"Rise Up New York!" COVID-19 Relief Benefit To Feature Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Tina Fey, Bon Jovi & Many More

Mariah Carey

Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images


"Rise Up New York!" COVID-19 Relief Benefit To Feature Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Tina Fey, Bon Jovi & Many More

Tina Fey is hosting the star-studded May 11 TV special raising money for the most in-need New Yorkers during the coronavirus crisis

GRAMMYs/May 5, 2020 - 12:47 am

On Mon. May 11, famous New Yorkers will gather together virtually to share music, jokes and stories to support their most in-need neighbors on behalf of local non-profit Robin Hood's COVID-19 Relief Fund. "Rise Up New York!," an hour-long fundraising special, will be hosted by Tina Fey and feature performances from GRAMMY-winning legends Bon JoviBilly JoelMariah Carey and Sting. Jennifer Lopez, Barbra Streisand, Ben Platt, Bette Midler, Idina Menzel, Trevor Noah and many more are also slated to appear on the show.

More performers will be revealed, but iconic director Spike Lee, actors Chris Rock, Christopher Jackson, Robert De Niro and Jake Gyllenhaal, along with NY Giants Super Bowl champs Eli Manning Michael Strahan, will also make cameos. N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and N.Y.C. Mayor Bill de Blasio, as well as some of the city's brave frontline workers, will also speak.

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According to their website, Robin Hood is the biggest poverty-fighting organization in N.Y.C., working with over 250 local non-profits that support food, housing, education, legal services, work opportunities and more. Their COVID-19 Relief Fund was created to ensure that the city's most vulnerable can survive the harrowing pandemic, with 100% of donations going directly to the orgs working on the frontlines, as overhead costs are paid by board members.

With "Rise Up New York!," which is co-hosted by iHeartMedia, Robin Hood is aiming to raise $10 million for the fund. They are asking for $10 donation from individuals and hoping to get at least 1 million out of over 8.5 million New Yorkers on board.

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"New York City is at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis has created a whole new set of challenges for the millions of New Yorkers who already struggled to make ends meet," Robin Hood CEO Wes Moore said in a statement. "This is a moment where we must all come together and rise up together as a community in support of our neighbors and in support of one another."

The show will air on Mon., May 11 at 7 p.m. ET on all local TV stations, iHeartMedia and Entercom broadcast radio stations, News 12, Spectrum News NY1, SiriusXM and nationally on CNBC.

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Jennifer Lopez's Biggest Hits, From Her Best Hip-Hop Collaborations To The Dance Floor Classics
Jennifer Lopez performs at the LuisaViaRoma for Unicef event in Italy in 2022.

Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for Luisaviaroma


Jennifer Lopez's Biggest Hits, From Her Best Hip-Hop Collaborations To The Dance Floor Classics

As fans await the much-anticipated arrival of J.Lo's new album, 'This Is Me…Now,' revisit the hits and deep cuts that have made her a beloved icon for nearly three decades.

GRAMMYs/Sep 27, 2023 - 05:50 pm

Jennifer Lopez boasts one of the most impactful resumes in entertainment. Along with selling over 80 million albums and garnering four Billboard Hot 100 chart-toppers, she has smashed barriers for Latin performers as a career chameleon — becoming the ultimate multi-hyphenate icon.

It feels almost unbelievable to think that J.Lo's balancing act was once deemed too risky. By the time she was releasing her debut album, On the 6, in 1999, Lopez had made a name for herself in Hollywood thanks to her starring role in 1997's biographical musical drama Selena (which foreshadowed her power in the entertainment business, as her $1 million salary made her the highest paid Latina actress at the time). Under the guidance of music mogul Tommy Mottola, On the 6 was met with much acclaim and propelled J.Lo into another stratosphere.

Now, nearly 25 years later, Lopez has released eight albums, starred in over 30 films — which have collectively grossed over $3 billion — and embarked on numerous business ventures, including her launch of JLo Beauty and alcohol brand Delola. Her fragrances alone have raked in over $2 billion.

Of the many hats Lopez wears, her music career is the most awe-inspiring for many of her fans. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, and ahead of Lopez's eagerly awaited This Is Me… Now album (her first in nearly a decade), is revisiting the hits that made the Bronx native a household name, as well as lesser-known songs that rival even her biggest anthems.

"If You Had My Love," On the 6 (1999)

"If You Had My Love" was first offered to King of Pop, Michael Jackson, before finding a home on Lopez's debut album, On the 6, named after a New York City subway line that she frequented before fame. On the Rodney Jerkins-produced tune, Lopez's assertiveness takes center stage as she addresses a potential lover: "Now if I give you me, this is how it's got to be/ First of all I won't take you cheating on me/ Tell me who can I trust if I can't trust in you/ And I refuse to let you play me for a fool."

Staying atop the Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks, "If You Had My Love" was undeniable proof that Lopez was capable of achieving crossover success in the music industry. It also coincided with 1999's "Latin Explosion" — which launched the careers of fellow Latin pop icons Shakira and Ricky Martin.   

"Waiting for Tonight," On the 6 (1999)

Of all of Lopez's smash hits, "Waiting for Tonight" is arguably one of the most timeless. As Lopez's first song to top the Dance Club Songs chart (she has since scored 18), "Waiting for Tonight" is synonymous with helping to usher in the Y2K era, thanks to its celebratory lyrics and accompanying New Year's Eve-themed video. It showed that she had critical clout, too, as "Waiting for Tonight" earned Lopez her first GRAMMY nomination for Best Dance Recording in 2000.

The Latin house anthem is so quintessentially J.Lo that it's easy to forget that it's a remake of short-lived girl group 3rd Party's song, further exemplifying her star power. What's more, it teased her future Spanish-language project, as she cut a sultry Spanish version titled "Una Noche Más" which closes out On the 6.

"Let's Get Loud," On the 6 (1999)

On the 6 opens with a string of R&B tracks — including "Feelin' So Good" featuring Fat Joe and Big Pun — before taking a different turn with "Let's Get Loud," which flaunts Lopez's Latin heritage. Within the first few seconds, the proud Nuyorican declares "Ya Jeny llegó, presente!" (translating to "Jenny has arrived, present!"), and it's impossible not to dance along.

Co-written by Gloria Estefan, the salsa number mostly flew under the radar, never cracking the Hot 100. Even so, "Let's Get Loud" managed to score Lopez her second GRAMMY nomination for Best Dance Recording in 2001. It also remains one of J.Lo's signature songs, becoming a set list staple and playing part in career-defining performances, including the Super Bowl halftime show in early 2020 and Joe Biden's inauguration the next year.

