Waky Music News
Stevie Wonder's family is now a little bigger. "Us Weekly" says the Motown legend and his girlfriend Tomeeka Robyn Bracy are celebrating the arrival of their new daughter, Nia. While Wonder's reps are confirming the birth, they've offered no other details. Baby Nia is Wonder's ninth child, and his second with Bracy. He confirmed that the baby was on the way during an appearance on "The View" last month, while refuting a "New York Post" story claiming Bracy was pregnant with triplets.
Elton John and David Furnish are taking the next step in formalizing their relationship. The rocker's rep tells "Us Weekly" the couple will officially wed in Britain this weekend. However, they haven't revealed any other details regarding their plans. Elton and David have been together for 21 years. In 2005 they were among the first couples to tie the knot when civil unions between same-sex couples became legal in England. They followed their ceremony with a lavish party at their Windsor estate, welcoming more than 700 guests including Ringo Starr and Ozzy Osbourne. This time around they've taken their time, and are making it a low-key event. Back in April, a week after same-sex marriage was legalized in Britain, Elton told the "Today" show he and David planned to wed "very quietly. He added that it would be "a joyous occasion" that included their sons, three-year-old Zachary and 23-month-old Elijah.
Paul McCartney says he enjoys holiday music. After NBC's "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon shared that he's a big fan of Sir Paul's 1979 Christmas hit, the former Beatle named a couple of his favorites. McCartney is making the media rounds promoting his new single, "Hope for the Future," which he wrote and recorded for the new video game "Destiny." But the rock legend admits he's not a gamer. He says he can't even win at his own game. He says "The Beatles: Rock Band" is "very hard," and when he plays it with his grandkids he loses "every time."
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts will be teaming up with another group of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees next year. The newly-minted member of the Class of 2015 is set to open for the Who when they bring their Who Hits 50 trek to the
Joe Perry says his new holiday EP was a rather spontaneous project. The Aerosmith guitarist tells UltimateClassicRock.com he was in Los Angeles wrapping up his book tour, and found himself "about 20 feet away from a studio." But he adds that it's something he'd like to do again. Perry says he'd like to make it a tradition, and put out a collection of holiday songs every year. The rocker released the EP "Joe Perry's Merry Christmas" earlier this month. The four-song set includes instrumental versions of the classics "Silent Night" and "White Christmas" along with vocal renditions of "Run, Run Rudolph" and "Santa's Back in Town."
U.S. in the spring. The tour starts in Tampa, Florida on April 15th, just three days before Jett and her band will officially be inducted into the Rock Hall during a ceremony in Cleveland. Who frontman Roger Daltrey says adding a "great American rock band" like Joan Jett and the Blackhearts will ensure a "full night of entertainment" for concert-goers.
The Who kicked off their 50th anniversary tour earlier this year in Europe. They were forced to postpone this week's final two dates in London after Daltrey came down with a throat infection.
The Who's Pete Townshend says KISS is "a very American phenomenon," and "absolutely, unquestionably not, in any sense, whatsoever" European or English. The British rocker tells HazyRock.com that with the makeup, costumes, and characters, Kiss is "straight out of 'Creem' magazine meets Las Vegas" with "a bit of New Orleans in it" with a "very American, kind of Mardi Gras thing." Townshend admits that KISS "could maybe have happened in Berlin," but says if they were a German group their music would be very different. Townshend also admits he didn't quite understand KISS at first, because "there was sort of a parody of rock inherent in what they were doing." He adds that he wasn't "quite sure about" that "business of wearing disguises."
Queen's Brian May says it's been "wonderful" to be bring the group back to the stage with Adam Lambert. But he says just how long it'll last depends on the singer. The guitarist tells Universal Music Japan the group is currently enjoying a "window of opportunity with Adam," and when he chooses to "go off and resume his normal career," Queen will "probably close up shop for a time." May admits the group's latest resurgence is nothing he ever expected -- Lambert came "out of the blue." But he says in Adam they found a vocalist with a range that's actually a little better than Queen's late frontman Freddie Mercury. He adds that Adam is a "natural" showman "in the same way that Freddie was," and he can walk on a stage and connect with an audience.
