Grammy Best Rock Album Nominees Revealed

Grammy Best Rock Album Nominees Revealed

Grammy Best Rock Album Nominees RevealedNARASThe Grammy nominations are being revealed all day today.  Here are the nominees in the Best Rock Album category:

Best Rock Album
Ryan Adams
, Ryan Adams
Morning Phase, Beck
Turn Blue, The Black Keys
Hypnotic Eye, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Songs of Innocence, U2

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Congrats @theGRAMMYs Best Rock Album noms @TheRyanAdams @beck @theblackkeys @tompetty @u2!

— JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) December 5, 2014


Chrissie Hynde Releases New Rendition of Pretenders’ “2000 Miles” as Part of Deluxe Version of “Stockholm”

Chrissie Hynde Releases New Rendition of Pretenders’ “2000 Miles” as Part of Deluxe Version of “Stockholm”

Credit: Jill FurmanovskyChrissie Hynde has recorded an updated version of the 1983 Pretenders holiday tune “2000 Miles” that’s available now as part of an expanded digital edition of her debut solo album, Stockholm.  Released this past Monday, Stockholm: Deluxe Album also features bonus songs and videos recorded live at the 2014 iTunes Festival in London this past September.

Hynde also is planning to issue the new “2000 Miles” as a Christmas single in the U.K. on December 15.  She tells Classic Rock magazine, “Last year while finishing up the album Stockholm, Bjorn Yttling and I made up this version of the Pretenders’ ‘2000 Miles’…I think it captures the mood of the season perfectly as it gets cold in Sweden, reindeer wander the streets freely and the snow was coming down!  Happy Christmas!”

The updated rendition of the tune features Chrissie vocals accompanied by just piano, chimes and echoing percussion.  The track currently is streaming on Hynde’s SoundCloud page.

The rocker has three more concerts left on her current fall U.S. tour, all in California.  They’re scheduled for tonight in Santa Rosa, Friday in Santa Barbara and Saturday in Hollywood.  She’ll then begin a brief series of U.K. dates on December 12 in Wolverhampton.

Here is the complete track list to the deluxe edition of Stockholm:

“You or No One”
“Dark Sunglasses”
“Like in the Movies”
“Down the Wrong Way”
“You’re the One”
“A Plan Too Far”
“In a Miracle”
“House of Cards”
“Tourniquet (Cynthia Ann)”
“Sweet Nuthin'”
“Adding the Blue”
“2000 Miles (Stockholm 2014 Version)”
“Tourniquet (Cynthia Ann)”*
“Sweet Nuthin'”*
“You or No One”*
“I Go to Sleep”*
“Brass in Pocket”*
“Down the Wrong Way” (Video)*
“Dark Sunglasses” (Video)*
“Adding the Blue” (Video)*

* = Live at iTunes Festival, London, 2014.

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Elliot Easton Says He Hopes New Supergroup Empty Hearts’ Future Includes “Lots of Touring and More Records”

Elliot Easton Says He Hopes New Supergroup Empty Hearts’ Future Includes “Lots of Touring and More Records”

Image Courtesy of 429 RecordsThe Empty Hearts, the new supergroup featuring members of The Cars, Blondie and The Romantics, are winding down their 2014 tour itinerary in the coming week with a few shows in the Northeastern U.S.  The trek, in support of the band’s self-titled debut album, winds down on Monday with a concert at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City.

Making up The Empty Hearts’ lineup are Cars guitarist Elliot Easton, Blondie drummer Clem Burke and Romantics singer/guitarist Wally Palmar, as well as bassist Andy Babiuk of the veteran garage-rock act The Chesterfield Kings.  The band is playing about a dozen or so gigs this year, but Easton says these shows are “the little small baby steps just to try to get this thing going.”

He tells ABC News Radio, “[C]ertainly the hope is that we’re just at the beginning and there’ll be lots of touring and more records and everything.”

As for what fans who come out to an Empty Hearts concert can expect to hear, Easton says that besides songs from the group’s debut album, “We do some things by some of our previous bands, and there’s even a special cover that we do.”  He adds, “We’re a new band, so we don’t have the benefit of [having] a real deep catalog yet to draw on…So, we play some fan favorites.”

Easton says he was asked to join The Empty Hearts by Babiuk.  The guitarist says Babiuk phoned him “and asked me what I thought about having a band…with Clem and Wally and just playing music for the sheer love of it…the stuff that, as he put it, reminds us of why we want to play guitar in the first place.”

Elliot signed on immediately, although he admits he was skeptical about whether the project would get off the ground, since the members were spread all around the country.  “I guess I underestimated Andy’s perseverance,” he says, “because he made it happen.”

To create the album, the band members pooled their writing talents and came up with a set of songs influenced by ’50s rock ‘n’ roll, the British Invasion era and late ’70s punk, polished with a modern-rock sheen.

The album features a guest appearance by Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 69.  Easton says McLagan’s participation “was just sort of serendipity,” since he just happened to be playing in the Rochester, New York, area at the same time that The Empty Hearts were recording the album at Babiuk’s home studio there.

Easton says McLagan’s style of playing fit in well with the band’s music since the Faces are one of the group’s influences.