"Love Don't Cost a Thing," J.Lo (2001)

A self-proclaimed "hopeless romantic," Lopez told potential suitors that her love don't cost a thing on her second album, J.Lo. Reaching No. 3 on the Hot 100 and even taking the top spot in several countries, the song's commercial success solidified her hitmaker status, simultaneously thrusting her relationship with then-boyfriend Sean "Diddy" Combs further into the spotlight. It's rumored that "Love Don't Cost a Thing" was aimed toward the Bad Boy Records founder: "When I took a chance, thought you'd understand/ Baby, credit cards aren't romance/ Still, you're tryna buy what's already yours/ What I need from is not available in stores," she sings in the second verse.

"Love Don't Cost a Thing" also kicked off Lopez's tradition of releasing catchy earworms like "I'm Glad," "I'm Into You," and "Marry Me" that chronicle the A-lister's quest for happily ever after.

"Walking on Sunshine," J.Lo (2001)

With anticipation-filled lyrics like "I can't wait, wanna see how this night is gonna be," "Walking on Sunshine" (not to be confused with Katrina and the Waves' 1985 classic) sounds like a sequel to On the 6's "Waiting for Tonight." Lopez even performed a mashup of the songs during her 2001 tour.

The infectious song follows platinum hits "I'm Real" and "Play" on J.Lo — and yet, it still manages to outshine both. At its core, "Walking on Sunshine" is pure bliss, and perfectly captures the dance-pop genre that flourished in the early aughts.

"I'm Real" (Murder Remix) feat. Ja Rule, J to tha L-O! The Remixes (2001)

Armed with a slinky smooth Rick James sample, Ja Rule's grittiness paired with Lopez's soft coos are a match made in vocal heaven on the "Murder Remix" of "I'm Real," which pushed her more into urban territory after Black radio stations complained that her J.Lo album lacked an R&B-leaning single. (And Ja Rule screaming "What's my motherf—in' name?," to which Lopez responds "R-U-L-E, still reigns as one of the best opening lines in a song.)

Despite drawing criticism at the time due to Lopez's use of the n-word, the collaboration became so popular that it was added to the reissue of J.Lo, making the original version seem almost nonexistent — paving the way for more major reworkings of Lopez's songs, including "I'm Gonna Be Alright" and "Ain't It Funny." The latter started as a Latin pop record before being reimagined as a hip-hop track with all-new lyrics and an in-your-face "Flava In Ya Ear" sample, making it completely unrecognizable to listeners while serving multiple demographics.

"I'm Gonna Be Alright" (Track Masters Remix) feat. Nas, J to tha L-O! The Remixes (2001)

Reworked for her J to tha L-O! The Remixes album, "I'm Gonna Be Alright" is easily Lopez's most forgotten hit — but it's one of her finest, thanks to Lopez's confident delivery, along with its captivating melody and resilient lyrics. "I said I couldn't do it but I did it/ After telling everybody that I wasn't with it," she sings on the chorus. "Though it brings tears to my eyes, I can feel it/ And that voice inside says I'm gonna be alright."

Featuring Nas (who replaced then-rising rapper 50 Cent, which ignited a feud between the two), and a sample of "Why You Treat Me So Bad" by Club Nouveau, "I'm Gonna Be Alright" stands out as one of Lopez's few singles that deal with a failed relationship.

"Still," This Is Me… Then (2002)

Creatively, Lopez was at the top of her game when her third studio album, This Is Me… Then, arrived in late 2002. Yet, it sold fewer copies compared to J.Lo, even despite producing megahits "Jenny from the Block" and "All I Have" (more on those later). As iconic as those songs are, they don't compare to the soulful album's opener "Still," which set the perfect tone for This Is Me… Then — her most romantic and sonically cohesive project to date.

Built around a sample of Teddy Pendergrass' 1979 song "Set Me Free" and enhanced with synthetic record scratches for a retro feel, the lyrics heard in "Still" are actually quite simple. But it's the haunting melody and Lopez's sincerity that pulls in the listener immediately, and makes them wonder why it wasn't released as a single in lieu of "Baby, I Love U!," which stalled at No. 72 on the Hot 100.

"Jenny from the Block" feat. Styles P and Jadakiss, This Is Me… Then (2002)

It's a running joke that Lopez shouts out The Bronx every chance she gets, so it's only fitting that a song like "Jenny from the Block" exists in her arsenal.

Featuring The LOX's Styles P and Jadakiss, "Jenny from the Block" teeters on pretentious as Lopez insists that fame and fortune haven't changed her. But fans and music lovers alike ate it up: The song spent three weeks at No. 3 on the Hot 100 and remains one of her most-streamed and highest-charting singles.

At the time, she was still riding high off making history as the first person to have a No. 1 album (J.Lo) and movie (The Wedding Planner) in the same week. By then, Lopez and then-boyfriend (and now husband!) Ben Affleck's romance had turned into total tabloid fodder, as seen in its accompanying video — which is infiltrated with shots of Bennifer on a yacht, grabbing lunch, and stopping for gas while the paparazzi captures their every move.

In a lot of ways, "Jenny from the Block" represents just how ubiquitous J.Lo was in the early 2000s. Outside the Bennifer craze, the rags-to-riches song remains an ode to Lopez's Bronx upbringing. It even birthed Becky G's "Becky from the Block" and seemingly inspired Fergie's "Glamorous," which topped the Hot 100 in 2007.

"All I Have" feat. LL Cool J, This Is Me… Then (2002)

Lopez and LL Cool J's chemistry is undeniable on "All I Have." Relying on a controversial sample of Debra Laws' "Very Special," the song's call-and-response quality is what makes it so fun to sing along to even after all these years.

Though the ballad showcases Lopez's softer side, female empowerment takes over: "'Cause I'm good holdin' down my spot/ And I'm good reppin' the girls on the block/ And I'm good, I got this thing on lock/ So without me you'll be fine, right," she sings on the song's pre-chorus.

"All I Have" not only became Lopez's fourth No. 1 hit, but thanks to its holiday-timed release and winter wonderland-themed video, it was dubbed a "Christmastime breakup theme."

"Get Right," Rebirth (2005)

In the three-year gap between This Is Me... Then and Lopez's fourth album, Rebirth, she hit a career low when Gigli bombed at the box office. She and Ben Affleck famously called off their engagement a mere five months later. Surprisingly, though, much of Rebirth is void of heartbreak and takes a lighter approach, as evidenced by the horn-laden lead single "Get Right," which sees Lopez enjoying herself at a club.

"My hips moving, oh, so slow/ Bar tab looking like a car note," she sings in the second verse. At face value, it's easy to view "Get Right" as just another dance tune, but it doubles as a metaphor for Lopez's openness to finding love again in the face of heartbreak.

