Category Archives:Music

Demi Lovato rediscovers her joy in music after dark days

Demi Lovato has proclaimed she is happier than ever because her music career no longer revolves around how she looks.

The Cool For the Summer singer admitted in an interview with Bustle that she lost her ‘joy’ for music because of the industry’s focus on her body, which led her to some very dark places in the past.

“I want a career that has nothing to do with my body,” the 27-year-old told the publication.

She continued: “I want it to be about my music and my lyrics and my message… and I want a long-lasting career that I don’t have to change myself for.”

Demi added she has been saddened by the impact the music industry had on her self esteem: “Music brought me so much joy when I was younger and I lost that joy throughout the hustle and bustle of the music industry,” she said.
“I used to have people watching me the night before a photoshoot to make sure that I didn’t binge or eat and be swollen the next day,” she confessed.

However, the pop star insisted her success, coupled with women’s rights movements like Me Too, have helped change the way record bosses operate – and she has benefitted from the new culture.

“It’s just a totally different world now,” she added. “I don’t prepare for photoshoots, even. I can eat Subway (sandwiches) for breakfast.”

Justin Timberlake calls for removal of Confederate leaders statues

Justin Timberlake has demanded southern state officials in the U.S. remove statues commemorating Confederate leaders.

The Cry Me a River singer, who hails from Tennessee, has weighed in on the debate over the future of the statues dotted throughout the south after watching TV news footage of Black Lives Matter protesters tearing down monuments to historical slave owners and bigots.

“If we plan to move forward, these confederate monuments must come down,” he wrote on Instagram.

“When we protest racism in America, people think we are protesting America itself. Why is that the reaction?” he asked fans, before concluding: “Because America was built by men who believed in and benefitted from racism. Plain and simple.”

Timberlake’s comments come days after officials at the American Civil Liberties Union noted that a statue celebrating the memory of Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader Nathaniel Bedford Forrest still stands in the Tennessee State House.

“There are roughly 1,848 confederate statues of in the U.S. (sic),” Timberlake explained, “More than half are in The South, and it’s not acceptable. No one should be protecting the legacies of confederate leaders and slave owners.”
Justin’s post follows a similar one written by Taylor Swift last month, in which she called for the removal of statues honouring Edward Carmack and Forrest in her adopted Nashville, Tennessee.

Swift told her followers she had asked Tennessean officials to “consider the implications of how hurtful it would be to continue fighting for these monuments,” and admitted it made her ‘sick’ to see monuments to “figures who did evil things”.

Ciara celebrates wedding anniversary with heartfelt dedication

Ciara has marked her fourth wedding anniversary with a touching tribute to her husband.

The singer, who is expecting her second child with sportsman Russell Wilson, took to Instagram on Monday to share a heartfelt video dedication to her man.

“Too many sweet moments to chose from… So I closed my eyes and this was the one my hand landed on,” Ciara wrote alongside footage of the pair sharing a romantic moment.

Declaring: “I don’t know where to start, but I know where I am,” Ciara said her husband’s arms were: “the Best Place. My safest place. Simply being in your arms.”

Reflecting on her union with Wilson, she continued: “These 4 years of marriage have been full of unconditional love. My heart is full! My heart cup runs over. I feel like a little kid, excited for each day with you!”

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback also celebrated the occasion with a video of the couple enjoying sunset on a boat.

“4 Years of Pure Joy, Love, and Laughter,” he shared. “You have been the Light and Blessing I’ve always wanted and always needed,” he gushed. Telling Ciara: “You beam like the Sun,” Wilson expressed his continuous appreciation for his wife: “I am grateful for the woman you are, the mom, the amazing wife, businesswoman, leader, lover, and giver of your heart to so many people around the world. I am forever changed.”

The two wed at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire, England in 2016. They welcomed daughter Siena together the following year. Ciara is also mum to Future – her six-year-old son from a past relationship with rapper Future.

Elton John delays homecoming U.K. leg of farewell tour

Elton John has postponed the homecoming U.K. leg of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rock legend was due to play stadiums in his homeland this winter but has now pushed the dates in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin and Leeds back until 2021.

