Activists in the LGBT community in China are condemning a decision by Chinese authorities to release the recent Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody with all its references to homosexualy removed. The film was released in the country earlier in March with censored scenes, including ones which showed two men kissing or featured the word "gay." All references to Queen frontman Freddie Mercury's sexuality were also edited out, while the scene in which he comes out to his then-girlfriend was also removed. Another notable change includes the audio being muted during the emotional moment when Mercury tells the band that he has AIDS. Thousands of Chinese social media users have been sharing reviews of the film online, and most have been positive, however many have criticized their government's revisions of Bohemian Rhapsody. Homosexuality has been legal in China for more than two decades and the Chinese Society of Psychiatry removed it from the country's classification of mental disorders in 2001. But the movie's censorship was widely anticipated. In recent years, Chinese authorities have embarked on a campaign to purge content it deems inappropriate. Explicit references to same-sex relationships are banned under Chinese regulations. Gay content is frequently removed or censored by Chinese media anxious to ensure compliance. - New Musical Express/BBC.com, 3/27/19...... Sting will revisit and reimagine 15 of his best known songs as a solo artist and Police frontman on his new album My Songs, which drops on May 24. "I'm constantly tinkering and I'm always wanting to make the songs as contemporary as they can possible be, because I think they are good songs," Sting says. "Sometimes songs are identified by the technology they were recorded with -- recording techniques, the sound of synthesizers or the drum sound. They all date a song, so we just want to re-contemporize the stuff." My Songs was recorded in various locations, making use of both existing and newly recorded tracks, with members of Sting's touring band, including guitarist Dominic Miller and drummer Josh Freese. A deluxe edition with five live bonus tracks will also be available. Sting, who shared a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with Shaggy for their 44/876 collaboration, will hit the road again with the rapper on May 19 for a short U.K. tour, then play two dates in the U.S. during May before launching a "Sting: My Songs" tour starting on May 28 in Paris. He also has a handful of additional U.S. dates slated for late summer. - Billboard, 3/27/19...... '70s artists Iggy Pop, Tom Waits and Bill Murray will be among the cast for director Jim Jarmusch's upcoming zombie film, Focus Features announced on Mar. 28. Written and directed by Jarmusch, the film is set to hit theaters worldwide on June 14 and will also feature Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloe Sevigny, Danny Glover and Selena Gomez. Jarmusch is known for helming such films as Dead Man (1995) and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), and some of the cast have worked with him in previous films, such as Pop in Dead Man. - Billboard, 3/28/19...... Herbie Hancock will be among the headliners in 2019's International Jazz Day weekend, set for April in Melbourne, Australia. The festival will occur on both Apr. 29 and 30 and will include jazz performances by artists from more than 130 countries around the world, education programs and community service initiatives across both days that feature over a dozen jazz masters. - Billboard, 3/27/19...... The Beatles producing legend Sir George Martin and late Atlantic Records head Ahmet Ertegun will be inducted into the Music Business Hall of Fame during the 61st annual Music Business Association (Music Biz) conference on May 7 in Nashville. Music Biz launched its Hall of Fame in 2018, inducting Tower Records founder Russ Solomon. It aims to celebrate the achievements of industry executives, companies, media, venues, institutions and others who have made significant contributions to the music business. Martin, who passed away in March 2016 at age 90, will be inducted by his son, Giles Martin. The Music Biz 2019 Awards & Hall of Fame Dinner will take place as part of Music Biz's Annual Conference on May 7 at the JW Marriott Nashville. - Billboard, 3/27/19...... The Motown Museum in Detroit celebrated the 75th anniversary of one of its most famous performers, Diana Ross, on Mar. 26 with a screening of Diana Ross: Her Life, Love and Legacy at the Emagine theater at the original Hitsville USA headquarters. The new documentary showcases Ross's famed 1983 conterts in New York's Central Park, and patrons in attendance were also serenaded by the local Prism Mens Chorus, which sang her hit "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" as well as "Happy Birthday." Although Ross herself was celebrating her birthday at home in Los Angeles that night, Ross's youngest sister Rita, who reminded