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Less than a week into the new year, 2012 is shaping up as a good one for some artists and, to paraphrase Tina Turner, love just may have something to do with it. Getting engaged seems to be all the rage as the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin announced her engagement to longtime friend William "Willie" Wilkerson. The couple is scheduled to marry this summer in Miami and Franklin has confirmed that "no, I am not pregnant." This just goes to show that with some r-e-s-p-e-c-t and a little prayer, anything can happen. In more nuptial news, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler has popped the question to his longtime girlfriend, Erin Brady, and R&B crooner John Legend has proposed to his girlfriend, Chrissy Teigen. For the previously divorced Tyler, this time is for real. "I don't want to hurt anybody again," Tyler told Oprah Winfrey on "Oprah's Next Chapter" on Jan. 1. "For all the divorces I've had, I hurt those girls deeply. It was some behavior that I'm ashamed of and I shouldn't have done." If it's true that the third time's a charm, Wynonna Judd is in luck as she has announced her third engagement, this time to boyfriend Scott "Cactus" Moser. And everyone's favorite boy band superstar-turned entertainment guru Justin Timberlake is engaged to wed longtime girlfriend Jessica Biel, according to a People report. "She is the single-handedly most significant person in my life," Timberlake told Vanity Fair last June. If all they need is love, do you think these artists will make it in marriage?
In not-so-sweet relationship news, the recent announcement of hot celebrity couple Katy Perry and Russell Brand's divorce caught the entertainment world by storm. After all, they were married for an entire 14 months. But while it seems that divorce would come with much heartache and pain, especially over the holiday season, Perry has been seen out on the town making her own fireworks of sorts. According to a New York Post report, the pop songstress was out on New Year's Eve dancing with friends at Soho House in West Hollywood, Calif., the day after Brand filed for divorce. "Katy was in a private room with a group and she seemed to be in a great mood," said one anonymous source. "She spent most of the night dancing and laughing with friends. One wouldn't have ever even known that her husband had just filed for divorce. … She looked like she was having a great time." And as for Brand, he's carrying on just fine as well. "I'm doing good," he told the Post. "Everything is going to be better next year." It seems all is fair in love and war.
With respect to Chinese astrology and dragons, 2012 is shaping up to be the year of Van Halen, at least for classic rock fans. A group of fortunate music journalists witnessed the band's official 2012 launch at the intimate Cafe Wha? in New York on Jan. 5. Eddie Van Halen, along with brother/drummer Alex, son/bassist Wolfgang and original vocalist David Lee Roth, fired up the engines for an hour-long set of classic Van Halen. "Welcome to Occupy Van Halen, ladies and gentleman," exclaimed Roth before launching the band into their version of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me." The band also debuted a new song, "She's A Woman," from A Different Kind Of Truth, Van Halen's first studio album with Roth since 1984, which is due for release Feb. 7. Van Halen is also taking the fun on the road for a U.S. tour, starting in Louisville, Ky., on Feb. 18. What different kind of rock shenanigans do Diamond Dave and Co. have in store? It's anybody's guess, but for now you can get a preview of Roth's new moves in the first installment of his different kind of video scrapbook.
John Lennon fans may be taking a word out of Cee Lo Green's book and saying "F*** you" to the Lady Killer after he took creative license with the lyrics to Lennon's famous "Imagine" during a New Year's Eve performance in New York. Instead of singing "Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion too," as the song was originally written, Green sang "Nothing to kill or die for/And all religion's true." Fans quickly took to Twitter to ridicule Green, with one fan tweeting, "The whole point of that lyric is that religion causes harm. If 'all religion's true' it would be a pretty bleak place." According to a Rolling Stone report Green responded, tweeting, "Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyric guys! I was trying to say a world were [sic] u could believe what u wanted that's all." The response seems to have since been retracted. Maybe Green decided to live life in peace instead.
While it may not be ladylike to kiss and tell, it sure is mayorlike. During a New Year's Eve celebration in New York's Times Square, the Big Apple's Mayor Michael Bloomberg locked lips with Lady Gaga … and lived to tell about it. "She's obviously a great entertainer," Bloomberg told The Wall Street Journal of the Fame Monster, whom he also found to be "very charming." "There's very few people who've gone into a very tough business and … risen to the top as quickly as she has." Shortly after his smooch with Gaga, Bloomberg turned around and gave the second kiss of the night to longtime companion Diana Taylor. "I would be remiss if I didn't also add that the best kiss of the night came … from Diana," Bloomberg noted. This sounds like a case of bad romance gone good.
Indie rock fans are either older than we thought, or at least old at heart. Vinyl record sales increased again in 2011, marking a steady, though modest, growth in sales in the digital era. And the biggest fans of the old-school format? The indie rock contingent. Among the top-selling vinyl albums for the year were records by 54th GRAMMY nominees the Black Keys, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Mumford & Sons, and Wilco. Also in the top 10 were Adele and Radiohead. Still, the top of the vinyl pops was reserved for a true classic: the Beatles' Abbey Road, which checks into the top spot for an amazing third consecutive year. Such a feat some 40-plus years after its original release must be giving 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year Paul McCartney some golden slumbers at night.
LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It" is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up" is tops on the iTunes singles chart.
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