Police in Switzerland have confirmed blues legend Johnny Winter was found dead in his hotel room on Wednesday (16Jul14). News of the music legend's death broke on Thursday (17Jul14), and local officials have now revealed the 70 year old's body was discovered in a hotel just outside of Zurich.
The cause of death is unclear, but police do not suspect foul play. Officials have confirmed early indications suggest Winter suffered a medical emergency, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death, according to Reuters.
Winter was on tour in Europe at the time of the tragedy, and was due to take his show to Canada on 23 July (14) before heading out on a major U.S. trek over the summer (14).
His passing has prompted tributes from stars including Motley Crue rocker Nikki Sixx and former Guns N' Roses member Matt Sorum, who writes in a post on Twitter.com, "I have just heard Johnny Winter has passed, I've just become close with (his brother) Edgar and am so sad for him and his family. They had plans to tour. RIP JW."
Former Guns N' Roses star Matt Sorum has taken aim at fellow rocker Ted Nugent for his pro-hunting remarks. Animal lover Sorum took offence to a photo he spotted of smiling Nugent standing next to a pre-teen boy who had just killed a groundhog, and took to Twitter.com to lash out at the Cat Scratch Fever hitmaker over the weekend (12Jul14).
The drummer wrote, "Hey @tednugent u are a sick individual, u are smiling too much for killing this animal. Something wrong w u (with you), poor kid."
Nugent has made a name for himself protecting the rights of hunters, insisting they are vital to manage wildlife.
In an interview earlier this year (14), he attacked animal-rights activists opposed to hunting and killing, calling them "numb-nuts".
Sorum is currently spearheading the International Fund For Animal Welfare's campaign for elephant conservation, and last month (Jun14) wrote an open letter to his fellow musicians urging them to support a new U.S. strategy for minimising America's role in global elephant poaching.
Rocker Deryck Whibley is overcoming his booze battle with the help of reformed hellraisers Iggy Pop and Tommy Lee. In May (14), the Sum 41 star revealed he had been hospitalised in an intensive care unit after his kidneys and liver collapsed following years of hard boozing.
He has now quit drinking and is determined to keep on a straight path, and he has revealed several fellow stars who have battled booze demons are helping him adjust to a life of sobriety.
Whibley tells Kerrang! magazine, "Now I'm sober, I don't get calls from certain people that I used to... the drinking friends. Now I'm the bum-out to them. Who wants to invite the sober guy to the party?
"Y'know who has been incredibly supportive? Iggy Pop. He had a lot of great advice; he's been through it all. We've been friends for years. Same for Tommy Lee from Motley Crue. He told me what to expect from people, that not everyone will understand. Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum from Guns N' Roses have been great too. We go out for coffee and talk about s**t."
Bobby Womack's friend and collaborator Damon Albarn has joined stars including Ronnie Wood, Justin Timberlake and Ronald Isley to pay tribute to the soul legend following his death on Friday (27Jun14). The music veteran, who had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer, passed away at the age of 70, but no further details were available as WENN went to press.
Womack's death sent the music world into mourning, prompting tributes from his famous friends and fans, including Blur star Albarn, who helped the music veteran achieve a career revival in recent years by collaborating with him on a Gorillaz track and inviting him on tour.
Albarn mourned his friend's loss in a post on Twitter.com, writing, "I will see my brother in church @RealBobbyWomack."
Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood was among the first to pay tribute to Womack, tweeting, "I'm so sad to hear about my friend Bobby Womack - the man who could make you cry when he sang has brought tears to my eyes with his passing.
"My heart goes out to his family & friends and everyone who loved his music. Bobby you will be greatly missed."
The Rolling Stones recorded Womack's song It's All Over Now.
Pop star Justin Timberlake also marked the sad news by taking to Twitter to write, "One of THE BEST to ever do it. You've inspired so much out of me and will continue to do so... #RIPBobbyWomack," while CeeLo Green added, "RIP Bobby Womack... Heroes get remembered, but legends never die #RIPBobbyWomack."
Funk legend George Clinton offered up an online message to remember Womack, along with Anita Baker and Angie Stone and fellow soul icon Ronald Isley, of the Isley Brothers, who wrote, "I am sad to hear of the passing of my long time friend Bobby Womack. He was a special person with a special talent. I will truly miss him."
Rockers including Red Hot Chili Peppers star Flea, Matt Sorum and Gerard Way also joined the flood of tributes, along with stars from the hip-hop world, led by Wyclef Jean, OutKast's Big Boi, 50 Cent, Q-Tip and Public Enemy.
Womack was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, and his passing prompted a statement from organisation officials. The message reads, "Sad to learn that soul legend and 2009 Rock and Roll HOF Inductee Bobby Womack has passed away."