everybody she's the "baby of the family," told the crowd that she was "blessed to be part of my sister's journey for over seven decades." That included traveling with The Supremes as part of a Dick Clark Caravan tour and joining the group on Sammy Davis Jr.'s private plane on its way to the trio's first engagement at the Copacabana in New York during 1965. "I remember we were going over and over and over, trying to get their opening speech (down), so I learned it by heart," the younger Ross said. The event also included a specially videotaped message by Rhonda Ross, her daughter with Motown founder Berry Gordy and a member of the Motown Museum board. Meanwhile, Ross is pleading with critics of her late friend Michael Jackson to "stop in the name of love" amid resurfaced claims of Jackson's alleged sexual abuse stemming from the new HBO documentary Leaving Neverland. "This is what's on my heart this morning. I believe and trust that Michael Jackson was and is A magnificent incredible force to me and to many others," the former Supremes frontwoman posted on Twitter on Mar. 23. "STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE," she added, referencing the Supremes' chart-topping hit. - Billboard, 3/27/19...... In other Motown-related news, Stevie Wonder is set to headline a gig at this year's British Summer Time at London's Hyde Park on July 6, with former The Commodores and '80s solo superstar Lionel Richie as his opener. "The Stevie Wonder Song Party: A Celebration of Life, Love & Music" will be presented on Great Oak Stage with Wonder playing music from his almost six decades-long career. "I'm very thankful that you all have been so wonderful to me, giving me your life and allowing me to share my music with you since I was 11 years old, which was just a little ago," Wonder told the UK's New Musical Express. "So, we're just going to play and have fun." Wonder is also set to headline the international TV festival SeriesFest on June 24 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. This will mark Wonder's first-ever performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Meanwhile, Lionel Richie has announced he'll release his latest album, Live from Las Vegas, on Aug. 23, his first release under his new deal with Capitol Records. Recorded at Zappos Theater at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, the album will feature Richie performing some of his biggest hits, inclukding "All Night Long," "Say You, Say Me," "Hello," "Dancing On The Ceiling" and "Truly," as well as songs from his time with The Commodores, including "Three Times a Lady" and "Easy." Richie will kick off a 32-date "Hello Tour" on May 28 at Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land, Tex., also making stops in Radio City Music Hall in New York CIty (July 17, 18) and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles (Aug. 5), among others, before wrapping on Aug. 30 at the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul, Minn. - Billboard/NME, 3/26/19...... Family members of late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin celebrated what would have been her 77th birthday on Mar. 25 with a memorial service at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, nearby where Franklin was laid to rest in a crypt in August 2018. Those who attended remembered not only the legendary singer but also other departed members of the Franklin family. Later in the evening, the Detroit Institute of Arts hosted the premiere of the documentary Amazing Grace, which chronicles Franklin's 1972 performance at a Los Angeles church. Amazing Grace will be released on DVD in April with many extras, including several songs that aren't in the movie. - AP, 3/25/19...... Playing his 62nd sold out show during his residency at Madison Square Garden in New York on Mar. 21, Billy Joel surprised his audience by bringing out John Fogerty to jam with him on a couple of Creedence Clearwater Revival classics, "Up Around the Bend" and "Fortunate Son." Fogerty was in New York for the Woodstock 50 festival lineup announcement at Electric Lady Studios earlier in the week, where he also performed a few CCR songs. - Billboard, 3/25/19...... The estate of Michael Jackson is criticizing the recent announcement by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) that Michael's mega-selling 1982 album Thriller (33 million copies sold) has been surpassed as the "best-selling album of all time" by the Eagles' 1975 hits collection, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, which the RIAA recently certified as a 38-million seller. Though the two albums have jockeyed for the top spot since the 1980s, trading the lead five times, executives from both Jackson's estate and Sony Music were stunned by the news that Their Greatest Hits had gained nine new platinum certifications in a single day from the RIAA for the years 2006 to 2018 -- meaning 9 million additional U.S. album sales had been made or discovered over those 