kirriemuir, Angus. A bronze statue honouring Scott was presented at the festival site after a two year-long crowdfunding campaign raised £45,000. The unveiling was led by former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans, who described it as "very emotional." "To have something like this that's been funded by the fans, the people that he held in his heart is just great. It's just fantastic, it's a really warming experience," he said. This was the tenth year of the BonFest, which also featured AC/DC tribute acts from around the world performing live. - New Musical Express, 4/29/16...... Debbie Harry of Blondie has joined the list of artists who are demanding changes to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) in the U.S., which they say "threatens the continued viability of songwriters and recording artists to survive from the creation of music." On Dec. 31, the Copyright Office announced its intent to evaluate the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA, which -- to an extent -- protects internet service providers from third parties who illegally share content online. Other artists who are onboard demanding changes to the law include Billy Joel, Steven Tyler, Lionel Richie, Jon Bon Jovi, Pearl Jam, Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera. - Billboard, 4/25/16...... Tom Jones has spoken out for the first time since the death of his longtime wife Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, known as Linda, who passed away on Apr. 10. "A heartfelt Thank You to all who sent notes of their sympathy and support to me and my family over the last couple of weeks," the famous Welsh singer posted on his site. "So many beautiful and meaningful things were said, and reading these genuine and lovely messages has lifted us all. See you soon," he added. The pair married in 1957, both aged 16. Their only child, Mark, was born a month later. - NME, 4/28/16...... Philip KivesCanadian entrepreneur Philip Kives, the founder of the world-famous K-Tel brand and a pioneer of late-night television direct marketing, died of natural causes on Apr. 27 in Winnipeg, Canada. He was 87. With his products Veg-O-Matic, Dial-O-Matic, the Feather Touch Knife and the category-founding K-Tel music compilations, the Saskatchewan-born Mr. Kives virtually invented late night TV marketing after holding such jobs as taxi driver, short-order cook, and door-to-door salesman, even working as a "barker" on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. In the spring of 1962, Mr. Kives appeared on television for the first timing, presenting a live, late-night commercial selling teflon pans. Around four years later, he tried selling music on late night TV, selling compilations -- at that time a new format, and a new income stream for the record business. He started off with 25 Country Hits, following up with his first million-seller, 25 Polka Greats, according to his biography on the K-Tel website. In the late '60's Mr. Kives launched K-Tel and continued to sell both household appliances like the Miracle Brush, while beginning music compilation lines like Hooked On Classics. Along the way, the company built a large headquarters in Minneapolis, where it remained for many years. The site had a block named after it, K-Tel Drive, which is still there today. Sales grew from $23 million in 1971 to $178 million in 1981, according to his daughter Samantha Kives. "He had a profound effect on pop culture -- SNL and SCTV did skits on K-Tel." While K-tel initially began in the music business by putting together compilations of licensed hits and other music, it also began having original artists re-record their hits, but also bought the rights to some original versions of hits. Today, it has a catalog of 6,000 original hit recordings and re-recordings that are used to license for commercials and in movies. They are also available on most digital services too, with the company now run by Kives' children. Mr. Kives is survived by his wife, Ellie to whom he was married for 45 years; his children Samanta, Kelly and Danial; and three grandchildren. - Billboard, 4/29/16.

On Apr. 21 Joe Walsh canceled a concert in Cleveland set for July 18 after learning that it had ties to the Republican National Convention as the GOP meets in the city to pick its presidential candidate. "It was my understanding that I was playing a concert which was a non-partisan event to benefit the families of American veterans on Monday, July 18 in Cleveland," Walsh posted on his website. Joe Walsh"The admat I approved said this specifically. Today it was announced that this event is, in fact, a launch for the Republican National Convention. In addition, my name is to be used to raise sponsorship dollars for convention-related purposes. Therefore, I must humbly withdraw my participation in this event with apologies to any fans or veterans and their families that I might disappoint." Walsh, who launches a 25-date tour with Bad Company on May 12 in Dallas, added that he is "very concerned about the rampant vitriol, fear-mongering and bullying coming from the current Republican campaigns." "It is both isolationist and spiteful. I cannot in good conscience endorse the Republican party in any way. I will look at doing a veteran related benefit concert later this year," he added. - Billboard, 4/21/16...... The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Minneapolis, Minn., announced on Apr. 22 that it had completed an autopsy on Prince, who shockingly died the previous day at the age of 57, but the results will likely not be released for several weeks. Prince was found dead in his Chanhassen, Minn., compound, slumped unconscious in an elevator, and was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. (11:07 EST), about 15 minutes after emergency personnel responded to a call for help. Medical personnel were unable to revive the Grammy-winning musical icon, who performed his final show at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on April 14. He was then secretly cremated in an intimate ceremony at a nondescript funeral home in Minneapolis shortly after the autopsy was completed. Britain's The Daily Mail paper is reporting that Prince's longtime drug dealer, who asked to be named only as "Doctor D," said Prince had a "secret major drug addiction" and would spend up to $40,000 a time on six-month supplies of Dilaudid pills and Fentanyl patches -- both highly addictive opioid pain killers -- and according to sources Prince overdosed on the opiate Percocet. Doctor D said the musician regularly bought drugs from him between 1984 and 2008, and that Prince suffered crippling stage fright and could not get on stage and perform without the drugs -- but had a phobia of doctors so could not obtain a prescription legally. "He needed the drugs because he was so nervous -- he could be nervous in a room with just five people in it. He was scared to go out in public, he was scared to talk to people and didn't like to go on stage -- he had the worst case of stage fright I'd ever seen," the drug dealer added. On Apr. 23, Prince was remembered at a private memorial service held at his Paisley Park estate, with family, representatives and friends handing out purple hat boxes to well wishers and friends including Sheila E at the gates. Meanwhile, Prince's 1984 smash "Purple Rain" has returned to the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, as well as the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Five of his tracks also appear on the Hot Rock Songs chart. Prince also claims the Nos. 1 and 2 spots on the Billboard Hot 200 albums chart with his The Very Best of Prince and Purple Rain soundtrack, respectively. Also AMC Theatres has announced the Purple Rain film will play in 87 of its theaters across the US on Apr. 23 through Apr. 28. Musicians paying tribute to the legendary musician include Bruce Springsteen, who sang "Purple Rain" at a concert at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Apr. 23, and David Gilmour, who suprised the crowd during a London concert on Apr. 24 by mashing up "Comfortably Numb" with "Purple Rain." - Billboard/New Musical Express, 4/25/16...... Peter FramptonAlthough Peter Frampton says he thinks recent controversial anti-LGBT laws that have been passed in Mississippi and North Carolina are "absurd," he is defending his decision to go ahead with scheduled concerts in those states, citing a need to honor his commitment to fans who have already purchased tickets. "Performing live has been one of the most important opportunities I've been given and I am lucky to share my music with so many of my amazing, loyal and diverse fans," Frampton said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. "My band and I will uphold our commitment to play our scheduled shows there this summer and honor fans who have already purchased tickets and/or made travel plans." However Frampton says he has no intention of playing those two states in the future, unless they reconsider the laws. "We will not play again until these laws are changed... I will be making a donation in support of the rights and protections of the LGBTQ community." Frampton joins several other artists, including Gregg Allman and Jimmy Buffett, who have also chosen not to cancel their concerts, but are speaking out about the controversial laws. - Billboard, 4/22/16...... Kraftwerk has announced it will launch a new run of 3D concerts in the US this fall, beginning on Sept. 3 in North Bethesda, Maryland. In 2015, the German electronic pioneers played 12 dates of 3D shows in America in smaller markets like Portland, Calgary and Nashville. Kraftwerk will also be visiting Atlanta (9/3), Memphis (9/6), New Orleans (9/8), Dallas (9/10), San Antonio (9/12), Phoenix (9/15), and San Diego (9/16) before wrapping in Los Angeles on Sept. 18. The band is also set to headline the Movement Electronic Music Festival from May 28-30 in Detroit, Mich. - Billboard, 4/25/16...... Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire wrapped their joint Heart and Soul tour at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Apr. 18. The two acts. Speaking about Chicago's recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, frontman Robert Lamm joked to the crowd that "I have a feeling it's thanks to the Chicago-style voting: five people voting 37 million times." The most moving portion of the concert, though, was EW&F's tribute to the group's recently deceased founder Maurice White. As the band played "In the Marketplace (Interlude)," a picture of White was projected on the background. - Billboard, 4/21/16...... ZZ Top has put its North American tour on hold as bassist Dusty Hill recuperates from a fractured shoulder he sustained before an Apr. 14 show in Lubbock, Texas. Hill, according to a statement from the band, tripped on a dimly-lit step while walking to the stage for the show, and Hill says his doctors are "doing their best to get me back in the game as soon as possible." Since the injury, ZZ Top canceled its April 15 show in Shawnee, Okla. and will not be able to perform again until a May 28 festival date in Frisco, Tex. - Billboard, 4/20/16...... Phil SpectorLegendary music producer Phil Spector, who is currently serving a 19 years to life sentence at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton, Calif., for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson, has allegedly filed for divorce from his wife Rachelle Short, amid reports that she is spending all of his estimated $35 million fortune. Spector, who will be 88 before he is eligible for parole, filed legal documents on Apr. 22 alleging that Short has been "spending like a mad woman," with a list of extravagant purchases that included a $350,000 airplane, an Aston Martin and a Ferrari. Short has also apparently treated herself to expensive plastic surgery and jewellery, as well as buying her mother two homes. In addition, Short has reportedly only given Spector a $300-a-month stipend during his time behind bars. Spector cited irreconcilable differences in the divorce papers, and also has requested that his daughter Nicole control his fortune. -, 4/23/16...... A rare version of David Bowie's Hunky Dory album is expected to fetch £36,000 at auction when it goes up for sale in late April. The record in question is an acetate disc created after the album was mastered but before it was released to the public as a finished vinyl. It was used as the precursor for a limited run of 500 promotional copies of Bowie's 1971 fourth album. Versions of this white label record, which is known amongst collectors as the 'BOWPROMO' are themselves tremendously valuable, with one selling for around $10,000 on eBay in 2012. The acetate was owned by late Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson, who played with Bowie's backing band at the time, before being passed through family and friends until it arriving in the hands of its current owner, Dennis Graham, in 1973. "It's quite a funny story on how I came to own it," Graham says. "The record had been given to my neighbour as a gift from Mick Ronson's mum and he ended up giving it to me in exchange for a bottle of beer! I kept it for all these years and it's unbelievable to see how much it's now worth." - NME, 4/22/16...... The Who's Roger Daltrey has confirmed that the Who will definitely be playing an upcoming "mega festval" in Indio, Calif., this year between Oct. 7-9, along with such icons as Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters and the Rolling Stones. "I think it's us and Roger Waters on the same day," Daltrey told Canada's Postmedia Network. "It's a fantastic idea for a festival. It's the greatest remains of our era." Daltrey also weighed in on the recent announcement that Guns 'N Roses singer Axl Rose will be joining the band to replace vocalist Brian Johnson on the the remainder of AC/DC's Rock or Bust World Tour after Johnson was forced to retire from performing music for good or face permanent hearing loss. "I mean, go and see karaoke with Axl Rose? Give me a break," Daltrey said. In another recent interview with the London Free Press, Daltrey said that he "really feels badly for Brian" and that "it must be heartbreaking for him after all the service he's given that band over the years." "I thought their farewell statement to the press and to Brian was fairly curt to say the least. I felt for him. That must have hurt," he added. Meanwhile, the singer of an AC/DC tribute band called Thunderstruck is claiming he was auditioned by AC/DC to be their new frontman. Thunderstruck's Lee Robinson recently told Blabbermouth that the band flew him into Atlanta during March to audition for them. He says AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams had found out about the tribute act after stumbling upon Youtube clips of their performances. - New Musial Express, 4/22/16...... Billy Paul'70s soul singer Billy Paul, best known for his No. 1 1972 single "Me and Mrs. Jones," died on Apr. 24 at his home in Blackwood, N.J., after what a statement described as a "serious medical condition." He was 82. Born Billy Paul Williams in Philadephia on Dec. 1, 1934, Mr. Paul began singing at an early age, even sharing a bill at Club Harlem in Philadelphia with Charlie Parker when he was only 16 years old, later saying he "learned in a week what would normally take two years to pick up" thanks to Parker. His recording of "Me and Mrs. Jones" topped the Hot 100 in late 1972, and it earned the singer a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male in 1973. The single was written by the hit Philly songwriting team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, who also wrote and produced albums for Mr. Paul including Ebony Woman and Going East. Later in his career, Mr. Paul sued Gamble and Huff and other industry officials over unpaid royalties, and was awarded $500,000. Throughout his career, Mr. Paul released 15 albums, the most recent being 1988's Wide Open. His manager, Beverly Gay, said the musician had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and hospitalized during the previous week at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. A statement on his website called him a "pioneer of today's R&B music [who] will be truly missed." Gamble and Huff released a statement upon hearing of Mr. Paul's passing, calling "Me and Mrs. Jones" "one of the greatest love songs ever recorded" and their recording of the song with Mr. Paul "our proudest moment." "He was one of the greatest musicians ever to come out of Philadelphia," the duo added. - Billboard, 4/24/16...... Lonnie Mack, a veteran guitarist whose instrumental recordings influenced guitar players including Stevie Ray Vaughan, died in a Nashville, Tenn., hospital on Apr. 21 of natural causes. He was 74. Born Lonnie McIntosh in West Harrison, Indiana, Mack played sessions for record labels in Cincinnati with blues and R&B greats such as James Brown, Hank Ballard and Freddie King. Mack's 1963 recording of Chuck Berry's "Memphis" became a radio hit, and he followed that with "Wham!," which inspired the nickname "whammy bar" for the tremolo bar he had on his Gibson Flying V. - AP, 4/22/16.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on Apr. 21st, 2016

PrincePrince, a music icon who became known as one of the most flamboyant, controversial and influential artists of the 1980s and beyond, died on Apr. 21 of as yet undisclosed causes at his Paisley Park recording studio on his Chanhassen, Minn. estate. He was 57. Prince had reportedly been hospitalized on Apr. 14 when his private plane, enroute to Minnesota after concerts in Atlanta, Ga., was forced to make an emergency landing in Moline, Ill., where he was taken by ambulance to the hospital but discharged a few hours later and returned home by plane. His publicist later revealed that he had been suffering from "flu-like symptoms." The following day, Prince was spotted riding his bicycle around town and hosted an all-night dance party at Paisley Park, his last public appearance. Born Prince Rogers Nelson (his father, jazz pianist John Nelson, was a member of the Prince Roger Trio) on June 7, 1958, Prince was raised in Minneapolis and secured a long-term contract with Warner Bros. Records in the late 1970s. The promotional tour for his fifth studio album 1999 album, released in 1982, featured a special revue troupe, Prince and the Revolution, replacing his original backing band. His single "Little Red Corvette" gained significant airplay on MTV as he began work on the Purple Rain film, a glamourized autobiographical piece in which he would star. "When Doves Cry," from the soundtrack, became the first Prince song to top the US charts, and he followed up with two additional strong singles, "Let's Go Crazy" and "Purple Rain" (numbers 1 and 2 respectively), further establishing him as one of the premiere acts of the '80s. His later releases include the quasi-psychedelic Around the World in a Day (1985), Parade (1986), Sign 'O the Times (1987), Lovesexy (1988), Graffiti Bridge (1990), Diamonds and Pearls (1991) and the 1992 Love Symbol Album, which introduced the cryptic "symbol" that he would legally adapt as his name in the following year. After entering into a protracted legal battle with his record label, Warner Bros., Prince abandoned the special moniker in Sept. 1993, becoming "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince," for which he suffered widespread ridicule. After "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" in 1995 became his bestselling single in years, Prince sacked his New Power Generation band in 1996 and announced that he would not be touring, preferring to spend more time with his wife and new baby (who tragically died months after birth). Prince celebrated his release from his Warner Bros. contract with the sprawling Emancipation release, and another 4-CD set, Crystal Ball, was initially sold over the Internet before being released to distributors. In May 2000, Prince announced he had reverted back to his original moniker. Over his 35-plus-year career, Prince released 39 solo studio albums, and his influence stretches from pop to R&B to funk to hip-hop. The artist, a 7-time Grammy winner, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 (his first year of eligibility), and in 2007 he delivered an acclaimed Super Bowl half-time performance, hailed by some as the best Super Bowl performance ever. Pres. Barack Obama released a statement after hearing of the music icon's death, calling him "one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time [who] did it all." - Billboard, 4/21/16.

