Monday, December 30, 2013

Taylor Swift Tops Most Charitable Celebrities List

Taylor Swift was the most charitable celebrity of 2013, according to the social change nonprofit 

The pop star topped the organization's annual "Top 20 Celebs Gone Good" list for the second year in a row thanks to the $100,000 donation she gave the Nashville Symphony on the occasion of her 24th birthday. She was also recognized for her headlining gig at a London benefit for homeless youth. 11 of the 20 celebrities that made the most charitable list are musicians, with 4 in the top 5.

Coming in just behind Swift at number two in the rankings, One Direction got props for raising more than $3 million through their single for the British charity Comic Relief, as well as raising more than $800,000 for cancer research. Beyonce came in at number three, with particular recognition for headlining the "Chime For Change" concert for women's rights.

Wrapping up the list in the final two spots were Kendrick Lamar, recognized for his socially conscious lyrics as well as raising thousands of dollars for the Red Cross Superstorm Sandy relief efforts, and Justin Bieber, who raised an impressive $1,164,027 in support of Typhoon Haiyan victims and fulfilled more than 200 requests from Make-A-Wish kids.

Here's the full list of "Top 20 Celebs Gone Good":

1.Taylor Swift
2. One Direction
3. Beyoncé
4. Paul Walker
5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
6. Sandra Bullock
7. Kerry Washington
8. Ian Somerhalder
9. Ryan Seacrest
10. Carrie Underwood
11. Jennifer Lawrence
12. Alicia Keys
13. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul
14. Miley Cyrus
15. Demi Lovato
16. Blake Shelton
17. Mindy Kaling1
8. Kevin Durant
19. Kendrick Lamar
20. Justin Bieber

Monday, December 16, 2013

Beyonce Releases Surprise New Album

With only two weeks left in 2013, Beyoncé pulled off one of the year's biggest surprises in music.

As much of the country was tucking into bed Thursday night, the singer suddenly announced that her new self-titled album — one she'd spent a year teasing in high-profile live performances — was suddenly available for purchase on iTunes.

The album, currently out as an iTunes exclusive, features 14 new tracks and 17 accompanying music videos. A double disc CD/DVD will be available before the holidays, according to her label, and individual tracks will become available for downloading December 20.

The singer waited until just after 9:00 p.m. PT Thursday  to announce the news of the new album via Instagram. "I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it," Beyoncé said in an announcement on Thursday. "I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There's so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans."

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Recap: 2014 Grammy Nominated Artists

Jay Z easily led Grammy Award nominations announced Friday with nine, but rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar were among a group of new stars who took many of the major nominations.

Macklemore and Lewis' gay marriage anthem "Same Love" was among song of the year nominees and the Seattle rap crew joined Los Angeles rapper Lamar with seven nominations apiece, including best album and best new artist of the year. Pharrell Williams had four major nominations among his seven and Justin Timberlake also had seven.

Macklemore and Lewis dominated a nominations TV special from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles that also included performances by nominees Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Lorde and Robin Thicke.

Macklemore and Lewis opened the show with a colorful, high-energy version of their hit "Thrift Shop," featuring Wanz, and immediately picked up a song of the year nomination for "Same Love," featuring Mary Lambert.

Recording Academy favorites Timberlake and Jay Z teamed up for two nominations apiece, but they only had one major nomination between them this year and that came for Jay Z's participation on Lamar's album of the year nominee "good kid, m.A.A.d city" instead of his own "Magna Carta ... Holy Grail."

Williams, who seemed to be everywhere in 2013, is up for producer of the year and faces himself in three categories, including record of the year for "Get Lucky" with Daft Punk and "Blurred Lines" with Robin Thicke, and album of the year entries "Random Access Memories" by Daft Punk and Lamar's "good kid."

Drake and sound engineer Bob Ludwig are up for five awards apiece at the Jan. 26 Grammy ceremony in Los Angeles.

Joining Lamar, Macklemore and Lewis, and Daft Punk in the album of the year category were Sara Bareilles' "The Blessed Unrest" — perhaps the biggest surprise among major category nominees — and Taylor Swift's "Red."

Swift is among five acts with four nominations apiece along with Daft Punk, Bruno Mars, Lorde and Kacey Musgraves. British musicians James Blake and Ed Sheeran round out the best new artist category with Musgraves, Lamar and Macklemore and Lewis.

Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive," Lorde's "Royals" and Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" join "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines" for record of the year. The Lorde and Mars entries also are up for song of the year with Pink's "Just Give Me a Reason," Katy Perry's "Roar" and "Same Love."

Timberlake picked up a handful of nominations in pop categories, including pop vocal album of the year for "The 20/20 Experience." Other nominees in that category include Lana Del Rey's "Paradise," Lorde's "Pure Heroine," Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" and Thicke's "Blurred Lines."

"The Heist," "good kid" and "Magna Carta" are also on the best rap album list with Drake's "Nothing Was the Same" and Kanye West's "Yeezus." West also got a nomination for best rap song for "New Slaves."

