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Tag: Soul (61-70 of 85)

Prince to tour this December with Esperanza Spalding, Janelle Monae, and more

Prince announced tonight that he and his band, The New Power Generation, are kicking off a tour this December along with a number of other artists, the AP reports. Speaking to reporters at New York’s Apollo Theater, the 52-year-old multi-hyphenate said he will serve as master of ceremonies for “a series of events that will begin on a purple day in December, in the year 2010.” The “Welcome 2 America” bill will include Maceo Parker, Janelle Monae, Mint Condition, Esperanza Spalding, Lalah Hathaway, Sheila E., Cassandra Wilson, and Graham Central Station. “Bring friends, bring your children, and bring foot spray, cuz it’s gon’ be funky,” he said.


Solomon Burke: An appreciation of the late 'King of Rock and Soul'

Solomon-BurkeImage Credit: Gilles Petard/Redferns/Getty Images; Trish Tokar/Getty ImagesSolomon Burke—who died in the Netherlands on October 10 from natural causes, aged 70—was once hailed as the best soul singer of all-time by producer Jerry Wexler. Obviously, that assessment is open to debate, although it’s not one I would have cared to argue about with the legendary Wexler. Certainly, Burke deserved his status as one of the bona fide greats thanks to his richly soulful performances on the likes of “Cry to Me,” “Tonight’s the Night,” and, of course, “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love.”

Wexler might also have nominated Burke as soul’s most colorful singer. Who else can claim that, during an early lull in their career, they took a job in a mortuary? And who else brought sandwiches on tour so he could make some money on the side selling them to hungry musicians? It was also not unknown for the so-called “King of Rock and Soul” to appear on stage wearing a cape and jewel-encrusted crown.


Solomon Burke, soul singer, dies at 70

Solomon-BurkeSolomon Burke, a pioneering soul music singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, has died at age 70 in the Netherlands, where he was scheduled to perform this week, CNN reports. READ FULL STORY

'America's Got Talent' winner Michael Grimm signs with Epic Records

Michael-GrimmYou know what they say: If you build it, they will come. So naturally, in today’s reality show-obsessed world, if you win a televised talent competition…you’re likely to get a record deal. In a press release, Epic Records announced the signing of recent America’s Got Talent winner Michael Grimm. The self-described “blue-eyed soul singer” impressed the judges and voters at home with his skillful guitar playing and smooth voice week after week as he covered soul classics like “You Don’t Know Me,” “Let’s Stay Together,” and “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Grimm’s signing follows the path of last season’s AGT winner, country singer Kevin Skinner, who released his debut album Long Ride last September.

In a recent interview, Grimm told EW that he hoped winning America’s Got Talent would allow him to “cut the album [he’s] been wanting to cut,” and give him the exposure and promotion necessary to perform beyond his Las Vegas home. “I know the genre, I know the route I want to go on this album, what it looks like, and smells like, and sounds like,” Grimm said. According to Epic, Grimm plans to release a solo album in March 2011.

Grimm is currently rehearsing for the upcoming America’s Got Talent Live, which kicks off this Friday in Oakland, Calif. The tour will travel to 25 cities and feature performances by season 5’s Top 10 contestants, including finalists Prince Poppycock and Jackie Evancho.

Will you be purchasing Grimm’s music come March?

Read more:
‘America’s Got Talent': The season 5 winner speaks!
‘America’s Got Talent’ winner Michael Grimm’s week just got even better. (He’s engaged!)

Ellen DeGeneres signs British singer to her eleveneleven label

Ellen-Degeneres-Tom-AndrewsImage Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner BrosEllen DeGeneres announced today she has signed another artist to her music label, 16-year-old British singer Tom Andrews. The newest member of the eleveneleven roster revealed on Ellen that he started singing three years ago when his mother entered him into a talent contest. Andrews then treated DeGeneres’ audience to a version of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”

Andrews is the second eleveneleven artist. In May, DeGeneres signed Greyson Chance, who became a YouTube phenomenon with his version of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi.”

