1972 : David Bowie has generated so much publicity with his Ziggy Stardust concerts that he sells out a show in Carnegie Hall.
1991 : Thanks to a proliferation of “New Country” radio stations and more accurate reporting, Country music goes mainstream as Garth Brooks’ Ropin’ the Wind becomes the first Country album to debut at #1.
2004 : A Beverly Hills tribute concert in honor of Ray Charles, featuring Stevie Wonder,Michael McDonald, James Ingram, and Patti Austin, raises $15 million for Atlanta’s African-American institution, Morehouse College.
2012 : A judge orders an audit of R&B singer Chris Brown’s community-service records. The community service is part of a sentence handed down on his domestic violence charge in his 2009 incident with then-girlfriend Rihanna. While Brown claims to be done with his service, the court thinks some fishy finagling of the numbers happened, showing discrepancies in Brown’s claim of having served at Tappahannock Children’s Center, cleaning stables at the Richmond Police Department, and inventorying smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Kind of a menial place for a celebrity, no?
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. born SNew Orleans, Louisiana. In 1991, at the age of nine, Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label, and half of the duo The B.G.’z, alongside fellow New Orleans-based rapper Lil’ Doogie. Lil Wayne gained most of his success with the group’s major selling album Guerrilla Warfare (1999).
Lil Wayne is having a pretty good year — like most years. His highly anticipated Tha Carter IV is set to release October 28, and the first three singles were released to huge acclaim. The video for “Grindin,” featuring Drake, was actually released a few days ago. (And it’s amazing, obviously.)
Listen to the best of Lil Wayne below
Cutting-edge technology makes the human touch — and sound — even more vital, writes the singer, who releases new album ‘M.E.’ on Sept. 30.
Ever since technology gave us the ability to put an endless number of tracks on a recording and to manipulate a voice into perfect pitch, the sound of popular music has changed. It has affected nearly every genre of music. All of this finally hit home earlier this year when I was recording my latest album, This Is M.E., my first on my very own independent label, ME Records. (I’m very “me, me, me” these days.)
With the guidance of my brand-new managers, Steven Greener and Larry Mestel of Primary Wave, I found myself in the studio creating music with their client, a fiery young hip-hop producer named Rocc Starr, who has Chris Brown, Usher andJennifer Lopez, to name just a few, on his list of productions. It was one of the funnest, funkiest days I’ve ever had in the studio. Rocc’s massive beats and my crunchy Les Paul guitar made for a perfect collision of hip-hop and rock’n’roll. It was thrilling to have my vocals guided by a hip-hop master. My favorite moment was watching Rocc move alongside the engineer so he could take a look at the computer screen. “Hey, where’s the Auto-Tune?” he asked.
“I’d never presume to put Auto-Tune on her voice,” the engineer replied.
“She’s singing like that without Auto-Tune?” was Rocc Starr’s stunned response. That made my day.
It’s true: I do not use Auto-Tune. I learned the art of performing in places like Bud and Faye’s roadside bar and the Parents Without Partners dances at the Knights of Columbus — gigs where you were in danger of getting a beer bottle thrown at you if you sang off-key.
Times have changed and artists are led to the studio where they lay down impossibly dense recordings that blast out of the radio at you, but would require a 20-piece band to re-create on the road. That’s not where they want to spend their money, so they don’t.
It’s not that big of a secret: I feel bad for the scores of artists that have been exposed on YouTube, captured in those embarrassing moments when their computerized vocal tracks crashed.
My two oldest children are well into their teen years, and I adore how much their generation loves music. It defines them just as it did me. They know when it’s real and when it’s not. It’s a currency, something special, when they know an artist can carry their music live onstage and perform it in the moment.
In 1970, robotics specialist Masahiro Mori published a paper introducing the concept of the “uncanny valley,” referring to the -negative response people have when we observe something that seems human but is not, like in The Stepford Wives when poor Katharine Ross realizes the ladies at the grocery store aren’t real.