The concerts were set to run from 2 November to 17 December 2020, but will now be held from 30 October through to 14 December 2021.

Announcing the move in a statement, Elton said the change was made for the wellbeing of his team and audience: “Rescheduling my concerts is never a decision taken lightly, but my priority is always the safety of all parties including my tour crew, the venue staff and of course you, my amazing fans.”

He added: “It breaks my heart that we have had to reschedule the 2020 dates we were all looking forward to so much, but my team and I have been working diligently on rescheduled plans for 2021.”

The Your Song hitmaker, whose mammoth three-year global farewell tour has been on hold since the virus took hold across the world in March, concluded by writing, “Stay safe and healthy everyone.”

T.I. challenges 50 Cent to Verzuz rap battle

T.I. has challenged 50 Cent to a rap battle as part of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s popular Verzuz series.

The two producers introduced the initiative as the coronavirus lockdown began, setting up weekly Instagram face-offs between rap and reggae stars and even Swizz’s wife Alicia Keys and John Legend.

Now T.I. is eyeing up a battle royal with 50 after challenging the In Da Club hitmaker on his birthday on Monday.

“For your birthday, I offer you a challenge, sir,” T.I. said in a video posted on social media. Throwing down the gauntlet, he told 50 to: “Pull your a** up with 20 of your records, sit across from me, and get this work, man.”

T.I. then risked incurring 50’s wrath by reminding him that the last time he was challenged to a rap battle, with Kanye West – when the two stars went head-to-head on the U.S. albums chart in 2007, the New York MC lost.

“I understand if you don’t want to answer to that challenge,” T.I. prodded, teasing: “Last time you got challenged Kanye West dusted your a** off, so, you might not wanna do that.”

50 Cent has responded to the challenge, suggesting T.I. was high – like Chris Tucker’s character in the film Friday – joking: “yo somebody passed TI the weed they gave smokey in Friday.”

Recent Verzuz rap battles have seen Nelly take on Ludacris, Lil Jon tackle T-Pain, and French Montana spit off with Tory Lanez.

As part of the challenge, the rappers select 20 of their best songs and fans get to vote whose career highlights are better.

Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan quits band

Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan has left the band after struggling with “personal issues that have affected his behaviour”.

The Club Foot hitmakers went on a break from recording and performing together last year, but Tom had said they would return in 2020 with new music. However, on Monday, the band announced he would no longer be frontman.

“Kasabian have announced today that Tom Meighan is stepping down from the band by mutual consent,” the group’s statement reads. “Tom has struggled with personal issues that have affected his behaviour for quite some time and now wants to concentrate all his energies on getting his life back on track. We will not be commenting further. “

In March, Tom opened up about his mental health battles in an interview with Britain’s Q magazine.

“I was making myself ill, I ain’t gonna lie, my mind was jolted,” he said. “It might have been a build-up from years and years. I wasn’t taking responsibility and it affected everyone around me, horrendous.”

The rocker had claimed, however, that he had beaten his demons and was now engaged again to girlfriend Vikki Ager, having struggled following his split from his former partner Kim James, with whom he shares an eight-year-old daughter, Mimi Malone.

Hours after the band’s official statement, Tom assured fans on Twitter that he was in a good place.

“Following today’s announcement I just wanted to let you all know that I am doing well. I’m in a really good place now. Thanks for all your love and support. I’ll be seeing you all very soon,” he wrote.

The Ivors Academy announce nominees and mentors for new Rising Star Award

The Ivors Academy has today announced the five nominees for its brand-new Rising Star Award with Apple Music.

The Ivors – now in their 65th year – celebrate excellence in British and Irish songwriting and composing across categories for songs, albums, film, TV and video game scores.

Apple Music is supporting The Ivors Academy’s mission to cultivate the next generation of Ivor Novello Award winners. The Rising Star Award with Apple Music is the first new Ivor Novello Award category to be introduced in 10 years and honours young British and Irish songwriting and composing talent who demonstrate exceptional potential and ambition.

