The new Michael Jackson compilation Scream, which dropped on Sept. 29, features the the first-ever augmented-reality experience created exclusively for a Michael Jackson album. With the music discovery app Shazam, fans can point their camera at the album's poster to launch a spooky extra. Also, fans in cities across the US can also look for Scream billboards and posters that will feature the Shazam logo and trigger a second AR experience inspired by the album's cover art. A collectible glow-in-the-dark double vinyl LP of the 13-track Scream will also be available on Oct. 27. As one more Halloween treat, Jackson's estate has tapped DJ Steve Aoki to create an official "Thriller" remix -- "Thriller (Steve Aoki Midnight Hour Remix)," which is available on Sept. 29 as a standalone single or to stream. - Billboard, 9/29/17...... Denis Velleneuve, director of the new Blade Runner movie Blade Runner 2049, has revealed that David Bowie was originally considered to play the part of Niander Wallace in the film. "Our first thought [for the character] had been David Bowie, who had influenced Blade Runner in many ways," Villeneuve told a UK paper. "When we learned the sad news, we looked around for someone like that." After Bowie died in Jan. 2016 after battling cancer, Jared Leto was ultimately cast in the villainous role for Blade Runner 2049. The movie hits theaters on Oct. 6. Meanwhile, a story has emerged that Bowie once preferred to hide under a table to avoid the company of late James Bond actor Roger Moore to avoid his company back in the late 1970s. Author Dylan Jones writes in his new Bowie biography David Bowie: A Life that author Hanif Kureishi told him that after Bowie moved to Switzerland and the end of the Seventies to escape tax obligations and drug dealers, Moore showed up at his house in Geneva uninvited and they had a "fantastic night," however Moore returned early the next morning and invited himself in again, and Moore's stories were slightly less entertaining the second time around. "After two weeks [of Moore turning up] at 5.25pm -- literally every day -- David Bowie could be found underneath the kitchen table pretending not to be in," Jones writes in the book. In still more Bowie-related news, a world David Bowie Tribute Tour featuring Bowie collaborators from throughout his long career is set to kick off on Jan. 10 in Paris. The 24 additional dates on the tour, which features such musicians as Mike Garson, Adrian Belew, Gerry Leonard and Gaby Moreno, includes stops in Manchester UK, Dublin, Amsterdam, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Montreal, Detroit, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle, before wrapping on Mar. 3 on Portland, Ore. - Billboard/New Musical Express/Spin.com, 9/28/17...... The Soundtrack of Our Lives, a documentary about music mogul Clive Davis, premiered at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood on Sept. 26. As the movie showcases, the Davis's 50-year career has been bookended by the drug-related deaths of arguably his two most talented discoveries, Janis Joplin and Whitney Houston -- both of whom died alone in Los Angeles hotel rooms. Davis, in attendance for the premiere, said that "the tabloid version is not the full version of Whitney. You will see the full version of Whitney in this film tonight." The Soundtrack of Our Lives also ventures into the private life of Davis, who has emerged as an unlikely advocate for bisexuality as a senior citizen. After the screening ended, Davis received a standing ovation, and the film received glowing reviews in local papers. Also attending were Santana and Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind and Fire,, among other Davis protégés. - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/28/17...... Kansas has just launched a second leg celebrating the 40th anniversary of its 5x platinum 1977 LP Leftoverture, with the midwest prog-rockers playing the album in its entirety. To also mark the anniversary, Kansas will release the live album Leftoverture Live & Beyond from previous tour dates. "It was something that we really wanted to have documented," says Kansas drummer Phil Ehart, who along with guitarist Rich Williams remains from Kansas' original lineup. "You really have to go all the way back to (1978's) Two For The Show for something like that. We've had other live things, but nothing quite like this so we felt it had been a long time." The Live & Beyond Tour, originally planned for only 10 special shows, has expanded to more than 80 dates due to its success, well beyond what Ehart and company expected. "Yeah, to say it surpassed our expectations is kind of an understatement," Ehart says. "I guess we had forgotten what a gigantic album that was, and how popular it was. When we had a chance to do it in its entirety the Kansas fans really came out in full force, and there were a lot of people who were just Leftoverture fans; Because of 'Wayward Son' it was the only album of ours they ever owned. So it really became a lot more than we expected." The Leftoverture Live & Beyond will also feature 11 other songs, including such Kansas favorites as carus," "Point Of Know Return," "Paradox," "Journey From Mariabronn" and "Portrait (He Knew)." Ehart says an additional live album will be released in 2018, with a live version of the band's followup, Point of Know Return, in