On the back of Bono's back surgery problems, U2 cancelled a tour. Now Christina Aguilera is following suit, despite having had no such surgery (though, frankly, you could hardly blame her for having back pain). The main issue is that people aren't listening to her new single or buying her tickets. In show business, this can be a dilemma.
Christina Aguilera has canceled her 20-date summer tour, which was scheduled to begin in July.
Live Nation, the tour's promoter, released the following statement:
"Christina Aguilera's summer tour has been moved to 2011 due to prior commitments that the singer had made to her film, 'Burlesque,' and to the promotion of her new album, 'Bionic.' The singer felt she needed more time to rehearse the show and with less than a month between the album release and tour dates this wasn't possible."
Could poor ticket sales be the real reason?
"Not Myself Tonight," the first single off Christina's new album, charted at a disappointing 23. The video for the song (scroll down to watch) was widely panned and regarded as an oversexed Gaga ripoff.
Christina's new album will be released June 8 but has already been leaked in full. 'Bionic' is her first album since she took time off to have her son, and she has been working on it since 2008.
'Burlesque,' a musical costarring Cher, is due out in November. The singer recently posed nude for German GQ.
Usually when a rock star goes into rehab it's no big surprise. But when it's Bono and a back condition, that's real trouble, with the whole U2 360 North American Tour pushed back an entire year with no solid answers as to when or where the band would play again. Currently they still show European dates later this year, but with the grim prognosis from the doctors, saying he needed at least two months to recover, an August return to the stage seems iffy at best.
The extensive quotes that U2's people put out from Bono's doctors about the condition of his back had a hint of "We're not making this up -- he's really hurt!" desperation to it.
And they're not making it up. Putting off the biggest concert tour of all time - just days before it was to start, when crews were already constructing the massive stage in Salt Lake City - would have hurt even if the postponement were, say, just two months. Putting a full leg off to an unspecified date a year away underscores the seriousness of the problem. Thousands of people working on the concert end have been putting their lives and livelihood into working around the globe for the next year with U2. Millions of fans have bought tickets and made plans around those shows - obviously a disappointment for them, but much less devastating than a roadie who had the his or her income riding on this tour.
Eighties singer Adam Ant has been placed under mental hospital care after a spate of bizarre and often offensive outbursts in public, numerous British newspapers are reporting Friday.
According to the Daily Mail and The Sun, Ant -- real name Stuart Goddard -- unleashed a "tirade of abuse" on a crowd at a charity concert in Portsmouth last week. Attendees began booing when Ant stopped the show to teach a 4-year-old boy the words of a song. He asked if there were any Christians in attendance, and reportedly told them to "f**k off."
This outburst, along with his history of depression and bipolar disorder, was justification to forcibly place the singer in the hospital under Britain's Mental Health Act. The practice is known as "sectioning," and is not unlike when a person is put under a non-voluntary mental health hold in states like California.
The Music Fix blog posted a message reportedly from the 'Goody Two Shoes' singer. In it, he says he is at the Chelsea & Wesminster Hospital.
Ant asks: "Please don't come down here as it may upset the staff who have been really pleasant. I am having a well earned rest at Her Majesty's Pleasure and am painting and continuing being an art student. I have a great view and am considering gigs later in the year."
The former Adam and the Ants frontman was reportedly admitted on Tuesday night. He was previously sent to a psychiatric ward for several months in 2003 following an incident where he tried to smash through a neighbor's door, then pulled his pants down, reclined and tried to sleep.
He recently told fans he had gotten his bipolar disorder under control and that his 12-year-old daughter, Lily, was his inspiration.
"I've had this lifelong battle against manic depression but I've had to overcome it for her sake," he said. "Times got bad. I lost my mind. But I'm back."
They'll be wailing a little extra hard at the wall when they hear that Elvis Costello has cancelled two concerts he was scheduled to play in the state of Israel. He has cited "intimidation, humiliation or much worse" forms of treatment of Palestinians at the hands of Israel, adding that he had become uncomfortable playing the shows in an environment where "merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act."
You could, of course, wonder why the shows were scheduled in the first place, but Costello, who is not exactly known for being consistent (take any 5 of his many albums for example), put it very simply: "The issues just became too complex and I woke up one day and realized I couldn't go on with the shows."
JERUSALEM — British singer-songwriter Elvis Costello is canceling two summer concerts in Israel because of its treatment of the Palestinians, disappointing fans in a country enjoying an upswing in visits by renowned artists.
In an announcement on his Web site explaining his decision, Costello spoke of "intimidation, humiliation or much worse" inflicted by Israel on the Palestinians and said sometimes "merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act."