12 years. Jackson estate co-executor and Ziffren Brittenham partner/head of music John Branca says he's skeptical. "When you review the analysis of the [Eagles] record's performance over the last 20 years, this sudden certification of newly discovered albums that were uncounted calls into question the accuracy of the RIAA certifications," he said in January. "Record companies regularly restrict audits of sales to a three-year period. I've never seen an audit that goes back 20 years." The data team at Warner Music Group, the Eagles' label, had undertaken an exhaustive forensic search to find all sales and royalty reports dating back to 1976, when the album was first issued, sources say. At the very least, Thriller remains the sales leader worldwide, says Branca: The United States accounts for only 30 percent of Jackson's sales and streaming, both of which are up even after the documentary. "When you look at it on a global basis, it's not even a fair conversation," he said. "No album comes close." - Billboard, 3/25/19...... Elton John revealed the title, release date and cover for his long-awaited biography on Mar. 25 to mark his 72nd birthday. Titled Me, the memoir will arrive in bookstores on Oct. 15 and its cover features a black and white image of John in his younger years, sporting a pair of his colorful trademark specs. "This is the very first time anyone has seen this, apart from me, of course," the singer said during the unveiling on Twitter. A press release describes Me as "[Elton]'s first and only official autobiography [which] reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, which is also the subject of the upcoming film Rocketman. The result is Me -- the joyously funny, honest and moving story of the most enduringly successful singer/songwriter of all time." Me will be published by Henry Holt in the U.S. and Pan Macmillan in the U.K. Meanwhile, actor Taron Egerton, who plays John in the upcoming biopic Rocketman spoke at a recent partial preview of the Dexter Fletcher-directed movie and said it tells the singer's full story -- warts and all. Egerton says that the film begins with John entering rehab, then the film unfolds as he tells of how he ended up so broken. Egerton has also denied rumours that a gay sex scene has been removed from Rocketman, and says it will be more of a musical than a typical bipoic. Rocketman hits theaters in the U.S. on May 31 and in the U.K. on May 2. - New Musical Express, 3/26/19...... The B-52's have announced plans for a farewell tour of the U.K. this summer. Best known for their hits "Love Shack" and "Rock Lobster," the Georgia-based band will play five dates, kicking off at Gateshead Sage in Newcastle on June 29, then visiting London's Aventim Apollo on June 30 and Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall on July 2. before wrapping up at Manchester O2 Apollo on July 3. The B-52's formed in October 1976 over a shared flaming volcano cocktail at the Hunan Chinese Restaurant. They released their self-titled debut album in 1979, produced by Chris Blackwell via Island Records. The band is also currently working on a documentary and their first official book. In 2018, the band celebrated what they dubbed their 40th anniversary by co-headlining a North American tour with fellow '80s stars Boy George & Culture Club and Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey. - NME, 3/26/19...... A new study from a team at New York University has revealed that the 1960s is the best decade for pop music. The team quizzed 643 subjects aged between 18 and 25 on their pop song knowledge throughout the last 50 years and, in a major victory for fans of the 1960s, it seems that chart toppers from that decade proved to be a whole lot more memorable than the songs from the years 2000 to 2015. Other songs from across the decades were also found to be particularly memorable. Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Woman," Blondie's "The Tide Is High" and the lesser known "Baby Come Back" by Player were among the most memorable tunes. As for the least memorable, that dubious accolade went to Dawn's "Knock Three Times," John Denver's "I'm Sorry" and Lionel Richie's "Truly." "The 1960s to 1990s was a special time in music, reflected by a steady recognition of pieces of that era-even by today's millennials," said Dr. Pascal Wallisch, lead author of the study. - New Musical Express, 3/27/19...... Olivia Newton-John has claimed that she is regularly haunted the ghosts of celebrity friends that have passed away. The singer made the comments in her new memoirs Don't Stop Believin' and suggested that her late famous pals -- including John Denver and Karen Carpenter -- hover around her while she's performing and act as her spirit guides to ensure her shows always go without a hitch. "I often feel as if they hover around me when I perform," the 70-year-old said. "They are my spirit guides who I ask to support me before every show and they keep me strong. They're