NBCUniversalThe 2015 edition of NBC's annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center special, which celebrates the lighting of the famous New York City landmark's Christmas tree, will air on Wednesday, December 2. As usual, the show will feature performances by some of music's brightest stars, with this year's lineup including James Taylor and Sting.
Taylor will be performing with trumpeter Chris Botti. Other artists on the holiday extravaganza's bill include Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bocelli, The Band Perry, Andy Grammer, Carly Rae Jepsen, Pentatonix and the all-star group Band of Merrymakers, which features Natasha Bedingfield, Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath and members of Better Than Ezra, Fitz & the Tantrums and Neon Trees.
Rockefeller Center's famous high-stepping dancing troupe The Rockettes also will be on hand.
The tree this year is a 78-foot tall Norway spruce from Gardiner, New York. The hour-long special airs on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.
Earl Gibson III/WireImageFounding Sly and the Family Stone trumpet player and "hype woman" Cynthia Robinson passed away on Monday at age 69 from cancer. Robinson's death was announced on her official Facebook page, along with a note asking for continued donations to a fund launched last month to help pay her medical costs.
According to Billboard, Robinson first began playing with Sly Stone in 1966 in his group Sly and the Stoners, and went on to become a member of Sly and the Family Stone when that band was formed the following year. In addition to playing trumpet with the band, Robinson sang and was known for yelling out the phrase "get up and dance to the music" in the group's 1967 hit "Dance to the Music."
After Sly and the Family Stone broke up in 1975, Cynthia played with ex-Family Stone bassist Larry Graham's group Graham Central Station and also worked George Clinton and Prince. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the other original Sly and the Family Stone members in 1993. A new version of the group called The Family Stone was launched in 2006 that features Robinson and two other founding members -- sax player Jerry Martini and drummer Gregg Errico. The Family Stone lineup also includes singer Sylvette Phunne Stone, who is Cynthia's daughter with Sly Stone. Robinson, who also has another daughter named Laura Marie, continued to perform and record with The Family Stone until her death.
"She covered a lot of ground," Martini tells Billboard about Robinson. "She was the first female trumpet player and the first African-American trumpet player in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She wasn't in the back. She was out front telling you to get up and dance to the music, and she could blow with the best of 'em, always."
Questlove, drummer of The Tonight Show's house band The Roots, has penned a heartfelt homage to Robinson that you can read on his official Instagram page.
Live Nation EntertainmentJourney and The Doobie Brothers have announced plans for an expansive 2016 co-headlining trek of North America that also will feature a very special opening act: former Traffic singer/guitarist Dave Mason. The outing, dubbed the San Francisco Fest 2016 tour, will get underway May 12 in Irvine, California, and is mapped out all the way through an August 30 show in Chula Vista, California.
The trek currently features a total of 49 dates, and includes stops in major cities from coast to coast. Tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Saturday, December 5, at 10 a.m. local time via LiveNation.com. A pre-sale for select shows will begin on Thursday, December 3, at 10 a.m. local time for fans with the Live Nation mobile app.
For the tour, Journey will welcome back drummer Steve Smith, who played in the band's classic Steve Perry-fronted lineup from 1978 to 1998. Smith will replace Deen Castronovo, who was fired from the group this past summer after his arrest on domestic violence charges. Smith also will be playing with Journey guitarist Neal Schon's jazz-rock side project Neal Schon's Vortex for a tour of Japan in February of next year. Vortex will open for Journey at a May 27 concert in Indianapolis.
"I'm so looking forward to the very exciting 2016 we have planned," says Schon, "starting with my 'Neal Vortex Schon' Japan tour in February and then our major summer tour with The Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason. We will see you all soon!!!!"
The Doobie Brothers, meanwhile, also will be adding a new member to their lineup for the trek: founding Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne. Over the years, Payne has lent his talents to many of The Doobies' studio albums.
"It's gonna be a great summer for fans of Bay Area music, and for guys like us who have the pleasure of teaming up with our good friends from Journey and the Dave Mason Band," The Doobie Brothers' Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons say in a joint statement. "We look forward to taking the stage with Journey. We love their songs, and think we will all complement each other musically."
