Prince, 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...... An 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...... Classic 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.............................................. Music 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...... AC/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...... Former 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 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...... Speaking 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...... 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...... A 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.