The major nominations were an acknowledgement of 2013's top hit-makers. "Get Lucky," "Blurred Lines" and "Royals" took turns ruling the pop radio airwaves this year. Macklemore and Lewis had two hits — "Same Love" and "Thrift Shop" — that led to nominations.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Recap: The 2013 American Music Awards

The American Music Awards on Sunday saw Macklemore & Ryan Lewis enter the night leading with six nods and leaving with the awards for Favorite Artist (Rap/Hip-Hop) and Favorite Album (Rap/ Hip-Hop) for The Heist, and Taylor Swift take home the most trophies, including one for the evening’s top honor – Artist of the Year.

In addition to winning Artist of the Year in the fan-voted event, Swift also took home the Favorite Female Artist (Country) and Favorite Album (Country) award for Red. "My lucky number is 13, and so far you guys have made 2013 the most magical year so far," she said, referencing her fans, in her acceptance speech.. "I'm 23 and I have no idea what's going to happen to me... I love you so much. It's unbelievable."

Like the country pop starlet, Justin Timberlake also took home a trio of AMAs –Favorite Male (Pop/Rock), Favorite Male (Soul/R&B) and Favorite Album (Soul/R&B) for The 20/20 Experience. He also performed "Drink You Away" with the Tennessee Kids. Rihanna won for Favorite Female Artist (Soul/ R&B) and also picked up the first AMA Icon Award doled out at the annual event.

Performences were seen from Katy Perry, who opened with a rendition of power ballad "Unconditionally," Pitbull, who served as host for the 2013 AMAs, teamed up with Ke$ha for their track "Timber," Lady Gaga and R. Kelly also performed their collaboration “Do What U Want” with a president/mistress theme. TLC and Miley Cyrus also took to the stage, as did J. Lo, Kendrick Lamar, Luke Bryant and Christina Aguilera. Rihanna, who also won the very first American Music Award Icon Award, performed “Diamonds.”


Artist of the Year
Winner: Taylor Swift
Justin Timberlake
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Bruno Mars

Single of the Year
Winner: Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly - "Cruise"
Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell & T.I. - "Blurred Lines"
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz - "Thrift Shop"

Icon Award
Winner: Rihanna

New Artist of the Year
Winner: Ariana Grande
Florida Georgia Line
Imagine Dragons
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Phillip Phillips

Favorite Male Artist -- Pop/Rock
Winner: Justin Timberlake
Bruno Mars
Robin Thicke

Favorite Band, Duo or Group -- Pop/Rock
Winner: One Direction
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Imagine Dragons

Favorite Album -- Pop/Rock
Winner: One Direction - Take Me Home
Taylor Swift - Red
Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

Favorite Male Artist -- Country
Winner: Luke Bryan
Hunter Hayes
Blake Shelton

Favorite Female Artist -- Country
Winner: Taylor Swift
Miranda Lambert
Carrie Underwood

Favorite Album -- Country
Winner: Taylor Swift -- Red
Luke Bryan - Crash My Party
Florida Georgia Line - Here's to the Good Times

Favorite Album -- Rap/Hip-Hop
Winner: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist
Jay Z - Magna Carta... Holy Grail
Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city

Favorite Male Artist -- Soul/R&B
Winner: Justin Timberlake
Robin Thicke

Favorite Female Artist -- Soul/R&B
Winner: Rihanna
Alicia Keys

Favorite Album -- Soul/R&B
Winner: Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
Rihanna - Unapologetic
Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines

Favorite Artist -- Alternative Rock
Winner: Imagine Dragons
The Lumineers
Mumford & Sons

Favorite Artist -- Latin Music
Winner: Marc Anthony
Prince Royce
Romeo Santos

Favorite Artist -- Electronic Dance Music (EDM)
Winner: Avicii
Daft Punk
Calvin Harris

Friday, November 15, 2013

Paul McCartney Asks Russian President to Free Greenpeace Protesters

Paul McCartney is calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to release Greenpeace activists whom Russian authorities detained in September. In a letter McCartney posted on his website, the singer assure Putin that Greenpeace is not anti-Russian and that the 28 activists arrested while staging a protest at a Russian oil-drilling platform in the Arctic Ocean were not working at the behest of western governments.

"In my experience they tend to annoy every government! And they never take money from any government or corporation anywhere in the world," McCartney wrote in a letter that opens informally with, "Dear Vladimir."

Russian authorities initially charged the protesters, and two journalists who were with them, with piracy and hooliganism, though the piracy charges have since been dropped. The 30 people arrested still face a maximum of seven years in prison on the hooliganism charge. Two days ago, the arrestees were transferred to prisons in St. Petersburg.

McCartney's letter, dated October 14th, also underscores that the protesters "don't think they are above the law." He asks, "They say they are willing to answer for what they actually did, so could there be a way out of this, one that benefits everybody?" McCartney acknowledges that the presidency and Russian government are separate but asks Putin to consider weighing in on the matter.

The former Beatle references the band's "Back in the U.S.S.R." in his letter. "That song had one of my favorite Beatles lines in it: 'Been away so long I hardly knew the place, gee it's good to be back home.' Could you make that come true for the Greenpeace prisoners?"

Before signing off, he requests a meeting with Putin "when our schedules allow."

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Recap: The 2013 CMA Award Winning Artists

George Strait beat out today's hottest young country music talents to take home the Entertainer of the Year trophy at the 47th annual Country Music Association awards, held last night in Nashville, Tennessee.

