Veteran singer Leonard Cohen has vowed to celebrate turning 80 by taking up smoking again. The Hallelujah singer, who gave up cigarettes after years of heavy smoking, celebrates the milestone birthday on Sunday (21Sept14) and will ring it in with a cigarette.
Speaking at a press event in New York City on Thursday (16Sept14), the singer told reporters, "Quite seriously, does anyone know where you can buy a Turkish or Greek cigarette? I'm looking forward to that first smoke. I've been thinking about that for 30 years. It's one of the few consistent strings of thoughts I've been able to locate."
Cohen will also celebrate his birthday by releasing his new album Popular Problems on Tuesday (23Sept14).
Greek singer Nana Mouskouri has been given a huge boost as she prepares for a series of comeback shows to mark her upcoming 80th birthday - old friend Leonard Cohen, who is also turning 80 next month (Oct14) has given her a rousing endorsement. The veteran is eyeing a return to the stage after retiring in 2008, with tour dates in England and Scotland planned for later this month (Sep14).
Mouskouri, who turns 80 on 13 October (14), admits she felt compelled to make a return to the limelight, telling WENN, "A world
without music wouldn't be the same, for me it's not possible."
She will perform at London's Royal Albert Hall, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Scotland and Manchester's Bridgewater Hall between 25 and 30 September (14), and Cohen, who is also planning a series of dates to promote his upcoming album Popular Problems, can't wait to see his old friend live.
The Hallelujah singer says, "You raised your voice in song. I heard you then and I hear you now. I am still listening. We all are. May you continue to be as you have always been - strong, clear, simple and true."
"Being a songwriter is like being a nun: you're married to a mystery. My methods are obscure and not to be replicated. A song will yield itself if you stick with it long enough. But you've got to stick with it for a very long time." Singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen admits he's a tortured artist.
Veteran singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen will celebrate his upcoming 80th birthday by releasing a new album. Popular Problems, his first studio release since Old Ideas in 2012, will hit music retailers on 22 September (14), a day after he marks the age milestone.
Leading Zen Buddhism icon Jushu Sasaki Roshi has died, aged 107. The teacher died on Sunday (27Jul14) at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Roshi arrived in Los Angeles over five decades ago and helped found a series of Zen centers, including one on Mount Baldy, where singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen studied.
But his good deeds and legacy were rocked following a series of sexual abuse allegations from former students.
James singer Tim Booth has wrecked fans' dreams of a sequel to his acclaimed 1996 album collaboration with composer Angelo Badalamenti by insisting Booth & The Bad Angel was a wonderful one-off. The Sit Down singer was recently reminded of the time he spent songwriting and recording with the man behind the haunting Twin Peak theme when Badalamenti sent him a forgotten outtake from their sessions together.
Booth says, "Angelo just sent me a song he found recently on a piece of tape, and he didn't tell me what it was and I started listening to it, thinking, 'F**k, he's written a song with a singer that sounds just like me - and he didn't ask me to sing?'
"Halfway through I realised that it was me... and it was like, 'Oh, OK, I'm not so upset'. It was cool.
"I have great memories of recording Booth & the Bad Angel and I'd love to work with him again because I adore the man. We didn't have a bad word to say to each other, but I think that album was a one-off - and I'm not complaining.
"Many people have tried to work with Angelo, including Leonard Cohen and Bono and (David) Bowie. I think I was very blessed to work with him on one album. And we were lucky enough to work with (guitarist) Bernard Butler and the engineer was Nigel Godrich. Two years later he did OK Computer with Radiohead. We had a great team."
Rockers R.E.M. have released remastered versions of their entire back catalogue of hits, album tracks and rarities as part of a new iTunes package for fans to download. The disbanded group has made versions of its I.R.S. studio albums, Warner Bros. albums, and two rarities collections available to fans online, three years after splitting up.
The band's Complete I.R.S. Studio Albums package is comprised of six studio albums, including R.E.M.'s debut EP Chronic Town and the critically acclaimed albums Murmur, Reckoning and Fables of The Reconstruction.
The Complete Warner Bros. Studio Albums, Vol. 1 package features the five hit albums the band released between 1988 and 2011, and Complete Rarities - I.R.S. 1982-1987 includes 25 hard-to-find tracks, including B-sides, soundtrack material and cover versions of tunes like Roger Miller's King of the Road and the Velvet Underground's Pale Blue Eyes.
The Complete Rarities - Warner Bros. 1988-2011 package features 131 tracks that span more than two decades. Highlights include non-album tracks, live performances from legendary U.K. festival Glastonbury and U.S. comedy show Saturday Night Live, and covers of songs by Syd Barrett and Leonard Cohen.
The new iTunes packages also include R.E.M.'s Unplugged performances from 1991 and 2001, featuring 11 songs that never aired on MTV.
Tragic socialite Peaches Geldof was honoured with musical tributes at her funeral performed by her rocker husband Thomas Cohen, Queen star Roger Taylor, and musician Jools Holland. Bob Geldof's daughter was remembered at a private memorial service at the church next to the family home in Kent, England on Monday (21Apr14), attended by mourners including Kate Moss, and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.
It has now emerged that the TV star's grieving husband said goodbye by performing a musical tribute. He sang a version of Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye by Leonard Cohen, accompanied by Holland on the piano.
Queen star Taylor also performed a song during the funeral, Geldof's sisters Fifi Trixibelle, Pixie and Tiger Lily read poems, and Bob Geldof gave the eulogy.
The 25-year-old mother-of-two was found dead at her home in Kent on 7 April (14). The cause of death is still not known.
U2's iconic album The Joshua Tree is set to join the history books after it was chosen for preservation by America's Library of Congress. The 1987 record, which spawned hits including I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and With or Without You, is among 25 works that will join the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry (NRR).
Linda Ronstadt's Grammy-winning album Heart Like a Wheel will also be preserved, as will The Everly Brothers' track Cathy's Clown, Stephen Sondheim's cast recording of Sweeney Todd and Leonard Cohen's anthem Hallelujah.
After announcing the entries on Tuesday (01Apr14), Librarian of Congress James Billington said, "As technology continually changes and formats become obsolete, we must ensure that our nation's aural legacy is protected."
Singer K.D. Lang gave a surprise encore following Friday's (07Mar14) performance of Broadway musical After Midnight when an audience member offered up $10,000 (£6,250) for charity. The musician is currently appearing in her first run on the Great White Way in the show, which celebrates jazz icon Duke Ellington's stint at New York City's famous Cotton Club.
After Friday's performance at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, it was announced a mystery donor would hand over $10,000 to The Actors Fund charity if Lang sang her rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, which she performed at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in her native Canada.
She agreed and returned to the stage, receiving a rapturous round of applause after completing the number. Editors at New York Post gossip column Page Six suggest the donor was financier David Steiner.