Def Leppard rocker Joe Elliott has paid tribute to Grammy Award-winning studio engineer and producer Mike Shipley following his death. Shipley was best known for his work with 1980s hard rock and heavy metal bands like Aerosmith, Van Halen, Scorpions, Ratt, Winger, Whitesnake and Def Leppard, and made a name for himself by mixing and producing anthologies and greatest hits albums for the likes of The Cars, Starship and Cheap Trick.
No further details about his death were available as WENN went to press, but Def Leppard frontman Elliott was among the first to pay tribute, saying in a statement, "I'm devastated to hear of the passing of Mike Shipley. He was a fantastic engineer and a good guy. Nothing got past him if it wasn't up to scratch, hence Leppard's nick name for him, 'bat ears'. From the High & Dry album in 1981 to the last thing we did together, 1993's Two Steps Behind he was a joy to work with. RIP Shippers."
Winger frontman Kip Winger adds in a post on Facebook.com, "He was a dear friend. Mike was a kind, generous, funny, supremely talented and skilled person. He taught me how to really make a record... This is a tragic loss to the world to say the least. I'll miss you Mike."
Thomas Dolby, who worked with Shipley on his 1984 album The Flat Earth, took to Twitter.com on Friday (26Jul13) to write, "Very shocked and sad to hear that Mike Shipley, mix engineer on The Flat Earth and Steve McQueen was found dead yesterday."
Other stars to offer up tributes to Shipley include Lisa Loeb and Michelle Branch, who called him "a nice guy and great talent".
Shipley received a Grammy Award for his work on Alison Krauss & Union Station's 2011 album Paper Airplane.
Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall, Kevin Bacon and David Coverdale have led the tributes to soul star Bobby 'blue' Bland following his death on Sunday (23Jun13). The veteran singer passed away at his home in Memphis, Tennessee after suffering complications from an undisclosed illness, and the news has prompted a flood of tributes from his famous fans.
Hucknall's first solo album away from his group was 2008's Tribute to Bobby, featuring songs recorded in honour of Bland, and he was devastated to hear of his idol's death.
A post on Simply Red's Facebook.com page reads, "Bobby Blue Bland - RIP dear friend. A great American, and a truly great singer. I will always love your wonderful music, Mick."
Bacon, who plays in The Bacon Brothers band with his sibling Michael, hailed Bland as his musical inspiration and recalled seeing him perform, writing in a post on Twitter.com, "Favourite musical memory. Seeing Bobby (Blue) Bland in a tiny little club. RIP Bobby Blue Bland."
The Roots star Questlove was also full of praise for Bland and pointed fans towards his song Heart of a City (Ain't No Love), which was used by Jay-Z on his 2001 album The Blueprint, writing, "Bobby Blue Bland (you youngin's (sic) know him for the Heart Of The City sample) much respect due."
A cover of the song also gave rockers Whitesnake one of their first hit records and frontman David Coverdale wrote in a post on Twitter.com, "So sad to hear of Bobby 'Blue' Bland's passing... An immense talent who was a huge inspiration to me..."
Former Guns N' Roses rocker Matt Sorum is close friends with the late star's son Rodd Bland and he reached out to his pal after hearing the sad news: "My heart goes out to friend Rodd Bland who lost his father the great Bobby Blue Bland today RIP."
Rodd Bland subsequently replied to Sorum, "Thank you. Is it ok that I list you as an honorary pallbearer? He knew how much I respected u (sic) & he dug the Buddy Rich track u (sic) did."
Welcome back to The Voice! With the departure of Dez Duron, Christina has become the first coach in the show’s history to see all her team members eliminated before the finale. Nevertheless, Xtina seems cheerful, though she is dressed all in black — and as I’ve learned from Downton Abbey, sequins and fishnets were traditional components of post-Edwardian mourning clothes. This week, the six remaining contestants will each perform twice — one song chosen by their coach, and another chosen by themselves.
Up first, Nicholas David performs a track picked by coach Cee Lo Green: Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “September.” Train’s Pat Monaghan covers for Cee Lo (who is out sick) in rehearsals this week. As Nicholas walks in, Pat warmly jokes, “I know you from TV.” Nick smiles blankly, and I am instantly sure that he — old-soul Minnesota hippie that he is — has no idea who Monaghan is. Gold.
Pat, who I’m surprised doesn't speak in falsetto, encourages Nicholas to take risks and explore the furthest reaches of his vocal range. After all, there is an entire verse of “Hey, Soul Sister” that only dogs can hear.
