Singer/songwriter James Taylor is set to hit the high seas for a gig in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in August (14). The You've Got a Friend star will perform two shows onboard the Queen Mary 2 during a Cunard Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton, England.
The five-time Grammy Award winner will also participate in an autograph signing session for fans.
Taylor becomes the latest of many stars set for ocean gigs this year (14) - Jennifer Hudson, Olivia Newton-John and LeAnn Rimes have already signed up for the new concert cruise initiative launched by Carnival Cruise Lines bosses.
The new music series will offer fans floating gigs from Florida to Mexico and the Bahamas.
Joining the women at sea are Lady Antebellum, Daughtry, Martina McBride, Chicago, Jewel, Trace Adkins, Foreigner, Gavin DeGraw, Kansas, REO Speedwagon and STYX.
Daft Punk and rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are in for a good night at the 2014 Grammy Awards after each landing a trio of nods in the main categories announced during a televised nominations special on Friday night (06Dec13). The French hitmakers' Random Access Memories will face off against Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' The Heist for Album of the Year, alongside Taylor Swift (Red), Sara Bareilles (The Blessed Unrest) and Kendrick Lamar (good kid, m.A.A.d city), while their summer smash, Get Lucky, will compete for the Record of the Year title against Imagine Dragons' Radioactive, Lorde's Royals, Bruno Mars' Locked Out of Heaven and Robin Thicke's collaboration with T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines.
Daft Punk and Thicke are both nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, which features competition from Pink and Nate Reuss (Just Give Me A Reason), Rihanna and Mikky Ekko (Stay) and Justin Timberlake and Jay Z (Suit & Tie).
Meanwhile, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' Same Love has earned a mention for Song of the Year, a category which also features Pink's Just Give Me A Reason, Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars, Katy Perry's Roar and Lorde's Royals.
The hip-hop stars are shortlisted for Best New Artist, alongside Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, James Blake and Kacey Musgraves.
The full list of nominees were unveiled following the broadcast of the Grammy Nominations Concert Live event from Los Angeles, with Jay Z actually leading the pack with nine nods, including Best Rap Album for Magna Carta... Holy Grail and Best Rap Performance for Tom Ford.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis racked up a total of seven nominations, as did Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell Williams, while Drake scored five.
LL Cool J hosted the nominations ceremony from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live venue, where Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Robin Thicke and T.I., and Keith Urban and Miguel all performed. Sets by Taylor Swift and Katy Perry also featured in the show, live via satellite from their own gigs in Sydney, Australia and Toronto, Canada, respectively.
The 56th annual Grammy Awards will be handed out in Los Angeles on 26 January (14).
Bon Jovi, One Direction and Pink were among the big winners at Thursday's (14Nov13) Billboard Touring Awards in New York. Jon Bon Jovi and his bandmates took home three prizes for Top Tour, Top Draw and Eventful Fans' Choice Award for their high-grossing Because We Can trek, while boy band One Direction were honoured with the night's Breakthrough Award.
Pink landed the Top Boxscore trophy for her string of sell-out shows at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia this past summer (13).
The Rolling Stones scored the Concert Marketing & Promotion Award for their 50 & Counting Tour, and country stars George Strait and Taylor Swift picked up the 2013 Billboard Legend of Live and the Top Package Award respectively.
The full list of 2013 Billboard Touring Award winners is:
Top Tour: Bon Jovi
Top Draw: Bon Jovi
Top Boxscore: Pink
Top Comedy Tour: Jeff Dunham
Top Package: Taylor Swift’s Red Tour, featuring Ed Sheeran, Joel Crouse, Brett Eldredge, Florida Georgia Line & Casey James
Breakthrough Award: One Direction
Top Festival: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Indio, Calif.