Here are all of the confirmed dates for Journey and The Doobie Brothers' San Francisco Fest 2016 tour:
5/12 -- Irvine, CA, Irvine Meadows 5/14 -- Phoenix, AZ, Ak-Chin Pavilion 5/15 -- Albuquerque, NM, Isleta Amphitheatre 5/18 -- Austin, TX, Austin360 Amphitheatre 5/20 -- Dallas, TX, Gexa Energy Pavilion 5/21 -- Houston, TX, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion 5/23 -- Wichita, KS, INTRUST Bank Arena 5/25 -- Memphis, TN, FedExForum 5/27 -- Indianapolis, IN, Indianapolis Motor Speedway 5/28 -- Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center 5/31 -- Rogers, AR, Walmart Amphitheatre 6/2 -- Birmingham, AL, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre 6/4 -- Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion 6/5 -- Raleigh, NC, Walnut Creek Amphitheatre 6/8 -- Atlanta, GA, Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood 6/10 -- Tampa, FL, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre 6/11 -- West Palm Beach, FL, Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre 6/22 -- Bangor, ME, Darling's Waterfront Pavilion 6/24 -- Bethel, NY, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts 6/25 -- Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center 6/27 -- Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre 6/29 -- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Blossom Music Center 7/1 -- Virginia Beach, VA, Farm Bureau Live 7/2 -- Bristow, VA, Jiffy Lube Live 7/5 -- Saratoga Springs, NY, Saratoga Performing Arts Center 7/7 -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Molson Canadian Amphitheatre 7/9 -- Darien Center, NY, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center 7/10 -- Mansfield, MA, Xfinity Center 7/13 -- Syracuse, NY, Lakeview Amphitheater 7/15 -- Camden, NJ, BB&T Pavilion 7/16 -- Burgettstown, PA, First Niagara Pavilion 7/27 -- Nashville, TN, Ascend Amphitheatre 7/29 -- Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center 7/30 -- St. Louis, MO, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre 8/2 -- Grand Rapids, MI, Van Andel Arena 8/4 -- Detroit, MI, DTE Energy Music Pavilion 8/6 -- Omaha, NE, CenturyLink Center 8/7 -- Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena 8/9 -- St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center 8/11 -- Sioux Falls, SD, Sioux Falls Arena 8/13 -- Tinley Park, IL, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre 8/16 -- Oklahoma City, OK, Chesapeake Energy Arena 8/17 -- Little Rock, AR, Verizon Arena 8/20 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center 8/21 -- West Valley City, UT, USANA Amphitheatre 8/23 -- Auburn, WA, White River Amphitheatre 8/25 -- Ridgefield, WA, Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre 8/27 -- Las Vegas, NV, Mandalay Bay Events Center 8/28 -- Fresno, CA, Save Mart Center 8/30 -- Chula Vista, CA, Sleep Train Amphitheatre
= Journey with Neal Schon's Vortex only. = Journey and Dave Mason only.
Motown/Universal Music EnterprisesA previously unreleased companion album to the 1978 film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical The Wiz, featuring Wiz star Diana Ross taking on all of the production's roles, will be released as a digital download this Friday, November 27. Diana Ross Sings Songs from The Wiz originally was scheduled to come out on Motown Records in January 1979, after the film debuted in theaters in October '78, but the label decided against issuing the record at that time.
At the request of Motown, Ross recorded the solo project at a Los Angeles studio with producer/arranger Lee Holdridge, who previously had worked with Diana on the 1975 movie Mahogany. The record originally was meant to complement The Wiz's film soundtrack, which was produced by Quincy Jones and the famed songwriting duo of Ashford & Simpson.
For Sings Songs from The Wiz, Ross not only recreated the parts she sang as Dorothy, but those of Michael Jackson's Scarecrow, Nipsey Russell's Tin Man, Ted Ross' Cowardly Lion and more. Among the tunes on the album are a solo version of her hit duet with Jackson, "Ease on Down the Road," and the Luther Vandross-written tune "A Brand New Day (Everybody Rejoice)."
Diana Ross Sings Songs from The Wiz also features "Wonder Wonder Why," a tune written for the original stage production but removed from the show before it opened, and "Is This What Feeling Gets?," a song penned by Ashford & Simpson and Jones that was included on the movie's soundtrack but did not appear in the film. The only previously available track on the new album is Ross' rendition of "Home," which appeared on her 2001 Motown Anthology compilation.
The digital release of Diana Ross Sings Songs from The Wiz arrives less than a week before the premiere of a new television production of The Wiz, which NBC will air live on December 3 at 8 p.m. ET. The event will features performances by such stars as Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Ne Yo and Common, as well as by newcomer Shanice Williams, who portrays Dorothy.
Credit: Clay Patrick McBrideAs founding Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington continues to recuperate from a heart attack he suffered in early October, the band has decided to cancel the remaining two dates on its 2015 schedule.