"Qué Hiciste," Como Ama una Mujer (2007)

Lopez fully embraced her Puerto Rican roots from day one, recording Spanish-language and bilingual songs here and there, like 1999's "No Me Ames" and 2001's "Cariño." But after recording 2004's "Escapémonos," a duet with then-husband Marc Anthony, she was inspired to go all in — and she did so with 2007's Como Ama una Mujer.

A self-described "dream come true," Como Ama una Mujer spawned the rock-infused "Qué Hiciste" (translating into "What Did You Do"), Lopez's first Spanish-language song to crack the Hot 100 at No. 86 — though it ruled the US Hot Latin Songs chart. On the tune, Lopez sings from a scorned woman's perspective (e.g., "Hoy empañaste con tu furia mi mirada," which translates to "Today you clouded my gaze with your fury"), showing off her flair for drama with a blazing hot video to match.

"Stay Together," Brave (2007)

Seven months after Como Ama una Mujer's release, Lopez returned to her more radio-friendly sound, but it came with a funky twist à la her sixth album, Brave. Lead singles "Do It Well" and "Hold It Don't Drop It" were lauded by music critics, though "Stay Together," the LP's opener, arguably steals the show.

On the pro-monogamy track, Lopez exudes confidence while dropping words of wisdom: "Through the bumpy roads, the others bite the dust/ 'Cause they be thinking they're in love when they're in lust."

"On the Floor" feat. Pitbull, Love? (2011)

Ahead of joining the 10th season of "American Idol" as a judge, "On the Floor" was the chart comeback Lopez needed after two back-to-back underperforming albums. The lead single off her seventh studio album, Love?, pays homage to her dance background as she sings lyrics like "If you're a criminal, kill it on the floor/ Steal it quick on the floor" over a thumping beat.

Heavily interpolating Kaoma's "Lambada" from 1989 and featuring guest verses from Pitbull, "On the Floor" skyrocketed to No. 1 in over 30 countries and became 2011's best-selling single by a female artist, reinstating Lopez's staying power. (To further prove its impact, there are two versions of "On The Floor" on Spotify — both of which have more than 400 million streams each.)

"First Love," A.K.A. (2014)

Lopez was dating backup dancer Casper Smart, who was nearly 20 years her junior, when she dropped the feel-good "First Love." Their age difference raised eyebrows, but in typical J.Lo fashion, she wore her heart on her sleeve.

On the percussion-heavy track, she sounds carefree while seemingly acknowledging her failed romances. "I wish you were my first love/ 'Cause if you were first/ Baby, there would have been no second, third or fourth love," she sings on the chorus.

Even though it didn't fare well on the Hot 100, it marked her first and only time joining forces with pop genius Max Martin. It also gave Lopez her 15th No. 1 dance hit, tying with Donna Summer for the seventh-most on the chart at the time. Earning three more No. 1 dance hits between 2014 and 2020, Lopez surpassed Summer with an impressive 18.

In the nine years that have passed since Lopez's last studio album, A.K.A., Lopez has released dozens of one-off singles, including "Ain't Your Mama," "El Anillo," "Dinero," and "Medicine." Much to her fans' surprise and delight in the fall of 2022, she commemorated the 20th anniversary of This Is Me... Then with an announcement of This Is Me… Now, an aptly-titled sequel to her 2002 album. Lopez told Vogue that the forthcoming endeavor — which chronicles her rekindled relationship with now-husband Ben Affleck — is not only her most honest work to date, but "a culmination of who I am as a person and an artist."

While J.Lo has yet to announce an official release date, she just performed nine songs from the album at a special Apple Music Live show on Sept. 21. Once This Is Me… Now is finally unveiled, it will unlock a new era for the triple threat — one that only continues her awe-inspiring, ever-influential legacy.

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Billy Joel's Biggest Songs: 15 Tracks That Best Showcase The Piano Man's Storytelling And Pop Hooks
Billy Joel performs in Australia in December 2022.

Photo: Chris Putnam/Future Publishing via Getty Images


Billy Joel's Biggest Songs: 15 Tracks That Best Showcase The Piano Man's Storytelling And Pop Hooks

30 years on from Billy Joel's last mainstream pop album, 'River of Dreams,' digs into the best and biggest tunes from the ultimate Piano Man.

GRAMMYs/Aug 14, 2023 - 01:48 pm

From 1973 to 1997, Billy Joel racked  up nearly three dozen self-penned Billboard hits, tackling everything from adult contemporary pop and classic rock to smooth jazz and Broadway-ready showtunes. And although he's largely avoided the studio since, the legendary singer/songwriter has still very much been a fixture of the music scene thanks to his tireless work on the road. 

This past March, for example, he launched a series of co-headlining dates across North America with another '70s icon, Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks. Then there's the residency at Madison Square Garden he's staged every month (bar the pandemic-hit period, of course) since 2014, while his In Concert tour has been ongoing for a similarly impressive amount of time, too.

However, with the former now officially coming to an end ("My team tells me that we could continue to sell tickets, but 10 years, 150 shows — all right already," he remarked in a June 2023 press release) and a March 2024 show at Arlington's AT&T Stadium looking like the final date of the latter, the proud New Yorker now appears to be gearing up to give those famous piano-playing fingers a well-earned rest.

As he plays his final run of shows (at least for now), Joel also celebrates the 30th anniversary of his final mainstream album, 1993's River of Dreams. (His thirteenth and final album, 2001's Fantasies and Delusions, was a surprising detour into classical music, perhaps inspired by his musical hero Paul McCartney's orchestral works.)

In honor of his latest milestones, delves into the biggest and most impactful tracks from one of pop's all-time great storytellers.

"She's Got A Way," Cold Spring Harbor (1971)

With its heartfelt melodies, textured piano arrangement and unabashedly romantic lyrics, the opening track from Joel's 1971 debut Cold Spring Harbor effectively set the template for the classic Billy Joel ballad. The man himself went on to dismiss "She's Got A Way" (and the rest of the LP) for a mastering error which made him resemble a chipmunk. But he eventually began to appreciate its simple charms: a performance of the track for seminal 1981 live album Songs in the Attic even resulted in a belated but deserved entry on the Billboard Hot 100.

Joel had added strings to the track during his iconic 1977 show at Carnegie Hall, but it's the stripped-back original — a dedication to his manager, and first of four wives, Elizabeth Weber — that pulls at the heartstrings the hardest.

"Captain Jack," Piano Man (1973) 

"The song is sort of brutal, but sometimes it is good to be brutal and offend people," Joel once remarked about the song that ultimately launched his major label career. "It keeps them on their toes."

Listeners of Philadelphia station WMMR certainly seemed to appreciate such provocation. Following its debut at a competition winners' show, DJs were flooded with requests for its caustic tale of a suburban teen who develops a heroin addiction purely out of boredom.

