Pop icon Gary Numan enlisted the help of rockers Trent Reznor and Dave Navarro to support his application for a permanent U.S. visa. In 2011, the British singer made plans to emigrate to California with his wife, Gemma, and three daughters, and he asked his famous pals to provide testimonies about his character and work ethic when applying to the U.S. Government for permanent residency in the country.
He asked the Nine Inch Nails frontman to vouch for his talent, hoping Reznor's recent Oscar win for Best Original Score for The Social Network would help strengthen his application, along with several other famous friends.
Numan tells Australia's Herald Sun, "It was about two weeks after he won the Oscar that we filed the application with his testimonial letter, so that was quite good timing and quite helpful.
"Dave Navarro from Jane's Addiction wrote one, Alan Wilder from Depeche Mode, I had some really cool people coming to help me out. It's embarrassing calling up your friends and saying, 'Do you mind writing a letter to tell the U.S. Government how amazingly brilliant I am?'"
Numan relocated to America in 2012.
Former Deep Purple star Glenn Hughes' new songs are all about life and death - because he wrote them while recovering from heart surgery. The rocker went under the knife to replace an aortic valve last year (13) and admits the procedure really impacted on his songwriting.
Hughes, 62, is now making his darkest thoughts public with new supergroup California Breed, which features drummer Jason Bonham and pop sensation Cody Simpson's former bandleader Andrew Watt - and he admits he almost died.
He tells Billboard.com, "For some reason I wasn't frightened. I felt like I was going to be OK, but I'm still supremely grateful to be here. For me to still be doing this at my age, with what I've been through with drink and drugs...
"There was a time everyone was putting bets on me: 'Ah, Hughes is gonna be the first to go'. But he's still here."
He adds, "I'm singing about life and death, if you will, and what goes on in between. I don't write about fiction. I'm a human condition guy."
And Hughes admits one untitled new song was inspired by a dream he had about Depeche Mode star Dave Gahan, another rocker who has come close to death after attempting suicide in 1995 and suffering an overdose in 1996.
The veteran explains, "I've never met Dave Gahan. I was telling my manager, 'You've got to call his manager...' God knows how he (Gahan) got into it (dream), but that's how dark and strange my recovery became."
Rocker Peter Gabriel has cancelled his show in Ukraine on Saturday (10May14) due to ongoing civil unrest in the country.
The Sledgehammer hitmaker was set to take his Back to Front tour to the capital, Kiev, but as tensions between the Ukraine and Russia heighten, he has decided to scrap his concert. Gabriel has taken to his official website to announce the news, explaining the rest of his tour would be put in jeopardy if his equipment was damaged in the country.
He writes, "It is with great regret that today the decision has been made to cancel the forthcoming Peter Gabriel show in Kiev on 10 May. "Due to the on-going unrest in Ukraine it has become clear that the security of the touring personnel and equipment cannot be guaranteed during the planned visit to the country and this has presented us with significant logistical difficulties that we have been unable to resolve."
He has vowed to refund ticketholders. The musician's next concert is slated for Monday (12May14) in Poland. Gabriel is the latest star affected by the ongoing crisis - rockers The National and Depeche Mode have also axed recent shows in the region.
Eminem, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Wilco, Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam and Outkast will headline this year's (14) Austin City Limits Music Festival in Texas in October (14). The two-weekend event will also feature sets from Skrillex, Beck, Calvin Harris, Lana Del Rey, Jimmy Cliff, Broken Bells, Lorde and The Replacements.
Rockers The National have been forced to cancel concerts in Russia and Ukraine due to political unrest. The band was scheduled to host three shows in the region this summer (14), but frontman Matt Berninger and his bandmates have pulled out of the appearances.
A message on their Facebook.com page reads, "Due to the ongoing political crisis in the region, we are sad to report that we have decided to cancel our shows in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev this summer.
"We remain hopeful of coming to play for you in the future and we sincerely hope this current instability resolves in a positive, democratic and peaceful way. Take care of yourselves and we hope to see you soon."
The group is not the only musical act to cancel shows in the area due to the ongoing crisis between the two countries - in February (14), Depeche Mode scrapped a concert in Kiev.
Pop group The Saturdays risk sparking scenes of mayhem at their upcoming concert in Scotland by performing a song popular with local soccer fans. The stars are scheduled to perform in Glasgow, Scotland in September (14) as part of the band's Greatest Hits tour, and they plan to sing their cover version of Depeche Mode hit Just Can't Get Enough.
