Hugh Laurie backstage at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

January 9, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards took place on January 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

HUGH LAURIE

Golden Globe win:

Best Supporting Actor in a Mini-Series or Television Film

(“The Night Manager”)

Here is what this Golden Globe winner said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.

Hugh Laurie at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards
Hugh Laurie at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

What was your favorite part of working on “The Night Manager”?

[It’s] hard to pick out a favorite part. The whole damn thing was pretty much a dream for me, without wanting to get too maudlin about it. This was a story that I’d fallen in love with almost 25 years ago in the book was published —’93, I think it was published. In fact, it is the only time in my life I’ve ever tried to. I’m not a producer. I have no producing skills or knowledge but I actually tried to option the novel because I thought this has to be on the screen.

And 25 years ago, I rather arrogantly assumed that I would be playing the part that Tom Hiddleston plays, and then my hair fell out, and a number of other things happened, and I wound up being the villain. But I’ve just always believed that the story, the romance of the story, the nobility of the story was so overwhelming to me. Every moment that I was on set, every part of the process of making it was just such a thrill to me. It’s daunting because it mattered so much to me, but it was nonetheless through the whole thing from beginning to end

Who would you most want to work with?

I would honestly would work with Susanne Bier in an instant. I would follow her to the ends of the earth. “The Ends of the Earth” is probably the title of a cable show, now so obviously I have to read the scripts.  Whatever credit there is in this project was entirely hers.

She’s a Danish woman … what I mean is that she was entering a world a very male and very English kind of tribalism. And it would have been daunting for almost anybody, but  such is her intellect and her passion and her energy and her taste that she never wavered— not for one moment—and had control of it from beginning to end. And I would follow her wherever she leads me, I will go.

Is there a special joy in playing a bad guy and if so what is it?

Well, I suppose there is. I’ve always been a bit suspicious of that assumption. Bad people tend to be interesting because thank God they are rare.  Genuinely villainous people are aberrations; you don’t meet them every day. Psychopaths, essentially. And when you do meet them, obviously, a large part of the work is already done for you because they are inherently interesting simply because they’re rare, thank God.

A lot of actors say it’s much harder to make the guy that’s working in the bank interesting than the guy who’s going out committing terrible sins. But I honestly found so much of this story so many I would have played. I would have played the character of Jed if I were given the chance. I would have played any of these characters. I think it’s one of le Carré’s most consummate casts that he ever assembled in a novel—and that, by the way, is saying something because I could think of no better than John le Carré.

I’ve worshipped him pretty much since I could read, but this whole cast of characters, I found of them fascinating, found the character of Corcoran absolutely mesmerizing. I find Pine extraordinary. There’s something very strange and rootless, something sort of occasionally kind of sinister.

You’re looking at a lost soul and a lost soul who is capable of damaging himself and other people in the quest for whatever it is that will give his life meaning. I find them all absolutely fascinating. I can’t remember what your question was, and neither can you. Can we just call it a day?

Are you finding people in real life like your character?

Yes, they undoubtedly exist. The one peculiar thing from my point of view is that I’m not all. I was actually … legally prevented from researching those carriers. I identified a couple of likely candidates upon whom I could base the character, and I was told that under no circumstances could I talk to them because that would give them license to claim that I had to reduce their name in public, and they would then sue. And suing would be the best I could hope for or they might send the boys around.

That’s not to say even allowing for the media’s appetite for sort of gory details of misdeeds in all kinds of spheres, we have this week we seem to be whipping yourself into this frenzied belief that the world is coming to an end, and that there are villainies on the ascendancy. I don’t believe it. I think most people are kind and gentle and considerate and cooperative.

Unfortunately, villainous people, by their nature, have the power to punch above their weight. An unscrupulous person has the power by dint of their lack of scruples to do a huge amount of damage. Nonetheless, they’re rare. I do believe that, generally speaking, people are kind and generous and are getting—if anything—kinder and more generous as the centuries go by. I wasn’t around more than a century ago, I know, but I read a book.

 

Tracee Ellis Ross backstage at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

January 9, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 74th annual Golden Globe Awards took place on January 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

TRACEE ELLIS ROSS

Golden Globe win:

Best Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical

(“Blackish”)

Here is what this Golden Globe winner said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.

