Stevie Wonder reaffirmed his support for the movement of protesting against police brutality and racial injustices in America by kneeling while performing the national anthem before the start of the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix race in Austin, Tex., on Oct. 22. Wonder, who performed the song with this trusty harmonica, told the audience, "I've never seen the color of my skin nor the color of your skin. What I want you to know is that we are in a race, we here, all of us here, a race against time -- it's time for all the leaders, all the people, all of us to come together in the spirit of unity so we can move this world to a positive form." Many in the audience also reportedly dropped to a knee to support the cause. Wonder also knelt for his performance of the national anthem at New York's Global Citizen Festival on Sept. 23. Meanwhile in other Stevie Wonder news, the Motown legend is moving his annual "House Full of Toys" Christmas benefit show to the Staples Center in Los Angeles after a 21-year run at various L.A. venues, including the Microsoft Theater, the Forum in Inglewood and the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City. The 2017 benefit, which is set for Dec. 10, will feature Wonder performing works from his iconic 1972 album Talking Book and his 1973 album Innervisions. Wonder launched his charity show, which benefits children, people with disabilities and families in need during the holidays, in 1996 at the now defunct Sunset Strip House of Blues. - Billboard, 10/24/17...... Billy Joel and his wife Alexis welcomed their second daughter, a 7 lb., 3 oz. girl named Remy Anne, into the world at 7:50 p.m. on Oct. 22. "Alexis and Remy are doing well, and everyone is thrilled," a rep for Joel said. Joel and Alexis are also the parents of another girl, Della Rose, and Joel has a daughter, Alexa Ray, with his ex-wife Christie Brinkley. Meanwhile, during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Oct. 19, Joel revealed that he is extending his Madison Square Garden residency through the new year, the 48th of his current residency there and the 91st of his career at the legendary venue. "We're gonna go into 2018," Joel said. "I thought it would kind of taper off after four or five years, but they're buying tickets faster now than they were at the beginning." Joel also revealed that his songs are based on real people (Davy, who's still in the Navy, in "Piano Man," for instance), and that his favorite Bruce Springsteen song is "Meeting Across the River" before instructing Kimmel's house band on how to play the song so he could do his best Springsteen impression. "It's a very atmospheric Springsteen song," Joel said. The Piano Man added that he would consider performing an intimate Broadway show, as his pal Springsteen is currently doing. "We talked about it with Bruce last night. I said, 'Why don't we switch it up once in a while? You come do the Garden, and I'll do your gig for a couple days.'" - Billboard, 10/23/17...... As Dolly Parton releases her first album of music exclusively for children, I Believe in You, the Country music icon has donated $1 million to anderbilt University Children's Hospital in Nashville. "I love children," Parton told reporters on a recent visit to the hospital. "I've always been involved in one way or another with children's charities or with children in general, because I love little kids. I'm from a big family of children." Parton also heads the Imagination Library, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote early childhood literacy by giving children age-appropriate books to read. A portion of the sales of I Believe In You is benefiting the Imagination Library. - Billboard, 10/23/17...... Speaking of County music queens, Loretta Lynn made a suprise appearance at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Medallion Ceremony on Oct. 22 to celebrate the induction of new members Alan Jackson, Don Schlitz and the late Jerry Reed. It was Lynn's first Nashville appearance since suffering a stroke earlier in 2017, and the legendary "Coal Miners' Daughter" songstress received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd. Lynn, who inducted Jackson, recalled telling him early in his career that he would become one of the greatest singers in country music, and said "You haven't let me down." Jerry Reed's fellow Georgian, "Everything Is Beautiful" singer Ray Stevens, helped induct Reed with a humorous rendition of "When You're Hot, You're Hot" and a faithful romp through "East Bound and Down," a 1977 hit from Smokey and the Bandit. - Billboard, 10/23/17...... As Meat Loaf's legendary 1977 LP Bat Out of Hell celebrates its 40th anniversary on Oct. 21, the album's producer, Todd Rundgren, said he initially saw the songs as a spoof of Bruce Springsteen when they were rehearsed by Meat Loaf and his songwriting partner, Jim Steinman. "Because the songs were sort of very basic changes, the themes were all... [Laughs.]," Rundgren recalled. "By the time it was the '70s, the themes were kind of nostalgic. Even though Bruce Springsteen would represent them as still being real, the iconography was still out of the '50s, you know? It was switchblades and leather jackets and motorcycles and that sort of junk. So I saw the whole presentation as being a spoof of Bruce Springsteen, and that's why I decided to do it," Rundgren added. - Billboard, 10/20/17...... A series of tweets from Bob Seger's Twitter