A message posted on the legendary Southern rockers' official Facebook page explains, "After further evaluation and continued treatment by his Doctors, Gary Rossington is taking the remainder of 2015 off from touring to concentrate on recuperating from his recent heart procedures."
The affected concerts are a December 4 gig at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado, and a December 5 performance at the Inn of Mountain Gods Casino in Mescalero, New Mexico. Fans who purchased tickets can get a full refund at the point of purchase or through the respective venues' box offices.
At the time that Lynyrd Skynyrd announced that Rossington had suffered a heart attack in October, the band postponed a few of its scheduled shows, while reporting that the guitarist was expected to make a full recovery. According to CMT.com, following the heart attack, which happened on October 8, Gary had a procedure to replace two stents. Rossington has had a history of heart issues, and in 2003 he underwent bypass surgery. Gary, who is the only surviving original member of Skynyrd, will turn 64 on December 4.
Meanwhile, in happier news, Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant revealed on Friday that he has a brand-new grandson. The singer posted photos of him with the little bundle of joy on Skynyrd's Facebook page.
Image Courtesy of Hollywood RecordsThe long-planned Freddie Mercury biopic apparently is set to move forward with a new screenwriter. Deadline reports that GK Films, the company that's co-producing the movie, has hired Anthony McCarten, who wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay to the 2014 Steven Hawking biographical flick The Theory of Everything.
Ben Whishaw, who has played the character Q in the last two James Bond films, 2012's Skyfall and this year's Spectre, remains the front runner to portray the late Queen frontman, although he hasn't been confirmed for the role. Sacha Baron Cohen previously had been hired to play Mercury, but by 2013 he was no longer connected to the project.
Queen guitarist Brian May posted a message on his official website, BrianMay.com, claiming that the Deadline article got some information correct, while missing the mark on other points. May noted that Deadline's suggestion that Cohen exited the film over creative differences was inaccurate.
"It was our decision. We simply realized that we wouldn't get the believable portrayal of Freddie Mercury we needed from Sacha, so we, as considerately and diplomatically as we could, moved on," May wrote.
He added, "Sacha is a great comedy character creator, but we need someone who will actually 'suspend disbelief' so that we believe we are really watching Freddie on screen."
Brian went on to explain that he and the other producers are hoping Whishaw "will turn out to be the man to bring Freddie to life."
As for McCarten, May says the screenwriter "is now doing some fantastic work, collaborating closely with us."
The guitar legend finishes by pointing out, "There are some radical new developments in ideas, and at this moment I'm more excited than I've ever been about the film's potential." He adds that with regard to official confirmed details about the movie, "We'll make an announcement when we're ready. It may be soon."
PRNewsFoto/Universal Music EnterprisesA new two-CD compilation celebrating the long career of the late Joe Cocker will be released on December 11. The Life of a Man: The Ultimate Hits 1968-2013 features 36 tracks, including the soulful British rock singer's best-known studio and select live performances.
Among the memorable tunes featured on The Life of a Man are Cocker's classic covers of Traffic's "Feelin' Alright," Leon Russell's "Delta Lady," Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On" and The Beatles' "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" and "With a Little Help from My Friends." The anthology also includes Cocker's chart-topping and Grammy-winning duet with Jennifer Warnes, "Up Where We Belong," from the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman, and his top five 1975 hit "You Are So Beautiful."
In addition, The Life of a Man features Cocker's hit 1970 live renditions of The Box Tops' "The Letter" and the 1950s jazz-blues ballad "Cry Me a River" recorded at the Fillmore East in New York City. It also includes an in-concert performance of "You Are So Beautiful" recorded in February 2013 in Cologne, Germany.
In related news, two of Cocker's most recent albums, 2007's Hymn for My Soul and 2012's Fire It Up, Joe's final studio effort, have been reissued on CD in the U.S. Hymn for My Soul was produced by recent Paul McCartney collaborator Ethan Johns and features Cocker's interpretations of George Harrison's "Beware of Darkness," Bob Dylan's "Ring Them Bells," John Fogerty's "Long as I Can See the Light" and Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothin'." Fire It Up, which hadn't previously been released in the U.S., includes covers of tunes by Marc Cohn, Keith Urban and Joss Stone, and features three extra tracks that didn't appear on the 2012 version issued in Europe.
Cocker released 22 studio albums and 10 live records during his lifetime. He died of lung cancer in December 2014 at the age of 70.
