Singer/songwriter James Blake has won Britain's 2013 Mercury Prize for his album Overgrown. The electronic music star was named as the recipient of the prestigious $30,000 (£20,000) award for the most groundbreaking record of the last year at a ceremony in London on Wednesday night (30Oct13).
Collecting the honour, Blake choked back tears as he thanked his parents for their support, adding, "Thank you so much everyone."
Blake beat out competition from other acts including David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, and hot favourite Laura Mvula to win the award.
He was nominated for the prize in 2011 for his self-titled debut album, but lost out to PJ Harvey and her acclaimed Let England Shake.
Speaking after his big win, the humble star confessed he did not think he would be up onstage, joking, "Well, I lost a bet..."
Supermodel Naomi Campbell has revealed she called Victoria Beckham personally to question her about model choices for her London Fashion Week catwalk show. The British beauty launched a campaign to highlight race issues on the runway last month (Sep13). She admits the former Spice Girls star became one of her top targets, and featured on a letter she sent to officials at the fashion world's governing body, after only one non-white model was selected for her most recent British show.
Now spearheading the anti-racism Diversity Coalition with David Bowie’s wife Iman, Campbell reveals she personally demanded answers from Beckham.
She tells British tabloid The Mirror, ''I called Victoria and I spoke to her. I don’t want to pin-point anyone. It isn’t a blame game. Everyone’s name was on that letter because they’d done it. It could have been completely unintentional. She is one of the designers on there like anyone else.”
The open letter named Beckham, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs among the “fashion houses guilty of this racist act”.
Beckham was upset to be named among the list, but defiant Campbell insists she didn't fear naming names: "There is no way to candycoat this sort of thing. You have to be straight. We had the percentages and we were armed with the facts and you can’t be nervous about upsetting people.
"I speak the truth. People might not like it but I am doing it.”
British rock icon David Bowie has recruited former Lcd Soundsystem star James Murphy to remix his latest song, Love Is Lost, and he has unveiled plans to debut the new video for the track during London's Mercury Prize ceremony on Wednesday (30Oct13). The singer's comeback album, The Next Day, is one of the favourites the win the top accolade.
Rock legend Lou Reed has died at the age of 71, five months after receiving a liver transplant. The exact cause of death was not available as WENN went to press, but reports suggest the former Velvet Underground frontman passed away on Sunday (27Oct13).
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1942, he formed the Primitives and the Warlocks with Welsh musician John Cale. The duo teamed up again to create the Velvet Underground with Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, and the group became a staple of the late 1960s New York City music and art scene, attracting artist Andy Warhol as a mentor and producer.
The band's 1967 debut The Velvet Underground & Nico is considered one of the most important albums of the 20th century.
Reed, real name Lewis Allan Reed, enjoyed a solo career after splitting with the group in 1970, recording another landmark album - 1972's Transformer, with David Bowie as his producer.
The late rocker also recorded groundbreaking albums Lou Reed, Berlin, Sally Can't Dance and Coney Island Baby, as well as the hits Walk On the Wild Side, Perfect Day and Satellite of Love.
He reunited with Cale in 1991 for the acclaimed Warhol tribute album Songs For Drella and regrouped the Velvet Underground in 1992 for a series of European gigs, including a set at the Glastonbury festival in England.
In the past decade, Reed, a famous student of martial art T'ai Chi, released the double album The Raven, which was based on the work of horror writer Edgar Allen Poe, and, in 2010, he teamed up with heavy rockers Metallica to record 2011's critically-savaged Lulu album.
Famous for his moody, often disagreeable nature, Reed will go down in music history as one of rock's most influential artists. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Velvet Underground in 1996.
He leaves behind his wife, performance artist and songwriter Laurie Anderson.
British electronic music stars Disclosure have scrapped a show in Pennsylvania next week (begs28Oct13) because they have been nominated for a top U.K. music award. The dance duo was slated to perform a sold-out show at the Union Transfer in Philadelphia on Tuesday (29Oct13), but the date is the night before they will learn if they have won the 2013 Barclaycard Mercury Prize.
The pair is nominated for the revered honour alongside David Bowie, Jake Bugg, Arctic Monkeys and several others at the event in London the following evening (30Oct13).
They have decided to postpone the U.S. show so they can attend the ceremony.
Announcing the news on Facebook.com, they write, "It's with a heavy heart that we need to re-schedule our show in Philadelphia next Tuesday. We have been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, which is on the 30th in London, so physically can't make them both work."
The gig has been rescheduled for next June (14).
Music producer James Blake has already announced he has postponed five U.S. tour dates next week to attend the ceremony.
David Bowie has landed his own radio network, but it will only be on the air for two weeks. The British rocker, who is currently in the middle of a career resurgence, will join the likes of Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Buffet when he gets his own dedicated satellite station on Sirius XM Radio from 30 October (13).
The station will run until 12 November (13) and will offer fans round-the-clock hits, rarities, live performances and covers of Bowie tunes.