Human beings are wired to recognize the soul, the living spirit in each other. I believe the more technology re-creates what the human can do, the more precious the real thing becomes.
No amount of technology, no Auto-Tune wizardry, can satisfy the souls that want to be touched in the moment when a human being takes the stage and uses their vocal cords and emotions in ways that can move us to tears.
The uncanny — the thing that is almost human but isn’t quite — only makes the real more valuable.
This article originally appeared in the Oct. 4 issue of Billboard.
1964 : The Beach Boys make their national television debut on CBS’ Ed Sullivan Show, performing their recent hit I Get Around.
1979 : While onstage at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, CA, Elton John collapses from “exhaustion.” The song he’d been performing, ominously, was entitled Better Off Dead.
1990 : Marvin Gaye receives a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1500 Vine Street.
2004 : Legendary rock producer Phil Spector, best known for creating the “Wall Of Sound” on hits like The Ronettes’ Be My Baby and The Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, is indicted for the February 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson at his estate in Alhambra, California.
British model Daisy Lowe posted an Instagram video of actor Samuel L. Jackson doing a karaoke version of the 1993 “Show Me Love,”by Robin S.
Jackson took the mic at a charity event. Yeah, he isn’t the best singer, but who is?? Watch the video below.
This is The Preatures, a five-piece rock band from Sydney, Australia whose soulful, toe-tapping songs are pretty much impossible not to dance to. The band will release its first full-length album Blue Planet Eyes on Sept. 30.
For the video for new single “Somebody’s Talking,” premiering exclusively on BuzzFeed, the band recruited two female surf pros to ride cwaves on the beaches of northern Sydney.
“It was shot during one of the wildest weeks of weather ever,” says frontwoman Isabella Manfredi by email. “I wanted the song to sound like Jackson Browne covering Jackson 5 (‘Doctor My Eyes’!), but for the video, the director Gemma Lee and I wanted something a bit darker and dangerous.”
Danity Kane released a new single from their forthcoming album DK3 titled “Rhythm of Love.” Listen below.
It’s been an eventful year for the group. They released a comeback single, “Lemonade.” Then Aundrea Fimbres announced she was leaving the group to start a family. Then, Dawn and Aubrey reportedly got into a fight after she supposedly found out that Aubrey and Shannon had recorded songs behind her back. Aubrey filed a battery report against Dawn, and several days later announced the bands demise claiming that an “ethical and moral line has been crossed.” And now the post breakup album, DK3, is expected to come out next month.
“What’s up, DK fans. I just want to let you know that I love you and miss you so much, and because you guys never gave up on us, Shannon and I haven’t given up on you,” Aubrey says in an Instagram video before Shannon adds the album release date. The album goes up for pre-sale Friday at midnight.
1975 : The Rocky Horror Picture Show opens in Westwood, California. Featuring a young Meat Loaf along with Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon, the movie tanks but later becomes a cult classic, with audience members shouting back at the screen and bringing toast, toilet paper, and other assorted items to enhance the viewing experience.
1992 : Gloria Estefan headlines a show featuring Paul Simon, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Jimmy Buffett at a Miami concert to raise money for Hurricane Andrew relief.
2008 : In some very unshocking news, Clay Aiken announces that he is gay in People magazine, saying: “It was the first decision I made as a father. I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn’t raised that way, and I’m not going to raise a child to do that.”
2012 : Artist Pink, aka “P!nk,” scores her first #1 album on Billboard’s album charts with The Truth About Love. The album had sold 280,000 copies at the time.
It’s surprising how cheerful it can be at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, but in the battle against pediatric cancer, smiles are as important as drugs and surgery.
That’s the reason why Hoda Kotb, herself a breast cancer survivor, felt it was important to bring some joy to the children being treated there. She launched “Project Truly Brave”: a musical collaboration between Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper starring a beautiful and brave group of kids fighting cancer.