Here is the full track list of The Life of a Man: The Ultimate Hits 1968-2013:
Disc 1: "Feelin' Alright" "High Time We Went" "Marjorine" "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" "I Can Stand a Little Rain" "Many Rivers to Cross" "Shelter Me" "You Can Leave Your Hat On" "Can't Find My Way Home" "Darling Be Home Soon" "One" "My Father's Son" "Fire It Up" "Unchain My Heart" "Delta Lady" "Cry Me a River" (Live at the Fillmore East) "The Letter" (Live at the Fillmore East) "With a Little Help from My Friends" "You Are So Beautiful" (Live at the Lanxess Arena)
Disc 2: "When the Night Comes" "Come Together" "First We Take Manhattan" "Summer in the City" "Up Where We Belong" "Don't You Love Me Anymore" "Unforgiven" "Have a Little Faith in Me" "You Are So Beautiful" "Woman to Woman" "The Simple Things" "N'Oubliez Jamais" "Tonight" "Night Calls" "Hard Knocks" "I Come in Peace" "Performance"
Sam Jones/HBOU2 has announced makeup dates for the band's two concerts at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris that were postponed in the wake of the terrorist attacks that took place in the city November 13. The shows, which had been scheduled for November 14 and 15, now will be held December 6 and 7.
"So much that was taken from Paris on the tragic night of November 13th is irreplaceable," says U2 singer Bono in a statement. "For one night, the killers took lives, took music, took peace of mind -- but they couldn't steal the spirit of that city. It's a spirit our band knows well and will try to serve when we return for the postponed shows on December 6th and 7th. We're going to put on our best for Paris."
Adds U2 tour promoter and producer Arthur Fogel, "The band wanted us to reschedule as soon as possible so that they could honor the commitment to their audience."
Meanwhile, the canceled television broadcast of U2's Paris concert that was to have taken place November 14 on HBO now is scheduled for December 7. The special, titled U2: iNNOCENCE eXPERIENCE Live in Paris, will be filmed live that day and will premiere at 9 p.m. ET.
Tickets for the November 14 and 15 concerts will be honored for the December 6 and 7 shows, respectively. Ticket holders who are unable to attend the rescheduled performances may receive refunds at their point of purchase through Monday, November 30.
Prior to the Paris shows, which now will close out U2's 2015 iNNOCENCE eXPERIENCE tour, the band will play four concerts at the 3Arena in its hometown of Dublin, Ireland -- tonight, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
Yann Charles; SaiichiPeter Frampton and Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke are among the music stars who have lent their talents to an upcoming album to benefit the Road Recovery charity, which supports music programs and projects aimed at helping at-risk youth. The record, titled Don't Give Up, features songs written and recorded by young people involved with Road Recovery's Trax program, along with contributions from the aforementioned artists and some other well-known musicians.
Other artists who took part in the recording of Don't Give Up include B-52's singer Fred Schneider, ex-Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, The MC5's Wayne Kramer, pop singer/songwriter Jill Sobule and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello.
To promote the album and raise funds for Road Recovery's programs, the organization has launched a PledgeMusic crowd-funding campaign. In conjunction with the initiative, a variety of unique and interesting items and experiences are being offered for people interested in contributing money, including a signed and numbered copy of the Don't Give Up CD; a guitar, songwriting or drumming lesson from Kirke; a Neil YoungArchives box set; and many more.
Road Recovery is a nonprofit organization that seeks to aid young people battling addiction and other issues with help from musicians and other celebrities who have gone through similar struggles. For more information, visit RoadRecovery.org.
Mascot Label GroupFamed Mountain singer/guitarist Leslie West has just released a new solo album called Soundcheck, his third studio album in the last four years. Like his previous two records, 2011's Unusual Suspects and 2013's Still Climbing, Soundcheck features a mix of original tunes and select covers, along with contributions from some very cool guest musicians.
Among the well-known artists who appear on various tracks on Soundcheck are Peter Frampton, late Cream bassist Jack Bruce and Queen's Brian May.
Frampton lent his talents to a minor-key reworking of the familiar standard "You Are My Sunshine." Leslie tells ABC Radio that he's known Frampton for 46 years, and had long wanted to record with him, so after the British guitar whiz agreed to contribute to his new album, Leslie decided that "You Are My Sunshine" was just the track.
"He knew exactly where to play on it," West gushes about the solos Frampton added to the song. "I was amazed…that I knew a guy that long and I knew what I knew, that it would work, but I didn't think it was gonna work that good."
