Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

The surviving members of Donna Summer’s family are looking to clear the air on the cause of her death—and quick.

Just one day after the music world mourned the loss of the disco queen, her family is speaking out, shooting down the already widely circulating reports that her death at age 63 from lung cancer was related to smoking.

And that’s because despite strangely rampant and ubiquitous reports to the contrary, the legendary “Hot Stuff” singer was a nonsmoker.

MORE: President Obama Remembers Donna Summer: “Her Voice Was Unforgettable”

“On behalf of the Sudano family, various reports currently surfacing about the cause of Ms. Summer’s death are not accurate,” spokesman Brian Edwards said in a statement released today (Summer married musician Bruce Sudano in 1980).

“Although she lost her battle to lung cancer at the age of 63, it was not related to smoking. Ms. Summer was a non-smoker.”

And in the immediate aftermath of the tragic passing, the family is looking to maintain as much privacy as is possible regarding her battle with the illness, rumors or no.

Read more: http://www.eonline.com/news/donna_summers_family_extinguishes/317403#ixzz1vGYYSxbL


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Donna Summer, Disco Queen, dead at 63

Donna Summer performs during the David Foster and Friends concert at the Mandalay Bay Events Center Oct. 1, 2011, in Las Vegas.

(Credit: Getty)

(CBS/AP) Disco queen Donna Summer has died, a family spokesperson told the Associated Press. She was 63.

Her family released a statement Thursday saying Summer had died and that they “are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy.”‘

Pictures: Donna Summer 1948-2012

TMZ first reported the news, noting Summer had died in Florida on Thursday after a long battle with cancer. Insiders told TMZ she was recently working on music for a new album.

Known as the “Queen of Disco,” Summer was born in Boston, Mass. in 1948, as one of seven children.

The five-time Grammy winner rose to fame in the 1970s, scoring hits with “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.” She co-wrote the single “Love to Love You Baby” in 1975, and went on to co-write several other hits, including “She Works Hard For Her Money.”

Summer appeared in the 1978 film, “Thank God It’s Friday,” which took home the best original song Oscar for “Last Dance.”

Summer released a number of albums that have reach gold or platinum status, including the multiplatinum “Bad Girls” and “On the Radio, Volume I & II.” Her No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits include “Hot Stuff” and “MacArthur Park.”

Summer’s last album, “Crayons,” came out in 2008. She also performed on “American Idol” that year with its top female contestants.

Her sound was a mix of genres and helped her earn Grammy Awards in the dance, rock, R&B and inspirational categories.


Summer married Brooklyn Dreams vocalist Bruce Sudano in 1980. She is survived by her husband, three daughters and four grandchildren.



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The death of Davy Jones on Wednesday from a massive heart attack at age 66 elicited all the standard commentary about the Monkees, the band that made him a star: The Monkees were a made-for-TV boy band. They recorded tunes written not by them, but by reputable songwriters like Neil Diamond (“I’m a Believer”), Harry Nilsson (“Cuddly Toy”), and the team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin (“Pleasant Valley Sunday”). They were Beatles knockoffs and teen idols.

Those points are all valid, but they miss two essential aspects of the Monkees’ story. The first is fairly simple: Despite their undoubtedly contrived origins, they turned out to be one of pop’s finest bands, arguably the most underrated in rock history. The second is deeper: Their ongoing lack of critical respect speaks to struggles within the music world — authenticity vs. artifice, pop vs. rock — that continue to this day, more than 45 years after the launch of their short-lived sitcom.

It’s unlikely that anyone, least of all the Monkees themselves, thought there was anything serious about the project when their TV series debuted in fall 1966. NBC and creators Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson were in search of actors to play a fictional band modeled after the Beatles in “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!” After many auditions, they chose two young show biz professionals (Jones, the sole Brit, and Micky Dolenz) and two folk-rockers who knew how to sing and play (Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith).

From the start, the Monkees had little control over their music and even album covers. Sparkling early hits like “I’m a Believer” and “Last Train to Clarksville” were written by outside tunesmiths and played by studio musicians.

Fairly soon after the show’s launch, the Monkees, Nesmith especially, began to chafe at their artistic constraints. In what TV Guide called “The Great Revolt of ’67,” they demanded control over their records, and out went Don Kirshner, the venerable publisher who had overseen their early releases. This period, what we could call Monkees 2.0, resulted in “Daydream Believer,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” and many other songs on which the Monkees were far more involved (producing and playing many of the instruments themselves).

No matter the period or who was behind the console, the Monkees could make magical records, as I was reminded when, by strange coincidence, I plowed through their “Music Box” boxed set just last weekend. The collection’s four discs reaffirm the largely high quality of their material and multihued variety of the arrangements.

They could do credible garage rock (“[I’m Not Your] Steppin’ Stone,” “Words,” “She”), exquisite ballad-centric pop (“Sometime in the Morning,” “I Wanna Be Free”), and quasi-psychedelia (“Daily Nightly,” which features one of the first appearance on record of a synthesizer).

Songs that Nesmith wrote or sang — “The Door into Summer,” “I Don’t Think You Know Me” — wouldn’t have been out of place on more highly regarded Byrds albums of the same ’66-’70 period. “For Pete’s Sake,” the snappy “… in this generation” song heard over the closing credits of each episode of their show, was written by Tork. The Sex Pistols and Run-DMC both covered songs made famous by the Monkees: “Steppin’ Stone” and “Mary, Mary,” respectively.

Jones, who had proven his stage chops before the Monkees by starring in a British production of “Oliver!”, was more than just their eternally cherubic, always-on singer and maracas player. He could caress the hits (“Daydream Believer”), invest a song with suitable snideness (the groupie song “Star Collector”) and even co-write a very credible pop reverie (“Dream World”).

