Quick Hits: Madonna & Katy Perry, Super Bowl concerts, Aaliyah, Clipse, Governor's Ball festival, The Hold Steady
January 8, 2014

Madonna has tapped Katy Perry as the latest guest curator for her Art for Freedom project. Throughout January, Perry will help Madonna choose user-generated submissions that will be showcased on the project's website, which promotes art and free speech as a means to address persecution and injustice across the globe. Perry also will help select one artist at the end of the month whose "creative expression demonstrates a unique view of the fight for human rights," according to a statement. A nonprofit organization of the winner's choice will receive a $10,000 grant from Madonna. "I am so fortunate to have the freedom to express myself through music," Perry said. "Now I'm calling all of my incredibly creative KatyCats to use their talent to show Madonna and me how they express their freedom. I believe that 2014 can be a year of great social change. Together we can all stand up for Human Rights."

John Legend

The Black Keys, Band of Horses and John Legend will perform at a series of special concerts for Citi cardholders in New York during the week leading up to the Super Bowl on February 2, says Rolling Stone. John Legend kicks off the concert series at the McKittrick Hotel on Wednesday, January 29, while Band of Horses will follow at the same location on January 30 and the Black Keys will perform at the Roseland Ballroom on January 31. They join a growing roster of acts performing in and around New York City as part of the Super Bowl festivities. The week will boast performances by Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, The Roots, Fall Out Boy and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, while Bruno Mars will rock the halftime show this year.

It looks like the posthumous Aaliyah album will never be released after all. Drake and his producer Noah "40" Shebib were working on the project, but Shebib told Vibe that he has stepped down due to some negative push-back. "The world reacting to Drake's involvement so negatively, I just wanted nothing to do with it," Shebib said. He added that he did receive the go-ahead from Aaliyah's uncle and cousin via their Blackground Records. However, the late singer's mother was against it. "[Aaliyah's] mother saying 'I don’t want this out' was enough for me," Shebib said. "I walked away very quickly."

Pusha T confirmed that Clipse is working on a new album after a three-year hiatus. The rapper posted "Clipse working on a new album" to his official Facebook page. A few days before, he also tweeted a photo showing production team The Neptunes -- Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo -- inside the studio working with Clipse on some new tunes.

The fourth annual Governors Ball Music Festival will take place from June 6 to 8 in New York's Randall's Island Park, and it will boast over 80 artists performing during the three-day event. Lineup and ticket on-sale details will be announced very soon.

The Hold Steady will return on March 25 with their first album since 2010's Heaven Is Whenever. The new effort, entitled Teeth Dreams, will mark the debut release for Washington Square, a new imprint launched by Razor & Tie. The band has already rolled out a handful of tour dates in support of the new album, beginning on January 29 in Memphis.

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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