Author Archives: M Fund

Kendrick Lamar to Induct N.W.A Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Kendrick Lamar will induct pioneering hip-hop group N.W.A into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the April 8th ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Arena. Kid Rock will also be among the artists on hand to welcome Cheap Trick into the Rock Hall. Lamar and Rock join previously announced presenters the Black Keys, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas.

Lamar, a protégé of Dr. Dre’s, has spoke often about N.W.A’s influence on him growing up in Compton. “When I think of N.W.A, it wasn’t even music to me, it was a real lifestyle,” Lamar said in an introductory video for the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton. “Brothas from my neighborhood that made it out.”

In October, Lamar also shared a tribute to the late N.W.A member Eazy-E. “People were scared to talk about these kinds of tough situations, but because [Eazy] and the group took it upon themselves to talk about [these things], every artist is able to and they owe it to him,” Lamar said. “He’s not only the birth of gangsta rap, but he’s the birth of a whole legacy of being able to say what you want to say on a record and not being in fear of what others may think and not offending your own art and your own reflection.”

Rolling Stone spoke to Ice Cube in December following news of N.W.A’s passage into the Rock Hall’s Class of 2016. “It means a lot of things. It means that the group’s mark is kind of solidified. It’s all legitimized in a way because the whole music industry has to honor the group in a way. It’s just hard to sum up in words, really,” the rapper said. “It’s everything that kind of eluded us in a lot of ways when we were coming up. So many people were opinionated about N.W.A. I think everyone now at this point, no matter how you feel about us, understands what the group actually did and what it means to modern music.”

The 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony airs on HBO on April 30th.

http://www.rollingstone.com/

Joey + Rory Top Country Albums Chart With 'Hymns'

On the heels of their recent Grammy and ACM nominations, Joey + Rory have achieved a career milestone with their new inspirational LP, Hymns That Are Important to Us, which debuted at Number One on the Billboard Country Albums chart. The album also charted at Number Four on the all-genre Billboard 200. With 70,000 units sold — including 68,000 in physical album sales — Hymns marks the married couple’s first-ever entry in the Billboard 200 Top Ten. Released on the couple’s own Farmhouse Recordings label, the record also topped the Christian album survey. 

Released around Valentine’s Day, Hymns was mostly recorded last summer while Joey Feek was recovering from surgery to treat cervical cancer. She’s currently in hospice care at her home, facing a terminal diagnosis.

“I think Joey wants to capture the words and music of her childhood,” husband Rory Feek wrote on his blog at the time, part of his effort to document the life of his wife. “The music that makes this beautiful, tragic, crazy life somehow make sense.” Although the instrumental parts were tracked in a Nashville studio, Joey recorded her vocals at home and in several hotel rooms. Heidi Feek, Rory’s older daughter and a notable songwriter in her own right, appears on the album as a harmony vocalist.

Made up of gospel standards such as “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” “Softly and Tenderly” and “I Need Thee Every Hour,” the album is available in a deluxe edition at Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. One dollar of each sale benefits the Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Foundation, in honor of Scout — the best friend of the Feeks’ two-year old daughter, Indiana — who has Loeys-Dietz syndrome.

http://www.rollingstone.com/

Paul Simon Plots Expansive Tour Ahead of New Album 'Stranger to Stranger'

Paul Simon will kick off an extensive North American tour after performing at Jazz Fest in late April. He played arenas on a co-headlining run with Sting in 2014, but hasn’t played the United States on his own since 2011. The tour focuses largely on indoor theaters, though it will wrap up June 30th at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York. The historic stadium, which reopened for concerts in 2013, is just blocks away from Simon’s childhood home.

There was no mention of a new studio album in the official tour announcement, though an advertisement for the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium concert states that a new album entitled Stranger to Stranger will be released this spring. A spokesperson for Simon confirmed the new album. Stranger to Stranger will be Simon’s first new studio LP since 2011’s widely acclaimed So Beautiful or So What.

Simon last played Forest Hills Stadium in July 1970 on Simon and Garfunkel’s tour in support of Bridge Over Troubled Water. Art Garfunkel also grew up in Forest Hills, Queens and the duo became friends in the sixth grade, attending Forest Hills High School together. They haven’t performed in public together since vocal problems derailed a planned tour in 2010. Garfunkel’s voice has recovered, though last year he vented his frustration over Simon’s reluctance to launch another reunion. “How can you walk away from this lucky place on top of the world, Paul?” he said. “What’s going on with you, you idiot? How could you let that go, jerk?”