Top Arena: O2 Arena, London
Top Venue - Under 10,000 Seats: Radio City Music Hall, New York
Top Venue - Under 5,000 Seats: The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
Top Club: House of Blues, Orlando, Florida
Top Amphitheater: The Gorge, George, Washington
Top Promoter: Live Nation
Top Agency: Creative Artists Agency
Top Manager: Bon Jovi Management
Humanitarian Award: Marcie Allen, president of MAC Presents
Eventful Fans' Choice Award: Bon Jovi
Concert Marketing & Promotion Award: The Rolling Stones
Legend of Live: George Strait
Hauler of the Decade Award: Vans Warped Tour
Taylor Swift has been given the royal seal of approval as she has been asked to headline a charity gig at the home of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge. The U.S. pop star will be the main attraction at the event at London's Kensington Palace later this month (Nov13), topping a bill that also features Jon Bon Jovi and James Blunt.
The concert is in aid of homelessness charity Centrepoint, and Swift has been swatting up on her knowledge of royal etiquette ahead of her big night.
She tells the BBC, "I'm really excited. I'm really stoked. This is the first thing I've performed at for any kind of royal engagement - very, very honoured... I've been asking about (the royal protocol). I think I'm really safe if I just shake hands and be polite."
When asked if she has a plan for small talk with Prince William, Swift replies, "That's being presumptuous in that (you're) assuming I'll meet (him). First, I'll just be polite enough to not assume I'm going to get to meet them."
The Winter Whites Gala is scheduled to take place on 26 November (13).
Soul legend James Brown's life is to be turned into a new biopic directed by The Help's Tate Taylor. Taylor announced he will be making the film in and around his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi on Monday (26Aug13).
The director launched the project in the city with state governor Phil Bryant, and told reporters, "Every frame will be shot in Mississippi. We're even doing Paris, France, in Mississippi... Vietnam, as well, in Mississippi."
Taylor also revealed he hopes to be able to announce who will be cast as Brown in the next few days, revealing, "Those are tough shoes to fill."
Asked if his Godfather of Soul will be a Hollywood star, the director said, "I tend to go toward relative unknowns."
The movie, which will be executive produced by Mick Jagger and Brian Grazer, will be shot later this year (13) and will include scenes shot at the Mississippi Coliseum, where Brown performed a concert in 1969.
Taylor also shot scenes for The Help in his native Mississippi.
Billy Joel, Gloria Estefan and James Taylor will help to honour legendary singer/songwriter Carole King at the White House next week (begs20May13) when she is feted with the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The You've Got a Friend hitmaker, 71, will make history on Wednesday (22May13) as she becomes the first woman to collect the Library of Congress award from U.S. President Barack Obama, and she will be saluted by number of top stars.
Joel, Estefan and Taylor will also be joined by country singer Trisha Yearwood, Scottish soul sensation Emeli Sande and pop star Jesse McCartney at the Washington, D.C. event.
The ceremony will be streamed live online and will be broadcast on U.S. TV on 28 May (13).
King has been on a career high of late - she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in December (12) and was among the Lifetime Achievement honourees at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
Aerosmith and New Kids On The Block are set to headline a special benefit concert to raise money for victims of the recent Boston Marathon bombing. The hometown heroes will be joined by Jimmy Buffett, James Taylor, Carole King, country singer Jason Aldean, rockers Godsmack and The J. Geils Band at Boston Strong: An Evening of Support and Celebration on 30 May (13).
The event, held at the TD Garden arena in Boston, Massachusetts, will boost funds for The One Fund Boston, which was set up in the wake of the 15 April (13) tragedy by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to help those affected by the bombings.
The gig will be particularly poignant for New Kids star Joey McIntyre, who completed the Boston Marathon just minutes before two bombs exploded near the finish line.
His bandmate Donnie Wahlberg says, "Like so many other proud Bostonians, who have been extremely generous, we are honoured to step up and do our part to help the victims and their families. Hopefully this event will not only raise money, but spirits as well."
Fellow Bostonian Taylor has echoed Wahlberg's sentiments in his own statement, which reads: "The One Fund event at the Garden this May 30th is destined to be a true Boston landmark. From the promoters to the sound & lights, to the performers and the Garden staff; everyone involved has responded from the heart in a spontaneous and simultaneous desire to be there, and to do what we can for the city we love. I am honoured to be a part of it, and I can't wait."
Three people were killed in the blasts and more than 175 were injured in the tragedy.
