Country hitmakers John Anderson, Paul Craft, Tom Douglas and Gretchen Peters are set to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The four musicians will be feted by officials at the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) at the Music City Center in the Tennessee capital in October (14).
Pat Alger, Chairman of the NSAI Board of Directors, says, "Here in Nashville where the music industry has always been built on a foundation of great songs written by legendary songwriters, each year only a few are elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
"This year we are very pleased to welcome the class of 2014: Tom Douglas and Gretchen Peters in the songwriter category; Paul Craft in the veteran songwriter category and John Anderson as our songwriter/artist."
Douglas is known for penning songs for Martina McBride, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert, who scored huge success with The House That Built Me, while Peters wrote McBride's Independence Day and The Chill Of An Early Fall for George Strait.
Craft famously created Ray Stevens' novelty smash It's Me Again, Margaret and singer/songwriter Anderson is famed for tracks like Swingin, Seminole Wind and Shuttin' Detroit Down, which he co-wrote for John Rich.
Last year's (13) honourees included Alabama star Randy Owen and singer Jeffrey Steele.
One of rock group Queen's most famous early concerts is to be released as a CD, DVD and Blu-Ray 40 years after it was recorded in London. Queen: Live at the Rainbow '74 chronicles the then-up-and-coming band onstage at the fabled venue and features over a dozen tracks never previously released on any official Queen live album.
The concert came days after Queen were invited to perform their new single Seven Seas of Rhye on U.K. TV music show Top of the Pops after David Bowie had to pull out of an appearance at the last minute. The TV slot helped Queen sell out The Rainbow, and producer Roy Thomas Baker opted to film the show and record it for a planned live album.
However, the gig served as the group's launch into the big time - and they put Queen: Live at the Rainbow '74 on hold to record breakthrough album Sheer Heart Attack. A spokesperson for Eagle Rock Entertainment, the company behind the new release, tells WENN, "As a result the already completed Rainbow live album was shelved and consigned to the archives. Now, a remarkable 40 years later, Queen: Live at the Rainbow '74 has finally surfaced, providing an invaluable record of emerging superstars demonstrating their talent."
The project will be released in September (14) in a variety of formats, all newly mixed and mastered. These range from a standard two-CD package, a DVD, an SD Blu-ray, a gate-fold double vinyl, a quadruple vinyl boxed set, and a super deluxe collector's edition, which features two CDs, a DVD and Blu-Ray, a 60-page hardback book containing rare photographs, and various items of memorabilia such as reproductions of the tickets, show souvenir programme and poster, as well as material from the band members' personal archives.
The tracklisting includes Flick Of The Wrist, Killer Queen, Seven Seas Of Rhye and Stone Cold Crazy. News of the release comes as Queen stalwarts Brian May and Roger Taylor prepare for a North American tour with Adam Lambert replacing the late Freddie Mercury as frontman.
Miranda Lambert has landed her first U.S. number one album, becoming only the 11th country artist to make it to the top of the Billboard 200 countdown. Her fifth release, Platinum, has rocketed to the top of the charts with 179,000 first-week sales.
It's also her fifth straight number one on America's Top Country Albums countdown.
Meanwhile, the Frozen soundtrack is on the rise again, moving from four to two on the new Billboard 200, while Brantley Gilbert's Just As I Am slips a spot to three.
50 Cent's new album Animal Ambition debuts at four and last week's number one, Coldplay's Ghost Stories, falls to five.
Meanwhile, Australian rapper Iggy Azalea scores a third week atop the Hot 100 singles chart with Fancy, keeping Problem, her own collaboration with Ariana Grande, at number two.
John Legend's All of Me is also unmoved at three, while British star Sam Smith scores his first top 10 at 10.
He tells Billboard.com, "I am genuinely gobsmacked (amazed). I keep asking my team if they've made a mistake. Thank you so much, America, for everything."
Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan were crowned the kings of the 2014 CMT Music Awards after they each took home two trophies at the TV network's annual prizegiving on Wednesday (05Jun14). Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard earned prizes for Duo Video of the Year as well as Collaborative Video of the Year for This is How We Roll featuring Bryan.
