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Acclaimed Country Music Singer And Fiddle Player Charlie Daniels Dies At 83
The politically outspoken country rock music band leader, songwriter and producer died on Monday in Tennessee
Charlie Daniels, the GRAMMY-winning country singer and multi-instrumentalist known for popular songs like "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," a varied music career and imprint on country and rock, has died. He was 83 years old.
Daniels died of a hemorrhage stroke at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tenn. on Monday, July 6.
Raised in North Carolina, Daniels began his music career as a member of the bluegrass music group Misty Mountain Boys. In 1967, he moved to Nashville and began working as a session musician, producer and songwriter. As a session musician, he played a variety of instruments, the fiddle and banjo among them, on albums from Ringo Starr, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, including Nashville Skyline. He also played live with Cohen on tour. As a songwriter, he co-penned Elvis Presley's "It Hurts Me," and as a producer, more recently, worked on albums including The Youngbloods' Elephant Mountain.
In 1970, Daniels released a self-titled solo album. He formed the Charlie Daniels Band in 1972 and with the group released several albums with "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," "Long Haired Country Boy," "The South’s Gonna Do It Again," "In America" and other songs.
In 2008, at 71 years old, Daniels fulfilled a life-long dream of playing the Grand Ole Opry.
"Tonight will be frozen in my mind as one of the most special nights in my life, absolutely," Daniels said the night of his performance.
The passionate fiddle player joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.
He won a GRAMMY in the Best Country Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group at the 22nd Annual GRAMMY Awards for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." He was nominated for a GRAMMY a total of six times.
"Our deepest condolences to the family of Charlie Daniels. His everlasting influence on country music will continue to be appreciated by music fans around the world," Recording Academy Interim president and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said in a statement.
The Charlie Daniels Band became known for its outspoken lyricism and Southern pride. "The South’s Gonna Do It Again" and "Long Haired Country Boy" show Daniels' views on culture and his lifestyle. While he is known as an influential figure in country rock, Daniels' fast vocal performance in "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" is noted as perhaps one of the first examples of country rap.
A self-identified patriot, Daniels was vocal about his beliefs, even appearing in a 2016 viral clip where he shared his thoughts about Iran.
In 1993, he wrote a book titled Ain’t No Rag: Freedom, Family and the Flag.
But Daniels said he always left his ideas off stage.
"I don’t mind talking about my views in interviews and my blog, but on stage it’s over with. There are no politics on stage," he told Florida Today in 2017. "Now some of my songs are patriotic, but not political. Talking about politics doesn’t bother me because I have deep feelings about our country."
At 80, Daniels was still playing over 100 shows, he shared in the same interview.
"I love what I do," he said about performing live. "I look forward to entertaining people. When show time gets here, I’m ready to go, ready to go play for them. It’s a labor of love."
Beyond music, Daniels gave back to children and young people through his philanthropy, as well as was an avid supporter of the military and veterans.
Universal language: Why humans need music
Learn why music is truly a common language that is key to human development and evolution
There's no doubt music finds a way into nearly every moment of our daily lives, whether it's marking milestones such as a first dance at a wedding, the soundtrack to our favorite movie or singing in the shower for fun. In fact, it's hard to imagine times when we are more than an ear-length away from hearing another song.
But why does music mean so much to us? A powerful form of communication that transcends all barriers — music is our common language, but why?
A composer and educator with a lifelong fascination for music, Adam Ockelford has traced our connection with music back to infants and caregivers. Infants are unable to follow words, but they are developmentally primed to trace patterns in sound, such as through the songs a caretaker sings to them. Therefore, understanding music is intuitive for humans, even at a very young age, and it encourages healthy development.
In addition, there may be another evolutionary purpose for music. Music provides a sense of sameness between humans — if you can copy the sounds someone else makes, you must be an ally. This synergy plays a role in human survival because it evokes empathy and understanding, a lesson we still learn from music in today's culture.
"Music is central to the notion of what it is to be human, and spans cultures, continents and centuries," writes Ockelford. "My music, your music, our music can bind us together as families, as tribes and as societies in a way that nothing else can."
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Rosalía Announces First Solo North American Tour
El Mal Querer Tour, named after the Spanish pop star's latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances
Rosalía is set to perform at some of the most popular music festivals around the globe, including Primavera Sound in Spain, Lollapalooza (Argentina and Chile) and Coachella, but the Spanish pop star isn't stopping there when she gets to the States. Now, she has announced her first solo North American Tour with a string of dates that will bring her to select cities in the U.S. and Canada.
