GRAMMY Insider: LL Cool J, Van Halen, Miranda Lambert, Jay-Z, More
(The GRAMMY Insider keeps you up to date about news on your favorite GRAMMY winners, including new album releases, tour updates, notable TV appearances, interviews, and more.)
Rock icon Eddie Van Halen has contributed guitar work to two tracks on legendary rapper LL Cool J's upcoming album, Authentic, which is due April 30. Genre-crossing collaboration is nothing new for Van Halen, who made a famous guitar solo cameo on Michael Jackson's classic "Beat It." "The thought of me playing guitar to hip-hop was definitely left of center, but I was intrigued and I agreed to meet and listen to what he had," Van Halen told Guitar World. In other collaboration news, Beyoncé has teamed with André 3000 to cover the late Amy Winehouse's "Back To Black" for the soundtrack to the upcoming film The Great Gatsby. The duo previously collaborated on the former's 2011 single "Party." Brad Paisley is set to release his new studio album, Wheelhouse, on April 9. The GRAMMY winner self-produced the album, marking a change from his previous efforts. "The reason I didn't produce myself all those years is I really felt like I needed somebody to be objective," Paisley told the Boot. "Then I started to explore how to do something differently and lot of ideas came to mind."
Miranda Lambert was the big winner at the 48th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards on April 7, picking up awards for Female Vocalist and Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "Over You." Lambert's Female Vocalist win marked her fourth consecutive award in that category. Little Big Town were the only other GRAMMY winners to pick up awards, winning Vocal Group and Video of the Year honors for "Tornado."
On The Road
After months of anticipation, the Rolling Stones announced dates for their 50 & Counting tour via a tech-savvy video. The North American jaunt will kick off at Staples Center in Los Angeles, with the specific date TBA. "We did a few shows in London and New York last year … and had such a good time that we thought … let's do some more," said frontman Mick Jagger. Paul McCartney has penciled in May 22 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, as the first U.S. date for his upcoming Out There world tour. A full itinerary is pending, but the tour is expected to visit "new spots" and "places of historical significance to Paul." After recently hinting at his retirement, Billy Joel is mulling a return to the stage that would see the piano man delve deeper into his catalog. "I'd like to do more songs that weren't hits," Joel told Rolling Stone. "I got tired of doing the greatest hits set." Speaking of retirement, Meat Loaf has announced that his current Last At Bat tour will be his last. "I just don't want to travel anymore," Meat Loaf told Reuters. "I outweigh [Mick] Jagger by about 100 pounds and that counts for something."
Jay-Z is stepping up to the plate, literally. New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano has inked a deal to become the first client of Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports, the new sports representation arm of Creative Artists Agency. In related Jay-Z news, Universal Music Group and Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by the GRAMMY winner, have entered into a multiyear, worldwide partnership, according to Billboard.biz. While financial terms were not disclosed, Roc Nation will operate as a standalone label under the UMG umbrella.
Carrie Underwood dished on her marriage to NHL player Mike Fisher in a new interview with People. Though the long-distance nature of their relationship is difficult, the country star remains committed. "You see each other when you can and you talk to each other as much as you can," said Underwood.
Music On Film
Director Terrence Malick is getting the Led out with former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, who is set to star in his upcoming film about love and rock music in Austin, Texas. Actor Ryan Gosling revealed that Plant is expected to make a cameo in the film, which will also star Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Gosling, and Natalie Portman.
Recent first-time GRAMMY winner Jimmy Fallon is set to replace Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show," beginning in spring 2014. "Today was one of the most exciting days of my life. I read every tweet and every post and I thank you," Fallon tweeted on April 4. Fellow late night host David Letterman wished his rival Leno well, offering "congratulations on a nice long run there at the 'Tonight Show,' if in fact you're not coming back." Bruno Mars, Miguel, Prince and Taylor Swift are among the artists set to perform at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, airing May 19 on ABC.
Some may ask, "What's in a name?" Well, if your name is George, Paul, John, or Ringo, the answer is more than $200,000. A rare autographed copy of the Beatles' Album Of The Year-winning Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band sold at auction for an impressive $209,500, breaking the previous record for an album signed by the group. Our bet is the buyer's pocketbook is gently weeping.