The disco energy represents a stylistic departure for Nicholas that I enjoy — but as Adam points out, he lets his background singers almost entirely handle the chorus, the clear highlight of the song. What would “September” be without its glorious bah dee ya’s?
With the success of her “Over You” cover in mind, Blake Shelton assigns Cassadee Pope another country song. She performs Rascal Flatts’ “Stand,” for which each audience member has been mysteriously equipped with a tampon-esque glowstick. She nails it, garnering rave reviews from the coaches — especially Christina, who has officially restyled herself as Cassadee’s “co-coach/supporter.”
Apparently concerned that all this country will make us forget how Punk Rock she is, Cassadee has incorporated blue streaks in her hair. I gather the bottle of dye must have been communal, because — up in the Sprint Skybox®™ — we see that Melanie Martinez’s trademark two-tone scalp is now half blue as well.
In a rare stroke of genius, Adam Levine asks Amanda Brown to perform “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.” The power, finesse, and exuberance she brings to the song are killer. I would pay money — several monies, even — to see this in concert. “There’s nothing I adore more than to see a woman feel natural,” Cee Lo comments, because it’s been a few weeks since he’s said something truly creepy.
Terry McDermott elects to perform Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is,” inspired by the loss of his mother. The pared-down production design suits the emotional gravity of the song: alone on a dark stage with only a cellist and pianist,Terry is visibly overcome with feeling as he sings. It’s certainly good, but by no means my favorite of Terry’s work (to be fair, I kind of can’t stand this song).
Another gem for the Blake highlight reel: He refers to that cello first as a “whatever that violin thing’s called,” and then as “a Cee Lo.”
Trevin Hunte takes on “Walking on Sunshine” (Cee Lo’s choice), resulting in the spontaneous formation of ska circles in living rooms across the country. We’ve seen the disaster that resulted from Trevin trading ballads for beats — remember Ushergate? — and similarly, I never would’ve guessed that such a poppy song would work for him.But that’s the reason why Cee Lo’s a coach on The Voice and I’m not (the only reason). It’s a charismatic, vibrant performance, and Trevin ably meets the challenges of the fast-paced original.
Melanie takes a risk with Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” — i.e., Cee Lo’s biggest hit that doesn't contain an expletive in its title. But what’s really crazy here is the staging: She plays a miniature pink keyboard with one hand, surrounded by faceless, guitar-holding mannequins with bows in their non-hair. It’s weird. The performance is a little pitchy, but her trademark coo is less overdone than usual.
I’m sure you have a long career ahead of you, Melanie, but promise me this — whatever your manager says, please don’t get your adorable teeth fixed. Dat diastema.
Terry is back with Rod Stewart’s “Stay with Me.” Well played, coach Blake. This is a smart choice: It’s a classic rock staple, but with the playfully dirty, bad-boy edge that asexually adorable Terry generally lacks. Unfortunately, the sound mixing seems slightly off, and McDermott’s voice blends too much into the rest of the track — it’s a fun song, but far from an ideal showcase of his talent.
In his second outing, Trevin takes on Jennifer Hudson’s “And I Am Telling You.” The man-diva (divo? Devo?) we fell for in the blind auditions has returned. This performance gives me goosebumps. I’m officially back on the Trevin train, and so is Christina, who promises to take him “under her wing” after the show’s over.
Coach Cee Lo feels so confident in Trevin’s chances that he requests “a moment of silence” to “mourn” the other contestants (awkward for teammate Nicholas David, don’t you think?). The season is over now. You can go home.
Adam attempts to recapture the rock-and-roll magic of Amanda Brown’s “Dream On” cover with Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again.” It’s good, and gritty, and she works the lady-falsetto like a pro.
For her second performance, Melanie offers Lenka’s “The Show,” chosen by Adam to highlight her “playful side.” Vocally, it’s a strong showing for Melanie (the song is a great fit), but I find everything else about this unsettling.
The set is straight out of Sesame Street. Hammy, grinning stagehands carry out giant painted cut-outs — a car, a sailboat, a rainbow — for Melanie to interact with. It’s way too cutesy, way too “little girl,” and even a bit disturbing, in a Baby Jane sort of way.
Part of the problem is that Melanie is obviously embarrassed — instead of playing up the props, she acts like her parents are making her pose for a lame face-in-hole photo at the county fair. God, Dad, leave me alone!
In other news, I’m increasingly convinced that the blue cup in front of Christina contains something stronger than water, as she has now resorted to singing her comments for attention.