Howard Weitzman, the lead attorney for Michael Jackson's estate in the upcoming tax court battle in 2017 over how much money Jackson's estate owes the Internal Revenue Service in estate taxes, has spoken publicly for the first time about the case. Weitzman says both sides haven't exchanged much information so far and the IRS hasn't explained how its independent auditor determined its huge valuation against Jackson's estate, which could be worth more than $1 billion with interest and penalties. Some tax specialists even wonder if it could lead to criminal tax evasion charges, and the outcome of the case could impact celebrity estate planning for years to come. "This is the biggest estate tax case I've ever seen," says attorney and tax specialist Gary Wolfe. Jackson estate executors John Branca and John McClain have overseen a remarkable turnaround in the value of the estate after Jackson's 2009 death, with the 2009 documentary This Is It grossing $261 million, a Cirque du Soleil tribute show that packs in fans, and the release of posthumous Jackson albums, video games and other lucrative memorials. Weitzman says he estimates that Jackson earned no more than $50 million from the licensing of his name and image when the pop star was alive, even during the Thriller heyday. "It seems preposterous that the IRS would arrive at a value 10 times this amount," Weitzman says. "This is bizarre." - The Hollywood Reporter, 4/20/16...... Jerry Lee LewisAn 18-disc box set of Jerry Lee Lewis' work at the legendary Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn., At Sun Records: The Collected Works, has been released by German-based Bear Family Records. "It's the first genuine attempt to chronicle absolutely everything that could be found of Jerry Lee Lewis at work, on his own account, in the Sun studios," says the set's co-producer Andrew McRae. Lewis recorded for the label between 1956 and 1963, cutting a total of 623 tracks for label. The set also included two 300-page books with many never before published photos of "The Killer." - Billboard, 4/19/16...... Tom Waits has penned a moving tribute to late country music great Merle Haggard in the new Rolling Stone magazine. "When I was a teenager I was listening to songs like they were books and studied them to learn how to write songs of my own. Who ever thought that something great could come out of Bakersfield? It made me feel a whole lot better about living in a place called National City," writes Waits, who grew up around San Diego, not far from where Haggard was born. "[Merle]'s voice was golden, writes Waits, and his songs were "lived in, broke in and filled with longing -- his last name will always be an adjective," Waits added. "Merle's songs are train-like... lonesome, well made and hard as hell. May they always keep moving." Meanwhile, Merle Haggard's life story, which began in a converted boxcar, included time in San Quentin prison and flourished into a Hall of Fame country music career, could become the subject of a new biopic. A script, named "Done It All" after one of the Hag's songs, has reportedly been completed by Cliff Hollingsworth, who wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-nominated James Braddock boxing biopic Cinderella Man. Haggard died in Palo Cedro, Calif. of pneumonia on Apr. 6, his 79th birthday. - Billboard, 4/20/16...... Tom_ScholzClassic rockers Boston have become the latest act to cancel concerts in North Carolina because of the state's new law on LGBT rights. "[The law] has the appearance of an oppressive discriminatory law against a small minority," Boston guitarist Tom Scholz posted on his Facebook page on Apr. 18. "And other aspects of the law arguably encourage bigotry," he added. Boston had been scheduled to play in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh in early May. North Carolina's legislature recently overturned an ordinance by the city of Charlotte that would have allowed transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity, and blocked all other cities and counties from passing similar rules against discrimination. - AP, 4/18/16...... As his One on One Tour hit Seattle on Apr. 17, Paul McCartney brought out Seattle's own Krist Novoselic, formerly of Nirvana, to jam on the Beatles classic "Helter Skelter. Novoselic, who has performed with McCartney previously at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy and on Saturday Night Live, also provided some backing vocals on the song. In other McCartney news, the origins of a "mysterious" house remix of McCartney's 1973 Wings track "Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five" have been revealed. A limited pressing of 300 white labels of the remix was made available on the Phonica Records website on Mar. 31 and soon sold out, with some copies fetching upwards of $400 on eBay. After McCartney's Twitter account linked to a web article about the remix, fans begin to speculate that it had been officially commissioned by the ex-Beatle, but now producers Timo Maas and James Teej have claimed the remix as their handiwork, explaining that they released it with McCartney's full approval. According to Billboard, Timo Maas said that he actually started work on the remix in 2009, but set it aside because he "never fully succeeded in working the parts to a point where I really felt the end result was worth passing along." After he and his parter Teej worked on the song again in 2015, Maas said the pair were happy enough with their remix to send it to McCartney for approval, and he "thought it was very cool" and gave them the green light to put it out. "That will forever be the biggest moment of my music career and words can't express how it felt to have him personally approve the remix," Mass said. - Billboard, 4/19/16...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, the Beatles U.S. chart records for the most number of weeks spent at No. 1 has been broken by singer Rhianna, whose recent hit "Work," featuring Drake, is currently top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts for the ninth week running, giving her an overall tally of 60 weeks' worth of No. 1 songs. That is one more week at the summit than the Beatles' overall total in America. - New Musical Express, 4/19/16...... The London Sunday Times has named Elton John as the most charitable British musician in 2015, with the Rocket Man handing out £26.8 million ($38 million) to charitable causes that year, with much of it benefiting Aids foundations on both sides of the Atlantic. Other '70s artists making the list included Ringo Starr, who raised and donated more than £6 million ($8.5 million) through an auction of Beatles memorabilia, at No. 6, and Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor, who each donated £1.1 million ($2.4 million) to charity. - Billboard, 4/19/16.............................................. George HarrisonBob DylanRoy OrbisonMusic from the late '80s/early '90s "supergroup" The Traveling Wilburys will finally be available for streaming for the first time in June under a new licensing agreement between the group and Concord Bicycle Music for both physical and digital reissues. The band -- composed of George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne -- formed in 1988 and released two albums on Warner Bros., 1988's Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 and 1990's Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3 (recorded after Orbison's death). Vol. 1 reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200, while Vol. 3 peaked at No. 11. Concord Bicycle Music will also rerelease the box set The Traveling Wilburys Collection, which was originally released by Rhino Records in 2007. The new Traveling Wilburys Collection, which includes Vol. 1 and Vol. 3, bonus tracks and a DVD, comes in several formats: a limited deluxe edition; a numbered 2-CD, 1-DVD box set; a 3 LP deluxe 180-gram vinyl box, a standard 2-CD set; a 1-DVD package; and as high-resolution downloads. Earlier in 2016, Concord Bicycle's publishing arm, Bicycle Music Company, entered into an exclusive worldwide agreement with the estate of George Harrison for his Harrisongs catalog, which includes much of his Beatles work, his solo material, and his contributions to the Traveling Wilburys' albums. - Billboard, 4/18/16...... Aretha Franklin says she's now "ready to sign" for a biopic deal that's been in development since at least 2011. The 74-year-old Queen of Soul, who made the announcement on Apr. 14 at her birthday party at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, says there's "very little left now [to negotiate], very little. They have given me creative control and that's all I wanted." Negotiations for a film have been in the works since at least 2011, when Franklin admitted she wanted Halle Berry to play her. Five years later, Jennifer Hudson is reportedly now set to play the legendary Memphis-born singer, who has won a staggering 18 Grammy Awards charted 77 songs on the US hit parade. Scott Bernstein, who produced the acclaimed NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton movie, will be working with Aretha on the movie. - AP, 4/18/16...