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Diana Ross to launch year-long 75th birthday celebration in 2019, starting with special film screening in March

Diana Ross turns 75 in 2019, and the former Supremes singer and legendary solo artist plans to mark the milestone with a yearlong commemoration called the Diamond Diana Celebration. The festivities will launch on Diana's actual 75th birthday, March 26, with special screenings of a film event titled Diana Ross: Her Life, Love and Legacy at select theaters across the globe.

The movie will feature footage of Ross' historic concert film Diana Ross: Live in Central Park, which will be enhanced with new tribute messages from Diana's sons Ross and Evan and daughters Rhonda and Chudney, as well as an introduction from her daughter and black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross.

Live in Central Park documents a famous free concert Diana gave in New York City over the course of two days in July 1983. More than 800,000 fans turned up for the Motown legend's show on July 21 of that year, but a torrential downpour put a damper on the event. Ross promised from the stage she would return to Central Park's Great Lawn and perform a full concert the next day, and she made good on that promise, delivering an inspired, career-spanning set that included a medley of Supremes classics and many memorable solo hits.

Additional screenings of Diana Ross: Her Life, Love and Legacy also will be held in theaters on March 28, 2019. Visit FathomEvents.com for more details.

"I am so appreciative of Fathom Events for presenting this screening," says Diana. "It is one of the most significant and moving and memorable moments of my career. It makes me want to DO IT AGAIN!"

Meanwhile, regarding her Diamond Diana Celebration, Ross notes, "I want to celebrate my birthday for the whole year, not just one night."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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CCR's Doug "Cosmo" Clifford says remastered LPs in band's new vinyl box set sound "a lot cleaner [and] warmer"

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Creedence Clearwater Revival's debut album this year, the band recently released a vinyl box set called The Complete Studio Albums featuring remastered versions of all seven of the influential roots-rock group's studio LPs.

CCR drummer Doug "Cosmo" Clifford tells ABC Radio that he loves the sound of the new discs, which were mastered at half-speed at London's Abbey Road Studios and pressed onto 180-gram vinyl.

"[I]t makes everything a lot cleaner, a lot more realistic and a lot warmer," Clifford says of half-speed mastering.

Creedence's entire seven-album studio output spans from 1968 to 1972, and during that time the band scored nine top 10 hits, five of which were two-sided singles. And while those hits certainly are highlights of the group's catalog, Clifford says that many fans who buy the box set will get to discover many excellent lesser-known tunes.

"[T]here are some great album cuts on every single album of the seven, and [many] people will be hearing those for the first time," he points out. "So to me, that's really exciting."

Asked what his favorite CCR album is, Doug chooses 1970's Cosmo's Factory, because it's his "namesake album" and "was our most successful record." The album spent nine weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and has sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. As for his favorite Creedence song, Clifford picks "Born on the Bayou," the lead track from the band's second album, 1969's Bayou Country(AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)

The box set also comes packaged with an 80-page book containing new liner notes, vintage photos and reproductions of band memorabilia.

Here's a full list of the LPs included in CCR's The Complete Studio Albums collection:

Creedence Clearwater Revival (1968)
Bayou Country (1969)
Green River (1969)
Willy and the Poor Boys (1969)
Cosmo's Factory (1970)
Pendulum (1970)
Mardi Gras (1972)

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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New Brian Wilson documentary due in 2019 to feature Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, other stars

A new documentary about founding Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson -- featuring interviews with Bruce Springsteen and Elton John -- is expected to be completed by January 2019, Variety reports.

The as-yet-untitled film is being directed by Brent Wilson, who included Brian in his 2017 doo-wop documentary Streetlight Harmonies.

For the upcoming movie, Brent gathered about 90 hours of new footage of Brian discussing his life and music with Rolling Stone editor Jason Fine. Most of the conversations were shot "Carpool Karaoke" style, as Brian and Jason drove around L.A. visiting sites of significance to Wilson and The Beach Boys.

"Seventy-five percent of what is in the film is Brian," Brent tells Variety, "and then we were really selective about who we wanted to appear in the film, using people like Springsteen, Elton and [My Morning Jacket frontman] Jim James to reinforce the themes."

The director says he felt Springsteen was especially important to include in the movie because of the many parallels between Bruce's and Brian's lives.

"Bruce was really 10 miles in from the Jersey Shore, even though he kind of made up that Jersey Shore scene," Brent explains.

"Brian created that West Coast beach sound, but…he doesn't surf, and Hawthorne [California], even though it's only five miles from the beach, it's a thousand miles from the beach. And they both had situations with fathers, when they grew up…They're the same guy. They really are!"

Other musicians who appear in the film include pop star Nick Jonas, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkinsand Bob Gaudio of The Four Seasons.