account have indicated the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is on his way to recovering after undergoing surgery for a pinched vertebra in his neck recently. "Bob is on the road to recovery after undergoing surgery on Friday to address the medical issue causing the postponement of his tour," according to an Oct. 23 tweet. "According to his doctors surgery 'couldn't have gone better.' Bob wants to thank all his fans for the outpouring of well wishes and support... We hope to have news regarding dates for the tour soon," read two additional tweet. Seger and his Silver Bullet Band tour was initially set to run through Nov. 17, the release date for upcoming album I Knew You When. - Billboard, 10/23/17...... Bob Dylan paid tribute to his former touring partner and Traveling Wilburys bandmate Tom Petty on Oct. 21 during a concert in Broomfield, Col., by closing his encore with a cover of Petty's 1991 single "Learning to Fly." Dylan previously issued a statement following Petty's death after suffering cardiac arrest on Oct. 2. "It's shocking, crushing news," Dylan said. "I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I'll never forget him." Petty and his band the Heartbreakers backed Dylan on the latter's 1986 True Confessions Tour, and in 1988 Dylan, Petty, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne co-founded the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. Meanshile one day earlier, Petty fans participated in a "Tom Petty Memorial Vampire Walk" down Ventura Blvd. on Oct. 19, 2017 in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The event was a goofy reference to a line from Petty's "Free Fallin'": "All the vampires walking through the valley move west down Ventura Boulevard." - New Musical Express/Stereogum.com, 10/22/17...... As more women come forward in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harrassment scandal, Rod Stewart's current wife Penny Lancaster has revealed that she lost her virginity to a rapist who drugged and assaulted her when she was first starting out as a model. On Oct. 19 the blonde beauty appeared on the U.K. talk show Loose Women, on which she is a panellist, as the co-hosts discussed the viral #MeToo social media campaign, exposing instances of sexual abuse or harassment. Penny revealed her attack happened when she was just a teenager and beginning her modeling career, after she was invited to join a man she had previously worked with at a fashion industry event. Lancaster said she was offered a spiked drink by the man, and fighting back tears, said she "found myself face down on the bed with him on top of me." 46, was too scared to tell her parents about the assault, because she was convinced they would chastise her for agreeing to go to his home. "He was a client I had worked with, and he promised to introduce me to other people," she continued. "I was just naive, and I trusted him." - WENN.com, 10/19/17...... Charlie Daniels released his new memoir, Never Look at the Empty Seats, on Oct. 24, and the Southern rock legend says he's been writing the book on and off for the past 20 years. "I just started writing down my memories. As I went along, I started putting it into book form," Daniels says. "I just kept writing, and interesting things would keep happening. I could never find a place to end it until I was told that I was going to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame. I thought what a great place to stop it, so that's what I did. It starts with my earliest remembrances, being born and bred in North Carolina, up through the night of the Country Music Hall of Fame induction," he remarked of the event from October 2016 that caps off the book. The book also details many of the high points of Daniels' career, and a few of the lows, such as his memories of the evening of Oct. 20, 1977, when he received news that some members of his good friends Lynyrd Skynyrd had been killed in a plane crash. "We went out on stage night that night knowing he had some friends that were killed, but not knowing who they were," Daniels says. "We just took it out on the music, and did our thing, and worked through it. It was definitely a sad night." - Billboard, 10/20/17...... George Young, the brother of AC/DC's Malcolm and Angus Young who found fame as a member of 1960s group The Easybeats before later producing some of AC/DC's earliest albums including 1976's High Voltage and 1977's Let There Be Rock, died on Oct. 22 at the age of 70. Born in Scotland in 1946, George Young emigrated to Australia at a young age before becoming a member of The Easybeats, who were hailed as Australia's answer to the Beatles. The band became best known for their hit "Friday On My Mind," broke up in 1970 before they were later inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2005. "It is with pain in our heart that we have to announce the passing of our beloved brother and mentor George Young," a statement from AC/DC said on Oct. 22. "As a musician, songwriter, producer, advisor and much, much more, you could not ask for a more dedicated and professional man. You could not ask for a finer brother. We will always remember him with gratitude and hold him close to our hearts." - New Musical Express, 10/23/17...... Al Hurricane, known as the "Godfather of New Mexico music" for developing a distinct sound bridging the state's unique Hispanic traditions with country and rock, died on Oct. 22 