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Tag: News (11-20 of 24)

Train on VH1's 'Behind the Music': The story behind hit 'Drops of Jupiter' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Can you believe that VH1′s Behind the Music is turning 15?

The series launches its latest season this Sunday, Sept. 16, at 9 p.m. with an hour focused on pop-rock band Train, which delivered its biggest hit in 2009 with “Hey, Soul Sister.” But it’s actually another of their singles — 2001′s “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” — that truly launched them, climbing to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

That song is the subject of an online-only, Behind the Music companion series titled Behind the Song, which EW is exclusively debuting below.

The process of creation wasn’t easy, according to frontman Pat Monahan: “I just couldn’t figure out what to write, but then I woke up from a dream about a year after my mother passed away with the words ‘back in the atmosphere,’” he remembers. “It was just her way of saying what it was like — she was swimming through the planets and came to me with drops of Jupiter in her hair.”

The rest, as they say, is history. The full, four-minute Behind the Song episode is below, and parts of it are woven into Sunday’s season premiere episode of Behind the Music, which will also touch on Train’s multiplatinum success, struggles ith drug addiction, money woes, and two-year hiatus.

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Early female rapper Ms. Melodie is dead at 43

Ms. Melodie, the ex-wife of rap icon KRS-One and former member of the legendary Boogie Down Productions family, died yesterday at the age of 43.

The cause of death is still unknown, but The Urban Daily has reported that the Brooklyn emcee passed away in her sleep.

Ms. Melodie, born Ramona Scott, first stepped onto the hip hop scene with her 1988 single “Hype According to Ms. Melodie.”  One year later, she released her lone studio album, Diva, which featured the track “Live on Stage”– later famous as one of the classic music videos from rap’s foundational era.

Many in the hip hop community has taken to Twitter to commemorate the life of one of rap’s first leading ladies, including Russell Simmons and fellow New York rapper Talib Kweli, who tweeted, “I’m Ms. Melodie and I’m a born again rebel. Rest in power sister.”  (His words are a reference to Melodie’s verse on BDP’s 1989 socially conscious hit, “Self Destruction.”)

She is survived by her two sons.

Read more on EW.com:
Rapper Murs ‘Animal Style’ supports gay equality
Public Enemy releases new album ‘Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp’
Azealia Banks releases ‘Fantasea’ mixtape as free online download

Frank Ocean's 'Channel Orange' -- the EW review

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Frank Ocean, Channel Orange (Def Jam)

If Southern California needs an avant-R&B soundtrack, let this be it: Ocean’s hypnotic major-label debut plays like an indie movie, with songs about sun-faded palm trees, cokeheads in Polo sweats, and strippers in Cleopatra makeup. (Think Drive by way of baby-maker-pop maestro Maxwell. )

A transplant from New Orleans, Ocean is less concerned with urban realism than with his own ‘80s-noir fantasy of what the city’s like, and his music captures that vibe perfectly, pulsing with electro-soul grooves, vintage jazz-funk, and Angelino-friendly cameos by John Mayer and Andre 3000.

Orange even echoes other great odes to California glitz (“Super Rich Kids” nods to Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets,” while “Lost” references Eve and Gwen Stefani’s “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”). The Hollywood clichés are intentional—there’s a song called “Forrest Gump”—but Ocean’s smart about tweaking them, especially on the love songs, where he’s just as likely to praise a girl’s double-D’s as allude to his crush on a guy.

On the gorgeous “Bad Religion,” he pours his heart out to his taxi driver, crying over a relationship he’s sick of hiding. Considering that he just recently admitted he was once in love with a man,  it’s an especially poignant moment. “I could never make him love me,” Ocean broods. But with a confession this heartfelt, it’s hard to believe that’s true. B+
—Melissa Maerz

Read more on EW.com:
Def Jam: Early release of Frank Ocean’s ‘Channel Orange’ part of original marketing plan
Frank Ocean from Odd Future opens up about sexuality
Jay-Z and Kanye West’s ‘No Church in the Wild’ video: Watch it here

2012 Billboard Music Awards: 20 essential takeaways from the show

Like most music awards shows, the Billboard Music Awards are so not about the statuettes that are doled out. The show — which aired live last night on ABC from the MGM Grand Hotel, with hosts, Modern Family stars Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell — is typically more about everything but the awards: performances, tributes, collaborations, and other sundry craziness.

Hell, even the fashion — hello to Miley Cyrus’ barely-there suit jacket — is more important than the prizes! And that was no different this year. Just a handful of the 46 awards were actually given out during the show (LMFAO dominated), which was jolted to life with performances from Katy Perry, Cee Lo Green, and Linkin Park; tributes to Robin Gibb, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, and Stevie Wonder; a collaboration between Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys; and a heartfelt speech by Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown.

Here are 20 essential takeaways from the evening:

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Adele dominates Billboard Music Awards with 12 wins: See full list of winners here

The 2012 Billboard Music Awards were doled out last night during a live telecast from the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas that was broadcast on ABC and hosted by the network’s Modern Family stars Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen.

Of course, much like the Grammys, just a fraction of the 46 awards were given out during the show, which — also like the Grammys — played more like a concert. Although she wasn’t in attendance at the show, Adele dominated with 12 awards, followed by LMFAO with six awards and Lil Wayne and Coldplay with four each.

The full list of 2012 Billboard Music Award winners is as follows:

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Adam Lambert's second album, 'Trespassing,' hits today: EW rides along on his promotional tour

KIMMEL-LAMBERT

What’s a typical day like for Adam Lambert? We tagged along with the the Idol alum turned Grammy-nominated solo star — whose second studio album, Trespassing, hits stores today — as he juiced, jogged, and hung with Jimmy Kimmel on a recent Thursday in Los Angeles.

