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Tag: Motown (1-10 of 16)

Founding Miracles singer Bobby Rogers dies at 73

Bobby Rogers, singer and founding member of the Motown group the Miracles, died this morning at the age of 73. The singer, who had long been suffering from illness, was at his home in Southfield, MI.

Rogers is best known for his work with the Miracles and his songwriting collaborations with Smokey Robinson. “Another soldier in my life has fallen,” Robinson said in a statement, the AP reports. “Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend. He and I were born on the exact same day in the same hospital in Detroit. I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much.”

Rogers formed the Miracles back in 1956 with Robinson, cousin Claudette Rogers, Pete Moore, and Ronnie White. The group went on to produce a number of R&B hits, including “Shop Around,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,””Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “I Second That Emotion,” and “Tears of a Clown.” The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

READ FULL STORY

Temptations singer Richard Street died

Former Motown vocalist Richard Street, a member of the Temptations for 25 years, has died. He was 70.

Street’s wife, Cindy, says her husband died early Wednesday at a hospital in Las Vegas after a short illness.

Richard Street (far left in above photo) sang as a young man with Temptations members Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin, but didn’t join the famed Motown group until the early 1970s. He later made the move from his native Detroit to Los Angeles with other Motown acts and stayed with the group until the mid-1990s.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but Cindy Street expects services to be held sometime next week in Cypress, Calif.

She says her husband “was a really good person” who should be remembered for his work with the Temptations.

Kelly Rowland and Michael Bolton duet on 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' -- VIDEO

kelly-rowland

Kelly Rowland is continuing her really very good 2013 — surviving being shot out of an air cannon at the Super Bowl (safety first!), seeing a major sales bump post-Bowl (not too shabby), cohosting the Oscars’ red carpet (great)  — with a Michael Bolton duet, for his newest release Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: A Tribute to Hitsville.

The pair have teamed up on the title track, which began as a classic hit for Marvin Gay and Tammi Terrell before becoming that thing the Sister Act 2 cast sang along to over the credits.

Honestly, we do have a few quibbles: Michael B.’s vocal tone is nice, all smooth-like and manly, but it tends to overwhelm the song’s original give-and-take. Also: Why does the instrumentation sound like’s it’s been kicked up two notches?

Also: Why does Rowland (shock, gasp) sound Auto-Tuned during a few of her vocal runs?

Take a listen below. Greater or less than “Kisses Down Low”? READ FULL STORY

Michael Jackson posthumous earning power unscathed by Murray trial

The private world of Michael Jackson, fiercely shielded by the superstar in life, was exposed in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. But rather than suffering harm from revelations of drug use, experts say Jackson’s legacy and posthumous earning power will survive any damage done and could actually grow after he was portrayed as a victim of a money-hungry doctor.

Jackson died before he could launch a series of highly anticipated comeback concerts in London as he tried to regain the towering status he enjoyed when he released the “Thriller” album in 1983. But his death did breathe new life into record sales and boosted other projects to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for his estate, even as his already tarnished personal life took another hit by revelations about his drug use. Jackson zoomed to the top of the Forbes Magazine list of highest earning dead celebrities and his executors are moving quickly on more projects designed to burnish the performer’s image and expand the inheritance of his three children. A Cirque du Soleil extravaganza, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour opens in Las Vegas this weekend, a precursor to a permanent installation at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, and fans are expected to flock there for a “Fan Fest” exhibit of Jackson memorabilia. READ FULL STORY

New Amy Winehouse track, 'Between the Cheats': Hear it here

Lioness: Hidden Treasures, the songtress’s first posthumous album, arrives Dec. 6 (you can read EW’s lead review on stands this Friday) — but two original songs from that collection of covers, b-sides, and archived tracks can now be found online at prettymuchamazing.com.

Listen to the jazzy, languid “Halftime” and Donny Hathaway-ready doo-wop “Between the Cheats” both here, and find a somewhat audio-compromised version of the latter below, streaming on YouTube: READ FULL STORY

'Michael Forever': Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Cee Lo Green, and Michael Jackson's children appear at controversial tribute show

Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Ne-Yo all performed at the controversy-plagued Michael Jackson tribute concert “Michael Forever” earlier today, according to the AP. Jackson’s three children — Paris, 13, Prince, 14, and Michael Joseph Jr., 9 — also appeared onstage to address the audience at the show, which took place in Cardiff, Wales.

