Photo: Ana Monroy Yglesias
Tito Rey, Justin Michael Williams & ALONZO
Justin Michael Williams, Tito Rey & ALONZO Share Why They Used Their Voices During Livestream Event To Support Families Who've Lost A Member To COVID-19
During the lively livestream concert on March 13, Justin Michael Williams debuted his latest inspirational track, "Believe," of which 100 percent of streaming royalties for March will go to Pandemic Of Love and Covid Survivors for Change
On March 13, one year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, three Los Angeles-based pop artists of color—Justin Michael Williams, Tito Rey and ALONZO—sang their hearts out to raise money for Pandemic Of Love and Covid Survivors for Change. According to Williams, who also hosted the show, the powerful livestream concert raised $5,600 for the two organizations, both of which directly support people who've lost a family member to COVID-19.
The event was filled with original music from each of the three artists as well as a powerhouse cover of John Lennon's "Imagine." In a time where the death toll of the virus continues to rise beyond the staggering 500,000 in the U.S. alone, the show was both sobering and filled with hope.
"Being able to perform again and use my voice and songs for such an amazing cause meant so much to me!" Rey shared with GRAMMY.com after the event. "I am so happy I could be of help. This whole event just reminded me why I make music." He performed two original tracks, including his debut single, "Nobody's Illegal," which highlights the difficult experiences many immigrants, like himself, have to endure in this country.
In addition to a stirring spoken word segment to hit the messages of hope home, ALONZO delivered two soul-stirring tracks from his new debut album, ENOUGH.
"The power of music continues to amaze me. I needed that night. We all needed it. I could literally feel the love in the room," ALONZO said. "It was as if we all knew that this moment was bigger than us. It wasn't just another show for me. It was an honor and a privilege to play even a small part in helping those families."
Williams honored those who lost their lives to coronavirus, sharing heart-wrenching messages of love, loss and strength from some of their surviving family members. He put faces to the statistics and offered a very real dose of humanity. He also sang three of his songs, one in beautiful harmony with his fellow performers to close the evening, along with one brand-new track, "Believe," which he officially premiered and released that evening.
The cherry on top of being able to listen to the inspiring song now is that doing so will raise more money for families affected by COVID-19. All streaming royalties of the "Believe" for March from Spotify and Apple Music will go to Pandemic Of Love and Covid Survivors for Change.
"I wanted to do something that gave people the power to know they can make a direct impact," Williams explained. "This event isn't giving money to a 'charity,' it's giving aid directly to families in need, with no middleman—that's why we chose to partner with Pandemic of Love. They are a nonprofit disrupter."
He added: "What I'm most excited about is that we got to weave together music and motivational speaking to remind people how powerful they really are and help us turn toward believing in a brighter future ... I want people to know that even in their pain, they are growing. And to give people who don't have a way to give-back financially a chance to get involved. All they have to do is stream the song and they can support charity."
Tito Rey, Justin Michael Williams & ALONZO | Photo: Ana Monroy Yglesias
Stream "Believe" here.
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."
Photo: Jason LaVeris/Getty Images
Mixcloud Signs Warner Music For Subscriptions Remix
There is more to the Mixcloud difference than just electronic dance music, and now the listening service has signed its first major label deal
Among the 1 million curators who have helped build British-based listening service Mixcloud into a destination visited by 17 million listeners each month are GRAMMY winners Erykah Badu, David Byrne, and Tiësto. Limited to streaming-only since its founding in 2008, Mixcloud announced a direct licensing agreement with Warner Music Group this morning, opening the door to offering downloads and new kinds of subscriptions.
Perhaps the standout statistic that describes the Mixcloud difference is that the average length of its user-uploaded programs is 45 minutes. Within the service's general emphasis on DJing, EDM and remix culture, the tendency to drill down and explore narrower listening topics in depth distinguishes the service from competitors such as Spotify or SoundCloud.
Warner Music Group Executive VP for Business Development & Chief Digital Officer Ole Obermann said, "Mixcloud's success is driven by the curiosity and passion of its community, as they engage with new music and rediscover timeless older songs."
Being able to listen to downloads offline seems a natural follow-up to direct licensing deals, but the service hints there's more in store. Mixcloud still hopes to sign indies and the other majors, as its fans have speculated. And with its own proprietary Content ID in place and established relationships with royalty collecting societies, the company has the tech infrastructure to explore new monetization strategies, paying artists and curators in new ways. Launching a new business model for its upcoming approach to paid content and subscriptions is a remix many are anticipating. Not knowing what to expect is part of the excitement.