The Drunk On You hitmaker landed a second award, CMT Performance of the Year, for a separate duet with Lionel Richie thanks to their Oh No/All Night Long set from the 2012 CMT Artists of the Year TV special.
The trio dominated the show at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee from the start of the ceremony, when they were joined by ZZ Top and R&B star Jason Derulo to sing and dance to a mash-up of his song Talk Dirty and Florida Georgia Line's This is How We Roll to kick off the programme.
It was also a big night for Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, and Miranda Lambert, who won the Video of the Year, Male Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year, respectively. This is the second year in a row in which the trio has taken the top honours.
The ceremony, which was hosted by three-time emcee Kristen Bell, also included sets from Keith Urban, Hunter Hayes, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town.
John Legend sang a special version of his hit All of Me arranged by Hunter Hayes, while Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles joined in with vocals, and Lee Ann Womack and Kacey Musgraves took on Alan Jackson's Livin on Love just before Underwood presented him with the first-ever CMT Impact Award.
The top winners are:
Video of the Year - See You Again by Carrie Underwood
Female Video of the Year - Automatic by Miranda Lambert
Male Video of the Year - Doin' What She Likes by Blake Shelton
Group Video of the Year - Done by The Band Perry
Duo Video of the Year - Round Here by Florida Georgia Line
Breakthrough Video of the Year - Wasting All These Tears by Cassadee Pope
Collaborative Video of the Year - This is How We Roll by Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan
CMT Performance of the Year - Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie for Oh No/All Night Long from 2012 CMT Artists of the Year
CMT Impact Award - Alan Jackson
Rapper/actor Ludacris has signed on to host the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (18May14). The Get Back hitmaker will be taking a break from filming the seventh Fast & Furious movie to take charge of the ceremony at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, Shakira has been added to the list of performers, which also includes Miley Cyrus, Pitbull, Ariana Grande, Florida Georgia Line, Iggy Azalea, Imagine Dragons, Jason Derulo, John Legend, Lorde, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, OneRepublic, Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez, who will be honoured with the night's Icon Award.
Rihanna was the toast of the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles on Thursday (01May14), despite arriving late and missing out on accepting the new prizegiving's first ever trophy.
The Umbrella singer found herself stuck in rush-hour traffic and wasn't even at the Shrine Auditorium when she won the night's Hip Hop/R&B Song of the Year for Pour it Up. She arrived shortly afterwards and was present to pick up her awards for Best Fan Army, Artist of the Year and Song of the Year (Stay). Sporting a gothic look with blue lipstick, a black lace dress, jewelled crucifixes and a new Tank Girl-style hairdo, Rihanna accepted the latter trophy by thanking radio producers for playing the ballad, stating, "This record would never have been this big if it wasn't for you." And accepting her Artist of the Year honour at the end of the night, she added, "Shout out to everybody who has ever worked on my project. I know I'm a pain in the a** - but it's worth it!"
It was also a huge night for Pharrell Williams, who picked up the first-ever iHeartRadio Innovator Award. Presenter Gwen Stefani called her pal "the coolest guy ever", before a series of tributes from stars like Lady Gaga, Usher, Beyonce, Shakira, Oprah Winfrey, and Rita Ora flashed up on video screens. The man of the hour then performed a hits medley, including Blurred Lines, Get Lucky and Happy. Accepting his Innovator Award, the singer/songwriter/producer thanked his wife Helen Lasichanh and son Rocket and added, "I never dreamt in a million years that I'd be standing here as an artist... All I did was write the songs and you guys (fans) did all the heavy lifting, all the hard work, all those millions of views on YouTube... Thank you guys so much for lifting me so high."
Pitbull opened the show by performing Wild Wild Love and Timber without his duet partner Kesha, who has yet to perform for the first time following a stint in rehab earlier this year (14). The track won the couple the Best Collaboration trophy.
Performance highlights also included sets from Bastille, Ariana Grande, Shakira, Kendrick Lamar and 30 Seconds to Mars, who played City of Angels as frontman Jared Leto's accompanying short film featuring stars like Kanye West, Selena Gomez and Lindsay Lohan talking about their love of Los Angeles flashed up on video screens on either side of the stage.