The new award helps discover, support, and accelerate the careers of the most promising music creators in the UK and Ireland, and demonstrates Apple Music’s continued support of the songwriter and composer community.

The Ivors Academy called for public submissions for the Rising Star Award last year, receiving the most applications for any category in the 65-year history of The Ivors. In addition to the record-breaking number of entries, 60% of entries were also made by female music creators.

An Ivor Novello Award is particularly important to the industry as it represents peer recognition, with the five nominees announced today chosen by The Ivors Committee: a group of award winning songwriters and composers from across The Ivors Academy’s membership.

The 2020 Rising Star Award Nominees are:

Amahla
Soul singer-songwriter Amahla has already garnered critical acclaim since releasing her debut EP ‘Consider This’ and performances at The Royal Albert Hall and Jazz Cafe. Amahla’s latest single ‘Apathy’ showcases her ability to influence society not only to reflect it.

Carmel Smickersgill
Carmel Smickersgill is a composer based in Manchester working predominantly within classical and electronic genres. A Royal Northern College of Music graduate, she is also the recipient of the 2019 Christopher Brooks prize with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

Griff
Pop artist Griff plays, writes and largely produces her own music, blending soulful vocals with pop hooks over sparse atmospheric arrangements and beats. Her most recent single ‘Forgive Myself’ follows ‘Good Stuff’ and 2019’s EP ‘The Mirror Talk’.

lullahush
Irish songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel McIntyre is the talent behind musical project lullahush. A measure of the distance between ambience and pop, lullahush released ‘Elysium’ and ‘If Spring Had a Spare Room I’d Rent It With You’ in 2019.

Mysie
Artist and songwriter Mysie released her debut EP ‘Chapter 11’ in 2019. Focused on the freedom music provides and rejecting genres and stereotypes, she has since dropped additional singles ‘Sweet Relief’, ‘Heartbeat’ and most recently, ‘Gift’.

The award includes a new mentoring scheme from Apple Music whereby all nominees receive a year-long mentorship from a well-established Academy member to help develop their networks, discover new opportunities and better understand how to navigate their careers.

Representing an incredible array of talent and experience this year’s mentors are:
Ivor Novello Award winning composer, producer and performer Anna Meredith MBE
Ivor Novello Award winning film and television composer and Academy Fellow David Arnold
Grammy and Ivor Novello Award winning music producer and songwriter Fraser T Smith
Multiple award winning singer, songwriter and producer Kamille (Camille Purcell)
Ivor Novello Award and multiple Grammy winning composer, producer, arranger and guitarist Nile Rodgers
Nile Rodgers, who is mentoring Amahla, said: “The Ivors, in my view, offer amongst the most prestigious accolades that a songwriter can receive anywhere in the world. To be able to get this acknowledgement at such an early stage in your career will be an important catalyst for this incredibly diverse range of new talent. All five of the Rising Star nominees being celebrated by The Ivors Academy and Apple Music have been selected on the strength of their creative talent, and I can’t wait to see them grow and give the world what I hope will be many of the great songs of the future.”

Helienne Lindvall, Chair of The Ivors Award Committee at The Ivors Academy, said: “I’m delighted that The Ivors Academy is working with Apple Music on the brand-new mentorship programme to empower young songwriters and composers. Right now, there are more opportunities but we are also facing more challenges than ever, so it’s more important than ever to support and champion music creators. Starting out in the music industry is notoriously difficult, so it really matters that we nurture songwriters and composers at the beginning of their careers. It’s fantastic that the Rising Star Award with Apple Music is recognising and promoting such extraordinary and inspiring young talent.”

The nominees will also receive Logic Pro X and GarageBand workshops to ensure they are able to make the most of Apple’s creative tools, and receive support from the Creative Services team within Apple’s Music Publishing division to optimise their compositions on Apple Music. Recognised as a pinnacle of achievement since they were first presented in 1956, The Ivors Academy presents Ivor Novello Awards twice a year to honour and celebrate exceptional songwriting and composing.

