Pentatonix performed a loving tribute to Star Wars and its legendary theme at the 2015 American Music Awards. Harrison Ford, the evening’s surprise guest, introduced the band while also paying homage to legendary composer John Williams and his most famous film scores. Pentatonix on AMAs ‘Star Wars’ Tribute Afterwards, Ford stepped up to the podium to introduce the five vocalists, who each wore various Star Wars -influenced costumes. The group was also backed by Williams’ full orchestra, with classic scenes from the beloved franchise playing behind the quintet. The a cappella group’s performance was preceded by a new clip from the forthcoming Star Wars film The Force Awakens. In the brief sequence , Finn (John Boyega) and Rae (Daisy Ridley) are shown escaping enemy fire. Pentatonix spoke with Rolling Stone last week to preview their cinematic tribute. “We just came out of rehearsal and it’s going to be epic,” beatboxer Kevin Olusola promised. “It was really a collaboration with the orchestra. We were ecstatic when they asked us if we would be willing to work with John Williams’ orchestra. Our background is in choral music, so this felt like a chance to revisit and re-study certain classical techniques.” In October, Pentatonix released their fourth LP.
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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis debuted an emotional recovery ballad called “Kevin” at the 2015 American Music Awards. They were joined by a gospel choir and soul newcomer Leon Bridges for the track’s unveiling. How Macklemore Conquered Addiction, Crafted Diverse New LP The performance was a simple and solemn one as the rapper debuted his new cut in front of a cloudy background. Leon Bridges gave a stirring vocal performance between Macklemore’s verses about addiction, recovery and death. The powerful song was a deep shift from the more upbeat “Downtown” that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis had released a couple months ago. The hip-hop duo won four Grammy Awards for their 2012 debut The Heist and hit single “Thrift Shop.” They’ve remained relatively quiet about their sophomore album’s release date, title and other details though they released a promotional single titled ” Growing Up (Sloane’s Song) ” featuring Ed Sheeran and lead single ” Downtown ” featuring Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee and Grandmaster Caz. “I’m feeling great about this album,” Macklemore told Rolling Stone . “It has a diversity of sounds and textures and concepts. We’ve been able to take our time with it, and it’s a great feeling to get to that point.” Related The Playlist: Deafheaven, the Weeknd and Macklemore Macklemore, Ryan Lewis Tap Rap Vets for ‘Downtown’ Vid Macklemore Collaborator Eric Nally on ‘Freedom’ in Art
Celine Dion made a special appearance at the 2015 American Music Awards Sunday to pay tribute to those killed and injured in the tragic terror attacks in Paris on November 13th. The French-Canadian singer delivered a breathtaking rendition of Edith Piaf’s “Hymne A L’amour” amid beautiful images of the City of Light and many of Paris’ landmarks. Le Bataclan: Attack Occurred at a Legendary Paris Club Dion was introduced by Jared Leto, whose band 30 Seconds to Mars played at the Bataclan in the months before the terror attack, a venue Leto called “beautiful, peaceful and unforgettable.” “What a difference a day makes,” Leto said. He then remembered all those lost in the “horrific and senseless tragedy,” including Thomas Ayad , a record label rep killed in the Bataclan attack. Leto also reiterated that Americans shouldn’t shun Syrian immigrants in the wake of the tragedy. Over 120 people were killed in the ISIS-perpetrated Paris terror attack, with most of those victims attending the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the city’s Bataclan venue, including the band’s merchandise manager Nick Alexander
Gwen Stefani performed her emotional new breakup ballad “Used to Love You” at the 2015 American Music Awards. During her set, Stefani kept it simple and stripped back as she belted out the ballad in front of images of her intimate video. The No Doubt singer was introduced by Alicia Silverstone and Jeremy Sisto of Clueless in a reunion of the teen movie cast mates, who noted that Stefani and No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” featured prominently in that film 20 years ago. Watch Gwen Stefani’s Wistful ‘Used to Love You’ Video Stefani has been teasing a highly-anticipated follow-up to 2006’s The Sweet Escape , her most recent solo album. In 2014, she debuted two new songs, ” Baby Don’t Lie ” and ” Spark the Fire ” for an album she’s since scrapped. This year, she released the emotional ballad “Used to Love You” following the announcement of her divorce from Bush’s Gavin Rossdale and revealed she’s working on new music post-breakup. “I think I have enough for probably two albums,” Stefani told Beats 1’s Zane Lowe following the release of “Used to Love You.” “I have to write a few more songs, because I feel like, might as well keep going while it’s there.” Throughout the past few years, her band No Doubt has played a number of festivals, including New York’s Global Citizen Fest in September 2014 and this year’s Rock in Rio USA. The band’s most recent LP was 2012’s Push and Shove , which was their first since 2001’s Rock Steady