Bruce, who was a close friend and one-time band mate of West, appears on a live version of the Willie Dixon classic "Spoonful" that was recorded at a one-off concert Leslie and Jack played together in 1988 in Poughkeepsie, New York. West decided to edit down the performance and use it to close out Soundcheck as a tribute to Bruce, who died of liver disease in October 2014.
"He sounds so fiery and alive on it," Leslie tells ABC Radio, while noting how frail Jack looked before he died. "So when I listen to that track, I get warm and fuzzy, but I also get tears in my eyes, 'cause he sang so good on it…and played so good on it. And so, I'm thrilled we were able to put it on the album."
May's contribution to Soundcheck comes on a rendition of Don Nix's late-'60s blues-rock classic "Going Down." The basic track actually was recorded for Nix's star-studded 2002 studio album, Goin' Down. Other well-known musicians featured on the tune include Bonnie Bramlett on backing vocals, ex-Jeff Beck keyboardist Max Middleton, Derek and the Dominos keyboardist Bobby Whitlock and journeyman session bassist David Hood.
The album also includes an instrumental version of the Beatles classic "Eleanor Rigby" performed solo by West's bass player, Rev Jones. Leslie says he's "amazed by watching" Jones' performance of the tune, which was captured in one take for the album.
Among the original tunes on Soundcheck is lead track "Left by the Roadside to Die," which features lyrics penned by West's wife, Jenni. Leslie, who had his right leg amputated in 2011 due to complications from diabetes, says the heavy blues-rock song's title reflects "the way I felt when I lost my leg."
West tells ABC Radio that the loss of his leg has made it more difficult to tour, but he does currently have a couple of dates lined up in support of Soundcheck -- a December 11 show at Daryl's House in Pawling, New York, and a December 13 concert at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, Maryland.
Credit: Clay Patrick McBrideBob Seger may have turned 70 this past May but he apparently isn't quite ready for retirement. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer recently told Billboard that he's planning to put out a new album next year called I Knew You When, a collection of updated versions of previously unreleased tunes.
The record also will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the start of Seger's music career. To support the album and mark the milestone, the Michigan rocker revealed that he intends to hit the road for what he describes as a "bucket-list tour," during which he will perform at venues and events he always has wanted to play. Among these are the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Hollywood Bowl.
I Knew You When will be a follow-up to Seger's 2014 studio effort, Ride Out, which debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Harpo, Inc.Patti LaBelle will appear on the latest episode of Oprah's Master Class, premiering this Sunday, which will feature the powerful soul singer discussing her successful music career.
In show teasers, Patti recalls becoming a solo artist after the split of her girl group, Labelle, best known for their chart-topping 1974 song "Lady Marmalade."
"I never wanted to be a solo singer," she explains. "I was always afraid of people blaming Patti LaBelle for the breakup of Labelle. Because with Diana Ross, of course, they blamed her for the break up of [The Supremes], and it was that all three of us wanted to leave."
Prior to having her very first solo performance in London, Patti reveals that she was so terrified and later received advice from a therapist. "I said they'll never, never accept me," she recalls. "I saw the doctor, and we had a few sessions, [but it] still didn't take the fear away from me."
Ultimately, LaBelle went through with the show and recalls receiving a standing ovation. "Don't be afraid of change," she advises.
The episode will air at 8 p.m. ET on OWN.
In other news, Patti is enjoying the success of her dessert line, Patti LaBelle's Sweet Potato Pie, which sold out in stores across the country, thanks to a viral video in which a man literally sings its praises.
ABC/Randy HolmesEvery parent who's a musician longs for the day when their kids finally realize they're cool. For Elton John, he'll have to wait a bit longer -- his two sons currently have more interest in their toys than they do in their legendary dad's music.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Elton says his sons Zachary and Elijah recently saw him play live for the first time, but they were unimpressed. "They know what I do, but they don't give a s*** about it," he says. "They know my songs. They sing 'Rocket Man' and 'Bennie and the Jets,' and they sing 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart,' but they're more interested in Lego, to be honest with you, and I am very happy with that."
John says he's just happy that his kids love music. "They love 'Uptown Funk' and 'Happy' by Pharrell and "I Can't Feel My Face" by The Weeknd," he notes.
The Rocket Man says since his older son Zachary is starting school, his time on the road will be drastically reduced, anyway. "I've got to be off when half-term comes," he explains. "And I am planning on cutting down my shows to be with my children, because that's what I really love."
Elton's new album, Wonderful Crazy Night, comes out February 5. He tells Rolling Stone he really wanted the album to be super-upbeat. "I wanted to make a happy record," he explains. "'Joyous' was the word I chose. Not happy, joyous. I said I want it to feel joyous from beginning to end, and even the slow songs should be joyous."