The movie is among the first projects from Ley Line, a new production company founded by respective film- and music-industry veterans Tim Headington and Theresa Steele Page.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Vinyl "Rhapsody": Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" soundtrack to be released as two-LP set in 2019

A two-LP vinyl edition of the hit soundtrack to the acclaimed Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody will be released on February 8, 2019. In addition, a limited-edition picture-disc version of the album will be available on April 13 as part of the 2019 Record Store Day campaign, as will a special seven-inch single featuring Queen's classic song "Bohemian Rhapsody" backed with "I'm In Love with My Car."

The standard two-disc vinyl version of the soundtrack, which comes pressed on black vinyl, was mastered specially at London's Abbey Road Studios. It can be pre-ordered now.

The Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack was co-produced by Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, and features 22 tracks, including the classic studio versions of several of the band's most famous songs, updated renditions of some tunes, and rare or previously unreleased concert performances. Among the latter tracks are the five songs that Queen played at the historic 1985 Live Aid concert at London's Wembley Stadium, which had never been officially released in audio form.

Following its initial release on CD and digitally in October, the soundtrack peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart, and has spent five straight weeks on the top 10 of the tally.

The Bohemian Rhapsody film debuted at #1 at the U.S. box office, and has remained in the top five for six weeks.

As previously reported, Queen -- with singer Adam Lambert -- will mount a new North American trek dubbed the Rhapsody tour next summer. The six-week outing kicks off July 10 in Vancouver, Canada, and wraps August 23 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Here's the full track list of the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack's vinyl version:

Side 1
"20th Century Fox Fanfare"
"Somebody to Love"
"Doing All Right…Revisited" -- Smile
"Keep Yourself Alive" (Live at The Rainbow)
"Killer Queen"
"Fat Bottomed Girls" (Live in Paris)

Side 2
"Bohemian Rhapsody"
"Now I'm Here" (Live at Hammersmith Odeon)
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
"Love of My Life" (Rock in Rio)

Side 3
"We Will Rock You" (Movie Mix)
"Another One Bites the Dust"
"I Want to Break Free"
"Under Pressure" -- Queen & David Bowie
"Who Wants to Live Forever"

Side 4
"Bohemian Rhapsody" (Live Aid)
"Radio Ga Ga" (Live Aid)
"Ay-Oh" (Live Aid)
"Hammer to Fall" (Live Aid)
"We Are the Champions" (Live Aid)
"Don't Stop Me Now…Revisited"
"The Show Must Go On"

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Stevie Nicks, Zombies members, Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry react to Rock Hall induction

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2019 inductees were announced earlier today, and a number of the honorees have commented on the happy news in interviews, or by posting on their social media accounts or via interviews.

Stevie Nicks, who will become the first female artist to be inducted twice into the Rock Hall -- having previously been honored as a member of Fleetwood Mac -- writes on her Twitter feed, "I have a lot to say about this -- but I will save those words for later. For now I will just say, I have been in a band since 1968. To be recognized for my solo work makes me take a deep breath and smile. It's a glorious feeling."

The Zombies had been eligible for induction for 30 years, and were nominated four times before being chosen for the honor. Founding vocalist Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent spoke separately with Rolling Stone about how it feels to finally be acknowledged by the Rock Hall.

"I've tried to be fairly philosophical about it and tell myself that if we don't get inducted, it's just a bit of fun," Blunstone explained. "But of course when you're actually inducted everything changes and you think, 'This is a career-defining…a life-defining moment.'"

Argent notes, "To think that…I'm on the same roster as Miles Davis, Ray Charles and all my heroes that have been inducted…it just feels like a complete honor."

Meanwhile, Roxy Music front man Bryan Ferry, speaking for his old band, writes on his own Twitter feed, "We are delighted to accept this prestigious award on behalf of everyone who has been involved in the world of Roxy Music -- musicians, engineers, producers, designers and numerous people behind the scenes… and of course our loyal fans."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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My Life: Billy Joel schedules 70th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden

Billy Joel doesn't turn 70 until 2019, but he's already planned his birthday party.

The Piano Man will usher in his seventh decade on May 9, 2019, by performing at New York's Madison Square Garden, the site of his monthly residency since 2014.  This performance will be Joel's 110th career performance at the legendary venue.

Citi card members will get first crack at pre-sale tickets starting Monday, December 17 at 10 a.m. ET.  You can also get pre-sale tickets by registering for Ticketmaster's Verified Fanprogram; registration for that is now open, and the pre-sale starts on Wednesday, December 19.

Don't want to bother with all that?  Tickets go on sale to the general public on December 21 at 10 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster.com.

In May of 2014, Joel celebrated his 65th birthday onstage at the Garden, where he welcomed guests like Jimmy Fallon and Howard Stern.  He told the crowd that night, "Welcome to my birthday party! I'm supposed to retire at this age... or at least not have the name 'Billy!'" 

