GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Donna Summer died May 17 following a battle with cancer. She was 63. Born LaDonna Andre Gaines in Boston, Summer was considered the Queen of Disco. Summer released her U.S. debut, 1975's Love To Love You Baby, which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and spawned a No. 2 Billboard Hot 100 hit with the title track. A Love Trilogy was released in 1976, followed by Four Seasons Of Love (1976), I Remember Yesterday (1977), and Once Upon A Time… (1977), all of which peaked in the Top 40. In 1978 Summer appeared in the disco-themed comedy film Thank God It's Friday. The film yielded the hit single "Last Dance," which earned Summer her first GRAMMY for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. Bad Girls was released in 1979, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and earning Summer a GRAMMY nomination for Album Of The Year. The album produced two No. 1 hits, the title track and "Hot Stuff," the latter of which earned Summer a second GRAMMY for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female. Summer continued to release albums throughout the '80s and '90s, including the Top 10 hit She Works Hard For The Money in 1983. Summer's last GRAMMY came in 1997 for Best Dance Recording for "Carry On." Her final studio album was 2008's Crayons, which peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard 200.
Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
By Tim McPhate
As I settled into my seat at the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 18, I suddenly felt a strange familiar feeling: a hint of nostalgia, an indescribable excitement and a sense of anticipation. It all felt eerily similar to a graduation ceremony. I can only imagine what it felt like for the "class of 2013."
During his introductory remarks, Rock Hall co-founder Jann Wenner paid his respects to this year's inductees, citing them as "the artists who have formed the soundtrack to our lives." Indeed, the 2013 class makes for an eclectic playlist, from the Queen of Disco Donna Summer, Seattle rock band Heart and producers extraordinaire Lou Adler and Quincy Jones to rap visionaries Public Enemy, master songwriter/composer Randy Newman, legendary bluesman Albert King, and Canadian progressive rock trio Rush.
Newman kicked off the festivities with the hometown favorite "I Love L.A." He was joined by the formidable trio of Jackson Browne, John Fogerty and Tom Petty, who each played guitar and took turns helping Newman with vocal duties.
A cheerful Don Henley praised Newman's talents as both a film composer and writer of songs reflecting disparate themes such as social commentary, humor and relationships, while adding it was "about time" Newman was inducted some 20 years after becoming eligible. Henley then lent vocals to Newman's performance of the satirical "I'm Dead (But I Don't Know It)."
"Who is this guy again?" asked Tommy Chong. "He signed us, eh," joked Cheech Marin. The classic comedy duo Cheech & Chong were of course referring to Lou Adler, another hometown hero whose golden career has been marked by his Midas work in the studio with artists such as the Mamas And The Papas, Sam Cooke and Carole King. Adler also produced albums and films for Cheech & Chong.
During his classy speech, Adler said, referring to King, "It is impossible to measure the joy of working with you." He also thanked the many songwriters, artists, label executives, and musicians with whom he worked, before closing with an acknowledgment to his family and his Lakers courtside seat pal Jack Nicholson, who was also in attendance.
King subsequently graced the stage with a heartfelt performance of "So Far Away" from her GRAMMY-winning 1971 Album Of The Year Tapestry, which Adler produced.
"This is the coolest thing I'll ever do in my life," said a Gibson Flying V-clutching John Mayer regarding his induction of Albert King, whose 1967 album, Born Under A Bad Sign was described by Mayer as "the perfect blues album" and is considered one of the crown jewels in the Stax Records catalog. King's tribute performance was highlighted by a down-and-dirty reading of "Born Under A Bad Sign" featuring licks courtesy of Mayer and hot-shot bluesman Gary Clark Jr.
Praising her "voice sent from above" and "ability to give life to a character," Kelly Rowland had the privilege of inducting the late Donna Summer. Jennifer Hudson — who was honored at the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards in Washington, D.C., on April 17 — commanded the stage with the sultry one-two punch of "Bad Girls" and "Last Dance," which had Flavor Flav and Rush's Geddy Lee grooving and smiling throughout.
Oprah Winfrey, who admitted she was "at a loss for words," presented Quincy Jones with the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement, acknowledging the venerable titan for "discovering" her by landing her the role of Sofia in the 1985 film The Color Purple. During his lengthy speech, Jones cited artists such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday as "the cats that are my Beatles and my Rolling Stones."
One cool cat himself, GRAMMY winner Usher channeled Michael Jackson during a performance of "Rock With You," from Jackson's 1979 album Off The Wall, which Jones co-produced.