It was clear that Strait, who's currently out on his Cowboy Rides Away farewell tour, didn't expect the honor. Taking the stage, Strait said, 'What? Never in a million years...thank you so much....this just blows me away. I just cannot believe it."

This was Strait's third Entertainer of the Year award, but the last time he won was in 1990.

Strait, who's the only artist in music history to have a top 10 hit every year for 30 years, loomed large throughout the telecast.  He and Alan Jackson teamed up to pay tribute to the late George Jones by singing Jones' signature hit, "He Stopped Loving Her Today," and he was also part of the night's other major event: the Pinnacle Award presentation, which went to Taylor Swift.

Along with Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Strait was part of a group of artists who Swift had all opened for early on in her career, and they all took the stage to salute Swift's incredible achievements in bringing country music to a global audience.

Video tributes from the likes of Mick Jagger, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon and Justin Timberlake rounded out the segment.

While Swift wasn't surprised by the Pinnacle Award, which had been pre-announced, she was clearly emotional while accepting it.

"To the whoever made this choice [to give this to me], you not only honor my hard work and exhaustion, but the hard work and exhaustion of my family and my label, and everyone who works with me," she declared.  "But most of all, my fans, who have filled stadiums: I love you!"

Wednesday night marked only the second time this award has even been given out; its first recipient, Garth Brooks, won in 2005.

Swift also performed her song "Red" on the telecast acoustically, with some help from musicians like Vince Gill and Alison Krauss, and took home two awards which had also been pre-announced: Musical Event of the Year and Video of the Year for "Highway Don't Care," which she shared with McGraw and Urban.

The CMA's also included a surprise appearance by Willie and Jase Robertson of Duck Dynasty, who were joined by their wives Missy and Korie to perform Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” The Robertson's also gave out the first award of the night to duo Florida Georgia Line for single of the year for their hit song “Cruise.”

The complete list of CMA winners:

Music Video of the Year - "Highway Don't Care" (Announced Earlier) Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban

Single of the Year - "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line

Vocal Duo of the Year – Florida Georgia Line

Musician of the Year – Mac McAnally

New Artist of the Year – Kacey Musgraves

Album of the Year – Blake Shelton "Based on a True Story"

Vocal Group of the Year – Little Big Town

Female Vocalist of the Year – Miranda Lambert

Male Vocalist of the Year – Blake Shelton

Entertainer of the Year – George Strait

Monday, October 14, 2013

Taylor Swift Opens Education Center at Country Music Hall of Fame

Class is now in session at the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The pop star cut the ribbon on her new namesake facility in Nashville during a ceremony on Saturday morning, showing off the museum's expansion to reporters and local high school students, the Associated Press reports.

Taylor Swift donated $4 million to the Hall of Fame to endow the education center, which will include three classrooms, a hands-on instrument room and a children's exhibit gallery for interactive exhibits, all spread over two floors. According to Swift's website, her donation to the center stands as the largest individual artist gift ever donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame, where the singer signed her record contract as a teenager.

"I'm really excited about this music education center and the fact that right now they have three different classes going on today," Swift said in an interview after the ceremony. "It's really exciting that we can be here on a day when they're not only unveiling it, but they're starting to actively use it today."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Imagine Dragons Announce "Into the Night Tour" Dates!

Platinum-selling rock band, Imagine Dragons, announced today they will kick off their "Into the Night Tour" on February 8, 2014 in Boise, Idaho.

One of music's breakout artists of 2013, Imagine Dragons have become touring sensations as they played to sold-out shows throughout their latest "Night Visions Tour."

Produced by Live Nation, the "Into the Night Tour" will take the band to over 20 cities across North America including Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago and Minneapolis and will be the band's last round of U.S. and Canadian shows supporting the "Night Visions" album before a string of international dates and festivals through the spring of 2014.

Alternative rockers The Naked And Famous will join the "Into the Night Tour" as special guests.

Also appearing on select dates during the tour will be Los Angeles indie music artists, Nico Vega, and Brooklyn rock band, X Ambassadors. Tickets for the general public go on sale on Friday, October 11th.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

YouTube Announces Music Award Show

YouTube announced Monday the first YouTube Music Awards, which will be live-streamed online. The awards ceremony will take place in New York City and will stream live online on Nov. 3. Director Spike Jonze and actor Jason Schwartzman will host.

"Our point is to celebrate YouTube's role in the music ecosystem," says Danielle Tiedt, the San Bruno, Calif.-based company's vice president of marketing. "If you think about how most of us encounter music, it's usually on YouTube, whether it's stars like Miley Cyrus and her VMA performance or her new 'Wrecking Ball' video, or musicians like Lindsey (Stirling), who broke thanks to our site."

With names like Lady Gaga, Eminem and Arcade Fire performing, the show won't be lacking celebrity power, but the award show is looking to honor the less famous acts that have made YouTube the go-to place for discovering new talent. Some of YouTube's biggest stars, like Lindsey Stirling and CDZA will also perform.

Nominees will be announced Oct. 17, based on the quantity of video streams and shares over the past year. Users will play a role in determining winners and performers via social media, YouTube said, with judging happening “in full view.”

Monday, September 30, 2013

Global Citizen Festival in Central Park Raises Awareness

Saturday's poverty-bashing Global Citizen megaconcert in Central Park was nothing if not a crowd pleaser as sets by John Mayer, Alicia Keys, Kings of Leon and Stevie Wonder added up to nearly six hours of mainstream music.

