Bob King/RedfernsOn Saturday at 12 p.m. ET, Elton John will present the second installment of his new Classic Concert Series on his official YouTube channel.
Sydney Entertainment Centre Live In Australia 1986captures a particularly memorable Elton John performance -- not just because he performed part of it with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, but because Elton was afraid it might be his last show ever.
As he writes on Instagram, "Three weeks after this show, I was booked in to have throat surgery and was worried I would never sing again. Well, if that was to be the case, I was going to go out on a high!"
"The outfits Bob Mackie designed for me were typically fabulous and I’m incredibly proud of how well Bernie [Taupin] and my songs translated to being performed with the 88-piece Melbourne Sydney Orchestra," he adds, and giving a specific shout-out to the huge, bright purple wig he wore to sing "Bennie and the Jets."
He posted a clip of his performance of "Your Song" on Instagram as well, and wrote, "Playing #YourSong with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is truly an experience I’ll never forget. They elevated Paul Buckmaster’s original string arrangement to new levels."
Elton obviously made it through the surgery OK, but he had to stop touring for 18 months. His vocal range also went from tenor to baritone as a result of the surgery.
The concert was recorded for the 1987 album and home video Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, but it didn't capture the complete show. A live version of "Candle in the Wind" from this show became a top-10 hit in 1987.
As previously reported, Elton is streaming these classic concerts to raise money for his AIDS Foundation's COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty ImagesLady Gaga is enjoying the sweet smell of success.
Women’s Wear Dailyreports the singer has been tapped as the face of Valentino’s new perfume, Voce Viva.
The fragrance, described as being non-gender specific, will debut in September. Voce Viva translates, fittingly for Gaga, into Living Voice.
“Lady Gaga means freedom, self-consciousness, pure heart,” the fashion house’s creative director, Pierpaolo Piccioli, says in a statement to WWD. “Her participation in this campaign elevates the symbolic power of the project to the highest level.”
Garance Delaye, Valentino Beauty global brand president, tells WWD Gaga was chosen for the campaign not only because of the fragrance's name, but because she embodies the values of Valentino -- inclusivity and individuality.
Sara wrote three of the five songs, the exceptions being Colin Hayes’ “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” and “Valerie,” a song initially recorded by English indie rock band The Zutons and later covered by Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse. The other tracks are “I Don’t Know Anything,” “Coming Back to You," and "Dear Hope."
Sara is executive-producing Little Voice with J.J. Abrams, as well as providing the episodes with new original songs. The series follows aspiring singer-songwriter Bess King, played by Brittany O’Grady, as she tries to make it in New York City.
The first three Little Voice episodes are available on Apple TV now. New episodes will debut every Friday.
Island RecordsEarlier this year, Jon Bon Jovi wrote a song called "Do What You Can," inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, he's written a new song, "American Reckoning," inspired by the social justice movement sweeping the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd's murder.
The song, written by Jon and available now on all digital platforms, starts with the words "America's on fire," and refers directly to Floyd's murder, with the lyrics "God damn those eight long minutes/laying face down in cuffs on the ground."
Jon also sings, "When did a judge and a jury become a badge and a knee," and "Another mother's crying as history repeats/I can't breathe."
Elsewhere in the song, Bon Jovi muses on the white privilege that keeps him from truly understanding the struggle of Black Americans: "I'll never know what it's like to walk a mile in his shoes/and I'll never have to have the talk so it don't happen to you."
In the chorus, Jon sings, "Stay alive/Shine a light/Stay alive/Use your voice and you remember me/American Reckoning."
"I was moved to write 'American Reckoning' as a witness to history,” says Jon in a statement. "I believe the greatest gift of an artist is the ability to use their voice to speak to issues that move us.”
100% of the band's net proceeds and its record label's net proceeds from "American Reckoning" downloads through the end of the year will support Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative.
"American Reckoning" will be included on Bon Jovi's forthcoming album Bon Jovi 2020, due out this fall. According to the band's rep, it "takes a critical view of this staggering and historic year."
Epic RecordsMeghan Trainor has had enough of sitting at home and watching the same shows over and over again while waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic, so, she made a song about it.
The 26-year-old released her new song "Make You Dance" on Friday, which is all about... you guessed it ... making you dance.
The ultra-relatable and spirited tune serves as a resounding anthem for those feeling worn down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trainor not only admits during the song that she hasn't exactly been acting like a role model while in lockdown but frames the new tune as a gift to those who are bored out of their minds thanks to quarantine.
