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Jay-Z's New Single Features Baby Blue; MusiCares Honors McCartney

  • Mary Morningstar

Rapper Jay-Z and his wife, singer Beyonce (file photo)

Rapper Jay-Z and his wife, singer Beyonce (file photo)

New Single Features Beyonce And Jay-Z's Baby

Jay-Z and Beyonce’s newborn daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, has already set a Billboard chart record. Jay-Z’s new single “Glory,” which is officially billed as “featuring B.I.C.,” includes the cries of Blue. The track debuts on this week’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs list at Number 74. At less than one week old, Blue becomes the youngest person ever to appear on a Billboard chart.

MusiCares to Honor McCartney

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney

The MusiCares Foundation has announced Paul McCartney as its 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year. The 14-time Grammy winner will be honored at a gala on February 10. The 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year special event features a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by the gala dinner and all-star tribute concert. Previous MusiCares Person of the Year honorees include Tony Bennett, Bono, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder, among others.

Adele Edges Toward Breaking Billboard Record

Jay-Z's New Single Features Baby Blue; MusiCares Honors McCartney

Jay-Z's New Single Features Baby Blue; MusiCares Honors McCartney

Adele holds the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart for a 15th week with 21. It’s the longest-running Number One album since 1998, when the soundtrack to “Titanic” held the summit for 16 weeks. According to Nielsen SoundScan, sales of “21” now total 5.9 million copies. Recent reports say Adele will make her return to performing at the February 21 Brit Awards. She’s nominated in three Brit Award categories, including Best Female Solo Artist and Album of the Year. Adele underwent vocal cord surgery in November 2011, which forced her to cancel her tour. Adele is also nominated for six Grammy Awards. RadarOnline.com reports that she’ll attend the Grammy ceremony in Los Angeles on February 12, but it’s still unknown if doctors will give her permission to perform.


Van Halen Gifts LA Schools with Guitars

Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen recently donated 75 guitars to Los Angeles public schools. According to the Hollywood Reporter, he teamed with Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to provide the instruments to schools that lack sufficient funding for their music education programs. In a statement, Eddie said, “Music education and families are dealing with the economic times, and I wanted to help them. If I can help a kid discover a liking, or even a passion for music in their life, then that’s a wonderful thing. Music has provided a good life for me and hopefully it can help make life better for others with this donation.”

Emmylou Harris Plans Nashville Anniversary Concert

Emmylou Harris (file photo)

Emmylou Harris (file photo)

On January 21, Country singer Emmylou Harris will celebrate her 20th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry with a concert at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. Harris was inducted into the Opry on January 25, 1992. Her anniversary show will also feature appearances by Vince Gill, Shawn Colvin and Rodney Crowell, who is currently working with Harris on a duets album. Grand Ole Opry vice president and general manager Pete Fisher said, “Emmylou is treasured not just by all of us at the Grand Ole Opry, but also by fans around the world. She’s shared so many great musical moments with us over the past 20 years, singing with and introducing us to some of her favorite musical collaborators. We’re excited to celebrate her Opry anniversary at the Ryman, a stage on which she’s displayed such incredible artistry through the years.”

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

On January 15, the Smooth Jazz Cruise 2012 will begin its sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Barth’s and Half Moon Cay. Performers on the week-long cruise include David Sanborn, Kirk Whalum, Boney James, Rick Braun, Gerald Albright, and many other jazz stars. In addition to nightly concerts, the cruise gives passengers the opportunity to interact with their favorite artists. Daytime activities on the ship include cocktail parties hosted by the musicians, autograph and question-and-answer sessions, sporting events and contests.

