Paul McCartney released a new anti-bullying video for his latest single "Who Cares" featuring actress Emma Stone as an Apple Music exclusive on Dec. 17. Shot entirely on 65mm Kodak Film with Panavision Cameras, the video was produced by the social change non-profit Creative Visions, and spreads a universally positive message along with colorful details. Sir Paul also launched a #WhoCaresIDo campaign based on the song and film. "My hope is that if there are kids being bullied, and there are, maybe by listening to this song and watching this video, they might just think it's not as bad," McCartney said in a statement. "It's the kind of thing you can just stand up to and laugh off and get through." "Who Cares" is taken from Macca's 17th studio album, Egypt Station, became the musician's first No. 1 album debut on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart in over 36 years. Meanwhile, McCartney's former Beatles bandmate Ringo Starr and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood teamed up with Paul for a rendition of the Beatles' song "Get Back" during McCartney's concert at London's O2 on Dec. 16. The impromptu performance happened during the encore, with Ringo later tweeting a pic of the performance with the caption "Having a great time at the O2 London freshen up tour With Paul Ronnie and Ringo a great night love you man peace and love." In more McCartney news, police in London are are investigating a break-in at Paul's London home in St John's Wood. Authorities launched an investigation after the home was reportedly targeted at approximately 6:20 PM on Dec. 7. A Scotland Yard spokesperson confirmed that police were called to the property and discovered signs of forced entry. No arrests have yet been made and the investigation is ongoing, authorities said. It is currently unknown if McCartney or his wife Nancy Shevell were home at the time of the break-in, which occurred only a day after he performed the second of two shows in Vienna on the "Freshen Up" tour. - Billboard/New Musical Express, 12/17/18...... In other Beatles-related news, pop star Miley Cyrus has recorded a cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's iconic yuletide song "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)." Cyrus, who enlisted Mark Ronson and Lennon's son Sean Lennon to record the cover, told radio host Howard Stern that the song "is just so magic every time we sing it goosebumps all over the place." "This song the way that it is so true to where we are right now and these lyrics of 'what have we done?' Are we doing enough, are we actually active? All we do is complain and we don't actually get out there and do enough in our communities. I think it's so timely for right now," she said. "Happy Xmas" was originally released in 1971 by John and Yoko's Plastic Ono Band in 1971 and has been covered numerous times over the years by the likes of Neil Diamond, Diana Ross and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. - New Musical Express, 12/14/18...... Bruce Springsteen delivered the final performance of his successful "Springsteen on Broadway" show at New York's Walter Kerr Theatre on Dec. 15. The Boss marked the closing of the show with an Instagram post the same day in which he called his Tony-winning Broadway run, which opened on Oct. 12, 2017, as "one of the most creatively memorable" of his life before bidding his audience adieu for now: "Our closing is bittersweet but more adventures await down the road. I'll see you there." Meanwhile, a "Springsteen on Broadway" documentary directed by Thom Zimny premiered on Netflix on Dec. 16, and a companion Springsteen on Broadway album dropped via Columbia Records on Dec. 14. - Billboard, 12/15/18...... The Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has become the number one music biopic of all-time, according to the entertainment website Deadline.com. The Rami Malek-starring film has grossed a total of more than $600 million worldwide, also breaking music biopic records in the U.S. ($175.7 million) as well as internationally ($433 million) for a global take of $608.7 million. The massive haul has pushed Bohemian Rhapsody past the 2015 N.W.A rap-music biopic Straight Outta Compton, which raked in $161 million domestically and $40 million overseas for a worldwide total of nearly $202 million. Rhapsody hasn't just crushed it at the box office, it is also emerging as an awards season favorite, with two Golden Globes and two SAG Award nominations. - Billboard, 12/14/18...... Rush frontman Geddy Lee says he decided to release his new massive coffee table-style book Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book Of Bass, which hit stores on Dec. 4, after he "realized there wasn't a sort of definitive book about the bass guitar." "I felt the bass guitar was not only under-represented in terms of books, but the beauty of some of these instruments has never been properly captured. So that's when the idea of the book sort of came to me... as not only a rationalizing for why I collect all these basses but also perhaps a useful reference book for people looking to find a particular bass," he said. Lee documents the history and characteristics of his basses, from mainstream Fenders, Gibsons and Rickenbackers to more obscure and lesser-known brands that pop up in his collection. Lee says the best part for him was interviewing other famous bass players and collectors, including the Rolling Stones' Bill Wyman, Metallica's Robert Trujillo, U2's Adam Clayton, Primus' Les Claypool and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, among others. "Using this idea of the book as a calling card and some of those conversations became my favorite moments in the making of