Rock n’ Roll legend Chuck Berry dead at 90

NEW YORK – Chuck Berry, one of the creators of rock ‘n’ roll who helped shape modern youth culture with his dance-ready rhythms but who struggled to overcome institutional racism, died Saturday. He was 90.

Police in the St. Louis area, where Berry was born and lived most of his life, said that first responders found the guitar legend unresponsive when they answered an emergency call at his home.

“The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry,” it said on Facebook.

Berry became a sensation in the years after World War II as the baby boom generation came of age in an increasingly prosperous America. The middle-class son of a carpenter and a high school principal, Berry grew up under segregation but instinctively sensed how to bridge the racial divide.

 Berry had played blues guitar but found that his white audience was more interested in country. He merged the styles with an electric energy and consummate stage showmanship, although he hesitated to say that he created rock ‘n’ roll.

“It used to be called boogie-woogie, it used to be called blues, used to be called rhythm and blues,” he later said. “It’s called rock now.”

Whatever the music was named, Bruce Springsteen, one of many artists heavily influenced by Berry, said the man was indispensable.

“Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived,” Springsteen wrote on Twitter.

His 1958 hit “Johnny B. Goode” was so influential and recognizable that the US space program chose it to represent rock music for potential extraterrestrial listeners on the Voyager spacecraft.

Struggles with racism 

“Roll Over Beethoven” from 1956 was almost a manifesto of rock ‘n’ roll as the charismatic Berry urged the DJ to switch off the classical records and turn to the new genre of the youth.

Other hits included “Maybellene,” one of the pioneering rock songs that gave a guitar edge to a popular fiddle tune, and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” in which Berry hailed rock ‘n’ roll’s sweep across the United States.

Berry was one of the first African Americans to find a widespread white audience, with his gentle demeanor and the usually innocuous subject matter of his songs initially insulating him in a country where many black people lived under Jim Crow institutionalized racism.

But that changed as his fame grew. After a packed performance in 1959 in Meridian Mississippi, a white crowd set upon Berry and forced him to leave through a side entrance after accusing him of kissing a white girl among his fans.

“One of the girls threw her arms around me and hung a soul-searching kiss that I let hang a second too long,” Berry later explained. He was arrested for disturbing the peace and left the city after paying a fine.

His career soon was interrupted when he was arrested in 1959 under an obscure law for taking a 14-year-old girl across state lines for “immoral purposes.”

Berry defended himself against allegations that he had slept with the young waitress. But he was convicted by an all-white jury and served a year and a half in prison. In a bitter irony, he was incarcerated just as the United States was swept by white rockers influenced by him, including the British invasion led by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Mick Jagger hailed Berry on Saturday as an inspiration, saying: “He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers.”

Final album due 

After his prison time, friends described the laid-back and fun-loving Berry as a changed man, and the conviction has long been viewed in the African American community as a warning sign for artists on the rise.

Berry mostly avoided the media limelight as he resurrected his career. In a rare 1987 interview with NBC television, Berry declined to describe himself as the father of rock ‘n’ roll, listing others including his contemporary Elvis Presley as well as Fats Domino and Little Richard.

“We’re all I think just a cog in the wheel. We all got the ball rolling,” he said.

Berry initially found success after record executive Leonard Chess sensed his crossover potential and signed him after an introduction from Muddy Waters. Berry late in his life stayed low-profile in St. Louis where he played two decades worth of shows at the Blueberry Club, with his son Charles Berry Jr. in his backup band.

In a surprise, Berry last year celebrated his 90th birthday by announcing that he had recorded his first album in 38 years.

Entitled simply “Chuck,” the album is slated to be released sometime this year.

In a statement as he announced the album, Berry dedicated it to his wife of 68 years, Themetta Berry.

“My darlin’, I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”

Adele confirms marriage during Australian concert after years of speculation

New York – Adele, who has become a global pop sensation with her songs of heartbreak, has confirmed years of speculation that she is married.

The English singer has been in a long-term relationship with Simon Konecki, a former financier who founded drop4drop, a charity that presses for global access to clean drinking water.

The couple have a four-year-old son, Angelo, but Adele has been coy about whether they are married as she tries to maintain her privacy.

But she confirmed their status at a concert in Brisbane, Australia on Sunday (March 5, 2017) as she introduced Someone Like You, her breakthrough 2011 hit written about the lingering pain of a breakup with a previous boyfriend.