“I guess the music felt pretty natural for him ’cause he plays so great on it,” says Elliot.  “He’s all over the record.  I mean, anywhere you hear keyboards, it’s Mac.”

Here are the remaining shows on The Empty Hearts’ 2014 itinerary:

12/5 — Asbury Park, NJ, The Saint
12/6 — Natick, MA, The Centre for the Arts
12/8 — New York, NY, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill

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Stevie Nicks’ Polaroid Self-Portraits Go on Display in Miami Today

Stevie Nicks’ Polaroid Self-Portraits Go on Display in Miami Today

Stevie Nicks' Polaroid Self-Portraits Go on Display in Miami TodayStevie Nicks/Morrison Hotel GalleryAfter a successful run in New York City, a collection of Polaroid self-portraits — old school selfies, if you will — that Stevie Nicks took of herself in the ’70s and ’80s is going on display starting today in Miami, Florida, as part of the city’s prestigious Art Basel show of modern and contemporary art.

Unlike these days, when taking a picture of yourself is as easy as breathing, Nicks says creating her portraits — featured in the packaging of her current solo album, 24 Karat Gold — was “a huge deal,” adding, “It was like writing a song.”

“You know, that Polaroid had a button that plugged into it and then it was on a long cord and that was on a tripod.  So it really was a thing,” she tells ABC News Radio of the portraits, for which she styled herself in a variety of costumes and poses.  “So if I was setting up…to take photographs, I could set up a whole scene, and then…leave it set up for two or three days.  So I could take two or three nights after shows, and really go for that one shot.”

Complicating the process was the fact that Stevie was working alone, often in hotel rooms in the wee morning hours, to capture those photos, and there were a lot of factors working against her.

“There’s too much light, there’s not enough light.  It’s the wrong kind of light.  I don’t have the right light so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow,” she recalls of her creative process.  “I’m out of film, I have to wait until tomorrow.  I don’t have the right makeup, and I’m taking notes as I go along.  It was a huge deal.  It was like writing a song.”

Not only that, but the singer says she wasn’t satisfied with the first photos she took, or even the second or the third ones.

“Each one of those shots, it was like another 20, 30 of those shots that I cut up with scissors and threw away, until I got the picture,” she tells ABC News Radio.  “And then only those pictures went into the shoeboxes, which went into a truck and then went home and went into a storage box.”

That is, until her pal Dave Stewart of Eurythmics decided to go through those shoeboxes, pick the best ones, enlarge them and put them on display.  The photos can be seen at the Dream Hotel South Beach though Friday.

Asked if she feels camera-phone technology has denigrated the art of photography, Nicks says, “Very much.  I think it’s really too bad.”  

In addition to promoting the photos, and 24 Karat Gold, Stevie’s currently on tour with Fleetwood Mac; her next gig with them is this Saturday in Inglewood, California.

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New Foreigner Live Album Features Songs from 1981’s “4” and Other Classic Tunes

New Foreigner Live Album Features Songs from 1981’s “4” and Other Classic Tunes

Courtesy of Sony Music EntertainmentForeigner will release a new live album this month that celebrates the band’s classic 1981 album 4The Best of Foreigner 4 & More, which hits stores on December 16, was recorded in high-definition at two shows that the group’s current lineup played in early October in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The album offers live renditions of seven of the 10 tunes featured on the 4 track list, including “Urgent,” “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” “Juke Box Hero” and “Break It Up.”  The record also boasts concert performances of major hits such as “Feels Like the First Time,” “Cold as Ice,” “Hot Blooded” and “I Want to Know What Love Is,” which appeared on other Foreigner albums.

“Our music has touched a lot of people worldwide and we’ve unwittingly weaved our music into the fabric of people’s lives,” says the band’s founding lead guitarist and main songwriter, Mick Jones.

Adds longtime bass player Jeff Pilson, “Great songs, great performances and great production are timeless.  4 has all three in spades…Bringing the album to life on stage with the energy and passion the band has always maintained, made us very happy.”

Current Foreigner frontman Kelly Hansen, meanwhile, notes that the new album includes “some tracks that were never previously performed live in this format.”

You can listen to the new live version of “Juke Box Hero” from the album now at

4 spent a total of 10 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart during 1981 and ’82, and has gone on to sell more than 6 million copies in the U.S.

Here’s the full track list of The Best of Foreigner 4 & More:

“Night Life”
“Woman in Black”
“Waiting for a Girl Like You”
“Break It Up”
“Girl on the Moon”
“Say You Will”
“Feels Like the First Time”
“Cold as Ice”
“Hot Blooded”
“I Want to Know What Love Is”
“Juke Box Hero”

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Report: Paul McCartney Is World’s Second Wealthiest Musician Behind Madonna

Report: Paul McCartney Is World’s Second Wealthiest Musician Behind Madonna

Report: Paul McCartney Is World's Second Wealthiest Musician Behind MadonnaMary McCartney/MPL CommunicationsWhich musician’s got the most moolah?  Most people assume it’s Paul McCartney, but a company specializing in the net worth of the super-rich claims that Madonna‘s got him beat.