"Dance/ I dropped this [stuff] to make you, make you dance/ Don't act like you ain't makin' any plans/ Imagine, baby, it's your only chance," Trainor sings in the disco-inspired tune that is rife with funky bass licks and her signature soaring vocals.
The Grammy-nominee confesses to all the bad habits she's fallen to since the pandemic started, such as drinking rosé "since 1" and staying up all night to watch dumb videos on her phone.
"And lately I've been lazy/ I've been drownin' in my head/ With these thoughts makin' me crazy/ I'd rather dance instead/ I can't be the only one/ So if you get lonely, just/ Dance," Trainor boldly invites.
"Make You Dance" is one of three new songs the "No" singer has created especially for a deluxe edition of her third studio album Treat Myself.
Treat Myself Deluxe drops July 17 and will feature the new tracks "Make You Dance," "You Don't Know Me" and "Underwater" featuring Dillon Francis.
The album will also feature stripped-down acoustic versions of her fan-favorite singles "Workin' On It" and "Ashes."
Here are all the tracks that will be available in her expanded album:
"Wave [feat. Mike Sabath]" "Nice To Meet Ya [feat. Nicki Minaj]" "Funk" "Babygirl" "Workin’ On It [feat. Lennon Stella & Sasha Sloan]" "Ashes" "Lie To Me" "Here To Stay" "Blink" "Genetics [feat. Pussycat Dolls]" "Evil Twin" "After You [feat. AJ Mitchell]" "Another Opinion" "No Excuses" "Have You Now" "Make You Dance" "Underwater Feat. Dillon Francis" "You Don’t Know Me" "Ashes (Acoustic)" "Workin’ On It (Acoustic)"
Capitol RecordsKaty Perry dropped her new single "Smile" on Friday and it'll have listeners doing just that -- smiling.
The 35-year-old pop star released the upbeat, poppy tempo track that is sure to put any listener in a good mood. The lyrics also send positive vibes as she sings about not only being thankful, but being grateful as well.
Surprisingly, despite the happy energy of the record, Perry shared that it was actually born during a tough time in her life.
"I wrote the title track from the album when I was coming through one of the darkest periods of my life and had lost my smile," she revealed in an Instagram post on Thursday. "This whole album is my journey towards the light - with stories of resilience, hope, and love."
"Smile" marks the fourth single, off of Perry's upcoming sixth studio album of the same name after "Never Worn White," "Harleys in Hawaii," and "Daisies."
If Katy's new music is any indication of how she's feeling these days, she's definitely in a positive place.
Katy Perry's album Smile is scheduled for release on August 14, 2020.
Apple TV (Brittany O'Grady as Bess King)Sara Bareilles is ready to take on the small screen with the new Apple TV series inspired by her musical journey and named after her debut album, Little Voice.
She’s executive producing the show with J.J. Abrams and she’s also soundtracking the episodes with new original songs. The series follows aspiring singer-songwriter Bess King, played by Brittany O’Grady, as she tries to make it in New York City.
Sara tells ABC Audio that the show contains many “Easter eggs” from her own life, including the storage unit Bess uses to rehearse. Even some of the songs you’ll hear in the show are previously unreleased tracks from Sara’s own private catalog.
“There [were] a handful of songs that were pre-existing that lived in kind of my trunk, that were songs that I had either written for a record or they hadn't found a home yet,” she says. “[Showrunner] Jessie [Nelson] and I sat down and had a big listening session and we went through all these songs and kind of chose the ones that felt the most resonant for the character.”
Other songs, she says, were informed by the script. Sara says there are definite plans to release an album -- or two -- featuring all the songs from the show.
“I mean, this show is just packed with music,” Sara says. “So we, of course, wanted to make a really beautiful companion piece and so there will be a cast album. And then hopefully we'll be able to get a concept record not so dissimilar to what we did with Waitress, where I'll be singing the songs at some point, too.”
ABC/Craig SjodinOne of the biggest takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic has been how people of color are disproportionately affected. Now, Elton John's written an op-ed saying the same is true for HIV/AIDS -- especially in the U.S.
Coinciding with the 2020 International AIDS Conference, Elton writes in The Atlantic, "The color of your skin should not determine the quality of your health. But in the United States, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is exacerbated by racism, bias, and discrimination."
"As America continues its long-overdue reckoning with racism and systemic injustice, we must address the devastating impact of the disease on the Black community," he continues. "An end to the AIDS epidemic can only be achieved through dignity, respect, love, and compassion for all."
He started the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992 because he believes "everyone deserves the right to a healthy life, no matter who you love, who you are, or where you’re from." Elton praises the "impressive strides" the U.S. has made towards ending AIDS. But, he says, racial inequalities need to be addressed.
