Singer/rapper Pharrell Williams has confirmed long-running rumours suggesting he named his son Rocket after a song by Sir Elton John. The producer and musician is father to five-year-old Rocket, with his wife Helen, and rumours suggested the youngster's middle name was 'Man' in reference to Elton John's anthem Rocket Man.
Williams has now revealed the rumours about Rocket's middle name are not true, but he did name his son after the veteran singer's huge hit.
He tells the BBC's Newsbeat, "I really respect Elton John's music... Contrary to popular belief, Rocket's middle name is not Man. But Elton John's Rocket Man song was a part of it and also Stevie Wonder's Rocket Love."
Stevie Nicks is still single at 65 because she struggles to maintain a relationship while keeping up with her hectic work schedule. Nicks' split from her Fleetwood Mac bandmate Lindsey Buckingham fuelled one of the group's most successful albums, 1976's Rumours, but the Go Your Own Way singer is still waiting to find true love.
While she is eager to find someone to share her life with, the 65-year-old singer is aware that the unpredictable nature of her job makes it difficult to keep a relationship alive.
She tells The New York Times, "It would be fun if I could find a boyfriend who understood my life and didn't get his feelings hurt because I'm always a phone call away from having to leave in two hours for New York or a phone call from having to do interviews all day long. It's not very fun to be Mr. Stevie Nicks."
It was announced recently that Christine McVie was reuniting with her bandmates in Fleetwood Mac after leaving the group in 1998. Fans can now be treated again to the group's Rumours-era lineup, with McVie taking back over vocals on her hits like "You Make Loving Fun" and "Hold Me."
With so many musicians cashing in on the money that can be made by going out on the road with a classic edition of their band, it's become hard to find acts that people clamor to have back together. Hard, but not impossible. Here are some artists that we'd like to see back in the band.
Slash, Guns N' Roses
Granted, Axl Rose is a nut-job and a major pain in the tuchus. Still, the demand for a tour featuring Rose, Slash, and the rest of the original lineup of GNR would be unbelievable and the group's core audience is now old enough to afford the ticket prices. If Don Henley, Glenn Frey and the other Eagles can spend years on the road taking separate busses and not speaking to each other, than there has to be a way for Axl and Slash to play nice long enough to cash in.
Beyoncé, Destiny's Child
Beyoncé certainly doesn't need to do anything that she doesn't want to do. Let's face it; Mrs. Carter has the entire world at her disposal. But, here's the thing, she's still friends with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, as evidenced by the recent photos of the three band members together at little Blue's birthday party. Beyoncé just released a 14-track "visual album" that nobody knew about in advance. If she's got that kind of time, then surely there's some extra to lay down some new DC material.
Roger Waters, Pink Floyd
Every subsequent generation has its own Floyd experience, whether it's watching late-night showings of The Wall or synching up Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz. Waters is a creative genius, and notoriously difficult to work with. He's also 70 years old. Waters and the other surviving Floyd members (David Gilmour and Nick Mason) have done some one-off shows over the years, but it's not too late to give those younger fans one more chance to see one of Floyd's legendary live shows.
Steve Perry, Journey
There have been rumors for a long time that Perry's voice isn't what it used to be, which is why the singer hasn't released any new solo material in nearly 20 years. Perry's camp has denied that there is anything wrong with his voice, but even if there is a vocal issue, a reunion is still eminently doable. Arnel Pineda, the current lead singer of the band, has been a nice story, so keep him around to help supplement Perry. It's a little late to cash in on the hype that Glee created, but the band still might actually be more popular now than they were in their '80s heyday.
Dennis DeYoung, Styx
At the very least, this one would make Adam Sandler, an unabashed fan of the "Mr. Roboto" group, happy. DeYoung, who handled vocals on most of the band's biggest hits like "The Best of Times" and "Come Sail Away," has continued to perform Styx material in his shows and the other members of the group have long been on the fair and festival circuit. Sure, DeYoung sued the others at one time over the use of the band's name, but lawsuits are as much a part of the music industry as guitars. A reunion would at least upgrade them to the top county fairs in the country.
Veteran rocker Peter Frampton and blues star Buddy Guy were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Tennessee on Tuesday night (28Jan14). The British guitarist was one of 12 stars awarded medals at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium ahead of a celebratory concert, and there were also posthumous honours for Roy Orbison and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Also inducted during Tuesday's ceremony were Randy Bachman from Bachman Turner Overdrive, country singer Barbara Mandrell, country musician Jimmy Capps, and guitarists Corki Casey O'Dell, Velma Smith and Will Lee.
Posthumous inductions went to Vaughan and his blues rock band Double Trouble and pedal steel guitarist Ben Keith.
