Usually it’s Lady Gaga’s modernist tendencies that grab headlines, but the pop singer is back in the news today thanks to a studio recording of “Anything Goes” with Grammy-winning jazz singer Tony Bennett.
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The ultimate Phil Ramone playlist: Hear definitive tracks from Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Dusty Springfield, and Paul McCartney
Over five-plus decades, album producer, engineering whiz, and recording innovator Phil Ramone won 14 Grammys and collaborated with some of the biggest lights in pop and rock: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Lesley Gore, Dusty Springfield, Tony Bennett, Madonna, and Lady Gaga, just to name some of the bigger stars.
One of his most notable partnerships was with Billy Joel, whose sound Ramone helped hone on his mainstream pop crossover hit with 1977’s The Stranger. Over the course of Joel’s career, he became one of his most trusted collaborators. “I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band,” Joel said in a statement on Ramone’s passing. “He was the guy that no one ever, ever saw on stage. He was with me as long as any of the musicians I ever played with—longer than most. So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him.”
Ramone passed away at age 79 on Saturday, but his epic recorded legacy will live on. Check out our definitive Spotify playlist below, which includes hits from all points of his resume. READ FULL STORY
Tony Bennett might be the most active 86-year-old you know.
The iconic singer has enjoyed an enviable career spanning 60 years (and counting), and lately he’s become renowned for his many duets and collaborative endeavors. And now Bennett’s set to release an introspective documentary that’ll shed light on his many artistic ambitions.
Conceived and produced by his son Danny Bennett, The Zen of Bennett tales a closer look into Tony’s life as he turned 85, as well as his continued presence in show business via the countless number of contemporary artists he’s worked with in recent years. The movie will hit screens in New York tomorrow and other select theaters Nov. 2, but you can enjoy an exclusive sneak peek right now exclusively below. Then read on to find out about Bennett’s wish-list duets, his unique chemistry with Lady Gaga, and the tragedy of Amy Winehouse.
Coldplay earns third straight number one album on Billboard 200; Kelly Clarkson's 'Stronger' fares less well
Although Coldplay’s latest album, Mylo Xyolto, hasn’t been as warmly received as the band’s previous efforts, it still topped the Billboard 200 chart with ease this week.
In its first seven days, Mylo Xyolto sold 447,000 copies, marking the third-best debut of the year behind Lady Gaga’s Born This Way (1.1 million) and Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV (964,000), as well as the band’s third straight number one album.
Coldplay’s last effort, 2008’s Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends, shifted 721,000 copies in its first week, but that album had a number one smash single in “Viva La Vida.” Mylo Xyolto‘s lead single “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” only peaked at number 14, though the British rocker’s new single “Paradise” has quickly climbed to number 15.
Kelly Clarkson’s fifth album Stronger had a slightly weaker debut than her last effort, starting in second place with 163,000. Clarkson’s 2009 effort All I Ever Wanted debuted with 255,000 copies, but once again, that album had a higher charting lead single in “My Life Would Suck Without You” (No. 1) than current single “Mr. Know It All” (No. 18 so far).
Crooner Michael Bublé eased into third place with 141,000 scans of his new holiday compilation Christmas. Given Bublé’s gigantic appeal around the holiday season, (I’ve given my mom three of his albums on three separate Christmases… and okay, I miiight listen to them too) the set should be a powerhouse seller over the next two months.
Adele held strong in fourth, moving 107,000 units of 21 in its 36th week on the chart, and she was followed by two more new releases. In fifth, Toby Keith’s Clancy’s Tavern sold 69,000 copies. That result gave the outspoken star his 10th number one album on the country chart. Rocker Tom Waits was close behind in sixth place, moving 63,000 of his new disc, Bad As Me.
Scotty McCreery, Lady Antebellum, Tony Bennett, and Casting Crowns rounded out the top ten. Their respective albums have now sold 384,000, 718,000, 465,000, and 129,000 total units. Find the full list here: READ FULL STORY
Adele returns to the top of the Billboard 200, passes 4 million sales total; Casting Crowns scores top debut
After 35 weeks on the chart, Adele’s smash album 21, which has yet to leave the Top 5, rose back into the number one spot on the Billboard 200 this week, selling an additional 106,000 copies.
That number pushed 21‘s total to a whopping 4.1 million copies, by far the biggest selling album of 2011. All told, the “Someone Like You” singer has spent 13 non-consecutive weeks atop the chart this year. Now, if she could just fix those dang vocal cords!
Christian band Casting Crowns finished close behind in second place with first-week sales of their album Come to the Well at 99,000 copies. The band’s last album, 2009’s Until the Whole World Hears, got off to a stronger start with 167,000 copies sold, but to be fair, that disc still holds the record for the highest Christian-album debut in history. Come to the Well‘s 99,000 debut is nothing to cast a stone (or crown, for that matter) at.
In third place, Scotty McCreery continues to impress as his album Clear As Day dipped just 36 percent to 57,000. That gives the country balladeer three-week sales of 342,000. His runner-up, Lauren Alaina fell down to tenth place, dropping 63 percent in her second week to 26,000. Her record, Wildflower, has now sold 95,000 copies, which isn’t incredible, but it’s not half bad considering Alaina’s lead single, “Like My Mother Does,” only peaked at number 36 on the country chart. (Not all American Idol alums are as fortunate as these two…)
Last week’s chart-topper Evanescence falls back into fourth, as their self-titled third album fell 69 percent to 40,000. It has sold 167,000 after two weeks. Meanwhile ,Tony Bennett’s Duets II rises one spot into fifth place with another 39,000 copies sold. The 85 year-old crooner’s set has moved 434,000 copies in five weeks, and sales should remain strong through the holidays.