Inspired by a real-life drug deal witnessed from Joel's Long Island apartment, "Captain Jack" subsequently attracted the attention of Columbia Records boss Clive Davis, too. The seven-minute epic — which boasts one of Joel's most rousing choruses and stinging lines ("Well, you're 21 and your mother still makes your bed") — later showed up on 1973's Piano Man, and in 2000 offended Rudy Giuliani after being accidentally played to celebrate rival Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate campaign announcement.

"Piano Man," Piano Man (1973)

Although far from his biggest commercial hit — it peaked at a modest No.25 on the Hot 100 in the spring of 1974 — the title track from Joel's second album has undoubtedly become his defining.

Showcasing his remarkably concise ability to tell a story, "Piano Man" paints a vivid picture of the Los Angeles lounge he performed at while Columbia's lawyers were negotiating his freedom from first label Family Productions. Joel insists its parade of unfulfilled dreamers — Paul the real estate novelist, John the bartender/aspiring movie star — really were part of The Executive Room's Saturday night crowd; the waitress practising politics is definitely another reference to his then-other half Elizabeth.

But whether a genuine portrait of barroom demographics or work of pure fiction, this meeting point between folksy troubadour Harry Chapin and the theme to Cheers is always worthy of raising a glass to.

"New York State of Mind," Turnstiles (1976)

Following a three-year spell in the bright lights of Los Angeles, Joel gave the impression he needed to make amends with his beloved hometown. Not only did the six-time GRAMMY winner return to Long Island (a place he still owns a property at to this day, but he also dedicated much of his fourth album, Turnstiles, to the joys of New York.

Other than the ability to buy its newspapers fresh off the press, this slice of sophisticated jazz-pop doesn't pinpoint exactly why he feels such an affinity to the place. But genuinely conceived while "taking a Greyhound on the Hudson River Line," "A New York State Of Mind" still evokes a palpable sense of pride, placing it alongside Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind" and Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" in the holy trinity of Big Apple classics.

"Scenes from an Italian Restaurant," The Stranger (1977)

Clocking in at nearly 8 minutes, Joel's longest studio cut is also his most audacious: a mini operetta that segues from traditional piano ballad, to jaunty Dixieland jazz, to good old-fashioned rock and roll and back again.

Inspired by the second half of The Beatles' Abbey Road, the lyrical themes of "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" are similarly multi-dimensional. Joel starts out reminiscing with an old school friend at said Italian restaurant (reportedly Fontana di Trevi, a regular haunt during his Carnegie Hall residency), but the small talk and nostalgia later gives way to the poignant story of Brenda and Eddie, two high school sweethearts whose seemingly idyllic romance came unstuck by the pressures of adult life ("They started to fight when the money got tight/ And they just didn't count on the tears").

Although never released as a single, the standout from fifth LP The Stranger has become a firm favorite among both fans and Joel himself — only "Piano Man" has been played more frequently live on stage

"Just the Way You Are," The Stranger (1977)

Joel very nearly dropped "Just the Way You Are" from The Stranger tracklist, believing it may be just one sentimental spousal tribute too far. But thanks to some wise interference from studio neighbors Phoebe Snow and Linda Ronstadt, the wedding favorite made the cut and the rest is history.

Indeed, the Phil Ramone-produced track became Joel's first top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic, picked up Record and Song Of The Year at the 1979 GRAMMYs, and propelled its parent album to worldwide sales of more than 10 million. Joel once again gave the smooth soft rock standard the heave-ho in the wake of his 1982 divorce to Weber — but after returning to his setlists at the turn of the century, it's remained a much-loved ever-present.

"She's Always a Woman," The Stranger (1977)

"She's Always a Woman" initially sounds like your typical Joel love song, but lines such as "She is frequently kind and she's suddenly cruel" prove it's no rose-tinted deification. You can certainly hear its echoes in the earlier work of Ed Sheeran, a man who, at times, seemed determined to point out his lover's flaws in order to chivalrously claim he can look beyond them.

Thankfully, the fourth Top 40 single from sales juggernaut The Stranger isn't as graceless. Joel isn't referencing any physical attributes, but simply the complex mix of personality traits most of us possess. It's the most emotionally raw of the many tributes he penned for Weber, and perhaps the most obvious foreshadowing of the split that was to come.

"My Life," 52nd Street (1978) 

"I don't care what you say anymore, this is my life/Go ahead with your own life, leave me alone." "My Life" may have been adopted as the theme tune to pre-fame Tom Hanks sitcom Bosom Buddies, but amid its jaunty piano melodies and peppy harmonies (courtesy of Chicago's Donnie Dacus and Peter Cetera), Joel instead appears to be taking his cues from All in the Family's grumpy old man Archie Bunker. Audiences still embraced this more irascible side of the singer/songwriter's personality, however, with the lead single from sixth LP 52nd Street equaling his then-highest Hot 100 peak of No. 3.

"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," Glass Houses (1980)

Fans once again lapped up Joel in defensive mode on "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," the first of his three U.S. No. 1s. Taken from his seventh studio effort, Glass Houses, the rockabilly throwback was a direct response to those detractors who dismissed his adult contemporary sound as old hat.

Released in the same year Michael Jackson's "Rock With You," Lipps Inc.'s "Funkytown" and Blondie's "Call Me"also hit the top spot, the song's industry satire argued that the newly popular hot funk, cool punk, new wave and latest dance crazes were simply retreading what had gone before. You could argue it was a needless display of petulance, but you also can't deny it's one of his biggest earworms.

"Goodnight Saigon," The Nylon Curtain (1982)

Bookended by the Apocalypse Now-esque sound of chirping crickets and whirring helicopters, "Goodnight Saigon" finds Joel stepping into the military boots of a 19-year-old called up to fight in the Vietnam War. The Piano Man had been a conscientious objector himself, but on this occasion decided against politicizing the conflict ("And who was wrong? And who was right? It didn't matter in the thick of the fight").

Instead, drawing upon the tales of friends who did see battle, he offers an intimate portrait of the soldier experience, from the distractions of Playboy magazine and Bob Hope to the hardships of losing a comrade. The standout from his most serious-minded LP The Nylon Curtain, this is Joel at his most affecting.

"Tell Her About It," An Innocent Man (1983)

Joel loosened things up a little for his ninth LP, An Innocent Man, paying homage to the soul and doo-wop sounds he grew up with on this toe-tapping throwback. Buoyed by an equally playful promo in which the pianist lives out his The Ed Sullivan Show fantasy — pulling out some unexpected dance moves in the process — "Tell Her About It" became his second U.S. No. 1 in the summer of 1983.

