George Donaldson, lead singer of Celtic Thunder, has died at the age of 46. The frontman of the Irish singing group passed away at his home in Glasgow, Scotland on Wednesday (12Mar14) following a heart attack.
Donaldson joined the group in 2007 and they performed around the world, with highlights including St. Patrick's Day parades across America and an Irish celebration at the White House.
He was also a successful solo artist, winning Irish Music awards in both 2011 and 2012. His first solo album, The White Rose, was released to critical acclaim in 2011.
Celtic Thunder were due to tour Australia in May (14). The musicians have decided to continue the tour as a homage to their bandmate.
Stevie Nicks will hit the stage with her pals in Lady Antebellum at the upcoming 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. The Fleetwood Mac singer and the Need You Now hitmakers became fast friends while working on a TV special together last year (13) and now the quartet will team up again on country music's big night.
They will join Eric Church, Toby Keith, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line and The Band Perry as performers at the ceremony, which will be staged at the MGM Grant Garden Arena in Las Vegas on 6 April (14).
Reunited new romantic band Spandau Ballet played its first concert in America in almost three decades on Wednesday (12Mar14) when singer Tony Hadley and his bandmates performed at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. The British band is at the festival promoting new documentary Soul Boys of the Western World, which chronicles the group's rise in the 1980s, and the stars hit the stage at the Vulcan Gas Co. venue for a hits-filled set, featuring songs like To Cut a Long Story Short, True and Gold.
The gig followed the premiere of the new George Hencken film, which features archival footage which traces the bandmembers' roots in London to their international success and their performance as part of Live Aid in 1985.
Spandau Ballet were forced to abandon a U.S. tour the same year - the last time they played in America - after saxophonist Steve Norman injured his knee.
The group's return to America was marred by a festival tragedy on Wednesday night (12Mar14) when a suspected drunk driver ploughed into a crowd of music fans outside an X concert, killing a man and a woman and injuring 23 others.
Rocker Jimmy Page is set to receive an honorary degree from the Berklee College of Music. The Led Zeppelin star will be feted at a ceremony on 10 May (14) at Boston University's Agganis Arena in Massachusetts.
In an email to RollingStone.com, Page writes, "It's truly an honour to be the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate at Berklee as the music of America has been a primary driving force in my early years and pivotal to my musical development."
Jazz pianist Geri Allen, singer/songwriter Valerie Simpson and jazz trumpeter Thara Memory will be celebrated alongside Page.
Past Berklee honourees include David Bowie, Carole King, Loretta Lynn and George Clinton.
British pop star Boy George has defended his decision to attend the BRIT Awards last month (Feb14) sporting a fake bruise on his face, insisting the stunt garnered him "more publicity than people who won awards". The Culture Club singer hit headlines after he walked the red carpet at the music prizegiving in London wearing make-up designed to look as though he had been beaten up, and the stunt sparked criticism from many fans.
He subsequently wrote in a post on his Twitter.com page, "There's something sexy about a shiner and a quiff."
However, Boy George is unrepentant about the controversial move, and admits he was pleased with the amount of attention he garnered.
He tells the Sydney Daily Telegraph, "Why do you think I went to the BRIT Awards with a bruise on my eye? I got more publicity than people who won awards. I was on the news. Still got it! You don't have to do much these days. People are quite boring. Artists don't have opinions any more."
Pop superstar George Michael baffled the star-studded crowd at his record launch party this week (beg03Mar14) when he failed to show up to unveil his first album in 10 years. The Faith hitmaker is gearing up for the release of his sixth solo record, Symphonica, his first since 2004's Patience, and stars including Spandau Ballet's Martin Kemp, Irish singer Ronan Keating, and actor Rupert Everett attended the launch event at Hamiltons Gallery in London on Tuesday (04Mar14).
However, Michael was noticeably absent from the party.
A representative for the star was unable to offer an explanation for the no-show, saying, "He hasn't given a reason for not attending the launch, but he is working on a further studio album and was probably busy with that."
Soul singer Claudia Lennear has been given a big career boost following her appearance in Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom - David Bowie has offered to write her next project. Lennear joined the likes of Darlene Love and Judith Hill in Morgan Neville's 2013 film, which followed the lives of backing singers to the stars, after previously working with artists including Ike and Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, George Harrison and Leon Russell.