R&B singer Joe fared alright in his debut: His latest album, The Good, the Bad, and the Sexy sold 33,000 copies, good enough for eighth place. His 2009 set Alright started at number 7 with 49,000. Check out the top ten below: READ FULL STORY
Sporting blue-mermaid hair and a black lace dress that’s more classy than trampy, Lady Gaga shines bright next to chart topper Tony Bennett in the just-released video for their duet, “The Lady Is A Tramp” off Bennett’s Duets II, out now.
The in-the-studio video is basically just a behind-the-scenes version of the song, but it’s still a nice add-on.
Especially fun to watch is their playfulness with each other throughout the song; whether she’s mugging to the camera or their duet dance-break mid-video, Gaga’s theatricality definitely comes through. And you can tell Bennett is genuinely getting a kick out of her antics — listen to him chuckle throughout the vid.
The clip really gets going at 2:20, when Gaga shows off her pipes (girl can sing!) and then they have a little dance. Either Bennett is really short, or Gaga’s got some massive heels on. (I think we can safely assume the latter).
Check out the video below:
Mr. Bennett himself sums up my thoughts quite nicely as the end of the video: “Beautiful. Thank you.” He’s clearly a fan; he recently gave an interview saying that the singer “will become bigger than Elvis Presley,” and the admiration is clearly mutual — just look at the sweet kiss that closes the clip.
Music Mixers: What do you think? Are you feeling these two as a pair? And who else is hoping Gaga considers a jazz album?
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Tony Bennett's 'Duets II' tops Billboard 200 albums chart, beating out Lady Antebellum and Demi Lovato
Eighty-five-year-old Tony Bennett certainly isn’t letting his age get the best of him. After breaking a few records last week by becoming oldest living person to ever appear on the Billboard hot 100 singles chart with his stellar Amy Winehouse duet “Body and Soul,” he’s scored another success for the books the Albums chart today.
Bennett’s newly released Duets II, which featurs collabs with the likes of Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Aretha Franklin and Carrie Underwood, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums charts selling 179,000 copies in its first week.
The achievement makes the 14-time Grammy Award winner the oldest living artist ever to make it to the top spot. Prior to Bennett, Bob Dylan held the crown; his Together Through Life debuted at No. 1 in 2009 when he was a relatively sprightly 67.
Elsewhere on the chart, Lady Antebellum’s Own the Night comes in at No. 2, moving 125,000 units. While Adele’s 21 continues to power on at No. 3 with 117,000 sets purchased.
Check out the top to albums on the chart after the jump.
Fresh off his epic 85th birthday celebration, which featured guest appearances by Aretha Franklin, Elton John, and Bill Clinton, recent Tony Bennett has taken a wrecking ball to a handful of chart records thanks to the release of Duets II and his historic single with Amy Winehouse (which was tragically the late Winehouse’s final recording).
“Body and Soul,” the duet with Winehouse, entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 87, making Bennett the oldest living person to ever appear on that chart. He replaced George Burns, who charted with “I Wish I Was 18 Again” back in 1980 at the sprightly age of 84.
Bennett’s appearance on the Hot 100 also created a number of other new precedents for performers and longevity. The nearly 44 years between his last chart appearance and this one is the longest gap for a solo artist in history. The previous record holder was Otis Redding, who saw 42 years elapse between appearances on the chart — he just showed up on the chart again as a guest on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Otis” (though you can freely debate whether or not that should even count). Bennett also has the longest career-length chart span, having appeared on the very first Hot 100 way back in 1958.
He may not be done, as Billboard is projecting that Duets II could sell as many as 170,000 copies in its first week of release and may be strong enough to debut at the top of the albums chart. Bennett has never had a number-one album, though the first entry in the Duets series got as high as number three back in 2006. Not too shabby for an 85-year-old guy, eh?
Read more on EW.com:
Alec Baldwin skipped the Emmys to go to Tony Bennett’s birthday party
Tony Bennett says President Bush confided Iraq War ‘a mistake’
Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse’s ‘Body and Soul’ video: Watch it here
It’s easy to get swallowed up in the mystery of Amy Winehouse’s untimely July 23 death. But first things first, let’s remember that she was an amazing singer. Thankfully, Tony Bennett won’t let us forget.
This morning on what would have been Winehouse’s 28th birthday, the legendary singer released the full clip of his time at Abbey Road Studios in London with the late English siren while recording their duet “Body and Soul.” The video shows a strong Winehouse coolly cooing alongside Bennett.
Even more precious than seeing her perform so well are the intimate moments revealed here. Seeing her alert, laughing, and hanging out behind the soundboard is how she should be remembered. Check out the clip after the jump.
Tony Bennett and Queen Latifah duet on 'Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)' -- hear it here EXCLUSIVE
Sammy sang it. So did Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick, Harry Conick Jr., and bossa nova siren Astrud Gilberto. Though it was Tony Bennett himself who brought it highest on the charts nearly half a century ago, in 1964.
Now, on his upcoming Duets II—also featuring pairings with the likes of Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Michael Buble, Willie Nelson, and the late Amy Winehouse—the iconic crooner doubles down on the classic ballad “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me),” partnering with Queen Latifah.
The pair will give their version its live television debut on America’s Got Talent on Wednesday, Sept. 14, but you can hear it here first only on EW.com: READ FULL STORY
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