The basic message of the event, repeated by speakers throughout the blue-sky, 70-degree day like a mantra: ending “extreme global poverty by 2030.” Dignitaries including the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, President of the World Bank Kim Yung Kim and Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as well as a bevy of celebrities (among them: Gerard Butler, Bridget Moynihan, Soledad O’Brien, Russell Simmons and Olivia Wilde) hammered away at the issues that allow poverty to continue, especially in Africa.

Most of the day’s sponsors were Australia-based, including lead sponsor, the Cotton On Foundation. Hugh Evans and Simon Moss founded the Global Poverty Project, which produced the festival, in 2008.

The 2nd Annual Global Citizen Festival proved to be a huge success. Messages were heard, music was played, the crowd behaved, the weather cooperated and perhaps we edged slightly closer to the goal of eradicating poverty in our lifetimes.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Robin Thicke Announces 2014 Tour Dates

Robin Thicke has been enjoying a monstrous 2013, with his latest album Blurred Lines, and he'll carry that momentum into a 2014 tour.

As Billboard reports, the singer has unveiled the "Blurred Lines Tour," a 15-city run with stops in the U.S. and Canada, featuring openers Jessie J and DJ Cassidy. The live run kicks off February 29th with a performance at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, ending on March 29th at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.

Thicke's 2014 tour schedule is below:

21 - Atlanta (Fox Theatre)
25 - Camden, NJ (Susquehanna Bank Center)      
27 - Washington, DC (Patriot Center)

1 - Mashantucket, CT (MGM Grand Theatre)
2 - Atlantic City, NJ (Borgata)
4 - Boston (Agannis Arena)
7 - New York City (Theatre at MSG)
12 - Detroit, MI (Fox Theatre)
15 - St. Louis, MO (Fox Theatre)
20 - Austin, TX (ACL Live at The Moody Theater)
21 - Thackerville, OK (Winstar Casino)  
23 - Denver, CO (Fillmore Auditorium)
26 - Seattle, WA (WAMU Theater)
27 - Vancouver, BC (Rogers Arena)
29 - San Francisco, CA (Bill Graham Civic Auditorium)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

2013 VMA Awards: A Recap

Sunday’s 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, held in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, was jam packed with some amazing performances.

Lady Gaga made her return to the stage with her new single "Applause," Justin Timberlake performed his hit "Take Back the Night" and by the end of the performance reunited with his old boy band 'N Sync. Timberlake also won the biggest award of the night for Best Music Video of the Year for his song "Mirrors."

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed their song "Same Love" and also won two awards including Best Social Message Video and Best Hip Hop Video. The award for Best Song of the Summer went to One Direction for the song "Best Song Ever."

Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Music Video while Selena Gomez won for Best Pop Video. The winner for Artist to Watch, which is voted by the public during the show, went to Austin Mahone.

The Best Male Video award went to Bruno Mars, who also performed his new single "Gorilla." Other winners included Capital Cities, Janelle Monae, Pink, Nate Ruess and Thirty Seconds to Mars.

The show concluded with a performance of Katy Perry's new hit "Roar."

Did you miss the 2013 VMA Awards? Look for a full list of the winners here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Jazz Icon George Duke Dies at 67

Legendary jazz keyboardist George Duke, who spent his lengthy career collaborating with icons including Miles Davis, Barry Manilow, Frank Zappa and George Clinton, died on Monday, reports NPR.

Duke was known for bridging jazz, funk, R&B and Brazilian genres in styles that ranged from sensitive to disruptive. He worked with Michael Jackson on Off the Wall in 1979, and produced and composed for Miles Davis on several albums in the 1980s.

Duke was born in San Rafael, California, and studied composition and contrabass at the San Francisco Conservatory, but he would become recognized for his unique keyboard work. In 1969 he released The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with The George Duke Trio with violinst Jean-Luc Ponty, which was a huge success.

In the 1970s, Duke's work grew more experimental through his collaborations with Zappa, beginning with Chunga's Revenge. He would go on to lend his talents to other Zappa albums including Apostrophe and Over-Nite Sensation.

Duke was recognized in the world of R&B for his contributions to albums by everyone from George Clinton to Anita Baker. In the 1970s he established roots with Brazilian music after performing with Milton Nascimento, Flora Purim and Airto Moreira.

During his career, Duke put out more than 40 albums. His official cause of death has yet to be reported. He is survived by his two sons Rasheed and John.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lady Gaga's New Single To Make Its Debut At MTV Video Music Awards!

Lady Gaga is the first performer confirmed for the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, the network announced Thursday. Gaga will stage the first live performance of her yet-to-be-named single from her upcoming album, “Artpop," which comes out in November.
What can fans expect from Gaga’s performance? Well, the pop diva has certainly reserved some of her zaniest moments for the VMA stage. In the past, she’s doused herself in blood, donned a dress made of raw meat and hit on Britney Spears while in full drag as a man.
This years VMA's, held at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, pit Justin Timberlake against Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for the top prizes. Each is nominated for six awards. Also favored is Bruno Mars, who has four shots at a Moonman, given to honor the year's best in music visuals. P!nk, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus and Thirty Seconds To Mars have three nominations each.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cory Monteith Dead: "Glee" Star Dies in Vancouver Hotel Room

Cory Monteith's life was cut tragically short on Saturday, July 13. The star best known for playing Finn Hudson on "Glee," who celebrated his 31st birthday on May 11, was found dead in a hotel room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver, Canada, police announced in a press conference.