1:06 a.m. Send early-morning tweet @adamlambert: “So excited to perform on @jimmykimmel tomorrow…er tonight. Thats my cue to get to sleep. See you all onstage! :)” Reply from @jimmykimmel three minutes later: “yes – GO TO SLEEP! (I am very demanding)”

10:30 a.m. Wake up, get juiced “I actually did a cleanse last week, and I have a juicer that I’m obsessed with. I try to have a fresh vegetable juice everyday. I did a mixture of beets, carrots, celery, apples, lemon, and ginger. All those things are supposed to be really good for you.”

11:30 a.m. Quick jog around the Hollywood Hills with his boyfriend, Finnish reality star Sauli Koskinen “I listened to some good music, moving around the neighborhood. It was dance music, to keep me on task.”

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'VH1 Divas' will tribute Whitney Houston: Who should participate?

EW has confirmed the recent news that VH1 is planning a tribute to Whitney Houston to air as a part of its long-running Diva series. The special will tape in Los Angeles in December, with her longtime musical director Ricky Minor serving as executive producer. Whitney’s family — and her label at Sony — have given their blessing for the special to move forward.

Since the taping is several months away, no artists have yet to be confirmed. But that’s where we fans of Whitney can come into play, mostly by answering the question: Who is best to fete Whitney at a Divas tribute? Let’s look at the most likely suspects that might turn up:

+ JENNIFER HUDSON: She’s an obvious choice, seeing as how she already paid tribute to Houston earlier this year at the Grammys, when she flawlessly sang “I Will Always Love You.” But in the spirit of mixing things up — and Hudson maybe not wanting to overshadow what she did for Houston at the Grammys — she could also opt not to participate and let someone step into the spotlight.

+ THE DIVAS PAST: Any number of former participants would be welcome additions to a Houston tribute, as Houston herself showed up on the special in 1999 (singing “Ain’t No Way” with Mary J. Blige and “I’m Every Woman” with Chaka Kahn), 2002 (helping Mary J. Blige out with “Rainy Dayz”), and 2003 (“Something in Common/My Love is Your Love” with ex-husband Bobby Brown and “I Was Made to Love Her” in a Stevie Wonder tribute). Divas, despite their competitive nature, do tend to run together. Others Divas alums who could potential show up include Mariah Carey (who also sang “When You Believe” with Houston), Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Diana Ross, Cher, Tina Turner, Beyoncé, Adele, and Kelly Clarkson.

+ BOBBY BROWN: There’s little chance Houston’s ex-husband and New Edition singer won’t be there. The big question is: Will he perform? And if so, what will he perform?

+ STEVIE WONDER: Houston sang the mid-tempo duet “We Didn’t Know” (from her 1990 album I’m Your Baby Tonight) with the legend and also paid tribute to him at the 2003 Divas concert, so it’s pretty much a lock that he’ll be there to fete her in some way.

+ DIONNE WARWICK: She’s Houston’s cousin — and a legendary singer herself. Seems only natural that, if she’s up for it emotionally, she’d be there.

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'The Big C' star Gabourey Sidibe: What's On My iPod

You likely recognize her from her Oscar-nominated turn as the title character in 2009′s Precious, but Gabourey Sidibe also stars in Showtime’s cancer comedy The Big C, currently in its third season.

On C, Sidibe plays Andrea Jackson, a mouthy student who takes a class from — and becomes close with — the show’s lead character, Cathy (Laura Linney). The actress acts, of course, but one of her other serious passions is music. “I think it’s because my mom’s a singer,” Sidibe recently told EW. “I’ve always had this relationship with music where it’s everything. It’s not just a hobby. It’s not just a thing in my life. It’s everything, whether it’s a profession or not. It’s not my profession, but I grow wary of talking about acting.”

With that in mind, EW checked in with Sidibe about what she’s rocking out to on her iPod, and she happily chatted about her picks, offering up her favorite jams from Jessie J, Flo Rida, Tyler the Creator, Childish Gambino, and more.

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Coachella Day 1: Blues take the stage with Gary Clark Jr. and the Black Keys

The blues don’t do sunshine. So with severe desert wind and slanting rain showers marring the first day of Coachella, the voodoo children stole the show. Neither Gary Clark Jr. nor the Black Keys will be mistaken for bourbon in the paper cup, Delta blues bootleggers, but both ensured that the genre of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters has a healthy future with the Instagram generation.

This isn’t your great-grandfather’s finger picked, hellhound on your trail, Mississippi blues. It’s not the rollicking funk of the great Chicago masters like Muddy and Elmore James. And it builds beyond the bruised vinyl psychedelia of your pops’ favorites like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Cream. This is the blues as it jukes and moans in the modern era. Watch Gary Clark Jr, a 28-year old, ax-wielding wunderkind from Austin. Every generation has its chosen one and right now, this is Clark’s time. He has been co-signed by the proper guitar gods (B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy) and got his start thanks to Clifford Antone, the Austin club owner who helped the Vaughn brothers become the baddest.

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Bruce Springsteen joins the efforts to find a missing Boston College student

Bruce Springsteen‘s latest anthem is called “We Take Care of Our Own,” and the legendary musician is doing his part to help in the search for a missing person. Springsteen’s eldest son is a senior at Boston College, where fellow student Franco Garcia has been missing since being last seen at an area bar on Feb. 22. The rocker’s official Twitter sent out a post on Wednesday that read, “Help find Boston College student Franco Garcia. Last seen 2/22/12 in Brighton, MA. Call 617-796-2100 with any info” and attached the official missing person’s poster for Garcia. READ FULL STORY

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