Joel went on to disown his slightly wordy wingman anthem ("It's not automatically a certain guarantee/ To insure yourself/ You've got to provide communication constantly"), acknowledging it sounded more like bubblegum pop crooner Tony Orlando than the Motown tribute he intended. In fact, he hasn't played it live for 36 years!

"Uptown Girl," An Innocent Man (1983)

Joel's affectionate nod to the falsetto pop of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons has endured a little better: proving its cross-generational appeal, he invited Olivia Rodrigo to perform the track with him at Madison Square Garden in August 2022.  (The pop superstar referenced "Uptown Girl" in her own monster hit "déjà vu.")

As with much of Joel's oeuvre, the tale of a working-class guy trying his luck with a woman way out of his league has autobiographical roots. It was inspired by the time Joel found himself in the company of Whitney Houston, Christie Brinkley and Elle Macpherson. And while he was dating the latter at the time, it was her fellow supermodel that ended up gracing the memorable "Uptown Girl" promo, and indeed, becoming the second Mrs. Joel.

"A Matter of Trust," The Bridge (1986)

Often his own biggest critic, Joel has been largely dismissive of tenth LP The Bridge, claiming it was hampered by both impatient record execs and the distraction of becoming a first-time father. You can briefly see baby daughter Alexa and then-wife Brinkley in the video for one of its saving graces.

Second single "A Matter of Trust" is a rare but convincing foray into Bruce Springsteen-esque arena rock in which the Piano Man becomes the Electric Guitar Man. It was also a highlight of Konsert, the following year's live album recorded during his historic tour of the Soviet Union.

"We Didn't Start the Fire," Storm Front (1989)

The hostile reaction to Fall Out Boy's recent update proves how hard it can be to namecheck 40 years of newsworthy events in just 4 minutes of anthemic pop-rock. From post-war president Harry Truman to the cola wars of the 1980s, the original "We Didn't Start the Fire" manages to throw in 118 references — and in mostly chronological order, too, without barely pausing for breath.

Inspired by a "my generation had it worse than you" conversation with a friend of Sean Lennon, Joel's rapid-fire alternative history lesson became his third and final No. 1, and picked up Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance nominations at the 1990 GRAMMYs. The lead single from 11th LP Storm Front didn't gain the seal of approval from its creator, however, with Joel comparing it to the sound of a dentist's drill.

"The River of Dreams," River of Dreams (1993)

Joel earned two more Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year nominations for River of Dreams' title track at the 1994 GRAMMYs. But despite an additional nod for Album of the Year, he still went home empty handed. (He also made headlines for pausing his live performance of the song in protest of producers' curtailing Frank Sinatra's Lifetime Achievement Award speech.)

In contrast to all the awards drama and soul-searching lyrics, "The River of Dreams" is one of Joel's most jovial hits, an uplifting blend of doo-wop and gospel vocals arranged by regular band member Crystal Taliefero. The last time the once-prolific hitmaker would grace the U.S. Top 20, it's a fine commercial swansong.

ReImagined At Home: Sammy Rae Scats Through A Bouncy Rendition Of Billy Joel's "The River Of Dreams"

On New Album, 'Drama Queen,' Idina Menzel Hits The Dance Floor
Idina Menzel

Photo: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images


On New Album, 'Drama Queen,' Idina Menzel Hits The Dance Floor

Out Aug. 18, 'Drama Queen' continues the personal storytelling that’s a trademark of Idina Menzel's original discography, but with a pop-disco lilt.

GRAMMYs/Aug 14, 2023 - 01:04 pm

Idina Menzel can’t be put into a box. 

On the Broadway stage she originated iconic roles like Maureen in "Rent" and Elphaba in "Wicked," the latter of which earned her a Tony Award. Her reputation for musicals continued to the silver screen with the juggernaut success of the ongoing Frozen franchise, which Menzel leads as Elsa. But despite that remarkable track record, musicals (on and off the stage) are only one facet of Menzel’s eclectic and expansive career. 

In between creating those tentpole roles, she’s starred in television and film projects like Glee, Enchanted, and Uncut Gems, all the while consistently writing and releasing her own original music — a notoriously tricky leap for Broadway stars to make. It was her 1998 debut pop-rock album Still I Can’t Be Still, released after the success of "Rent," that first demonstrated the challenge of being accepted in the mainstream music industry as a performer synonymous with theater. After its poor commercial performance, she was dropped by her first label. 

Nevertheless, she stayed the course, finding more success with pop offerings like I Stand (2008) and Idina (2016), and hit Christmas albums like 2014’s Holiday Wishes — refusing to ever just be one thing or restricted to any one lane.

That versatility has been both a blessing and a curse. "So many people in the music industry wanna put people in a box because it makes their life easier if you’re just one way," Menzel tells

Menzel is again breaking new ground, sonically and otherwise, on her disco-inspired seventh album Drama Queen. Out Aug. 18, Drama Queen — featuring singles like "Move" and "Beast" — is a showcase for Menzel's powerhouse vocals. 

The album is the latest entry in that genre’s resurgence, fitting right in amongst new offerings from Kylie Minogue and Jessie Ware, and sees Menzel collaborating with GRAMMY-winning songwriter and disco legend Nile Rodgers. Though a new genre for Menzel, the songwriting is a seamless continuation of the personal storytelling that’s forever been a trademark of her original discography.   

"The music comes from stuff that I feel I need to write for myself as an artist and a woman, a lot about really owning who I am," Menzel says, adding that she hopes her personal message will prove universal — particularly for her devoted LGBTQ+ audience. It’s a community that’s not only been with her since the beginning, but one that she’s already gotten to share this new music with at recent Pride celebrations. 

"It's a wonderful opportunity to express my gratitude to the LGBTQ+ community. They've always accepted me, but more than that it's what they taught me through their courage to live their lives authentically," she continues.

Ahead of Drama Queen’s release, Menzel spoke to about this latest genre-shift, what she credits for her versatility, and the challenges that come with breaking out of the Broadway box that people continually try, and fail, to put her in.

This is now your seventh album, but the first time you’re exploring this new genre. What drew you to making a disco-inspired dance record?

I really wanted to make music that grooved and got people up to dance, and not overthink what I was doing or what was expected of me. But also make music that would still be a good foundation for a big voice. So many of my favorite singers, like Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand, Gloria Gaynor, they had this disco moment that was incredible. They could still sing really big and yet get people moving, so I felt like that was an organic transition for me.  

It feels like this kind of disco-inspired music is really having a resurgence right now, what do you attribute to the timelessness of this genre? 

I think because they're just real songs, as far as the structure of songwriting. They're not as linear as everything is today. They'll go through a verse, a pre-chorus, a chorus, and then a bridge. They might even have a modulation, so for singers it's exciting because it allows us so many places to go and ways to be expressive with our voices. I think that probably resonates with people.