Paul Simon Tour Dates

April 29 – New Orleans, LA @ Jazz Fest
May 3 – Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theater
May 4 – Birmingham, AL @ BJCC Concert Hall
May 6 – Tulsa, OK @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – The Joint
May 7 – Thackerville, OK @ Winstar Casino
May 8 – Dallas, TX @ AT&T Performing Arts Center
May 10 – Austin, TX @ Bass Concert Hall
May 11 – Austin, TX @ Bass Concert hall
May 14 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
May 15 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
May 18 – Des Moines, IA @ Civic Center
May 19 – Lincoln, NE @ Pinewood Bowl Theater
May 20 – Denver, CO @ Bellco Theatre
May 22 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Maverick Center
May 23 – Boise, ID @ Botanical Gardens
May 25 – Portland, OR @ Schnitzer Concert Hall
May 26 – Vancouver, BC @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre
May 28 – Woodinville, WA @ Chateau St. Michelle
May 29 – Woodinville, WA @ Chateau St. Michelle
June 1 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
June 3 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre
June 5 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
June 11 – Kansas City, MO @ Starlight
June 12 – St. Louis, MO @ Fox Theatre
June 14 – Minneapolis, MN @ Orpheum Theatre
June 19 – Rochester Hills, MI @ Meadow Brook
June 21 – Toronto, ON @ Sony Centre
June 22 – Montreal, QC @ Place Des Arts
June 24 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
June 25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Mann Center for the Performing Arts
June 30 – Forest Hills, NY @ Forest Hills Tennis Stadium

http://www.rollingstone.com/

'Voice' Alum Adley Stump Named Grammy Amplifier Winner

Four years after competing on the second season of The Voice, country singer Adley Stump has been named one of the annual Grammy Amplifier contest’s three winners.

Judges Sam Hunt, Lzzy Hale and Big Sean announced the news this morning, with Stump — whose time on The Voice included a short-lived spot on Blake Shelton’s team, where she was ultimately sent home after losing a duet battle with a pre-fame RaeLynn — serving as the sole country singer in the winners’ circle. During the years since her TV debut, Stump has  found success on her own terms, releasing a pair of albums and sending two songs into the iTunes Country chart’s Top 40 without help from a major label. Joining fellow Grammy Amplifier winners American Bombshell and Kirby Maurier, she’ll have access to prizes like studio time, major tour dates and music-video shoots. 

“I am so thankful to the Grammys for front-running this initiative that recognizes and fosters independent talent,” she says of the online contest, which shines a light on undiscovered and underground musicians. “I couldn’t be more humbled to have been acknowledged. There is no better organization from which to learn and grow, not only as an artist, but as a person and a member of the creative community I love so much.”

Stump’s touring schedule resumes next month, when she performs with Chris Janson in Minneapolis on March 28th. The Grammy Amplifier contest is sponsored by Hyundai and the Recording Academy.

http://www.rollingstone.com/

Live Nation Entertainment Acquires South Africa's Leading Concert Promoter

LIVE NATION ENTERTAINMENT ACQUIRES SOUTH AFRICA'S LEADING CONCERT PROMOTERLOS ANGELES, Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: LYV) today announced that it has acquired a controlling interest in Big Concerts International Proprietary Limited (“Big Concerts”), the leading concert promoter in South Africa.

Big Concerts will…

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Big Sean, Lzzy Hale and Sam Hunt Name "Grammy Amplifier: A Hyundai Music Initiative" Program Winners

Grammy Award / Hyundai Amplifier Program LogoLOS ANGELES, Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — GRAMMY®-nominated hip-hop artist Big Sean, GRAMMY® winner Lzzy Hale, lead singer and guitarist of hard-rock band Halestorm, and rising country superstar and GRAMMY® nominee Sam Hunt today announced the winners of Hyundai and The…

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See Chris Stapleton, Maren Morris Let Loose on 'Free Fallin''

In what’s getting to be a semi-regular occurrence, Chris Stapleton just enjoyed another monster week. Starting off strong at the 58th annual Grammy Awards on February 15th, Stapleton took home two trophies: Best Country Album (Traveller) and Best Country Solo Recording (“Traveller”). He also stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live to perform and revealed some surprisingly strong comedic ability. He wrapped up the week with a victorious, sold-out three-night stand at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium that was rapturously received by fans and industry guests alike.

Openers varied nightly, with Maren Morris joining on Thursday (February 18th), Sam Lewis playing Friday (February 19th) and Aubrie Sellers taking Saturday (February 20th). During the February 18th show, Stapleton was generous with his stage time and even reunited with his soulful bluegrass group the SteelDrivers between gritty, crowd-assisted renditions of songs from Traveller

Morris — whose excellent set featured current single “My Church” and “Drunk Girls Don’t Cry” — also returned to the stage in the middle of Stapleton’s set for a crowd-pleasing cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.”

Getting the Stapleton vote of confidence as one of country’s promising new talents, Morris leads the first verse and trades out with Stapleton for the second verse. They ramp up to big, full-throated harmonies on the choruses, while Stapleton’s wife Morgane happily dances and shakes her tambourine. Morris picks up the lead again in the next verse, adding some soulful improvisations that earn enthusiastic cheers from the audience. Stapleton also proudly shows off his band, giving Robby Turner some space for a liquid pedal steel solo. 