this book," Lee says. Lee adds that after he finishes promoting the book he'll "figure out what my next step is going to be... I do miss playing, and I miss playing with my bandmates." However he adds a Rush reunion is "highly unlikely." "Neil [Pert] has retired and has no interest to play anymore. Alex [Lifeson] and I... it's possible. We'll see. I'm sure something else will come along for me to do." - Billboard, 12/14/18...... Oscar and Grammy-winning songwriter Paul Williams, who created original music for the Jim Henson holiday special Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas, says he still doesn't know why Henson chose him to provide the songs for the Emmet Otter character, "because it certainly wasn't typical of what I was doing at that time." "I think between writing [Three Dog Night's 1971 hit] "An Old Fashioned Love Song" -- which I know he loved -- and the humorous appearances I was making across TV at that time, he just connected me with the project," Williams says. "He gave me the opportunity, and it was the beginning of a lifelong friendship," he added. The classic special, which has been almost forgotten by the public at large, has become a word-of-mouth Christmas tradition that continues to grow in popularity each year, and was beamed into U.S. theaters for the first time on Dec. 16. A companion Jim Henson's Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas CD finally saw its first proper release in any format this past November, including a limited vinyl pressing for Record Store Day that sold out nationally within two days, and was the top seller at Amoeba Music in Hollywood. - Billboard, 12/15/18...... Roger Waters' two shows at Estadio Unico Ciudad de la Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Nov. 6 and 10 earned the former Pink Floyd member $5.3 million and sold 80,693 tickets, giving him the top spot on the latest Billboard Boxscore tally. Combined with earlier reports from Brazil that hit the Nov. 10 Boxscore chart, the South American leg of Waters' "Us + Them" tour has grossed $29.6 million across 10 shows, with Waters playing to 416,759 fans. Waters began the trek on May 26, 2017, at Kansas City's Sprint Center and played throughout North America for much of that year, ultimately raking in $92.7 million. Since then, he has traveled throughout Oceania and Europe before arriving in Sao Paolo in October. With the tour's final reports still to be submitted, the tour has grossed $142.6 million, globally. Also making the top 10 in the new tally were concerts by '70s artists Elton John (No. 3), David Byrne (No. 5), Def Leppard (No. 7), and Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band (No. 8). - Billboard, 12/14/18...... José Feliciano, whose "Feliz Navidad" happens to be the world's best-loved bilingual Christmas song, performed the tune and other seasonal favorites in Rome, Italy on Dec. 15 during The Vatican's annual holiday concert. The charity concert was filmed for a Christmas Day broadcast. Feliciano will also travel to Austria to perform at The Vienna Boys' Choir's Christmas celebrations on Dec. 20 and 21. On Christmas Eve, Feliciano will make his annual appearance at the Church of the Assumption in Westport, Conn., the latino singer-songwriter's home town. "Feliz Navidad" is a perennial favorite on the pop charts, and is currently No. 3 on Billbaord's Latin Streaming Songs chart, and No. 12 on the Holiday Chart. - BIllboard, 12/14/18...... A tour van owned by former Wizzard frontman and ELO co-founder Roy Wood has been returned to Wood after it was stolen during a ram-raid on a warehouse in Leeds, UK on Dec. 12. The robbery forced Wood, who is currently touring with his Roy Wood Rock 'n' Roll Band, to cancel the band's scheduled show in Hull on Dec. 13, which they now hope to reschedule. They had feared that "about £100,000 of gear, with PA equipment, three or four guitars, and Marshall amps" had gone for good as a result of the robbery, however the van -- with all of the equipment inside -- was discovered by West Yorkshire Police in East Ardsley on Dec. 13. Wood and his band are set to conclude their latest tour with a live show in Sheffield on Dec. 20. The "Rockmas" gigs take place around the time that the Wood-penned festive hit, "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday," enjoys its annual surge in popularity. - New Musical Express, 12/14/18...... The Grateful Dead spinoff band Phil Lesh and Friends will be among the headliners for the four-day Peach Music Festival, set for July 25-28, 2019 at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pa. Lesh and his band and Trey Anastasio Band will each play two sets, while String Cheese Incident will play three. Among the 50 other acts also performing will be the Allman Betts Band (featuring Devon Allman, Duane Betts and Berry Oakley, Jr.), Blues Traveler, Stephen Marley and Joe Russo's Almost Dead. - Billboard, 12/14/18...... Bob Dylan and Neil Young have announced a second co-headlining show together, this one in Ireland, after Young previously announced that he will go ahead with his co-headlining Hyde Park show in London on July 12 with Dylan, with Barclays Bank no longer as a sponsor. Dylan and Young will also now team up at Kilkenny's Nowlan Park in Ireland on July 14. - NME, 12/13/18...... Elvis Presley Enterprises and concert promoter Live Nation have announced a partnership to bring concerts to Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn. The concerts will be held at the 2,000-capacity Graceland Soundstage, which is located at the Elvis Presley's Memphis entertainment complex, and the 464-capacity theater inside the Guest House at Graceland Hotel. Per the partnership, the two entities plan to host 