Tracee Ellis Ross at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017.
Tracee Ellis Ross at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

How do you identify with your “Blackish” character?

In many ways, but in many ways I didn’t. I’m not a mother, I’m not a doctor, and I’m not married, but we’re so much alike. Bow Johnson, what I do identify with is that she’s a strong woman with a full life whose story is not told through her husband. And that really is something I identified with. She’s a woman with a big heart.

And one of the things that originally drew me to the character that I really loved she actually really loved her husband. And often, in comedies, a lot of the married comedy kind of thing that happens is that the husband and the wife don’t like each other, and that’s where the foil comes from, but love that this couple actually loved each other.

What’s your favorite memory from the “Blackish” production?

I don’t have children, but I love working with the four kids on the show. It’s been a really beautiful and fun journey watching them grow up. Marcus [Scribner] turned 17 yesterday, and watching them grow and sort of navigate this business has been a really fun experience. And we giggle and laugh at work all day long. We have a really good time. That’s probably my favorite part.

What did you think of the body of work that was considered for the nomination and helped win you this award?

Oh, I thought you meant the other women [nominees], because I was going to say I think they’re amazing … I feel really proud of the show in general. Our writers are exceptional, and every week I feel surprised by our scripts and the way that they very courageously tackle heavy subjects—and yet somehow the show is so funny.

And the way they write for my character is really interesting. As I said earlier, often as the wife character, your storyline is through your husband. And that’s not really the case on our show. And it makes it a really fun experience for me to kind of be challenged every week to find my way. There’s been a couple of favorite episodes this season.

You’ve been nominated for other awards and didn’t win. Is the reward the nomination or does winning even better?

It is the nomination, but winning is really sweet. You know, I’ve been doing this for quite a while. It’s not my first time at the rodeo even though it’s my first time at the Golden Globes, so one of the things I asked myself very early on in my career is, “What do award shows mean to me in the context of the work that I do?” And I would do it whether I was getting nominated for things or not, but I think one of the things that’s very special about being nominated and then most particularly about winning is that you actually get to thank the people that make it possible, because none of us do it alone.

It’s such a collaborative art television so the combination of ABC supporting our show and putting billboards up and making sure that people knew where to find us and then the writing that happens in our extraordinary crew and the cast are so many pieces and so winning and being able to stand on that stage and say those names and say those things and then also to have a platform to say things that are important to me in a larger way is what makes winning so special.

What was the first thing that went through your mind when you won, and how are you going to celebrate?

You mean tonight? I was like “Wait they said my name, right? This is so cool!” It was really cool and is really cool and like a special treat. And then I said my entire speech to Meryl Streep. I was looking right at her. And I was like, “Are we doing good? Great!” Yeah, I hope to party as much as possible, but I have a very big week of work, so I’ll be at work at seven in the morning.

What would you hope that young women, especially women of color, would see when they see you accept your award?

I think what I said is really what I mean. I feel like I  receive this award and hold this now I’m as a “inspired by” and “being a face for” as standing on that stage for women of color and colorful people. And I think that you know this nomination was really exciting to me, as was my Emmy nomination. I’m excited to see the industry look outside of where they usually look is very special to me and is very important, and I think it’s something we need to continue to do more of. I think it’s not since 1983 that a black woman has [won] in this category with Debbie Allen …

I think that our industry really can be at the forefront of making sure that the diversity of stories is told, and diversity does not just mean people of color. It’s all different ages and shapes and sizes, and all of it making sure that the stories that we tell and how we celebrate those stories actually represents the humanity that we all live in. So I hope that young women continue to be encouraged to be themselves—and not just young women—young men, all of us.

What does it mean to you to be the first black woman to win this award in this category in more than 30 years?

Holy moly, when you say it that way, I don’t know quite a process that! It means a lot. Goodness! I think my shoulders got a little heavier and I got a little taller all at the same time. I think that’s something I’m going have to ponder for the next couple days but I think it’s some of it is for me to ponder, and I think more of it is for our industry and all of us to ponder.

I think it’s something that we just need to do better at. I think the work is there, the stories are there, and I also feel really special to be in the category with Debbie Allen. I reposted her post because … it’s Debbie Allen, for God sakes! So yeah, very cool. It’s also cool to be a member of a family with two Golden Globe winners.