It's no easy task to try to upstage President Obama's first inauguration in 2009. The historic ceremony, Aretha Franklin's hat, a gaffe that led to Obama having to re-take the presidential oath — the event had everything a pop culture fan could hope for.
This year, however, the President is upping the star power at the inauguration. Not only have supporters like Katy Perry and Alicia Keys stepped in to perform at various balls over the weekend, but Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, and James Taylor will be singing for the cameras as Obama is sworn in publicly. (The president was officially sworn in Sunday in a private ceremony per the constitution.) Beyoncé is tasked with the National Anthem, while Clarkson will be singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and Taylor "America the Beautiful." Their hat plans are to be determined.
But what are you most excited to see during the star-powered ceremony? Beyoncé's pre-Super Bowl performance? Gaffes? More hats? Vote in our poll below!
&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/6842384/"&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;What are you most looking forward to seeing during the inauguration?&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
[Image Credit: Wenn]
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The most star-studded event this season isn't turning out to be the Golden Globes or the Oscars or even taking place in Hollywood, for that matter. Rather, it's President Barack Obama's Inauguration on January 21 in Washington, D.C. With Beyoncé already slated to sing the National Anthem (along with James Taylor, who will sing "American the Beautiful" and Kelly Clarkson, who will take on "My Country Tis of Thee") at President Obama's second swearing-in, the historic weekend has even more star power lined up.
The Presidential Inauguration Committee has announced that Katy Perry (who subtly showed her support earlier this year in a variety of ways, including the dress she's wearing at left), Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, fun., John Legend, Usher, Marc Anthony, Nick Cannon, Mindless Behavior, Far East Movement, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and the cast of Glee will all take part in the the Inaugural kids’ concert and balls.
The Kids’ Inaugural concert, which is hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 19. On Inauguration Day there will be two balls, the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball and The Inaugural Ball. All three of these events will held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Other celebrities, whose names have not been announced yet, are expected to attend. [Photo credit: Judy Eddy/Wenn] More:
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For Beyoncé, 2012 was the Year of Blue Ivy. But 2013 is shaping up to be all about Bey. With two of the highest profile gigs a musician can grab lined up for the early months of 2013, maternity leave is officially over. Beyoncé announced by way of a cheeky photo posted to her blog and Twitter in October that she would be performing at the Super Bowl halftime show in February, and news broke Wednesday that she will be singing the National Anthem at President Barack Obama's Inauguration on Jan. 21. Time to start warming up!
Since giving birth to Blue Ivy one year ago, Beyoncé's stage performances have been few and far between. When Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z notoriously skipped the 2012 Grammys for a slice of pizza, the new mom set a precedent of staying out of the limelight. It took another three months for Beyoncé to hit the stage, at her Back to Business show in Atlantic City, NJ on May 26, 2012.
Beyoncé then promptly went back into hiding — she wouldn't pick the mic back up again until August, when she performed "I Was Here" at the United Nations Humanitarian Day. You'll have to skip ahead another two months to the next time Beyoncé stood center stage, this time at Jay-Z's inaugural show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in October. And then, once again, radio silence from the R&B diva.
But now Beyoncé is back and ready to rock our socks off. Beyoncé, who sang Etta James' classic ballad "At Last" as Barack and Michelle Obama took their first spin around the dance floor at the 2008 Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, will kick of this year's ceremony with what is sure to be a stirring rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner."
Other performances scheduled for the Inauguration include Kelly Clarkson singing "My Country Tis of Thee" and James Taylor singing "America the Beautiful." Of his musical choices, President Obama said in a statement, "Vice President [Joe] Biden and I are honored to have these wonderfully talented musical artists perform at the Inaugural ceremony ... Their music is often at the heart of the American story and speaks to folks across the country."
Is it a bad thing that I'm half hoping Beyoncé will break into "Run the World (Girls)" instead?
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage]
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A special featuring singer-songwriter James Taylor in concert at Boston's historical Colonial Theatre. The concert, taped in December, 1987, showcases Taylor's classic hits as well as songs from his latest album.