Costello told The Jerusalem Post earlier this month he was against boycotts, saying it would be like avoiding the U.S. or England because he disagreed with the policies of their governments.
But in Thursday's edition of the paper, he explained his change of heart.
"The issues just became too complex and I woke up one day and realized I couldn't go on with the shows," Costello was quoted as saying.
Costello's cancellation drew an angry response from his Israeli fans. "There is an enormous group of people in Israel who are humanists and hunger for peace, who yearn for a normal life and are prepared to make painful concessions. And they are also sworn culture-lovers," one disappointed ticket-holder, Shai Lahav, wrote in the Maariv daily, noting that he had listened to Costello every day since he was 15. "With this miserable decision of yours, it is this group of people you have weakened."
"Sometimes, a musician ought to focus just on music. At least that is a field in which he has some knowledge," Lahav wrote.
Israeli Culture Minister Limor Livnat said a singer who boycotts Israeli fans "is not worthy of performing in front of them."
Many artists choosing to perform in Israel generate protest from Palestinians and their supporters who say their shows amount to support of Israel's policies in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. But few actually cancel.
In what has to be the stupidest PR move a major corporation has made in years (well, not counting BP), a McDonalds in Salt Lake City had four teenagers arrested after they rapped their order through the drive-in.
The pranksters caused no harm, but McDonalds pressed charges anyway, taking it all the way to trial. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but the four were acquitted this week. Click below to see the original video that inspired the prank -- thankfully, the video was shot at another McDonalds location where a sense of humor existed.
With the glowing reception for "When You're Strange," the PBS documentary on the Doors, it's always a good idea to revisit drummer John Densmore's take on selling out.
It was chronic constipation, not the tens of thousands of
drugs he took, that killed Elvis Presley. That’s the claim of George
Nichopoulos – the famous “Dr. Nick” who prescribed more than 10,000 pills to
Presley in 1977 alone – who, surprise, surprise, is promoting a new book. Never
mind that Elvis had 14 drugs in his body when he died, including 10 times the
prescribed amount of codeine and toxic levels of Quaaludes, according to Peter
Guralnick’s legendary Elvis biographies. And the good doctor is conveniently
overlooking the fact that such sedatives cause constipation. Finally, Dr. Nick
goes on to blame Elvis’ death on his refusal to have a colostomy. He makes
Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, look positively classy.
A lot of fuss
has been made about the producers of “The Hurt Locker” going after fans who
illegally download it. Good luck with that. Bootlegging of movies and music
continues unabated, and the famed site The Pirate Bay has even posted a blog
mocking all attempts to shut it down.
Too bad David Crosby has already used the title “If I Could
Only Remember My Name.” Keith Richards is putting out his autobiography soon. Some of it was from memory, some of it came from "talking to some of the people that were there and their
version of events to try and correlate it all was very interesting, a kind of
kaleidoscopic bunch of experiences."
Perhaps the internet put it best when it said: \m/
NEW YORK — Even as he endured grueling chemotherapy treatments to rid his stomach of cancer, Ronnie James Dio showed the fiery passion that made him a metal legend, flashing his famous devil's horns signal as he lay in a hospital bed.
"This hasn't really been a problem for me. Cancer? I'll kick the hell out of you," declared Dio in March in an interview with KIAH-TV in Houston, where he was being treated for the disease. "I refuse to be beaten in any shape or form so I'm going to beat you, too."
But on Sunday, Dio – whose famous wailing vocals gave Black Sabbath a second life – succumbed to the disease, at age 67.
"Today my heart is broken," Wendy Dio, his wife and a manger, wrote on the singer's website. "Many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes before he peacefully passed away.
"Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all," she continued. "We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us ... Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever."
His publicist Maureen O'Connor said he died in Los Angeles.
Later Sunday, Black Sabbath bandmate Geezer Butler posted a picture of Dio on his website, with the caption: "Goodbye My Dear Friend."
Dio revealed last summer that he was suffering from stomach cancer shortly after wrapping up a tour in Atlantic City, N.J., with the latest incarnation of Black Sabbath under the name Heaven And Hell.
Though Dio had recently undergone his seventh chemotherapy treatment, he was hopeful to perform again. Earlier this month, Heaven And Hell canceled its summer tour, but Dio did not view being sidelined as a permanent thing.
"Wendy, my doctors and I have worked so hard to make it happen for all of you, the ones we care so much about, that this setback could be devastating, but we will not let it be," he said in a statement. "With your continued love and support, we ... will carry on and thrive. There will be other tours, more music, more life and much more magic."