Joel's frenemy Elton John also has done the Madison Square Garden birthday gig thing: He turned 60 onstage at the venue on March 25, 2007.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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David Lee Roth hints that Van Halen may tour in 2019, could possibly play Yankee Stadium

Little has been heard from Van Halen since its last tour ended in October 2015, but in a new interview with Vulture, frontman David Lee Roth drops major hints that the band will be hitting the road again in 2019.

According to the article, the first indication Roth gave that something was brewing with Van Halen occurred when he came to Vulture's offices in New York City for the interview and paid a visit to the copy-editing department.

While there, he commented, "When we come back through town in the summertime and do the original thing, maybe somewhere sportin', maybe with somebody famous…I'll make sure we get you all tickets so you can see what we do for gainful employment."

Roth later told the interviewer that his band will be "playing where the Yankees play."

Asked if he could confirm that Van Halen had plans to play Yankee Stadium, Dave backtracked, saying, "If I say something on tape here and everybody goes, 'Oh, this leaked…' But, the band will be -- I can't say."

He then added, "I can say that I contacted colleagues about being part of the show: Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Jason Aldean, the Foo Fighters, [country stars Eric] Church and [Chris] Stapleton. And they all said that, if everything happens, they would certainly be involved."

Roth also gave some insight into why there are always long gaps between Van Halen tours.

"You can't keep serving it every year," he explained. "We're on a James Bond schedule, every three-and-a-half summers, so you don't go, 'Weren't you just here?' and then we'd start selling fewer tickets."

Also in the Vulture interview, Roth discussed a new business venture he's launched, Ink the Original, a line of skincare products made to keep tattoos from fading.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Carlos Santana hosts new MasterClass tutorial on how to become a supernatural guitar player

Carlos Santana is the latest celebrity to share his expertise by hosting a tutorial on the MasterClass website.

In his class, called "Carlos Santana Teaches the Art and Soul of Guitar," the 71-year-old rock legend discusses his spiritual approach to playing his instrument, how he helped create some of his band's classic songs and much more.

Carlos tells ABC Radio that the main goal of his MasterClass feature is to explain to aspiring musicians "how to get inside the note…how to make notes be gravity-free and outside of time."

Santana maintains that many musicians are too concerned about technical aspects of the guitar, and should focus more on channeling their emotions into the instrument.

"I demonstrate and present how important it is to not be trapped with how many pedals you use on the floor," he explains. "Unplug from there and go straight to the amplifier and make your…whole physical body…create the sound with your fingers that gives people chills, make[s] people cry and laugh at the same time."

Among the Santana songs that Carlos demonstrates and discusses in the tutorial are "Oye Como Va," "Black Magic Woman," "Smooth" and "Maria, Maria."

Carlos also name checks other artists who he feels approached music in a similar way, include Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, John Lennon, Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye

"They're not the flavor of the second. They stay here for ever," Santana says. "[T]he reason that all of them are here still, and relevant, is because the music that they created...[is] able to penetrate people's hearts."

A single MasterClass costs $90, while a $180 annual payment will give you access to all available tutorials. Carlos' class features 16 lessons and a workbook. Visit MasterClass.com/cs for more information.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Miley Cyrus, Mick Ronson & Sean Ono Lennon's remake of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"

Miley Cyrus used her appearance on Thursday's Tonight Show to announce the release of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," a remake of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1971 single, featuring Mark Ronson and John and Yoko's son, Sean Ono Lennon.

Miley told host Jimmy Fallon the nearly 50-year-old song is just as timely today.

"We wanted to do a Christmas song," she explained, "and I don't think anything [speak louder to] what's going on right now than about you know, 'War Is Over.'"

Adds Cyrus, "I've always loved John and Yoko. I'm such a big Yoko fan, and so, it's been amazing to work with [Sean]."

In addition to his famous pedigree, Miley said Sean's voice "is just so special," adding, "I think, more than just inheriting the voice or you know, the way he looks...it's about the magic that you know, he has and I think that is what he's inherited more than anything."

Miley also announced the three of them will perform the song on this weekend's Saturday Night Live, when she and Ronson will be the music guests.

Miley, who lost her Malibu home in last month's California wildfires, told Fallon that she came out of the experience with something even more valuable.

"When you remember things that you loved and lost, whether it's photos or old Elvis [Presley] records or something my dad's given me, it doesn't make it easier, she said, but being able to go back and rebuild this together, you know, be stronger together...it's given a really beautiful light at the end of something pretty dark."

Cyrus also joined Fallon for a “Name That Song Challenge,” where they competed to try to guess random songs Tonight Show house band The Roots were playing, one instrument at a time.