gone, but their love never dies." Newton-John, who recently revealed she's currently battling cancer for the third time, also says that she has a number of ghostly companions, which also include a friend's daughter who died as a child, along with other family members. "She has been with me ever since (she passed away), along with my parents (and) my sister," she confessed. - WENN/Canoe.com, 3/26/19...... Redmond O'Neal, the troubled son of actor Ryan O'Neal and the late Farrah Fawcett, has been sued by one of the men he allegedly attacked in 2018 during a violent crime spree. The alleged victim, Steven Jaco, claims the 34-year-old Redmond stabbed him in the head during a drug-fueled rage in Venice, Calif. Jaco claims O'Neal attacked "without provocation," and was wielding his fists, along with some sort of "spike." Jaco, who insists O'Neal was under the influence of drugs, claims he was stabbed "on the right side of his skull, near the side of his left eye and his temple." Jaco claims he has incurred tons of medical expenses, along with not being able to work, and now wants to go after O'Neal for the damages. It's the second lawsuit brought against Redmond, as in 2018 another man sued him during a different violent spree, accusing him of a hate crime. O'Neal remains behind bars until his next hearing in July. - TheBlast.com, 3/26/19...... A new exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Oh., spotlights the 2019 inductees, which include Stevie Nicks, Janet Jackson, The Cure, Def Leppard, Radiohead, Roxy Music and The Zombies. Nicks items include her performance outfits from her 1983 "Wild Heart" solo tour and the tambourine from the cover of her 1981 solo debut album. The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Mar. 29 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, with an edited version slated to air on HBO on Apr. 27. According to a press release, Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry will renunite with former members of his band, including Andy Mackay and Phil Manzanera, at the ceremony. - Billboard, 3/25/19...... Speaking of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joan Jett is set to take the stage at WWE's Wrestlemania on Apr. 7, the entertainment company announced on Mar. 26. Jett will perform her hit song "Bad Reputation" as Ronda Rousey makes her grand entrance into the ring for the annual wrestling smackdown. With her performance, Jett will join a lengthy list of stars who've graced the extravaganza's stage over the years, including Snoop Dogg, Pitbull, Kid Rock and others. Wrestlemania is set to take place April 7 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and will stream live around the globe on WWE Network. - Billboard, 3/26/19...... Ranking Roger, a former member of The English Beat and General Public, passed away on Mar. 26 after a battle with cancer. He was 56. Roger, whose real name is Roger Charlery, announced his diagnosis back in January, revealing that cancer had been discovered in his brain and in his lungs after he suffered a stroke last summer. He began his career drumming for the Nam Nam Boys before joining The Beat (known as The English Beat in North America) for their three albums, 1980's classic I Just Can't Stop It, 1981's Wha'ppen? and 1982's Special Beat Service. After the band's breakup in 1983, Roger and Dave Wakeling went on to form General Public with members of Dexys Midnight Runners and The Specials. - Billboard, 3/26/19...... Scott Walker (neé Scott Engel) of the '60s group The Walker Brothers has died aged 76, his record label said on Mar. 25. The US pop trio enjoyed hits like "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" and "Make It Easy On Yourself" in the 1960s. The band moved to Britain and at one point their fame in their adopted country rivalled that of the Beatles. "It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Scott Walker. Scott was 76 years old and is survived by his daughter, Lee, his granddaughter, Emmi-Lee, and his partner, Beverly," record label 4AD posted on Twitter. - TV News London, 3/25/19...... Blues harmonica virtuoso and onetime Muddy Waters sideman James Cotten died on Mar. 14 at a medical center in Austin of pneumonia. He was 81. Mr. Cotton, who was born on a cotton farm in Tunica, Miss. on July 1, 1935, came to prominence in the Fifties when he cut two singles for the fledging label Sun Records and performed gigs with Waters. Mr. Cotton, dubbed "Mr. Superharp," formed the James Cotton Band in 1966, with the group issuing a self-titled debut the next year. In the Seventies, he recorded for Buddha and Capitol, reuniting with Waters for LPs produced by guitarist Johnny Winter. The first, Hard Again, came out in 1977 and won a Grammy. He also made appearances on albums by Sumlin, Memphis Slim, Steve Miller and others, and welcomed Miller, Winter, Dr. John, Todd Rundgren, David Sanborn and others onto his own recordings. He continued to record throughout the Eighties, including a run on Alligator Records, and won the Best Traditional Blues Album Grammy for his Deep in the Blues LP in 1997. His most recent album was Cotton Mouth Man, which came out in 2013 and was nominated for a Grammy. - 3/19/19.
