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Tag: Soul (11-20 of 81)

Celebrities mourn Etta James via Twitter, internet

The legendary Etta James succumbed to leukemia this morning, and people all over are remembering the singer’s 73 years of life in different ways.

Beyonce, who famously played the star in 2008’s Cadillac Records — and ran into some static with the older star later — took to her website with the following statement:

“This is a huge loss. Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime. Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist. When she effortlessly opened her mouth, you could hear her pain and triumph. Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed.”

For many, Twitter provides a natural outlet to mourn and pay tribute. Celebrities as varied as Questlove, Kings of Leon’s Nathan Followill, and Nancy Grace have already tweeted about James; we’ve included many of them below: READ FULL STORY

Etta James has died

Etta James, an icon of mid-century soul and R&B, has passed away in Riverside, Calif., after a long battle with leukemia. She was 73.

Born Jamesetta Hawkins to an unwed 14-year-old mother in Los Angeles in 1938, James began singing in church as a child, and by age 12 had moved to San Francisco, where she formed a doo-wop trio called the Creolettes. Returning to L.A. in 1954, she rechristened the group the Peaches, changed her own name to Etta James, and professionally recorded her first song,”The Wallflower”; a solo recording contract soon followed.

Her 18-year tenure at Chicago’s Chess Records — partly documented in the 2008 film Cadillac Records, in which Beyoncé famously played the singer — led to James’ most fertile period commercially, even as it coincided with her increasingly heavy use of heroin and alcohol. READ FULL STORY

President Obama sings Al Green at the Apollo: Watch the video here

Who knew he had it in him?

During a fund-raiser at New York City’s legendary Apollo Theater on Thursday night, President Barack Obama broke into a verse of Al Green’s classic hit “Let’s Stay Together” as a nation (okay, probably just Democrats) collectively swooned and wondered why he’s been keeping this talent from us for so long. (Al Green songs are always cooler than bowling, Mr. President.)

While Obama assured Green, who was in attendance at the event, “I cannot sing like you, I just wanted to show my appreciation” it’s still pretty impressive.  Come on Matt Damon, admit it. All politics aside, you are so in love with this, too.

Watch the Commander-in-Chief croon “Let’s Stay Together” (his theme song for the 2012 campaign, perhaps?) here: READ FULL STORY

The 10 top music-video directors of 2011: Watch their best clips here

Looking back at the best music videos of 2011, one thing leaped out: All of the best clips were made by the same six or seven people.

So rather than call out individual entries for their greatness, we’re going to reward the directors who put together the best portfolios this year. Anybody can make one excellent video, but it takes serious jiujitsu to knock out three great ones. That left a lot of awesome videos on the table (all apologies to excellent entries like Foo Fighters’ “Walk,” Beyoncé’s “Countdown,” and Ke$ha’s “Blow”), but this is a pretty good sum-up of the year in music videos.

1) Spike Jonze
Jonze only stood behind the camera for two videos this year, but they were both game-changers. Beastie Boys’ “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” was a sandbox revelation that was way better than the actual feature film based on GI Joe, while Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Otis” turned that pair’s obsession with commercialism into a bombastic brand of Americana. Pour one out for the fallen Maybach, and raise your glass to Jonze, who proved that no amount of directing polarizing adaptations of beloved books for children can take away his four-minute spark. READ FULL STORY

Dearly departed playlist: A tribute to all the artists who died this year, via their own music

The music world lost a number of great contributors and classic artists this year, and far too many of them clearly had unfinished business. EW has already memorialized many of them, from the tragic end of taken-before-their-time artists like Amy Winehouse, Heavy D, and Gerard Smith of TV on the Radio, to the decades-long influence of industry icons such as Jerry Lieber, Clarence Clemons, Don Kirshner, and Nick Ashford. They will all be missed because each one of them left an indelible mark on the music world.

In an effort to tip our collective hat to them one last time before the year is out, we’ve put together a special (though by no means exhaustive) playlist, which features a key song that best sums up the career of the dearly departed, from the one hit wonders to the career giants. Enjoy reliving each one’s greatest moments.