The Ivors with Apple Music sees the presentation of Ivor Novello Awards to celebrate songwriting and screen composition. The Ivors Nominations will be announced on Monday 20 July. These categories recognise works released in the UK during 2019 and as with the Rising Star Award, judging took place earlier in 2020.

Winners across all categories will be announced on Wednesday 2 September 2020.

Kanye West filed West Day Ever trademark pre presidential bid

Kanye West filed to trademark the slogan ‘West Day Ever’ last month ahead of announcing his presidential bid over the weekend.

The Stronger star marked America’s Independence Day holiday late on Saturday by confirming his plans to challenge Donald Trump for the White House in November.

“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States,” West tweeted, adding an American flag emoji and the hashtag, “#2020VISION.”

Now TMZ has reported the rapper sought out new branding efforts by filing paperwork on 26 June to ensure he can use ‘West Day Ever’ on various products, including clothing and shoes.

The date coincides with a massive 10-year deal West signed with bosses at the GAP apparel company to launch the line Yeezy Gap. The Yeezy label was valued at $2.9 billion (£2.32 billion) in April.

“YEEZY AND GAP FORM PARTNERSHIP #WESTDAYEVER,” West announced via Twitter.

The phrase has not officially been announced as part of West’s political aspirations.

Despite his Independence Day declaration, the rapper has yet to register with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) ahead of the November election.

If West does make it onto the ticket, he will face off with Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Billie Eilish to guest on new The Office podcast

Billie Eilish will join Ricky Gervais, Steve Carell, and John Krasinki on a new Spotify podcast about iconic U.S. TV comedy The Office.

The new 12-episode series, titled An Oral History of The Office, will be hosted and produced by Brian Baumgartner, who played accountant Kevin Malone on the beloved show.

Fans can look forward to interviews and memories from his fellow cast members Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson and Angela Kinsey, as well as celebrity devotees, like Bad Guy hitmaker Eilish, according to People.

Eilish has proclaimed herself to be one of The Office’s biggest fans and used dialogue from one of the show’s episode’s – titled Threat Level Midnight – as a sample in her 2019 song My Strange Addiction.

Baumgartner, who is working with former The Office producer Ben Silverman on the new venture, will also chat to Greg Daniels, who created the American version of the hit, and Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who co-created, wrote, produced and starred in the BBC original, which aired from 2001 to 2003.

The U.S. TV hit, which ran for nine seasons before ending in 2013, has proved a popular podcast subject – Brian’s co-stars Jenna and Angela currently host the top-rated Office Ladies audio series.

The first episode of An Oral History of The Office will kick off on 14 July.

Robbie Williams and daughter spooked by creepy home

Robbie Williams’ daughter Teddy had to change bedrooms because a room at her family’s ghostly home scared her.

In an Instagram Live session, Robbie admitted that the room in question at the $11.2 million (£9 million) Wiltshire home gave him ‘the creeps’, and Teddy – his and wife Ayda’s seven-year-old daughter – also had a really bad feeling about it.

“We have got a very, very old property – it is like a thousand years old,” he explained to fans, adding: “There is one room that I am suspicious of. It gives me the creeps.”

Telling viewers his daughter Teddy used to sleep in the room, Robbie recounted: “when she was getting old enough to speak, I said to her, ‘Do you like the bedroom. Do you like the house?’ and she said, ‘I don’t like that house’.”

Robbie elaborated: “she said, ‘That room scares me’. I said, ‘OK, it scares me too. You don’t have to sleep there any more.'”

Robbie and Ayda have been living in Los Angeles in recent months, and have been trying to sell their English home since 2010 without success.

During the chat with fans, the former Take That star – who has been open about his experiences with the paranormal in the past – claimed he once saw his dog’s ghost.

“I do believe energies can be left in houses. I did see the ghost of a dog once. It was Trixie, our cairn terrier who passed away,” he shared, pondering: “Was that a ghost or my mind playing tricks on me? What was that? Was that my mind replaying something I had seen 300 times?”