How does it feel to carve out a totally different path from your parents in show business?

Normal. It feels like it was sort of what I was raised to do, to be myself. I never felt like I was in my mother’s shadow. I know that always comes up when you have a very famous or prominent parent that people say things like that. “How does it feel to be in your parent’s shadow?”

I’ve actually always felt like I was in my mother’s embrace, and part of the way she raised me and all five of her kids is really to follow my heart and follow my dreams and do the hard work to get there. And so I feel like it’s actually kind of sweet and charming and wonderful to have a different experience and yet have so much that is the same as my mom. She’s been here, I had never been to the Globes so I got ask her what to expect.

Can you comment on some of the monologue jokes related to the incoming president?

I think I will let this moment be about my Golden Globe … I’m basking in the glow of this award.

In a few days, a lot of people think a white supremacist will be running this country. What do you suggest people do to change so this won’t happen in the future?

I will keep it focused on this moment and sort of answer that through this moment, which is that I think I’m continuing to tell our own stories and to stand up for what we believe in as individuals is very important.  And I think how I accepted my award tonight spoke to how I feel about all different kinds of stories being represented.

 

March Madness-inspired ‘Meow Madness’ kitten basketball TV special debuts on Hallmark Channel

January 7, 2017

Kittens in the inaugural "Meow Madness" TV special.
Kittens in the inaugural “Meow Madness” TV special. (Photo courtesy of Hallmark Channel)

The following is a press release from Hallmark Channel:

Hallmark Channel, the exclusive home of kitten  sports and the highly rated “Kitten Bowl” franchise , announces the network’s latest  pet-centric  programming  buzzer  beater , “Meow Madness ,” a Hallmark  Channel  Original  Special Event, will  premiere at 8 p.m. ET on April 3 , 2017.

“Meow Madness” features author and animal advocate  Beth  Stern as host and Peabody Award-winning  reporter  Mary  Carillo as commentator.  The  special will showcase adoptable kittens in the most competitive tournament the basketball world  has ever seen. Hallmark Channel  enjoys home court  advantage for the inaugural “Meow Madness” special as 100 adorable, adoptable “cat-letes” purr-fect an unstoppable zone defense while taking shots  from the “flea throw” zone as  each team claw s its way to “The Final Fur.”

“Meow Madness” is produced by 3 Ball Entertainment.  Executive Producers are Todd A.  Nelson, Ross Weintraub, DJ Nurre and Jeff Altrockm,  with Kathy Sutula serving as co-executive  producer.  3 Ball Entertainment credits include “Extreme Weight Loss” (ABC), “Bar Rescue” (Spike)  and “My Cat From Hell” (Animal Planet), among others.

Check out these “Meow Madness” videos:

Ariana Grande joins the cast of ‘Final Fantasy Brave Exvius’

January 5, 2017

Pop singer/actress Ariana Grande has joined the cast of the role-playing game “Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.” As part of this collaboration, her hit song “Touch It” will be arranged as a “Final Fantasy Brave Exvius”–style remix.

“Final Fantasy Brave Exvius” is available as a free-to-play app (with in-app purchases) through the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App store.  This title is developed as a collaboration between Square Enix and Gumi Inc.  According to Square Enix, “Final Fantasy Brave Exvius” has surpassed 9 million downloads worldwide, excluding Japan. To celebrate this milestone, for a limited time, players will receive a significant boost in daily log-in bonuses.

(Screen shots courtesy of Square Enix)

2017 Governors Ball Music Festival: Tool, Chance the Rapper, Phoenix and more

January 5, 2017
Governors Ball

Tool, Chance the Rapper, Phoenix are headlining the seventh annual Governors Ball Music Festival, which will take place June 2 to June 4, 2017, at New York City’s Randall’s Island Park. The event, which is produced by Founders Entertainment, will feature more than 65 artists, including Childish Gambino, Lorde, Flume, Wu-Tang Clan, Logic, Wiz Khalifa, Air, the Avalanches, the Head and the Heart, Tove Lo and Beach House.

