In 2004, rapper Nelly released the song “Over and Over” from his album Suit (a companion to his collection Sweat that was released the same day). Singing the hook on that song — a Number Three hit in the United States — was Tim McGraw, marking an early cross-genre collaboration between country music and the hip-hop community. Thomas Rhett on Surprise ‘Tangled Up’ ACM Nomination The “Hot in Herre” rapper also turned up on a 2013 remix of Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” helping to make it one of the largest country chart hits of the last decade. He’s hinted at doing a more country-themed release at some point, but has insisted it won’t be a full-on country album . In the meantime, Nelly has released a pretty straightforward cover of a recent country hit, Thomas Rhett’s multi-week smash “Die a Happy Man.” Nelly’s version (listen below) replaces Rhett’s subtle electric guitar strums with a looping piano riff and a booming drum break, which he punctuates with ad-libbed exclamations. Lyrically and melodically, he stays true to the original, singing with the same relaxed confidence that made massive hits of his songs like “Ride Wit Me” and “Air Force Ones.” The song is the follow-up to “The Fix,” featuring Jeremih. “Die a Happy Man” recently enjoyed a multi-week run at the top of the Billboard Country Airplay chart, matching a previously long stay at Number One in 2008 by Taylor Swift. Earlier this week, the song picked up an ACM Award nomination for Single Record of the Year, giving Rhett a total of three nominations — including an Album of the Year nod for Tangled Up . Seeing the success of “Die a Happy Man,” Rhett notes he’s cautious not to obsess over it but feels like it’s a license to write from the gut instead of chasing the market. In this case, he wrote about the love he felt for his wife Lauren and it turned into what will certainly be one of 2016’s biggest hits. “A lot of the time it scares me when people say, ‘Hey, you just had your career record,’ because that just means that everything from here on out is downhill and is gonna sound like crap,” he jokes
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Meek Mill has been sentenced following a probation-violating trip to Los Angeles with girlfriend Nicki Minaj for the American Music Awards last November. The Philly rapper was found guilty of traveling without adhering to the guidelines stipulated in terms of his probation. Meek Mill Rekindles Drake Beef With Surprise ‘4/4’ EP Mill will serve 90 days under house arrest and six months parole beginning March 1st. He will be unable to work during the time he is on house arrest. In 2014, Mill was found guilty of a similar violation and was put in jail until December , just before Minaj released The Pinkprint with a pair of guest features from him. Mill’s legal troubles began in 2008 when he was booked on drug and gun charges. He spent 18 months incarcerated before spending five years on probation. His 2014 sentence was due to the rapper booking out-of-town concerts without permission and failing to provide his probation officer with a working number
Young Thug has unveiled his latest mixtape, I’m Up . Originally titled Slime Season 3 , I’m Up was intended to be the third in a series of Slime Season mixtapes that debuted last fall following the release of his debut commercial release Barter 6 . Stream Thug’s new music below and on Apple Music . I’m Up begins with the previously released “F Cancer” featuring Migos’ Quavo and produced by Mike WiLL Made-It. The song pays tribute to rapper Lil Boosie, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer last fall.
Ever since Metallica signed up to play a stadium gig the day before the Super Bowl in their hometown of San Francisco, Lars Ulrich has been relentlessly checking the forecast. “The Weather Underground app has taken up a lot of my iPhone time,” he tells Rolling Stone . “About a month ago, it was wet, then it was wetter, then it was the wettest. The good news is, as I look out the window, it’s sunny and dry outside.” He laughs. Metallica’s Lars Ulrich Pays Tribute to Lemmy Ulrich’s good spirits are starting to show. “There’s a lot of excitement in the air, both from people that live here in the Bay Area and from all corners of the world,” he says. “It’s an awesome thing to be a part of and to have in our backyard.” Things are looking good for what is officially CBS Radio’s annual “The Night Before” concert, set to take place Saturday night at San Francisco’s AT&T Park and to stream for free online. Part of the reason why the drummer has been worried about everything going right isn’t just because the concert will be Metallica’s first of 2016, but also because they’ll be debuting a new stage production. “It’s big,” he says. “I mean it’s really big.