Punk icon Henry Rollins and Red Hot Chili Peppers star Flea have posted tributes to late The Stooges drummer Scott Asheton following his death on Saturday (15Mar14). Bandmate Iggy Pop led the salutes after revealing the sad news his pal had died on Facebook.com, stating Asheton was "a dear friend" and "a great artist", adding, "I have never heard anyone play the drums with more meaning".
And the tributes continued on Monday (17Mar14) as many of Asheton's famous fans woke up to the news of the 64 year old's passing.
Former Black Flag frontman Rollins chose to celebrate Asheton's life by playing The Stooges non-stop, tweeting, "Scott Asheton passed away. Stooges albums on full." And Flea added, "scott asheton rocked me as deeply as any musician ever. gave me such joy and freedom in my life R.I.P."
Other Twitter tributes came from former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, The Black Keys and The Charlatans' Tim Burgess, while actress/singer Juliette Lewis wrote, "Farewell to gentle blue eyed soul #ScottAsheton I had the pleasure to know and share the stage with. He's 4ever remembered not forgotten."
Alice Cooper has been hit by the charity supergig bug after kicking off 2014 in Hawaii onstage with Steven Tyler and Sammy Hagar - he is reteaming with the former Van Halen frontman for another fundraiser. Cooper and Hagar will perform with former Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver bandmates Slash and Matt Sorum in Las Vegas this week (beg24Feb14) as part of the Kerry Simon Says Fight MSA benefit.
Money raised at the gig will benefit sufferers of the neurological disorder known as multiple system atrophy.
The all-star charity rock gig will also feature Vince Neil and System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan, while actor Bill Murray will serve as host alongside celebrity chef Kerry Simon, who was diagnosed with MSA last year (13).
Cooper and Hagar were joined by Tyler, former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, Weird Al Yankovic and actors Tom Arnold and Keith Carradine for New Year's Eve (31Dec13) Maui Food Bank benefit in Hawaii.
Charlie Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Kirstie Alley and Juliette Lewis are among the stars who have called for an end to the annual slaughter of dolphins off the coast of Japan after the hunt kicked off again this week (beg20Jan14). Activists have long campaigned against the yearly cull of bottlenose dolphins, which are herded into Taiji Cove and speared by fishermen, and the barbaric practice was highlighted in Academy Award-winning 2009 film The Cove.
As the hunt got underway again on Monday (20Jan14), a number of stars took to Twitter.com to express their outrage.
Cheers star Alley pleaded with Japanese citizens to take a stand against the practice, writing, "The Japanese people need to stop the slaughter in Taiji... We can not bully them into stepping up. We can just bring it into their view."
Hollywood actress Sarandon called the cull "heartbreaking and infuriating" and Lewis urged fans to tweet their opposition, adding, "Stop this insanity... Tweet 4 dolphins."
Other stars to have spoken out against this year's (14) cull include Sheen, who threw his support behind the The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's campaign against the dolphin slaughter, as well as rocker Matt Sorum, Yoko Ono, William Shatner and illusionist David Blaine.
Former Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver stars SLASH, Duff Mckagan and Matt Sorum's new supergroup is planning a star-studded benefit in Hollywood next month (Nov13). The group, Kings of Chaos, will perform with guitar great Steve Stevens, Corey Taylor, Glenn Hughes and actors Juliette Lewis and Gary Dourdan onstage at the Avalon Hollywood on 18 November (13) to raise money and awareness for conservationist Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project, an international organisation dedicated to saving dolphins from slaughter and exploitation.
The concert, billed as Tokyo Celebrates The Dolphin, will be the group's only North American performance in 2013.
Organiser O'Barry tells WENN, "We'll add a few Japanese friends to our line-up and rock the socks off Tokyo. There isn't a better way to bring Westerners and Japanese people together than rock and roll and the world should also know about the wonderful relationship between Japanese people and dolphins in the Tokyo Islands."
Longtime O'Barry supporter Sorum adds, "I'm thrilled to bring a bunch of superstars together for a fun night with fans. The main thing is to keep creating awareness for the Dolphin Project and everyone involved."
Kings of Chaos made their Australian live debut in April (13) at the Stone Music Festival in Sydney and the group toured South and Central America last year (12) under the name Rock 'n' Roll Allstars.
The supergroup will embark on a new South American tour at the end of November.
"I've been sober about six years now and my life's just changing. I'm getting married, getting a little older, and I just started feeling different - not being so self-absorbed in the rock 'n' roll world. I changed quite a bit, for the better, I think." Former Guns N' Roses star Matt Sorum likes the way he's maturing.
Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver stars SLASH and Matt Sorum are reteaming to perform together at a charity concert in Los Angeles this weekend (15Sep13). The rockers will hit the stage with singer Macy Gray at Sorum's Adopt the Arts benefit on Sunday.