Spike Lee reminisced about the summer of 1989, when Public Enemy's "Fight The Power" became an "anthem for young Black America." Singer/actor Harry Belafonte helped induct the rap group, making the case for the cultural relevance and impact of the genre and describing the music of Public Enemy as "radical and revolutionary."
With a speech that easily eclipsed Jones' for longest of the night, Flavor Flav gave a shout out to everyone twice, including God. Chuck D graciously thanked his Public Enemy cohorts while also giving props to a diverse stable of influential artists, including Kiss, Deep Purple, Rush, Chic, LL Cool J, and the Beastie Boys.
In one of the more supercharged performances of the evening, Public Enemy closed with a medley of "Public Enemy No. 1," "Get Up Stand Up" and "Fight The Power," which garnered fist pumps from Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith and Run-D.M.C.'s Darryl McDaniels.
Chris Cornell paid tribute to the "elder stateswomen" of the Pacific Northwest, referring to Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson, sisters who blazed a trail for other female performers in the male-dominated music industry, proving they could back up their beauty with plenty of talent.
Joined at the dais by original bandmates Howard Leese (guitar), Roger Fisher (guitar), Steve Fossen (bass), and Michael DeRosier (drums), an eloquent Nancy Wilson described music as a "real church that makes us all equal and perfectly human."
Performing together for the first time in more than 30 years, the original Heart lineup ran through the rock radio staple "Crazy On You." The Wilsons followed with a performance of the quiet title track to their 1976 debut album, Dreamboat Annie. Finally, the classic "Barracuda" never sounded grittier as the current Heart lineup was joined by Alice In Chains' Jerry Cantrell and Pearl Jam's Mike McCready.
"When the f*** did Rush become cool?" barked Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, garnering a deafening applause from the many Rush fans in attendance. "They've always been cool," Grohl said, answering his own question.
In what was arguably the most entertaining round of acceptance speeches of the evening, eloquent Rush drummer Neil Peart quoted Bob Dylan by saying, "The highest purpose of art is to inspire." Bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee joked that the ceremony was "a little overwhelming for a nice Jewish boy from Toronto" while adding this was an "honor we share with the fans." Alex Lifeson's speech can be hilariously summed up in one word: "Blah."
The audience was soon transported back to 1976 as Grohl, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz appeared onstage in disguise wearing kimonos and sporting wavy hair, poking fun at Rush's fashion ensembles inside the album jacket for 1976's 2112 and convincingly turning in a performance of the overture portion of the title track. The real Rush then emerged to perform two of their biggest radio hits, "Tom Sawyer" and "The Spirit Of Radio." Peart's clocklike precision, Lee's inimitable vocals and Lifeson's soaring guitar proved why Rush are still a rock force to be reckoned with.
With the crowd wanting one last charge, an all-star cast including the Wilson sisters, Rush, Tom Morello, Chuck D, Clark, Fogerty, Cornell, McDaniels, Grohl, and Hawkins emerged for a spirited performance of Robert Johnson's timeless "Crossroads," trading smiles and basking in the final moments of this celebratory "graduation."
On this evening, the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live was indeed a church built upon the perfectly human bond of music. Tune in to the ceremony May 18 on HBO.
"I Love L.A" (with Jackson Browne, John Fogerty and Tom Petty)
"I Think It's Going To Rain Today"
"I'm Dead (But I Don't Know It)" (with Don Henley)
"So Far Away" (Carole King)
"Oh Pretty Woman" (Gary Clark Jr.)
"Born Under A Bad Sign" (Gary Clark Jr., Booker T. Jones and John Mayer)
"Bad Girls" (Jennifer Hudson)
"Last Dance" (Jennifer Hudson)
"Rock With You" (Michael Jackson cover performed by Usher)
"Public Enemy No. 1"
"Get Up Stand Up"
"Fight The Power"
"Crazy On You" (original Heart lineup)
"Dreamboat Annie" (Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson)
"Barracuda" (current Heart lineup with Jerry Cantrell, Chris Cornell and Mike McCready)
"2112 I. Overture" (Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and Nick Raskulinecz)
"The Spirit Of Radio"
"Crossroads" (all-star jam)
2011 National Recording Registry Selections Announced
The Library of Congress has named 25 selections to the 2011 National Recording Registry, including the conducting debut of GRAMMY-winning composer Leonard Bernstein with the New York Philharmonic, GRAMMY-nominated journalist Fred W. Friendly and GRAMMY winner Edward R. Murrow's I Can Hear It Now, Prince & The Revolution's GRAMMY-winning soundtrack Purple Rain, and Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." The list also includes recordings from artists such as Bo Diddley, Love, Patsy Montana, Booker T. & The MG's, and the Vince Guaraldi Trio, among others. The LOC selects 25 recordings annually that are at least 10 years old and "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Nominations come from members of the LOC Preservation Board, which includes The Recording Academy, and online suggestions from the public. (5/24)
Rdio To Directly Compensate Artists?