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Paul Simon revealed that he is "no longer on speaking terms" with Art Garfunkel. When asked whether the duo would ever play together again, Simon said: "No, out of the question. We don't even talk." Simon's remarks come after Garfunkel called him an "idiot" and a "jerk" in 2015 and said he "created a monster" when he became his friend in grade school. Simon also said he thinks the reason most people come to his concerts is they want to hear his 1998 hit "You Can Cal Me Al." "They wanna hear 'You Can Call Me Al,'" he says. "So I play it. It's not like I would pick out 'You Can Call Me Al' and play it because I really want to, but people like it so much that I'm like, 'Of course I'll do it.' I'll play 'Me and Julio [Down by the Schoolyard]' too, though I actually like 'Me and Julio.'" Simon will release his 13th solo album, Stranger to Stranger, on June 3. - NME, 4/19/16...... Axl RoseAC/DC announced on Apr. 16 that Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose will be handling lead vocal duties in the band for Brian Johnson, who had to bow out from touring due to hearing issues. "AC/DC band members would like to thank Brian Johnson for his contributions and dedication to the band throughout the years. We wish him all the best with his hearing issues and future ventures," the band said in a statement. "As much as we want this tour to end as it started, we understand, respect and support Brian's decision to stop touring and save his hearing. We are dedicated to fulfilling the remainder of our touring commitments to everyone that has supported us over the years, and are fortunate that Axl Rose has kindly offered his support to help us fulfill this commitment," they added. Rose reportedly met with Angus Young and other band members in Miami and Atlanta earlier in the year to discuss his joining the band, despite his commitments to Guns N' Roses' summer touring schedule. AC/DC is also considering having other singers, including Sebastion Back of Skid Row and Nic Cester of the Aussie band Jet, alternate with Rose when the band resumes its Rock or Bust European tour on May 7 in Lisbon, Portugal. The 12-date European tour leg is set to wrap June 12 in Aarhus, Denmark. - Billboard, 4/16/16...... A notebook used by Freddie Mercury towards the end of his life and containing the final Queen lyrics is set to be auctioned by Bonhams of London on June 29. The notebook includes Mercury's lyrics to "Too Much Love Will Kill You" and "The Show Must Go On," among other songs, and has an estimate price of £50,000-£70,000. Mercury and Queen recorded "The Show Must Go On" just six weeks before his untimely death at the age of 45 in Nov. 1991. "There are plenty of collectors out there who I'm sure would love to have this -- it's because it is so personal, he had it there with him for nearly three years. It gives you a really close connection," a Bonham's spokesman said. Meanwhile, a new survey has found that Freddie Mercury pushed his voice to its limits - and his vocal cords vibrated more and moved faster than his peers, even those of the powerful opera singer Luciano Pavarotti. A scholarly paper published in Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology studied 23 Queen songs as well as the Freddie Mercury: The Solo Collection boxset, and hypothesised that Mercury was actually a baritone singing as a tenor and that he showed instances of "subharmonic vibration," the phenomenon of "a sound production system driven to its limits." While Mercury's vocal range was deemed "normal for a healthy adult," the study showed that the singer's vocal cords vibrated more and moved faster than his peers, even more than that of Pavarotti. - NME, 4/20/16...... Ace FrehleyFormer Kiss lead guitarist Ace Frehley was admitted to a Wilkes-Barre, Pa., hospital on Apr. 15 after playing a gig in the city earlier in the evening after complaining of exhaustion and dehydration. A message posted on Frehley's website the following day said he "reluctantly" agreed to cancel a sold-out show that evening in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Frehley, 64, said in March that he's "leaving the door open" to joining the original Kiss line-up, which he was a member of from 1973-1982, later rejoining in 1996 for a reunion tour and departing agan in 2002. Frehley said that while the idea "hasn't been discussed" (band principals Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have been quoted as saying "We'll never work with Ace again"), Frehley says "they also said that before the reunion tour in '96. So who knows?" "Who knows what the future will bring? If it did happen at some point... it'd be magical if it was handled right," he said. Meanwhile, shoulder surgery has prevented Paul Stanley from performing with Kiss during the band's headlining gig at the 23rd annual Race to Erase MS fundraising gala held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on Apr. 15. "Tore my bicep tendon. Surgery reattached it with a screw and stitches to anchor in place. Not much I can do now!" Stanley wrote on Facebook and Twitter, before adding: "Thanks to my AMAZING doctor I WILL be great & ready to rock WAAAAYYYY before the tour!" Earlier in April, Kiss announced they'll begin a 5-date summer "Freedom to Rock" Tour of the U.S. on July 7 in Boise, Idaho. - AP/NME, 4/16/16...... It appears Bruce Springsteen's 24-year-old daughter Jessica Springsteen, a horse riding enthusiast, will not participating in the 2016 Olympics, as her name did not make the shortlist of the United States Equestrian Federation's top 10 riders to make the summer's Olympic team. Jessica represented the United States as an alternate rider in the 2012 Summer Olympics, and was the winner of the American Gold Cup in 2014 and a featured model as Gucci's equestrian ambassador. Earlier this year, her parents Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa hosted a fundraiser for the team, raising $1.5 million. - Billboard, 4/16/16...... Doris Roberts, a veteran character actress best known for her role as Marie Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond, died on Apr. 17 of as yet undisclosed causes. She was 90. Ms. Roberts was nominated for 11 Emmys, including seven for Raymond, winning four for her work on that series. She picked up her first Emmy in 1983 for a guest appearance on St. Elsewhere, making for a total of five wins overall. Her stage roles included "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" in 1969-71, and her movie appearances include Something Wild, Barefoot in the Park, Divorce American Style, No Way to Treat a Lady, The Honeymoon Killers and A Lovely Way to Die. During the '70s she guested on shows including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (as a faith healer), All in the Family, Rhoda, Soap, Alice and Barney Miller. Ms. Roberts was originally intended to play Vivian, the character ultimately portrayed by Rue McClanahan, on Maude, but the producers decided that her persona was too similar to that of series star Bea Arthur. Ms. Roberts is survived by her son Michael, from her first marriage, who was also her manager; and three grandchildren. - Variety, 4/18/16.

Elton John is reportedly in talks to join the cast of a sequel to the 2015 action spy hit Kingsman. Kingsman: The Golden Circle will include returning lead actor Taron Egerton as well as new cast members Julianne Moore, Halle Berry and Pedro Pascal, among others. It is unclear what role John would be taking, although he could be playing himself. Elton won an Oscar for his sountrack contribution to 1994's The Lion King, although his acting efforts have been mostly limited to voiceovers for shows such as The Simpsons, or acting as a narrator in the animated film The Road to El Dorado. - Billboard, 4/12/16...... Diana RossDiana Ross is recovering from head and neck pains after being involved in an automobile accident on her way to a performance at the Sands casino complex in Bethlehem, Penn., on Apr. 13. Police say the Lincoln Town Car in which the Motown legend was riding was crashed into by an SUV which ran a stop sign. Ross, 72, as treated at the scene by paramedics and indicated she would seek further treatment on her own. Ross performed as scheduled later in the evening, and a 22-year-old New Jersey woman, who was driving the SUV, received a traffic citation. - AP, 4/14/16...... Steve Miller is defending some strong comments he made to Rolling Stone magazine after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Apr. 9, including a slam on the experience of the ceremony, the lack of female inductees and respect for artists, and the music industry in general. "This whole industry f---ing sucks and this little get-together you guys have here is like a private boys' club and it's a bunch of jackasses and jerks and f---ing gangsters and crooks who've f---ing stolen everything from a f---ing artist," Miller told the magazine. Now, Miller says he feels bad for the Black Keys, who inducted him and have since said they regret it now in the aftermath of his comments. "I think their experience was as bad as mine. It shouldn't have happened, and if the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame would have had good enough manners to at least introduce us, we'd probably be friends. We have a lot in common, and I think they've been played pretty good by Rolling Stone," Miller told Billboard. Miller added that he thinks the RRHOF has been turned into an elitist group, and that those nominated are the opposite of the spirit of rock and roll. "You have to speak truth to these people. The whole experience is not like what you would think being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame would be. You'd think it would be a wonderful experience," he said. Miller also elaborated on the "gangster and crooks" comment, saying his record companies "have grossed over $1 billion from my work, and I've spent 50 years auditing them to force them to pay me what my contracts call for." "I caught them illegally selling hundreds of thousands of my records in markets worldwide. They've broken their contracts; they've broken their word. They have built-in theft in all their accounting," he said. Miller says he isn't really surprised at the negative reaction of his comments to Rolling Stone. "I've gotten hundreds of emails from artists and pals and peers just saying, "right on, man, I can't believe you had the balls to say that," that kind of stuff. The reaction from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Rolling Stone magazine has not surprised me at all," he said. