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Tag: Barack Obama (1-10 of 13)

The Obamas write personal condolence letter to Frankie Knuckles' family after legendary DJ's passing

There’s been a public outpouring for Chicago house music producer Frankie Knuckles, who passed away last month at 59-years-old. But now he’s been recognized by the leader of the free world: It turns out fellow Chicagoans Barack and Michelle Obama are fans. READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake plays Memphis tribute at the White House -- VIDEO

Most fans will have the opportunity to see Justin Timberlake live on stage in baseball and football stadiums this summer, but if you’re the leader of the free world, you can just go ahead and book JT to play your home.

Last night, Timberlake joined Booker T. Jones, Ben Harper, Alabama Shakes, Mavis Staples, and a handful of other performers in a tribute to Memphis soul music. It was the latest entry in the “In Performance at the White House” series, concerts that have become a staple of the Obama White House.

“Let’s face it, who does not love this music?” the President said during his introduction to the evening’s music. “These songs get us on the dance floor. They get stuck in our heads. We go back over them again and again. And they’ve played an important part in our history.” READ FULL STORY

Ted Nugent gets special invite to Obama's State of the Union

A Republican congressman says he’s invited rocker Ted Nugent, who has referred to President Barack Obama’s administration as “evil, America-hating,” to the State of the Union address.

Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas said Monday on his website that Nugent will be his guest for the president’s speech Tuesday night. Stockman has talked of impeaching Obama over his gun control proposals.

In a speech to the National Rifle Association during the 2012 campaign, Nugent said that if Obama were re-elected, the longtime gun-control opponent would either be “dead or in jail.”

Nugent’s remarks led to meetings with representatives of the Secret Service.

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez said another guest would be Gabino Sanchez of South Carolina. Gutierrez described Sanchez as a husband, father and an illegal immigrant fighting deportation.

Read more:
Ted Nugent to Piers Morgan: Leave gun owners alone
Ted Nugent calls Obama ‘an evil, dangerous man’
Army cancels Ted Nugent concert after Obama comments
Ted Nugent is extremely irritated you don’t think he’s moderate — VIDEO

Marine Band releases statement about Beyonce's inaugural 'Star-Spangled Banner'

Did Beyoncé lip-sync the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration yesterday? While Queen Bey herself has remained mum about the matter, several news outlets say “yes” — and though this statement from the United States Marine Band doesn’t reveal whether Beyoncé’s vocals were sung live, it does confirm that the band itself played along to a pre-recorded track.

The reason? Since Beyoncé didn’t have an opportunity to rehearse with the group before Inauguration Day, “it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill-advised for such a high-profile event.” Here’s the full statement, which emphasizes that presidential inauguration music is always pre-recorded, just in case:

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) requested that the Marine Band accompany Beyonce Knowles-Carter in the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner at the 2013 Inaugural Ceremony. However, there was no opportunity for Ms. Knowles-Carter to rehearse with the Marine Band before the Inauguration so it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill-advised for such a high-profile event. Each piece of music scheduled for performance in the Inauguration is pre-recorded for use in case of freezing temperatures, equipment failure, or extenuating circumstances. Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter’s vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded.

Read more:
Beyonce reportedly lip-syncs national anthem: Why we shouldn’t care
Rep. Peter King has no idea who Jay-Z is
Alicia Keys sings ‘Obama on Fire’ for Inaugural Ball: VIDEO

Katy Perry, fun., Alicia Keys, Usher added to Obama inauguration

President Barack Obama’s final inauguration is coming up, and apparently he figured he might as well go all in.

In addition to already-announced names Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, and James Taylor, all of whom will perform during the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 21, Katy Perry, fun., Alicia Keys, Usher, John Legend, and Brad Paisley will also be performing during the Kids’ Inaugural Concert on Jan. 19.

In a statement, Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Steve Kerrigan said, “We are honored and excited to have such a diverse, talented group of musical guests joining Americans from across the country to celebrate the 57th Inauguration.”

Plenty of other performer names have been tossed around for the series of big events, which include the inauguration, the kids’ concert, and two official inaugural balls. Those names include Nick Cannon, the cast of Glee, Marc Anthony, Smokey Robinson, and Far East Movement, though it’s unclear who of those names will be showing up where.

Perry’s spot on the bill isn’t surprising, as she played a rally for President Obama a few days before last November’s election. In one of the more head-turning fashion moments of 2012′s political discussion, she performed dressed as a ballot.

Who else do you hope shows up for the inauguration? Who would you book? And are you going to miss Aretha Franklin and her fantastic hats?

Read More on EW.com:
Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor to perform at Obama inauguration
Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen to rally with Obama day before election
Alicia Keys sued over ‘Girl On Fire’

Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen to rally with Obama day before election

President Obama will end his 2012 U.S. presidential campaign with a rap and a twang, joined by Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen at rallies in Ohio and Iowa the day before Tuesday’s election.