its entirety. - Billboard, 9/28/17...... "The Cher Show," a musical based on the life of Cher, will arrival this fall as part of the "Broadway In Chicago" Season Subscription Series. "My life as a musical on Broadway," Cher said in a statement. "It seems crazy, exciting and bizarre -- but that's probably how my life seems to most people." "The Cher Show" is directed by Tony-award winning director Jason Moore ("Avenue Q"), and features choreography from Tony Award-winner Christopher Gattelli. - Billboard, 9/28/17...... The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame presented its first induction ceremony in six years on Sept. 23 at Massey Hall in Toronto, with Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, the group Beau Dommage, and Stphane Venne being honored by their native country. "I'm getting an award for writing songs. How crazy is that?," Neil Young said during the four-hour ceremony. Previous inductees of the CSHOF, which number around 50, include Robbie Roberston, Rush, Paul Anka, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings and Gordon Lightfoot. The gala was capped by an all-star jam that included Rush's Alex Lifeson for "Cinnamon Girl" and many of the honorers on the grand finale of "Rockin' In The Free World," including Randy Bachman, Whitehorse and Blackie & The Rodeo Kings. - Billboard, 9/27/17...... For the first of two shows at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY, on Sept. 26, Paul McCartney called upon his old pal and Nassau native Billy Joel to contribute to the Beatles' classics "Get Back" and "Birthday," the latter which Macca thoughtfully dedicated to "anybody who's got a birthday -- and also anybody who's got a birthday any time this year." McCartney and Joel have jammed together several times in the past, most notably during Joel's 2008 concerts at New York's Shea Stadium before its demolishment. McCartney will take his One on One tour to Detroit for two shows at the start of October. - Spin.com, 9/27/17...... In other Beatles-related news, a new album of instrumental music from late Beatles producer George Martin is due out on Nov. 10. George Martin: the Film Scores and Original Orchestral Compositions will feature excerpts from Martin's under-recognized and unreleased film scoring work, specifically the original music he contributed (outside of the work he did for the Beatles and Paul McCartney's songs from the film) for the Beatles' animated feature Yellow Submarine and the James Bond film Live and Let Die. - Spin.com, 9/29/17...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Beatles fans can now literally live in a "Yellow Submarine" as sock distributor Happy Socks, in partnership with the band, has announced the release of a new line of Beatles-related socks. "The Happy Socks x The Beatles" collection boasts six designs based on the film's characters and scenes, including the Dreadful Flying Glove, Chief Blue Meanie and Jeremy, Pepperland, and, of course, the Yellow Submarine. And rather ingeniously, the socks are packaged in collectible gift boxes designed to resemble a record LP and EP. The Yellow Submarine sock collection will be available at Happy Socks stores and happysocks.com starting Oct. 3. - Billboard, 9/28/17...... Elvis Presley's ex-wife Priscilla Presley has announced a new children's book based on Elvis' 1956 ballad "Love Me Tender." Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender will be released on Nov. 13 via Dial Books for Young Readers. Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin and featuring an endnote written by Priscilla, the book is described as a "heartwarming ode to the special bond between children and the adults who love and care for them -- be they parents, grandparents, adoptive parents, aunts, uncles or guardians." "It's a feel-good story of love and accepting and a happy ending. Isn't that what children want?," Priscilla said. - Billboard, 9/27/17...... Judas Priest have been confirmed as headliners of the 2018 UK Bloodstock Festival, which takes place from Aug. 9-12. "Thrilled, honoured and primed, ready to unleash Priest-style metal fury into the headbanging heart and home of heavy metal at Bloodstock!," Judas Priest said in a statement. The heavy metal giants will be topping the Friday night of the iconic metal festival's bill, with Gojira and Nightwish also headlining across the weekend. - New Musical Express, 9/24/17...... Aerosmith has been forced to cancel dates of their current "farewell" tour after frontman Steven Tyler suffered what was reportedly a seizure after the band's performance in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Sept. 25. "Unfortunately, due to unexpected medical issues, lead singer, Steven Tyler, is seeking immediate care," according to a statement from the band. "(He) has been advised by his doctors that he cannot travel or perform at this time. Therefore, the last four shows of the South American tour will be cancelled." The cause of the seizure is not currently known, the report states, and neither Tyler nor his band have verified the reports. Tyler also released his own statement, saying he was sorry and he "felt like I've let you down" but "Please not to worry... I am not in a life-threatening condition, but I need to deal with this right away, and get some rest and medical care immediately in order to sustain and