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 4/15/16...... Meanwhile, Gene Simmons of Kiss is continuing his feud with rapper Ice Cube after Simmons said he didn't think the hip-hop group N.W.A. deserved to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "Rock 'n' roll is not conforming to the people who came before you, but creating your own path in music and life. That is rock 'n' roll and that is us," Ice Cube said as he inducted N.W.A. into the Cleveland-based hall and museum, to which Simmons tweeted in response: "Respectfully-- let me know when @JimiHendrix gets into the hip hop hall of fame. Then youll have a point." After Ice Cube tagged Simmons on Twitter with "@genesimmons I repeat. And say this with a Kiss," on Apr. 11 Simmons tweeted: "Cube - I stand by my words. Respect NWA, but when Led Zep[pelin] gets into Rap Hall of Fame, I will agree with your point." A day later Simmons posted, "Zep does not qualify for Rap Hall of Fame: and that's Because Zep is Rock!!" - Billboard, 4/11/16...... Jimmy PageSpeaking of Led Zeppelin, a U.S. District Judge ruled on Apr. 8 that a trial is needed to determine of the band's epic "Stairway to Heaven" song copied its opening notes from the late '60s band Spirit's song "Taurus." Judge R. Gary Klausner opined that lawyers for the trustee of late Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe had presented enough evidence for the suit to go to trial. Klausner wrote that while the songs have some differences, lawyers for Wolfe's trustee may be able to prove they are substantially similar. The two bands performed at some concerts and festivals around the same time, but not on the same stage. Klausner wrote that the evidence presented so far represented a circumstantial case that Led Zeppelin may have heard "Taurus," which was written around 1967, performed before "Stairway to Heaven," which was released in 1971, was created. Judge Klausner set a trial date for May 10 in Los Angeles, and his ruling removed Zeppelin band member John Paul Jones from the case. Bandmates Robert Plant and Jimmy Page remain defendants in the case. - AP, 4/12/16...... In related news, U.S. District Court judge John A. Kronstadt has denied a request for Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke to pay about $3.5 million in attorney's fees and costs connected to their legal fight over Willams and Thicke's hit "Blurred Lines," which they claim infringed on Gaye's "Got to Give it Up," and for which the family was awarded $7.4 million. Kronstadt later dialed that award back to $5.3 million in damages plus 50 percent of the song's future royalties, and now he's denying much of the $3.5 million the Gayes wanted to add to that tab. The judge found that the Gayes are entitled to 65 percent of costs related to expert witnesses and deposition transcripts, service of process and service of subpoenas on several companies. - The Hollywood Reporter, 4/12/16...... Bruce Springsteen was joined by Bob Seger during Springsteen's The River tour in Ann Arbor, Mich., in suburban Detroit on Apr. 14. Springsteen journeyed into the crowd during "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" when guitarist Steven Van Zandt waved-up Seger -- who lives nearby and was sitting in the front row on the side of the stage with his wife Nita -- and handed him a tambourine to help finish the song. Seger stayed onstage for the show-closing rendition of the Isley Brothers' "Shout," finishing the song by leaping in tandem with Springsteen and then joining the band for its final bow. Back in October 1980, Seger also joined Springsteen and his band in Ann Arbor for an encore reprise of "Thunder Road" during Springsteen's original The River tour. Springsteen also warned the audience that Michigan was considering LGBT-discriminating legislation "similar to the ones that forced us to cancel our show in North Carolina" on April 10 in Greensboro. "We hope the bill doesn't pass, 'cause we love playing in Michigan," Springsteen said. "So keep your heads up." - Billboard, 4/15/16......Gregg Allman In related news, Gregg Allman said he didn't cancel his Apr. 13 concert in North Carolina, which has passed a "bathroom law" similar to the one Michigan is proposing, although he stands with the LGBT community. In a strongly worded Facebook statement, Allman said that while the "discriminating" law is "infuriating," he knows that "North Carolina is a state full of good folks and loyal fans, many of whom are angry about and feel misrepresented by this action." Jimmy Buffett has taken a similar stance, saying he's not canceling two upcoming North Carolina concerts, in Raleigh on Apr. 21 and Charlotte on Apr. 23, even though he thinks the state enacted a "stupid law" limiting protections for lesbians, gays and transgender people. "I am not going to let stupidity or bigotry trump fun for my loyal fans this year," Buffett posted on his blog on Apr. 11. On Apr. 13, Ringo Starr announced he was canceling his upcoming All Starr Band performance in Cary, North Carolina on June 18, saying "I'm sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love." - Billboard/AP, 4/15/16...... Paul McCartney fans attending the former Beatles superstar's One on One Tour in Fresno, Calif., on Apr. 13 received a special treat -- the first performance of the Beatles' 1964 classic "A Hard Day's Night" in concert by Paul in 51 years. It was the first time McCartney had played the song as the solo act, and he last played it as a member of the Beatles at the Cow Palace in Daly City, Calif., on Aug. 31, 1965. McCartney, 73, effortlessly delivered a nearly three-hour, 38-song set at the 16,000-capacity Save Mart Center arena that spanned his five-decade career with the Beatles, Wings, and as a solo artist. Sir Paul was backed by Paul "Wix" Wickens on keyboards, Brian Ray on bass/guitar, Rusty Anderson on guitar and Abe Laboriel Jr on drums. Paul last toured with his 2013-2015 Out There tour, which grossed $196 million from 60 shows. The sold-out show boasted a brand new stage production with massive screens, mind-blowing psychedelic visuals, and spectacular laser and fireworks displays. - Billboard, 4/14/16...... Meanwhile, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones are reportedly in talks to appear at what is being touted as "one of the biggest concerts in history" with a three-day festival which is being planned on the same site as the Coachella Festival in Indio, Calif., on Oct. 7-9. Other major artists also set to appear include The Who, Neil Young and Pink Floyd's Roger Waters. "It's so special in so many ways," Young's longtime manager Elliot Roberts told a Los Angeles paper. "You won't get a chance to see a bill like this, perhaps ever again. It's a show I look forward to more than any show in a long time." - New Musical Express, 4/16/16...... A Black Sabbath farewell concert at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Feb. 11 earned $1.2 million in ticket sales and drew a crowd of 14,013 fans, making it the top concert in Billboard's Hot Tours Roundup for the month ending Apr. 12. The concert was the Heavy Metal legends' first concert on the first North American leg of Sabbath's ongoing farewell tour, which runs through September. - Billboard, 4/13/16...... Paul RodgersA 2-CD set of vintage Bad Company performances titled Live 1977 & 1979 will be released on Apr. 29. The first CD features 15 songs recorded at The Summit In Houston, Tex., on May 23, 1977, while the second disc has 14 songs from a gig at The Empire Pool, Wembley, London on Mar. 9, 1979, along with a rendition of "Hey Joe" recorded at Capitol Center in Washington, D.C. on June 26, 1979. The original Bad Company, fronted by Paul Rodgers, will be hitting the road with coheadliner Joe Walsh this summer, beginning on May 12 in Dallas, Tex. Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson will be filling in for Mick Ralphs after the latter declared he was "just not feeling up" to the trek. - Billboard, 4/13/16...... Stevie Wonder will be joined by openers Pharrell Williams and Corinne Baily Rae when he performs at London's Hyde Park on July 10, the only UK visit by Wonder on his Songs in the Key of Life tour. Wonder will be playing the entirety of his classic 1976 album on the tour, which will last at least 18 months. - New Musical Express, 4/14/16...... David Bowie's final album Blackstar has topped the list of the best-selling vinyl record for the past year in the UK's Official Charts Company's first-ever vinyl chart, which it began in Apr. 2015. Other '70s artists making the top selling vinyl list include Fleetwood Mac (Rumours, #15), the Beatles (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, #16, Elvis Presley (If I Can Dream, #18, and Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon, #19). Bowie also had 5 singles in the top 20 vinyl singles list for the past year, led by "Golden Years." - NME, 4/15/16.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Favorite Seventies Artists In The News

Posted by Administrator on Apr. 11th, 2016

Steve Miller, Deep Purple, Chicago, Cheap Trick and N.W.A. were formally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Apr. 8 during the Cleveland-based hall and museum's 31st annual ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn. Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, who gave David Bowie's Rock Hall induction speech in 1996, opened the ceremony with a tribute to the recently deceased Bowie by covering Bowie's first No. 1 hit, "Fame," with accompaniament from the Roots and Kimbra. Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine spoke of how his band "lived together, cried together, fought together and f---ed together." Then, as if he had shocked even himself, he added, "Did I really say that?," before Chicago performed a blistering rendition of their early hit "25 or 6 to 4." In his acceptance speech, Steve Miller encouraged the Rock Hall to "be more inclusive to women ... and more transparent to the public... And most importantly, to support music in our schools." Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich did the induction honor for Deep Purple, calling the band "a beautiful contradiction" and called out those who "might mistake them for a one-hit wonder" for their rock classic "Smoke on the Water." Rick NielsenSteve Miller"They were equals for songwriting, recordings and accomplishments," Ulrich said. During his acceptance speech, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen called out Rob Thomas amidst the sea of gray and dyed hair on stage that night -- "Rob, you look too healthy to be around here." The grand finale featured all inductees jamming on a cover of Fats Domino's "Ain't That a Shame," rendered in the arrangement from Cheap Trick's classic 1977 live album Cheap Trick at Budokan. Also inducted in the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement category was late songwriter/producer Bert Berns ("Hang On Sloopy," "Under the Boardwalk," "Here Comes the Night"). - Billboard, 4/9/16...... In related news, Kiss bassist/vocalist has responded to N.W.A. member MC Ren's statement at the ceremony, in which he called out Simmons for predicting that the "death of rap" is coming in the next 10 years and "that is all good and healthy." "I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons that hip-hop is here forever. We're supposed to be here," MC Ren said. Now, Simmons has responded by tweeting: "Respectfully -- let me know when @JimiHendrix gets into the Hip Hop Hall Of Fame. Then you'll have a point." - New Musical Express, 4/10/16...... Speaking of Kiss, the band has just announced a massive 35-date summer "Freedom to Rock" Tour of the U.S. that will kick off on July 7 at Boise, Idaho's Taco Bell Arena. Other dates include Rockford, Ill. (8/20), Toledo, Oh. (8/24), Allentown, Pa. (9/1) and Bridgeport, Conn. (9/7) before wrapping in Huntington, W.V. on Sept. 10. Kiss will also be among the headliners at this year's Nancy Davis' annual Race to Erase MS gala on Apr. 15, which benefits research in Multiple Sclerosis. - Billboard, 4/8/16...... Former Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos will release a solo album of rock covers, Greetings From Bunezuela!, on June 24 via eOne Music. The 13-song set includes covers of songs by such artists as the Bee Gees ("Idea"), the Rolling Stones ("Tell Me") and the Who ("Armenia in the Sky"). - Billboard, 4/8/16...... The late Merle Haggard was laid to rest in a private funeral service on his Palo Cedro, Calif., ranch. Singer Marty Stuart officiated at the funeral, which began with a recording of Lefty Frizzell's "I Love You a Thousand Ways" and featured a performance of "Precious Memories" by Stuart's wife, Connie Smith. Also paying his respects to the country music legend was Kris Kristofferson, who performed a three-song set. Haggard died April 6 at age 79 after a battle with pneumonia. - Billboard, 4/11/16...... Bob Dylan has shared the track listing for his upcoming Great American Songbook covers album, Fallen Angels. Standards by the likes of Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen and Sammy Cahn, including "Young at Heart," "All or Nothing at All," "It Had to Be You," "That Old Black Magic" and "Come Rain or Come Shine" will be included in Dylan's 12-track followup to his 2015 Frank Sinatra covers album, Shadows in the Night. Dylan recorded the new tracks with his backing band in Capitol Studios in Hollywood in 2015. Anyone who buys a ticket to his upcoming tour, which begins in June, will receive a CD copy of the album. - Billboard, 4/7/16...... Paul SimonPaul Simon announced he'll release his 13th solo studio album, Stranger to Stranger, on June 3 via Concord Records. The new LP finds the iconic singer/songwriter in an experimental mode, with contributions from a group of Flamenco musicians and the Italian electronic dance music artist Clap! Clap!. "It's about making music that sounds old and new at the same time; music with a sense of mystery," Simon said in a statement. Simon will tour behind the new album this spring and summer with a trek of around 40 shows in North America. The first single, "Wristband," is already available for streaming. - Billboard, 4/7/16...... Lionel Richie will be honored with the Johnny Mercer Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame's 47th annual induction ceremony in New York in June. The Mercer award is the Hall's highest honor and is reserved exclusively for past inductees -- Richie has been a member since 1994. "Lionel is more than well deserving of this honor as one the greatest and most prolific songwriters and identifiable music voices in our century," noted SHOF co-Chairmen Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. Previous recipients of the Mercer Award have included Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Phil Collins, Paul Anka, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Billy Joel and Paul Simon, among others. - Billboard, 4/11/16...... In other Motown-related news, Smokey Robinson will be honored at the 8th Annual Little Kids Rock Benefit and Auction, set for Oct. 4 in Manhattan. "We are so excited about the prospect of honoring such an iconic songwriter and musician," says David Wish, CEO and Founder of Little Kids Rock. "It is our mission to help kids unlock their inner music makers and there are few, if any, in the music industry who can inspire this more than Smokey Robinson." All the proceeds help Little Kids Rock bring instruments and free lessons to more than 250,000 disadvantaged public school kids in 30 cities. - Billboard, 4/8/16...... Sheet music for David Bowie's 1984 hit "Blue Jean" signed by the late artist will be auctioned off as part of the 2016 Rumble in the Jumble, the London-based charity jumble sale. The item is being auctioned as part of The Music Circle's annual celebrity jumble sale Rumble in the Jumble, which takes place on May 14 at east London's Oval Space. - NME, 4/11/16...... In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler stated that the band could be calling it quits for good as early as 2017. "I'm doing 30 [solo] shows from May until August. And then in 2017 we go out with Aerosmith," Tyler told the mag. "We're probably doing a farewell tour. Look, there's two bands that still have the original members, us and the Stones. I'm grateful for that," he added. Tyler is currently working on his country music side project, whilst Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry has been working with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp on the new band Hollywood Vampires. Meanwhile, Tyler has made a second TV spot for Skittles fruit candy, after the first one premiered during Super Bowl 50 in February. - NME, 4/11/16...... Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen announced on Apr. 8 that he and his E Street Band would be canceling a planned show in Greensboro, N.C., on Apr. 10 due to the state's controversial "bathroom" law. "[This law] dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use," Springsteen wrote on his site. "Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it's an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress." The Boss also offered his "deepest apologies to our dedicates fans in Greensboro," but added "some things are more important than a rock show." Organizers have announced all previously purchased tickets will be refunded at point of purchase. North Carolina's HB2 law, which passed this March, specifically overturns city ordinances designed to protect the right of transgender people to use the restroom of their choosing. In response to Springsteen's action, a U.S. congressman representing portions of Greensboro accused Springsteen of being a "bully." "It's disappointing he's not following through on his commitments," said Rep. Mark Walker, a Republican freshman congressman. "Bruce is known to be on the radical left," Walker continued, "and he's got every right to be so, but I consider this a bully tactic. It's like when a kid gets upset and says he's going to take his ball and go home." Canadian rocker Bryan Adams also canceled an upcoming show in Mississippi on Apr. 10 in protest of that state passing a similar law to North Carolina's. - Billboard, 4/8/16...... Carlos Santana will release Santana IV, a new album that reunites the lineup from 1971's classic Santana III LP, on Apr. 15. "We completed a whole album -- we did 16 songs in four days and they're killer," says Santana. The album features guest vocalists including Ronald Isley, who takes lead vocals on the tracks "Love Makes the World Go Round" and "Freedom in Your Mind." In addition to touring with his regular band, Santana is also gearing up for the debut concert by Supernova, an all-star jazz fusion collective featuring such artists as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Marcus Miller, which takes place at L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl on Aug. 24. - Billboard, 4/10/16...... Queen's Brian May has responded to a recent Howard Stern interview with actor Sacha Baron Cohen, in which Cohen said he pulled out of a planned biopic of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury because the band "wanted a PG-rated story that showed how Queen pulled together after Mercury's death." Cohen, however, said wanted to focus on Mercury's "wild" life in a darker story. "Sacha became an arse," May said in a new interview with Britain's Daily Mail. "We had some nice times with Sacha kicking around ideas, but he went off and told untruths about what happened." May added that the band had no intention in cleaning up the story: "Why would he go away and say that we didn't want to make a gritty film?... Are we the kind of people who have ever ducked from the truth? I don't think so." May added that he and Queen bandmate Roger Taylor are currently eyeing another actor, Ben Whishaw, to portray Mercury in the film. "He's fabulous," May said, "a real actor." -, 4/10/16...... Butch TrucksAllman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks says fans can probably expect even more unreleased music from the band's vaults in the future, which will follow the band's recently released Live From A&R Recording, New York, August 26, 1971. "Don't be surprised if we come up with more," Trucks says. "We still have quite a lot of material, shows that were recorded in the early days." Live From A&R Recording captures the ABB shortly after the release of the classic At Fillmore East concert album, playing a special show for select fans. Meanwhile, Gregg Allman continues to tour the U.S. this summer and spring, with such coheadliners as Peter Frampton and ZZ Top. - Billboard, 4/9/16...... Graham Nash was one of the Sixties' great optimists. But there's a dark feel to his reflective new album, This Path Tonight. "The question haunting me/ 'Is my future just my past?'" he asks on the Blook on the Tracks-esque "Myself at Last." "Target" begins with a riff that mirrors ex-girlfriend Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You," and "Golden Days" conjures memories of CSNY's long-lost harmony brotherhood with a lonely, unaccompanied voice. "What happened to 'All you need is love'?" Nash wonders. Corny perhaps, but still a damn good question. - Rolling Stone, 4/7/16...... Dennis Davis, the longtime drummer for David Bowie, died on Apr. 7 after a battle with cancer. Born and raised in Manhattan, Davis learned his craft under the tutelage of master jazz drummers Max Roach and Elvin Jones. His talents can be heard on seven Bowie albums -- including Heroes, Low, Lodger, the live album Stage and Scary Monsters -- as well as