after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 81. Born Alberto Nelson Sanchez on July 10, 1936, in the tiny village of Dixon, Mr. Hurricane began his professional music career by singing in Albuquerque Old Town restaurants before releasing his first songs, "Lobo" and "Racer" under the band Al Hurricane & the Night Rockers in 1962. Mr. Hurricane recorded more than 30 albums and received a number of awards while traveling internationally. Following the 1980 Santa Fe prison riot -- one of the most violent prison riots in U.S. history -- Mr. Hurricane released the song "(El Corrido De) La Prison De Santa Fe" which was a narrative about the conditions that led to the uprising. - AP, 10/23/17...... Howard Carroll, the lead guitarist for the influential and Grammy Award-winning gospel group The Dixie Hummingbirds has died at the age of 92. The group started as a quartet of students formed by James B. Davis in a Greenville, S.C., high school in 1928. The group toured widely and recorded a cappella for the Decca label in the 1930s and then relocated to Philadelphia in the 1940s. After World War II, as the sound of gospel changed, the Hummingbirds added bass, drums and guitar supplied by Carroll. They performed on Paul Simon's "Loves Me Like a Rock" in 1973 and won a Grammy for their own version. - AP, 10/20/17...... Emmy-winning actor Robert Guillaume, best known for his portrayal of the sharp-tongued butler in the TV sitcoms Soap and Benson, died on Oct. 24 at his home in Los Angeles after battling prostate cancer. He was 89. Born fatherless on Nov. 30, 1927, in St. Louis, Mr. Guillaume was one of four children. His mother named him Robert Peter Williams; when he became a performer he adopted Guillaume, a French version of Williams, believing the change would give him distinction. After working as a postal employee, department store clerk and motorman, Mr. Guillaume enrolled at St. Louis University, excelling in philosophy and Shakespeare, and then at Washington University (St. Louis) where a music professor trained the young man's superb tenor singing voice. After serving as an apprentice at theaters in Aspen, Colo., and Cleveland, he toured with several Broadway shows and began appearing on sitcoms such as The Jeffersons and Sanford and Son. Then came Soap and a spin-off of his butler character on Benson. His period of greatest success was marred by tragedy when his 33-year-old son Jacques died of AIDS. He earned a Tony nomination in 1977 for his role as Nathan Detroit in the first all-black version of "Guys and Dolls," and became the first African-American to sing the title role of "Phantom of the Opera," appearing with an all-white cast in Los Angeles. It was while playing in "Guys and Dolls" that he was asked to test for the role of an acerbic butler of a governor's mansion in "Soap," a primetime TV sitcom that satirized soap operas. "The minute I saw the script, I knew I had a live one," he recalled in 2001. "Every role was written against type, especially Benson, who wasn't subservient to anyone. To me, Benson was the revenge for all those stereotyped guys who looked like Benson in the '40s and '50s (movies) and had to keep their mouths shut." The character became so popular that ABC was persuaded to launch a spinoff, simply called Benson, which lasted from 1979 to 1986. The series made Guillaume wealthy and famous, but he regretted that Benson's wit had to be toned down to make him more appealing as the lead star. - AP, 10/24/17.
A song written by Bruce Springsteen for the first Harry Potter film in 2001 but rejected by the movie's producers has appeared online on the Springsteen torrent site Jungleland.com. Springsteen reportedly became inspired to write a song for the film after reading the first Harry Potter novel to his son in the late 1990s. The song, called "I'll Stand By You Always," is part of a 13-track compilation of mostly rare soundtrack songs by The Boss titled Odds and Sods. - New Musical Express, 10/19/17...... Elvis Costello and Bonnie Raitt were honored at the annual Little Kids Rock benefit show at PlayStation Theater in New York City on Oct. 18. Costello and Raitt are longtime supporters of Little Kids Rock, which aims to provide music education to public schools. "In these days of discord, dissonance and distraction, I'm constantly reminded by a truth that is as old as the human family itself: music can bring people together in ways that virtually nothing else can," said Little Kids Rock founder David Fish, who has raised $1.5 million dollars for the LKR foundation through the series of tribute shows. "There's been study after study proving the benefits of music education and exposure to the arts makes all the difference," Bonnie Raitt told the attendees. Before launching into a spirited cover of Aretha Franklin's 1967 track "Baby I Love You," Raitt expanded on the theme of the evening: "Here's to the power of a beautiful ballad to break hearts and heal." - Billboard, 10/19/17...... Dick Clark Productions, the organizer of the American Music Awards, announced on Oct. 18 that Motown legend Diana Ross will be the recipient of the American Music Award of Lifetime Achievement during the 2017 AMA on Nov. 19 in Los Angeles. Ross, who as a member of The Supremes became the best-selling Motown act of the 1960s and released several additional chart-toppers during her decades-long solo career, is a seven-time AMA winner and hosted the AMAs in 1986 and 1987. "I have endless memories of all