Carsten Windhorst/WENNDespite becoming the first band since The Beatles to top the U.K. charts with their first five albums, the music world appeared to collectively shrug its shoulders at the weekend when Keane announced that they were taking a break after sixteen years together. One of many inoffensive piano-rock outfits to emerge in the wake of Coldplay's success, the East Sussex trio enjoyed huge success on both sides of the Atlantic in the mid-'00s. But they also became an easy target for the cooler indie fraternity, most notably with Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno, who famously joked that frontman Tom Chaplin's stint in rehab was more likely to be for port addiction than cocaine, and Noel Gallagher, who claimed that "whatever direction the band take, they will always be s***." But did they really deserve the 'Most Boring Band In The World' tag? Here's a look at five arguments in their defense."Is It Any Wonder"Inspired by their disillusionment over the Iraq War, "Is It Any Wonder" proved that Keane weren't always overwhelmingly polite. Recorded whilst battling a drink and drugs problem, Chaplin has never sounded so impassioned on a squalling indie-rock anthem which channelled U2 at their chest-beating stadium rock finest.Perfect SymmetryTo the surprise of everyone, Keane ditched their signature sound for third album, Perfect Symmetry, and instead looked to the widescreen '80s synth-rock of Tears For Fears, Simple Minds and David Bowie for a perfectly-executed pastiche which also produced their career-best single, "Spiralling.""Stop For A Minute"One of the more surreal collaborations of recent years, this lead single from 2010's Night Train E.P. saw one of the most quintessentially English bands of the '00s hook up with Somali-Canadian rapper K'Naan for a wholly unexpected venture into hip-pop."Early Winter"Not exactly a Keane song, although they did later give away their cover as a free download, the gorgeous soft-rock heartbreak of Gwen Stefani's "Early Winter" suggests that its writer and the brains behind the band, Tim Rice-Oxley, may have the more fruitful solo career."Dirtylicious"Recorded for Radio 1's famous Live Lounge series, Keane proved they weren't averse to the odd bit of suggestive R&B with this inspired mash-up of Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty" and Destiny’s Child's "Bootylicious."
An unheard radio show featuring David Bowie in his 1970s heyday is to be broadcast for the first time. The recording, featuring the legendary musician performing five tracks from his 1973 covers album Pin Ups, was discovered by researcher Nigel Reeve.
The 15-minute tape was recorded in 1973 to promote the album but was not broadcast at the time.
Reeve tells the BBC, "It was in an old tape vault on quarter-inch tape with simply the words 'Radio Show' written on it. This is such a rare find. No one knew of its existence, apart from David and (producer) Ken (Scott). To play it for the first time was quite simply a jaw-dropping moment."
The recording will be broadcast on the BBC's Radio 6 Music on Wednesday (23Oct13).
David Bowie walked away empty-handed from Britain's Q Awards on Monday (21Oct13) after he was beaten in six top categories. The veteran rocker was nominated for Best Track, Best Video, Best Solo Artist, Best Act in the World, Best Event, and Best Album - and won nothing.
In the Best Solo Artist category, he was beaten by pop star Ellie Goulding, who suggested he had been snubbed by the awards organisers for declining to attend the event in London.
She told the audience, "I really didn't expect this, you know, but perhaps David Bowie not being here had something to do with it?"
Young singer/songwriter Jake Bugg took the prize for Best New Act, Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro won Best Album for Opposites, and Foals were named Best Live Act.
Veteran band Suede received the coveted Icon Award, and flamboyant frontman Brett Anderson joked, "Thanks for whoever chose the picture of me in the blouse from 1993. It's been a pleasure and a privilege being in this band."
The main list of winners is as follows:
Best Solo Artist - Ellie Goulding
Best Act In The World Today - Vampire Weekend
Best Album - Biffy Clyro, Opposites
Best Live Act - Foals
Best New Act - Jake Bugg
Best Track - Arctic Monkeys, Do I Wanna Know?
Best Video - Manic Street Preachers, Show Me The Wonder
Best Event - Glastonbury Festival Of Contemporary Performing Arts
Idol Award - Robbie Williams
Icon Award - Suede
Classic Songwriter - Chrissie Hynde
Outstanding Contribution to Music - Pet Shop Boys.
Filmmaking siblings Joel and Ethan Coen have been awarded France's highest cultural honour in recognition of their film work. The No Country For Old Men directors were both made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) in a ceremony in Paris on Wednesday (16Oct13).
During the presentation, Joel joked that the award came as a shock, saying, "Sometimes life plays jokes on you - some of them are very unfortunate, some of them are very fortunate. This is one of the most fortunate jokes I think life has played on us."
French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti added, "We have extremely strong links between French cinema and American cinema so it's natural there's this recognition for two of the greatest directors in the U.S. today."
The pair join previous recipients of the medal including Sir Sean Connery, Ringo Starr, David Bowie, Bono and Bruce Willis.