 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Micky Dolenz has something to say about The Monkees' first-ever holiday album, "Christmas Party"

More than 50 years into their career, The Monkees have released their first holiday album, Christmas Party. The record, which arrived in October, features new original tunes, traditional Christmas songs and standards, and a few covers of 1970s yuletide gems by various rock artists.

"I'm pleased with it," singer Micky Dolenz, who sings eight of Christmas Party's 13 songs, tells ABC Radio. "And the reaction's been, I gather, very good."

Dolenz says that because of the holiday theme, he doesn't consider Christmas Party a true follow-up to The Monkees' 2016 comeback album, Good Times!, which reached #14 on the Billboard 200. That being said, the new record shares similarities with Good Times!, as both include songs written by XTC's Andy PartridgeWeezer's Rivers Cuomo and Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger, the latter of whom also co-produced both projects.

Micky says among his favorite tracks on Christmas Party's are the Partridge-penned lead single, "Unwrap You at Christmas"; Cuomo's "What Would Santa Do"; and "House of Broken Gingerbread," which Schlesinger co-wrote with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.

Dolenz says he's also a fan of band mate Mike Nesmith's rendition of the 1940s jazz-pop standard "Snowfall," a song Micky remembers his mom singing to him when he was a kid.

The album closes with Dolenz's soulful version of the 1940s R&B classic, "Merry Christmas Baby." 

Micky tells ABC Radio that recording the song was "really fun," noting that Schlesinger told him to imagine himself singing it "in a blues bar at two o'clock in the morning."

The late Davy Jones also is featured on two songs -- covers of "Silver Bells" and "Mele Kalikimaka," which Dolenz calls "amazing." The tracks were created by combining new instrumentation with 1991 recordings of Jones.

Here's Christmas Party's full track list:

"Unwrap You at Christmas"
"What Would Santa Do"
"Mele Kalikimaka"
"House of Broken Gingerbread"
"The Christmas Song"
"Christmas Party"
"Jesus Christ"
"I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day"
"Silver Bells"
"Wonderful Christmastime"
"Snowfall"
"Angels We Have Heard on High"
"Merry Christmas, Baby"

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Def Leppard tops Rock & Roll Hall of Fame fan poll; Stevie Nicks finishes second

This year marked the first time that Def Leppard was nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after being eligible for the honor since 2005.  And to pour some sugar on that, the band has finished first in the online fan poll choosing the most popular potential 2019 inductee. 

The British rockers accumulated more than 547,000 votes, over 100,000 more than the second-place vote-getter, Stevie Nicks, who had just under 428,000.

Rounding out the top five artists with the most votes were Todd Rundgren at #3, with more than 365,000; The Zombies at #4, with over 329,000; and The Cure, with more than 264,000 votes.

Nicks and Rundgren also received their first nominations for the Rock Hall this year, while The Zombies were nominated three times before and The Cure, once. If Stevie is chosen for the honor, she'll become the first woman to be inducted into the Rock Hall twice, having been previous welcomed in 1998 as a member of Fleetwood Mac.

Thanks to the poll, the top five acts will get an extra vote toward induction, although about one thousand ballots are cast each year when deciding which artists are welcomed into the Rock Hall. That being said, the acts who received the most votes in the fan poll during the last six years all ended up getting inducted, which bodes very well for Def Leppard.

The Rock Hall's Class of 2019 inductees will be announced this Thursday, December 13, at 8 a.m. ET via RockHall.com and the museum's social media sites. The induction ceremony is scheduled for March 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Here's the full list of 2019 nominees and the number of votes they received in the poll:

1. Def Leppard: 547,647
2. Stevie Nicks: 427,844
3. Todd Rundgren: 365,370
4. The Zombies: 329,052
5. The Cure: 264,443
6. Janet Jackson: 218,581
7. Devo: 186,754
8. Roxy Music: 167,307
9. Rage Against the Machine: 148,208
10. Radiohead: 140,458
11. John Prine: 136,746
12. LL Cool J: 119,657
13. Rufus featuring Chaka Khan: 99,724
14. Kraftwerk: 87,456
15. MC5: 85,304

Copyright © 2018, ABC R

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First wave of physical Prince catalog reissues due out in February

The first installment of physical titles from the Prince catalog reissue campaign announced this past summer will arrive on February 8, 2019. Three Prince studio albums -- 2004's Musicology, 2006's 3121 and 2007's Planet Earth -- will be re-released on CD and also will make their vinyl debut.

The vinyl versions of the albums will be pressed on limited-edition purple vinyl. Special bundles and merchandise related to the reissues, including t-shirts, tour books, lithographs and posters are available at the Prince estate's online store.