maintain my future performances... I promise I'll be back." The cancelled shows include dates in Curitiba, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Rosario, Argentina; and Monterrey, Mexico. - New Musical Express, 9/28/17..... A new series based on the 1974 "blaxploitation" TV movie and subsequent TV series Get Christie Love! is being planned by Lionsgate Television and Universal Television, and like the original Christie Love, will air on ABC. The new Get Christie Love (no ! in the title) will be an "an action-packed, music-driven drama that centers on Christie Love, an African American female CIA agent who leads an elite ops unit." The hour-long drama will be written by Power creator Courtney Kemp and produced by Vin Diesel, Debra Martin Chase and Shana C. Waterman. - Deadline.com, 9/26/17...... Former The Dukes of Hazzard actor Top Wopat has been hit with new charges of indecent assault and battery amid allegations he acted inappropriately with a minor. Wopat, 66, was accused of poking a 16-year-old co-star's bare stomach during rehearsals for a production of the play "42nd Street" in Waltham, Mass., this past summer, when he also reportedly complimented her on her "nice butt" and slapped her backside with his script. According to legal documents obtained by the gossip website TMZ.com, the underage actress, whose identity has not been revealed, had been trying to ignore Wopat's advances after he allegedly told her, "I'm a creepy old man, you're really talented and really cute." A complaint was made after the rehearsal incident, and now Wopat is facing two additional charges of accosting and annoying, as well as the indecent assault and battery counts. On Aug. 3, Wopat pleaded not guilty to those charges of felony indecent assault and battery, as well as another for cocaine possession, and was released on bail. Days later, Wopat's representative revealed the troubled star would be taking some time out to tackle his "ongoing struggle with substance abuse." In the statement, Wopat expressed his "deepest regrets to friends, family, and his many loyal fans" for what he referred to as "unfortunate events." He has yet to comment on the new allegations. - WENN.com, 9/26/17...... As Robert Plant releases his latest solo LP Carry Fire on Oct. 13, the former Led Zeppelin frontman has announed he will kick off a 2018 North American tour named after the album on Feb. 9. The 12-date trek (with additional dates expected to be announced later) will conclude (for now) on Mar. 2. On Sept. 26, Plant released the first single from the new LP, a version of the Beach Boys tune "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" featuring vocal contributions from the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde. For the upcoming tour, the 69-year-old Plant says he's determined not to let tickets get into the hands of scalpers or bots, and that he's "collaborating with Ticketmaster to sell Presale tickets through its Verified Fan program." - Billboard, 9/26/17...... Carol Peters, the longtime manager of the band Heart, dief from cancer on Sept. 18. She was 72. Peters managed Heart for 17 years, guiding them through a resurgence in their career that saw great success on the road, in addition to an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Peters was a pioneering female in the music industry, who generously shared her knowledge and experience. She started her career at Ampex Records in 1965 in Chicago. When her husband was stationed in the U.K. in the Air Force, she moved to London and joined Tetragrammaton Records, where she worked closely with Deep Purple. She then moved into an International role at Elektra Records in London in the late '60s. By 1971, she and her husband relocated to Los Angeles, where she joined United Artists Records' publicity department. Following her return to Los Angeles in 1976, she worked at a series of labels, including Capitol, Planet Records, Warner Bros. and then Pasha Records, where, as general manager, she helped break Quiet Riot. "Carol was a remarkable human being. She poured her soul into everything she was"mother, wife, friend, guiding force, businesswoman and inspiration," Heart's Ann Wilson said in a statement. "Generous, realistic and optimistic, Carol loved completely...so she was loved completely." - Billboard, 9/28/17.
Publishing and pop culture icon Hugh Hefner, who parlayed $8,000 in borrowed money in 1953 to create Playboy magazine, died in his home at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles of natural causes on Sept. 27. He was 91. Born Hugh Marston Hefner on Apr. 9, 1926, in Chicago to parents Glenn and Grace Hefner, who he once described as "puritan" and "repressive," as a boy he was non-athletic and introverted but incredibly imaginative, and he immersed himself in movies, music, radio, cartoons and a love for animals. At about age 6, he allowed his dog to sleep on his beloved "bunny blanket" -- which was replete with images of rabbits -- and when the pet died, the parents burned the blanket, an experience that some say may have influenced Mr. Hefner's choice of a bunny for the logo of his empire years later. Mr. Hefner created Playboy after borrowing $1,000 from his mom and $7,000 from more than 40 other investors for a publication he was set to call Stag Party until he discovered a men's magazine called Stag already