Speaking after the induction ceremony, Bachman says, "I don't like the word rock star or superstar. I am a guitar player, a songwriter who got lucky because I stayed at it and didn't give up, long enough that people noticed me."
Orbison received the Iconic Riff Award posthumously for his song Oh, Pretty Woman.
Despite being designed to award artists for the greatest achievements in music, the Grammy Awards have become more about the performances than the actual prizes in recent years, and 2014 was no exception. Although they only gave out 10 trophies on air, the show ran an hour and a half over, filled with performers from every genre of music, featuring legends and newcomers alike. From Beyonce to Macklemore to Pink, everyone tried to have the biggest, the best, or the most spectacular performance of the night, and so we thought it only fair to reward their efforts with some awards of our own.
Best Indicator of What the 2015 Grammys Will Look Like - Beyonce and Jay ZDon't pretend that you haven't already learned this routine. Her surprise, self-titled album came out too late to be eligible for this year's awards, but Beyonce still had the honors of kicking the night off, and she did so with a performance of "Drunk In Love" with a performance the blended Flashdance with the "Cell Block Tango," and served as an excellent preview of what to expect from next year's show, when she will likely be nominated in every category she's eligible for (and probably a few she's not). If this is what the future holds for the Grammys, we're completely on board.
Most Likely to Be Your Dad's Favorite Performance - Paul McCartney and Ringo StarrLast night's awards spent a lot of time celebrating the legacy of The Beatles and their influence on music, including two separate performances by the group's two living alumni, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. First Starr busted out his best "dad at a wedding" dance moves for a rendition of his latest single, "Photograph," and then, after a long-winded intro from Julia Roberts, he joined McCartney and his technicolor piano for "Queenie Eye." We're all for honoring musical legends, but it seemed pretty clear that these two performances were aimed squarely at the middle-aged father demographic. On the bright side, though, we're glad to have found out that we have a lot of the same dance moves as Yoko Ono.
The "Pay Attention, Gentlemen" Award - John LegendJohn Legend busted out all of his smoothest moves to perform his latest single "All of Me," including several meaning ful camera pans to where his wife, Chrissy Teigen was sitting in the audience. Teigen was conveniently the only person sat under a spotlight, which allowed him to ensure that the entire world knew exactly who inspired his heartfelt ballad. That sound you heard in the middle of the song last night? That was women all around the world, smacking their boyfriends and husbands in the arm, and demanding to know why they can't be as romantic as Legend.
Most Likely to Make You Dance Around Your Bedroom - Daft Punk, Nile Rogers, Pharrell Williams, and Stevie WonderIt's a testament to "Get Lucky" that even when Pharrell swapped out his absurd, giant Mountie hat for one that was somehow bigger and weirder, everyone was too busy getting down to notice. And we do mean everyone: from Beyonce and Jay Z to Steven Tyler to Yoko Ono to Bruno Mars, everyone stopped what they were doing the second that bass line kicked in and danced, and for five minutes, the Grammys stopped being a long slog of commercials and piano ballads and felt like a proper celebration.
Best Tribute to a Previous Performance - PinkIn 2010, Pink gave one of the most memorable Grammy performances of all time, when she sang "Glitter in the Air" while in midair, performing tricks on aerial silks. This year, she decided to pay tribute to to that performance by busting out the aerial tricks on more time to sing "Try." Unfortunately, all of the incredible flips and spins only served as a reminder of how much the previous instance blew everyone away, and left most people feeling as if they were experiencing deja vu. However, she did help guilt everyone watching into renewing their gym membership, so she still comes out on top.
Bonus: Best Supporting Moustache - Nate Ruess. We don't know what possessed the lead singer of fun. to grow that facial hair, but it only served to distract everyone from the powerhouse vocal competition that was happening between him and Pink when they duetted on "Just Give Me a Reason."
Performance of the Night That Nobody Saw Coming - Kendrick Lamar and Imagine DragonsWhen it was first announced that Kendrick Lamar would be performing with Imagine Dragons, everyone was skeptical of what would result. Sure, the Grammys are all about surprising collaborations, but it seemed impossible for these two artists to mesh well. Turns out that we were all wrong: once they hit the stage, the audience both at home and in the arena woke up, and their mash up of "Radioactive" and "MAAD City" was the most exciting, addicting, memorable performance of the night. For five minutes, it seemed like the Grammys finally lived up to their promise and delivered something worthy of "the biggest night in music."
Most Unfortunate Performance Slot - Kacey MusgravesBeing the next big country star wasn't enough to save Kacey Musgraves from the thankless task of attempting to follow Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons. Before anyone had the chance to recover from having the roof blown off the Staple Center, everything immediately shifted to Musgraves, who performed her hit single "Follow Your Arrow." If she had performed at any other point in the evening, everyone would have been able to appreciate the song's clever lyrics and sweet message, but the abrupt tonal shift didn't accommodate her charm and left everyone feeling slightly underwhelmed. At least she has two shiny Grammy awards to take comfort in.