“That feeling when you first fall for someone is the best feeling on earth,” she said, according to a fan’s video posted online.

“And I am addicted to that feeling. Obviously, I can’t go through with those feelings because I’m married now,” she added, to a smattering of cheers.

Attentive fans at last month’s Grammy Awards also heard Adele thanking “my husband and my son – you’re the only reason I do it.” Her representative declined at the time to say whether she had been confirming her marriage to Konecki.

Adele, 28, has been one of the most successful artists of the 21st century with her ballads of nostalgia and heartache.

With the latest Grammys, she became the first artist to win all three most-coveted awards – for album, record and song – in two different years.//AFP

Source: TheNation

Another Nipplegate for Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey has once again created an affair. The singer was attentive spectator at the basketball game between the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers and had something there too tight clothes.

Mariah walked along with her alleged new boyfriend Bryan Tanaka hand-in-hand in the stadium. The 33-year-old backup dancer and diva could not stay away any time apart. During the moment of embarrassment, of the nipple-slip were the two equally detached from each other.

Mariah had earlier half year relationship with billionaire James Packer. Now they, after an engagement, apart Mariah wants his money seeing of the wealthy businessman. They would get fifty million dollars for every year she was the partner of Packer.

Photo’s:  @frits365 (Twitter)

Exploring the delights of the Eastern and Oriental Express

Exploring the delights of the Eastern and Oriental Express

Eastern and Oriental Express, the luxury tourist train, played host to a lavish evening cocktail party in Bangkok on Monday, February 13, giving the Thai media a short but very luxurious ride that started at Bangkok’s Hualampong Station.

The three-hour ride allowed guests to discover the services and hospitality of Eastern and Oriental Express. 

Cocktails, finger foods and music from DJs and the piano bar fuelled the cocktail reception, which was already in swing as the locomotive pulled out of Bangkok’s main station. 

The Eastern and Oriental Express is run by the British hotel and leisure firm Belmond, formerly known as Orient-Express Hotels.

The luxurious tourist train offers a travel opportunity of a lifetime through its classic routes – Bangkok to Singapore and vice versa. It journeys through the countryside of Malaysia and Thailand stopping off at some fascinating destinations. 

In Thailand the tourist train travels further to Kanchanaburi Province, where tourists can see the famous Bridge of the River Kwai spanning the river dividing Thailand and Myanmar.

Tuesday’s cocktail event allowed guests to have a sneak preview of the luxurious cabins (sleepers), which range from the Pullman Cabin made for the solo traveler to the State and President cabins for two sharing.

All rooms have ensuite facilities. The cabins feature wood and lacquered panels with floral motifs and wooden floors that reflect the exotic East. 

The party reached its highest point as guests gathered in the main bar where the resident pianist, saxophonist and vocalist entertained with cool jazz. –

Phoowadon Duangmee, TheNation

Beyonce wows at Grammys, David Bowie wins 4 awards

In glittery gown, gilded crown and gold choker, a pregnant Beyonce took the Grammy stage Sunday in a lengthy performance of two songs from her critically acclaimed album “Lemonade.”

She was introduced by her mother and former stylist, Tina Knowles: “Ladies and gentlemen, with my mother’s pride, my daughter, Beyonce.”

Beyonce sang on top of a long table, even leaning back on a chair while singing “Love Drought.” She later sang “Sandcastles” while sitting down, hitting high notes.

She earned a loud applause from the audience at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, including daughter Blue Ivy and husband Jay Z. Earlier, Beyonce won best music video for “Formation.”

David Bowie, who died last year from cancer, won all four awards he was nominated for. He won three in the pre-telecast, and took home best rock song for “Blackstar” during the live show.

“Blackstar,” his final album released days after he died, also won best alternative music album, rock performance, and engineered album, non-classical (Bowie is listed as one of the engineers on “Blackstar.”) In the latter category, he beat out Prince, who also died last year.

Adele kicked off the Grammys with a live rendition of her comeback anthem, “Hello,” which helped her win two early Grammys, and may put her on track to win album, song and record of the year. Other A-list stars like Bruno Mars and Katy Perry will also perform.

Adele’s “Hello” won best pop solo performance and “25” won pop vocal album in the pre-telecast ceremony. In the top three categories, she will go head-to-head with Beyonce.