50-75 shows in 2019 with more in 2020. The first slate of performers, who are expected to range from legacy acts to up and comers, are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. According to EPE, 600,000 people already travel annually to the former home of Elvis Presley. While most bookings in the past at Graceland were Elvis-centric, Live Nation plans to expand the destinations in both number and scope. - Billboard, 12/13/18...... German electronic pop pioneers Kraftwerk have gained leverage in an epic European copyright battle after an Advocate General of the European Court of Justice ruled on Dec. 12 that even limited sampling of a recording can constitute copyright infringement. The case involves a two-second sample from "Metall auf Metall," which the producers Moses Pelham and Martin Haas used as a continuous background loop in the 1997 song "Nur Mir." Advocate General opinions are not binding, but they're watched closely, since they often predict the way the high court of Europe will decide cases. The European Court of Justice generally issues rulings several weeks after the Advocate General issues an opinion. Whatever the court's decision, it will not resolve the dispute between Kraftwerk and the producers of "Nur Mir" -- just clarify the questions of law at the heart of the case. - Billboard, 12/13/18...... Carlos Santana revealed on social media on on Dec. 17 that he will be offering online guitar lessons through MasterClass.com, sharing his best tips and anecdotes throughout his 53-year career ."My intentions, motives, and purpose, with this online class, are to help ignite a new wave of creative spirit around the world and inspire you to create music and carry yourself on and off stage the same way we try to navigate life -- with passion and joy," the 71-year-old guitarist says in a video announcement posted to Facebook. "In the class, you will learn about the influences, as well as the musical and spiritual moments in my life that have shaped my playing, songs, and heart throughout my career," he adds. The program, which costs $180 per year and is available on mobile or desktop, includes 13 lessons with exclusive access to videos, materials. Meanwhile, the Grammy-winning guitarist has announced he'll release an EP titled Mona Lisa on Jan. 25, before releasing a full album later in 2019 produced by Rick Rubin. Santana says Mona Lisa is a three-part suite that was inspired by a visit to see the actual Mona Lisa painting at the Louvre in Paris. The EP opener "Do You Remember Me," which was produced by Rubin, is an elegant tone poem that incorporates some of the onstage improvisations Santana has made a part of his live performances of the Supernatural hit "Smooth." "In Search of Mona Lisa" -- produced by Narada Michael Walden -- is more upbeat and "more radio friendly, along with Bo Diddley," according to Santana. Jazz bass legend Ron Carter guests on "Besame Mucho" as well. The full album, meanwhile, will be out "between spring and summer," according to Santana, the product of 10 days in the studio with Rubin during which he and his band recorded 49 songs. Santana adds that he may consider playing the Supernatural album in its entirety at some point, but the one point of nostalgia he is focused on is his legendary appearance at the original 1969 Woodstock festival. "We've talked to (Woodstock co-founder) Michael Lang, but we don't know if he has secured a place," Santana says. "If they invite me, I'm in." In the meantime he's booked his own show at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on the site of the original festival. - Billboard, 12/17/18...... In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the classic 1978 film Superman, original producer Ilya Salkind revealed that late heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali was "this close" to portraying the iconic superhero in the film. "One of the conditions with DC Comics was I had to make a list of actors to play Superman that they had to approve," Salkind said. "I had a made a list ... that was absolutely hilarious because they had approved people like Cassius Clay [later known as Muhammad Ali] then, they had approved Al Pacino, they had approved Dustin Hoffman," he continued. "They had approved them, they could play Superman." Although Christopher Reeve was eventually chosen for the role, Ali did end up appearing in a collector's item comic book released by DC the same year entitled Superman vs. Muhammad Ali. - The Hollywood Reporter, 12/16/18...... Cher announced on her Twitter feed on Dec. 12 that she will be penning her memoir for a "book due out in the first part of 2020." As if that weren't enough, the iconic diva also added that a Cher biopic will follow the book's release. "Writing Life Story--Book Due Out First Part Of 2020--Bio Pic To Follow," she posted. Cher previously released a book called The First Time, a collection of essays that recounted major first-time events in her life, in 1998. In related news, Cher and her late husband Sonny Bono's famed Owlwood Estate in Los Angeles has significantly dropped its price after being on the market for over a year. The 10-bathroom, 9-bedroom, 12,000 square foot Italian Renaissance home can now be scooped up for $115 million, a bargain compared to its original asking price of $180 million. The estate, designed by renowned architect Robert D. Farquhar in the 1930s, was originally built for the ex-wife of Arthur Letts Jr. -- the first owner of Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion. Since then, it's been passed around by actor Tony Curtis, and 20th Century Fox co-founder Joseph Schenck, a Superior Oil founder and the founder of the Hotel Bel-Air. - Billboard/TheBlast.com, 