the years that I have appeared on the American Music Awards," Ross says in a statement. "It started with Dick Clark and the Caravan of Stars and American Bandstand. It was Dick Clark who said, 'Music is the soundtrack of our lives.' So true. I am so excited to be receiving this honorable award." The AMAs will be broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Nov. 19 at 8:00 p.m. EST on ABC. - Billboard, 10/18/17...... In light of the alleged sexual harassment and abuse revelations by some powerful figures in the movie industry that have made headlines recently, '60s and '70s hitmaker Sir Tom Jones has revealed that it also exists in the music industry and can happen even to men, too. "Things have always happened in the music industry as well," Jones said in an Oct. 18 interview with the BBC Radio 5. "There's been people complaining about publicists and different things they've been expected to do to get a record contract, just like a film contract. There were a few things like that. But you avoid it. You just walk out| But what's tried on women is tried on men as well," he added. Speaking specifically of his own experience, Jones said: "It wasn't bad, just somebody tried to pull| it was a question and I said 'No thank you.'" - NME, 10/19/17...... Legendary rocker Tom Petty was laid to rest in a private ceremony in Pacific Palisades, Calif., on Oct. 16. Petty, who passed away from cardiac arrest on Oct. 2 at age 66, is buried in the same temple and meditation garden where his good friend, former Beatles member George Harrison, was laid to rest in 2001. Petty's daughter AnnaKim posted a series of photos in Instagram as she experienced the ceremony, including one of herself beneath a black & white picture of Petty on a stand above a flower arrangement with the caption "the dark of the sun we will stand together" and another that read "My beautiful twin star??I promise not to be sad and to follow my heart you live on in your art." - Billboard, 10/17/17...... In other Petty-related news, it has been revealed that Petty offered what would become his first Top 10 Hit -- the 1979 Damn the Torpedoes track "Don't Do Me Like That" -- to the J. Geils Band, but the band passed on it. J. Geils singer Peter Wolf told Rolling Stone that "maybe we thought we had the songs for our album... We can do it for the next one," but adds that that band did like the song. Petty reportedly didn't think the song was right for him and his group the Heartbreakers for some reason, but was eventually convinced he should record it by Damn the Torpedoes producer Jimmy Iovine. In a strange twist of fate, Peter Wolf's new band, the Midnight Travellers, actually opened for Petty on his final tour. - Stereogum.com, 10/19/17...... Meanwhile, Ringo Starr says he was totally shocked to hear about the death of his good friend Tom Petty on Oct. 2, the day after the tragedy of the lone sniper in Las Vegas. Ringo says he had been booked to play in Las Vegas on Oct. 2, and on the same day he learned of Petty's death. "It was a shock. When you first hear it, it's like, 'What...?!' Like when I heard Elvis was dead; It's like, 'What?!' It has to sink in. It was very sad. That's all I can say, really. God Bless him and his family," said Starr, who occasionally collaborated with Petty and notably appeared in Petty's video for "I Won't Back Down" in 1989. Starr says he hopes to return to Las Vegas under much better vibes when he and his All-Starr Band kick off a fall tour supporting his new album, Give More Love, with an 8-show residency beginning Oct. 13 at Planet Hollywood. His tour will continue through Nov. 16 in New Jersey. "We're gonna try to play those shows with a lot of peace and love and try to raise the spirits," the eternally optimistic Ringo said. The deluxe version of Give More Love features a newly recorded version of his 1972 hit "Back Off Boogaloo" built atop recently discovered session tapes. "We just got lucky with that one," Ringo says. "I'm going through a lot of tape and we're looking to see if anything else is on them. So far we haven't found anything as important as that, but I might find something else on there." - Billboard, 10/14/17...... Bryan Singer, the director of the forthcoming Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, has shared a photo of lead actor Rami Malek performing as Mercury on Instagram. "Couldn't help myself and had to post this iPhone pic," Singer posted in a caption accompanying the photo. Singer is best known for directing the X-Men franchise, while Malek is a relative unknown, having previously acted in TV series, Mr Robot. - New Musical Express, 10/17/17...... For the first time in its history, Playboy magazine will feature a solo male on its cover -- recently deceased Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. For its Nov./Dec. 2017 issue, a 39-year-old Hefner will appear on the cover in a 1965 portrait by photographer Larry Gordon. "Hef" will be the eleventh man to ever grace the publication's cover, but none until now have been featured without a female model present. The first six pages will include a piece from Hefner's son Cooper, as well as a celebration of the magazine mogul's life. Playboy issued a statment saying the new issue is "a prelude to a forthcoming 100+ page special tribute dedicated to the man who changed the world with his visionary magazine and company." - Billboard, 10/19/17...... Tina Turner was on hand at an announcement party to