The girls are aware the song is a terrace anthem for fans of Glasgow-based soccer club Celtic F.C., but they are not worried about upsetting followers of the team's deadly local rivals Rangers F.C. during the concert.
Singer Una Healy tells British magazine Seven Days, "To us it is just a great song and it's one of our hits so we will definitely be performing it. We're not worried about splitting the crowd down the middle. I'm sure it won't cause any problems. Plus it will be The Saturdays' take on the song. It won't offend anyone."
DJ Avicii had a strange Thursday (27Mar14) - he was hospitalised hours after picking up two big honours at Germany's answer to the Grammy Awards. The Swedish dance music star was forced to scrap his Miami, Florida concert on Thursday night after he fell ill.
As WENN went to press it wasn't clear what prompted the Wake Me Up hitmaker to check into hospital, but his health emergency came just hours after he learned he'd won honours for Best Electronic Dance Music Act and Best Single for Wake Me Up at the Echo Music Awards in Berlin.
The DJ, real name Tim Bergling, wasn't at the ceremony as he was preparing for his show in Florida.
Echo winners also included: Robbie Williams (Best International Rock/Pop Artist - Male), Birdy (Best International Rock/Pop Artist - Female), Depeche Mode (Best International Rock/Pop Group), Eminem (Best International Hip Hop/Urban Artist), German rockers Die Toten Hosen (Best Live Act), Tim Bendzko (Best National Rock/Pop Artist - Male), Ina Muller (Best National Rock/Pop Artist - Female), violinist and YouTube sensation Lindsey Sterling (Best Crossover Act), Helene Fischer (Album of the Year for Farbenspiel), and Swiss singer Beatrice Egli, who stunned experts by beating favourites Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to the Best International Newcomer award.
The show featured performances by Kylie Minogue, James Blunt and Birdy, among others, and Swiss duo Yello stunned the audience with a live remix of their 1985 hit Oh Yeah, recorded on Boris Blank's cellphone as they collected the Echo award for Lifetime Achievement.
Actress Kristen Bell made special musical memories as she made her way to her wedding last year (Oct13) after creating a playlist of her favourite songs for the short journey. The Frozen star wed Dax Shepard on a whim minutes after securing their marriage licence in Los Angeles and she admits it was the perfect day to say 'I do'.
She tells Rolling Stone magazine, "I was driving with this gorgeous man in a '67 Lincoln that he had rebuilt to be a 700-horsepower speed machine. We were listening to a playlist on the way to the courthouse.
"Martin Sexton, Brett Dennen... and Tyrone Wells. And of course Somebody by Depeche Mode, which is the best song ever."
Eric Clapton has cancelled a gig in Bangkok following increased civil unrest in the Thai capital. The veteran rocker was slated to perform in the Southeast Asian city on Saturday (01Mar14), but has officially called off the show.
A statement released by local concert organisers at BEC-Tero Entertainment reads: "Due to recent events, Eric Clapton's management has decided to postpone his Bangkok concert this Sunday... He (Clapton) looks forward to playing in Bangkok in the future."
Political protests have been growing increasingly violent since the crisis began last November (13). Reports suggest at least 21 people have been killed and over 700 more have been injured in clashes between anti-government protesters and local police, as civilians have been rallying to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her ruling Pheu Thai Party.
As of late, gun battles between the two opposing sides have become more frequent, leading to the possibility of a civil war.
Clapton has not announced a date to reschedule the scrapped gig, and will continue his tour in Asia in Singapore on Tuesday (04Mar14).
He is not the only rocker to pull out of shows due to political unrest - Depeche Mode scrapped their Wednesday night (26Feb14) date in Kiev following a week of violence in the Ukraine capital.
Rockers Depeche Mode have scrapped an upcoming Kiev concert following a week of violence in the Ukraine capital. The British trio was billed to perform there later this week (26Feb14), but singer Dave Gahan and his bandmates have formally cancelled the International Exhibition Center gig due to the "civil unrest and instability in Kiev and the whole of Ukraine."
A message, posted on the band's website, reads: "The safety and security of the band, crew and fans is the highest priority, and at this time it is not possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable concert experience for everyone involved.
"The band’s thoughts are with the Ukrainians during this challenging period and they sincerely look forward to the next time they can perform for the fans in Kiev and Ukraine."
Reports suggest more than 80 protestors and police officials were killed during clashes in the days before widely unpopular Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted after setting the military against civilians calling for his resignation.
Depeche Mode performed in Poland on Monday night (24Feb14) as their Delta Machine Tour surges through eastern Europe.