With one of 2016’s hottest live tickets, Stapleton will head west this week for sold-out shows in Lubbock and San Antonio, Texas as well as Thackerville, Oklahoma.

http://www.rollingstone.com/

Spreadtrum Licenses Tensilica HiFi Audio/Voice DSP

Cadence Logo.SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) today announced that Spreadtrum licensed the Cadence® Tensilica® HiFi Audio/Voice digital signal processor (DSP).

The Tensilica HiFi DSP is production proven for ultra-low power…

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Dr. Luke: Kesha 'Free' to Record Music, Rape Accusations 'Outright Lies'

Lawyers for Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, the producer who Kesha has accused of rape and abuse, released a new statement Monday commenting on the #FreeKesha social media movement as well as the allegations against their client. Following Kesha’s denied attempt to get an injunction against Gottwald and Sony Music Friday, which in effect forced the singer to honor her contract and continue recording under the Sony umbrella, fans and artists like Lorde, Lady Gaga and Demi Lovato criticized the outcome.

The New York judge’s decision renewed a popular #FreeKesha hashtag as fans complained that Kesha was being ordered to work with her alleged rapist, but as Dr. Luke’s lawyer Christine Lepera said in a new statement, “The New York County Supreme Court on Friday found that Kesha is already ‘free’ to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she doesn’t want to. Any claim that she isn’t ‘free’ is a myth.” Lepera added that Sony Music has already invested $11 million promoting Kesha.

As for Kesha’s accusations of rape and abuse, Lepera denied the charges against Gottwald. “As Dr. Luke has said repeatedly, the allegations against him are outright lies that have been advanced to extort a contract renegotiation and money,” the statement continued. “Kesha and her counsel have cavalierly subjected Dr. Luke and his family to trial by Twitter, using a vicious smear campaign to ruin his reputation for financial gain while failing to support their claims.

“Tellingly, Kesha never reported any purported abuse or rape to any law enforcement authority, or even to Sony Music, and further swore under oath in another matter, while accompanied by her team of lawyers, that it never occurred,” Lepera added. “The goal of Kesha’s counsel throughout has been to obtain a more lucrative contract through a shameless campaign of outrageous claims they will never stand behind in a court of law.”

A lawyer for Kesha did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Sunday, Taylor Swift donated $250,000 to Kesha as “a show of support” during this “trying time.” “When Taylor saw the heartbreaking courtroom photos of Kesha, it was then that she knew she needed to do something,” a source close to Swift told Rolling Stone.

At Friday’s hearing, the judge reserved to rule on a motion to dismiss the abuse and rape claims until Kesha’s lawyers filed more evidence on the alleged abuse.

Full Statement From Dr. Luke’s Attorney, Christine Lepera

The New York County Supreme Court on Friday found that Kesha is already “free” to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she doesn’t want to. Any claim that she isn’t “free” is a myth. The sound decision Friday by the Court in denying Kesha’s motion for an injunction made it clear Kesha’s allegations of purported abuse were unconvincing and that she had no basis to void record contracts and copyrights. Dr. Luke and his companies invested in Kesha’s success through their contributions, Sony Music has already spent over $11 million promoting Kesha, and Sony Music and its label Kemosabe Records are committed to continuing to promote her work.

More significantly, the Court also noted multiple times that her vague abuse allegations were devoid of factual detail, and that there was no evidence, whether from doctors or anyone else, to support them.

Tellingly, Kesha never reported any purported abuse or rape to any law enforcement authority, or even to Sony Music, and further swore under oath in another matter, while accompanied by her team of lawyers, that it never occurred. The goal of Kesha’s counsel throughout has been to obtain a more lucrative contract through a shameless campaign of outrageous claims they will never stand behind in a court of law.

As Dr. Luke has said repeatedly, the allegations against him are outright lies that have been advanced to extort a contract renegotiation and money. Kesha and her counsel have cavalierly subjected Dr. Luke and his family to trial by Twitter, using a vicious smear campaign to ruin his reputation for financial gain while failing to support their claims. Kesha to date has never verified the allegations in this case -even when given the opportunity in her affidavit. Nor has she ever offered a credible explanation as to why she would have signed a second recording agreement, recorded two albums and an EP and signed a publishing deal with Dr. Luke after allegedly being sexually abused. It will further be shown that the incidents alleged never happened.

http://www.rollingstone.com/

Cyndi Lauper on 'Dirty and Sexy' Country Album

“My main concern was not making things clinical,” Cyndi Lauper says of her upcoming country album, Detour. “I wanted the beat to be dirty and sexy. It was supposed to be a mix of R&B and country.”

Lauper, a singer synonymous with Eighties pop, worked with producer Tony Brown (George Strait) to record the album in Nashville. She also enlisted some of the best voices in country and folk: Emmylou Harris sings on the title track; Jewel appears on “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart”; and Vince Gill turns up on Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn’s cheekily titled “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly.”

Willie Nelson also appears, joining with Lauper for a rendition of his own early Sixties hit “Night Life.” 

Lauper’s Detour will be released May 6th. She recently offered a sneak peek of the album during a Skyville Live performance in Nashville with Kelsea Ballerini and Ingrid Michaelson.

http://www.rollingstone.com/