One Direction kept it simple as they performed their latest single “Perfect.” The track is featured on the band’s fifth album, Made in the A.M. Zayn Malik Reveals Why He Left One Direction The band delivered a stripped-back version of the infectious pop song for the ceremony. Armed with just mic stands and no extraneous background visuals, the quartet showed off their vocal chops, both together and individually, on the soaring track. The winners of this year’s Favorite Duo/Group — Pop/Rock gave a similar low-key performance at the 2014 AMAs with their single “Night Changes.” The boy band recently released their fifth album, Made in the A.M . It is also the first following the departure of Zayn Malik. “There’s a lot of love and loss and success and failure crammed into this,” contributing songwriter Julian Bunetta told Rolling Stone . “We just had the most fun you can ever have doing it. That’s the truth.” Malik, who signed to RCA over the summer, recently gave his first in-depth interview as a solo artist and detailed why he chose to leave the pop group. “I wasn’t 100 percent behind the music,” Malik told Fader . “It wasn’t me. It was music that was already given to us, and we were told this is what is going to sell to these people
With J. Lo hosting and every pop star from Justin Bieber and Macklemore to Carrie Underwood and One Direction performing, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that the American Music Awards actually gives out awards. Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and the Weeknd led all nominees going into the night, but who walked away with the coveted hardware? Here’s the full rundown of the evening’s winners. Best Soul/R&B Album: The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness Related Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, the Weeknd Top AMA Nominations Pentatonix on AMAs ‘Star Wars’ Tribute Sex, Drugs and R&B: Inside The Weeknd’s Dark Twisted Fantasy
In the final sales week before Adele ‘s 25 puts an indefinite stranglehold on the Billboard 200’s Number One spot, Justin Bieber ‘s Purpose proved victorious in its much-ballyhooed competition against One Direction ‘s Made in the A.M. Despite predictions that it would be a close race for the top spot, Bieber’s first studio album in over three years grabbed Number One with relative ease after Purpose sold 649,000 total copies in its first week, giving the album the temporary crown of 2015’s highest-selling week until Adele claims that honor seven days from now, Billboard reports. Related: 5 Things Justin Bieber Could Teach Zayn Malik Purpose marked Bieber’s sixth consecutive Number One album. Of Purpose ‘s 649,000 copies sold, 522,000 units came from pure album sales, with the rest of that total coming from a combination of a la carte song downloads and streaming figures. Still, it was more than enough to topple One Direction, whose first album as a quartet claimed the Number Two spot with 459,000 total copies sold, 402,000 of which were pure album sales. In what’s some good pre-Black Friday news for the music industry, this week marked the first time since December 2009 that the Number One and Two albums both sold more than 400,000 copies apiece. As the holiday season approaches, a bunch of new releases flooded shelves, resulting in a vastly different Top 10 than previous weeks. In fact, eight of this week’s Top 10 were new releases: After Bieber and One Direction, Logic’s The Incredible True Story grabbed Number Three, followed by Jeezy’s Church in These Streets (Number Four), Chris Young’s I’m Comin’ Over (Number Five) and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s latest set Letters From the Labyrinth (Number Seven) . Alessia Cara’s Know It All and Kirk Franklin’s Losing My Religion , at Nine and 10 respectively, rounded out the debuts in the Top 10
I ‘ve never done one of these press days before,” Carter Burwell says into the phone, the composer’s allegro voice inflected with the curious enthusiasm of a kid playing the first level of a new videogame. “Interview after interview — I’m enjoying the novelty of it, I’ll say that.” Cate Blanchett on Why ‘Carol’ Is Not Your Average Love Story Something doesn’t compute about this. Burwell isn’t exactly new to the movie business. On the contrary, the man has scored more than 90 films since the Coen brothers first hired him to write the music for their debut, 1984’s Blood Simple . He’s worked with major filmmakers like Spike Jonze, Sidney Lumet, and David O. Russell, and he’s done a number of more broadly commercial gigs — he scored Twilight , for God’s sake. How the hell has he avoided us for so long
Wilco ‘s Jeff Tweedy is working on a “funny, disarming, and honest” memoir that will trace his path from being a young Clash fan to becoming one of the most eclectic voices in rock music. In a statement, Tweedy said of his tome, “I have stories to tell, and I’d like for this book to be a combination of those stories about my experiences, and maybe a window into one person’s creative process, as well as some of what I’ve seen working with other artists in my current and former bands, in the studio, on the road, in my basement with my sons and more.” Jeff Tweedy on ‘Star Wars,’ Bob Dylan and Wilco’s Next LP Dutton, an arm of Penguin Random House, will publish the book after winning a bidding war for the memoir; Tweedy’s book deal is estimated to be worth in the mid-six figures, The Associated Press reports . The as-yet-untitled autobiography does not have a release date scheduled. The book will reportedly combine personal and professional stories from his career, including his work with other artists including Mavis Staples. Tweedy’s jump from indie artist to major label rocker to label owner will be explored, as will his thoughts about the current state of the record industry and the art of making music.