And Queen's run isn't over just yet. The band, with Lambert, will play a special New Year's Eve show in London at the end of the month. They'll launch a UK tour together in Newcastle, England on January 13th.
A new study suggests surgeons should push play on Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" before they pick up their scalpels. Cardiff University Hospital lists the track in a group of songs recommended for doctors leading medical operations. Other options include the Bee Gees "Stayin' Alive," Sade's "Smooth Operator," Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," and Coldplay's "Fix You." At the same time, the study puts hits like "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen or R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" in the "What Not To Play" category. And while the song choices are a bit tongue-in-cheek, the study found that four out of five operations are carried out with music playing in the background. According to the report in the British Medical Journal, it "improves communication between staff, reduces anxiety and improves efficiency."
Starr currently has no plans to perform at the event, but he says he wouldn't say no if "producer" McCartney put a band together and asked him to sing "With a Little Help from My Friends." The new slate of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees also includes Lou Reed, Bill Withers, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Green Day.
Joan Jett says she thinks her participation in last spring's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony gave her band an edge on the latest ballot. The singer tells "Billboard" that "maybe it reminded people" she's "out there." Joan admits the news that she's a member of the Rock Hall's Class of 2015 is "kind of still sinking in," and it "feels so surreal." She explains that it's "pretty incredible" to "think about all the musicians in the history of music that have been out there making records and touring," and realize she's been "chosen into this elite group."
Jett, who's the only female inductee for the new class, adds that she believes the honor recognizes her as a trailblazer for women in rock. She explains that while she's being inducted with the Blackhearts, she sees it as a nod to her entire career, including her early work with the Runaways. The Rock Hall's Class of 2015 also includes Lou Reed, Bill Withers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Green Day, while Ringo Starr will receive the Award for Musical Excellence. The 2015 induction ceremony will take place in Cleveland, Ohio on April 18th.
Paul McCartney is revealing the real reason behind his decision to score the video game "Destiny." He confessed to Comedy Central's "Daily Show with Jon Stewart" that he had to do something to impress his grandchildren, since he's video game-challenged himself. Paul penned the song "Hope For The Future" for the game. He released it along with a futuristic video earlier this month. The music legend said it was pointed out to him that today's video games are often on the same level as major motion pictures, which also convinced him to get on board.
McCartney added that he'll be attending Ringo Starr's induction into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame, which was announced Tuesday. Paul says he'd "definitely" be there for his Beatle bandmate, and is "really excited" for him.
Roger Daltrey is under doctor's orders to rest his voice, which means the Who have been forced to postpone two of their 50th anniversary shows in the U.K. The rockers were scheduled to wrap up the European portion of their "Who Hits 50" trek with back-to-back shows at London's O2 Arena on Wednesday and Thursday. But a spokesperson says Daltrey is battling a throat infection, so they've pushed those shows back a few months to March. The Who will kick off the U.S. leg of the tour April 15th in Tampa, Florida.
Randy Bachman has a new album on the way. The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive guitarist is set to release "Heavy Blues" in the spring, and he's brought in a few friends to lend a hand. Neil Young contributes a guitar solo to the record, as do Joe Bonamassa, Robert Randolph, and late blues-rocker Jeff Healey, who passed away in 2008. Bachman also worked with producer Kevin Shirley rather than handling that duty himself. He says he knew Shirley would be able to push him past his limit and direct him down new roads. Bachman's "Heavy Blues" is due out in April.
Van Morrison has new music on the way. The veteran artist has inked a deal with RCA Records, which will release his 35th album next year. Label execs Tom Corson and Peter Edge say in a statement that they're thrilled to have Morrison on their roster. They call Van "one of the most prolific and talented songwriters and performers in music today," and they're honored to work with him on his next studio project. Morrison adds that he's pleased to be with the label, and is "looking forward to working with Tom, Peter and the RCA team." Morrison's still untitled disc is expected in early 2015. It'll be his follow up to "Born To Sing: No Plan B," which he released through Blue Note Records in 2012.