Credit: Martin WebbLongtime Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre and his solo band were among the many acts that performed on the just-completed Yes fan cruise, Cruise to the Edge, and now the group is set to embark on a series of U.S. tour dates. The trek kicks off tonight in Delray Beach, Florida, and is mapped out through a December 20 show in Hamden, Connecticut.
The Martin Barre Band plays a mix of classic Jethro Tull songs and material from Barre's own solo albums, including his latest release, 2015's Back to Steel. The band also features singer Dan Crisp, drummer George Lindsay and bassist Alan Thomson.
Barre joined Jethro Tull in late 1968, after the band had released its debut album, This Was. He played on of all of the group's ensuing recordings, although he stopped touring with the band a few years ago.
Here are all of the Martin Barre Band's upcoming U.S. shows:
11/21 -- Delray Beach, FL, Arts Garage 11/24 -- Fayette, AL, Fayette Civic Centre 11/25 -- Tupelo, MS, The Blue Canoe 11/28 -- Shreveport, LA, Bears on Fairfield 11/29 -- Jackson, MS, Duling Hall 12/2 -- Atlanta, GA, Smith's Olde Bar 12/3 -- Asheville, NC, The Grey Eagle 12/4 -- Rocky Mount, VA, Harvester Performance Center 12/6 -- Vienna, VA, Jammin' Java 12/10 -- Sellersville, PA, Sellersville Theater 12/11 -- Binghamton, NY, Eclipse 12/13 -- Cleveland, OH, Beachland Ballroom and Tavern 12/15 -- Rochester, NY, The Lovin' Cup 12/18 -- Plymouth, MA, The Spire Center for the Performing Arts 12/19 -- New York, NY, Rockwood Music Hall 12/20 -- Hamden, CT, The Ballroom at Space
Image Courtesy of The Grateful Dead; Clay Patrick McBrideThe Grateful Dead and Bob Seger were among the artists honored at the 12th annual Billboard Touring Awards ceremony, which was held Thursday night at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. The event acknowledges achievements in concert touring business.
The Grateful Dead won the Top Boxscore prize -- which honors the highest-grossing single engagement by an artist -- for its three-show series of "Fare Thee Well" concerts at Chicago's Soldier Field on July 3, 4 and 5 of this year. The "Fare Thee Well" shows celebrated The Grateful Dead's 50th anniversary and featured the group's surviving core members -- Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart -- performing with Phish frontman Trey Anastasio and other musicians. The Dead's other "Fare Thee Well" engagement, on July 27 and 28 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, also was a finalist for the Top Boxscore honor, as was U2's July 18-31 stand at New York City's Madison Square Garden.
Seger, meanwhile, was presented with the previously announced Legend of Live Award in recognition of his career contributions to the touring industry. The Detroit News reports that during his acceptance speech, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer thanked the many agents and promoters whom he worked with throughout his long career and also thanked his family. In addition, the Michigan rocker said that his favorite thing about playing concerts today is seeing his wife and children in the audience. Seger's wife, Nita, and their son and daughter, Cole and Samantha, all were in attendance at the event.
The evening's big winner was U.K. boy band One Direction, which for the second consecutive year was presented with the Top Tour and Top Draw prizes. You can check out a complete list of winners at Billboard.com.
Survivor's Frankie Sullivan (Rick Diamond/Getty Images for IEBA)Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is being sued by Survivor guitarist Frankie Sullivan, co-writer of "Eye of the Tiger," after the song was used at a rally at which the former Arkansas governor spoke when Kentucky court clerk Kim Davis was released from jail back in September. Davis spent a week in jail after refusing a judge's order to issue marriage licenses, including to same-sex couples.
Huckabee told ABC News in Iowa that he was stunned by the lawsuit.
"The lawsuit makes it sound like I went and picked out music to say, 'Hey, play this song,' and obviously that didn't happen," Huckabee said.
Huckabee said his campaign made an effort to avoid the lawsuit, but he believes the plaintiff in the suit, Rude Music Inc., which is owned by Sullivan, is trying to get publicity off of this.
"When the person made a complaint, there was an offer made to pay him and issue an apology," said the presidential candidate. "We don't want to run somebody's music who hates my guts. I get that."
The lawsuit alleges that the Kentucky rally where Huckabee called Davis "incredibly brave" and told the crowd "we cannot criminalize the Christian faith" was a campaign appearance and that Huckabee himself allowed the Grammy award-winning song to be played. Huckabee said he wonders whether Sullivan has something against conservatives.