He cites these statistics:
--Black Americans are 13% of the population, but in 2018, they represented 42% percent of new HIV diagnoses. Black Americans living with HIV/AIDS are seven times more likely than white people to die from it.
--American gay or bisexual Black men have a 50% lifetime chance of being diagnosed with HIV, compared with nine percent for gay or bisexual white men.
--An estimated 44% of Black trans women are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS.
Elton points out that these disparities "reflect centuries of discrimination," concluding, "We can achieve an AIDS-free generation in America -- but only if we design a system of care that embraces Black people and marginalized communities, and tackles structural racism head-on."
Andy Cohen BooksAfter Mariah Carey announced Wednesday that she'd completed her memoir, we now have more details on the book.
Titled The Meaning of Mariah Carey, it's now available for pre-order ahead of a September 29, 2020 release.
The singer documents her journey to success while tackling issues such as race, identity, class, childhood and family trauma. According to a press release, the book will detail Mariah’s “battles with gender and power dynamics, emotional abuse, public embarrassments, personal failures and phenomenal victories” -- all told in her own words.
"This book is composed of my memories, my mishaps, my struggles, my survival and my songs," Mariah shared in a letter on social media Wednesday. "Unfiltered. I went deep inside my childhood and gave the scared little girl inside of me a big voice. I let the abandoned and ambitious adolescent have her say, and the betrayed and triumphant woman I became tell her side."
Audible will also release an exclusive audiobook performed by Mariah, which will be interwoven with special musical components.
“I wrote the title track from the album when I was coming through one of the darkest periods of my life and had lost my smile,” Katy writes on social media. “This whole album is my journey towards the light -- with stories of resilience, hope, and love.”
The album cover art, which Katy let fans reveal with a balloon popping carnival game, features a photo of Katy dressed as a sad clown, red nose and all.
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Universal Music & Soho HouseLooks like Meghan Trainor didn't take a pause after all during the COVID-19 lockdown. In fact, she spent her time working on brand new music that aims to get people onto their feet.
On Wednesday, the "No" singer unveiled the title of her upcoming single, which is due out this Friday. Trainor not only revealed the title of the song, "Make You Dance," but also the track's official artwork.
Shortly after making the announcement, the 26-year-old hyped up her new single on her Instagram Stories, such as instating an official countdown and leaking bits and pieces of her new song.
Beyond making people want to dance while in lockdown, Trainor hopes the track will imbue listeners with some much-needed positivity -- as evidenced by the sparkly pink aesthetic seen in all the teasers.
The Grammy winner's husband, Daryl Sabara, also turned up the excitement by raving about the upcoming single. "This song is my quarantune," he announced.
ABC/Image Group LALate last year, Mariah Carey announced that she was writing her memoir, and that it would be released in 2020. It's not clear if those are still the plans, but the diva has officially turned in her manuscript.
"It took me a lifetime to have the courage and the clarity to write my memoir," it reads. "I want to tell the story of the moments -- the ups and downs, the triumphs and traumas, the debacles and the dreams, that contributed to the person I am today."
She then notes that it's been "impossible to communicate the complexities and depths of my experience" in any interview she's ever done in her career, especially because "my words were filtered through someone else's lens."
"This book is composed of my memories, my mishaps, my struggles, my survival and my songs," she continues. "Unfiltered. I went deep inside my childhood and gave the scared little girl inside of me a big voice. I let the abandoned and ambitious adolescent have her say, and the betrayed and triumphant woman I became tell her side."
Mariah concludes her heartfelt message by revealing, "Writing this memoir was incredibly hard, humbling and healing. My sincere hope is that you are moved to a new understanding, not only about me, but also about the resilience of the human spirit."
Mariah's memoir will be released on Andy Cohen Books, a new imprint that the Bravo TV host launched last year under publishers Henry Holt. No release date as of yet.
Liza VoloshinKaty Perry's new album is due next month, but we still don't have a title for it, or any album art. But that changes now.
Katy has posted an invitation for her fans to "tweet to pop": She's created an interactive website that looks like an old-fashioned carnival game, and if you tweet about the album cover art, you'll be able to virtually "pop" one of the balloons obscuring the artwork to reveal it.
"Try your luck to reveal Katy Perry's Magnificent New Album Cover," reads the carnival booth.
"Help me find my smile," she writes. "Play and Win...what you’ve been asking for."
It seems like Katy is hinting that the album title may have the word "smile" in it, or perhaps just an image of her smiling. All will likely be revealed very soon.