According to Vancouver PD, emergency personnel arrived at the hotel shortly after noon, at which point Monteith was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics. The coroner is investigating cause of death. Foul play is not suspected.

Monteith had recently completed treatment for substance addiction. On March 31 of this year, he announced via his rep that he had voluntarily checked himself into rehab, buoyed by the support of his girlfriend, Lea Michele, and others. "Cory is a beloved member of the Glee family, and we fully support his decision to seek treatment," 20th Century Fox TV said in a statement at the time. "Everyone at the show wishes him well and looks forward to his return."

In recent weeks, the actor had seemed happier and healthier. After leaving rehab on April 26, he tweeted his appreciation to fans. "Sending out big love to everyone," he wrote. "Thank you for the continued support! It means the world to me!"

The actor's rep spoke shortly after news broke of Monteith's tragic death: "We are so saddened to confirm that the reports on the death of Cory Monteith are accurate. We are in shock and mourning this tragic loss."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Elton John Cancels London Show Due To Appendicitis

Elton John has canceled a series of festival dates in order to have surgery. According to the BBC, the singer called in doctors after falling ill on tour and has been diagnosed with appendicitis.

The statement said John fell ill during his recent European tour, but “is eager to be back on top form and return to play the remaining shows starting in early September 2013.”

John is currently undergoing a course of intense antibiotics and is scheduled for surgery in the coming weeks.

We wish Elton John a speedy recovery!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Black Sabbath Tops Billboard Album Chart!

Veteran heavy-metal band Black Sabbath landed its first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, more than four decades after the rockers debuted their first album in the United States.

"13," the 19th studio album from Black Sabbath, sold 155,000 copies in its first week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan, knocking last week's No. 1 album by Queens of the Stone Age off the top spot on the weekly U.S. album chart.

Black Sabbath, an English rock band fronted by lead singer Ozzy Osbourne, released their debut self-titled album in North America in 1970, but were never able to notch the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart in a career spanning 43 years.

"The news is absolutely amazing - we couldn't have imagined this would happen," guitarist and founding member Tony Iommi said in a statement. Osbourne added, "to finally have our first No. 1 album in the U.S. is another incredible milestone for Black Sabbath."

Next month, Black Sabbath is to kick off a North American tour in Houston; it's scheduled to stop in L.A. at the Sports Arena on Sept. 3.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards: 2013 Winners!

"Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" and "Kinky Boots" went home with the top prizes at this year's Tony Awards held live on Sunday, June 9th.

The annual awards, which recognize the best on Broadway, handed out their Best Play Award to the Christopher Durang's play "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike." Meanwhile "Kinky Boots" went home with the Best Musical award. "Boots" also took home Best Actor in a Musical for Billy Porter, Best Choreography, Best Orchestrations, Best Original Score and Best Sound Design.

"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" also went home with a number of awards including Best Revival Play, Best Direction of a Play for Pam MacKinnon and Best Actor in a Play for Tracy Letts.
Other actors to score accolades included Cicely Tyson for "The Trip to Bountiful," Patina Miller for "Pippin," Courtney B.Vane in "Lucky Guy," and Judith Light for "The Assembled Parties."

Neil Patrick Harris returned as the show's host and once again he did not disappoint. His cracking jokes and catchy musical numbers throughout the ceremony had everyone laughing and engaged.

A number of honorary awards were handed out to Bernard Gerstein, Paul Libin and Min Cho Lee. Larry Kramer was given the Isabelle Stevenson Award while the Huntington Theatre Company was recognized with the Regional Theatre Award.

For a full list of the winners, click here!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

CMT Awards 2013: The Winners!

Miranda Lambert and newcomer duo Florida Georgia Line were the big winners at the CMT Music Awards, a prologue to the four-day CMA Music Festival, each walking away with two trophies for their music videos.

Carrie Underwood won the top prize at the CMT Music Awards last night in Nashville for Video of the Year with her hit song "Blown Away." The award was her 10th CMT trophy and makes her the top-winner since the show began 12 years ago.

Husband-wife country couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert also won awards for Male Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year. Group Video of the Year went to Lady Antebellum for "Downtown" and  Jason Aldean shared collaborative video with Eric Church and Luke Bryan for "The Only Way I Know."

Congratulations to all the winners! For a full list, click here.

Friday, May 24, 2013

"Smash" Cancelled After Season 2

The Broadway-focused drama, Smash, is among the series that won't be returning at NBC next season.

Originally a bright spot on NBC's scheduled during its first season, "Smash" started Season 2 off on a bad foot. After being off the air for about nine months, the new season debuted to disastrous ratings -- 4.5 million viewers and a 1.1 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic -- and it only went down from there. Because of the ratings, it wasn't surprising that the network decided to cancel "Smash."

"Smash" is hardly the only show the network canceled: "1600 Penn," "Animal Practice," "Deception," "Do No Harm," "Go On," "Guys With Kids," "Up All Night," "Whitney" and "The New Normal" also got the axe. Plus, "30 Rock" signed off for good.