You can watch Andrews’ encounter with Ellen, and performance of “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” after the break.

What do you think of Ellen’s new signing?


Mavis Staples: The legendary singer on her new, Jeff Tweedy-produced CD—and the day Bob Dylan asked for her hand in marriage

Mavis-StaplesThere aren’t many singers who end an interview by asking if their interrogator wants a hug. Actually, in this writer’s experience, there is just one: Mavis Staples.

Yes, Staples, 71, may be more, literally, open-armed than most music legends, but she is 100% deserving of that title nonetheless. The vocalist’s family band, the Staple Singers, first hit the charts way back in 1956 with the gospel track “Uncloudy Day.” In the ’60s the group—which was led by Mavis’ father Pops—hung out with Bob Dylan, and covered Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.” In the  ’70s the band scored a string of soul-pop hits, including “Respect Yourself,” “I’ll Take You There,” and “Let’s Do It Again”.

The latter track was produced by Curtis Mayfield, who temporarily nudged the Staples Singers away from their usual “message”-based lyrical terrain into more lusty territory. “We got into the studio and Curtis said, ‘Now, Pops, this is your part,'” recalls Staples. “And Curtis sang, ‘Now, I like you, lady…’ Pops said, ‘Curtis, I’m not going to say that. I’m a church man!’ And Curtis said, ‘Oh, Pops, come on, man. The Lord won’t mind!’”

The Staple Singers’ soul-funk grooves, and Mavis Staples’ deep, soulful, vocals, attracted a raft of famous fans. They performed with The Band on the latter’s concert movie The Last Waltz and Prince produced two solo albums for Staples—1989’s Time Waits for No One and 1993’s The Voice.

Pops Staples died in 2000, but his daughter continues to perform—and to attract famous name collaborators. Ry Cooder produced her 2007 set “We’ll Never Turn Back,” while Wilco head honcho, and Staples’ fellow Chicagoan, Jeff Tweedy oversaw her latest collection “You Are Not Alone.” On the CD, which is released today, Staples tackles songs by John Fogerty, Randy Newman, Pops Staples, and two numbers penned by Tweedy, including the title track. She also sings the traditional number “Wonderful Savior”—a song the Wilco frontman made her record in a freezing stairwell. Hey, that’s no way to treat a living legend! “No!” agrees Staples, with a laugh. “I told him, ‘Tweedy, it’s cold out there, this is Chicago!’ We had the coldest winter in I don’t know how many years. It had to be like ten below. And you know this stairwell is even colder. I said, ‘I’m not going out there!’ He said, ‘Someone get Mavis a coat and a hat and a scarf and some gloves! And, Mavis, go out there with the rest of the guys and sing the song!’ So I did. And the song sounded so good, I suggested doing it again, but we had gotten it that first time.”

Of course she had. She’s Mavis Staples!

After the jump, Staples talks about how she came to work with “Tweedy” in the first place—and how she almost became Mrs Robert Zimmerman.


Cee Lo and Mumford and Sons: What the fug is up with all this swearing?

Mumford-and-Sons-cee-loImage Credit: Julian BroadIt has long been common knowledge that musicians are often potty-mouthed characters who should, by rights, be rinsing their mouths with soap-and-water rather than rum-and-Cokes. But rock stars’ fondness for what my mother refers to as “pit talk” has for the most part not been reflected in their recorded output.

Until now! Over the past few days it’s been impossible to take a perambulation around EW Towers without hearing salty language of the stripe one might usually associate with drunken pirates boom out from my colleagues’ music systems. I refer in large part, of course, to “F— You,” the latest offering from Mr Cee Lo, who clearly loves enunciating the four letter word as much as John Holmes once adored partaking in the actual deed (younger readers should probably not ask their parents to explain that reference). Then there is “Little Lion Man” by British folkateers Mumford & Sons, which contains the refrain, “I really f—ed it up this time.” Yes, you did, gentlemen—if, that is, you had hopes of me buying your platter for my impressionable, younger relations this Christmas.