Although Paul Simon has announced he is finished touring for good, the singer/songwriter has signed on to headline the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco, which is set for Aug. 9-11, and donating the entire net proceeds from his performance to local environmental non-profits. Simon's decision is in line with his 2018 retirement, where he said he was finished touring but not performing live. Simon will play Outside Lands nearly one year after wrapping his "Homeward Bound Farewell Tour" with a final two-and-a-half-hour show show at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in September where he closed with "Sound of Silence" before walking off stage and telling fans "It means more than you can know." In a statement about his Outside Lands appearance, Simon said: "I'm looking forward with great anticipation to playing at Golden Gate Park this summer. This will be my first appearance there, and it's an honor to join the long line of musicians who've given the park its sanctified musical heritage. I'm equally pleased to be playing in San Francisco with its well-deserved reputation for being in the forefront of environmental issues. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be of service to this vital cause." - Billboard, 3/22/19...... Barbra Streisand has clarified her comments regarding Michael Jackson and the controversial new Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland after facing criticism for an interview with the Times of London on Mar. 22 in which she said Jackson's "sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has... You can say 'molested,' but those children, as you heard [the grown-up Wade Robson and James Safechuck] say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them." Streisand went on to say that she has "a combination of feelings" on the situation and that she blames the parents of Jackson's alleged victims, saying, "I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him. I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him." On Mar. 23, Streisand issued an additional clarification, saying she is adamant that she does not condone the behavior Jackson is accused of perpetrating in the documentary, which details the experiences of Robson and Safechuck, who allege that Jackson sexually abused and groomed them as children. "To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone," her statement reads. "The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them." In an additional apology on her website, Streisand said that the original comments to The Times "do not reflect my true feelings." "I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims, because the words as printed do not reflect my true feelings," she writes. "I didn't mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way. Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives. I feel deep remorse and I hope that James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth." - Billboard, 3/23/19...... In related news, the Jackson estate has been informing the media of its many concerns about the credibility of Leaving Neverland and Safechuck and Robson. In a 24-page PowerPoint document not intended for publication titled "Leaving Neverland and the Truth," the estate questions the accusers' memories and the filmmakers' motives in detail. The estate also attached recent news clips in which the Jackson's defense attorney, Thomas Mesereau Jr., called the charges "hogwash." "The quotes are taken out of context and no effort was made to clarify," notes the estate, which sued HBO before the film's wide debut for violating a 1992 nondisparagement clause. "The facts don't add up, but no one has really been interested in reporting on it." Meanwhile, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has said it has no intentions of removing Jackson from its list of legendary superstars despite the extensive allegations against Jackson. The music icon was inducted into the prestigious hall twice during his lifetime, once with the Jackson 5 in 1997, and again as a solo artist in 2001. This comes after the legendary Madame Tussauds wax museum said that all waxwork statues of Jackson are set to remain on display at all of their museums. "The figures on display at Madame Tussauds reflect profiles that have had an impact on popular culture and that visitors expect to see," a spokesperson says. "Michael Jackson has been and is currently a feature of Madame Tussauds attractions around the world. We regularly monitor our choice of figures on display based on external events and visitor feedback." - Billboard/New Musical Express, 3/22/19...... Sources close to the upcoming Elton John biopic Rocketman say the film is expected to get an R-ration