What’s it been like performing these new songs live? I’d imagine it’s a very different vibe than your usual setlists.

I'm having a blast. I have dancers, I have amazing background singers, we're just like throwing down up there. The bass and the grooves are so loud that I feel that vibration from the floor all the way through my solar plexus. 

I used to be worried that I had different genres that I explored in my career, and would that confuse people? I thought that maybe it was going to be incohesive in some way. But as I've gotten older, I realized that my common denominator is less about the music style and more about the storytelling and my life through the music. So I can get on stage and do this disco music, and then do "Defying Gravity" and something from "Rent" and it’s actually pretty seamless.  

In your documentary that came out last year, Which Way To The Stage, you talk a lot about the challenges that you’ve had releasing original music as someone known for Broadway. Why do you think it’s so difficult to make that jump? 

Versatility has often been my curse. If you’re an artist that wants to explore different avenues, you often get people saying, "Oh I don’t know if you should do that," or [they] assume that people from theater are going to be overly expressive. The truth is, you can always figure out what medium you’re in. In the theater world, people want you to be a little bit more perfected, and in the pop world they want you to be more raw. But I feel that the commonality is the ability for a performer to make themselves vulnerable and take that risk and allow people to see inside you — in whichever medium, that’s the thing that resonates with people. 

I also remind myself that there's a lot of really theatrical artists in the pop and rock and hip-hop world. I love Annie Lennox, she's completely theatrical. David Bowie is theatrical, even Mick Jagger. And so, I think it's just the context people get in their head about.

You grew up performing at weddings and bar mitzvahs. What role do you think that had in fostering this versatility and equipping you to bounce around these different genres?

That was everything! To me, the wedding and bar mitzvah circuit was my education. It was sort of my laboratory for experimenting with all kinds of music. You have to emulate different artists all the time and do covers, so I'm learning how to hit the songs in the right range and use my voice in all these ways. 

But also then you start to realize, okay, what am I bringing to this as a vocalist? What's me now, being informed by all of these influences? But people aren’t listening most of the time, let's just be honest, so you really build a thick skin. And you have to fly by the seat of your pants when people request stuff, so I think my ability to be spontaneous and improvise was fostered in that setting. I owe all of it to those jobs, I really do. 

When it comes to Broadway, you have a history of originating iconic characters. Is the creative process of developing a new story why you tend to favor original musicals over revivals?

Yeah, I got my start in original musicals and the process of standing at the piano with a young composer like Jonathan Larson, let's say, and having them bring a new song that they've written for you, your character, your voice, your inflections, and impulses…there's just nothing like that. It's also a little selfish because my life's actually easier when a character's written with me in mind. 

I'd rather not do a revival where I'm walking in the footsteps of legendary other women, it makes it a lot harder. But I just really love creating new stuff that gives young composers an opportunity to share their work.

Speaking of which, one of those original shows was "Wicked," which is of course now being turned into a film. What’s it been like seeing its longevity and now handing over the baton (or broomstick) for the movie?  

Well, there's a tremendous amount of pride that comes with the fact that it's going onto its next incarnation, having been a part of originating it and seeing it come to life. For me and Kristin [Chenoweth]  to hand it off to such capable hands and see what they do with it is a beautiful thing, and Cynthia [Erivo] and Ariana [Grande] are perfect for it. 

The bittersweet part for me is the aging thing. As a woman, to not be able to play your role because you're aging out of it is what makes it hard, and I've just been trying to be honest about that. But if anyone's gonna do it, I mean, Cynthia's gonna knock it outta the park. They're not gonna remember me after she does it! 

The story is timeless and to have another generation enjoy and be changed by this musical is just what we hoped for back in the beginning. 

We talked a lot about versatility and genre-hopping, is there any box left for you to tick? Anything that you haven’t done yet that you still want to explore?

Well, you mean in my career, right? Because personally, I enjoy being a basketball mom and I wanna have a farm and rescue racehorses one day. That's really where my focus has been lately. 

But honestly, just to keep working with really incredible creatives. You know, people that are much better than me so that I can get better and keep learning and evolving as an artist. Nile Rodgers was my mentor on this album, and there's Justin Tranter, and Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters, who’s someone I worked with on this that really helped guide me. 

I just hope people can listen with an open heart and fresh ears and hear the music for what it is and feel the joy that was intended with it. 

Ariana Grande's Road To 'Wicked': How The Pop Star Manifested Her Theater Kid Dreams In The Most Full-Circle Way Possible

15 Must-Hear Albums This July: Taylor Swift, Dominic Fike, Post Malone, NCT Dream & More
(L-R, clockwise): Stevie Nicks, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet, Post Malone, Pitbull, NCT Dream

Photo: Erika Goldring/WireImage, Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for Luisaviaroma, Scott Legato/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management, Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images, Don Arnold/WireImage, Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Atlantis Paradise Island, Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images


15 Must-Hear Albums This July: Taylor Swift, Dominic Fike, Post Malone, NCT Dream & More

From the highly anticipated 'Barbie' soundtrack to a celebration of Joni Mitchell's iconic Newport Folk Festival return, check out 15 albums dropping this July.

GRAMMYs/Jul 3, 2023 - 04:05 pm

The first half of 2023 is already behind us, but July gives us much to look forward to. The warm sun, tours and festivals abound, and a heap of exciting releases — from Colter Wall's country music to NCT DREAM's K-pop — will surely make this season even more special.

We start it off with Taylor Swift and her third re-recorded album, Speak Now (Taylor's Version) on July 7, the same day Pitbull returns with his twelfth studio album, Trackhouse. Post Malone will deliver his fourth LP, AUSTIN, and Blur returns with their first album in eight years. And for the classic music lovers, folk legend Joni Mitchell will release At Newport — a recording of her first live performance since 2015 — and rock maven Stevie Nicks will drop her Complete Studio Albums & Rarities box set.

To welcome the latter half of a year filled with great music so far, offers a guide to the 15 must-hear albums dropping July 2023.

Taylor Swift, Speak Now (Taylor's Version)

Release date: July 7

Taylor Swift fans are used to gathering clues and solving puzzles about the singer's intricate, ever-expanding discography. Therefore, in her hometown of Nashville concert last May, when she announced that Speak Now (Taylor's Version) would come out on July 7, it was not much of a surprise to the audience, but rather a gratifying confirmation that they had followed the right steps.

"It's my love language with you. I plot. I scheme. I plan. And then I get to tell you about it," Swift told them after breaking the news. "I think, rather than me speaking about it ... I'd rather just show you," she added, before performing an acoustic version of Speak Now's single, "Sparks Fly." 

