Gloria Estefan, Cyndi Lauper and Kenneth 'babyface' Edmonds have been nominated for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Linda Perry and Jerry Garcia are also on the shortlist.
The inductees will be announced at a ceremony in New York next summer (15).
Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame honours those whose work represents "a spectrum of the most beloved songs from the world’s popular music songbook"
Songwriter Johnny Mercer and publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond founded the organisation.
Past inductees have included Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland, Desmond Child, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Isaac Hayes and David Porter, Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Diane Warren and Leonard Cohen.
Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan has won a slew of solid reviews for her West End debut in Speed-The-Plow, with critics hailing her performance as "perfectly creditable" and insisting she has "real presence" on stage.
The Mean Girls star faced the notoriously tough theatre critics on the opening night of the show at London's Playhouse Theatre on Thursday night (02Oct14), and garnered a largely positive response. The Guardian's Michael Billington branded the production "tame" and "under-powered" but insisted Lohan was on top form, writing, "Lindsay Lohan gives a perfectly creditable performance in this revival of David Mamet's acerbic, anti-Hollywood satire. Whatever her colorful past, Lohan brings on stage a quality of breathless naivety that is far and away the most interesting thing in (the show)... She holds the stage with ease and doesn't let the side down."
Paul Taylor of The Independent was also impressed with Lohan's stage debut, writing, "Given the circumstances and the glare of publicity, it would have been understandable if she had succumbed to traumatic mutism at tonight's press performance, so it's good to report that she was completely on top of the script... Bravo to Lindsay Lohan for... turning in a deftly delineated characterization... She has real presence."
The Daily Express' Simon Edge adds, "She has a reputation as a director's nightmare who doesn't turn up to rehearsals back home, so much the better: who wouldn't pay to see a historic A-list car-crash?... I'm sorry to be the bearer of disappointing tidings, but pile-up it ain't."
Dominic Cavendish of the Daily Telegraph concludes, "Lindsay Lohan... made her stage debut with a surprising - and smouldering - degree of style. True, she fluffed a line and needed an off-stage prompt - but given the pressure to prove herself, that's just-about pardonable... She delivers enough of the goods... to hold her head up high."
Lohan ended the show by showering the audience with gold glitter and later attended a star-studded press night afterparty at London's National Liberal Club. Her mother Dina was in the crowd for the opening night show after flying in from New York for the occasion.
Paul Simon joined U.S. chat show host Conan O'Brien's George Harrison tribute week on Tuesday (24Sep14) when he performed the late Beatle's Here Comes The Sun and then joined O'Brien to chat about his old pal. Harrison superfan O'Brien opened his Harrison Week with a performance from Beck and he'll close the tributes with appearances by Norah Jones and the dead star's son Dhani.
The Boxer singer Paul Simon will tackle The Bard onstage in Los Angeles after joining the cast of this year's (14) Simply Shakespeare event. The one-off reading of William Shakespeare's As You Like It, organised by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, will hit the Freud Playhouse next week (22Sep14) and will also feature William Shatner, Steve Carell and Martin Short. Proceeds will benefit the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles.
Actress Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy has ended her romance with Paul Simon's musician son Harper after less than a year. The Newsroom star, daughter of attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., began dating Harper Simon after meeting him at a party in Morocco last year (13), but they have called time on their relationship, reports the New York Post.
Kennedy, who is the great-niece of assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy, was previously linked to her The Newsroom co-star Thomas Matthews.
British pop group S Club 7 have officially agreed to reunite as a seven-piece. The Reach hitmakers split in 2003 after five years together and have been dogged by comeback rumours in recent months.
Three of the members, Jo O'Meara, Paul Cattermole and Bradley McIntosh, began touring small venues in the U.K. under the name S Club 3 in 2008 and were joined by Tina Barrett earlier this year (14).
Now, the remaining three members - Rachel Stevens, Hannah Spearritt and Jon Lee - have agreed to link up for a full band reunion. Their creator Simon Fuller, the former manager of the Spice Girls, will also be supporting their comeback.
