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.
Legendary Beatles manager Brian Epstein has been honoured with a special blue plaque tribute in London. Eighties pop star Adam Ant and British actor Andrew Lancel, who portrayed the music mogul in biographical stage play Epstein - The Man Who Made the Beatles in 2012, were among the guests who attended Sunday's (29Jun14) unveiling at Sutherland House, where he ran his NEMS Enterprise management company.
Epstein, who is frequently referred to as the "Fifth Beatle", died from a drug overdose in 1967. The new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee would have turned 80 this September (14).
The blue plaques are placed by officials from The Heritage Foundation to mark significant historical sites across the U.K.
Bosses of Britain's legendary Cavern Club, where The Beatles were discovered, are heading for a court showdown over the venue's name. Owners of the underground concert hall in Liverpool, England are at war with chiefs of the Hard Rock Cafe chain over its branch in Boston, Massachusetts, which uses the name 'Cavern Club' for its games room.
The trademark row has been ongoing for 20 years, and now the owners of the Cavern Club in Liverpool, where The Beatles were first spotted by Brian Epstein in the early 1960s, are asking a judge in Florida to throw out the Hard Rock bosses' claim to the name.
Cavern Club director Dave Jones says, "It is absurd for a billiards room in Boston to be passed off as having anything whatsoever to do with the history and heritage of music's most famous club in the world."
Owners of the Hard Rock Corporation have registered the U.S. rights to use the 'Cavern Club' name at any of its branches, but bosses of the Liverpool venue have filed a lawsuit in Orlando, Florida, where the company is based, asking for the trademark to be lifted.
On Saturday Night Live, the cast member who anchors Weekend Update has always had a special role to fill on the show. Guaranteed a showcase, they are the one constant in an otherwise ever changing group of sketches.
The originator of the role, Chevy Chase, left after one season to find stardom in movies, setting an example that would be followed going forward: Weekend Update anchors moving on to bigger and better things. You may have heard of Chase's immediate successors — Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray — all of whom (along with Chase) continue working regularly in film and television 30-plus years later. But how about everyone else who's held the desk?
THE LOST YEARS
When first Jean Doumanian and then Dick Ebersol took over as executive producer after Lorne Michaels exited the show following the 1979 - '80 season, the segment went through a number of changes, including sometimes being called Newsbreak and Saturday Night News. The most prominent host during the early '80s was Brad Hall — known to most, now, as Julia Louis-Dreyfus' husband — who anchored from 1982 - '84. Many of the other anchors during that time — Charles Rocket, Christine Ebersole, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Mary Gross — did the segment for just a year (or less). Most members of this group have faded into the background, although Rocket, who famously dropped an F-bomb during a SNL sketch, made regular appearances on television and movies (Moonlighting, Dances with Wolves) until his death in 2005. Doyle-Murray (Bill's older brother) and Guest were established character actors before joining the show and didn't miss a beat after leaving. Doyle-Murray has been in everything from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation to ABC's The Middle, usually playing some variation of a blowhard. Guest most famously played the six-fingered Count Rugen in The Princess Bride and earned additional praise for directing ensemble comedies like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show.
THE GOLDEN AGE
Since Michaels took back the reins of SNL in 1985, the format of Weekend Update has remained largely unchanged and the comics that have sat behind the desk have become some of the biggest names in entertainment. But, who's having the best post-SNL career? Starting with the mid '80s, we rank them from worst to best below:
Kevin Nealon (1991 - '94) and Colin Quinn (1998 - 2000)
Most non-hardcore SNL fans would have difficulty remembering anything about either Nealon's or Quinn's stint on Update, so maybe it's not surprising that they've had the least success since leaving the show (although they've still done significantly better than most of the Ebersol folk). Quinn was a stand-up comic before the show and just returned to doing more of the same when he left. He did host a show on Comedy Central for a while, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. Nealon's biggest success came playing hapless accountant Doug Wilson on Showtime's Weeds. Each is friends with fellow SNL alum Adam Sandler, so Nealon and Quinn also show up occasionally doing cameos in Sandler's films. Lately, we've seen Quinn show up on episodes of Girls as a boss and friend of Alex Karpovsky's character Ray.
Norm Macdonald (1994 - '97)
Like Quinn, Macdonald came to SNL with an established background in stand-up. He had the good fortune to be behind the desk during the O.J. Simpson arrest and trial, which provided endless fodder for the comedian… and possibly led to his dismissal after running afoul of NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer, a friend of Simpson. Macdonald had his own sitcom on ABC for three years (Norm), and keeps a steady schedule of stand-up dates. Besides doing voice-over and commercial work, he's also a frequent guest of Conan O'Brien and, like Quinn and Nealon, has a habit of showing up in movies that Sandler produces.