Iggy Pop's 1977 set The Idiot. He also recorded with the likes of Stevie Wonder, George Benson and Jermaine Jackson. Davis returned to the Bowie fold when he played percussion on Bowie's final trek, his A Reality Tour, in 2003. - Billboard, 4/8/16...... Sir Tom Jones' wife, Lady Melinda Rose Woodward (known as Linda), died on Apr. 10 at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles after a short battle with cancer. She is thought to have been 75 years of age. Jones had recently cancelled a number of tour dates overseas due to a "serious illness" in his family. Jones (real name Thomas Jones Woodward) met his wife (maiden name Trenchard) at secondary school in Treforest, near Pontypridd, south Wales. The pair married in 1957, both aged 16. Their only child, Mark, was born a month later. Jones, who recently described his wife as "an unbelievable woman...the most important thing in my life," had recently cancelled a number of tour dates overseas due to a "serious illness" in his family. A statement posted to Jones' official website said that Woodward was "surrounded by her husband and loved ones" at the time of her death, and offered no further information. - New Musical Express, 4/11/16...... Tom WaitsRock troubadour Tom Waits has joined the cast of a pilot for a new dramatic series from Hulu, Citizen. Waits will play Cesar, a priest, who is a walking anachronism of virtue and vice, joining a cast that includes Forrest Goodluck, Augusto Aguilera and Alex Gonzalez. Citizen is part of Hulu's ongoing bid to compete with awards-friendly original fare on Netflix and Amazon such as House of Cards and Transparent, respectively. Waits' previous acting credits include The Book of Eli, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Mystery Men and The Outsiders, among others. - Billboard, 4/7/16...... R&B singer-songwriter Leon Haywood, whose 1974 hit single "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You" was memorably repurposed by rapper Dr. Dre's "Nuthin but a 'G' Thang," died on Apr. 6 in Los Angeles. He was 74. Born in Houston, Haywood moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s and found work as a keyboardist, working with Sam Cooke's touring band. He notched a pair of minor R&B chart hits at the end of the decade, then reemerged in the mid-1970s as a reliable crafter of mid-tempo, string-drenched funk anthems on 20th Century Fox Records. "Stroking (Pt. II)," "Come and Get Yourself Some" and the Sly Stone-indebted "Keep It in the Family" were all hits on the R&B chart, while "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You" reached No. 15 on the pop singles chart in 1975. In 1981, Haywood wrote a Grammy-nominated Top 40 hit for labelmate Carl Carlton, "She's a Bad Mama Jama," before seguing into a career as a producer. - 4/7/16...... Bill Henderson, a well-respected jazz vocalist and actor, died on Apr. 10 of natural causes in Los Angeles, according to Lynne Robin Green, president of LWBH Music Publishers. He was 90. A native of Chicago, Mr. Henderson sang with the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, the Charlie Haden Quintet and many others. His 1963 album, Bill Henderson With the Oscar Peterson Trio, is considered a classic in the jazz vernacular. Mr. Henderson was a fixture on the Playboy circuit in the 1970s and appeared often at many festivals, including Playboy Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl, Monterey Jazz and the Litchfield Jazz Festival in Connecticut. Later, he performed at The Kennedy Center and in New York at the Hotel Algonquin's Oak Room and at Lincoln Center. He also appeared in several films and TV series, including ER, Hill Street Blues, Happy Days, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons and Good Times - The Hollywood Reporter, 4/7/16.

Simon & Garfunkel's iconic 1966 single "The Sound of Silence" has entered the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart following its appearance in a YouTube video, titled "Sad Affleck," which features a portion of an interview with Batman v Superman stars Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. In the clip, Affleck is seen seemingly staring off in the distance as Cavill gives a lengthy answer to a question concerning the film's negative reviews as the Paul Simon-penned tune plays. The song also entered the Rock Streaming Songs chart at No. 2. Meanwhile, a cover of "The Sound of Silence" by Disturbed sits at No. 3 on the Hot Rock Songs chart since the band performed it on a Mar. 28 episode of TBS's Conan show. "The Sound of Silence" originally topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in 1966. - Billboard, 4/6/16...... Gregg Allman's tour bus was involved in an accident in Jackson County, W.V., on the morning of Apr. 6 as it was traveling to a gig in Charleston, SC. Three members of the tour crew "were taken to the hospital with minor injuries and released shortly thereafter," according to a rep for Gregg Allman. Allman himself was not on the bus, which crossed into the northbound lane of I-77 and crashed into trees next to a creek running near the highway. The concert at Charleston's Clay Center will go on as scheduled, according to the rep. - Billboard, 4/6/16...... Ann WilsonHeart's Ann Wilson will be featured in an upcoming episode of Connecticut Public Television's new series The Kate on on Apr. 9 singing a raw, stunning cover of John Lennon's "Isolation." Wilson takes the stage as the leader of her Heart side project The Ann Wilson Thing that finds her reinterpreting various rock, soul and blues classics, including the Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth." Named after Katherine Hepburn, The Kate is filmed in front of a live audience at the historic 250-seat Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, Conn. - Billboard, 4/6/16...... Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood said on Apr. 4 that the band is planning to release a new album, possibly in 2016, which will be the followup to 2005's A Bigger Bang. "We went in to cut some new songs, which we did," the 68-year-old Wood said. "But we got on a blues streak. We cut 11 blues in two days. They are extremely great cover versions of Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter, among other blues people. But they really sound authentic." The Stones recently wrapped a tour of Latin America, with a free show in Cuba on Mar. 25. Wood's statement comes after his bandmate Keith Richards also recently said the band plans on releasing new music. "There's one coming. I can't say no more. My lips are sealed," he said. After their Bigger Bang tour ended in 2007, the Stones resumed touring in 2012 to mark their 50th anniversary, but have only released a couple of new songs since then. - AP, 4/4/16...... In other Rolling Stones news, a huge exhibit showcasing five decades of the band's history entitled "Exhibitionism" has opened at London's Saatchi Gallery. The vast exhibition, which covers 20,000 square feet, features more than 500 artifacts borrowed from the band's archive and private collectors, include musical instruments, lyrics, sketches, film clips, outfits, posters, album artwork and stage designs. A whole room is devoted to designer John Pasche's famous lips-and-tongue Stones logo, inspired by a picture frontman Mick Jagger had seen of the Hindu goddess Kali, and another room is a life-size recreation of an apartment the band members shared in 1962-63 in the Chelsea neighborhood of London. "Exhibitionism" runs to Sept. 4, with an international tour planned to follow the London run. - AP, 4/5/16...... Meanwhile, Mick Jagger has weighed in Britain's upcoming referendum to remain in the European Union. In an interview with Britain's Sky News, Jagger says he can see leaving the European Union to be "beneficial" to the UK in the long term. "I wonder if David Cameron, if he was asked today, whether he would actually want to put this out for a referendum now," Jagger said. "To me personally, I don't think [the result] is going to make a huge difference. I think to the country in the short term [leaving the EU] will be detrimental. In the longer term, in a twenty-year term, it might turn out to be beneficial," he added. In May 2015, the Conservatives' political adviser Jim Messina claimed that Jagger correctly predicted the results of the UK general election. "One of the savviest political observers I've come across is Mick Jagger," Messina said. "I was invited to a dinner that included the legendary rocker in London before the British election (I took about 9,000 selfies), when I discovered that Mick has been a bit of a political junkie his whole life." - New Musical Express, 4/6/16...... Jeff BeckGuitar legend Jeff Beck will release a new studio album on July 15, the followup to his 2010 Grammy Award-winning LP Emotion and Commotion. The title of the album is yet to be announced, or whether two new songs Beck included on his 2015 live album, Jeff Beck Live+, "Tribal" and "My Tiled White Floor," will be included. Beck has also announced he will be releasing a memoir, BECK01, three days before the new album on July 12. The book will explore his "passions for hot rodding and rock & roll," with the limited-edition title signed and individually numbered by Beck and hand-bound in leather and aluminum. Beck will mount a summer US tour behind his new album and book, co-headlining with blues legend Buddy Guy. - New Musical Express, 4/4/16...... Remastered versions of the Beatles' three Anthology volumes from 1995 and 1996 debuted on all streaming services at midnight on Apr. 4. Anthology, Volumes 1-3 originally released in two-disc sets in 1995 and 1996, included rare and previously unreleased recordings, plus studio outtakes, alternate versions and singles "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love. Upon their original release, the collections went multi-platinum in several countries and "Free as a Bird" (completed by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr from 1977 demos recorded by John Lennon) became the band's 34th top 10 hit in the U.S. The tracks can be heard on major international services including Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play, Microsoft Groove, Prime Music, Rhapsody, Slacker Radio, Spotify and Tidal, as well as dozens of local streaming partners around the world. The Anthology tracks