A source tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "The seven have had a lot of big money offers over the years but they only feel the time is right now... Simon wants this comeback to be even bigger than Take That or (British pop group) Steps."
Rock icon Billy Joel is set to be honoured with America's prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
The Piano Man star has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Library of Congress award, which is named after iconic composer George Gershwin and celebrates the lifetime achievements of a living musical artist.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington says, "Billy Joel is a storyteller of the highest order. There is an intimacy to his songwriting that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he shares through music. When you listen to a Billy Joel song, you know about the people and the place and what happened there. And while there may be pain, despair and loss, there is ultimately a resilience to it that makes you want to go to these places again and again."
"Importantly, as with any good storyteller, the recognition experienced in a Billy Joel song is not simply because these are songs we have heard so many times, but because we see something of ourselves in them."
A flattered Joel adds, "The great composer, George Gershwin, has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career and the Library's decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member will be presented with the accolade at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in November (14).
Previous recipients include Paul Simon, Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Carole King, who made history last year (13) as the first woman to ever claim the Gershwin Prize.
Paul Weller has joined former The Verve rocker Simon Tong in the studio for a collaboration. The former The Jam frontman teamed up with Tong, who left The Verve in 1999, to perform on a single by his band Erland And The Carnival.
Weller played guitar and sang backing vocals on the track called Quiet Love, which will appear on the group's new album Closing Time.
Speaking about the tune, Tong says, "It has a slight George Harrison feel, and it helped sway us to add strings to the album."
Weller is not the first high-profile musician Tong has worked with - he temporarily joined Blur to replace guitarist Graham Coxon and later worked with frontman Damon Albarn in Gorillaz and in supergroup The Good, The Bad & The Queen.
Veteran rocker Sting took to the stage to sing with the cast on the opening night of his new musical The Last Ship in Chicago, Illinois. The Police star's show opened at the city's Bank of America Theatre on Wednesday (25Jun14) ahead of its planned Broadway debut in October (14), and the rocker was in the audience with his wife Trudie Styler.
At the end of the performance, Sting took to the stage for the curtain call and led the cast in a song, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
Other stars who turned out for the musical's opening included Paul Simon, James Taylor, Styx singer Dennis DeYoung and AC/DC's Brian Johnson.
The show received mixed reviews from critics, who questioned whether the production, set in a doomed shipyard in Sting's hometown in the north of England, could draw in audiences on Broadway.
Steven Oxman of variety writes, "Do you want to live for two-and-a-half hours in a beautifully sad song?... The show currently works as a collection of songs in search of a complete story, or perhaps as a concept album - filled with mood and emotion and character and sensibility, but swaying as it takes on specifics. What seems to be missing is a driving conflict."
The Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones adds, "(Many) scenes... still have the air of a semi-staged concept album... The Last Ship already is a worthy and earnest musical, but we know how Broadway loves to take those down. Just look at last season."
Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Business Journal concludes, "Most of the theatre crowds in the early going at least will probably have come to hear Sting's music for the show. Fans of his work may find that much of it sounds familiar and pleasant to hear performed in a theatrical setting. But hardcore theatre buffs will soon realise Sting's style of music - for the most part - simply doesn't sit comfortably in a big Broadway musical context."
Singer Josh Groban is working on a new album featuring music from movies and stage shows. The You Raise Me Up hitmaker's latest project will include familiar tracks from well-known productions, as well as songs from more obscure shows including Paul Simon's The Capeman and Chess by Abba's Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice.
He tells Billboard.com, "Since I was 13 years old, I have wanted to record a film and stage songs album. The nice thing about a film and stage album is that you have so many songs. It's a matter of demoing them, seeing which are right for me and for the continuity of the album.
"The test is whether I can tell a story and whether or not my voice fits the story. There are plenty of shows where the songs are gems, but never got their fair share. I think Paul Simon's The Capeman is a show that just needed a little more time. We're desperate for great new shows."