Christine McVie arrives for the 58th Ivor Novello awards at the Grosvenor House in London, May 16, 2013.
Christine McVie arrives for the 58th Ivor Novello awards at the Grosvenor House in London, May 16, 2013.

Singer and keyboardist Christine McVie has reunited with Fleetwood Mac.  The group’s publicist, Liz Rosenberg, confirmed the news to Billboard saying McVie “has indeed re-joined Fleetwood Mac and we are hoping to make an announcement about a possible tour for the full tilt Macsters sometime in 2014.”  McVie performed with Fleetwood Mac from 1970 to 1998.  She wrote the Fleetwood Mac hits “You Make Loving Fun,” “Don’t Stop” and “Little Lies,” among others.

Star-Studded MusiCares Tribute Planned for Carole King

Lady Gaga arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards on
Lady Gaga arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25, 2013, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

Lady Gaga, Pink, Gloria Estefan, Train and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler are among the many artists appearing at the January 24 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute to legendary singer-songwriter Carole King.  The concert takes place January 24 in Los Angeles and benefits MusiCares’ Emergency Financial Assistance and Addiction Recovery Programs. 

The gala will begin with a cocktail reception and silent auction.  Previous MusiCares Person of the Year honorees include Tony Bennett, Bono, Natalie Cole, Phil Collins, David Crosby, Neil Diamond, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Don Henley, Billy Joel, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Luciano Pavarotti, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, and Neil Young.

Grammy Event to Honor Neil Young

FILE - Neil Young performs at the Bridge School Be
Neil Young performs at the Bridge School Benefit Concert at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, Oct. 20, 2012, in Mountain View, Calif.

Grammy week gets underway on January 21 with The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers (P&E) Wing event honoring Neil Young. 

“The efforts of the P&E Wing continue to raise awareness about the importance of sound quality and the preservation and integrity of recorded music," Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy said. "This year, it is with great honor that we pay tribute to a musical icon who has been tireless in his own efforts to draw attention to the importance of hearing music as the artists who created it intended, and who has continually set precedents of excellence within the music community.  The contributions of Neil Young are innumerable, as is his incomparable body of work, and we look forward to an unforgettable evening with this legendary artist.” 

Past P&E Wing honorees include T Bone Burnett, Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun, Quincy Jones, Arif Mardin, Al Schmitt, Chris Blackwell, Tom Dowd, Jimmy Iovine and Jerry Wexler.

'Frozen' Soundtrack Tops Billboard 200

The Frozen motion picture soundtrack hangs onto the Number One spot on the Billboard 200 chart for a second week.  Beyonce’s new self-titled set was expected to trade places with Frozen this week.  According to Nielsen SoundScan, the soundtrack sold an additional 86,000 copies during the past week.  “Beyonce” moved approximately 79,000 copies to keep its place at Number 2.

New Beatles CD Collection Drops

The Beatles are seen performing, date unknown. Fr
The Beatles are seen performing, date unknown. From left to right: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon.

On January 21, Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol Records releases the new 13-CD Beatles collection, The U.S. Albums.  The box set spans the legendary group’s career from 1964’s “Meet The Beatles!” to 1970’s “Hey Jude.” 

For a limited time, all of the albums, except the audio documentary “The Beatles’ Story,” will also be sold individually.  The U.S. Albums is packaged with original LP artwork, including the inner sleeves.  The box set also contains a 64-page booklet with Beatles photos and promotional art, and a new essay by American author and television executive Bill Flanagan.

New Album Releases / Jan. 21:

 “2014 GRAMMY Nominees” by various artists
“Now That’s What I Call Country Ballads 2” by various artists
“Intolerance” by Throwdown
“Mind Over Matter” by Young the Giant
“Disguised Vultures” by Sister
“Farewell Young Lovers” by Crushed Stars
“Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son” by Damien Jurado

Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits

Country music singer Vince Gill (file photo)
Country music singer Vince Gill (file photo)

On January 19, the first “Country Music Cruise” set sail through the Caribbean.  The entertainment lineup includes Vince Gill, Kenny Rogers, Ronnie Milsap, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Joe Dee Messina, Patty Loveless and Restless Heart.  While aboard Holland America’s MS Eurodam, Country fans will be invited to a beach party on a private island, line dancing events, cooking exhibitions, wine-tasting, songwriter workshops, exclusive screenings of Country music films, and much more.  The cruise will stop in Puerto Rico, Saint Maarten, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas.

The 16th Annual Grammy Foundation Legacy Concert takes place on January 23 in Los Angeles.  Dubbed “A Song Is Born,” the event will feature performances by Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Gavin DeGraw, Skylar Grey, John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, and many others.  “A Song Is Born” will explore the history and evolution of songwriting and celebrate the contributions of the artists behind the music and their impact on American culture.  