Ne-Yo started the concert with a performance of “Billie Jean;” Jackson’s brothers Marlon, Tito, and Jackie tackled the Jackson 5 hit “Blame It On the Boogie” with British boy band JLS; and Christina Aguilera sang “Smile.” Meanwhile, Beyonce performed “I Wanna Be Where You Are” via satellite. The Jackson children returned to the stage for the finale, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”

“Michael Forever” had attracted criticism for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it was set to coincide with the manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, who is accused of contributing to  Jackson’s death. Several of Jackson’s other siblings, including Janet, declined to take part in the concert and last week the Black Eyed Peas withdrew from the show, citing “unavoidable circumstances.”

Read more:
Troubled Michael Jackson tribute concert hits new snag with Kiss’s Gene Simmons
Jay-Z says wife Beyonce is ‘the second coming’ of Michael Jackson: Yes, he knows it’s blasphemy
Another year, another King of Pop tribute in jeopardy: Michael Jackson’s estate, brothers won’t support latest effort

Motown hitmaker Nick Ashford passes away at 70

Legendary songwriter Nick Ashford died on Monday in a New York hospital at age 70 of complications related to throat cancer.

Ashford enjoyed considerable success during the 1960s and ’70s with his wife Valerie Simpson, who he married in 1974. Together they were the unstoppable production duo known as Ashford & Simpson, who were behind some of the Motown era’s biggest hits. They wrote and produced such classics as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I Need to Get By,” “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand),” “I’m Every Woman,” “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” and “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.”

Ashford & Simpson, who were inducted into the Songwriting Hall of Fame in 2002, also performed their own music, producing sixteen albums from 1973 to 1996. Their most successful single, “Solid,” reached number one on Billboard‘s U.S. R&B chart in 1984.

Today is an especially sad day for the music world. Just hours before Ashford’s death, another famed songwriter, Jerry Leiber, passed away at age 78.

Read more on EW.com:
Jerry Leiber, co-writer of ‘Stand By Me’ and ‘Hound Dog,’ dies at 78

Jaleel White -- yes, Urkel -- stars in Cee Lo Green's 'Cry Baby' video

Cee-Lo-Jaleel-White

Cee Lo Green is a busy man.

Between coaching on The Voice, playing sets at Lollapalooza, producing a new Goodie Mob album, singing on the Footloose soundtrack, and smashing a giant piñata filled with M&M’s, he hardly has time to star in a new music video for his single, “Cry Baby.”

So he just didn’t!

Instead, Jaleel White—otherwise known as Family Matters‘ Steve Urkel—plays him in this upbeat 1950s-inspired clip, which features enough pastel sweater vests to feel like an early episode of The Sing-Off. (Green claims he didn’t even know the video was being made.) Who knew breaking up could feel so joyous?

Check out the video below: READ FULL STORY

Aretha Franklin on mystery illness: 'The problem has been resolved'

Though she didn’t address whether or not she recently underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer (as some reports claim), Aretha Franklin talked to JET about her health troubles. “I am not going to even deal with that,” the singer said when asked about whether or not she has pancreatic cancer. “I don’t have to talk about my health with anybody other than my doctors….[But] the problem has been resolved.” The 68-year-old Franklin had surgery on Dec. 2.

Read more:
Aretha Franklin resting at home following surgery
Aretha Franklin released from hospital

Teena Marie, R&B singer, dead at 54

R&B singer-songwriter Teena Marie, best known for her songs “Lovergirl” and “Portuguese Love,” has died, her manager tells CNN. She was 54.

Marie (real name Mary Christine Brockert) signed to Motown Records in January 1976 and was famously mentored by Rick James. The four-time Grammy nominee released 13 albums during her career, the most recent being 2009’s Congo Square.

No cause of death has been released.

In a 2004 tribute to the funk legend that ran in EW, Marie wrote about her first encounter with James: “He stood in the doorway for a long while, listening to me sing. At that moment, Rick and I became best friends and musical soulmates.”

More from EW.com: Five essential Teena Marie songs

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