The campaign’s national communications director Brent Colburn tweeted on Thursday that Springsteen, “The Boss,” would stump on Monday with Obama in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa, and that Jay-Z would join in Columbus, Ohio. Michelle Obama is set to stop by in Iowa.

Obama’s had major musical love individually from Jay-Z and Springsteeen throughout the campaign, with a fundraiser in New York hosted by Jay-Z and Beyonce, and Springsteen at rallies in Ohio, Pittsburgh and Virginia. It was also announced Thursday that wild-haired Katy Perry would join Obama at a rally Saturday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

For more film news

Read more:
Katy Perry performing another free concert at Obama rally

Eddie Vedder finds Romney's comments 'very upsetting'

A lot of people took umbrage at Mitt Romney’s recently leaked comments, and Eddie Vedder is one of them.

“It’s very upsetting to hear a presidential candidate be so easily dismissive of such a ginormous amount of the population,” the Pearl Jam frontman said at a fundraiser for the president in Tampa yesterday. Vedder went on to tell the Obama donors that were Romney elected president, “none of those 47 percent of people would have a voice.”

And he has reason to be upset, too: the singer was once a 47%er himself. Vedder recalled the government training program that helped prepare him for his massively successful career as… a security guard.

Well, kind of — it was that gig that funded his artistic ambitions. “It was that job that allowed me to also afford the guitars and tape recorder and microphones I needed to let me afford keep working on music,” Vedder said. “It was also the job I reluctantly left to move up to Seattle for less pay, in order to join a band. It all worked out.”

READ FULL STORY

Randy Newman releases satirical election song 'I'm Dreaming': Hear it here

When he isn’t crooning about friendship for Pixar or getting made fun of on Family Guy, Randy Newman is a pretty political guy, and he’s tossed his hat into the 2012 presidential election conversation with his new song “I’m Dreaming.”

The track tongue-in-cheekily features the refrain, “I’m dreaming of a white president.” The accompanying video is pretty scathing, aiming barbs at George W. Bush and a handful of absurd moments caught on tape (including an awesome sequence of Richard Nixon bowling).

On his website, Newman explained the song thusly: “I think there are a lot of people who find it jarring to have a black man in the White House and they want him out. They just can’t believe that there’s not a more qualified white man. You won’t get anyone, and I do mean anyone, to admit it.”

In addition to being a direct attack on racists, there’s an extended joke about how fat William Howard Taft is, as well as the lyric “Buh buh buh buh.” It’s the Randy Newman deluxe package, and you can check it out below: READ FULL STORY

French presidential candidate borrows Kanye and Jay-Z's 'N--as in Paris' for campaign video

With the national election getting ready for the long summer slog, we can look forward to a cavalcade of inappropriate song use. (Remember all the musicians who got upset about John McCain using their music during the 2008 campaign? Or when Jackson Browne sued the Republicans? Or earlier this year when Tom Petty asked Michele Bachmann to stop using “American Girl”? Prepare for a whole lot of cease-and-desist letters, Mitt Romney.)

Whatever famous names and songs Romney and Barack Obama end up co-opting for their causes, neither of them will be able to top French presidential candidate François Hollande, who is in the midst of a push towards a run-off vote on May 6 with incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. In a three-minute spot that plugs Hollande’s support of the Parisian suburbs, he chose Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “N—-s In Paris” as a soundtrack. He even leaves in the wacky Will Ferrell sample.

As a piece of political propaganda, it succeeds, even with lyrical snafus (that “fish filet” line sounds especially goofy in this context). Watch it below. READ FULL STORY

Army cancels Ted Nugent concert after Obama comments

The Secret Service may be cool with Ted Nugent, but Fort Knox sure isn’t. According to CNN, the Kentucky military base canceled the rocker’s booking after the “Motor City Madman” dismissed President Barack Obama’s presidency as a “vile, evil, America-hating administration” last weekend and issuing the potential threat, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

Commanders at Fort Knox posted the announcement on the base’s Facebook page, writing, “After learning of opening act Ted Nugent’s recent public comments about the president of the United States, Fort Knox leadership decided to cancel his performance on the installation.” Co-headliners REO Speedwagon and Styx are still on the bill and had not made any announcements about the situation at time of press.

The Secret Service conducted an investigation into Nugent’s remarks and determined he was not a threat.

Read more:
President Obama will be on ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ April 24
Ted Nugent’s meeting with the Secret Service about Obama ‘threats of violence’ — don’t worry guys, they’re cool now
Ted Nugent’s Greatest Hits: His 10 Most Outlandish Quotes
Secret Service to ‘conduct an appropriate follow-up’ on Ted Nugent’s inflammatory remarks

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