The Week In Music: Shania Twain's Comeback
In case you're wondering what happened to her, Shania Twain says she lost her voice after her divorce from producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange in 2010. What better place to find it again than on "Oprah?" Well, at least Oprah's new OWN: the Oprah Winfrey Network. Twain will be featured in "Why Not? With Shania Twain," a new series detailing her emotional journey back from the bottom. "Shania Twain stopped singing," says Winfrey in the series promo. "She stopped writing music, and virtually just checked out of her life. Now…she's ready to reclaim it all." If that doesn't sound tailor-made for OWN, then we're just not the Oprah fans we thought we were. In the series, which debuts May 8, Twain will travel the country and talk to people about their own trials and tribulations, and, as she says, learn from their experiences. It all stemmed from her becoming "obsessive about my pain, my struggle…and I just had to snap out of it." Given her status as a multiple GRAMMY winner, we're happy to see Shania back and better than ever. Man, we hope she feels like a woman again.
He just got his first real star, but fortunately for singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, he didn't have to buy it at the five-and-dime. The GRAMMY winner who brought us such memorable hits as "Summer Of '69," "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" and "Heaven" will have his name cemented on Hollywood Boulevard forever. On March 21 Adams received his Hollywood Walk of Fame star and there for the induction was fellow Canadian and Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky. As a likely nod to his native Canada, hockey and perhaps as a really early civics lesson for his expected baby with personal assistant Alicia Grimaldi, Adams performed Canada's national anthem prior to Gretzky's final game in 1999. Baby, that's all that we need.
You may know him as the ornery Dr. Gregory House on the TV series "House," but what you may not know is actor Hugh Laurie actually has the blues. Aside from performing with Band From TV — a charity cover band consisting entirely of TV actors, including James Denton, Scott Grimes, Greg Grunberg, Bob Guiney, Laurie, Adrian Pasdar, and Jesse Spencer — Laurie will release a blues album, Let Them Talk, on May 9. Recorded in Los Angeles, the album will reportedly feature appearances by Dr. John, Tom Jones and Irma Thomas, and features Laurie on lead vocals, piano and guitar. The doctor is set to make his musical debut at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in the UK on May 2.
Sammy Hagar, the man who couldn't drive 55, recently released his autobiography, Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock, detailing his lengthy career fronting bands such as Montrose and Van Halen and his current outfit, Chickenfoot. Peppered between tales of rock and roll debauchery, Hagar details some "far-out" life experiences. Namely, the Red Rocker recounts a dream in which he was contacted by aliens from outer space. "It was real," said Hagar. "They were plugged into me. It was a download situation.... Or, they uploaded something from my brain, like an experiment." In the book, Hagar also describes an alien encounter when he was 4, seeing a spaceship in broad daylight hovering over where his family lived. Has Sammy had "Mas Tequila"? We're not sure what to believe. But if aliens did download information from Sammy's brain, one can only wonder what type of information they would have received plugging into David Lee Roth.
As they say, hindsight is always 20/20. With that thought in mind, Pete Townshend has gone on record implying he'd like a career do-over. "What would I have done differently?" asked Townshend during an interview with The Who: The Ultimate Music Guide. "I would never have joined a band. Even though I am quite a good gang member and a good trooper on the road, I am bad at creative collaboration." Rock music without the Who would mean that Townshend may never have penned classics such as "Baba O'Riley," "My Generation," "Love, Reign O'er Me," and "Behind Blue Eyes." But Townshend feels he would have been better suited (and healthier) as a solo artist. "I'd have made a much more effective solo performer," he said. "I would be less damaged — my knees, ears, right wrist, and shoulder would work more effectively."
In birthday news, social network service Twitter turned 5 on March 21. In a celebratory blog, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone revealed that users now send more than 140 million tweets a day. Interestingly, it seems music artists are getting the most mileage out of Twitter. According to a new report from The New York Times, the top 3 Twitter users are Lady Gaga (8.9 million followers), Justin Bieber (8.3 million) and Britney Spears (7.2 million). And 12 of the 20 most followed people on Twitter are musicians. Artists obviously have a lot to say, even when limited to 140 characters or less.
Proving once again that music has heart, a group of artists have answered the call to assist earthquake- and tsunami-stricken Japan. GRAMMY winners Bon Jovi, Rihanna and U2, and GRAMMY-nominated artists Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj are among the artists committed to appear on a digital-only album to be released by Universal Music Group. The final lineup has yet to be finalized, but the album is targeted for release this month with proceeds to benefit the Japanese Red Cross. In related news, UK rockers including Richard Ashcroft, Liam Gallagher and Paul Weller will play a charity concert on April 3 in London to raise funds for the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal. The big question: Will Liam invite brother Noel to participate? And will that cause another tsunami?
Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the sixth week, and Wiz Khalifa's "No Sleep" is tops on the iTunes singles chart.
Any news we've missed? Comment below.