But the night's talking point came when Usher showed off his Michael Jackson moves as he danced along to the King of Pop's new single Love Never Felt So Good, which debuted during the ceremony. As images of the late Thriller star appeared on video screens on the stage and throughout the audience, Usher and a gang of dancers performed the pop superstar's moon walk and other signature moves.
The iHeartRadio Music Awards telecast also featured a series of pre-taped anecdotes about L.A. from the likes of Chris Martin, John Legend, Steven Tyler, Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga, Rita Ora, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Iggy Azalea. More than 60 million U.S. radio listeners voted for the awards.
The full list of prizewinners is: Hip Hop/R&B Song of the Year - Pour it Up by Rihanna Best Collaboration - Timber by Pitbull & Kesha Best Lyrics - Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus Best New Artist - Lorde Best Fan Army - Rihanna's Navy Song of the Year - Stay by Rihanna Alternative Rock Song of the Year - Demons by Imagine Dragons Young Influencer Award - Ariana Grande Instagram Award - Austin Mahone EDM (Electronic Dance Music) Song of the Year - Wake Me Up by Avicii & Aloe Blacc Country Song of the Year - Boys 'Round Here by Blake Shelton Artist of the Year - Rihanna
The hot wives of singers John Legend and Caleb Followill have landed the coveted cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Legend's new bridge Chrissy Teigen and the Kings of Leon frontman's wife Lily Aldridge share the front of the annual magazine with Nina Adgal, who has romanced singers Max George and Adam Lambert.
The trio of models end Kate Upton's two-year stint as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue's cover girl.
Legend reveals Teigen sobbed when she learned she'd be on the cover of the magazine.
He says, "She cried like a baby. She was so excited... It was a surprise, because you never really know who's going to be on the cover. There are all these beautiful women.
"She's been in the issue for several years now, and every year, it's been someone else. And this year it's her. We're very excited about it."
Expressing her excitement on Twitter.com, Teigen adds, "I just cannot believe it. What an honor. Never, ever, ever have (I) felt this kind of pure joy. Crazy crazy."
Florida Georgia Line were the big winners at the 2013 American Country Awards, taking home six trophies at Tuesday's (10Dec13) ceremony. The duo won prizes in the Single of the Year and Single of the Year: New Artist categories for its hit song Cruise as well as Radio Track of the Year, Radio Track of the Year: New Artist, Music Video of the Year: New Artist and the prestigious New Artist title.
Blake Shelton also had a big night picking up four awards, including Album of the Year for Based on a True Story... as well as Single of the Year: Male, Music Video of the Year: Male and Great American Country Music Video of the Year.
His wife, Miranda Lambert, didn't go home empty handed - she was awarded the Female Artist Of The Year title.
Luke Bryan, who dominated the prizegiving last year (12), received three awards, including Artist of the Year: Male and the coveted Artist of the Year honour, bringing his total to a record-breaking 12 awards, more than any other musician in the ceremony's history.
Lady Antebellum reclaimed their status as Group Of The Year after winning the title in 2012, and former American Idol champion Scotty McCreery was hailed the Breakthrough Artist Of The Year.
Throughout the night, special awards were also handed out, as Dwight Yoakam presented Brad Paisley with the Video Visionary Award and Taylor Swift received the first-ever Worldwide Artist Award from Olivia Newton-John.
The fourth annual American Country Awards, which aired live from Las Vegas, was hosted by Trace Adkins and American NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, and featured performances from Sheryl Crow, Darius Rucker, and LeAnn Rimes.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Ashley Monroe, Miranda Lambert's bandmate in country group Pistol Annies, has wed baseball star John Danks. The singer and the Chicago White Sox pitcher exchanged vows at a sunset ceremony in Tennessee's Smoky Mountains on Thursday (24Oct13).
Gushing about her new husband, the 27 year old says, "I married my best friend. He has such a good heart."
The couple met after a show in Chicago, Illinois in 2011.
Lambert's husband Blake Shelton officiated the nuptials, which took place at Blackberry Farm, where Kelly Clarkson wed Brandon Blackstock over the weekend (19-20Oct13). Lambert was Monroe's maid of honour and also served as wedding planner.
The bride tells People.com, "Miranda was the one who cared about all the details. It was magical."