Chance the Rapper won the first award in the live telecast for best new artist. He also won best rap performance during the pre-show awards.

“Glory be to God. I claimed this victory in the name of the Lord. I want to thank God for my mother and my father who supported me since I was young,” Chance the Rapper said onstage.

James Corden, hosting the Grammys for the first time, rapped some of his monologue at the top of the show, namedropping Prince, Rihanna and Drake.

Twenty one pilots won best pop duo/group performance for the hit “Stressed Out.” They removed their pants when accepting the award in homage to their earlier days when they watched the Grammys at home in their boxers.

In the pre-telecast, Beyonce’s younger sister, critical R&B darling Solange, won her first Grammy for best R&B performance (it was her first-ever nomination). Drake, who isn’t attending the live show, won best rap song and rap/sung performance for the smash hit, “Hotline Bling.”

Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” — which is nominated for an Oscar — won best song written for visual media. His No.1 hit is from the “Trolls” soundtrack. Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott won two Grammys in the Christian category for the album she recorded with her family. Scott, who has won seven Grammys with Lady A, cried onstage both times when accepting the wins.

“We’ve been crying since this project started,” her father, Lang Scott, said.

Best new artist nominees The Chainsmokers won best dance recording for the pop hit “Don’t Let Me Down,” while album of the year nominee Sturgill Simpson won best country album for “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.”

The country music rebel thanked his wife, who he said told him to quit his job on the railroad years ago and move to Nashville.

Joey + Rory won best roots gospel album for “Hymns,” and Rory Feek was emotional onstage as he remembered his wife Joey, who died last year from cancer.

“My wife’s dream was to make a hymns album. She didn’t have the chance to do it until she’d been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, so she’d sing in hotel rooms while she did chemotherapy and radiation,” said Rory, who added that his wife said if they were nominated he had to attend the Grammys. “She got a big smile on her face and she said, ‘Remember, if we win, I’ll know before you will.”

Some actors won Grammys, too: Don Cheadle picked up best compilation soundtrack for visual media for “Miles Ahead,” where he is credited as a compilation producer, and Carol Burnett won the best spoken word album Grammy.

“The Color Purple” won best musical theater album, giving Jennifer Hudson her second Grammy and earning Tony winner Cynthia Erivo and “Orange Is the New Black” actress Danielle Brooks their first Grammys.

Beyonce was the overall top nominee with nine. There are few things the pop diva has not conquered, and the Grammy for album of the year is one of them.

For the third time, Beyonce is nominated for the coveted trophy, an award given to few R&B-based performers and only two hip-hop acts in the Grammy’s 59-year history.

She was nominated for the top prize in 2010 with “I Am … Sasha Fierce” (losing to Taylor Swift) and in 2015 with “Beyonce” (Beck was the surprise winner). Her “Lemonade” album is competing Sunday, along with its hit “Formation” for record and song of the year.

Beyonce has lost record of the year four times, and she’s marking her third nomination for song of the year (she won in 2010 with “Single Ladies”).

Beyonce’s main competition is Adele, who won album, song and record of the year in 2012 with “21” and “Rolling In the Deep.” While some critics argued that Beyonce’s “Lemonade” was more artistic and had a stronger impact on culture, Adele’s “25” marked her comeback and became a multiplatinum juggernaut, setting a record when it sold over 3 million units in its first week.

Their competition for album of the year aside from Simpson includes Drake’s multihit “Views” and Justin Bieber’s redemption album “Purpose.”

Nominees battling “Formation” and “Hello” for record of the year include Rihanna and Drake’s “Work,” twenty one pilots’ “Stressed Out” and Lukas Graham’s “7 Years.”

Song of the year nominees are “Formation,” ”Hello,” ”7 Years,” Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” and Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” shared with co-writer Ed Sheeran.

The Chainsmokers, who have dominated the pop charts, will compete with Chance the Rapper, Maren Morris, Anderson .Paak and Kelsea Ballerini for best new artist.

Collaborative performances include Lady Gaga and Metallica, Alicia Keys and Maren Morris, and A Tribe Called Quest and Anderson .Paak. Chance the Rapper will perform with Kirk Franklin, who won two awards, including best gospel album and gospel performance/song for writing “God Provides” for Tamela Mann.