Hall & Oates' John Oates is on his own as he shares his musical journey in a new DVD. "Another Good Road" is described as a "docu-concert" that takes viewers into Oates' "private universe," and "traces the various roads he's followed in his life, both literally and figuratively." John says the video is "as real as it gets -- one take on each song and no post production fixes or overdubs." The material was shot in one day at a Nashville studio. Oates explains that they had "one chance to make magic together," and viewers will see "an amazing band and singers with the intensity and energy of playing these songs for the first time." Oates' "Another Good Road" will make its TV debut on Palladia on January 24th. It'll be released on DVD, packaged with a live CD, on January 20th.
Stevie Wonder is getting the spotlight in a two-hour musical special set to air next February on CBS. The all-star Grammy salute, "Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life," will feature some of the biggest names in music today performing Wonder's hits. Wonder is the only artist in the history of the Grammy Awards to have received Album of the Year honors in three out of four consecutive years, which he did with 1973's "Innervisions," 1974's "Fulfillingness' First Finale" and his seminal 1976 classic "Songs in the Key of Life." The CBS special continues the tradition that began this past year with the Grammys' all-star salute to the Beatles. The Wonder tribute will be taped on February 10th at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE for broadcast on February 16th.
Paul McCartney is paying a visit to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." The former Beatle will be a guest on Tuesday's edition of the Comedy Central program. A rep for the network tells "Beatles Examiner" the rock legend is only slated to chat with Stewart, and isn't expected to perform. A McCartney press agent says Sir Paul is appearing on the show to promote his new single, "Hope For The Future." McCartney originally wrote the song for the video game "Destiny." He unveiled a video for the track last week. The "Hope For The Future" EP, featuring five versions of the song, is available now.
Lynyrd Skynyrd will be on hand as "The Voice" crowns a new winner. The group is among the special guest stars taking part in Tuesday night's season seven finale. Yahoo! Music says the Southern rockers will share the stage with coach Blake Shelton's finalist, country singer Craig Wayne Boyd. The other remaining hopefuls, who are all from Adam Levine's team, are teacher Matt McAndrew, college student Chris Jamison, and soul singer Damien. The lineup of guests also includes Fall Out Boy, Jennifer Hudson, Bruno Mars, and others. "The Voice" finale will air on NBC tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
This won't be the first time Skynyrd has taken part in a reality show finale. In 2005 the group helped "American Idol" wrap up its fourth season. The band performed with finalist Bo Bice, who finished second to Carrie Underwood.
Bob Seger says he didn't name his group the Silver Bullet Band. The rocker tells CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" it's not something any of the other musicians came up with, either. But the name, along with many of the players, have stuck around for decades. Bob says the Silver Bullet Band's lineup has been stable since the 1980s, and it's "a joy" to play with them. He adds that the group really is "like a family." Seger and the Silver Bullet Band will wrap up the 2014 portion of their "Ride Out" tour this week, with shows in Buffalo, New York on Wednesday and New York City on Friday. They'll resume the trek in January.
The Yardbirds are once again flying their separate ways. Drummer Jim McCarty announced on Facebook that the current lineup will be parting ways at the end of the year. He says he plans to focus on solo ventures in 2015, but also assures fans that he'll still be spending some time working on what he calls "other Yardbirds projects." McCarty also thanks bandmates Top Topham, Ben King, David Smale, and Andy Mitchell for "all their support through the years."
The Yardbirds' last album, "Birdland," came out in 2003. Other than McCarty, none of the current members were with the group then.
Carlos Santana says his confidence and faith come from his parents. The rocker tells UltimateClassicRock.com he learned "certainty and assurance" by watching their example. He describes his father as "very, very charismatic" and "really assured that he was the cat's pajamas." The guitarist recalls that his dad could walk into any room and own it, and "everybody adored him." Carlos adds that as a kid he knew that's how he wanted to be received as an adult.