existed. He purchased a picture of a naked Marilyn Monroe that was taken before she was famous and put it on the cover of his magazine, which he renamed Playboy. The first issue hit newsstands in December 1953. He didn't bother putting a date on it because he was doubtful there'd be future issues, but it sold 54,000 copies -- 80 percent of the total he had printed -- and his largely male audience thirsted for more. The iconic mascot, a silhouette of a bunny in a bow tie, made its debut in the second issue, chosen because Hefner thought rabbits carried "sexual meaning" and were "shy, vivacious, jumping" animals. In 2008, it was reported that Mr. Hefner had resorted to selling tickets to his famous parties at the Playboy Mansion with the proceeds going to Playboy Enterprises. Mr. Hefner's daughter, Christie Hefner, ran the company for more than 20 years but left in 2009. While most famous for Playboy, the urbane businessman dabbled in all forms of media, including hosting his own TV shows, beginning with Playboy's Penthouse in the late 1950s and early '60s. Shot in his hometown of Chicago and syndicated, the show featured Mr. Hefner in a tuxedo and smoking a pipe surrounded by "playmates" and interviewing such celebrities as Bob Newhart, Don Adams and Sammy Davis Jr. The show boosted his personal and professional reputation and promoted what eventually became known as the "Playboy Philosophy," a lifestyle that included politically liberal sensibilities, nonconformity and, of course, sophisticated parties with expensive accouterments and the ever-present possibility for recreational sex -- though Mr. Hefner maintained he was a relative late bloomer in that department, remaining a virgin until he was 21. Mr. Hefner followed that show with Playboy After Dark, which had a similar format but with more rock 'n' roll, including appearances by the Grateful Dead, Three Dog Night, Harry Nilsson and Linda Ronstadt. The syndicated Screen Gems show was taped at CBS in Los Angeles and ran for 52 episodes in 1969-70. Mr. Hefner also co-produced hundreds of Playboy-branded videos and a few feature films, such as Roman Polanski's Macbeth and Monty Python's first film, And Now for Something Completely Different, both released in 1971. He had been also been a sought-after guest on TV shows as far back as 1969 when he played a Control agent in an episode of Get Smart, and more recently he appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage and Sex and the City as well as in animated shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy. Mr. Hefner also made cameos in several movies, most recently 2008's The House Bunny, which told the fictional story of a Playboy "bunny," played by Anna Faris, who has been kicked out of the Playboy Mansion, the famous real-life, 22,000-square-foot house in Los Angeles where Mr. Hefner lived for more than four decades and where he hosted famously decadent parties that attracted celebrities A-list through D. The house sold for $100 million in August with the provision that Hefner be allowed to live there the rest of his life. Mr. Hefner became the unofficial spokesman for the sexual revolution that permeated the 1960s and '70s and he was both lauded and criticized by feminists of the era, with some accusing him of objectifying women while others said he liberated and empowered them. He was also a staunch supporter of abortion -- including helping to finance the landmark Rowe v. Wade decision in 1973 -- and more recently was an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage, and his dedication to such issues (along with his distribution of pornography) made him a pariah in some religious circles. Mr. Hefner also launched the Playboy Channel in 1982, a premium cable outlet that has since been sold and rebranded Playboy TV and is more explicitly sexual than when it was under his purview. He created The Playboy Club nightclub chain that still exists as a novelty, but in its heyday in the 1960s, it featured some of the era's biggest stars -- including Rat Packers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. He was also a staunch supporter of abortion -- including helping to finance the landmark Rowe v. Wade decision in 1973 -- and more recently was an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage, and his dedication to such issues (along with his distribution of pornography) made him a pariah in some religious circles. "By associating sex with sin, we have produced a society so guilt-ridden that it is almost impossible to view the subject objectively," he wrote in 1963 in one of his many broadsides aimed at Christian leaders. After his marriage to first wife and classmate Millie Williams ended in divorce in 1959, Mr. Hefner married Kimberly Conrad, a former Playmate of the Year, and the couple had sons Marston and Cooper. They divorced in 2010, and Mr. Hefner married Crystal Harris two years later. In 2011, Hefner told The New York Times that he had already chosen and paid for his final resting place -- a crypt next to Marilyn Monroe's in Westwood. Mr. Hefner's death was mourned by a wide variety of celebrities, including Ryan Seacrest, Mark Hamill, Kiss' Gene Simmons, former cover subject Jenny McCarthy, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rob Lowe, Kat Dennings, Heidi Montag and Juicy J, among others. - The Hollywood Reporter, 9/27/17.