Here is the announced lineup:
Tool
Chance The Rapper
Phoenix
Childish Gambino
Lorde
Flume
Wu-Tang Clan
Wiz Khalifa
Logic
Cage The Elephant
Marshmello
Mark Ronson vs Kevin Parker
Beach House
Schoolboy Q
Air
The Avalanches
Rae Sremmurd
The Head and the Heart
Tove Lo
Phantogram
Franz Ferdinand
Banks
A$AP Ferg
Local Natives
Majid Jordan
Mac Demarco
Rüfüs Du Sol
YG
Parquet Courts
Charli XCX
Bleachers
Royal Blood
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
Danny Brown
Kehlani
Michael Kiwanuka
Warpaint
Car Seat Headrest
Skepta
Saint Motel
The Strumbellas
Francis And The Lights
Stormzy
Gryffin
The Range
Dua Lipa
EDEN
Zane Lowe
The Orwells
Judah & The Lion
MUNA
Arizona
SAINt JHN
Michael Blume
Jessie Reyez
Lo Moon
Kaiydo
Roosevelt
Barns Courtney
Blossoms
Ron Gallo
Welles
Mondo Cozmo
Tkay Maidza
Jenaux
VANT

2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards: Drake is leading contender with 12 nominations

January 4, 2017
2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards

Hip-hop star Drake is the leading nominee for the fourth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards, which will take place March 5, 2017, at the Forum in Los Angeles. The event will be televised live in the U.S. on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and simulcast on iHeartMedia stations nationwide, as well as on the digital music/live streaming radio service iHeartRadio.

The Chainsmokers are also a top contender, with 11 nominations.  All nominations are listed below. For a full list of categories visit iHeartRadio.com/awards.

The award show has several new categories in 2017. This year’s Best New Artist awards are grouped by music format, with the winners of each genre announced in February. Those winners will then become finalists for the top title of Best New Artist presented by the all-new 2017 Subaru Impreza, which will be revealed during the March 5 telecast.  iHeartRadio and Den of Thieves are producing the show.

Category finalists (by alphabetical order) are:

Song of the Year
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake
“Cheap Thrills” – Sia featuring Sean Paul
“Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
“One Dance” – Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
“Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots

Female Artist of the Year
Adele
Ariana Grande
Rihanna
Selena Gomez
Sia

Male Artist of the Year
Drake
Justin Bieber
Luke Bryan
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd

Best Duo/Group of the Year
Coldplay
DNCE
Florida Georgia Line
The Chainsmokers
Twenty One Pilots

Alternative Rock Song of the Year
“Bored to Death” – Blink-182
“Dark Necessities” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots
“Ride” – Twenty One Pilots
“Trouble” – Cage the Elephant

Alternative Rock Artist of the Year
Blink-182
Cage the Elephant
Coldplay
The Strumbellas
Twenty One Pilots

Rock Song of the Year
“Bang Bang” – Green Day
“Dark Necessities” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Take Me Down” – The Pretty Reckless
“The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” – Volbeat
“The Sound Of Silence” – Disturbed

Rock Artist of the Year
Disturbed
Five Finger Death Punch
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Shinedown
Volbeat

Country Song of the Year
“Church Bells” – Carrie Underwood
“Snapback” – Old Dominion
“Somewhere on a Beach” – Dierks Bentley
“T-Shirt” – Thomas Rhett
“You Should Be Here” – Cole Swindell

Country Artist of the Year
Carrie Underwood
Jason Aldean
Keith Urban
Luke Bryan
Thomas Rhett

Dance Song of the Year
“Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
“Cold Water” – Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber and MØ
“Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
“I Took a Pill in Ibiza” – Mike Posner
“Let Me Love You” – DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber

Dance Artist of the Year
Calvin Harris
DJ Snake
Flume
Major Lazer
The Chainsmokers

Hip-Hop Song of the Year
“All The Way Up” – Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana and Infared
“Controlla” – Drake
“For Free” – DJ Khaled featuring Drake
“One Dance” – Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
“Panda” – Desiigner

Hip-Hop Artist of the Year
Desiigner
DJ Khaled
Drake
Future
J. Cole

R&B Song of the Year
“Exchange” – Bryson Tiller
“Needed Me” – Rihanna
“No Limit” – Usher featuring Young Thug
“Sorry” – Beyoncé
“Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake

R&B Artist of the Year
Beyoncé
Bryson Tiller
Rihanna
The Weeknd
Usher

Latin Song of the Year
“Ay Mi Dios” – IAmChino featuring Pitbull, Yandel and El Chacal
“De Pies A Cabeza” – Mana featuring Nicky Jam
“Duele El Corazon” – Enrique Iglesias featuring Wisin
“La Carretera” – Prince Royce
“Ya Me Enteré” – Reik featuring Nicky Jam

Latin Artist of the Year
Enrique Iglesias
J Balvin
Nicky Jam
Prince Royce
Yandel

Regional Mexican Song of the Year
“Amor Del Bueno” – Calibre 50
“Cicatrices” – Regulo Caro
“Me Está Gustando” – Banda Los Recoditos
“¿Por Qué Terminamos?” – Gerardo Ortiz
“Solo Con Verte” – Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizárraga

Regional Mexican Artist of the Year
Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga
Banda Los Recoditos
Calibre 50
Gerardo Ortiz
Remmy Valenzuela

Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist (New Category)
Foals
Kaleo
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Red Sun Rising
The Strumbellas

Best New Country Artist (New Category)
Chris Lane
Chris Stapleton
Granger Smith
Kelsea Ballerini
Maren Morris

Best New Hip-Hop Artist (New Category)
Chance The Rapper
Desiigner
D.R.A.M.
Kent Jones
Kevin Gates

Best New Latin Artist (New Category)
Carlos Rivera
Christian Daniel
CNCO
IAmChino
Sofia Reyes

Best New R&B Artist (New Category)
Belly
Bryson Tiller
Dreezy
Kayla Brianna
Ro James

Best New Regional Mexican Artist (New Category)
Adriel Favela
Banda Los Sebastianes
Cheyo Carrillo
Joss Favela
La Séptima Banda

Best New Pop Artist (New Category)
Alessia Cara
Daya
Lukas Graham
The Chainsmokers
ZAYN

Producer of the Year (New Category)
Benny Blanco
Greg Kurstin
Max Martin
Mike Elizondo
The Chainsmokers

Best Lyrics (Socially Voted Category)
“7 Years” – Lukas Graham
“Came Here to Forget” – Blake Shelton
“Cheap Thrills” – Sia featuring Sean Paul
“Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots
“Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber
“Scars to Your Beautiful” – Alessia Cara
“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” – Adele
“Too Good” – Drake featuring Rihanna
“You Should Be Here” – Cole Swindell

Best Collaboration (Socially Voted Category)
“Cheap Thrills” – Sia featuring Sean Paul
“Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
“Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
“This Is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna
“Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake

Best Cover Song (Socially Voted Category)
“All I Ask” – Bruno Mars
“Ex’s and Oh’s” – Fifth Harmony
“Fast Car” – Justin Bieber
“Hands to Myself” – DNCE
“Here” – Shawn Mendes
“How Will I Know” – Ariana Grande
“Love on the Brain” – Kelly Clarkson
“Purple Rain” – Jennifer Hudson and the cast of “The Color Purple”
“Sound of Silence” – Disturbed
“Too Good” – Zara Larsson

Best Song from a Movie (Socially Voted Category)
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake (from “Trolls”)
“Falling for You” – Ellie Goulding (from “Bridget Jones’s Baby”)
“Girls Talk Boys” – 5 Seconds of Summer (from “Ghostbusters”)
“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots (from “Suicide Squad”)
“Just Like Fire” – Pink (from “Alice Through the Looking Glass”)

Best Music Video (New Socially Voted Category)
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake
“Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
“Formation” – Beyoncé
“Hasta El Amanecer” – Nicky Jam
“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots
“Hymn for the Weekend” – Coldplay
“I Took A Pill In Ibiza” – Mike Posner
“Pillowtalk” – Zayn
“Side to Side” – Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj
“This Is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna
“Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake
“Work From Home” – Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla Sign

Best Underground Alternative Band: (New Socially Voted Category)
Hey Violet
Pierce the Veil
PVRIS
Sleeping With Sirens
Tonight Alive