Musicology peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200, and has sold more than two million copies in the U.S. The album also garnered Prince two Grammys: a Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance award for the title track and a Best R&B Vocal Performance -- Male prize for "Call My Name." Among the well-known musicians featured on the album are Sheila E. and sax players Maceo Parker and Candy Dulfer.

3121 became Prince's first album ever to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200, and was his first record to top the chart since 1989's Batman. The album has been certified gold for sales of 500,000 copies in the States.

Planet Earth reached #3 on the Billboard 200, although it didn't sell enough copies to receive a certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. Sheila E. and Prince's Revolution band members Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman contributed to the record.

Ahead of the reissues, the Prince estate is debuting videos from the late artist's vaults on his official YouTube channel and other streaming services, including clips for Musicology's "Cinnamon Girl", 3121's "Te Amo Corazon," and Planet Earth's "Chelsea Rogers." It's part of an ongoing campaign launched last month by the estate and Sony Music.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Daryl Hall & John Oates to play limited Vegas engagement next year

Daryl Hall & John Oates are heading to Sin City for a limited engagement in 2019.

The duo will perform at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on March 20, 22 and 23.  Tickets will go on sale to the public Friday, December 14, at noon PT.

In a statement, Daryl Hall says, "I've played Vegas many times in my career, so I'm looking forward to bringing our kind of soul to the Vegas Strip with this run of shows at Caesars Palace."

In 2019, the duo also has three shows booked in the U.K. in late April and early May.

This past year, Hall & Oates did a big summer tour with Train.  The two acts also released a successful single called "Philly Forget Me Not."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" reaches all-time chart high

Here's a nice Christmas gift for Mariah Carey: "All I Want for Christmas Is You" has just hit #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 -- the highest it's ranked since it was first released in 1994.

If you're wondering how that could possibly be, keep this in mind: The song only hit the top 10 for the first time last year.  If it sounds unbelievable, well, blame Billboard chart rules.

In 1994, when "All I Want for Christmas Is You" first came out, it wasn't commercially available as a single, and Billboard's rules back then prohibited it from charting on the Hot 100.  When those rules changed in 1998, the song first charted in 2000, but only at #83.

Billboard now allows old songs to return to the Hot 100 if their stats -- like sales, streaming and airplay -- are significant. Every year since 2012, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" has subsequently returned to the chart.  In 2016, the song climbed to #11, and last year, it finally broke into the top 10, reaching #9, mostly due to streaming.

As Vulture notes, the festive track has earned Mariah roughly $60 million over the years.  That same article insists, hilariously, that, "The only thing that stands the test of time is Mariah Carey's Christmas album, Merry Christmas. I mean it. The ONLY thing."

The article goes on to state, among other things: "It is impossible to get tired of this album; listening to this album is never a disappointing choice. As an experiment, try listening to it for the rest of your life, and you’ll see what I mean."

Mariah retweeted Vulture's comical take on the album and wrote, "This is the greatest article ever!! Thank you for getting me into the Christmas spirit and making me laugh out loud."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Lindsey Buckingham says he's settled his lawsuit with Fleetwood Mac

Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac have apparently settled their differences.  Their legal ones, at least.

Buckingham told CBS This Morning over the weekend that the lawsuit he filed in October against his former bandmates following his dismissal from Fleetwood Mac has been settled, and that he's "happy enough with it. 

"I'm not out there trying to twist the knife at all," Buckingham said.  "I'm trying to look at this with some level of compassion, some level of wisdom."

According to documents obtained by ABC Radio at the time, the suit charged the band with "breach of fiduciary duty," "breach of oral contract" and "intentional interference with prospective economic advantage," among other complaints.

Buckingham was dismissed from the band he first joined in 1974, along with his then-musical and romantic partner Stevie Nicks, after he claims he'd asked Fleetwood Mac to delay the start of their 2018 a few months so he could release and promote a solo album.  When his band mates refused, he postponed his solo project for a year so he could take part in the trek.  But then, Buckingham said, came an ultimatum from Stevie Nicks, relayed to him by the band's longtime manager, Irving Azoff. 

"Either Lindsey goes or I go," Buckingham recalls Azoff telling him last January, saying Nicks apparently didn't care for Buckingham's behavior at a MusiCares event a few nights earlier, which would be his final performance with the band, barring a thaw in sentiment.

Fleetwood Mac went on to tour with Mike Campbell of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Split Enzand Crowded House filling his spot.

"It hurt for a while," Buckingham said of his ouster from the band.  "I did walk around for a few months with a visceral reaction to that."

Fleetwood Mac's next tour stop is tomorrow night in Inglewood, California.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Elton John releases video of rare TV performance of "Step into Christmas"; issues new digital holiday EP

A rare U.K. TV performance featuring Elton John and his famous backing band playing his classic 1973 holiday single "Step into Christmas" was rediscovered recently and premiered Friday on the pop-rock legend's official YouTube channel. The footage hails from a December 22, 1973, appearance on the Gilbert O'Sullivan: Welcome to My Show variety program, which was broadcast on the U.K.'s ITV network.