Star Birthdays

Jay-Z's New Single Features Baby Blue; MusiCares Honors McCartney

Jay-Z's New Single Features Baby Blue; MusiCares Honors McCartney

Nigerian pop singer Sade turns 52 on January 16. Sade arrived on the music scene in 1985 with the album Diamond Life, which won her that year’s Best New Artist Grammy Award. After two more successful collections, she took four years off from recording. Sade returned to the studio in 1992 to record Love Deluxe, an album that produced the pop and rhythm-and-blues hit “No Ordinary Love.” She performed a year-long tour in support of Love Deluxe, then once again disappeared from the music scene. Sade had a child with Jamaican record producer Bob Morgan, but the couple later divorced. When things settled in her personal life, she recorded Lovers Rock, which was released in late 2000. In 2002, she earned the Best Pop Vocal Album Grammy for the collection. Her long-awaited comeback album, Soldier Of Love, was released in 2010. The album has sold more than two million copies worldwide. Its title track won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

January 16 marks the birth date of the late rhythm-and-blues singer Aaliyah (born 1979). The Brooklyn-born artist made her professional debut at age 11. She attended the Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts. In 1994, Aaliyah recorded her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number, which sold more than one million copies in the U.S. Two multi-million-selling albums followed - One In A Million in 1996 and her 2001 self-titled CD. Aaliyah’s first posthumous album, “I Care 4 U,” was released in December of 2002. It contained six new tracks she was working on at the time of her death (8/25/01) and some previously released hits. Aaliyah and six others died when her private plane crashed after taking off from the Bahamas, where they were filming a music video. Investigators found that the plane was “severely overloaded.”

Kid Rock

Kid Rock

On January 17, rap-rock star Kid Rock (real name Robert James Ritchie) will celebrate his 41st birthday. Kid Rock recorded his first album in 1990. Eight years later, he achieved his big break with the album, Devil Without A Cause. His next two collections were The History of Rock and Cocky, which included his duet with Sheryl Crow, “Picture.” In 2004, Kid Rock recorded a self-titled album that produced the autobiographical hit, “Single Father.” In 2006, he released his first live album, Live Trucker. Kid Rock married actress Pamela Anderson in July 2006. The couple divorced five months later citing irreconcilable differences. His 2007 album, Rock ‘N Roll Jesus, was the first Number One debut of his career. The album sold three million copies in the U.S. and was the fourth biggest-selling album of 2008. Its hit “All Summer Long” earned him a 2009 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Rock Song. Kid Rock’s 2010 album, Born Free, includes collaborations with Martina McBride and T.I., Sheryl Crow and Bob Seger, and Zac Brown.

Pop singer Susanna Hoffs will turn 55 on January 17. From 1981-1989, she performed in the female pop-rock quartet the Bangles. The group debuted on the charts in 1986 with the Number 2 hit “Manic Monday” and later scored two Number One singles, “Walk Like An Egyptian” and “Eternal Flame.” Hoffs recorded her first solo album, When You’re A Boy in 1991. Five years later, her self-titled collection was released. In 1997, Hoffs recorded a new version of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition “The Look of Love” for the motion picture soundtrack to “Austin Powers.” The Bangles reunited in 1999 and released the album Doll Revolution in 2003. Three years later, Susanna collaborated with Matthew Sweet on the album Under the Covers, Volume 1. The collection includes their versions of songs by the Beatles, Neil Young, the Beach Boys, the Who, the Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, and others. In 2009, Hoffs and Sweet recorded the sequel, Under the Covers, Volume 2, which features their rendition of songs from the 1970s. Last year, the Bangles toured to support their latest album, Sweetheart of the Sun.