help launch a new musical based on her life and career, "Tina," which is scheduled to open Apr. 17, 2018, at London's Aldwych Theatre. Turner joined the actress who will be portraying her, Adrienne Warren onstage for a rare performance for guests at the party. "Growing up watching Tina, I knew how to shake my hips before I could tie my shoes," said Warren, who was nominated for a Tony in 2016 for her featured role in the musical "Shuffle Along." "I am elated, honored and humbled. Meeting and working with Tina is and will always be one of the great moments of my life," she added. The musical "Tina" will trace Turner's life from her humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tenn., through her stormy marriage to Ike Turner, her hard-won independence and her ultimate emergence to become one of the top-selling female recording artists of all time. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/19/17...... Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner is reportedly no longer speaking to the author of a new biography about him, Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine, after feeling "betrayed" by the book's writer, Joe Hagan. Wenner is reportedly upset that the book delves into his personal life, including his sexual history, marriage, drug use, and working relationships, and has dis-invited Hagan from scheduled promotional appearances, including one at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which Wenner co-founded. Two earlier would-be Wenner biographers had book deals fall through after the magazine mogul withdrew his cooperation. Sticky Fingers will hit stores on Oct. 24. - Spin.com, 10/18/17...... "Run James Run," one of the two new tracks featured on Brian Wilson's new solo anthology Playback: The Brian Wilson Anthology, was inspired by guitar icon Jeff Beck after Beck mentioned that he also owned a number of 1932 Deuce Coupe hot rods. "While Brian and I were driving home from the studio, he stated that in his opinion, 'What the world needs now is one last great car song!'" recalls Wilson's collaborator Joe Thomas. "The next day, we started laying the tracks down." The song's title comes from a tune Wilson wrote in the '60s, which he hoped would become a James Bond theme. When that didn't happen, the song because the instrumental "Pet Sounds." Years later, Wilson revived the title and Thomas and Wilson finished the song. Playback dropped on Sept. 22 via Rhino Records. - Billboard, 10/18/17...... In a new interview with Northern Ireland's Belfast Telegraph, Billy Joel revealed that he is set to become a father for the third time. The 68-year-old Piano Man and his current wife, Alexis Roderick are expecting their second child in November after becoming the parents of their two-year-old daughter, Della Rose. Joel told the paper that Della Rose is "pretty good. She sleeps through the night... I hope the next one will." Joel and Roderick have been together since 2009, and the musician made her his fourth wife in 2015. Joel is also dad to singer Alexa Ray Joel, his 31-year-old daughter from his second marriage to supermodel Christie Brinkley. - WENN.com 10/18/17...... Legendary rock guitarist and bandleader John McLaughlin says he plans to retire from touring as he prepares for the start of his final North American run "The Meeting of the Spirits Tour" with his band the 4th Dimension that begins Nov. 1 in Buffalo, N.Y. "I think one of the most catastrophic things that could happen would be to go on tour and have a really bad hair day where I'm not really able to play," the Mahavishnu Orchestra mastermind said in a new interview with Billboard. "That's a nightmare for me. I don't want to get confronted with that situation, so I told the guys in the band, and some months ago, that this is the goodbye tour." McLaughlin and company have dates booked through Dec. 9 in Los Angeles, with Jimmy Herring and the Invisible Whip on the tour and playing an encore set of Mahavishnu Orchestra material together. While McLaughlin may be giving up the road, he isn't giving up on music altogether; he has just released a new album called Live@Ronnie Scott's. - Billboard, 10/18/17...... Cher has just signed on to join the cast of the Abba-inspired Mamma Mia! sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Cher teased out the news in mid-October with a series of tweets, although the details of the character she will play are being kept under wraps. In addition to Cher's role -- her first big-screen appearance since 2010's Burlesque with Christina Aguilera -- the movie will reunite original Mamma Mia! cast members Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Amanda Seyfried, Dominic Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard and Colin Firth. - The Hollywood Reporter, 10/16/17...... Speaking to the UK's Daily Telegraph, Robert Plant says it's extremely unlikely that Led Zeppelin will ever reunite again. "You can't ever really go back... It's tough enough repeating yourself with something that's a year old, never mind 49 years old," Plant said. "I've got to keep moving." Plant fronted Led Zep until their split in 1980, before a subsequent reunion in 2007 saw him playing with John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page once more at the Ahmet Ertegun tribute concert, where they were joined by the son of the late John Bonham on drums. He is currently gearing up to tour behind his new album, Carry Fire. - NME, 10/16/17.