I have embedded the offending items after the jump. What do you think about all this lyrical filth? Do you have a favorite swearword-featuring song (and, though I know it’s going to be difficult, let’s keep this clean, folks)?


R. Kelly's 'When A Woman Loves': Hear his soulful single here

kelly-woman-lovesThe next time someone tries to tell you R. Kelly is not a gifted songwriter, play them his new single, “When A Woman Loves.” His more typical sex-crazed/absurdist/R&B thug shticks can be fun, too — but he’s arguably at his best when he’s penning sweet, sappy love songs like this one.

Check out “When A Woman Loves” after the jump. This could have been a hit 40 or even 50 years ago, easy. And Kelly sings it with real soul and verve. The vocal breakdown that starts around the 3:15 mark is particularly awesome. I love it, cheesy canned brass section and all.

A representative for Jive Records tells EW that “When A Woman Loves” is the first single from an upcoming Kelly project, but confirmed details are scarce beyond that. (According to Rap Radar, it could be from one of three upcoming Kelly albums.) Do you like this tune as much as I do? Excited for Kelly to go back into classic crooner mode? READ FULL STORY

Cee Lo Green tells us all about his viral hit 'F--- You,' his new album, and the future of Gnarls Barkley and Goodie Mob

Cee-Lo-greenWatching his single “F—- You” become a runaway viral hit within days of its online release has been “pretty magical” for Cee Lo Green. “It’s a pleasant surprise, I must say,” the singer tells the Music Mix via phone from London. “I think it’s totally surpassed just about everyone’s expectations. We had a clue — I mean, it’s a very noticeable song — but this has been extraordinary.”

“F—- You” was born almost two years into the recording of Cee Lo’s third solo album, The Lady Killer, which is now due Dec. 7.  During a session in L.A. with hitmakers Bruno Mars and Phil Lawrence (B.o.B’s “Nothin’ on You,” Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire”), they let him hear a rough sketch of a song they weren’t sure was worth completing. “When Bruno first sung ‘F—- You’ to me, they were still a bit indecisive on whether or not it could work at all,” he says. “I was like, ‘I like it. Let’s record it.'”

Finishing the song became “a collective effort,” with Cee Lo contributing many of the verse lyrics that surround that unforgettably risque hook. As heartfelt as Cee Lo’s crooning sounds, his tale of being jilted for a Ferrari-driving slickster wasn’t strictly autobiographical. “I mean, it’s based on something true… As far as me personally, it’s not a current event. It’s a figurative account. It’s not completely fictitious, though.”

With “F—- You” continuing to gain speed online, Cee Lo and his team are scrambling to keep up. The dancing-words clip that’s racked up 1.7 million YouTube plays so far is just a place-holder, he says; a proper video is coming soon, but the singer coyly refuses to divulge any details about it. He’s also recorded a profanity-free radio edit to help the song’s chances of getting on the air. “It’s called ‘Forget You,'” he says. “It’s pretty close to the original, but not as effective. But it’s politically correct.” And while he had no part in creating 50 Cent’s witty remix, Cee Lo is a fan. “It was flattering that he would take the liberty of joining in so quickly,” he says. “I thought it was really cool.” READ FULL STORY

50 Cent remixes Cee-Lo's 'F--- You': Watch the funny video here

f-you-50-cent-remixImage Credit: Koi Sojer/PR PhotosWell, that was fast. Just days after the great Cee-Lo Green released his awesomely catchy “F— You,” that irrepressible jokester 50 Cent has issued a response video. In his remix, he naturally takes on the role of the rich guy who stole Cee-Lo’s lady with his flashy red Ferrari. It’s just one quick verse tacked on to the original song, but it’s pretty funny.

50 Cent even had a video made for his remix. Take a look after the jump (clip via Miss Info; lots of NSFW language, obviously). How do you like it? Any other recent songs you’d like to see 50 apply his sense of humor to? READ FULL STORY

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