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Kenny Rogers, Country Music Icon And Actor, Dies At 81

Kenny Rogers performs at the 2017 CMA Music Festival

Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images

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Kenny Rogers, Country Music Icon And Actor, Dies At 81

The three-time GRAMMY-winning legend was one of the key artists to take country music to mainstream audiences

GRAMMYs/Mar 22, 2020 - 12:10 am

Kenny Rogers, a three-time GRAMMY-winning country music icon, producer, actor and entrepreneur, has died at 81.

Rogers died Friday night (March 20) from natural causes at his home "under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family," according to a tweet posted on his official Twitter account. 

"Kenny Rogers left an indelible mark on the history of American music. His songs have endeared music lovers and touched the lives of millions around the world," Keith Hagan, Rogers' publicist, said in a statement, as reported by CNN.

Harvey Mason jr., Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, shared a touching message on behalf of the organization. 

"As one of the first artists to successfully master the country/pop crossover, Rogers touched the lives of millions worldwide and led the way for many notable artists who followed," the statement reads. "This is a great loss for the music industry, but his influence and legacy will continue. We're thinking of his loved ones during this difficult time."

Credited as one of the key artists to take country music to mainstream audiences in the '70s and '80s, Rogers was one of the best-selling music artists of all time, counting more than 100 million records sold worldwide. Across his nearly six-decade career, he recorded and performed music across multiple genres, including rock 'n' roll, psychedelic rock, folk and country, and topped multiple genre charts in the U.S. 

According to Billboard, Rogers notched 21 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart and 12 chart-toppers on the Top Country Albums chart. His 1980 career-retrospective compilation album, Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits, topped the all-genre Billboard 200 chart the year it was released, becoming his sole No. 1 release on that chart. He scored two No. 1 hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S. with "Lady," his 1980 song written and produced by Lionel Richie, and "Islands In The Stream," his 1983 Bee Gees-penned duet with Dolly Parton

Born in 1938, in Houston, Texas, Rogers got his musical start as part of multiple groups, including Bobby Doyle Three, the New Christy Minstrels and the First Edition, during his early years. He launched his solo career in 1976 with the release of his debut solo album, Love Lifted Me. A prolific recording artist, he released 39 studio albums, which included multiple solo, collaborative and holiday albums, from the 1970s through the 2010s. 

Rogers is perhaps best known for "The Gambler," the title track off his 1978 album. Widely considered his signature song, "The Gambler" notched Rogers a GRAMMY win at the 22nd GRAMMY Awards, held in 1980, for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, in addition to a nomination for Record Of The Year; The Gambler also received a nomination for Album Of The Year. The song, which was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for preservation in 2018, inspired a successful film series that included 1980's Emmy-nominated movie, Kenny Rogers As The Gambler

In addition to his three GRAMMY wins and 19 overall nominations, Rogers received the Recording Academy's President's Merit Award in 1986. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2013. He received the Country Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and the Artist Of A Lifetime Award at the CMT Artists Of The Year 2015 award show, among many other lifetime awards and honors, according to his official bio.

Rogers announced his retirement in 2015. His farewell tour, dubbed "The Gambler's Last Deal," was cut short in 2018 following advisement from his doctors, who cited "a series of health challenges." His final concert—a special tribute called "All In For The Gambler: Kenny Rogers' Farewell Concert Celebration" held in Nashville, Tenn, in Oct. 2017—featured performances from GRAMMY winners Chris StapletonLittle Big Town, and Lionel Richie, among many others. At the show, Rogers joined longtime friend and collaborator Dolly Parton onstage to perform their GRAMMY-nominated duets "You Can't Make Old Friends" and "Islands In The Stream" for the last time together. 

Rogers is survived by his wife of 22 years, Wanda Miller, as well as his five children, three siblings and several grandchildren, according to The New York Times.

Following the news of Rogers' death, fellow artists and institutions from the country and pop music community commemorated the late legend, including a moving tribute from a weeping Dolly Parton. 

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

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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

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

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.

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

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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

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

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.

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Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

Lady Gaga

Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

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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

GRAMMYs/Oct 12, 2017 - 11:03 pm

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."

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

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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

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2019 - 06:28 pm

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                                                                        

 
This star-studded compilation album from 11-time GRAMMY nominee J. Cole and his Dreamville Records imprint features appearances from some of the leading and fastest-rising artists in hip-hop today, including label artists EARTHGANG, J.I.D, and Ari Lennox, plus rappers T.I, DaBaby, and Young Nudy, among many others. Recorded in Atlanta across a 10-day recording session, Revenge of the Dreamers III is an ambitious project that saw more than 300 artists and producers contribute to the album, resulting in 142 recorded tracks. Of those recordings, 18 songs made the final album, which ultimately featured contributions from 34 artists and 27 producers.

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.