Forbes magazine has released its annual list of the world’s highest-paid musicians. Topping the list is Dr. Dre, who earned $620 million in 2014. Much of that income was from Dre’s recent sale of his Beats headphones company to Apple for $3 billion. Rounding out the Top Five highest-paid musicians of 2014 are Beyonce ($115 million), The Eagles ($100 million), Bon Jovi ($82 million) and Bruce Springsteen ($81 million). The earnings are tallied from music sales, publishing, merchandise, touring, endorsement deals and other ventures.
Taylor Swift Dominates Billboard
Taylor Swift, 25, continues to dominate the pop charts this week. Her 1989 album spends its fifth non-consecutive week at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart. She also leads Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for the fourth week with the album’s sophomore single “Blank Space.” Swift’s four albums have cumulatively spent 29 weeks at Number One. Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey are the only other female artists with more total weeks, 46 and 30, respectively.
Billy Joel Receives Gershwin Prize
On January 2, PBS stations throughout the U.S. will air a concert Billy Joel recently performed in Washington, D.C. Joel was in Washington to receive a Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress. Joining him at the concert were Tony Bennett, LeAnn Rimes, John Mellencamp, Gavin DeGraw and Boyz II Men, among others. The television special will also feature special tributes filmed by Paul McCartney, James Taylor and Barbra Streisand. Previous Gershwin Prize for Popular Song recipients include Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Carole King, and songwriters Hal David and Burt Bacharach.
Adam Levine's 'The Voice' Mentees Shine
All three of Adam Levine’s three contestants on The Voice have made it to the finale. They are Matt McAndrew, Chris Jamison and Damien. Damien was ‘saved’ by viewers of the popular reality show. Blake Shelton has one of his three finalists left to compete, Country singer Craig Wayne Boyd. The four contestants will perform original songs on December 15 and the winner will be announced on December 16.
New Multimedia Exhibit features Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra’s life and career is being made into a new free multimedia exhibition. “Sinatra: An American Icon” will open at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in March 2015. The exhibit will feature many artifacts from the Sinatra Family’s personal collection, including rare concert and interview footage, personal correspondence, private photographs, awards and other memorabilia, and music and film documents from the Library. 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of Sinatra’s birth. Many events, exhibitions, and new music and film releases are planned throughout the year.
New Album Releases / December 16:
- “The Pinkprint” by Nicki Minaj
- “LIVESOS” by 5 Seconds of Summer
- “Sucker” by Charli XCX.
Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits:
On December 20, Kelly Clarkson will host her first annual “Miracle on Broadway” benefit concert. Joining her at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena are Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood, Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Meghan Trainor, Ronnie Dunn, and other special guests. The Texas native posted a statement on her website saying, “I love my adopted hometown of Nashville with all of my heart, and I am so honored to be able to give back to the community alongside some of my favorite artists and friends for my first annual Miracle on Broadway benefit concert. I thank all of the artists joining me as well as the people of Nashville for making me feel so welcome over the last seven years I have called it home.” All proceeds from the show will go to Nashville charities, including the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Monroe Harding Children’s Home, Second Harvest Food Bank and Thistle Farms.
December 15 - Bassist Paul Simonon of The Clash - 59; drummer Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge - 68; drummer Dave Clark of the Dave Clark Five - 72; singer Cindy Birdsong of The Supremes - 75.
December 16 - Bassist Dave Rublin of American Authors - 28; singer Michael McCary of Boyz II Men - 43; Country singer Jeff Carson - 51; singer-guitarist Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top - 65; singer Benny Anderson of ABBA - 68; guitarist Tony Hicks of The Hollies - 69.
December 17 - Guitarist Taylor York of Paramore - 25; singer Ben Goldwasser of MGMT - 32; drummer Eddie Fisher of OneRepublic - 41; DJ Homicide of Sugar Ray - 44; Country singer Tracy Byrd - 48; singer Sarah Dallin of Bananarama - 53; bassist Mike Mills of R.E.M. - 56; singer Wanda Hutchinson of The Emotions - 63; singer Paul Rodgers, formerly of Free and Bad Company - 65; drummer Jim Bonfanti of The Raspberries - 66; singer-keyboardist Art Neville of the Neville Brothers - 77.
December 18 - Pop singer Christina Aguilera - 34; Country singer Randy Houser - 38; pop singer Sia - 39; DJ Lethal of Limp Bizkit - 42; rapper DMX -43; guitarist Elliot Easton of The Cars - 61; guitarist Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones - 71; blues guitarist Lonnie Brooks - 81.
December 19 - Country singer Janie Fricke - 67; John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - 69; singer Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire - 73; Country singer Little Jimmy Dickens - 94.
December 20 - Pop singer JoJo - 24; singer Chris Robinson of Black Crowes - 48; singer-bassist Mike Watt, formerly of The Minutemen and Firehose - 57; singer Billy Bragg - 57; musician-producer Alan Parson of the Alan Parson Project - 66; former KISS drummer Peter Criss - 69; drummer Bobby Colomby of Blood, Sweat and Tears - 70.
Awards Presentations / Winners:
On December 15, the inaugural American Country Countdown Awards (ACCA) will take place in Nashville. FOX-TV is replacing the American Country Awards, which were created in 2010, with the new show. Luke Bryan earned seven ACCA nods, the most of all nominated artists. Other leading contenders include Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert. Winners are determined by album sales, radio airplay and touring data. During the ACCA ceremony, superstar Kenny Chesney will receive the special Groundbreaker Award.
The Recording Academy has announced the 2015 Grammy Award nominees. Beyonce, Sam Smith and Pharrell Williams lead the contenders with six nominations each. Iggy Azalea, Beck, Eric Church, Drake, Jay Z, Miranda Lambert, Sia, Usher and Jack White earned four apiece. Album of the Year nominees include Beck for “Morning Phase,” Beyonce for “Beyonce,” Ed Sheeran for “X”, Sam Smith for “In the Lonely Hour” and Pharrell Williams for “G I R L.” Grammy Awards in 83 categories will be presented in Los Angeles on February 8, 2015. The Recording Academy’s GRAMMY Records and RCA Records will release the “2015 Grammy Nominees” album on January 20, 2015. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the album will help support efforts of the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares Foundation. (Complete list of Grammy nominees available at www.grammy.com.)