Best Guest Appearance - Queen LatifahWhen it came time for them to perform their hit song, "Same Love," Macklemore and Ryan Lewis decided to make some history by marrying 32 couples, both straight and gay, on air at the Grammys. Unfortunately for them, their touching performance was overshadowed by the presence of Queen Latifah as the officiant. She didn't do much other than invite the couples to exchange rings, and then pronounce them to be married, but somehow, in that short period of time, she managed to steal the show with nothing but sheer enthusiasm and a great dress. Not even Madonna could drag anyone's attention from the Queen, and couples all around the world put in requests to have her officiate their weddings as well.
Runner Up: Ryan Lewis, the silent, mysterious counterpoint to Macklemore, who popped up at random points throughout the performance to help guide people to their mark. Part producer, part choreographer, all enigma.
Most Cathartic Head-Banging - Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift won the Battle of the Melancholy Piano Ballads with a performance of "All Too Well," arguably the best song on her album Red, and the exact moment of victory came when she started whipping her hair back and forth as the song build up the the bridge. Swift gets a lot of flack for her dancing, but her head banging may be her best move of all - at once cathartic, ridiculous and a little bit melodramatic, it embodies everything that a good break up song should.
Most Likely to Remind You to Catch Up on Sleepy Hollow - Katy Perry and Juicy J Well, now we know what's on Katy Perry's DVR. The pop star took her new song "Dark Horse" in a distinctly witchier direction last night, with a performance that included skeletal trees, wishing wells, and a pole dancing routine performed on oversized broomsticks, all of which served to answer that eternal question: how do 18th century witches feel about hip hop beats? It might have seemed like an odd aesthetic choice at first, but it was one of the most visually stunning performances of the night. However, we do feel like she missed a trick by not having Juicy J dress up as Ichabod Crane. If anyone can pull off those giant gold buttons, it's him.
Biggest Middle Finger From CBS - Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Lindsey Buckingham, and Dave Grohl One of the most hyped performances of this year's Grammys featured Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age teaming up with Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham and Dave Grohl to close out the night and bring the house down. Unfortunately for fans who sat through the entire evening in anticipation, the performance was interrupted by random ads and the credits started rolling halfway through Queens of the Stone Age's song. That the Grammys decided to cut everyone off halfway through was surprising, considering the amount of press the collaboration had gotten in the run up to the awards, but interrupting one of the few exciting, energetic performances really added insult to injury. We're not the only ones upset, either - Reznor tweeted about being upset later in the night.
"I just want to put on a fantastic long black dress and have beautiful hair and wind and really high heels. I just want to walk through the beautiful white house and say 'Hello, witches!' So, I get to New Orleans and I get this script and it is not just me walking through... I'm going, 'Do they know that I'm not an actress? Has anybody told them that I've never, ever done anything like this in my whole life?'" Stevie Nicks admits her acting skills were really put to the test on the set of TV drama American Horror Story: Coven. Her episode aired in America on Wednesday night (08Jan14).
The Pixies are heading back to Israel next summer (14), four years after they axed a concert in Tel Aviv over security fears. The Gigantic hitmakers pulled out of a planned appearance at the Pic.Nic festival back in 2010, following a deadly raid carried out by the country's military forces on a flotilla of ships carrying aid supplies to Palestine.
Nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed in the incident, and although the rockers themselves did not specify their reasons for the cancellation, local organisers claimed it was related to the ongoing violence.
However, promoters from Israel's Nidar Oz publicity group reveal the Pixies are finally planning to make it up to fans by performing with Soundgarden in Tel Aviv on 17 and 18 June (14).
The tour will be the Pixies' first with their new bassist, Argentine/American musician Paz Lenchatin - who became their third in less than six months after recently firing Kim Shattuck, who replaced long-term member Kim Deal in the summer (13).
Musicians have been facing increased pressure in recent years to call off shows in Israel due to the continuing conflict with Palestine over the Gaza strip. Rocker Roger Waters has been leading a boycott of Israel and has previously won the support of artists like Stevie Wonder and Elvis Costello, who have both cancelled gigs in the country.
Stevie Wonder turned his annual holiday benefit into a star-studded affair on Saturday (21Dec13) as he performed his classic double album Songs In The Key Of Life in its entirety, with a little help from the likes of John Mayer and Herbie Hancock. The Superstition legend delighted guests at the House Full of Toys gala by revisiting the 37-year-old album with many of the same bandmembers who had played on the original 1976 release.
Opening the show, he told the crowd, "Truly, I wanted to do this for years... but it felt like it was meant to be right now."