Dolly Parton's Better Day CD

Dolly Parton's Better Day CD

On January 19, singer Dolly Parton will celebrate her 66th birthday. Parton’s success is not limited to the Country field. Her crossover hits include “Here You Come Again,” “9 To 5” and her 1983 duet with Kenny Rogers, “Islands In The Stream.” In 1993, Dolly collaborated with Country legends Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn on the album Honky Tonk Angels. Six years later, Dolly recorded the bluegrass album, The Grass Is Blue. Her second bluegrass collection, “Little Sparrow,” was released in 2001. Its title track brought Dolly a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. The third in her series of acoustic bluegrass albums, titled “Halos & Horns,” was released in 2002. The following year, Shania Twain, Norah Jones, Melissa Etheridge, Alison Krauss, and others recorded tracks many of Dolly’s classic songs for the tribute album, Just Because I’m A Woman. Also in 2003, Dolly recorded For God & Country, a collection of patriotic and inspirational songs. On her 2005 release, “Those Were the Days,” Dolly covered some of her favorite pop and folk songs from the 1960s and ‘70s. In 2006, she was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor for her contributions to the arts. Dolly co-starred with Jane Fonda in the 1980 movie “9 To 5” and took its title song to Number One on both the Country and pop charts. She formed Dolly Records in 2009 for the release of her album, “Backwoods Barbie.” Also in 2009, Dolly was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In April 2009, her production of “9 To 5: The Musical” opened on Broadway. The show received a record-setting 15 Drama Desk Award nominations and four Tony Award nominations, but closed in September due to poor ticket sales. Dolly’s latest album, Better Day, came out in 2011. Also last year, she received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. Dolly can now be seen in the film “Joyful Noise,” which also stars Queen Latifah.

Singer Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers will turn 73 on January 19. Some of the duo’s biggest hits include “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream” and “Cathy’s Clown.” The Everly Brothers broke up in 1973, but reunited 10 years later. In 1986, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2001, the duo entered the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Everly Brothers’ 1958 recording of “All I Have To Do Is Dream” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2005, Varese Sarabande Records released two Everly Brothers compilations, “Too Good To Be True” and “Give Me A Future.”

January 21 marks the birth date of several singers: Mac Davis, best known for his 1972 Number One single “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me,” will turn 69; Woodstock veteran Richie Havens, who recorded the 1971 Top 20 single “Here Comes The Sun,” turns 71; opera tenor Placido Domingo will also celebrate his 71st birthday; and Billy Ocean, whose popularity peaked in 1984 with the hit singles “Caribbean Queen,” “Loverboy” and “Suddenly,” turns 62.

Awards Presentations/Winners:

Katy Perry

Katy Perry

Pop singer Katy Perry was the big winner at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards, which were presented on January 11. Perry was named Favorite Female Artist and Favorite Tour Headliner. She also received the Favorite Song honor for “E.T.”, Favorite Music Video for “Last Friday Night” and one non-music award, Favorite TV Guest Star for her appearance in an episode of the comedy series “How I Met Your Mother.” Other winners in the music categories included Demi Lovato, named Favorite Pop Artist; Bruno Mars, Favorite Male Artist; Rihanna, Favorite R&B Artist; Lady Gaga, Favorite Album for “Born This Way;” Eminem, Favorite Hip-Hop Artist; Taylor Swift, Favorite Country Artist; and Maroon 5, Favorite Band.

The 69th annual Golden Globe Awards were handed out on January 15 in Los Angeles. Nominated for Best Original Score were Ludovic Bource for “The Artist,” Abel Korzeniowski for “W.E.,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” Howard Shore for “Hugo” and John Williams for “War Horse.” (Bource won the award). Best Original Song nominees included Elton John and Bernie Taupin for “Hello Hello” from “Gnomeo & Juliet,” Chris Cornell for “The Keeper” from “Machine Gun Preacher,” Brian Byrne and Glenn Close for “Lay Your Head Down” from “Albert Nobbs,” Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman, Harvey Mason, Jr. and Damon Thomas for “The Living Proof” from “The Help,” and Madonna, Julie Frost and Jimmy Harry for “Masterpiece” from “W.E.” (Madonna won the award) (See the complete list of winners here)

Look Who's Going on Tour!


On January 20, Country singer Jason Aldean will begin his “My Kinda Party” tour in Greenville, South Carolina. The outing will feature special guest Luke Bryan and opening act Lauren Alaina, who placed second on last year’s “American Idol.” Also on Aldean’s itinerary are appearances at many festivals, including “RodeoHouston,” “Country Thunder USA” and California’s “Stagecoach.”

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