"Unfortunately, this person seems to be more interested in suing us for an amount of money more than the average American worker makes in a year and it just seems a very vindictive and almost unbelievable kind of thing to do," Huckabee told ABC News on Thursday at a campaign event in Centerville, Iowa.
Sullivan's representatives did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.
The 1982 song "Eye of the Tiger" was the theme to the movie Rocky III and spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year. These days it's often heard at sporting events.
Credit: Brady HarveyIt had been a long time since he rocked and rolled, but Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page returned to the stage Thursday to give a surprise performance at the end of an all-star charity event honoring him at the EMP Museum in Seattle. The guitar legend was presented with the 2015 EMP Founders Award at the event, which according to Rolling Stone, featured a variety of rock stars performing Led Zeppelin tunes and songs from Page's other musical projects.
The website reports Page had insisted he wasn't going to perform at the show, but he wound up hitting the stage and jamming out on a version of Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" with the evening's impressive cast. Among the well-known musicians who took part in the event -- and in the jam -- were Jimmy's one-time TheFirm band mate Paul Rodgers, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, ex-Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil, Tesla's Brian Wheat, and Alice in Chains members Jerry Cantrell and William Duvall.
You can check out fan-filmed footage of the all-star jam at YouTube.
The EMP Founders Award is bestowed on artists who have made a significant impact on the world through their music. In accepting the honor, Page noted that his goal for the music he created went beyond "the spark to be able to play and make that into a career. You need to pass the baton to the young people." Previous honorees include Crosby, Stills & Nash, Carlos Santana and Jackson Browne.
The concert featured the various guest artists performing in different combinations, with a house band that included McKagan and ex-Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin. While most of the songs came from the Led Zeppelin catalog, Nielsen -- joined by veteran rock singer John Hogg -- performed The Yardbirds' "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago," and Rodgers belted out two tunes by The Firm, "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Radioactive."
In addition to all the aforementioned rock stars, Microsoft co-founder and rock-music aficionado Paul Allen -- who also founded the EMP Museum -- took part in the finale as well. Besides the performances, special video messages from Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready were played during the bash.
The Founders Award Celebration event raises money for the museum's youth-arts education programs.
Here is the event's complete set list, according to Rolling Stone:
With Rich Robinson and John Hogg: "Ten Years Gone" "Custard Pie" "Sick Again" "Dazed and Confused"
With Jerry Cantrell and William Duvall: "When the Levee Breaks" "Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)" "No Quarter" "How Many More Times"
With Kim Thayil and Duvall: "Immigrant Song" "Communication Breakdown" "Four Sticks"
With Thayil, Hogg and Krist Novoselic: "Out on the Tiles"
With Hogg and Rick Nielsen: "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago"
With Paul Rodgers and Brian Wheat: "Satisfaction Guaranteed" "Radioactive"
With Jimmy Page, Paul Allen and the entire cast: "Rock and Roll"
Blue Castle RecordsGraham Nash recently told ABC Radio that he planned to release a new solo album in the spring of 2016, and now he's unveiled the full details about the project. This Path Tonightwill arrive on April 15, and will feature 10 new original compositions that the folk-rock legend co-wrote with Crosby, Stills & Nash touring guitarist Shane Fontayne.
The album, which will be Nash's first solo studio effort since 2002's Songs for Survivors, will be available as a CD, a vinyl LP and a digital download via his Blue Castle label. A deluxe version featuring three extra tracks also is being sold. You can pre-order This Path Tonight now at Amazon and iTunes.
"What a pleasure it was recording this album," says Nash, noting that he and Fontayne had penned 20 tunes together and recorded them over the course of eight days. "The music has a different feel to my earlier albums although I hear echoes of each one. This journey of mine was one of self-discovery, of intense creation, of absolute passion."
Fontayne also produced This Path Tonight, and will accompany Nash on a 2016 U.S. tour in support of the record. The trek kicks off on January 27 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and currently is scheduled through a February 22 show in Tarrytown, New York, with more dates expected to be announced soon. Graham also has lined up an "in conversation" event on February 25 in New York City.
Pre-sale tickets will go on sale starting on December 1, and fans who pre-order This Path Tonight will have first crack at the seats through GrahamNash.com. Nash will donate $1 from each ticket sold to charity, and he's also making special benefit tickets available in support of the Guacamole Fund.