Yet for all that musical breadth, the Monkees still don’t quite get the credit they should, which gets to the issues of credibility that swirl around them and anything considered too Top 40. By the time their show launched and became an immediate hit, it was becoming de rigueur for pop and rock bands to write their own songs, to express themselves. The Monkees did this on later albums like “The Birds, The Bees and the Monkees,” but they never recovered from being seen as puppets.

They were the right band at the wrong time, and unfairly so. Iron Butterfly wrote its own material, too, but I dare anyone beyond the most devout “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida” nostalgist to make it through any of their albums in 2012.

These issues, especially in an era when indie signifies authenticity, still linger. Whenever I tell a friend I’m a fan of Lady Gaga, I receive the same puzzled, “Are you serious?” looks I used to get when I told my teenage friends that I’d bought the Monkees’ “Greatest Hits” long after they broke up.

Whatever one thinks of her wardrobe or bombastic, disappointing “Born This Way” album, Gaga has genuine talent: She can sing, write songs and play various keyboards. Yet something about her still makes some people squirm in the way they don’t when someone mentions an intentionally grating indie band like Sleigh Bells. The music is seen as too polished and produced, and therefore not credible enough.

The Monkees may always be tarnished, and perhaps there’s a weird badge of honor in that: so disreputable that they’re reputable! Davy Jones didn’t die for our integrity sins, but the Monkees’ reputation has suffered plenty for them.



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Davy Jones, the mop-topped leader of 1960s pop band The Monkees, died Wednesday of a massive heart attack. Jones was 66

His publicist, Helen Kensick, said the singer died in Indiantown, Fla., where he lived.

With an infectious smile and easy humor, the diminutive Brit played the Paul McCartney role in the Beatles-inspired quartet, which also included Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith.

Jones sang lead on some of the group’s biggest hits, including Daydream Believer, which reached No. 1 on the charts.

By Gregg DeGuire, PictureGroupDavy Jones continued to stay busy after The Monkees, doing music gigs and attending collectors’ shows. Here he’s at the Hollywood Collectors and Celebrities Show in 2009.

Jones, who like his bandmates had continued to perform, had dates scheduled for March.

Jones sang lead on some of the group’s biggest hits, including Daydream Believer, which reached No. 1 on the charts.

Formed in 1965 by Hollywood producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, The Monkees quickly stormed radio and TV airwaves with a string of chart-topping songs that went on to sell an estimated 65 million copies worldwide.

“There were certain indelible images we had of The Monkees, and that was Mike’s cap, Micky’s goofy looks and Davy’s cuteness,” says Phil Gallo, senior correspondent at Billboard. “Of all of them, Davy’s character was the softest. He was the nice guy, the crowd pleaser.”

Gallo recalls being a kid in the 1960s, “collecting Batman cards, then graduating to Monkees cards, way before I got into baseball cards. They were the very first boy band, when you think about it.”

Andy Kim, who sang Rock Me Gently and wrote The Archies’ Sugar, Sugar, said of Jones: “Everybody loved Davy’s smile, the way he came across, his incredible presence. He was a phenomenal ambassador for a band that didn’t really start off a band but quickly became a force. … I wrote Oh My My for Davy and Micky’s joint album after The Monkees broke up, and it was an honor to know him.”

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr said of Jones: “God bless Davy. Peace and love to his family.”

Jones was born Dec. 30, 1945, in Manchester, England. His long hair and British accent helped him achieve heartthrob status in the USA.

According to the Monkees website, he left the band in late 1970. Then in the summer of 1971, he recorded a solo hit, Rainy Jane, and made a series of appearances on U.S. variety and television shows, including Love, American Style and The Brady Bunch.

By the mid-1980s, Jones teamed up Tork, Dolenz and promoter David Fishof for a reunion tour. Their popularity prompted MTV to re-air The Monkees series, introducing the group to a new audience.

In 1989, the group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the late 1990s, the group filmed a special called Hey, Hey, It’s The Monkees.

Jones is survived by his wife, Jessica Pacheco, and four daughters from previous marriages.


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Adam Lambert To Front Queen – For One Show


Adam Lambert and Brian May on the ‘American Idol’ Season 8 finaleCaption

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Adam Lambert is joining Queen – at least, for one night.

The former “American Idol” runner-up revealed he will serve as vocalist for the group when they perform at a concert this summer.

“As many suspected, I can finally confirm: I have been invited by Queen to sing one very special concert! Sonisphere at Knebworth July 7th!” Adam Tweeted on Monday afternoon.

Adam added he was excited for the upcoming event.

“Sorry to be coy about the details the past few weeks, but I made a promise to keep it under wraps as best I could. Gonna be a surreal night!” he added.

This won’t be the first time Adam has joined surviving Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May on stage.

They performed together in 2009 during the “American Idol” finals, and again at the MTV EMAs in Belfast, Northern Ireland last November.

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Heavy Metal Rockers Before They Were Stars

What is heavy metal? For some people, that topic that can generate more controversy than religion or quarterback Tim Tebow . Over the years, metal has split into more genres and subgenres than we have room to list here. Bottom line: We say you know heavy metal when you hear it. Now that that’s settled, here are some pretty tame pics (and hair and clothing choices), that our friends at Snakkle.com dug up for us, of some of the heaviest rockers out there before they were music legends.


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Check out the premiere of Lady Gaga’s new video for her latest song, “Marry The Night.”

The video clocks in at nearly 14 minutes and was directed by the 25-year-old pop star herself.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Lady Gaga

“I am so nervous and excited to share this part of my past with you. It airs on both US coasts at 8pm on E! Get the wine,” Gaga wrote on her Twitter account earlier in the day.

WHAT DO YOU THINK of Lady Gaga’s video for “Marry The Night”?



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