come less than four months after the Beatles released their catalog of hit music to streaming services for the first time. - Billboard, 4/4/16...... In other Fab Four news, a live "musical documentary" stage show which closely recreates the sound of the bnd's famous Abbey Road recordings is now on tour in the UK. "The Sessions - A Live Restaging of The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios" includes performances of songs from their albums Please, Please Me and Abbey Road as they were originally recorded, with four actors potraying John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, while screens around them display recording details and live musicians recreate the vocals, music and arrangements that were originally used. Another actor will narrate the show in role of the "fifth Beatle," producer George Martin, who died in March aged 90, and to whom the show is dedicated. The show is inspired by the memoir of former Abbey Road Studios sound engineer Geoff Emerick. "The Sessions" debuted at London's Royal Albert Hall on Apr. 1 and will tour other UK cities and some European countries. - NME, 4/2/16...... Elton John is set to appear as himself in an upcoming episode of ABC's country music drama Nashville, producers announced on Apr. 4. The "Rocket Man" singer will perform alongside up-and-coming singer and songwriter Gunnar (Sam Palladio) in the May 18 episode of the series, which serves as the penultimate episode of season four. Nashville follows several fictional country music stars, and has prevously welcomed other real hit makers, including Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line and Sara Evans. The role will be a rare scripted series appearance for Sir Elton, who most recently appeared on his good friend Lady Gaga's 2013 Christmas special. John will appear in the May 18 episode of the 10:00 p.m. EDT Wednesday night series. - The Hollywood Reporter, 4/4/16...... Toni TennilleToni Tennille, the better half of the '70s hitmaking duo The Captain and Tennille, released her autobiography, Toni Tennille: A Memoir, on Apr. 1. The "Love Will Keep Us Together" singer takes readers through the more difficult moments of her life that many Captain and Tennille fans may be unaware of, including her upbringing in the segregated south to "fighting a lonely struggle against the controlling and often bizarre behavior of her emotionally inaccessible husband," Daryl "The Captain" Dragon. - Billboard, 4/4/16...... Elvis Costello kicked off a summer tour of America on Apr. 2 with two sold-out shows at L.A.'s Theatre at Ace Hotel on Apr. 2. Although the tour isn't technically a "book tour" -- he did one of those in the fall of 2015 replete with speaking engagements and signings for his memoir Unfinished Music & Disappearing Ink -- the effects of the book were felt throughout his part-scripted, part-freestyle "Detour" show, as he told droll stories while snarling and cooing his way through his famous rock songbook. Costello filmed one of his "Detour" concerts during the 2015 fall leg of his European tour, which was screened in January as a one-night theatrical release in dozens of U.S. cinemas, followed by a DVD release. - Billboard, 4/3/16...... David Bowie has scored three of the Top 10 albums on the UK's Official Charts Company chart following his death in January. Only Adele' with her new album 25 sold more albums in England than Bowie's final LP, Blackstar, with the late rock legend also coming in at No. 4 with The Best of Bowie and No. 10 with another hits collection, Nothing Has Changed - The Very Best of David Bowie.. In other Bowie-related news, Bowie's widow Inman has lost her mother, Maryan Abdulmajid, just three months after the death of her husband. Inman confirmed the news of her mother's passing in an Apr. 1 Facebook post, in which she shared an image of her wedding to David: "Saddened by death of my mom Maryan Baadi. May Allah grant her the highest jennah. I beg that you respect my family's privacy during our time of grief #ripmaryanbaadi." - New Musical Express, 4/6/16...... Scientists at the University of South Australia have used AC/DC's hit "Thunderstruck" to help in cancer research, it was announced on Apr. 3. The scientists used the bone-jarring tune to help adapt the delivery of chemotherapy-related drug Camptothecin, improving delivery direct to cancer cells. It's thought the research could also be used in other areas of drug delivery. The researchers have also released a paper on the subject, titled "Thunderstruck: Plasma-Polymer-Coated Porous Silicon Microparticles As a Controlled Drug Delivery System." The project comes after AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young successfully battled lung cancer and subsequently retired in 2014. - NME, 4/3/16...... Bonnie RaittBonnie Raitt played the first of two sold-out shows at Manhattan's Beacon Theatre on Apr. 1 behind her new LP, Dig In Deep. The 66-year-old Grammy winner opened the set with a cover of INXS's 1987 chart-topping hit "Need You Tonight," followed by the blues-rocker "Gypsy in Me," "The Comin Round Is Going Through," Gerry Rafferty's "Right Down the Line," the Willie Dixon blues classic "Round and Round," and an exquisite acoustic "Angel From Montgomery." Raitt will be on a world tour throughout 2016 and 2017. - Billboard, 4/2/16...... Aerosmith's Steven Tyler gave a big Aerosmith fan who was born with Down syndrome free backstage passes to both of Aerosmith's shows at the Fallsview Casino after the two bumped into each other by chance at a medical suppies store earlier in the day, where Tyler was shopping for a back brace. Tyler asked the fan, Anthony Yorfido, if he was going to the Mar. 30 show, but Yorfido told Tyler he couldn't get tickets. "Oh, don't worry about that, you guys are coming with me. I'll get you backstage passes," Tyler said to Yorfido and his mother. Yorfido was also brought on stage during the concert, and he played maracas during "Sweet Emotion." - The Niagara Falls Review, 4/3/16...... Michael Jackson's daughter Paris Jackson has honored her late dad by turning one of his touching notes into a tattoo. Paris, 18, headed to the Timeless Tattoo parlour in Hollywood to get the tribute, the words "Queen of my Heart", which was written in Michael's handwriting, etched on the outer side of her lower left arm. "'Queen of My Heart' in his handwriting," she wrote in the caption of an Instagram post. "To everyone else he was the King of Pop. To me, well, he was the king of my heart. Thank you dermagraphink, you're a legend." It is thought Paris got the tattoo to mark her 18th birthday, which was on Apr. 3. She celebrated the occasion on social media by posting an image of herself locking lips with rocker boyfriend Michael Snoddy and taking a trip to Disneyland in California. Michael Jackson died in June 2009 at age 50 from an overdose of prescription drugs. -, 4/6/16...... Cable TV's BET channel has acquired more than 1,000 vintage episode of the dance show Soul Train, which aired from 1971 into the 2000s, from InterMedia Partners and the Yucaipa Companies. BET has aired the Soul Train Awards show since 2009 and has aired older Soul Train episodes of the show on BET and Centric in the past. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Soul Train creator and host Don Cornelius sold the company in 2008, four years before his death in 2012. - Variety, 4/4/16...... Merle HaggardInfluential country music singer/songwriter Merle Haggard died in Palo Cedro, Calif., on the morning of Apr. 6, his 79th birthday, after a battle with pneumonia. Born Apr. 6, 1937, in Oildale, Calif., outside Bakersfield, Haggard often ran into trouble with the law and he spent time in juvenile detention centres and served jail sentences during the 1950s. It was as an inmate at San Quentin prison that Haggard first saw Johnny Cash perform, an event he later characterized as life-changing. Following his release from prison in 1960, Haggard went on to record a number of hit country singles. His first top 20 hit, "Sing Me a Sad Song," came out in 1963, and he scored his first No. 1 single with 1965's "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive." By 1967, Haggard was one of country music's biggest stars with 37 songs charting in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country singles chart that year. He went on to have 38 No. 1 country singles over his career, third only to George Strait (44) and Conway Twitty (40), and logged eight No. 1 singles in 1966-69 alone. Haggard's most famous songs include "Mama Tried," "The Bottle Let Me Down," The Fightin' Side of Me," and "Okie From Muskogee," which became a touchstone for debate at the height of the Vietnam War era. After garnering considerable coverage in 2003 with "That's the News," his sharply critical song about media coverage of the Iraq war, Haggard founded his own independent label Hag Records. Haggard's last album was 2015's Django and Jimmie, a collaboration with his longtime friend Willie Nelson. Haggard was the recipient of two Grammys, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994, and celebrated as a Kennedy Center Honors recipient in December 2010. His most recent solo studio album was 2011's Working In Tennessee, released on Vanguard. Haggard underwent surgery for lung cancer in 2008, and had been hospitalized for various ailments over the past few years -- most notably for pneumonia, which forced several concert postponements and cancelations in 2015 and 2016. He is survived by fifth wife Theresa Ann Lane and his six children. - Billboard/NME, 4/6/16...... Latin Jazz saxophonist Leandro "Gato" Barbieri, who composed the Grammy-winning music for the steamy Marlon Brando film Last Tango in Paris and recorded dozens of albums over a career spanning more than seven decades, died on Apr. 2 in a New York hospital from pneumonia. He was 83. The Argentine-born musician recorded some 35 albums between 1967 and 1982, when he stopped consistently making new records. He toured regularly and went on to record four more albums, including 1997's smooth jazz Que Pasa, which reached No. 2 on Billboard's contemporary jazz charts. Though in poor health, Mr. Barbieri, still sporting his trademark black fedora hat, had been performing monthly at the Blue Note jazz club in New York since 2013. He last performed at the club on Nov. 23. - AP, 4/2/16.