Music subscription service Rdio is working on a plan that would directly compensate recording artists for bringing in new subscribers, according to a Billboard.biz report. By paying artists directly, Rdio's goal is to add transparency while distributing more revenue directly to artists. While details on when the program would launch and the amount artists would be paid have not been revealed, the report noted the cost could be as much as $10 per new subscriber. (5/24)
(In an effort to keep you fully informed, and fully entertained, below we present today's FYI and TMI — news you need and news that's, well, sometimes needless….)
Rock Hall Announces 2013 Class
Heart, Albert King, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Rush, and Donna Summer are the performer inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's class of 2013. Blues guitarist King and GRAMMY winner Summer will be posthumously inducted. Additional inductees are GRAMMY-winning producers Lou Adler and Quincy Jones, who will receive the Ahmet Ertegn Award for Lifetime Achievement. The class will be inducted at a ceremony on April 18 in Los Angeles.
Luke Bryan Tops American Country Music Awards
Luke Bryan was the top winner at the 2012 American Country Music Awards on Dec. 10 in Las Vegas, taking home nine awards, including Artist of the Year, Single of the Year for "I Don't Want This Night To End" and Album of the Year for Tailgates And Tanlines. GRAMMY winner Miranda Lambert followed with three awards, including Single of the Year: Female for "Over You." Additional artists garnering awards included Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, and Zac Brown Band, among others.
Welch Breaks Up Concert Fight
Fresh off garnering two nominations for the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Album for Ceremonials, Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine is still shaking it out, both onstage and in the crowd. Midway through her performance of the GRAMMY-nominated "Shake It Out" during a concert in Aberdeen, Scotland, on Dec. 9, Welch spotted audience members pushing and shoving each other. Realizing that her pitch-perfect pop vocals usually don't arouse mosh pits, Welch took matters into her own hands after spotting a crying fan. "Are you alright my love?" Welch asked before jumping offstage, barefoot and all. After all was resolved, Welch then asked the audience to "kiss and make up and be good to each other." Moral of the story? Don't kiss with a fist, at least not in front of Florence Welch.
(In an effort to keep you fully informed, and fully entertained, below we present you with today's FYI and TMI — news you need and news that's, well, sometimes is needless….)
Rock Hall Announces 2013 Nominees
Deep Purple, Heart, Kraftwerk, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Rush, and Donna Summer are among the nominated acts for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's class of 2013. The other nominees are Chic, Joan Jett And The Blackhearts, Albert King, the Marvelettes, the Meters, N.W.A, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Procol Harum. Inductees will be announced in mid-December and honored at a ceremony on April 18, 2013, in Los Angeles.
U.S. Album Sales Down, Digital Up In 2012
U.S. album sales totaled 218.4 million units in the first nine months of 2012, a 4.4 percent decrease from the corresponding period in 2011, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Digital album sales increased 15.3 percent to 85.5 million units, and digital track sales were up 6 percent to 1.009 billion units, marking the first time track sales have surpassed the billion-unit mark. CD sales dropped 14.4 percent to 129.7 million units. Adele's 21 was the biggest-selling album in the first nine months of 2012 with 4 million units sold, and Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" featuring Kimbra was the top-selling digital song, with sales of nearly 6.5 million units.
Andrew W.K.'s Inspirational My Little Pony Speech
While history is being made with a forthcoming new set of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and robust digital music sales, rocker Andrew W.K. is making his own history of sorts — at a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic convention. The party veteran recently participated as a guest speaker at the convention in Strongsville, Ohio, where he shared his thoughts on individuality. Speaking to an audience of "bronies," or, older teenagers and adults who watch the show, W.K. said, "A lot of times adults confuse growing up or becoming more mature with a sense of seriousness, a sense of boringness, a sense of stupidness. Lameness. But really, the great thing about being [an] adult … is that you just have more power." So what have we learned from Andrew W.K.? Party hard, and be yourself.