Star Birthdays

FILE - This Jan. 19, 2012 file photo shows enterta
FILE - This Jan. 19, 2012 file photo shows entertainer Dolly Parton during a news conference in Nashville, Tenn.

January 19 - Dolly Parton celebrated her 68th birthday. The eight-time Grammy winner has topped the Country chart 25 times, which ties her with Reba McEntire for most Number Ones by a female Country artist.  In 2006, Parton was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor for her contributions to the arts.  This week, she begins her “Blue Smoke World Tour.”  The outing includes dates in North America, New Zealand, Australia and Europe.

January 20 - Country singer Brantley Gilbert turned 29.  The Georgia native scored two Number One songs in 2011 with “Country Must Be Country Wide” and “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do.”  Gilbert is currently climbing the Country chart with “Bottoms Up,” the lead single from his upcoming second album, “Just As I Am.”  The album is due out next month.  Gilbert will kick off a headlining tour on March 27 with special guests Thomas Rhett and Eric Paslay.

January 21 - Several singers celebrate their birthdays, including Mac Davis, who turns 71.  Davis is best known for his 1972 Number One hit “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me.”  Woodstock veteran Richie Havens, who recorded the 1971 Top 20 single “Here Comes The Sun,” would have been 73. Havens died on Earth Day, April 22, 2013.  Opera tenor Placido Domingo turns 73.  And, Billy Ocean, whose hits include “Caribbean Queen,” “Loverboy” and “Suddenly,” celebrates his 64th birthday.

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2011 file photo, Steve Pe
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2011 file photo, Steve Perry, former lead singer of the rock band Journey, arrives at a premiere screening at Skylight SoHo in New York.

January 22 - Singer Steve Perry will celebrate his 65th birthday.  From 1978 to 1987, Perry was the lead vocalist of the rock band Journey.  The band sold 80 million albums worldwide and recorded such hits as “Who’s Crying Now,” Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms” and “Separate Ways.”  Perry also released two solo albums in the U.S., 1984’s “Street Talk,” which produced the Number One hit “Oh Sherrie,” and 1994’s “For the Love of Strange Medicine.”

January 23 - Birth date of the late keyboardist Danny Federici.  The New Jersey native was a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.  He lost his three-year battle with melanoma in 2008.  Federici is featured on some of the tracks on Springsteen’s brand new album, “High Hopes.”

Neil Diamond in concert (2008 file photo)
Neil Diamond in concert (2008 file photo)

January 24 - Pop singer-songwriter Neil Diamond turns 73.  In 1966, Diamond earned his first Top 10 single with “Cherry, Cherry.”  Since then, he has topped the charts 10 times with such hits as “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” and “Yesterday’s Songs.”  In 2009, Diamond was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of his exceptional artistic achievements and his philanthropic work.  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.  That same year, Diamond received a Kennedy Center Honor.  In 2012, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys

January 25 - Singer and pianist Alicia Keys celebrates her 33rd birthday.  Keys’ 2001 debut album, “Songs In A Minor,” brought her five Grammy Awards and sold more than six million copies in the United States.   In 2004, she debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart with her sophomore collection, “The Diary of Alicia Keys.”  Her biggest hits include “Fallin’,” “No One,” “My Boo,” and the 2009 long-running Number One duet with Jay-Z, “Empire State of Mind.”  In 2012, Keys recorded her latest album, “Girl On Fire.”

Awards Presentations / Winners

On January 25, The Recording Academy hosts its annual Special Merit Awards ceremony to honor recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, The Trustees Award, Technical Grammy Award and the inaugural Music Educator Award.  Lifetime Achievement Awards, honoring lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium, will go to the Beatles, Clifton Chenier, the Isley Brothers, Kraftwerk, Kris Kristofferson, Armando Manzanero and Maud Powell.  Trustees Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to the industry in areas other than performance, will be presented to Rick Hall, Jim Marshall and Ennio Morricone.  Emile Berliner and Lexicon are this year’s recipients of the Technical Grammy Award to honor their outstanding contributions of technical significance to the recording field. 

Ten finalists are up for the first Music Educator Award, established to recognize current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education.  The winner will be announced during the Special Merit Awards ceremony.  Two of the finalists are from the Washington, D.C. area: Mary Jo West of George Mason High School in Falls Church, Virginia and Glen McCarthy of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Look Who's Going on Tour!

Country legend Dolly Parton kicks off her “Blue Smoke World Tour” on January 24 in Rancho Mirage, California.  From February 7-27, Parton will perform 10 shows in New Zealand and Australia.  It’s been more than 30 years since Parton performed in New Zealand.  Her itinerary also includes stops throughout Europe from June 8 through July 11.