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.