Quick Hits: Bruno Mars, Whitney Houston tribute, Nicki Minaj, Led Zeppelin, Tom Morello / Tim McIlrath / Serj Tankian, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Fiona Apple, The Joy Formidable, Janelle Monae, Mary J. Blige
September 27, 2012
Bruno Mars will debut his new single, "Locked Out Of Heaven," on Monday, October 1 at 7 p.m. ET. The song will premiere at youtube.com/brunomars, followed by a live chat and Google+ Hangout. You can see a teaser video for "Locked Out Of Heaven" below:
Usher, Jennifer Hudson and Celine Dion are the first acts to be announced for the upcoming one-hour TV tribute to Whitney Houston. We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute To Whitney Houston is slated to air on CBS on November 16 and additional performers will be revealed soon. The special will celebrate Houston's life with interviews and songs from a number of artists, in addition to some of the six-time Grammy winner's most memorable performances. A new greatest hits album, I Will Always Love You - The Best of Whitney Houston, will hit stores just days before the special airs, on November 13.
After being announced as a new judge on American Idol, Nicki Minaj may have another reality TV project in the works as well. In an interview with Perez Hilton, Minaj was asked if she would be ready for a reality-type show. "I'm still considering," she answered. "But, I will say that I find the more people see, is the more they understand, and then it's the more they like you. If you only have such one-dimensional things to go off of like rumors, then you kind of never get to know the artist. When you pull them in your world, they see you as a real person. I'm not running away from it anymore."
The concert film Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day will screen in select movie theaters nationwide on October 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. local time. The concert film features founding members John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, joined by drummer Jason Bonham, taking the stage at London's O2 Arena on December 10, 2007. The two-hour-plus set spans 16 signature songs from their celebrated catalog, including "Whole Lotta Love," "Rock And Roll," "Kashmir," "Stairway to Heaven" and more. Tickets for Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com.
Guitarist Tom Morello, Rise Against singer Tim McIlrath and System of a Down singer Serj Tankian have recorded a new song called "We Are the 99 Percent" in honor of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The track is now available to stream exclusively at www.RollingStone.com, but starting Friday, it will be available for free download on Morello and Tankian's Axis of Justice website. "I wanted to do a huge riff-rock anthem," Morello told Rolling Stone of the track. "It would feel like the excitement of the global Occupy Wall Street movement." In addition to the three musicians, the track also features field recordings of Occupy protestors in Zuccotti Park and Liberty Square.
The Beatles' original studio album remasters, which were released on CD and iTunes in 2009 and 2010, will make their stereo vinyl debuts on November 13. The vinyl reissues will include the band's 12 original U.K. studio albums, as well as the U.S. version of Magical Mystery Tour and Past Masters, Volumes One & Two. Each album will be available for individual purchase, or they will all come together in a deluxe box set of which only 50,000 copies will be made. The box set will include a 252-page book by radio producer Kevin Howlett with rare photos, details about how the vinyl records were prepared and more.
Though The Beach Boys' 50th anniversary reunion tour is winding down in England this week, a version of the group will continue to tour extensively, led by Mike Love. Love will continue to tour with his own version of the group, as he controls the rights to the Beach Boys name. Founding members Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks will not be involved. Wilson, Jardine and Marks reportedly did not find out until Love released a statement saying "The post-50th anniversary configuration will not include Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks. The 50th Reunion Tour was designed to be a set tour with a beginning and an end to mark a special 50-year milestone for the band." "Iím disappointed and canít understand why he doesnít want to tour with Al, David and me," Wilson told CNN. "We are out there having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys."
After speaking out onstage in Houston last week about her arrest, Fiona Apple brought up the topic once again at a concert in New Orleans. According to footage from her show Tuesday night, the singer apologized for her recent troubles, adding that "all the work we did [for her new album] is being overshadowed by this bulls**t."
Welsh trio The Joy Formidable will release their new album Wolf's Law in January of 2013 and the lead single "This Ladder Is Ours" has now landed at radio. The band will open a series of dates for Muse in Europe starting October 16, then kick off their North American tour in New York City on November 8. The Joy Formidable will also play a number of radio festivals later this fall.
Singer Janelle Monae has been working hard on her new album, and when she performed at Nokia Music's Social Media Week event on Tuesday night (Sept. 25) in Los Angeles, she told Billboard.com that she is "really excited about releasing new music and it's going really well and I've grown a lot as a writer, as a singer, as an artist." Monae added, "Music unites and is really uplifting and empowering and I just pray and hope that people are inspired by the new material." Her upcoming album, the follow-up to 2010's The ArchAndroid, pairs Monae with Wondaland Studios and Wondaland Arts Society, which also produced her previous set.
Mary J. Blige is in Montreal this week to begin filming Betty & Coretta, a double biopic of Betty Shabazz (played by Blige) and Coretta Scott King (played by Angela Bassett) in the wake of the deaths of their husbands, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. "Right now it's a little sad but I'm enjoying it... it's the death of Malcolm, the death of Martin and the women trying to be strong and get through it," Blige told Billboard about the film, which will air on Lifetime. Blige also will be joining The Voice this season as mentor to Adam Levine's singers.