for sex and drug scenes. Rocketman will reportedly include an intimate love scene between Taron Egerton, who portrays John, and Richard Madden, who plays Elton's former manager and lover, John Reid. Director Dexter Fletcher is in the midst of editing the film, which is slated for release in the U.S. on May 31 and in the U.K. on May 24, and produced by John's husband, David Furnish. Fletcher recently tweeted a statement saying the movie "has and always will be the no holds barred, musical fantasy that Paramount and producers passionately support and believe in." Paramount test screened the film earlier in March in Pasadena, Calif., and according to a source, it received scores in the high 80s, a promising sign for an unfinished $40 million musical that grapples with some challenging themes, including John's drug addiction. - The Hollywood Reporter, 3/22/19...... An old school book containing essays written by Paul McCartney when the former Beatles member was 17-18 years old and studying at the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys will be auctioned on Mar. 26 as part of a Beatles memorabilia auction by Merseyside's Omega Auctions. The green book contains English essays on such classic literary works as Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native and John Milton's Paradise Lost, as well as notes and doodles. The book is expected to reach a final price of between £4,000 and £6,000 -- although estimates of £10,000 have also been quoted. In Beatles biographer Mark Lewisohn's book The Beatles - All These Years: Vol. One McCartney is quoted as saying, "I did most of my reading in (that) little period of my life I thought it was a bit swotty, a good image I felt like I was at university." - New Musical Express, 3/22/19...... As Todd Rundgren prepares to launch the U.S. leg of his "The Individualist" tour on Apr. 10 in Atlanta, Ga., the musician will release Todd Rundgren's Utopia Live at the Chicago Theatre on CD and Blu-ray/DVD on Apr. 5. Rundgren and Utopia, which is comprised of bassist Kasim Sulton, drummer Willie Wilcox and keyboardist Gil Assayas, hit the road for the first time in 32 years in the spring of 2018 for a 33-date tour. The quartet played two-set shows, the first focusing on the more expansive prog-rock of the early Utopia catalog, the second on the poppier side of the group's canon. "It was fun," Rundgren says in retrospect. "It started off very nerve-racking because of the volume of music we had to cover as well as, you know, the band hadn't played together for 35 years or whatever. So trying to regain some sort of tightness, synch, stuff like that, it doesn't must come immediately. It takes a couple gigs for all that to settle in. But as the tour went on it got to be more comfortable and more fun and lasted just about the right amount of time." Before the 20-date, 10-city U.S. leg of his The Individualist tour, Rundgren will play in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Apr. 3 and in London on Apr. 6. After the U.S. leg wraps on May 13 in San Francisco, Rundgren will play two shows in Japan, in Tokyo and Osaka, on May 22 and 23, respectively. Although Rundgren was nominated for the 2019 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he says he isn't losing any sleep about being passed over for the honor. "I didn't expect it and have never cared about it," he says. "I'm not looking for some organization to acknowledge me, somehow. Besides, the Hall of fame doesn't make any sense to me because musicians don't have to retire. Athletes retire, and that's when they go into the hall of fame, because they're not playing anymore. But everybody (the Rock Hall) is inducting now is still playing, so how can you say you've got the measure of them? You don't. So, no, I really don't care." - Billboard, 3/22/19...... Phil Collins, who wrapped his "Not Dead Yet!" tour in 2018, has announced he's returning to the U.S. for an extended run of shows this fall for which he has cleverly dubbed the "Still Not Dead Yet, Live!" tour. Collins' 15-date tour will kick off Sept. 23 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Tex., also visiting major markets including Houston (9/24), Atlanta (9/28), Detroit (10/1), New York (10/6), Denver (10/13), Phoenix (10/15) and San Francisco (10/17) before wrapping at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Oct. 19. Collins promises fans will be treated to an assortment of hits spanning his career, including "Against All Odds," "In the Air Tonight," "Invisible Touch" and more. - Billboard, 3/21/19...... The O'Jays have released a new single, "Stand Up (Show Love)," ahead of their new studio album The Last Word, which hits stores on Apr. 19. "Stand Up (Show Love)"'s video goes behind-the-scenes of The O'Jays' recording process, as the lead trio, lead by O'Jays veterans Eddie Levert and Walter Williams are assisted by backup vocalists and a luscious combination of guitars, drums, and keys. "'Stand Up (Show Love)' is