Now that Lady Antebellum’s fall and winter hiatus is in effect, the group’s Charles Kelley is gearing up for his solo tour — which kicks off November 28th in advance of his solo LP. Now comes news that his bandmate, Hillary Scott, is also working on a new album – a gospel collection she’s recording with her parents and younger sister Rylee Jean Scott. Expected early in 2016, the collection will feature gospel standards and new material penned by the family. Route 91 Harvest Fest 2015: Best Live Photos Scott’s mother Linda Davis is perhaps best known for “Does He Love You” — her 1993 Number One duet with Reba McEntire — but before that Grammy-winning smash she sang in a duo called Skip & Linda. Davis’s husband Lang Scott is a songwriter, musician and web-design entrepreneur who began playing in Reba’s band not long after Davis was tapped to open shows for the country superstar. Hillary Scott often traveled with her parents at that time. The gospel album is being produced by Ricky Skaggs and was inspired in part by Davis and her family performing at the June 2015 funeral of Jim Ed Brown. “He was about family harmonies and his family wanted us to be a part of that,” Davis told the Tennessean , adding, “Ever since Hillary was a little girl, [family harmony] is all she’s known as well as Rylee Jean.” As far as Lady Antebellum’s future is concerned, Kelley assures fans the group this is only a break, not a break-up. “We can take some time off and not feel like we’re going to lose it all. We felt like that in the past, if we left off the throttle.
The owners of many of Paris’ most popular clubs have issued a joint statement announcing that, a week after the terror attacks in the French capital, they will all reopen their doors as soon as this weekend. “Nothing and nobody will stop Paris from dancing,” the coalition of nearly 20 club owners said in the statement translated by Rolling Stone . Will the Paris Attacks Change Concert Security? “Today we mourn the loss of our friends and all the victims. But we will not fold before any mandate to live in fear,” the group added. “Music, dance, sharing, meetings, the social bond and diversity are values that we carry that obviously these terrorists have targeted for destruction. That will not work.” In an effort to assuage fears in the aftermath of the November 13th tragedy, the club owners announced that extra security measures would be in place for when they reopen, including limiting the need for outdoor spaces, the installation of security barriers and metal detectors at entryways. Additional security measures were outlined in a statement by the Chambre Syndicale des Cabarets Artistiques et Discothèques . While the club themselves are eager to reopen, some artists themselves are not quite ready to perform in Paris.
Former Swedish House Mafia member Steve Angello releases his solo debut, Wild Youth , on January 22nd, but fans can access Chapter 1 — consisting of half the album’s tracks — today on iTunes . Accompanying the partial LP rollout is a new video for Wild Youth ‘s third single, “Remember,” which dropped in October and features Australian EDM duo the Presets. The clip features three young boys on an ominous Stand by Me –esque camping trip in the woods, and culminates in a foreshadowing of Angello’s musical career. Watch Steve Angello’s Epic New Video ‘Children of the Wild’ ” Wild Youth is the soundtrack of my life,” Angello told Rolling Stone in a statement. “It’s based on a true story — honest, naked and the most exposed I’ve ever been. The visuals go hand in hand with the music and everything I’ve tried capturing can be seen and heard. Substance and honesty have been the most important in this 3 year journey! I never thought I’d make it through the self discovery stage but here it is! Enjoy.” Angello described Wild Youth as “a little darker” than his prior work and “a little melancholy” in a prior RS interview . “No song is an attempt to create a pop record,” said the producer. “This is just straight-up vibes and unorthodox arrangements.” In advance of the album, Angello will appear at Contact Winter Music Festival, taking place in Vancouver on December 26th and 27th.