Smokey Robinson is nearing the end of a dispute with his ex-wife over song rights. According to "The Hollywood Reporter," the legendary R&B singer and Claudette Robinson told a judge last week that they've reached a settlement in principle. Smokey is in the process of reclaiming the rights to his works, but Claudette has asserted that she deserves 50-percent of whatever he recovers. The two sides have essentially called a truce, but their lawyers told the judge they need more time to finalize the details due to the complex nature of the issue.
The price of admission got some White House visitors a little more than a tour on Friday. The Temptations and the Four Tops were on hand, surprising those in line with a performance. White House footage posted on YouTube includes the groups singing the Temptations classic "My Girl." The raw video, which runs nearly four minutes, also features a rendition of the Four Tops' "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)." The groups also chime in with a choir on a selection of holiday songs. The "Washington Times" says Temps and the Tops were on hand for a White House tour of their own. But their tour was also a little more extensive than that of the average visitor -- they were able to meet briefly with President Obama. The president made time for the Motown legends, and their visit was not part of his official schedule.
The Temptations and the Four Tops will be teaming up for more performances together later this month. They'll launch a week-long engagement at the Palace Theater in New York's Times Square on December 29th.
David Gilmour is saying goodbye to one of London's iconic venues. On Saturday, the Pink Floyd guitarist made a surprise appearance with indie rockers Bombay Bicycle Club at Earls Court Arena. In addition to his performance of "Wish You Were Here," Gilmour also sat in with Bombay Bicycle Club on their song "Rinse Me Down." The show was the last ever at Earls Court, which is slated to be demolished ahead of redevelopment. Pink Floyd played the venue more than two dozen times starting in 1973 on their "Dark Side of the Moon" tour.
Aretha Franklin says it was "absolutely fabulous" to attend the Billboard Women In Music event. On the red carpet heading into the event, the legendary Queen of Soul told "Billboard" she was "thrilled" to be the event's inaugural Icon of the Year recipient. During the event, along with expressing her thanks, Aretha said in her short acceptance speech that she was "delighted" to be there. She explained that she doesn't get to spend as much time as she'd like with others in the industry, since she makes her home in Detroit. Aretha's longtime industry friend and collaborator, Clive Davis, handled her presentation, which also included a congratulatory video message from Stevie Wonder.
Aretha also gave a special performance for one of the other honorees at the event. She delivered a soulful rendition of "Happy Birthday" to this year's Woman of the Year, Taylor Swift, who turned 25 on Saturday.
Fans still want to see the Rolling Stones and the Eagles in concert. The veteran rockers' tours are landing in the top five on the Billboard Boxscore list of the Top 25 Tours of 2014. The Stones performed for nearly 781-thousand people and raked in more than 143-million-dollars with their "14 On Fire" trek, which puts them at number three behind One Direction and Justin Timberlake. The Eagles follow at number four. The band's "History of the Eagles" trek made nearly 128-million dollars, and drew a total audience of just under 955-thousand.
Paul McCartney's "Out There" tour just misses the top five, taking the number six spot. He performed for more than 174-thousand-600 fans, and earned more than 107-million dollars for his efforts. Tours by Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Elton John, and Cher are all in the the top 20, while Depeche Mode and Bon Jovi make the top 25.
It looks like Iron Butterfly is getting back together. Guitarist Mike Pinera tells blogger Jeff Cramer the psychedelic rockers have reformed and are making a new album. Iron Butterfly has remained inactive since the deaths of guitarist Larry Reinhardt and bassist Lee Dorman in 2012. But Pinera says he's working with original drummer Ron Bushy again, and they've brought in Doug Ingle, Jr., the son of original singer and keyboardist Doug Ingle. Pinera isn't offering too many details on what would be Iron Butterfly's first studio album since 1975, but he says they will be touring a lot in the near future.
The Rolling Stones might be done with their touring for the year, but that hasn't kept Ronnie Wood from taking the stage. The guitarist made a surprise appearance during Sunday's "X Factor" U.K. finale in London, and shared the stage with British boy band One Direction. Ronnie teamed up with the group to perform their next single, "Where Do Broken Hearts Go." Other performers included Sam Smith and Demi Lovato with Olly Murs, while singer Ben Haenow was crowned the season eleven winner. The show will air in the U.S. on AXS TV on Monday.