Shortly after, she took it to Instagram to share that "the songs that came from this time in my life were marked by their brutal honesty, unfiltered diaristic confessions and wild wistfulness. I love this album because it tells a tale of growing up, flailing, flying and crashing … and living to speak about it."

Speak Now (Taylor's Version) is Swift's third re-recorded album, following 2021's Red (Taylor's Version). It will feature 22 tracks, including six unreleased "From the Vault" songs and features with Paramore's Hayley Williams and Fall Out Boy. "Since Speak Now was all about my songwriting, I decided to go to the artists who I feel influenced me most powerfully as a lyricist at that time and ask them to sing on the album," she shared on Twitter. Swift is currently touring the U.S. with her acclaimed The Eras Tour, which will hit Latin America, Asia, Australia, UK, and Europe through August 2024.

ANOHNI and the Johnsons, My Back Was a Bridge For You To Cross

Release date: July 7

"I want the record to be useful," said ANOHNI about her upcoming sixth studio album, My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross. The English singer says she learned with her previous LP, 2016's HOPELESSNESS, that she "can provide a soundtrack that might fortify people in their work, in their activism, in their dreaming and decision-making," therefore aiming to make use of her talents to further help and inspire people.

Through 10 tracks that blend American soul, British folk, and experimental music, ANOHNI weaves her storytelling on inequality, alienation, privilege, and several other themes. According to a statement, the creative process was "painstaking, yet also inspired, joyful, and intimate, a renewal and a renaming of her response to the world as she sees it."

My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross "demonstrates music's unique capacity to bring harmony to competing, sometimes contradictory, elements" — qualities that can be observed in the album's contemplative pre-releases "It Must Change" and "Sliver Of Ice."

Pitbull, Trackhouse

Release date: July 7

GRAMMY-winning singer/rapper Pitbull has recently broadened his reach into an unexpected field: stock cars. Together with Trackhouse Entertainment Group founder Justin Marks, he formed Trackhouse Racing in 2021, an organization and team that participates in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Now, to unite both passions, the Miami-born singer is releasing Trackhouse, his twelfth studio album and first release since 2019's Libertad 548. "In no way, shape, or form is this some kind of publicity stunt," said Mr. Worldwide of the upcoming album during a teleconference in April. "This is real. This is all about our stories coming together, and that's why the fans love it. […] This right here is about making history, it's generational, it's about creating a legacy."

Preceded by singles "Me Pone Mal" with Omar Courtz and "Jumpin" with Lil Jon, it seems that Trackhouse, despite its innovative inception, will continue to further Pitbull's famed Latin pop brand. This fall, he will also join Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin on The Trilogy Tour across the U.S. and Canada.

Dominic Fike,  Sunburn

Release date: July 7

Multitalented singer, songwriter and actor Dominic Fike also joins the roll of summer comebacks. His second studio album, Sunburn, comes out July 7, and follows 2020's acclaimed What Could Possibly Go Wrong.

In recent years, the Florida star found great exposure after landing a role in the HBO hit series "Euphoria" as well as the upcoming A24 drama Earth Mama, which is slated to release on the same day as Sunburn. The past three years were also marked by collaborations with a handful of artists, from Justin Bieber ("Die For You") to Paul McCartney ("The Kiss of Venus") to his Euphoria co-star Zendaya on "Elliot's Song" from the show's soundtrack.

Sunburn marks Fike's joyful return to music, aiming to portray "the aching and vulnerable revelations of a young artist still growing and putting their best foot forward," according to a press release. Through 15 tracks, including singles "Dancing in the Courthouse," "Ant Pile," and "Mama's Boy," Fike will explore themes of "heartbreak and regret, addiction, sex, and jealousy." 

One week after Sunburn's arrival, Fike will embark on a tour across North America and Canada, starting July 13 in Indianapolis.

Lauren Spencer Smith, Mirror

Release date: July 14

Lauren Spencer Smith said on TikTok that she's been working on her debut album, Mirror, for years. "It has been with me through so much in my life, the highs and the lows, and it means more to me than I can put into words. It tells a story of reflection, healing and growth," she added.

The 19-year-old, British-born Canadian singer is unafraid to dive deep into heartbreak and sorrow — as she displayed on her breakthrough hit "Fingers Crossed" —  but offers a way out by focusing on her growth. "I went through a hard breakup, and the album tells the story of that all, the journey of that and now being in a more happy relationship. The title comes from the one thing in my life that's seen me in every emotion through that journey — my bedroom and bathroom mirror."

Like a true Gen Zer, Smith has been teasing the 15-track collection and its upcoming world tour all over social media. On July 14, the day of the album release, she kicks off the North American leg of the tour in Chicago, before heading to the UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Colter Wall, Little Songs

Release date: July 14

"You might not see a soul for days on them high and lonesome plains/ You got to fill the big empty with little songs," sings Colter Wall on the titular track off his fourth studio album, Little Songs. The Canadian country star says in a press release that he wrote these songs over the last three years, and that "I penned most of them from home and I think the songs reflect that."

Born and raised in the prairies of Battle Creek, Saskatchewan, Wall found inspiration in the stillness of his surroundings. With this album, he bridges "the contemporary world to the values, hardships, and celebrations of rural life" while also opening "emotional turns as mature and heartening as the resonant baritone voice writing them," according to a press release.

Little Songs is composed of 10 tracks — eight originals and two covers (Hoyt Axton's "Evangelina," and Ian Tyson's "The Coyote & The Cowboy.") He'll celebrate the album's release with a performance at Montana's Under The Big Sky festival on the weekend of the LP's arrival.

Mahalia, IRL

Release date: July 14

British singer Mahalia celebrated her 25th birthday on May 1 by announcing IRL, her sophomore album. Out July 14, the R&B star claims the album to be "a real reflection of the journeys I've had, what actually happened, and a celebration of everyone who got me there."

The 13-track collection will feature names like Stormzy and JoJo, the latter of whom appears on the single "Cheat." Before the release, Mahalia also shared "Terms and Conditions," a self-possessed track that pairs her silky voice with delightful early-aughts R&B.

"I'm so proud of this album, and so proud of how much I challenged myself to just let those stories out," she said in a statement. "We're all fixated on how we can make ourselves better but I want people to also reminisce on lovely or painful situations they've lived through and how they've helped shape the people they are now."

IRL is Mahalia's follows 2019's highly-acclaimed Love and Compromise. In support of the release, she has announced UK and Europe tour dates from October through November.


Release date: July 17

The Myers-Briggs Personality Test (also known as MBTI) is a current craze in South Korea, therefore, it was only a matter of time until a K-pop group applied its insights on their music. Although none of NCT DREAM's seven members has the ISTJ personality type, that's what they decided to call their upcoming third studio album, out on July 17.

