MICHAEL JACKSON has asked will.i.am to record with him a comeback song. The King of Pop will join forces with the Black Eyed Peas star as he heads back into the studio before he takes up residency at London’s O2 Arena this summer. He has also asked Ne-Yo (see picture)to collaborate with him on his new record. It is also reported that Kanye West has submitted a track for Jackson’s approval. The Thriller star will be at the O2 from July for a 50-date comeback run which will take him through until February next year.
More about Michael Jackson
One of the great pop music stars of the 1980s, Michael Jackson is now known less for his music than for his erratic behavior and plastic surgeries. Jackson became a singing superstar at age 11, when he had four consecutive #1 hits with his youthful band of brothers, The Jackson Five. He went solo in 1972 with the album Got to Be There and embraced the glitter of disco with Off the Wall (1979). After his smash 1982 album Thriller yielded seven top-ten hits, Jackson was dubbed “The King of Pop.” His next album, Bad, topped the charts in 1987 as Jackson became one of the early stars of MTV and an international hitmaker. Then his eccentric lifestyle began to overwhelm his recording career, and Jackson became a favorite of the gossip sheets. In 1994 he married Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis (a.k.a. “The King”), but they divorced in 1996. Also notorious were Jackson’s long series of cosmetic surgeries, rumors of exotic pets and superstar peccadilloes at Jackson’s estate (which he dubbed “Neverland”, a reference to the story of Peter Pan), followed by another brief marriage to Deborah Rowe (1996-99) and multiple accusations of inappropriate conduct with children. In 2005 he was tried on charges of child molestation and conspiracy related to his relationship with a 13-year-old boy. Jackson was acquitted on all charges after a trial that year.
Extra credit: Jackson played the Scarecrow in the 1978 movie The Wiz, a takeoff on The Wizard of Oz; the role was played by Ray Bolger in the original 1939 film… Jackson’s sister, Janet Jackson, was a pop superstar of the 1990s… Michael Jackson did not buy the bones of the Elephant Man, despite rumors to the contrary… Jackson has two children with Rowe: son Prince Michael (b. 1997) and daughter Paris Michael Katherine (b. 1998). He also has a third child, Prince Michael II (2002), whose mother has not been publically named… The name of Jackson’s famous pet chimp is Bubbles… Thriller has sold over 100 million copies, making it the best-selling album of all time… Jackson is no relation to the British food and liquor expert Michael Jackson.
Jackson joins nose-free astronomer Tycho Brahe in our loop on the Facially Challenged.
Undoubtedly one of the most prolific singer songwriters in modern pop, Ne-yo, will embark on a 6 city nationwide tour in July. A formidable creative force, Ne-yo has penned tracks for Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears and Beyonce. The Grammy award winner has sold over 5 million albums to date and is one of the most sought after songwriters in the world- this will be a tour not to be missed.
Ne-yo is expected to showcase songs from his best album to date The Year of the Gentleman, including Closer, Miss Independent as well as his signature hits So Sick and Because of You.
11th July, O2 Arena, London
13th July, SECC, Glasgow
14th July, MEN Arena, Manchester
15th July, NEC Arena, Birmingham
17th July, Liverpool Arena, Liverpool
18th July, Metro Arena, Newcastle
With Ne-Yo’s third disc, Year of the Gentleman, the Las Vegas native and premier songwriter has constructed a suite of songs that shows exactly what he means by class. Written over the course of travels through Europe and influenced by his own fascination with the Rat Pack, Ne-Yo explains, ‘For me, the sharpness of Sammy and Sinatra is the kind of style I strive for in clothes and music. Year of the Gentleman is named in honor of those guys.’
Like the best artists, Ne-Yo’s music has an eternal sound that appeals to fans of all ages. ‘As a songwriter as well as a singer, I think it’s important to cast my words wide. In other words, I am not trying to contain myself in some little box marked ‘urban.’ I have travelled the world, and I want to bring that across in the material. Forget about urban, pop or whatever, Year of the Gentleman is a worldly album.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss received Album of the Year award for their duet LP ‘Raising Sand’ during the live show of 2009 Grammy Awards which was closed by Stevie Wonder’s live performance.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss walked out of the 51st Annual Grammy Awards with another nod. Through their collaborative album “Raising Sand”, the two musicians got the coveted Album of the Year title.
The duet effort has successfully put aside Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”, Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III”, Ne-Yo’s “Year of the Gentleman” and Radiohead’s “In Rainbows”. Previously, the record was also announced as Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album.
2009 Grammy Awards taking place at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on February 8 was closed with a live appearance from Stevie Wonder. He performed solo accompanied by a live band.