Tributes for Prince and George Michael will take place, while Demi Lovato, Andra Day and Tori Kelly will honor the Bee Gees and the 40th anniversary of “Saturday Night Fever.”

Rihanna, Drake and Kanye West are the second-most nominated acts with eight each.

Source: TheJakartaPost

Coming soon: Movie based on love story between John Lennon and Yoko Ono

The producer of Captain Phillips and Fifty Shades of Grey, Michael De Luca, is working with Yoko Ono to produce a film chronicling the love story between the late John Lennon and Ono.

The movie does not yet have a set release date but will feature Theory of Everything’s Anthony McCarten, Luca, Ono and Immersive Pictures’ Josh Bratman as screenwriters.

De Luca has said as quoted by Rolling Stone that the storyline will “focus on the ripe and relevant themes of love, courage and activism in the US – with the intention of inspiring today’s youth to stand up for and have a clear vision for the world they want”.

Lennon’s first encounter with Ono came about when the latter set up an art exhibition called Unfinished Paintings and Objects in November 1966.

Their conversation kicked off when the Beatles founder asked Ono about her painting called Painting to Hammer a Nail In.

At that time, Lennon was still married to his first wife, Cynthia. Nonetheless, in 1968, the couple got a divorce and Lennon married Ono the following year in Gibraltar.

Throughout their relationship, Ono and Lennon made music together and became famous for their anti-war protests against the Vietnam War and support for the hippie movement. (nik/kes)

Source: TheJakartaPost

Grammys to pay tribute to Prince & George Michael

Sunday’s Grammy Awards will include special tributes to pop music icons Prince and George Michael.

Organizers announced Wednesday that the program will include two performances in honor of the stars who died last year. The announcement didn’t say who would perform the tributes.

Previously announced performers for this year’s show include Adele, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Bruno Mars and Metallica. Gaga performed a medley of the late David Bowie’s hits during last year’s show.

The “Late Late Show’s” James Corden is hosting the Grammys, which will be broadcast on CBS on Sunday night from Los Angeles.

Source: TheJakartaPost

‘Pregnant Beyoncé just going to perform at Coachella’

Beyonce forging full steam ahead with plans to play Coachella, even with her 2 buns in the oven … TMZ has learned.

Sources involved in pulling off Coachella tell us Bey has no intention of canceling, and has already booked 2 other big artists to join her onstage. She’s made housing arrangements out in the desert for her guest stars, and we’re told both knew well in advance that Beyonce’s preggo.

One of the performers is from the Roc Nation roster. The other is from a different label, but still close to Bey. Our sources say the guests have blocked off their schedules for the gig and there’s no going back now.

It’s still unclear how she’ll handle the performance, since she’ll likely be in her third trimester by April. Beyhive might not love it, but there’s always the seated option.

Source: AD / TMZ

Adam Levine receive star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine will soon have his own star embedded on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The singer-songwriter will be given the 2,601st star, which will be in the Recording category.

“As both the front man and primary songwriter of the multi-Grammy Award winning band Maroon 5, Adam Levine continues to indelibly impact the face of modern popular music,” Walk of Fame management stated on its official website.

The dedication ceremony for Levine will be held on Feb. 10 at 6752 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, the United States. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Leron Gubler will be the MC, while Levine’s fellow The Voice coach Blake Shelton and rock legend Sammy Hagar will give speeches at the ceremony.

On the Walk of Fame website, producer Ana Martinez remarked that Levine’s fans had been “patiently waiting for this day”.

“Fans from around the world have been constantly checking with us, saying ‘When? When?’ Now is the time,” she said. She invited Levine’s fans to attend the ceremony.

Source: The Jakarta Post

Celine Dion back on soundtrack Beauty and the Beast

#Celinedion – I am thrilled to announce that I’ll be performing an all-new original song, “How Does A Moment Last Forever,” for Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.
Being a part of the original film was such a magical experience in my life, and I’m truly honored to be a part of this film again. // Je suis ravie de vous annoncer que je chanterai la nouvelle chanson thème du film La Belle et la Bête, «How Does A Moment Last Forever».
Avoir fait partie du film original de Disney a été une expérience magique dans ma vie et je suis encore plus honorée de répéter cette expérience. – Céline 🌹#beautyandthebeast #Disney #labelleetlabete

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