The video shows Elton, wearing a glammed-up outfit adorned with white ostrich feathers, accompanied by guitarist Davey Johnstone, drummer Nigel Olsson and late bassist Dee Murray, as well as his longtime lyricist, Bernie Taupin, who joins in on percussion.

Coinciding with the clip's premiere, Elton has released a digital holiday EP featuring his original version of "Step into Christmas," the audio track from the television performance of the tune, and the 1973 single's B-side, "Ho! Ho! Ho! (Who'd Be a Turkey at Christmas)." The EP is available now via the usual digital and streaming outlets.

"Step into Christmas" reached #11 on the U.K. singles chart back in '73, although it didn't chart in the U.S. It's also has appeared on several Elton compilations over the years, including the deluxe edition of last year's Diamonds.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" the most-streamed 20th century song

Given its enduring popularity, it should surprise no one that Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" is one of rock's most-streamed songs.  But as of today, the 43-year-old magnum opus is the most-streamed song of any genre from the 20th century, according to the band's label, Universal Music Group.

Be careful to note that "from the 20th century" distinction, though, meaning the 1975 classic is the most-streamed of the songs released pre-millennium.  UMG says "Bohemian Rhapsody" surpassed 1.6 billion global streams, including views of its official video, which also makes it, they say, the most-streamed classic rock song of all time.

“So the River of Rock Music has metamorphosed into streams!" says Queen guitarist Brian May in a statement.  "Very happy that our music is still flowing to the max!"

As impressive as those streaming numbers are, however, they fall far short of the massive streaming totals for 21st century artists like DrakeTaylor Swift and others.  But that makes "Bohemian Rhapsody's" achievement no less impressive, especially considering the 20th century classic rock competition it was up against.  It's also no accident: The song received a massive publicity push and renewed global exposure in the run-up to the November release of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, now in theaters.

"Bohemian Rhapsody" was the first single released from Queen's 1975 album, A Night at the Opera.  It topped the U.K. singles chart for nine weeks then, and again following frontman Freddie Mercury's death in 1991.  It also charted twice in the U.S., hitting #9 in 1976 as the band's first U.S. top-10 hit, and then re-charting and peaking at #2 in 1992 after it was featured in the hit movie comedy Wayne's World.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

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34 years after its release, Wham!'s "Last Christmas" finally hits the top 40

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart. This Christmas, Wham! conquers the chart.

For the first time since its release in 1984, "Last Christmas," the holiday favorite by the iconic '80s pop duo that included the late George Michael, has hit the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Specifically, the song's reached #34 and may climb even higher.

Why has it taken so long?  For the same reason that Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" took years to hit the top 10.  In 1984, "Last Christmas" wasn't commercially available as a single in the U.S., so it wasn't allowed to chart.  And even if it had been available, Billboard didn't even allow Christmas songs on the Hot 100 back then.

Billboard has since changed its rules to allow older songs to chart if they have significant sales, streams and airplay.  Wham's original version of "Last Christmas" first appeared on the Hot 100 in 2016. On Christmas Day that same year, George Michael died. The song's previous high ranking was #41, but now it's officially a top 40 hit.

In fact, "Last Christmas" is Wham! seventh top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and its first in more than 32 years.  The duo's other hits include "Careless Whisper," "Everything She Wants," "Wake Me up Before You Go-Go," "Freedom," "The Edge of Heaven," and "I'm Your Man."

It's worth noting that before Wham!'s original version of "Last Christmas" first charted in 2016, two other versions had done so: a 2009 cover by the Glee cast, and a 2013 version by Ariana Grande.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye classics part of new Motown playlist inspired by Michelle Obama's memoir, "Becoming"

As part of her ongoing book tour to promote her new memoir, BecomingMichelle Obama paid her first-ever visit to Hitsville U.S.A., the home of Detroit's Motown Museum, located at the site of Motown Records' first headquarters and recording studio.

In honor of Becoming, Motown has curated a playlist of classic songs from throughout the label's history that were inspired by various moments in the former first lady's life.

The 40-track playlist is available now via various streaming platforms, including YouTube. The list includes multiple songs by such Motown legends as Stevie WonderMarvin GayeThe TemptationsThe Four TopsThe Supremes and The Jackson 5. Wonder, in particular, is mentioned as one of Mrs. Obama's favorite artists in her book.

"Every story needs a soundtrack, and Motown has provided so much rhythm to my life," she says in a statement. "That's why I'm thrilled to bring one of America's greatest contributions to the world -- the soul and the beat of Motown -- to my events here in Detroit."