Dio, who grew up in upstate New York in the town of Cortland, had his first taste of rock fame as the lead singer of the band Elf. From there, the spotlight grew, and in 1975, he became the first lead singer of Rainbow, the heavy metal band put together by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, who had just quit Deep Purple. Dio recorded three albums with the group until creative differences led him to leave.
But there was another band that needed his help. In 1980, after Ozzy Osbourne left the hugely successful and groundbreaking metal band Black Sabbath, the band tapped Dio to fill his spot.
In an interview, Dio acknowledged how difficult it was to step into the shoes of such a famous frontman.
"Ozzy especially had some real staunch fans, and for someone else to come into Sabbath, God, that was sacrilegious," he said.
Instead of serving as just a placeholder with the band, however, he united with them to create the album "Heaven And Hell," considered by many critics to be one of the finest heavy metal albums ever.
His time with the band would be known as "Black Sabbath, the Dio years," touching off an intense debate among fans as to which singer was the true essence of the band, a discussion that lasts even to this day.
His tenure with the band was on-and-off, though. His first stint with the band lasted only two years.
He also enjoyed a successful solo career with his self-titled band, Dio, in between his three runs with Black Sabbath (1980-82, 1992, and 2007-09, when the band toured as Heaven And Hell, to differentiate it from Osbourne-led versions of Sabbath).
Many of his most memorable songs revolved around the struggle between good and evil, including his signature tune "Heaven And Hell." He also drew heavily on medieval imagery in songs like "Neon Knights," "Killing The Dragon" and "Stargazer."
Besides his growling voice, he became known for making the "devil horns" sign a heavy metal signature – a sign he said came from his Italian grandmother, who used it to ward off evil.
"He possessed one of the greatest voices in all of heavy metal and had a heart to match it," said Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French, whose band toured with Dio since 1983 and was to do so again this summer at European rock festivals. "He was the nicest, classiest person you would ever want to meet."
Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx, whose band toured with Dio, said he was shocked to learn of his death.
"Ronnie was one of the kindest souls I have ever met and his talent was beyond inspirational to so many of us," he said in a statement. "I still have this image of him standing on stage in front of 100,000 belting out 'Man on the Silver Mountain' and remember the shivers it sent up my spine. He will be missed by all of us.
Dio organized an all-star charity collaboration in 1986 called "Hear N' Aid" to raise money for famine relief in Africa, styled on the successful "We Are The World" campaign of a few years earlier.
His solo hits included "Rainbow In The Dark," "The Last In Line" and "Holy Diver."
His last album was Heaven And Hell's "The Devil You Know," released in April 2009.
In addition to his wife, Dio is survived by son Daniel, grandchildren Julie and Joey, and father Pat.
Though he is usually found in the shadow of his musical partner Gillian Welch, with whom he has made several gorgeous records of close harmony and intricate picking, Dave Rawlings released a record under his own name last year (Welch plays all over it), and it was great, and the Americana Music Association has honored it with four nominations. Now, I've never heard of the Americana Music Association, and chances are YOU'VE never heard of Dave Rawlings—whose solo LP goes by the name A Friend of a Friend, and is officially recorded by The Dave Rawlings Machine—which gives us both a chance to catch up on important information for the weekend, wouldn't you say?
The Dave Rawlings Machine has netted four nominations for the upcoming Americana Music Association Awards, while Ryan Bingham and Ray Wylie Hubbardscored three nods each when the nominees were revealed Wednesday (May 12).
Emmylou Harris and Todd Snider announced the nominations during a breakfast sponsored by BMI and held at the W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops, who earned a nod for duo or group of the year, opened the proceedings with a lively five-song set that had many in the crowd tapping their feet and shooting videos with their cell phones.
Winners will be announced Sept. 9 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium during a show hosted by Jim Lauderdale. The awards presentations will be the high point of the 11th annual Americana Festival and Conference taking place Sept. 8-11 at the Sheraton Nashville hotel.
In town to play the Grand Ole Opry, the Carolina Chocolate Drops gave the crowd a delightful short course in the string band music of the 1920s and '30s, opening with "Don't Get Trouble in Your Mind" and rolling through "Your Baby Ain't Sweet Like Mine" (which they played on the Tuesday night Opry), the instrumental "Genuine Negro Jig" (the title song from their current album) and "Cindy Gal" (which they learned from a 91-year-old African American fiddle player in North Carolina). The trio concluded with the sassy woman's revenge song, "Hit 'Em Up Style," originally recorded by R&B singer-songwriter Blu Cantrell.