Cassadee is back with her “dream song,” Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You.” This was inevitable. She reminds me so much of Avril; when “Cassadee” is finally eliminated, she’ll peel off her mask and wig to reveal her true Canadian superstar form.
It’s a nice cover — a string section and the country flair to Cassadee’s voice bring out the song’s sweetness. She’s probably not the best singer in the top six, but she might have the most commercial potential of all her competitors.
Nicholas David closes out the night with his mother’s favorite song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” It’s nice to see him back behind a piano, and he presents a gently funkified version that retains enough of the timeless original melody to be satisfying. But all of this pales in comparison to Cee Lo’s characteristically bizarre closing remarks, in which he wishes a happy birthday to someone named Mr. Beans.
Now go to bed, kids. Mama needs private time to watch Blake Shelton’s Not-So-Family Christmas Special, or as she has renamed it, 50 Shades of Blake.
The Voice returns tomorrow night at 8 p.m., when the two artists with the fewest audience votes will be eliminated. Follow Molly on Twitter @mollyfitz.
[Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC (2)]
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Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee seem to be making a consolidated effort to contribute to a circus-like atmosphere in the custody fight over their two children. Lee is now seeking "primary physical custody" of Brandon, 6, and Dylan, 5, because Anderson's judgment is impaired, according to TheSmokingGun.com. In a declaration filed April 9 in Los Angeles Superior court, Lee claims his ex-wife filed frivolous reports with the Department of Children and Family Services, alleging "serious misconduct" by Lee. How frivolous? Their oldest son scraped his face on the side of the Jacuzzi while playing with Lee at his Malibu home, and now Anderson is using the incident to try to restrict Lee's access to the children. A hearing to modify the custody provisions is scheduled for May 15.
Will Russian tennis vixen Anna Kournikova, who has not won a tournament in 101 attempts on the Women's Tennis Asspciation tour, win her battle with Penthouse? The magazine claims its June issue contains topless photos of Kournikova; she says the photos are fake. And she's suing to prove it, Reuters reports. Decide for yourself when the issue hits newsstands Tuesday.
Frasier star Kelsey Grammer has been ordered to pay his former talent agency $1.8 million in disputed commissions plus interest, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A federal court of appeals upheld an earlier decision from a Screen Actors Guild arbitration panel that maintained the Artists Agency was entitled to ongoing commissions from Grammer's television work after his contract expired in 1998 because the deals were negotiated while he was still a client.
Actress Tawney Kitaen, best remembered for wriggling around on the hood of a car in an '80s Whitesnake music video, has pleaded innocent to charges of domestic violence, The Associated Press reports. A June 3 pretrial hearing on two misdemeanor charges--corporal injury on a spouse and battery--is set for Kitaen, 40. Her husband is Cleveland Indians' pitcher Chuck Finley.
In the Biz
MGM and Bruce Willis' production company, Cheyenne Enterprises, have teamed up for a first-look deal for new movies and television projects from Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment, Variety reports. Superhero action pics already in consideration are The Femizons, The Double Man and Nightbird.
Director Tim Burton will direct Big Fish for Columbia Pictures, according to Variety. The film, an adaptation of the Daniel Wallace novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, focuses on a complicated father/son relationship.
After two successful seasons, HBO has decided to renew its funeral-home series Six Feet Under for another 13 episodes, Variety reports. The show won a Golden Globe for best drama in January and continues to be one of HBO's top-ranked shows.
The series finale of Fox's Ally McBeal, which airs May 20, will apparently feature former stars of the show, including Courtney Thorne-Smith, Lisa Nicole Carson and Gil Bellows, according to zap2it.com.
Former ESPN sports anchor Craig Kilborn has signed a contract extension that will keep him on as host of The Late, Late Show for at least two more years, the AP reports. Viewership is up 25 percent in Kilborn's 12:35 a.m. time slot since he began hosting the show in 1999.
Paul McCartney won a court order Monday preventing Christie's auction house from selling his handwritten lyrics to the song "Hey Jude," according to the AP. The former Beatle claims the lyrics, which were expected to fetch up to $116,000 at an auction Tuesday, disappeared from his west London home.
The group Creed has been forced to cancel the remaining dates on their tour after lead singer Scott Stapp was injured in a car accident in the Orlando, Fla., area, the AP reports. Other details were not immediately known, but a spokesman for the band said, "We don't want people to believe that this is a situation where Scott will not recover."
Grammy winner R. Kelly says he will fight a third civil lawsuit that claims he had sex with an underage girl, the AP reports. Lawyers for Kelly, who has settled two similar civil suits in the past, said that "the cash machine is closed."