He was joined by a slew of musicians throughout the three-hour-long show, including Mayer on guitar for All Day Sucker, singer India.Arie on Saturn and R&B veteran Joe on tracks like Love's in Need of Love Today.
Wonder also reunited with Hancock for As, and recruited jazz musician Esperanza Spalding to play an upright bass for segments of the gig, which featured a nine-minute-long rendition of Isn't She Lovely, complete with an extended harmonica solo, reports RollingStone.com.
In between songs, the soul icon paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela and even brought young members of his family onstage to join him in the spotlight.
The string of collaborations took place two days after he teamed up with Bon Jovi rocker Richie Sambora to perform a duet on Silent Night at the 2013 Hollywood Christmas Parade.
The musicians entertained fans with a performance of popular Christmas carol Silent Night as part of the annual holiday event, and the Bon Jovi guitarist couldn't believe his luck.
He says, "It is almost beyond words. He was the guy that I emulated when I was a boy, and he taught me how to sing. It was an honour to meet your teacher. The first thing I did was whisper in his ear, 'I'm sure you get this a lot, but you were my inspiration as a singer.' The first thing he said is (sic), 'You do the first verse!'"
Stevie Nicks was left devastated by the death of Glee star Cory Monteith and penned a letter to his girlfriend Lea Michele following his passing. The Fleetwood Mac star was a huge fan of the Golden Globe-winning series long before show creator Ryan Murphy decided to devote a whole episode to her band's hit album Rumours in 2011.
Nicks met the entire cast when she visited the set, and was able to watch Naya Rivera, Heather Morris and guest star Gwyneth Paltrow cover her iconic song, Landslide.
So when Nicks found out about Monteith's death from a drug overdose in July (13), she felt compelled to reach out to his heartbroken girlfriend and co-stars.
She tells Rolling Stone, "I was devastated when Cory Monteith died. I wrote a letter to the cast, and I wrote a letter to Lea Michele. I tried to be of some solace."
Nicks' friendship with Murphy and his producing partner Brad Falchuk continued behind the camera, and when they approached her to guest star on their other hit show, American Horror Story, she found the offer impossible to decline.
She explains, "I couldn't say no. I could say, 'I'm not an actress, so it's going to suck - but I will be glad to try, for you... I don't want to be bad at anything that I do that people see.
"If I try to learn to skate and I'm terrible, nobody's going to know about it. But it was really fun. I now belong to a very secret society. And you'll be surprised - not with my terrific acting, but with the whole thing."
From the '90s to the present, the neo-soul movement has been the springboard for everyone from Maxwell, Macy Gray, and Erykah Badu to John Legend, Anthony Hamilton, and Raheem DeVaughn. The roll call of key influences should be familiar by now, mostly containing ubiquitous, iconic figures like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Al Green, but there's one man who's equally seminal to neo-soul despite never achieving anything near the star status of the aforementioned artists: Donny Hathaway. Fortunately, the first-ever domestic box set of Hathaway's work, Never My Love: The Anthology, has now appeared via the always-worthy Rhino Records, and not only does it underscore the weighty debt owed to the late Hathaway by subsequent generations of soulsters, it expands his regrettably slim discography with two discs' worth of previously unheard music.
Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Hathaway released only four studio albums during his too-short life: three on his own and one in a duo with Roberta Flack. For whatever reason, Hathaway/Flack duets like "The Closer I Get" and "Where is the Love" became huge hits while Hathaway's solo work mostly achieved only middling commercial success. The four-disc box includes one CD compiled from Hathaway's albums, one containing collaborations with Flack, another featuring demos of never-before-heard songs, and one full of previously unreleased live recordings from 1971. The breadth and depth encompassed by this set is almost shocking, and the anthology is an overdue monument to the mighty artistry of this mercurial genius.
The demos disc is the most revelatory, as its contents highlight not only Hathaway's vision but also his eclecticism. "A Lot of Soul," for instance, is a country stroll (don't let the title fool you), while the "ZYXYGY Concerto" is a full-on neo-classical piece, with Hathaway's piano leading the way for a full orchestra. The live disc was recorded at New York's tiny-but-influential Greenwich Village club The Bitter End (other tracks from Hathaway's three-night '71 run at the venue have been previously unearthed). Listening to Hathaway and his band -- which includes killer players like guitarist Cornell Dupree, bassist Willie Weeks, and Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White -- lock in on a slow-burning soul stirrer like Al Kooper's "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" or a free-for-all funkfest like "Voices Inside (Everything is Everything)" can be downright epiphany-inducing.
The mentally unstable Hathaway left us at the age of 33; seemingly off his meds for too long, he began acting irrationally at a 1979 session, and later that day he leaped out a window to his death, ending his story far too soon. But with the arrival of Never My Love, hopefully those who have never had the same opportunity to embrace him that his many musical disciples have maximized can begin to play catch-up.