Sam Outlaw and Whitney Rose are hitting the hillbilly highway this month, kicking off a shared tour that finds the two songwriters — one, a literal country Outlaw who spikes his twang with mariachi horns and other Tex-Mex influences; the other, a Canadian crooner rooted in the vintage charm of the genre’s golden years — cutting a circle across America. Along the way, the Country & Western Nights Tour will also make a three-date stopover at this year’s South by Southwest Festival. Hear Sam Outlaw and Ry Cooder Revive Mariachi Country The first American artist signed to Toronto’s Six Shooter Records, Outlaw released his debut album Angeleno last summer, teaming up with producer (and fellow Southern California resident) Ry Cooder for an album whose Hollywood honky-tonk sound proudly pitched its tent on the far fringes of the mainstream. Hours to the north, Rose worked with her own A-list producer — the Mavericks’ frontman Raul Malo — to put the finishing touches on Heartbreaker of the Year , filling the record with songs influenced by the southern side of the Canadian/American border. Together, the two represent a sub-genre of country music that’s bound together not by geography, but by a genuine appreciation for old influences and new directions. Dates for Sam Outlaw and Whitney Rose’s Country & Western Nights Tour: February 19 – San Diego @ Soda Bar February 21 – San Luis Obispo, CA@ the Grange February 22 – San Francisco @ the Chapel February 24 – Portland @ Mississippi Studios February 26 – Seattle @ the Sunset Tavern February 27 – Vancouver @ the Cobalt March 2 – Spokane, WA @ the Bartlett March 3 – Bozeman, MT @ Live from the Divide March 4 – Billings, MT @ Pub Station March 5 – Laramie, WY @ Phoenix Ballroom at Gryphon Theatre March 7 – Denver @ Larimer Lounge March 8 – Salt Lake City @ Kilbey Court March 12 – Phoenix @ Viva Phoenix Downtown Music Fest March 13 – Tucson @ Flycatcher March 15 – Roswell, NM @ the Liberty March 16 – Dallas @ Twilite Lounge March 17-19 – Austin @ SXSW March 24 – Atlanta @ TBA March 25 – Knoxville @ KMW Secret Show Series March 26 – Nashville @ the High Watt Related Americana Music Fest 2015: 27 Must-See Acts Hear Raul Malo and Whitney Rose’s Seductive Ronettes Cover Ry Cooder and Ricky Skaggs Plot Joint Tour
Colorado folk-rock band the Lumineers have announced their second album, Cleopatra . The LP, the follow-up to their Grammy-nominated 2013 self-titled album, will be released on April 8th. The Lumineers also previewed the forthcoming Cleopatra with their first new song in four years, “Ophelia.” The Lumineers’ Grammy Awards Adventure “It’s a heavier record,” frontman Wesley Schultz told Entertainment Weekly about Cleopatra . “A lot of the records that I grew up on were about being transitory; never being stuck. This lifestyle can make you crazy.” On “Ophelia,” the darker tone of the Lumineers’ new music can be heard within the familiar stomps, claps and harmonies that made their more whimsical “Ho Hey” a hit. “‘Ophelia’ is a vague reference to people falling in love with fame,” Schultz told EW . “That spotlight can seem like an endless buffet, but in reality, you’re just shiny, bright and new to people for a quick moment — and then you have the rest of your life to live.” Along with the single and album announcement, the Lumineers also revealed Cleopatra ‘s track list and the dates for a world tour in support of the LP.
Outspoken Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea has already expressed his frustration with some of the Republican presidential candidates. But as the musician noted on Twitter , “I’m happier and more productive when I stay positive.” The Chili Peppers have been longtime supporters of Bernie Sanders, going so far as to headline a benefit show Friday night in Los Angeles to raise money for his campaign. In an exclusive essay for Rolling Stone , Flea outlines why, despite having “absolutely no interest” in politics, he was drawn to the candidate and his ideas. Flea: Donald Trump Is ‘Silly Reality-Show Bozo’ I first learned about Bernie Sanders through a teacher of mine who lived in Vermont. He was telling me that the state, in most categories, has the highest standard of life in the United States in terms of employment, education, health care and all the things that you measure a standard of life by. He told me about Bernie and how much he admired him, so he’s been on my radar for a while. When we first started hearing about the Democratic [presidential] hopefuls, I saw that he was running and I just started paying attention. When I heard that he wasn’t taking money from any corporations, didn’t have any Super PACs and was doing it with a lot of small donations, I was amazed. The concept of a president in this country who is not beholden to corporate lobbyists is such a beautiful idea
When Miranda Lambert played an unplugged show at Nashville’s City Winery last month, she was joined by nearly a dozen of her musical friends, including Maren Morris, Ashley Monroe, songwriters Nicolle Galyon, Brent Cobb and Shane McAnally, and Lambert’s longtime bandmate Scotty Wray . While the emotional highpoint of the night had to be Lambert’s heart-tugging performance of Wray’s 16-year-old song ” Scars ,” another of the tunes performed at the show has a history that stretches back even further. Miranda Lambert to Tour With Kip Moore, Brothers Osborne In 1981 — two years before Lambert was born in the Lone Star State — another Texan was nearing the height of her popularity in country music. As the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1980 and 1981, Barbara Mandrell was only the third woman to win the honor, and the first artist ever to take the award twice. Known for her versatility on several musical instruments, in the Seventies and Eighties Mandrell took such tunes as “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed,” “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right” and “Years” to the top of the country chart. But it’s her 1981 smash single “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool,” written by Dennis Morgan and Kye Fleming, which is considered Mandrell’s signature song. Coming as it did during the Urban Cowboy -inspired boom in country’s popularity, the song had Mandrell lamenting that she “took a lot of kiddin’ ’cause I never did fit in/now look at everybody trying to be what I was then,” at the same time she and her sisters were starring in their NBC variety series, and not long before Mandrell would take her glitzy stage act to Vegas. But the nostalgic tune about watching Roy Rogers movies and putting peanuts in your Coke struck a chord with those who felt country music had gone too far into pop territory. If that wasn’t enough to make the case for country’s coolness, the song also had a secret weapon.