TVLine confirmed the cancellation, adding that the series will wrap up with a two-hour finale on Sunday, May 26.

Friday, May 17, 2013

American Idol Season 12 Winner: Candice Glover!

Candice Glover is the new "American Idol" winner. The 23-year-old beat out Kree Harrison to take the "American Idol" crown for Season 12.

Glover is the first female winner since Jordin Sparks won "American Idol" Season 6. Third time's the charm it seems, this season was the third time Glover tried out for "American Idol."

The "American Idol" finale opened with group number featuring the Top 10 contestants singing The Wanted's "Glad You Came" to an audience filled with past "Idol" winners and contestants. Janelle Arthur took the stage with The Band Perry and the Top 5 "Idol" boys sang a medley with surprise guest Frankie Valli.

Mariah Carey finally took to the "American Idol" stage to sing a medley of hits, including her current single "#Beautiful."

In addition to Frankie Valli, there were plenty more celebrity cameos. Emeli Sande joined fourth runner-up Amber Holcomb to sing her hit "Next To Me" and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson showed up to sing "Inseparable" with Candice Glover.

The Top 5 "Idol" women also did a medley with Aretha Franklin via satellite. The special guests didn't stop there: Jennifer Lopez returned to "American Idol" and performed with Pitbull.

"American Idol" returns for Season 13 in January 2014.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Backstreet Boys Get Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Boy band the Backstreet Boys marked their 20th anniversary and their upcoming world tour by getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"Backstreet is Back ... and we aren't going anywhere," Nick Carter, 33, told fans as all five members of the 1990s band gathered to unveil their star - located right next to another popular boy band, Boyz II Men.

The close harmony singers were visibly emotional as they thanked their families and fans for their support over the years.

"What an honor it is," said Kevin Richardson, 40, holding back tears. "What a beautiful day. What another beautiful way to celebrate 20 years together."

Formed in 1993 in Florida, the Backstreet Boys went on to sell more than 130 million albums worldwide and score hits like "I Want It That Way," and "Shape of My Heart."

The other members of the group are Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean and Howie Dorough.

After several hiatuses in the 2000s and the departure of Richardson, the five original members officially got back together last year and will embark on a world tour in May, starting in China.

Backstreet Boys are also due to release a new album this summer, and a music documentary in 2014.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Britney Spears to Release New Song for Smurfs Sequel

Before Britney Spears releases her in-the-works eighth studio album, the pop superstar will return with "Ooh La La," a new song featured on the soundtrack to the "The Smurfs 2." The 31 year old broke the news to her fans on Twitter yesterday. She tweeted: "Remember that surprise song I recorded for my boys? It's coming soon! #OohLaLa for #TheSmurfs2 :) Stay tuned for more..."

"Ooh La La" was produced by Spears' "Femme Fatale" collaborators Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, Ammo Cirkut, while Bonnie McKee, J Kash, Lola Blanc and Fransisca Hall all score writing credits. The song will play at the end credits of the film, which hits theaters on July 31.

"I have always loved the Smurfs as a kid and now my boys are the biggest Smurfs fans EVER," Spears said in a press statement. "I wanted to surprise them with a song in the movie. I know they'll think it's Smurftastic!"

Monday, April 8, 2013

Academy of Country Music Awards: The Winners

Singers Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan led the winners at the Academy of Country Music awards on Sunday, while leading nominees Taylor Swift and Hunter Hayes came away empty-handed in a night honoring top achievers in country music.

Swift, 23, lost out on all five categories she was nominated in including Female Vocalist of the Year and the fan-voted Entertainer of the Year, a surprise for the country music favorite who won the award for the last two years.

Newcomer Hayes, 21, who was nominated in six categories, also went home empty-handed.

The night's top award Entertainer of the Year went to the show's co-host Bryan, 36, a surprise to the charismatic host who said he had only just started headlining shows.

"What I always wanted to be is just a country singer who got to ride on a tour bus and perform every night. ... This is the defining moment of my life, it means the world to me and I'll never take it for granted," Bryan said tearfully.

Lambert, 29, picked up four awards in three categories, including Female Vocalist of the Year, beating Swift, Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves and Martina McBride.

Lambert also won Song of the Year for "Over You," written with husband Blake Shelton, who was co-hosting the ceremony, and thanked her peers for recognizing her song-writing talents.

"As a songwriter having your songs and your lyrics recognized by your peers is pretty much as good as it gets. ... Thank you for accepting me as a songwriter and not just as a singer, that means the world to me," Lambert said.

For a full list of the winners, click here!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Rolling Stones Are Back!

 The Rolling Stones unveiled details of their biggest tour in six years on Wednesday, playing dates in North America and Britain after a stage comeback last year to celebrate 50 years in music.

The band said they would kick off their "50 and Counting" tour in Los Angeles on an unspecified date but would then play Oakland, California on May 5 and eight other cities including Toronto and London, UK.

To celebrate 50 years the band also released a greatest hits collection, a documentary, and a photographic book and then sparked rumors about more concerts with a March 29th post on their website that said "5 Days & Counting..."

The Rolling Stones, which are comprised of Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood on guitar, and Charlie Watts on drums, emerged alongside The Beatles in the early 1960s. They became one of the most successful groups in rock and roll history with hits such as "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Sympathy for the Devil".