The album, Katy's fifth, is due August 14, right around the time she's expecting to welcome her baby daughter.
Amy Sussman/Getty Images“Love Me Less” singer MAX will soon have a lot more to love.
The singer reveals to People that he and his wife, Emily, are expecting their first child together -- a baby girl, due in December.
"I'm so excited," the 28-year-old tells People. "I think about it every day. I look at all of the other musician girl dads that I love, like Chance the Rapper and my friend, Andy Grammer ... Lenny Kravitz! I'm like, 'Lenny Kravitz created Zoë Kravitz. That's so cool.' They are the best father/daughter situation. I've been excited to be a girl dad my whole life, I feel. I'm excited to support her and empower her."
MAX says they found out the sex of the baby on his birthday, June 21, which also happened to be Father’s Day. He and Emily had both predicted it would be a girl.
"I felt really guilty because I think the whole time we knew it was a girl," he says. "We could only think of girl names. Right before we did the gender reveal, we felt guilty. We were like, 'We've got to be open to it being a boy.'”
He adds, “For some reason, I don't know why, it felt like a chore to figure out boy stuff, but the girl stuff was coming so naturally. In Emily's gut she knew. In my gut, I knew too."
MAX says he’s already getting ahead of himself thinking about the future.
"I'm definitely freaking out about potential boyfriends," he says. "I didn't think I'd feel that way. But I just can't wait to give her so much love and be there for her. I'm just the most ecstatic to be a girl dad."
Courtesy Rock and Roll Hall of FameAfter postponing its 2020 induction ceremony because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has announced that this year's live event will be replaced by an exclusive special that will air on HBO and stream on HBO Max on November 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.
As previously reported, the Class of 2020 inductees include Whitney Houston and The Doobie Brothers, as well as British glam-rockers T. Rex, new-wavers Depeche Mode, alt-rockers Nine Inch Nails, and slain rap legend The Notorious B.I.G.
Also being inducted this year are famed music managers Jon Landau and Irving Azoff, who are best known for guiding the careers of Bruce Springsteen and The Eagles, respectively.
The 35th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony had originally been scheduled for May 2 of this year. Those who purchased tickets for the event via Ticketmaster will automatically be issued a refund.
An exhibit saluting this year's inductees is scheduled to debut at the Rock Hall museum on August 14. The museum is open now. Meanwhile, the actual 36th Rock Hall induction ceremony will now take place in the fall of 2021 in Cleveland.
In other Whitney Houston news, Kelly Clarkson covered Whitney's classic "How Will I Know" for the daily "Kellyoke" segment of her talk show on Wednesday. Of course, Kelly delivers a flawless rendition of the 1985 smash, and it's no wonder: It was the Grammy-winning singer's first-ever audition song.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagicSince artists can't tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic, drive-in concerts -- where artists record their performances for one-night screenings at drive-in theaters -- are gaining in popularity. It's just been announced that Gwen Stefaniwill be joining her boyfriend Blake Shelton for one later this month.
The concert will be screened July 25; you can find out where it's being shown near you by visiting EncoreNights.com. Tickets go on sale July 14 at that same website.
The price of admission is $114.99, which sounds steep, but that's per vehicle -- so if you can cram six people into your car, that works out to $19 per ticket.
Gwen is being billed as a special guest, so it's not clear how many songs she'll perform, but you can pretty much bet on the fact that the two will perform their number-one country duet "Nobody but You."
“This is such a great way to enjoy music with your family and friends and stay safe,” said Blake in a statement.
BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty ImagesIt seems Madonna has long been anti-Donald Trump, even before he was president.
According to Business Insider, a new tell-all book written by Trump’s niece Mary Trump reveals the Queen of Pop once rejected Trump’s romantic advances -- and that bothered him.
His niece claims Trump once gave her a transcript of a recording featuring insults at various women who had refused to date him, and Madonna was on that list.
In the excerpt obtained by Business Insider, Mary wrote that the recording was "an aggrieved compendium of women he had expected to date but who, having refused him, were suddenly the worst, ugliest, and fattest slobs he'd ever met."
She added, "The biggest takeaways were that Madonna chewed gum in a way Donald found unattractive and that Katarina Witt, a German Olympic figure skater who had won two gold medals and four world championships, had big calves."
Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, published by Simon & Schuster, is set to be released on July 14.
Regarding the book’s release, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews told ABC News in a statement, "Mary Trump and her book’s publisher may claim to be acting in the public interest, but this book is clearly in the author’s own financial self-interest."
The president's younger brother, Robert Trump, has sued to block the release of the book.