Earth, Wind and Fire vocalist and co-founder Maurice White died in his sleep in Los Angeles on Wednesday evening. A rep for the band confirmed his passing to Rolling Stone . He was 74. Poll: The Greatest R&B and Soul Singers The singer had been battling Parkinson’s disease since 1992, according to TMZ . His health had reportedly deteriorated in recent months. Because of the disease, he had not toured with the pioneering soul and R&B group since 1994. He nevertheless remained active on the business side of the group. “My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” White’s brother and bandmate Verdine wrote in a statement. “While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.” “The light is he, shining on you and me,” the band added on Twitter .
Madonna dove deep into her extensive catalog to perform her 1994 hit “Take a Bow” live for the first time in Taipei, Taiwan Thursday. The Making of Madonna’s 20 Greatest Videos: As PopCrush points out, Madonna did sing the Number One single off Bedtime Stories at the 1995 American Music Awards , but has left it off set lists for her own shows. A fan-shot video captured the historic performance of the mournful pop ballad, after which Madonna remarked, “That was fun! First time ever. Hit a few bad notes, but it felt good to sing it.” Madonna will continue to trek through Asia this February, before wrapping up her Rebel Heart Tour with a string of dates in New Zealand and Australia in March. The singer has been on the road for the better part of the past year in support of Rebel Heart , her 13th studio LP, which arrived last March. The trek has boasted several special performances, including a recent cover of “Rebel, Rebel” in honor of David Bowie and a rendition of “Holiday” in Glasgow delivered after the venue had flipped the power off. Last December, after a sold-out show in Paris, Madonna delivered an impromptu set on the street where she covered John Lennon’s “Imagine” to honor the victims of the November 13th terrorist attacks. Related Watch Katy Perry Grind Madonna Onstage Watch Madonna’s Powerful Speech About Paris Attacks Madonna: ‘David Bowie Changed the Course of My Life Forever’
Nicki Minaj rehashes her VMA spat with Miley Cyrus in her remix of Yo Gotti’s “Down in the DM.” Gotti originally released the track last fall. Minaj added two verses to the track off Gotti’s upcoming album The Art of Hustle . She references Miley at the end of the first verse. “He said ‘Kylie, what’s good?’/I said Miley, what’s good?/I said could you pay my bills like O’Reilly, what’s good?” 11 Biggest Beefs of 2015 Minaj and Cyrus’ feud began when the latter called the former “not too kind” and “not very polite” in an interview with The New York Times prior to her Video Music Awards hosting gig. Cyrus was commenting on Minaj’s feud with Taylor Swift that began when the rapper tweeted about the “Anaconda” snub from the award show and noted how the ceremony celebrates “women with very slim bodies.” Swift responded on Twitter, believing the dig to be aimed at her. At the VMAs, Swift and Minaj shared the stage, having resolved their spat. However, when Minaj went onstage to accept her moonman for Best Hip-Hop Video, she ended her speech very curtly: “And now, back to this bitch who had a lot to say about me the other day in the press: Miley, what’s good
Billy Corgan is embarking on a cross-country road trip to film a documentary about America and potentially dredge up material for a new album. Watch Roger Waters, Billy Corgan Perform ‘Comfortably Numb’ The Smashing Pumpkins frontman outlined the project in a note on his website, People and Their Cars , which will wind its way from Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to the “wastefulness and common cruelty” of the contemporary West to his own desire to reclaim the truth by exploring America’s past. To complete the project, Corgan is asking fans for suggestions on where he and his friend Justin should go, what they should see and who they should talk to. Noting his grandfather once worked as a coal miner, Corgan wrote, “We’ll be much more taken with documenting the stories of an elderly class that can share impressions of the country as it once was; good, bad, or indifferent.” To further elicit the past, Corgan requested invitations to “old-fashioned parlors and the like,” and promised to bring a guitar and play a few songs in return. Always thinking in epic terms — and with the Smashing Pumpkins’ In Plainsong tour around the corner — Corgan said he hopes to sketch the beginnings of the documentary during this first excursion.