Back in the News: Enrique Iglesias and J-Lo

Jennifer LopezHi Music-Lovers,

What a mixed bag of disparate news items we have today.  Let’s see if I can get some kind of ‘flow’ going . . .

Jennifer Lopez has been out of music-biz news lately.  Her recent, very minor claims to fame have been that she is a judge on ‘American Idol’ and that she and Marc Anthony are ‘untying’ the knot.  Now she’s done a smash-and-grab on the music news headlines: Lopez and her people have announced an honest-to-goodness “world tour” that will kick off in South America this June, and make its way around the globe for about *60 concerts*.  However, it’s not a J-Lo tour; actually it’s an equal-billing duo that will go on tour: Jennifer Lopez and *Enrique Iglesias*!  This pairing just about guarantees that the tour will be a money spinner – and will keep Enrique and Jennifer in the news.

Unlike J-Lo and Enrique, Adele has hogged the music news lately and here she comes again.  On our American shores ’21′ has been a massive hit, setting one or two records on the way.  But her album’s even more of a winner in her home country, the United Kingdom.  After 63 weeks in the U.K.’s ‘Official Albums Chart’, ’21′ has returned to the apex for a 22nd week at the top.  With ’21′s comeback, Adele has broken a record held jointly by David Bowie and Dire Straits for total number of weeks at the pinnacle of British album charts.  That record was 22 weeks, the same length of time ’21′ by itself has spent at the peak.  Add the one week Adele’s debut album ’19′ spent at the top, and Adele now rules the roost in the U.K. charts.

If a singer rules the roost on the police’s charts and blotters, it’s surely Bobby Brown.  About three weeks back I had written about his arrest in California on DUI charges.  Yesterday his lawyers entered a plea of ‘not guilty’ to the DUI charge and a driving on a suspended license charge.  If Brown is found guilty, hey, he could be on the way to setting a new record among singers for arrests and convictions.  Adele ain’t the only one setting records!

Cheers,

Shane

Adele, Kelly or Katy?

AdeleHallo All!

The Adele train goes chugging on and on and the latest stop was Germany at the country’s ECHO awards.  Adele collected two awards, including Album of the Year for ’21′.  In doing so she beat out none other than Lady Gaga – not exactly an upset but, still, an against-the-odds win on the Continent.  Bruno Mars goes from strength to strength; he picked up Best International Male Artist.  Coldplay was the other big name to scoop an award; the band won Best International Group.

Rewind forty years – two generations – back for that era’s Adele and you find her in Carole King, whose ’21′ was ‘Tapestry’.  That album rode atop Billboard’s album chart for nearly four months!  Similar to Adele in our time, King enjoyed chart successes, collected numerous awards, and now is in line to collect another: a lifetime achievement award from BMI, their ‘Icon Award’.  It will be presented to King with the usual razzmatazz at a luxe event at the Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles in May.  Carole King was also an accomplished songwriter before she hit her stride in her singing career.  There’s a connection here with a worldwide pop hit by Neil Sedaka but I suppose all my readers are too young to know or care . . .

Billboard’s Hot 100′s Top Ten shows remarkably little movement this week: total movement or shift in the Top Ten is only ten places with four singles holding from the previous week.  One of these (at no. 2) is Kelly Carkson’s ‘Stronger’.  Another one that’s held (no. 5) is ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ by Gotye feat. Kimbra – and there’s a connection with the German ECHO awards: this song won Hit of the Year.  The Top Ten also has another such connection!  A third single that has held (no. 10) is ‘Part of Me’ by blue-haired Katy Perry – and she was present at the ECHO awards to sing (and scream and moan) her hit!

Well lads, Thank God It’s Friday – as we’ll have Happy Hour, name yer poison: Adele, Kelly or Katy?  Or does your taste run to other treats?

TGIF,

Shane

Thursday’s bits and pieces blog

Hello Music Lovers,

It’s a bits and pieces blog today on a relatively uneventful day in the music biz.

You wouldn’t think that Lady Gaga and Harvard go together but you’d be wrong.  The singer and the big ‘O’ went to Harvard and launched a new touchy-feely foundation.  Enough of the flip remarks.  Gaga wants to promote kindness and compassion and stamp out bullying and meanness.  Her goals are laudable.  However, one must wonder why such a setup had to be inaugurated at Harvard?  Inner-city schools infested with vice could use Gaga’s foundation.  Let’s hope that this new foundation does its work where its needed most.

The headphones people – that’s Sennheiser of course – are looking to blow in your eardrums at Austin, Texas between 14 and 16 March.  They’ve lined up no less than 33 bands to perform over those three dates, eleven per day.  The concerthon is in conjunction with Paste Magazine and is to be held at The Stages on Sixth.  Sennheiser can give you head-sets, but to attend this killer concert, you need hard guts!

Adele set an iTunes first when her album 21 went double platinum on the online music store.  What with the momentum she has on Billboard’s charts, she just may set a record on it too but the Billboard mention surely belongs to the artiste in no. 2 position: Whitney Houston!  Her GH album retains its hold on ‘place’ position.  Now we all know that Adele has two albums (21 and 19) in the Top Ten – to be expected.  But who’s got three?  Whitney!  Besides GH, which is in its third week, today “Whitney Houston” and “The Bodyguard OST” have landed in the Top Ten.

There’s been another death in the music family.  Davy Jones, lead singer of The Monkees, passed away in Florida from a heart attack.  The Monkees, a television staple, were one of the British boy group bands that had been spawned by Beatlemania.  This British ‘Bubble Gum’ band charted a few hits like “I’m a Believer” back in the 60s.