As part of her visit to Hitsville U.S.A., Mrs. Obama attended a roundtable discussion with young black men from Detroit's Wayne State University that was moderated by actor/comedian Keegan Michael Key, a Motor City native.

Motown sponsored the event, which was organized by Mrs. Obama's Reach Higher campaign. The initiative has been hosting similar events throughout her book tour.

In conjunction with the tour, Mrs. Obama is scheduled to take part in a conversation with comedian, writer and actress Phoebe Robinson tonight at Detroit's Little Caesars Arena.

Here is the Becoming Motown Classic Playlist:

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" -- Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
"The Way You Do the Things You Do" -- The Temptations
"Dancing in the Street" -- Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
"Please Mr. Postman" -- The Marvelettes
"The Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)" -- The Isley Brothers
"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" -- Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell
"Baby Love" -- The Supremes
"It's the Same Old Song" -- Four Tops
"Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" -- The Temptations
"Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" -- Stevie Wonder
"I Heard It Through the Grapevine" -- Gladys Knight & The Pips
"My Guy" -- Mary Wells
"It Takes Two" -- Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston
"I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" -- Four Tops
"Who's Loving You" -- The Jackson 5
"Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" -- The Temptations
"The Tracks of My Tears" -- Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
"For Once in My Life" -- Stevie Wonder
"Baby, I'm for Real" -- The Originals
"Ain't Too Proud to Beg" -- The Temptations
"I'll Be There" -- The Jackson 5
"Reach Out, I'll Be There" -- Four Tops
"What's Going On" -- Marvin Gaye
"Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" -- Marvin Gaye
"As" -- Stevie Wonder
"Color" -- Zhane
"I Love Your Smile" -- Shanice
"Treat Her Like a Lady" -- The Temptations
"Zoom" -- Commodores
"The Truth" -- India.Arie
"Didn't Cha Know" -- Erykah Badu
"My Cherie Amour" -- Stevie Wonder
"Woman's World" -- BJ The Chicago Kid
"I'm Coming Out" -- Diana Ross
"Video" -- India.Arie
"Square Biz" -- Teena Marie
"Rhythm of the Night" -- Debarge
"You and I" -- Stevie Wonder
"Someday We'll Be Together" -- Diana Ross & The Supremes
"Feel So Good" (Do the Right Thing soundtrack version) -- Perri

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Lindsey Buckingham not ruling out reuniting with Fleetwood Mac: "Anything's possible"

On a recent CBS This Morning appearance, Lindsey Buckinghamrevealed that he'd settled the lawsuit he'd launched against Fleetwood Mac over his dismissal from the band earlier this year. Now, in a new interview with Stereogum, the singer/guitarist admits that he won't rule out returning to the group.

"Look, it's Fleetwood Mac, anything's possible," says Lindsey. "Maybe they'll get it out of their system. If they ask me to come back, would I? Sure, because to me I think the lack of a proper farewell tour, if that's what we're doing, that doesn't undercut…the legacy that we have so carefully built as the five of us, which they're not doing right now."

Buckingham calls the group's current incarnation, which features founding Tom Petty and the Heartbreakersguitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House singer Neil Finn taking his place, "a cover band kind of deal."

Buckingham also reveals that he hasn't spoken directly to any of the band members since he was fired, reportedly at the behest of Stevie Nicks.

"Once we signed some [legal] papers a few weeks ago, I did hear from Christine [McVie] in an email, as I expected to," he notes. "I know Mick [Fleetwood] would probably like to, but I think he's too embarrassed and just a little too weak-willed to do it. I won't hear from Stevie because it was all her trip anyway."

He adds, "I just have to forgive them because it's really just Stevie being so needy for a certain kind of attention and maybe not wanting to compete with the vitality that I have."

Buckingham recently finished a tour in support of his new compilation, Solo Anthology: The Best of Lindsey Buckingham.  According to Stereogum, he'll also likely release a new studio album in 2019.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Turn back time: Cher is writing her life story

It’s been quite a year for Cher and her fans: the 72-year-old living icon co-starred alongside Meryl Streep in the hit sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. She was also the subject of a Broadway musical that debuted in December called The Cher Show. She was even gracious enough to explain some of her often funny, always unpredictable tweets.

This week the acclaimed actress and singer shared a tweet that doesn’t need much explaining, unless you’re emoji illiterate. On Tuesday, Cher announced on Twitter she’s writing a book about her life.

“Writing life story…Book Due Out First Part Of 2020” she tweeted, along with the emojis for sunglasses and party popper. Followed by “Bio Pic to Follow” which, given the box office success of this years Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, feels like a foregone conclusion.