Here is the track list of This Path Tonight:
"This Path Tonight" "Myself at Last" "Cracks in the City" "Beneath the Waves" "Fire Down Below" "Another Broken Heart" "Target" "Golden Days" "Back Home" "Encore" "Mississippi Burning"* "Watch Out for the Wind"* "The Fall"*
* = only on the deluxe version.
And here are the confirmed dates for Nash's upcoming solo tour:
1/27 -- Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall 1/28 -- Fort Lauderdale, FL, Parker Playhouse 1/30 -- Fort Pierce, FL, Sunrise Theatre 2/1 -- Fort Myers, FL, Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall 2/2 -- Clearwater, FL, Capitol Theatre 2/3 -- Orlando, FL, Plaza Live 2/5 -- Atlanta, GA, Buckhead Theatre 2/6 -- Nashville, TN, City Winery 2/7 -- Nashville, TN, City Winery 2/9 -- Louisville, KY, Brown Theatre 2/10 -- Durham, NC, Carolina Theatre 2/11 -- Newberry, SC, Opera House 2/13 -- Charlotte, NC, Neighborhood Theatre 2/15 -- Vienna, VA, The Barns at Wolf Trap 2/16 -- Vienna, VA, The Barns at Wolf Trap 2/18 -- Philadelphia, PA, World Café Live 2/19 -- Philadelphia, PA, World Café Live 2/20 -- South Orange, NJ, South Orange Performing Arts Center 2/22 -- Tarrytown, NY, Tarrytown Music Hall 2/25 -- New York, NY, Graham Nash in Conversation with Budd Mishkin at 92Y
PRNewsFoto/Hollywood RecordsQueen's new archival live album and home video, A Night at the Odeon, hit stores today in a variety of configurations. The release, which documents a special Christmas Eve concert the band played at London's Hammersmith Odeon in 1975 that was broadcast live on British television and radio, is available as a CD, a two-LP vinyl package, a DVD, an SD Blu-ray disc, a Super Deluxe box set and a digital download.
Queen's set at the concert included select songs from its first four studio albums, including such classics as "Killer Queen," "Keep Yourself Alive" and "Bohemian Rhapsody." The band also performed a rendition of Shirley Bassey's hit "Big Spender" and a medley featuring Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock," Connie Francis' "Stupid Cupid" and Gene Vincent's "Be Bop a Lula." Two encore performances, "Seven Seas of Rhye" and "See What a Fool I've Been," are only included on the audio discs.
The Super Deluxe version of A Night at the Odeon contains the CD, DVD, SD Blu-ray disc, a 12-inch single, a 60-page hardcover book featuring rare photos from the show, and a collection of replica concert memorabilia. The single boasts "Bohemian Rhapsody" on side A and an unreleased soundcheck recording of "Now You're Here" on the side B. In addition to the concert footage, the DVD and Blu-ray offer a 22-minute documentary featuring Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor reminiscing about the Odeon concert, and video of three songs the band played at a May 1975 show at Tokyo's famed Budokan.
A Night at the Odeon features a new audio mix in stereo and 5.1 surround sound, and a high-quality video restoration.
You can watch a clip from the release featuring a full performance of the song "White Queen" at Queen Online.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for A E NetworksThe A&E special Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America, featuring performances by Bruce Springsteen, Smokey Robinson, Sting and a variety of other music stars, airs Friday, November 20, at 8 p.m. ET. The two-hour show, which aims to promote unity and progress in the wake of tragedies like the racially motivated shooting this past June at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, was taped on Thursday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
RollingStone.com reports that Springsteen and his E Street Band were joined onstage by R&B star John Legend, as well as by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello. The Boss and company performed "American Skin (41 Shots)," a song Springsteen wrote in 1999 after four New York City police officers shot and killed an unarmed African immigrant named Amadou Diallo.
Robinson teamed up Eric Church for a rendition of the country star's song "Kill a Word." Smokey also took the stage to introduce Sting, who played a solo acoustic version of his 1987 tune "Fragile."
Other artists who performed at the concert included Jill Scott, Jamie Foxx, Pink, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, Big Sean, Aloe Blacc, Zac Brown Band, Sia, Nick Jonas, Miguel, Tori Kelly and more.
Each performance was introduced by a celebrity presenter, and short documentary films were shown between songs that featured various artists, including Alicia Keys, Pharrell and Legend, visiting sites where racial conflicts have occurred throughout the years.
Shining a Light will not only air on A&E, but also on all of the channel's affiliated networks, including History, Lifetime and LMN. During the special viewers will have the opprtuniy to donate money to The United Way Worldwide-sponsored Fund for Progress on Race in America.