RIP, Davy.

Shane

 

Kate Perry parachutes atop Mount Billboard!

Hey there, People,

Kate Perry is the music news story of the day, and the gal has done it with music.  Perry performed a soon-to-be-released song at the Grammys, Part of Me.  And upon release, the single debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.  Congrats to Kate!

Perry’s feat is only the twentieth time a song has opened on top of the heap at Billboard and the first time ever for a single on Capitol records, label to the likes of Kay Starr and Les Paul & Mary Ford.  Part of Me is featured on Adele’s The Complete Confection, which is set for release on the 27th.

(The reference to Kay Starr and Les Paul & Mary Ford is neither arbitrary nor gratuitous; would you believe Kate’s dance number Part of Me owes a debt of gratitude to a little something that Kay, and Les & Mary, alongwith the engineers at Hollywood & Vine, did over half a century ago?  Do any of you kids know?  C’mon, speak up!)

Talking about Kate Perry helping Capitol set a personal best on the Billboard charts, Adele has set a record too.  She is the first female vocalist (lead billing) to have three tracks concurrently in the Top Ten.  Guess who’s sitting pretty in ‘show’ (no. 3) position, though?  It’s the late Whitney Houston with I Will Always Love You!  Interestingly, when Adele’s album 21 scored a 21st week in peak position on the Billboard album charts, she broke the record held by . . . (drum roll) Whitney!  (For The Bodyguard OST)

Some news covered in yesterday’s post has hotted up: The Rihanna and Chris Brown ‘remixes’ have got the music pundits as well as the gossip columnists chattering.  It’s all causing such a hoopla that one of the remixes has entered the Billboard Singles chart at no. 10.  I think it’ll take a lot more ‘remixing’ before the Rihanna-Chris duo can displace Kate or Adele from the top.

Musically Yours,

Shane

 

One ‘Made’ Bad Girl, Another ‘in the Making’?

Hallo out there,

It’s a happening Wednesday so let’s jump straight into the news puddle.

Bad Girl Rihanna has paid no heed to my matchmaking advice of yesterday; she has not tried to entice Austin Powers into proposing to her.  Rather, she seems to be getting back together with her convicted abuser, Chris Brown.  Over the weekend Rihanna and Brown tweeted about their musical collaboration.  Each has been the beneficiary of the other singer’s voice ‘over-laid’ on an original song that was subsequently released as a new remixed version.  Confused by my phrasing?  Don’t worry – just focus on the word ‘Remix’ . . . yeah, baby, yeah!

The music has ceased but Michael Jackson still continues to make waves.  Only a few days back we reported on a fresh lawsuit filed by his estate against a former manager.  Now, a Los Angeles County judge has struck AEG Live as defendants from a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the singer’s father, Joe Jackson.  AEG are already defendants in another lawsuit filed by the singer’s mother, prior to the new one filed by his estate.  To streamline matters, California is designating one court as ‘Court Number MJ’; it will be dedicated solely to Michael Jackson lawsuits.

At last night’s Brit Awards in London Adele bagged British female singer and British album awards – no surprise.  But what made the news is that, somewhat out of character, Adele showed the middle finger – but, in all honesty, there were extenuating circumstances.  Within moments of beginning her acceptance speech for her second award, Adele was brusquely cut off, leading to her spontaneous act of frustration.  As she put it, “I . . . flung the middle finger . . . . to the suits at the Brit Awards, not to my fans.”  In a funny sequel, the Brit Awards’ organizers issued an apology to Adele, as did the emcee!

And hot off the (word)press, the next track to be issued as a single from the multi-platinum, multi-award album 21 will be Rumour Has It.

Go, Engerr-land!

Shane

 

Does Grammy Night Portend a New British Invasion?

Hello Music-Lovers,

This Grammys Night post is delayed by a day because the sad demise of Whitney Houston took precedence.  As one might have expected, the show turned into a tribute of sorts to Whitney.  Indeed, Entertainment Industry honcho Clive Davis’s pre-party set the scene for the Grammys as it turned into a bit of a ‘Whitneython’.   At the Awards proper, Jennifer Hudson, who has to some extent modelled herself on Whitney, made a few eyes well up with her performance I Will Always Love You.

The news of the night was the comeback of Adele – and how!  She took six awards including a sweep of the big three (song, record, album).  Her album 21 has been a record-breaking monster seller in America.  Does all this portend a new British Invasion?  Will the Sceptred Isle launch a slew of Adele wannabes?

Adele just pipped Rockers Foo Fighters, the runners-up with five awards.  A refreshing change from over-produced tracks, Foo Fighters’ winner was a Creedence Clearwater type of acoustically recorded number by this classic garage band.

The year’s award-winners were an interesting mix between big-name acts and up-and-coming unknowns.  Thus, Taylor Swift, Chris Brown, Jay-Z, and Kanye West took the gilt gramophone replica alongwith lesser known singers Cee Lo Green, Bon Iver, and Lady Antebellum.  No limelight for big-names Lady Gaga or Kate Perry though, as one was sidelined and the other overshadowed.

Grammy Night also took a look back – way back: Glen ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ Campbell was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, a tribute was paid to Etta James, Diana Ross belted out a number, the Beach Boys got together, and, for his duet with Amy Winehouse, yet another Grammy went to Tony Bennett! (How does the old man keep doing it? A. Because he’s an ageless legend!)

All said, wasn’t it a well-rounded show?  Something for everyone, I thought.  Even those diehard Elvis fans loved it – after all, someone spotted The King in the third row . . . .

Love me Tender – and I’ll be your Teddy Bear,

Shane