The band has toured 40 times in a five-decade career, mostly across Europe and North America in the 1960s and 1970s.They last went on the road for their "A Bigger Bang" tour from 2005 to 2007, playing 144 shows globally and grossing more than $550 million, one of the world's most lucrative tours.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Line Up: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony

Spike Lee, Usher and Cheech and Chong have been added to the long line-up of celebrities honoring the eight 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees at the annual ceremony held in Los Angeles this spring.

Oscar-nominated director Lee will partner with Harry Belafonte to pay tribute to hip hop group Public Enemy, while comedians Cheech and Chong ("Up in Smoke," "Still Smokin") will present Lou Adler - who produced the duo's movies - with the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement. Usher, a new judge on "The Voice," will perform for Quincy Jones, the second Lifetime Achievement award recipient of the evening.

This year's other inductees include Rush, Heart and Randy Newman - all scheduled to perform - as well as post-mortem inductees Donna Summer and Albert King.

Jackson Browne and John Fogerty will join Newman on stage during his set. Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains will perform with Heart during the ceremony, while Chris Cornell will induct the "Crazy on You" rock band.

Carole King, the 2013 recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, is also set to perform for record exec Adler, who once served as her manager.

No special guests have yet been announced to play with Rush, but Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters will present the Canadian rock trio.

The evening celebrating eight artists' induction into Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum takes place on April 18 at L.A.'s Nokia Theatre, where it will be taped for HBO broadcast on May 18.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Justin Timberlake Releases New Album

Justin Timberlake released his eagerly awaited comeback album, The 20/20 Experience, on Tuesday. His popular single "Suit and Tie" is part of the album, which is expected to to top the Billboard 200 chart next week.

Speaking of his new record Timberlake said: “Back in June of last year, I quietly started working on what is now, my next journey with that thing I love called MUSIC.” He added: “What I came up with is something I couldn’t be more excited about! It is full of inspiration that I grew up listening to and some new found muses that I’ve discovered along the way.”

The new album marks the return of Mr. Timberlake to the world of pop music after six years in which he focused on his acting career, appearing in films like “The Social Network” and “Friends With Benefits.”

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bulgaria Violin 'May Be Stradivarius Stolen in London'

British detectives are investigating whether a violin recovered during a police operation in Bulgaria is a $1.8 million Stradivarius stolen from a London train station more than two years ago.

The 300-year-old violin was snatched from Euston station in central London in November 2010, when its owner, Korean-born classical musician Min-Jin Kym, stopped at a restaurant to buy a sandwich.

Two bows stored inside the instrument's case, a Peccatte worth 62,000 pounds and another made by the School of Bazin valued at more than 5,000 pounds, were also taken.

The antique violin, made in 1696, was never found. A reward of 40,000 pounds was offered for its safe return.

Officers from the British Transport Police (BTP) were working with Bulgarian authorities following the discovery of the violin, a BTP spokesman said on Monday.

"BTP detectives are aware of the recovery of a violin in Bulgaria and will investigate, with insurers, underwriters and international colleagues, whether it is the 1696 Antonio Stradivarius antique violin stolen from a café at Euston rail station in November 2010," the spokesman added.

Monday, March 4, 2013

New Jimi Hendrix Album to Debut on March 5

People, Hell and Angels, released on CD tomorrow, is a collection of twelve previously unreleased studio performances by Jimi Hendrix.

These twelve tracks, recorded between 1968 and 1969, encompass a variety of unique sounds and styles showcasing many of the elements Jimi wanted to incorporate within his new music; including horns, keyboards, percussion and second guitar.

People, Hell and Angels, presents some of the finest Jimi Hendrix guitar work ever issued and provides a compelling window into his growth as a songwriter, musician and producers apart from the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

2013 Brit Awards: A Recap

The 2013 Brit Awards celebrated a great year of music on Wednesday night. Justin Timberlake performed his new hit "Mirrors" for the first time, and Taylor Swift hit the stage with "I Knew You Were Trouble." One Direction performed "One Way or Another," and later, they accepted the award for Global Success.

Emeli Sandé swept the ceremony on Wednesday picking up awards for Female Solo Artist and Album of the Year for "Our Version of Events." Ben Howard also took home two awards, one for Breakthrough Act and another for Male Solo Artist. Lana Del Rey, Frank Ocean and the Black Keys represented American musicians, taking home one win each in the international categories.

Check out the complete list of winners below:

British Female – Emeli Sande

British Group – Mumford & Sons

British Breakthrough Act – Ben Howard

British Male – Ben Howard

Critics' Choice – Tom Odell

International Female – Lana Del Rey

British Live Act – Coldplay

British Single – "Skyfall," Adele

International Group – The Black Keys

International Male – Frank Ocean

Special Recognition Award – Warchild

British Album – Emeli Sande, "Our Version of Events"

Global Success – One Direction

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lady Gaga Cancels Remainder of Tour Because of Hip Injury

Lady Gaga has torn soft tissues in her hip joint and the injury has forced her to cancel the rest of her "Born This Way Ball" tour to have surgery and recover, Live Nation Global Touring announced Wednesday.