She was also said to have inspired the Rolling Stones' Brown Sugar hit in 1971 and Bowie's Lady Grinning Soul in 1973.
Lennear now reveals she recently reconnected with the legendary Space Oddity star days before Sunday's (02Mar14) Oscars ceremony and received a welcome proposal.
She tells the New York Post's Page Six column, "I got a call from David Bowie out of the blue... He told me he wanted to write my next project. I couldn't believe it when I first heard his voice. We haven't seen each other in 20 years."
She adds, "I am not sure what my next project will be... but I will definitely hold David to his promise."
20 Feet From Stardom was named Best Documentary, Feature at the Academy Awards.
Country legend Tammy Wynette's daughters are campaigning to have their late mum's stage moniker put back on her tombstone after it was changed to her married name of Virginia W. Richardson in 2012. The Stand By Your Man singer died in 1998, but two years ago, the inscription on her tombstone at Nashville's Woodlawn Cross Mausoleum in Tennessee was altered at the request of some of her family members.
The name currently on her crypt is in honour of her husband at the time of her death, George Richey, whose birth name was Richardson.
However, Wynette's four daughters, including country singer Georgette Jones Lennon, have now called upon fans to join a Facebook.com group called A Restoration - Tammy Wynette's Name and Legacy, in order to show support for their efforts.
In an interview with local newspaper The Tennessean, Lennon explains, "We're hoping that we can go to court and be able to ask for her name to be returned back to the way that it should be.
"Mum worked so long for her fans and her family and for that name. She was very proud of what she accomplished and we know that so many people appreciate her and her music and we just want to be able to restore thing the way they should be."
Lennon, who is Wynette's daughter from her marriage to country icon George Jones, would not go into the details of the battle, other than revealing that she and her siblings are at odds with their step-sister, Richey's daughter, Deirdre Richardson Hale, who owns the crypt.
Lennon adds, "Unfortunately we were misled and her name was changed in the first place, assuming it would be temporary. It has gone on for so long and there's no logical or reasonable explanation that we can't change it back.
"We've not been able to get her (Hale) to change the name, so we're hoping that we'll be able to gather support and eventually if she doesn't change it and it takes a court order, then were hoping to be able to do that."
The Facebook group currently has 2,5000 members showing their support for Lennon's campaign.
Music stars including Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson, singer Lianne La Havas, and rapper Plan B have backed a campaign to save a historic London gig venue from closure. The George Tavern in Stepney, east London is under threat after developers were given the green light to turn a nearby building into luxury apartments, and the pub's owners fear complaints about noise from gigs will force them to close the venue.
The pub's landlady Pauline Forster launched a petition in a bid to save the pub, and she has won the support of numerous music stars, including Wilson and La Havas, as well as Plan B, who featured the venue in his movie Ill Manors.
Wilson, who attended a gig at the George Tavern on Sunday night (02Mar14) in support of contestants from his TV talent show The Voice, says of the battle to save the pub, "Live music is something this country should be very proud of. It does not start on the television screen, it starts on a sticky carpet in front of a dusty curtain."
Stars from other areas of the entertainment industry have also backed the fight, including acting veteran Sir Ian McKellen and model Georgia May Jagger, who has been pictured sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan 'Save The George Tavern'.
The petition had garnered more than 2,000 signatures on Monday (03Mar14).
Comedian George Lopez poked fun at his own drunken antics during his stand-up show in Canada on Friday (28Feb14), a day after he was arrested for public intoxication. The 52 year old was taken into custody late on Thursday (27Feb14) after security officials at the Caesars Windsor resort in Ontario found him passed out on the floor of their casino.
No charges were filed and Lopez was released hours later after sobering up, and he made light of his run-in with the law during his comedy show at the Caesars Windsor venue on Friday night, reports TMZ.com.
Addressing the controversy at the start of the gig, he told the audience, "Tied one on (got drunk) last night. Not feeling great this morning. I was trying to sleep it off - unfortunately, it was on the casino floor."
He then went on to joke, "I just did in Windsor, what Justin Bieber does in America", referring to the pop superstar's recent bad behaviour. The singer was arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in January (14) after he was caught drag-racing in Miami, Florida. He is also facing an assault charge relating to an alleged bust-up with a chauffeur in his native Canada.