El Mal Querer Tour, named after her latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances. Then she'll play San Francisco on April 22, New York on April 30 and close out in Toronto on May 2.
"I’m so happy to announce my first solo North American tour dates," the singer tweeted.
Rosalía won Best Alternative Song and Best Fusion/ Urban Interpretation at the 19th Latin GRAMMY Awards in November and has been praised for bringing flamenco to the limelight with her hip-hop and pop beats. During her acceptance speech she gave a special shout-out to female artists who came before her, including Lauryn Hill and Bjork.
Rosalía has been getting some love herself lately, most notably from Alicia Keys, who gave the Spanish star a shout-out during an acceptance speech, and Madonna, who featured her on her Spotify International Women's Day Playlist.
Tickets for the tour go on sale March 22. For more tour dates, visit Rosalía's website.
Walk, Don't Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures Exhibit Will Showcase The Surf-Rock Icons' Impact On Pop Culture
The exhibit, opening Dec. 7, will feature late band member Mel Taylor's Gretsch snare drum, a 1965 Ventures model Mosrite electric guitar, the original 45 rpm of "Walk Don't Run" and more
Influential instrumental rock band The Ventures are getting their own exhibit at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles that will showcase the band's impact on pop culture since the release of their massive hit "Walk, Don't Run" 60 years ago.
The Rock Hall of Fame inductees and Billboard chart-toppers have become especially iconic in the surf-rock world, known for its reverb-loaded guitar sound, for songs like "Wipeout," "Hawaii Five-O" and "Walk, Don't Run." The Walk, Don't Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures exhibit opening Dec. 7 will feature late band member Mel Taylor's Gretsch snare drum, a 1965 Ventures model Mosrite electric guitar, the original 45 rpm of "Walk Don't Run," a Fender Limited Edition Ventures Signature guitars, rare photos and other items from their career spanning six decades and 250 albums.
“It’s such an honor to have an exhibit dedicated to The Ventures at the GRAMMY Museum and be recognized for our impact on music history,” said Don Wilson, a founding member of the band, in a statement. "I like to think that, because we ‘Venturized’ the music we recorded and played, we made it instantly recognizable as being The Ventures. We continue to do that, even today."
Don Wilson, Gerry McGee, Bob Spalding, and Leon Taylor are current band members. On Jan. 9, Taylor's widow and former Fiona Taylor, Ventures associated musician Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and others will be in conversation with GRAMMY Museum Artistic Director Scott Goldman about the band's journey into becoming the most successful instrumental rock band in history at the Clive Davis Theater.
"The Ventures have inspired generations of musicians during their storied six-decade career, motivating many artists to follow in their footsteps and start their own projects," said Michael Sticka, GRAMMY Museum President. "As a music museum, we aim to shine a light on music education, and we applaud the Ventures for earning their honorary title of 'the band that launched a thousand bands.' Many thanks to the Ventures and their families for letting us feature items from this important era in music history."
The exhibit will run Dec. 7–Aug. 3, 2020 at the GRAMMY Museum.
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Alicia Keys Unveils Dates For New Storytelling Series
The artist will take her upcoming 'More Myself: A Journey' biography on a four-city book tour
After performing her powerhouse piano medley at the 62nd Annual GRAMMYs, R&B superstar, GRAMMY-winning artist and former GRAMMY’s host Alicia Keys has revealed that she will set out on a four-stop book tour next month. The storytelling tour will support her forthcoming book More Myself: A Journey, which is slated for a March 31 release via Flatiron Books and is reported to feature stories and music from the book, told and performed by Alicia and her piano, according to a statement.
Part autobiography, part narrative documentary, Keys' title is dubbed in its description as an "intimate, revealing look at one artist’s journey from self-censorship to full expression." You can pre-order the title here.
The book tour will kick off with a March 31 Brooklyn stop at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. From there, Keys will visit Atlanta’s Symphony Hall on April 5 and Chicago’s Thalia Hall with Chicago Ideas the following day, April 6. The short-run will culminate on April 7 in Los Angeles at the Theatre at Ace Hotel.
Pre-sales for the tour are underway and public on-sale will begin on Friday, March 6 at 12 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets for the intimate dates and full release dates and times are available here.
Keys won her first five career awards at the 44th Annual GRAMMYs in 2002. On the night, she received awards in the Best New Artists, Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, Best R&B Album and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance categories respectively. She has received a total of 29 nominations and 15 GRAMMYs in her career.
This year, Keys will also embark on a world tour in support of Alicia, the artist’s upcoming seventh studio album and the follow up of 2016’s Here, due out March 20 via RCA Records.