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Category: News (81-90 of 1927)

Country singer Slim Whitman dies at age 90

Country singer Slim Whitman, the high-pitched yodeler who sold millions of records through ever-present TV ads in the 1980s and 1990s and whose song saved the world in the film comedy Mars Attacks!, died Wednesday at a Florida hospital. He was 90.

Whitman died of heart failure at Orange Park Medical Center, his son-in-law Roy Beagle said.

Whitman’s tenor falsetto and ebony mustache and sideburns became global trademarks — and an inspiration for countless jokes — thanks to the TV commercials that pitched his records.

But he was a serious musical influence on early rock, and in the British Isles, he was known as a pioneer of country music for popularizing the style there. Whitman also encouraged a teen Elvis Presley when he was the headliner on the bill and the young singer was making his professional debut.
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Jay-Z announces new album ... in a cell phone ad -- VIDEO

Jay-Z has taken branding to a whole new level, announcing his new album in a cell phone commercial.

Magna Carta Holy Grail, Jay’s first album since teaming up with Kanye West for Watch the Throne, arrives July 4, according to a three-minute Samsung spot that aired during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. As a tie-in to the album’s release, the first million Samsung Galaxy users to download a special mobile app will unlock the disc 72 hours early.

Check out the ad — featuring basically every relevant hip-hop producer there is (Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Rick Rubin and Swizz Beatz) in the studio with Jay — below:
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Kanye West turns Scott Disick into an 'American Psycho' for 'Yeezus' short film -- VIDEO

Just because Kanye West is a new dad doesn’t mean he’s forgotten about his other creation coming out this week: Promotion for West’s Yeezus album continued Saturday with a listening party in Los Angeles and another short film projected onto buildings across the country.

Rumors about the film swirled last week, and they turned out to be (frighteningly) true: West cast Kourtney Kardashian baby-daddy Scott Disick as Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, with another Kardashian regular, Jonathan Cheban, playing the Jared Leto to Disick’s Christian Bale. The pair re-create the movie’s infamous Huey Lewis scene, but this time, they’re discussing how Kanye’s earlier stuff was “too hip-hop,” as the Yeezus track “New Slaves” plays in the background.

Check it out in the video below:
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Pink Floyd and Spotify: Let's make a deal

Pink Floyd are not digging the digital age of music, but they have begrudgingly agreed to share their entire catalog on Spotify – for a price.

The rockers tweeted Thursday that once their 1975 hit “Wish You Were Here” reaches 1 million streams, they will release the remainder of their music on the streaming service. Check out their tweet below:
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Naomi Judd slams CMT Awards for 'by the way' George Jones tribute

In a letter to Nashville newspaper The Tennesseean, country singer Naomi Judd took aim at last week’s CMT Music Awards, ripping the ceremony for not staying true to country music — and for short changing George Jones’ death with an undercooked tribute.

“George Jones is to country music what The Beatles are to pop, the Rolling Stones to rock, Elvis to rockabilly, Mozart to classical and Aretha to soul,” Judd wrote. “Yet, the ‘Country’ Music Television awards show allowed only a ‘by the way’ mention of Jones’ death and legacy.”

“Incongruously, [CMT] chose alternative music group the Mavericks to perform their short version of George’s ‘The Race Is On,’” Judd continued.

Judd wasn’t just bothered by the George Jones tribute, though. She also criticized genre-bending performances, alluding to Florida Georgia Line and Nelly’s rendition of “Cruise.” READ FULL STORY

Kanye West's 'Yeezus' listening party last night in New York City: On the scene

How loud was Yeezy’s Yeezus listening last night, blasted from the loading dock of westside Manhattan’s Milk Studios?

So loud that New Jersey heard it. So loud that my kidneys are still vibrating. So loud that even the Spinal Tap dudes were like “Bro, maybe turn it down to eight and a half?”  It felt like something between lying directly beneath a jet path and getting into a slap bet with Godzilla — and mostly, it was glorious.

It was also very very dark. Or as a friend turned and said to me: ” When did Kanye get into Ministry?” At times, the whole night felt like it was about to break into the opening scene in Blade (cue the blood sprinklers!). But it was also just a party, with an open bar and dancing and a lot of complicated handshakes between old friends and scenester acquaintances. ‘Ye’s full East Coast roster of famous fans came out: Jay-Z and Beyonce were there, glowing with the light of a thousand suns; so were lesser celestial bodies like Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, and Timbaland, plus a towering crew of flamingo-like models and professional athletes.