Seth Meyers (2006 - '14)
Meyers sat behind the Weekend Update desk longer than anyone, and is the only anchor that worked both solo and with a partner. He has only been gone a few months, so it's hard to grade him, but he's off to a rousing start as the host of NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers, maintaining his 30 Rock residence and boss Michaels. We're rooting for you, Seth.
Dennis Miller (1985 - '91)
Miller was the one responsible for returning Update back to something closer to Chase's original version. Unlike most of the others, Miller's sole role on the show was hosting the fake news segment, very rarely taking part in any of the show's sketches. Miller also might be the most controversial of the former anchors. After leaving SNL, he hosted Dennis Miller Live on HBO from 1994 - 2002, winning five Emmys. He also did a disastrous two-season stint as a commentator on ABC's Monday Night Football. After 2001, Miller's political views became increasingly conservative, leading to him to a gig at Fox News with a regular spot on Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor. Since 2007, Miller has also hosted a syndicated radio show. Oddly, when Miller is on vacation his frequent fill-in both on radio and with O'Reilly is Macdonald.
Amy Poehler (2004 - '08)
One of the founders of the influential improv group Upright Citizens Brigade, Poehler joined with Tina Fey to form the first all-female team on Weekend Update, and the two have been joined together ever since. Poehler was such a powerful presence on the show that she managed to make an appearance on the segment by frequent target Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin come off as charming instead of forced. Since SNL, Poehler has starred in the movie Baby Mama and has done the voices for more animated characters than we can count. She also just completed her sixth season starring in NBC's Parks and Recreation. Time magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2011 and, oh yeah, and she has a little awards show hosting gig that she does with Fey.
Jimmy Fallon (2000 - '04)
Fallon teamed with Fey to turn Update back into a buzz-worthy segment, with the two of them trading quips at which Fallon would frequently crack up. He tried his hand at movies after leaving the show, starring in Fever Pitch with Drew Barrymore and Taxi with Queen Latifah. It was when he returned to television, however, that he really hit his stride. Starting with taking over for O'Brien on Late Night, Fallon has steadily grown into one of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry as a late night talk show host. In February, he took over for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, moving it back to New York from Los Angeles and earning accolades for his mix of goofy humor, music, and social media interaction.
Tina Fey (2000 - '06)
During her time on SNL, in addition to co-anchoring Update with first Fallon and then Poehler, Fey was the show's first female head writer. While still on the show, Fey wrote the hit teen comedy Mean Girls, and since leaving has starred in a group of comedies, including Baby Mama with Poehler and most recently Muppets Most Wanted. She wrote, produced, and starred in NBC's 30 Rock for seven seasons, and her book Bossypants was number one on the New York Times bestseller list for five weeks. She's won eight Emmys, most recently for her work hosting the Golden Globes with Poehler, and she was the youngest ever recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Dazzlingly smart and funny, it's hard to find many people that can match resumes with Fey.
Rock icons Brian May, Bill Wyman and Roger Daltrey joined artist Sir Peter Blake at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday (29Apr14) to unveil his new artwork. Blake, who created the iconic cover for The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, has made a new pop art piece similar to his most famous work.
The mural is a montage of almost 400 celebrities who have appeared at the renowned London venue from 1871 to the present day, including famous figures such as Nelson Mandela, Diana, Princess of Wales and the Dalai Lima. They rub shoulders with musicians ranging from The Beatles to Wyman's band The Rolling Stones and relative newcomers One Direction and Beyonce.
The rockers helped Blake present the artwork to the public, with The Who frontman Daltrey saying he loves the "energy of the mural".
Blake had not seen the print of the finished piece until its unveiling and confessed that, despite the scale of the artwork, it was easier to make than than his famous album cover thanks to digital advances.
He says, "I've only seen it on computer. Hi-def (high definition) images are just clearer and better. Sgt. Pepper was a much more laborious process. Each cut-out had to be printed up photographically and stuck down and hand-tinted. Now I'd do it on a computer obviously."
A choral singer collapsed and died at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles on Monday (14Apr14). Jeff Dinsmore, 42, passed out as he was making his way into rehearsals at the venue. He was pronounced dead at the scene after firefighters responded to an emergency call.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey tells the Los Angeles Times, "The person was beyond our help."
It is still under discussion whether performances will go ahead at the concert hall this week (beg14Apr14).
Joan Jett, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Lorde channelled the spirit of the late Kurt Cobain on Thursday (10Apr14) as they performed with the surviving members of Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Michael Stipe from R.E.M. paid tribute to the grunge stars as drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic were joined on the podium at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York by Cobain's mother and sister and his widow, Courtney Love.