Amy Winehouse, “Tears Dry on Their Own”
READ FULL STORY

VH1 Divas tonight: Five reasons you should watch

EW was on the scene at last night’s taping of VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul (airing tonight at 9 p.m. ET). In addition to talking to the Divas — including repeat performers Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Kelly Clarkson, plus Jessie J and Florence + the Machine’s Florence Welch — we narrowed down exactly why the 13-year-old institution is still worth checking out. Below, five reasons to tune into tonight’s special. READ FULL STORY

Amy Winehouse biopic still a possibility: Family would consider supporting project which 'told the truth' -- EXCLUSIVE

A spokesperson for Mitch Winehouse has told EW that the father of the late Amy Winehouse would consider allowing his daughter’s music to be used in a biopic.

Various recent media reports had quoted Mitch Winehouse as saying he would never allow Amy’s life story to be told in a film. But Winehouse’s spokesperson claims this is inaccurate and that “Mitch and the family would entertain ideas perhaps for a film but only one they were sure would tell the truth.”

However, Mitch Winehouse has poured cold water on the reports that Lady Gaga is set to play his daughter in a biopic. “I never said Lady Gaga will play Amy,” he wrote on his Twitter page yesterday.

Read more:
Lioness: Hidden Treasures
New Amy Winehouse track, ‘Between the Cheats': Hear it here
Listen to Amy Winehouse’s unreleased Nas duet ‘Like Smoke’

Adele says fans may have to wait a while for her next record

adele

When Entertainment Weekly visited with Adele last spring, the singer said that she couldn’t wait to get back into the studio and record the follow-up to her hugely successful 21.

“I need to write my record,” explained the British chanteuse. “[My heart] is already broke. That’s why I need to write the record.” But Adele seems to have changed her tune about recording new tunes.

In a new email interview with Billboard, the 23 year old, who is currently recovering from throat surgery, makes clear that she is now in no hurry to return to the studio: “I imagine I’ll be 25 or 26 by the time my next record comes out, as I haven’t even thought about my third record yet. I’m just gonna lay some concrete, set up home and just ‘be’ for a bit. I’ll disappear and come back with a record when it’s good enough. There will be no new music until it’s good enough and until I’m ready.” READ FULL STORY

iTunes: Adele tops 2011's best-selling song and album charts

Did we need further evidence that this has been Adele’s year sales-wise? Probably not. But for the benefit of anyone still debating the matter, iTunes has just announced that the British singer’s track “Rolling in the Deep” was the year’s top downloaded song while its parent album, 21, was 2011’s most popular collection. iTunes also named Adele its Artist of the Year.

21 was followed on the album list by Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More and Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV. LMFAO claimed second place on the singles list with “Party Rock Anthem” while Katy Perry’s “Firework” was third.

Find iTunes’ top ten best-selling songs and albums of 2011 below: READ FULL STORY

The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Deserving music legends or just a bunch of old white dudes?

The Music Mix’s dream that Axl Rose’s cornrows be permanently retired to a museum in Cleveland came one step closer to realization today with the news that Guns N’ Roses will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next April.

The band’s fellow Hall of Fame newbies are the Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Small Faces/The Faces, the late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro, and hippie troubadour Donovan. The list of nominees who didn’t get the electoral nod this year is made up of Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, the Cure, Heart, Eric B. and Rakim, Rufus with Chaka Khan, Donna Summer, War, Freddie King, and the Spinners, at least some of whom may now be available for birthdays and bar mitzvahs on April 14.

Taken on a case-by-case basis, it’s difficult to argue with many of the choices. Guns N’ Roses, the Beasties, and the Chili Peppers are all hugely popular and have enjoyed many-chaptered careers, even if the most recent parts of the Roses’ tale have resembled chapters in a book about horrific car accidents.

And Nyro and Donovan certainly added their own hues to rock’s rich tapestry, although I know my colleague Rob Brunner would have preferred the Cure or Erik B. and Rakim get inducted over the latter. You could reasonably argue that Faces members — and previous Hall of Fame inductees — Ron Wood and Rod Stewart don’t really need another gong on their mantelpiece. But had the pair only ever recorded “Stay With Me,” they would have gotten my vote (if I had one): READ FULL STORY

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