"She will need surgery to repair the problem, followed by strict downtime to recover. This, unfortunately, will force her to cancel the tour so she can heal," it added.

The tour kicked off on Jan. 14 in Tacoma, Wash., and the massive two-year tour was meant to span six continents.

The cancellation of the 21 dates is estimated to cost the industry more than $35 million in lost revenue, according to the Chicago Tribune. She earned $161 million on the road last year.

 Refunds for the canceled performances will be available at point of purchase starting on Thursday.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The 55th Annual Grammy Awards: A Recap

Mumford & Sons, Gotye & Kimbra, Kelly Clarkson, Zac Brown Band and Fun. were just a few of the big winners at the 55th annual Grammy Awards telecast, hosted by LL Cool J and broadcast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Album of the Year went to "Babel" by Mumford & Sons; Record of the Year went to Gotye & Kimbra's "Somebody That I Used To Know;" Fun. won Best New Artist, and their "We Are Young" (featuring Janelle Monae) was named Song of the Year; Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" was named Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Country Album was awarded to Zac Brown Band's "Uncaged."

Other big accolades handed out during Sunday night's telecast went to Carrie Underwood (Best Country Solo Performance: "Blown Away"); Frank Ocean was the Best Urban Contemporary Album Winner for "Channel Orange;" The Black Keys earned Best Rock Performance for "Lonely Boy;" Best Rap/Sung Collaboration went to "No Church in the Wild" by Jay-Z and Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream; and Adele nabbed Best Pop Solo Performance for "Set Fire to the Rain (Live)."

Performers at the 55th annual Grammy Awards included Taylor SwiftEd Sheeran and Elton John, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, and Justin Timberlake.

For a list of all the winners from last night's show, click here.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Patty Andrews Dead: Last Surviving Member Of The Andrews Sisters Dies At 94

The last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters trio, Patty Andrews, passed away on Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 94.

The sisters performed with "Patty always singing the lead, Maxene the high harmony and LaVerne the low harmony, inventing a unique blend that came from their hearts, since none of the girls could read music," according to the sister's official  biography.

Andrews and her siblings LaVerne and Maxene sold more than 80 million records during a career that stretched from the 1920s to the late 1960s. They're perhaps best known for entertaining Allied troops and selling war bonds and boosting morale on the home front during World War II – along with their 1941 hit "The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," which the Recording Industry of America ranked at Number Six on a list of 25 "Songs of the Century."

The sisters also made a dozen low-budget musical comedy movies with Universal Pictures between 1940-44, and they appeared with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in the 1947 movie The Road to Rio.

Patty is survived by a foster daughter, a niece and several cousins.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Destiny's Child Announces New Single "Nuclear"

Destiny's Child, a R&B supergroup consisting of Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, announced on Thursday that they will be releasing a compilation album later this month, which contains the first new song they've recorded since 2004.

"We are so proud to announce the first original Destiny's Child music in eight years," a post on the group's Facebook page read.

The song, titled "Nuclear," will appear on Destiny's Child's 14-track album, titled "Love Songs,"which is composed of romantic-themed songs the trio recorded between 1997-2004.

Sony Legacy will be releasing it January 29, 2013.

Check out the full tracklist below.

1. "Cater 2 U" ("Destiny Fulfilled" (2004))
2. "Killing Time" ("Destiny's Child" (1998))
3. "Second Nature" ("Destiny's Child" (1998))
4. "Heaven" ("Simply Deep" (2002))
5. "Now That She's Gone" ("The Writing's On The Wall" (1999))
6. "Brown Eyes" ("Survivor" (2001))
7. "If" ( "Destiny Fulfilled" (2004))
8. "Emotion" ("Survivor" (2001))
9. "If You Leave (featuring Next)" ("The Writing's On The Wall" (1999))
10. "T-Shirt" ("Destiny Fulfilled" (2004))
11. "Temptation" ("The Writing's On The Wall" (1999))
12. "Say My Name" (Timbaland remix) ("This Is The Remix" (2002))
13. "Love" ("Destiny Fulfilled" (2004))
14. "Nuclear" ("Destiny's Child - Love Songs" (2013))

Monday, January 7, 2013

Adele’s ‘21’ Best-Selling Album for Second Year

The British singer’s “21” was the highest-selling album in the U.S. for the second consecutive year, according to 2012 sales figures released by Nielsen SoundScan. That’s a first in the SoundScan era, which began tracking music sales in 1991.

According to figures released Thursday, Adele's "21" sold 4.4 million copies in the United States last year, after selling 5.8 million in 2011. The second-biggest album of 2012 was Taylor Swift’s “Red," with 3.1 million sales. One Direction's breakthrough debut album "Up All Night" is 2012's third-biggest set with 1.62 million sold.

For the first time since 2008, no Christmas albums rank among the year's top 10 sellers. 2012's biggest holiday set was Rod Stewart's "Merry Christmas, Baby," which finishes at No. 15 with 858,000 sold.

Gotye scored the year’s top-selling song with “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring Kimbra. The song was downloaded a record 6.8 million times. Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” was next at 6.5 million. Both songs are the first to cross the 6 million digital sales mark, while fun. came close with 5.9 million downloads of  “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae.

Forty-one songs crossed the 2 million download mark, helping drive digital and overall sales to a new high even as album sales began to drop.