The Hole frontwoman proved that any bad blood between her and the existing Nirvana duo was in the past by calling Grohl and Novoselic her "family" and hugging them both, before saying, "I just wish that Kurt was here to hear this and feel this and be this.
"Twenty years ago, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame maybe wasn't (something he'd appreciate), but today he would have appreciated it. He would have appreciated Krist and Dave... his mother and his sister being here..." She went on to dedicate Cobain's posthumous honour to their daughter, Francis Bean Cobain, who missed the ceremony due to illness.
Grohl and Novoselic then welcomed their female collaborators to rock out with them, with Jett taking charge of vocals on Smells Like Teen Spirit, Gordon joining the pair for Aneurysm, and St. Vincent singing Lithium. Royals hitmaker Lorde helped the band close out the Nirvana reunion with All Apologies, which served as the explosive finale of the near six-hour induction ceremony.
Earlier in the night, Bruce Springsteen saluted his longtime backing musicians the E Street Band, and took the time to remember each and every person who had ever been a part of the group, including late saxophonist Clarence Clemons and his sidekick and "consigliere", guitarist Steven Van Zandt. Soul icons Hall & Oates were inducted by The Roots drummer Questlove, but the singers' performance had to be briefly halted midway through a rendition of their 1976 classic She's Gone after experiencing technical problems.
There was no drama from KISS, who were introduced by Tom Morello, as the original line-up of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss reunited to join the Class of 2014, although they stuck to their vow not to perform after learning that Hall of Fame bosses would not be honouring current bandmates Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.
Meanwhile, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood and Stevie Nicks joined forces to honour Linda Ronstadt, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness, and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was on hand to praise former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel as a solo artist. Art Garfunkel celebrated the career of Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, and British producer Peter Asher helped to induct the Rolling Stones' former manager Andrew Loog Oldham and Beatles svengali Brian Epstein.
The Rolling Stones' former manager Andrew Loog Oldham has announced he'll be a no-show at Thursday's (10Apr14) Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony after learning museum bosses have only allocated five minutes of the show to honour him and fellow svengali Brian Epstein. The two music moguls will join KISS, Peter Gabriel, Nirvana, Hall & Oates and Linda Ronstadt among the Class of 2014, but Oldham plans to sit out the New York gala.
He recently told the audience during a talk at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership in Germany, "I think those people (Hall of Fame bosses) basically hijacked the name rock 'n' roll. I won't be there... It's a television show.
"Twenty years ago it was an incredible party in the Waldorf-Astoria... and then it became a business. I think it's healthier to stay home."
Asked to confirm he would not be a part of the ceremony by a fan last week (04Apr14), the 70 year old tweeted, "Like (the late) Brian Epstein I was not consulted as regards this matter & like dear Brian I will not be going (sic)."
He and Epstein are being inducted as non-performers as part of a Hall of Fame celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the original British Invasion as the Beatles and Stones conquered the U.S.
He adds, "The Hall has adjusted for the times and... I think it may have become an event for performers only and their fans. Rush last year, Nirvana and KISS this year. Now, for the Hall Of Fame to survive, it's gone 'Simon Cowell' and that, unless you are a Rush or KISS fan, is a shame."
Linda Ronstadt will also be a no-show at the induction ceremony after revealing she's too ill to travel to the event, and KISS founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have refused to perform after learning their current bandmates will not be honoured alongside them.
Oldham isn't the first inductee to boycott the event - Neil Young refused to turn up in 1997 when he was being honoured as a member of Buffalo Springfield and the Sex Pistols and Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose also stayed away when they were inducted.
British pop star Lily Allen showed off her risque side on stage at London's Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday night (01Apr14) by donning a translucent top and nipple pasties for a charity concert. The singer, who is carving out a music comeback after taking time out to have two children, captured fans' attention at the City Rocks charity gig in the U.K. capital with her controversial costume choice.
Allen donned a vintage outfit, which included a see-through top exposing her bare breasts. She preserved some modesty by covering her nipples with stick-on pasties.
Taking to Twitter.com after the show, Allen shared snaps of her racy ensemble with fans, writing, "RAH (Royal Albert Hall) tonight at Cityrocks (sic), in (vintage clothing store) @williamvintage amazingness (sic). With a side of boob."
Sophie Ellis Bextor, The Feeling and Queen legend Brian May also took to the stage at the concert, which raised funds for Coram, a U.K. children's charity.
Rock legend Jimmy Page's photographer daughter has launched a new exhibition featuring her shots of guitar greats like her dad, SLASH and Brian May. Scarlet Page's Resonators show, which started at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Monday (24Mar14), also features candid portraits of Sir Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller.
Sales of the framed photos will benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust.
The show coincides with the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts, which also began at the Albert Hall on Monday. The exhibition will run for a month.