our response to what we see happening in the world today as well as the ignorance and hatred we feel is coming from the Trump administration," Eddie Levert explains. "It is a great example of what The O'Jays are all about, message music that make you think while you dance. With this video we wanted to invite people into the studio with us and get them excited to stand up, to take action." Fans can catch The O'Jays performing cuts from the new LP as well as their many classic songs at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem on Apr. 26. - Billboard, 3/22/19...... Alan Parsons will release a new studio album, The Secret, on Apr. 26 which he says should appeal to his longtime fans more than his last set, 2004's A Valid Path in which he explored electronica. "I've been keeping busy," the musician-producer-engineer -- who recently won a Grammy Award this year for Eye in the Sky -- 35th Anniversary Edition for Best Immersive Audio Album -- says, ticking off a range of endeavors from buying a new home and building a new studio to putting together special reissues of the Alan Parsons Project's Tales of Mystery and Imagination and Eye in the Sky and an album for ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, who guests on The Secret. "Throughout this period Frontiers [Records] have been chasing me to make a new studio album, and eventually we came to an agreement and literally came to a deal that I could live with. Here it is, and here we are, almost 15 years later. I have no problem with that." The Secret also features vocals by Jason Mraz ("Miracle"), Foreigner co-founder Lou Gramm ("Sometimes") and longtime Parsons concert vocalist P.J. Olsson ("Beyond the Years of Glory"), with Parsons lending his vocals to "As Lights Fall" and "Soiree Fantastique." Genesis alumnus Steve Hackett plays on a rendition of Paul Dukas' "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," which kicks off the album. Parsons takes his live band on the road starting Feb. 26 in Quebec City, with dates throughout April in North America and a European run right after that into June -- and he promises more live dates will follow. - Billboard, 3/20/19...... R&B icon Curtis Mayfield's 1972 hit "Superfly" is among the 25 songs that have recently been added to the National Recording Registry, the Library of Congress announced on Mar. 20. Other memorable titles chosing by the Registry include Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," Earth, Wind & Fire's "September," Sam & Dave's "Soul Man" and songs from the '70s children's series Schoolhouse Rock. The library selects titles for preservation because of their cultural and historic importance to the American soundscape. - AP, 3/20/19...... The Michigan legislature has approved a portion of M-10 in Detroit be renamed "Aretha L. Franklin Memorial Highway" in honor of Aretha Franklin, who died in Detroit in 2018 after pancreatic cancer. The legislation will next go to the state Senate for approval before being signed by the governor. The bill's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Leslie Love of Detroit, says Franklin was a "special lady" who fought for civil rights and "gave us all a soundtrack to our lives." - AP, 3/20/19...... Fleetwood Mac is on track to gross more than $100 million on the North American leg of their 2018/2019 tour with venues across the country reporting grosses between $1.5 to $2 million per show powered by a new generation of fans who have embraced the legendary group and its deep catalog of No. 1 hits. In 2018, the group announced they were going on tour without longtime member Lindsey Buckingham, but with Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Crowded House's Neil Finn standing in for the guitarist/singer Buckingham. "The tour is playing to sold out arenas every night and I love walking thru the crowds, seeing generations of longtime fans dancing and singing along to their favorite songs," the band's co-manager Sheryl Louis said in a statement. "What I've noticed on this tour specifically is so many younger fans, who are equally as enthusiastic, seeing the band live for the first time and loving it." - Billboard, 3/18/19...... Cher is reaching out to fans for help in finding her beloved black, rhinestone-studded "Eat the Rich" T-shirt which the diva says she has misplaced after remaining loyal to it for nearly 40 years now. On Mar. 20, Cher tweeted "My T-Shirt Is Gone," along with a few sad-face and broken-heart emojis. "Black studded Rhinestone Shirt with white pirate," she added. "Worn it for 30-40 years. My favorite piece of clothing." She also noted that she's hoping for a little divine intervention, tweeting, "I'm Asking St. Anthony To Get Involved, He Finds Everything." - Billboard, 3/21/19...... Boz Scaggs has released a video for "Little Miss Night and Day" from his latest album, 2018's Grammy Award-nominated Out of the Blues. "That's what it's about," Scaggs says of the black & white clip, which features