Photo: Walter McBride/Getty Images
Gladys Knight & Patti LaBelle in 2014
Gladys Knight & Patti LaBelle's Verzuz Faceoff Was A Moment Of Pure Soul Sisterhood
"There's nothing I don't love that you might sing tonight. So, let's just get it clear, I'm ready for you honey," LaBelle said to her longtime friend and fellow R&B/soul icon
Last night (Sept. 13), GRAMMY-winning music icons Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight brought a big serving of soul and sisterhood to the latest Verzuz faceoff. During the livestream's joyful three hours, the powerhouse pair sang 35 songs (including two renditions of "Midnight Train To Georgia") selected from their gem-filled catalogues dating back 60 years. In between the music, the two R&B/soul greats showered each other with praise and offered nuggets of wisdom, humor and shout-outs to the star-studded virtual audience, which included the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama.
"I love that tune," LaBelle praised after Knight's first rendition of "Midnight Train To Georgia" and just about halfway into the faceoff. "There's nothing I don't love that you might sing tonight. So, let's just get it clear, I'm ready for you honey."
The evening's rich setlist included selections from their early acts—LaBelle's fabulous girl group Labelle and Knight's family affair Gladys Knight & the Pips—as well as their longtime solo acts. This included LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade," If You Don't Know Me By Now" and "Love, Need and Want You" and Knight's "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)," "Friendship Train" and "Love Overboard."
They both sang along to their songs—for the most part, joking about forgetting some of the lyrics to the older songs—with their warm voices and still-epic high notes offering comfort during these hectic times. They also sang along with each other, as this Verzuz was not a battle, but a moment for the musical powerhouses to show each other some love and appreciation. They also shared the love for their collaborators, children, viewers and the Verzuz and Apple Music team (who recently partnered with the Swizz Beatz- and Timbaland-created event). Swizzy got warm birthday wishes (he was born Sept. 13) and wow, what a great way to celebrate being alive.
After their seventh-round faceoff, where LaBelle sang "Love, Need and Want You" and Knight delivered "Someone to Watch Over Me," the pair began talking warmly about their children. Knight revealed she didn't know about Verzuz until her son Shanga called her up and encouraged her to try to get on in, which she did. "I hope you're proud of us, sons," she said. We also learned that LaBelle still has a flip phone. "I love my flip. I'm very low-key," she shared with a smile.
When they saw the Former First Lady pop up in the viewer list, or as LaBelle dubbed it "the virtual front row," they were both genuinely thrilled and sent love and praise her way. "I am so proud of her," Knight chimed in, adding, "She's a sweetheart and she's down to earth." "And she's married to the best man in the whole world," the both chimed in. "We miss you Michelle and Barack," LaBelle said.
In addition to the many notable virtual guests, there was a very special in-studio guest—Dionne Warwick, who helped close out the evening with an extra dose of sisterhood. The three musical heroes sang Warwick's "That's What Friends Are For" and their 1991 remake of Karyn White's female empowerment hit, "Superwoman."
If you missed the much-needed evening of wholesome, heartwarming and soul-stirring content, you can watch the last half or so in the YouTube video above.
The LaBelle and Knight Verzuz follows Brandy and Monica's also-amazing showdown on Aug. 31. In addition to the huge number of viewers who tune into the streams via IGTV and Apple TV, the much-buzzed-about episodes always lead to a boost in interest in the featured artists and their music. In the case of the '90s R&B queens, their episode was watched by over 60 million viewers and they collectively logged 21.9 million U.S. streams in just the two days following. Stay tuned to Verzuz' Instagram for the data behind the Knight and LaBelle love fest, as well as for info on upcoming T.B.A. pairings. Here's to the love being showered back onto the soul queens.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.
Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes
GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program
On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.
Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.
"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."
The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.
"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."
Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards
Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category
The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.
Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville
Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.
Championships – Meek Mill
In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.
i am > i was – 21 Savage
Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.
IGOR – Tyler, The Creator
The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.
The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae
Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.