After an hour (only an hour!) of milling around in Milk’s dim, cavernous space, the crowd turned to find ‘Ye himself onstage, delivering an impassioned, rambling, and sometimes impenetrable introduction — there was a lot of talk of artistry and marketing (“I got a new strategy, it’s called no strategy. I have a plan to sell more music, it’s called ‘make better music.’”) and something about Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Simpson’s clothing lines — before he wrapped with “I had to learn about giving, this whole album is about giving… this whole process is about giving … NO F–KS AT ALL.” Touché! Go home, kumbaya.

This blog post isn’t an album review; our writer Ray Rahman will be delivering that next Tuesday, or sooner if the record officially leaks. But I will say that from two listenings, this definitely feels like his Darker, Twistier, Still Sometimes Beautiful Fantasy. Some technical details: West revealed that Daft Punk are on “three or four” tracks; Kid Cudi and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Chief Keef also appear; it was hard to catch titles beyond already-known ones like “I am a God,” “Can’t Handle My Liquor,” “Black Skinhead,” and “New Slaves” (featuring Frank Ocean), but one that appeared to borrow samples from both TNGHT’s “Higher Ground” and Billie Holiday’s haunting lynching ballad  “Strange Fruit” will almost definitely be a talking point when it goes wider.

Is this record going to be all over the radio? Are these let-the-alpine-blast summer jams? Not in America in 2013, no. But it still sounds — if I could actually hear anything this morning besides a faint post-show mosquito buzz — like a pretty fascinating manifestation of what goes on inside the mind of one of pop music’s most confounding, singular, and totally gonzo talents. Yeezus! He is risen.

More on EW.com:
Governors Ball Day Three: Kanye West debuts new songs, disses radio, demands croissants
Tyler the Creator under fire after onstage rant in Australia

2 Chainz robbed at gunpoint in San Francisco before concert

Police say platinum-selling rapper 2 Chainz was robbed in San Francisco just hours before he was scheduled to perform at a concert in Oakland.

Sgt. Dennis Toomer says the hip-hop star, whose real name is Tauheed Epps, was walking with five members of his entourage near downtown Sunday afternoon. They were approached by three men, one of them holding a handgun.
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Def Leppard's Vivian Campbell reveals he has cancer

Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell says he is being treated for cancer.

In a statement Monday, the 50-year-old says he has Hodgkin lymphoma and has been in chemotherapy for two months, with four months of treatment remaining.

Says Campbell: “I feel fortunate that my cancer sent me an alarm call in the form of ‘the cough that wouldn’t quit.’”
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Governors Ball, Day 2: Guns N' Roses shoots fireworks early and often

In terms of the most rock-and-roll things a band could do, getting on stage early and starting your show ahead of schedule ranks pretty low. But that’s what happened last night when Guns N’ Roses appeared before the Governors Ball Festival audience in New York 15 or so minutes in front of their scheduled start time. Bon Jovi would be proud!

Wearing a black cowboy hat and a mischievous grin, Axl Rose commanded the show with not just one bang, but a series of them: very bright and very loud fireworks shot into the night sky behind the stage as the Hall of Fame band ripped through the songs that they’ve been ripping through for some 25 years now. Much of the crowd, judging by their hair-rock outfits and the color of their wristbands, bought their festival tickets mainly just to see Guns N’ Roses, and they were not disappointed. Beers were slammed, red bandanas were worn, and “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Paradise City,” “Live and Let Die” were played. The fireworks display (and thus our ear drums) were given a break when Axl hopped on the piano for “November Rain,” but the fiery light show returned for GNR’s show-ending “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”

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Governors Ball, Day 1: Lots of weather, some music, no Kings of Leon

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The British have a lot of weird old traditions, but perhaps the most peculiar one is their annual insistence on hanging out in the rain and mud to listen to music. Every year, thousands of otherwise normal-seeming Britons convene in the farms and parks of Reading and Leeds with the knowledge that they and their loved ones have a high chance of getting soaked. And the sick part is, they seem to enjoy it.

From what I could tell, the majority of people at the opening day of the Governors Ball Festival on New York City’s Randall’s Island were not British, and did not enjoy it. Yet amid a relentless battery of heavy rains and high winds courtesy of Tropical Storm Andrea, the festival did its best to keep calm on and carry on by sticking to their schedule of artists, which included Erykah Badu, Local Natives, Young the Giant, Best Coast, and more. At a certain point, though, you gotta know when to call it, and the Gov Ball organizers were forced to cancel the party before the night’s headliners, Kings of Leon and Pretty Lights, had a chance to take the stage. (To make up for it, Kings of Leon is now scheduled to play this evening.)

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