The 10-track collection comes in two physical versions: Introvert and Extrovert, the first letters and main differentiators in any MBTI personality. Spearheaded by the soaring "Broken Melodies," where they display an impressive set of vocals, their comeback announcement on Twitter promises "The impact NCT DREAM will bring to the music industry."

Since September, the NCT sub-group embarked on The Dream Show 2: In A Dream World Tour, which crossed Asia, Europe, North America. The group will wrap up July with four concerts in Latin America.

Blur, The Ballad of Darren

Release date: July 21

"The older and madder we get, it becomes more essential that what we play is loaded with the right emotion and intention," said Blur's guitarist Graham Coxon in a statement about The Ballad of Darren, the band's ninth studio album set to arrive on July 21.

Maybe that explains why The Ballad is their first release in eight years, and represents "an aftershock record, reflection and comment on where we find ourselves now," according to frontman Damon Albarn. During a press conference in May, bassist Alex James reinforced the positive moment that they find themselves in, stating that "there were moments of utter joy" while recording together.

Produced by James Ford, the album contains 10 tracks, including the wistful indie rock of lead single "The Narcissist." On July 8 and 9, Blur is set to play two reunion gigs at London's Wembley Stadium, followed by a slew of festivals across Europe, Japan and South America.

Barbie: The Album

Release date: July 21

The most-awaited summer flick of 2023 also comes with a staggering soundtrack. Scored by producers Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, Barbie: The Album features songs by hot stars like Dua Lipa, Lizzo, and Ice Spice, as well as some surprising additions, such as psychedelic star Tame Impala and K-pop rookie sensation Fifty Fifty.

As undecipherable and alluring as the actual movie plot, the album tracklist only increases expectations for Greta Gerwig's upcoming oeuvre. Is it all a satire? Is it a serious take on "life in plastic" and consumerism? Is it about nothing at all? You can try to find some clues through pre-release singles "Dance the Night" by Dua Lipa, "Watati" by Karol G, and "Angel" by PinkPantheress.

Greta Van Fleet, Starcatcher

Release date: July 21

Fans who attended the three final shows of Greta Van Fleet's Dreams in Gold Tour this March already got a sneak peek of the band's upcoming third studio album, Starcatcher. Among their most popular hits, the quartet played five new songs — or half of Starcatcher — including singles "Meeting the Master," "Sacred the Thread," and "Farewell for Now."

In a statement about the album, drummer Danny Wagner said that they "wanted to tell these stories to build a universe," and that they wanted to "introduce characters and motifs and these ideas that would come about here and there throughout our careers." Bassist Sam Kiszka adds: "When I imagine the world of Starcatcher, I think of the cosmos. It makes me ask a lot of questions, like 'Where did we come from?' or 'What are we doing here?' But it's also questions like, 'What is this consciousness that we have, and where did it come from?'"

Just a few days after release, Greta Van Fleet will embark on a world tour. Starting in Nashville, Tennessee on July 24, they will cross the U.S. and then head over to Europe and the UK in November.

Post Malone, AUSTIN

Release date: July 28

In a shirtless, casual Instagram Reel last May, hitmaker Post Malone announced his upcoming fourth studio album, AUSTIN, to be released on July 28. Titled after his birth name, the singer shared that "It's been some of the funnest music, some of the most challenging and rewarding music for me, at least" — a very different vibe from the more mellow, lofi sounds of 2022's Twelve Carat Toothache — and that the experience of playing the guitar on every song was "really fun."

Featuring 17 tracks (19 on the deluxe version), AUSTIN is preceded by the dreamy "Chemical" and the angsty "Mourning," and sees Malone pushing his boundaries in order to innovate on his well-established sound. The album will also be supported by a North American 24-date trek, the If Y'all Weren't Here, I'd Be Crying Tour, starting July 8 in Noblesville, Indiana and wrapping up on August 19 in San Bernardino, California.

Stevie Nicks: Complete Studio Albums & Rarities box set

Release date: July 28

To measure Stevie Nicks' contribution to music is an insurmountable task. The Fleetwood Mac singer and songwriter has composed dozens of the most influential, well-known rock classics of the past century ("Dreams," anyone?), also blooming on her own as a soloist since 1981, when she debuted with Bella Donna.

In the four decades since, seven more solo albums followed, along with a trove of rarities that rightfully deserve a moment in the spotlight. Enter: her upcoming vinyl box set, Stevie Nicks: Complete Studio Albums & Rarities. The 16xLP collection compiles all of her work so far, plus a new record with the aforementioned rarities, and is limited to 3,000 copies. It's also the first time that Trouble in Shangri-La, In Your Dreams, and Street Angel are released on vinyl. For those who can't secure the limited set, a version of Complete Studio Albums & Rarities with 10xCDs will be available digitally.

Joni Mitchell, At Newport

Release date: July 28

Last year's Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island was one to remember. During one evening of the fest, a surprise guest graced the "Brandi Carlile and Friends" stage: it was none less than legendary folk star, Joni Mitchell. And what's more? It was her first live appearance since 2015, when she suffered a debilitating aneurysm.

During that time, the 79-year-old singer quietly held "Joni Jams" at her home in Los Angeles — inviting musicians that ranged from Elton John to Harry Styles to participate — with organizational support offered by Carlile. With Mitchell's special appearance at Newport, the coveted experience of a Joni Jam was available for thousands of fans.

This month, the release of At Newport eternalizes the headlining-making moment, bringing her talents to an even bigger audience. Among the classics in the tracklist are "Carey," "A Case of You," and "The Circle Game," proving that Mitchell is still as magical as when she stepped on the Newport Folk Festival stage for the first time, in 1969.

Jennifer Lopez, This Is Me… Now

Release date: TBD

In 2002, J.Lo was everywhere. Her relationship with actor Ben Affleck ensued heavy attention from the media, and her This Is Me… Then album — which featured hits like "Jenny from the Block" — was a commercial success, with over 300,000 first-week sales in the U.S.

How funny is it that, 20 years later, the singer and actress finds herself in a similar situation. After rekindling with Affleck in 2021, she announced the sequel to her 2002 release, This Is Me… Now, and stated in an interview with Vogue that the album represents a "culmination" of who she is.

A press release also describes This Is Me… Now as an "emotional, spiritual and psychological journey" across all that Lopez has been through in the past decades. Fans can also expect more details on the new-and-improved Bennifer, as many of the titles among its 13 tracks suggest, especially "Dear Ben Pt. II."

Although an official release date has not yet been revealed, on June 29, Lopez posted a cryptic image on social media with the caption "album delivery day" — suggesting that the highly anticipated This Is Me update may not be far away.

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