12/12/18...... Joe Osborn, a legendary bass player for the L.A. studio supergroup of session players known as the Wrecking Crew, died on Dec. 15 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81. Mr. Osborn played a a string of indelible hits in the 1960s and 1970s, including Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," the Mamas & the Papas' "California Dreamin'," America's "Ventura Highway," the Carpenters' "Close to You" and The Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You." He also played on dozens of albums by country stars such as Kenny Rogers, Merle Haggard and Reba McEntire, among many others, and is also credited with being the first person to record a teenage Karen and Richard Carpenter, when he tracked the soon-to-be pop superstars on his home four-track deck in his studio. Born in Mound, La., on Aug. 23, 1937, Mr. Osborn switched from electric guitar to bass early in his career, joining up with Ricky Nelson's band in 1960 for a four-year stint that led to steady session work in his adopted hometown of Los Angeles. In 1974, he moved back to his southern roots, setting up in Nashville, where he played on albums by Hank Williams Jr., Chet Atkins and Mel Tillis. His final release was the just-released Carpenters With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which paired his classic playing and the Carpenters' original vocals with new orchestral arrangements by Richard Carpenter. - Billboard, 12/17/18...... Cable news channel CNN has announced it will premiere Love, Gilda, a documentary of influential Saturday Night Live cast member Gilda Radner, on Jan. 1, 2019 at 9:00 P.M. EST. Radner played a pivotal role in shaping SNL, forever changing the course of comedy, and the special explores the dramatic story of the legendary comedian. CNN, 12/7/18...... Jazz singer Nancy Wilson, the Grammy-winning "song stylist" and torch singer whose polished pop-jazz vocals made her a platinum artist and top concert performer, died on Dec. 13 in Pioneertown, Calif., near Joshua Tree National Park. She was 81. Influenced by Dinah Washington, Nat "King" Cole and other stars, Ms. Wilson covered everything from jazz standards to "Little Green Apples" and in the 1960s alone released eight albums that reached the top 20 on Billboard's pop charts. In the 1970s and after, Ms. Wilson continued to record regularly and perform worldwide, at home in nightclubs, concert halls and open-air settings, singing at jazz festivals from Newport to Tokyo. She officially stopped touring with a show at Ohio University in Sept. 2011. In accordance with Ms. Wilson's wishes, there will be no funeral service, a family statement said. A celebration of her life will be held most likely in February, the month of her birth. - AP, 12/14/18...... Oscar-nominated actress Sondra Locke, best known for the six films she made with Clint Eastwood in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including The Outlaw Josey Wales, Every Which Way But Loose and Sudden Impact, died on Nov. 3 at her home in Los Angeles of cardiac arrest stemming from breast and bone cancer, it was formally announced on Dec. 13. She was 74. Locke, who had a 13-year romantic relationship with Eastwood, was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress for 1968's The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, her first film. Although her death was promptly reported to authorities, it was not publicized until a RadarOnline.com story on Dec. 13, for reasons that have yet to come to light. - The Daily Mail UK, 12/13/18.
On Dec. 13 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame revealed seven acts who will be inducted into the Cleveland-based hall and museum next spring, including first-time nominees Def Leppard, Roxy Music and Stevie Nicks, who is already inducted as a member of Fleetwood Mac, as a solo artist. With her solo induction, Nicks becomes the first female artist to be voted into the RRHOF on two occasions. "I have a lot to say about this, but I will save those words for later," Nicks said in a statement. "For now I will just say, I have been in a band since 1968. To be recognized for my solo work makes me take a deep breath and smile. It's a glorious feeling." Also slated for induction are The Zombies (who were previously nominated three times) Janet Jackson (who has been up for induction twice before), The Cure and Radiohead (each nominated once before). The induction of The Cure and Def Leppard seems to signal a bit of shift in voters' tastes, as both bands had been eligible for induction for over a decade and signals the Rock Hall, which is comprised of 1,000 artists, historians, and industry luminaries, is starting to seriously consider a number of bands whose late '70s/'80s heydays had been previously undervalued (the 2018 induction of Bon Jovi and The Cars seems to trend toward this as well). Roxy Music's induction is perhaps the biggest surprise, but undoubtedly a welcome one considering the art-rockers were responsible for several classic albums during the '70s. As for the fan votes, which is also considered by the Rock Hall, four of the five artists who topped that tally are getting inducted: Def Leppard, Stevie Nicks, The Zombies and The Cure. The seven acts who were also up for induction in 2019 but passed over include Devo, John Prine, Kraftwerk, LL Cool J, MC5, Rage Against the Machine, Todd Rundgren and Rufus & Chaka Kahn. The 34th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on March 29, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Tickets will go on sale in January. The ceremony will have its edited broadcast premiere on HBO in the spring, with a radio broadcast on SiriusXM. - Billboard/avclub.com, 12/13/18.