Social Star Award (New Socially Voted Category)
Alex Aiono from YouTube
Baby Ariel from Musical.ly
Emma McGann from YouNow
Hailey Knox from YouNow
Jack and Jack from Snapchat
Jacob Sartorius from Musical.ly
Marcus Perez from Facebook
Steph Clavin from Instagram
Todrick Hall from YouTube
xYego from Smule

Best Fan Army presented by Taco Bell (Socially Voted Category)
5 Seconds of Summer – 5SOSFam
Ariana Grande – Arianators
Beyoncé – Beyhive
Britney Spears – Britney Army
Demi Lovato – Lovatics
Fifth Harmony – Harmonizers
Justin Bieber – Beliebers
Katy Perry – KatyCats
Lady Gaga – Little Monsters
Rihanna – Rihanna Navy
Selena Gomez – Selenators
Shawn Mendes – Mendes Army
twenty one pilots – #twentyonepilots

Additional categories include Best Tour, Most Thumbed Up Artist and Most Thumbed Up Song. For a full list of categories visit iHeartRadio.com/awards.

SMAAASH opens first U.S. location at Mall of America

December 22, 2016SMAAASH

 SMAAASH, a gaming and entertainment center founded in India in 2012, opened its first U.S. location at the Mall of America (Level 4 East) in Bloomington, Minnesota, on December 20, 2016.

At the grand opening, the first 100 customers standing in line were each rewarded with a $100 Gift Card. During the day, two lucky customers scored five consecutive goals on the “What the Puck” hockey game, and each won a Harley Davidson Motorcycle for their skills. Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings presented ceremonial keys to the winners, who are from St. Louis Park and Elk River, Minnesota.

SMAAASH, America’s Adrenaline Arena, has 40,000 square feet of gaming, racing, dining and virtual-reality (VR) experiences, including a VR rollercoaster ride where the rider is able to create his or her own track before hopping aboard. Elsewhere, guests will be able to walk a thin, rickety plank that seems to have them between two skyscrapers hundreds of feet in the air.

2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Pearl Jam, Journey, Tupac Shakur, Yes, ELO, Joan Baez, Nile Rodgers

December 20, 2016

by Carla Hay

Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Journey, Joan Baez, Yes and Nile Rodgers have been announced as the inductees in the 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, which will take place on April 7, 2017, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Rodgers, a Grammy-winning producer and founder of Chic, will be given the Award for Musical Excellence. The rest of the artists will be inducted in the Performers category.

Ticket on-sale dates will be announced in January 2017. HBO will once again televise highlights from the ceremony on a premiere date to be announced. The show’s radio broadcast will be on SiriusXM.

A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be available for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members in advance of the public sale date. To be eligible for the member pre-sale, you must be an active Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member by December 31, 2016. Additional public ticket details and presale offers will be announced in the future.

The special exhibition on the 2017 Inductees will open at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on March 31, 2017.

Artists are eligible for inclusion in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording.  The 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Performer Inductees were chosen by more than 900 voters of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, as well as the aggregate results of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s online fan vote. The top five artists from the fan vote comprised the fans’ ballot that was tallied along with the other ballots to determine the 2017 Inductees. Four of the groups from fans’ ballot (Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Pearl Jam and Yes) will be inducted.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is known for its on-stage reunions, memorable tributes and all-star jam sessions. It has not yet been announced which of the living inductees will attend, who will induct them, and who will be performing. It’s a tradition for the inductees who attend to also perform at the show. In rare cases, some inductees attend but do not perform either because of their health or for other reasons. Bands that have had feuds or several lineup changes are often at the center of speculation about who will show up for the acceptance speech and performance.

Pearl Jam

Led by singer/songwriter Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam’s only major lineup changes have been with the band’s drummers. Between 1991 and 1998, the band parted ways with four different drummers. Since 1998, the band’s current lineup has remained the same: Vedder, lead guitarist Mike McCready, rhythm guitarist Stone Gossard, bassist Mike Ament and drummer Matt Cameron.