Partial List of 51st Annual Grammy Awards:
Record Of The Year: “Please Read The Letter” – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Album Of The Year: “Raising Sand” – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Song Of The Year : “Viva La Vida” – Coldplay
Best New Artist: Adele
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: “Chasing Pavements” – Adele
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: “Say” – John Mayer
Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “Viva La Vida” – Coldplay
Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals: “Rich Woman” – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Best Pop Vocal Album: “Rockferry” – Duffy
Best Dance Recording: “Harder Better Faster Stronger” – Daft Punk
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: “Still Unforgettable” – Natalie Cole
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance: “Gravity” – John Mayer
Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “Sex on Fire” – Kings of Leon
Best Hard Rock Performance: “Wax Simulacra” – The Mars Volta
Best Metal Performance: “My Apocalypse” – Metallica
Best Rock Song: “Girls In Their Summer Clothes” – Bruce Springsteen
Best Rock Album: “Viva La Vida” – Coldplay
Best Alternative Music Album: “In Rainbows” – Radiohead
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: “Superwoman” – Alicia Keys
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: “Miss Independent” – Ne-Yo
Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “Stay With Me (By the Sea)” – Al Green Feat. John Legend
Best R&B Song: “Miss Independent” – Ne-Yo
Best R&B Album: “Jennifer Hudson” – Jennifer Hudson
Best Contemporary R&B Album: “Growing Pains” – Mary J. Blige
Best Rap Solo Performance: “A Milli” – Lil Wayne
Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group: “Swagga Like Us” – Jay-Z & T.I. Feat. Kanye West & Lil Wayne
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: “American Boy” – Estelle Feat. Kanye West
Best Rap Song: “Lollipop” – Lil Wayne
Best Rap Album: “Tha Carter III” – Lil Wayne
Best Female Country Vocal Performance: “Last Name” – Carrie Underwood
Best Male Country Vocal Performance: “Letter to Me” – Brad Paisley
Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: “Stay” – Sugarland
Best Country Collaboration With Vocals: “Killing The Blues” – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Best Country Song: “Stay” – Sugarland
Best Country Album: “Troubadour” – George Strait
Best Short Form Music Video: “Pork And Beans” – Weezer
Best Long Form Music Video: “Runnin’ Down A Dream” – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Full winners list of 2009 Grammy Awards can be obtained on Grammy.com.
With only a few days to go until the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy is atwitter with news of additional performers and presenters — literally. The Grammy Twitter feed lit up this morning with word that Kanye West would be performing with U.K. newcomer Estelle, pretty much guaranteeing a rendition of one of 2008’s hottest singles, “American Boy.” (How good was it? It hit Number Seven on Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 100 Singles of 2008.)
And Sunday night will feature another duet: Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus are teaming up for the former’s sweet song “Fifteen” from the chart-topping Fearless, according to Ryan Seacrest’s Twitter. In addition, Ne-Yo and Jamie Foxx have been confirmed as performers for the Four Tops tribute, which will feature original member Duke Fakir. Adele, Chris Brown and Sugarland will also take the stage at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, while Sheryl Crow, Craig Ferguson, Al Green, Jay Mohr, Queen Latifah and T-Pain will head to the podium to make awkward banter and present trophies.
Just last week, the Grammys added a slew of big-name artists to Sunday, February 8th’s performance lineup: U2, Kid Rock, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss and Rihanna joined Radiohead, Coldplay, Paul McCartney with Dave Grohl, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, T.I., Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Jonas Brothers and Jennifer Hudson.
As always, Rolling Stone will be on the ground in L.A. Grammy night bringing you the latest from the red carpet to the green room to the afterparties. But for now, check out artists’ predictions for who will walk away with the biggest honors in our Grammy Faceoff ‘09 — and don’t miss all our other essential Grammy coverage on our Grammy hub.
Maxwell, Anita Baker, Al Green, John Legend, Robin Thicke, Salt-N-Pepa, Ne-Yo and En Vogue will join previously announced headliner Beyonce at the 15th annual Essence Music Festival. The event will be held July 3-5 at the New Orleans Superdome.
Rounding out the bill are Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, Teena Marie, Eric Benet, Jazmine Sullivan, Janelle Monae, Raphael Saadiq, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Zap Mama, The Knux, Irvin Mayfield, Lalah Hathaway, Blind Boys of Alabama, Ledisi, Marva Wright, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Brand New Heavies, Dan Dyer, DJ Soul Sister, Keri Hilson, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Rebirth Brass Band, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave.
The Essence Festival is also known for its empowerment seminars, which are free and open to ticket-holders on a first-come, first-served basis. Among the personalities participating in these events are Bill Cosby, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Donna Brazile, Tom Joyner, Hill Harper and Donnie McClurkin.
In addition, there will be a tribute to TD Jakes featuring CeCe Winans and Marvin Sapp, among others.
Tickets for the Essence festival are available from Ticketmaster. Weekend packages are discounted by 15% through Feb. 15.