backstage, soundcheck and on stage footage from a tour stop. "It's on the road. It's live. I like people to come out and see it, and we're really running on the enthusiasm that has been created from the last number of years of shows. It's exciting. I'd forgotten how much fun I could have on stage." Scaggs and his band will return to touring on Mar. 27 as part of the 70s Rock & Romance Cruise before starting a U.S. tour leading up to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Apr. 27, and then tours of Japan and back to the U.S. Out of the Blues, which was up for a Grammy for best contemporary blues album this year, was the concluding piece in a trilogy in which Scaggs explored his various musical influences, particularly soul, blues and Americana. Scaggs says he's looking at "a wide open palette" for what he'll do next. - Billboard, 3/20/19...... The Woodstock 50 anniversary festival has announced a massive list of headliners including Robert Plant, John Fogerty, Dead & Company, David Crosby and original Woodstock veteran Santana. Rappers Jay-Z and Chance The Rapper have also been confirmed to headline the event at Watkins Glen, N.Y. running Aug. 16-18. Original Woodstock promoter Michael Lang previously said the 50th anniversary Woodstock will "cross genres from rock to pop, folk and hip hop... It's kind of representative of this idea of engagement and trying to steer toward acts that are heavily involved in social issues. So there's some real gravitas in the performance and we want it to live on beyond the event." Woodstock 50 will occur on the same weekend as another Woodstock anniversary festival produced by Live Nation with headliners Ringo Starr and Santana. - Billboard, 3/19/19...... Jerry Lee Lewis has announced he is canceling several upcoming shows, including his appearance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival on Apr. 28, as he recovers from a stroke he suffered in February. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also announced he is cancelling his May 18 concert in Knoxville, Tenn., and a June 8 concert in Alexandria, Va. According to a statement from the 83-year-old Lewis' neurologist released on Mar. 18, he is expected to fully recover with aggressive and intensive rehab. - AP, 3/19/19...... Country artist Roseanne Cash has joined forces with artist and producer Ry Cooder for a five-city run of "Cash and Cooder on Cash: A Musical Tribute to Johnny Cash." The performances are tribute to Johnny Cash by his daughter and Cooder featuring heartfelt personal interpretations of gems from his treasure-filled songbook. The special performances will kick off on June 16 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville then head to the Chicago Theatre in Illinois, Wang Theatre in Boston, Carnegie Hall in New York and close out on Nov. 3 at the Metropolitan Opera House in Philadelphia. - Amplify, 3/18/19...... '70s hitmaker Ray Stevens is among the country/pop acts who have been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the organization announced on Mar. 18. Stevens, along with Brooks & Dunn and Jerry Bradley, will be formally inducted during a ceremony at Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum later in 2019. The induction into the CMHOF is the pinnacle of achievement in country music. - Billboard, 3/18/19...... A California judge has allowed a lawsuit brought by former Journey singer Steve Perry over vocals he recorded in a garage two decades ago to move forward. In Nov. 2018, Perry sued Phil Brown, claiming the musician wants to release without his permission demos the two recorded together in the early 1990s. Perry says he never intended for those vocals to be used in a larger sound recording in which any other party would have a copyright interest and that the two signed an agreement that Perry would control the exploitation of the musical compositions. Perry says Brown has ignored his cease and desist demands, so he sued. He asked the court for a declaration to clear up who owns the recordings, and is seeking damages for violation of his publicity rights and false endorsement. The court in November granted a temporary restraining order that bars Brown from releasing the works. The next hearing in the case is currently set for Mar. 25. - Billboard, 3/18/19...... R&B legend Andre Williams, perhaps best known for songs including "Bacon Fat" (1956), "Jail Bait" (1957), "Cadillac Jack" (1966), and the R&B classic, "Shake a Tail Feather" (1963), passed away on Mar. 17 in Chicago. He was 82. "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of legendary artist Andre Williams," a Facebook post from the Chicago-based label Pravda Records read. "He died this afternoon in Chicago at the age of 82. He touched our lives and the lives of countless others. We love you Dre." Mr. Williams was signed to Motown and Chess Records during his career, and released his last album, Don't Ever Give Up, via Pravda in 2016. - New Musical Express, 3/18/19.