No further details about the book were announced, but you can expect more Cher-specific content in 2020. 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Queen biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" scores two Golden Globe nominations

Bohemian Rhapsody, the new film that tells the story of Queen and its frontman Freddie Mercury's path to rock stardom, has been nominated for two honors at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards. The movie is in the running for the Best Motion Picture -- Drama award, while Rami Malek, who portrayed Mercury, is nominated for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture -- Drama prize.

The other films vying for the Best Motion Picture -- Drama award are Black PantherBlacKkKlansmanIf Beale Street Could Talk, and A Star Is Born. Malek will compete for his award with Bradley Cooper for his work in A Star Is BornWillem DaFoe for At Eternity's GateLucas Hedges for Boy Erased, and John David Washington for BlackKklansman.

Among the other music-related Golden Globe nominees is Annie Lennox, who's up for the Best Original Song -- Motion Picture award. Lennox is nominated for "Requiem for a Private War," which she wrote for A Private War.

Visit GoldenGlobes.com to check out the full list of nominees.

The 76th annual Golden Globe Awards -- co-hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg -- will air live on NBC on Sunday, January 6, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

As previously reported, Queen has announced a 2019 North American summer trek dubbed The Rhapsody Tourthat will kick off July 10 in Vancouver, Canada. The band continues to be led by founding guitarist Brian Mayand drummer Roger Taylor, with lead vocals provided by Adam Lambert.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Aretha Franklin to be saluted by Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight & others on ABC's "The Year in Memoriam 2018"

Aretha Franklin is among the late celebrities who will be saluted on ABC's upcoming special The Year in Memoriam 2018, which airs December 17 at 10 p.m. ET.

Hosted by Good Morning America's Robin Roberts and late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, the program will honor the stars we lost this year, including the Queen of Soul. Aretha's segment will feature a number of music stars sharing stories about about the legendary singer, including Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle and Kelly Clarkson. Franklin died August 16 at age 76 of pancreatic cancer.

The special will also remember acting legend Burt Reynolds, scientist Stephen Hawking, Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee, Sen. John McCain and former first lady Barbara Bush.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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John Fogerty honored with prestigious award by Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture

John Fogerty was one fortunate son on Wednesday at Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture -- a.k.a. MoPop -- where he was presented with the institution's 12th annual Founders Award recognizing artists who have made outstanding contributions to popular music. The former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman received the honor during the museum's annual fundraising gala, which raised $950,000 for the attraction.

Fogerty's sons Shane and Tyler were on hand to help salute their dad.

"I am humbled and honored that MoPoP chose me as the recipient of the 2018 Founders Award," the 73-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer said after receiving the honor. "I had no idea my sons, Shane and Tyler, would be delivering this heartfelt speech. I will never forget how special it was. I am so grateful and proud."

After the award presentation, a private tribute show honoring John was held that featured Alice in Chains' Jerry Cantrell, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and several other musicians playing various memorable CCR songs. Fogerty closed out the show by hitting the stage with his sons to perform his Creedence classics "Proud Mary," "Fortunate Son" and "Have You Ever Seen the Rain," as well as the traditional tune "Oh Susannah," a song he says inspired his interest in playing music.

John said of the tribute performances, "I witnessed some of the best arrangements and vocals of my songs that I have ever heard. For those who were there I know they felt the same."

The fundraiser also featured a tribute to MoPop's founder, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who died of lymphoma at age 65 in October. The money raised by the event will support the museum's youth education programs, exhibitions and more.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Zombies bassist Chris White on band being a Rock Hall nominee again: "It couldn't be better"

It's almost the time of the season for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to announce its latest class of inductees, and for the fourth time in six yearsThe Zombies are among the nominated artists.

Bassist Chris White, who joined The Zombies shortly after their formation, tells ABC Radio that "it couldn't be better" just being considered for induction. He notes that the main reason for the band's enduring appeal is its 1968 baroque-pop masterpiece Odessey and Oracle, the second and last album by the group's classic lineup, which broke up several months before the record's release.

"[I]t's recognition for an album that finished us 'cause no one wanted it, and now everybody seems to like it," White maintains. "And [now that the band members are all] in our seventies…it's a great thought that people really appreciate it and have nominated us for an honor."

If the Rock Hall's online fan poll is any indication, The Zombies have a good shot to finally be inducted in 2019, as the band currently is fourth in the voting, after Def LeppardStevie Nicks and Todd Rundgren.

"I just think the fans are fantastic for voting for us," says White. "They've been so good, and they've…done it so well."

White hasn't been part of the official Zombies lineup since the band re-formed in 2000, but he and founding drummer Hugh Grundy rejoined the group in 2017 and this year for tour dates celebrating the 50th anniversary of Odessey and Oracle.

White tells ABC Radio that touring with his old band mates has been "great fun," noting that they're all still "very close friends."

Voting in the Rock Hall fan poll closes this Monday, December 9. The 2019 inductees are expected to be announced a few days later.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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