Wealth-X, which bills itself as having “the largest collection of curated research on ultra high net worth individuals,” has released a list of what it says are the world’s wealthiest recording artists.  It claims that Madonna has an estimated net worth of $800 million, which means she handily beats Sir Paul, who only has a $660 million fortune.

Since the former Beatle‘s wife, Nancy Shevell, is worth some $300 million herself, according to Forbes, together they beat Madonna.  Shevell’s fortune is the reason why Sir Paul is frequently referred to as a billionaire.

After Madonna and McCartney come rapper and entrepreneur Dr. Dre, whose worth an estimated $650 million; rapper and entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs, worth some $640 million; and, perhaps surprisingly, Celine Dion, who’s said to be worth $630 million.  Also in the top 10 of the tally are U2‘s Bono at #6 with $590 million and Elton John at #8 with $450 million.

By the way, Wealth-X defines ultra high net worth individuals as those who are worth at least $30 million.

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Queen and Adam Lambert to Play Special New Year’s Eve Show in London

Queen and Adam Lambert to Play Special New Year’s Eve Show in London

Queen and Adam Lambert to Play Special New Year's Eve Show in LondonCredit: Christie GoodwinQueen and one-time American Idol star Adam Lambert will help the U.K. ring in 2015 with a special concert that will take place at Central Hall Westminster next to the famed London landmark Big Ben.  The New Year’s Eve show will air live on British television on the BBC One channel, and the only 2,000 people will be able to attend the event.

The concert will begin before midnight, and will continue after the clock strikes twelve and the traditional fireworks display is held along the river Thames.  Tickets for the show are on sale now via

Queen drummer Roger Taylor says, “I never imagined we would be around to usher in the year of 2015, what a thrill!  We promise you a great night.”

Adds Queen guitarist Brian May, “OK — Let’s Rock into 2015!”

As for Lambert, he says, “Words can’t describe how excited I am, we are going to kick off 2015 in style!”

No word if Queen and Lambert’s performance will be viewable in North America.

The New Year’s Eve gig will serve as a preview to Queen + Adam Lambert’s 2015 tour of the U.K. and Europe, which gets under way on January 13 in Newcastle, U.K., and is mapped out through a February 27 in Sheffield, U.K.

Meanwhile, Queen and Lambert appeared this past Sunday on the popular U.K. singing-competition show The X Factor, performing an inspired rendition of the band’s classic song “Somebody to Love.”  You can check out a video of the appearance at the Queen Official YouTube channel.

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Lifetime Announces Premiere Date for Whitney Houston Biopic

Lifetime Announces Premiere Date for Whitney Houston Biopic

Lifetime Announces Premiere Date for Whitney Houston BiopicImage Courtesy of Lifetime NetworksLifetime has announced the premiere date for its upcoming biopic of the late Whitney Houston, which wrapped production in August.

Despite the family’s disapproval, the made-for-TV film, simply titled Whitney, will air Saturday, January 17, 2015, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.  The project, directed by Angela Bassett, will see Yaya DaCosta portraying the late singer opposite Arlen Escarpeta, who plays Bobby Brown in the film.

Houston’s cousin Dionne Warwick recently told ABC News Radio that she hopes the biopic will be tasteful.  “I’m certain that Angela wouldn’t do anything to hurt Whitney or the family,” Warwick said.  “I have a great deal of respect for her and her art, and I’m certain that whatever she chose to depict is gonna be done with style and class.”  She added, with regard to venturing an opinion about the flick, “I’ll wait to see it and then I can speak from a position of strength.”

Viewers can expect the biopic to chronicle Houston’s whirlwind relationship with Brown from when they first met to their tumultuous marriage.  It will also include vocal performances from Deborah Cox, since Whitney’s original music was not cleared for use.

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Official Details Revealed About Upcoming Symphonic Version of The Who’s “Quadrophenia”

Official Details Revealed About Upcoming Symphonic Version of The Who’s “Quadrophenia”

Geffen/Universal MusicPete Townshend has confirmed plans to release a new orchestral reworking of The Who‘s classic 1973 rock opera, Quadrophenia.  The album, Classic Quadrophenia, will be issued by the Deutsche Grammophon label next summer, and a premiere performance of the “symphonized” version of Quadrophenia will be held on July 5, 2015, at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The new project was orchestrated by Townshend’s longtime girlfriend, singer/songwriter Rachel Fuller, and features music by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Oriana Choir.  Acclaimed British tenor Alfie Boe contributes lead vocals to the recording, handling the parts Who frontman Roger Daltrey sang on the original album.

Townshend, Boe, the orchestra and the choir all will take part in the concert.  Members of the Who Fan Club can purchase pre-sale tickets to the event now at

A video trailer for Classic Quadrophenia has been posted on Deutsche Grammophon’s official YouTube channel.  In the clip, Townshend says it was “amazing to work with [the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra].  They just started to play like a band.  Away they went, and I just thought, ‘God, they’re so tight.'”

He adds about the project, “I suppose we’re hoping that the people that love classical music already will find something in this.  I hope the Who fans will enjoy it…The hope is that this will not just be a successful album, but that it will be a successful live performance.”  Visit for more information.

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