Journey

Journey has had several lead singers since the band released its first album in 1975. Steve Perry is Journey’s most famous lead singer, since he was in the band during its heyday in the late 1970s to 1980s, when Journey had its biggest hits. Perry, who is now a solo artist, has battled health problems with his vocal cords and hip, and it is unknown at this point if he will perform at the induction ceremony. Gregg Rolie, Journey’s original lead singer, has most recently been recording and touring with Santana, his other mega-successful band from the San Francisco Bay Area.  Steve Augeri was Journey’s singer from 1998 to 2007. Journey’s current lead singer, Arnel Pineda, was famously discovered on YouTube, and has been in the band since 2007. Journey lead guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardist Jonathan Caine and bassist Ross Valory are longtime members of the band who have stayed in the group throughout its changing lineup of lead singers.

Joan Baez

American folk icon Baez, whose first album was released in 1960, has been steadily performing throughout her entire career. It’s safe to assume that she will attend and perform at the ceremony.

Tupac Shakur

Hip-hop star Shakur, who was shot to death in 1996 (in a murder that remains unsolved), will likely be represented by his mother, Afeni Shakur, and possibly other members of his family or business associates.

ELO

British pop/rock band ELO has had numerous lineup changes, breakups, and revivals since the group’s first album was released in 1971. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jeff Lynne has been the band’s chief architect, since he wrote and produced the band’s biggest hits. ELO co-founder Roy Wood performed only on ELO’s first album, but he is still eligible to be inducted with ELO in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, other original members of the band—such as keyboardist Richard Tandy and drummer Bev Bevan—were part of the group during ELO’s heyday in the 1970s through mid-1980s. Bevan later recorded and toured as part of the spinoff group ELO Part II, while Tandy is part of Jeff Lynne’s ELO, a group that has toured with Lynne since 2015.

Yes

Yes is another British rock band that has undergone many incarnations and revivals.  Since 2015, the band’s lineup has consisted of guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, keyboardist Geoff Downes, bassist Billy Sherwood and singer Jon Davison. Bass player Chris Squire, one of the original members of Yes, died in 2015. Jon Anderson, who was in Yes off and on from 1968 to 2008, is the band’s most famous lead singer, since he sang on the group’s biggest hits. Other well-known former members of Yes are keyboardist Rick Wakeman, drummer Bill Bruford, singer/bassist Trevor Horn, and keyboardist Tony Kaye.

Nile Rodgers

He first rose to fame in the late 1970s as a member of the dance/R&B group Chic. Since then, Rodgers has worked with  a wide variety of artists, including Daft Punk, Duran Duran, Diana Ross and Madonna.

 

Stevie Nicks headlines opening of Park Theater at Monte Carlo in Las Vegas

December 18, 2016

Stevie Nicks performs at the grand opening of Park Theater at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on December 17, 2016.
Stevie Nicks performs at the grand opening of Park Theater at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on December 17, 2016. (Photo by Al Powers for Park Theater)

On December 17, 2016, Stevie Nicks was the first headlining performer at the grand opening of the Park Theater at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The sold-out show at the 5,200-seat venue also featured a performance from the Pretenders.

According to a Monte Carlo press release, Nicks  was presented with an honorary key to the theater. She also autographed a backstage wall, to start a tradition for all Park Theater performers to come.  At the concert, Nicks performed songs from her career with Fleetwood Mac, as well as some of her solo hits, including “Edge of Seventeen” and “Wild Heart.” She and Pretenders lead singer Chrisse Hynde also sang the  duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,”  a song originally recorded by Nicks and Tom  Petty. Nicks concluded the concert with Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” which she dedicated to MGM Resorts International executives Bill Hornbuckle and Richard Sturm for inviting Nicks to be a “part of history” as the first headliner to perform at Park Theater.

In 2017, other artists who will headline shows at the theater include Cher, Ricky Martin and Bruno Mars.

The premiere of Park Theater is the first in a series of plans to reinvent the Monte Carlo, which is owned by MGM Resorts International. According to a press release, the Monte Carlo’s transformation, which will take place over the next two years, “will include two distinct hotel experiences: a Las Vegas version of Sydell Group’s famed NoMad Hotel and the launch of a luxury hotel named Park MGM.”

Each will have redesigned guest rooms and new food/beverage offerings, including the Italian food marketplace Eataly.

The Park Theater is one of two big U.S. venue openings for MGM Resorts International this month. MGM National Harbor, a $1.4 billion resort and casino, opened in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on December 8, 2016.

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