Coming together. Elton John is set to host a benefit concert to pay tribute to medical professionals amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America will feature performances by Alicia Keys, the Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw and more. In order to ensure the health and safety of those involved, the artists will perform live from their homes and film themselves with their personal cellphones, cameras and audio equipment.
The hourlong special will be broadcast commercial-free on Fox Sunday, March 29, at 9 p.m. ET — the same time that the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards had been set to air before being postponed due to the crisis. It will also stream on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide as well as via the iHeartRadio app.
The highly anticipated music event will “provide entertainment relief and support for Americans to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to celebrate the resilience and strength of the nation during this pandemic,” according to a press release.
The announcement was made on Wednesday, March 25, which is John’s 73rd birthday.
The first case of the novel coronavirus was reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization classified it as a pandemic earlier this month. More than 20,000 people worldwide have died from the virus, which has had major outbreaks in China, Italy, the United States, Spain, Germany, Iran and France. More than 60,000 cases have been reported in the U.S. alone, with over 800 deaths.
Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, Us Weekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance, and support, consult the CDC, WHO, and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.
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The country couple drew 3.4 million viewers to the concert they called “Inside Studio G,” which fans were forced to reload when it was overwhelmed several times by the high traffic.
As Yearwood sang “Amazing Grace,” Brooks tearfully told the audience “We’re all in this together,” in reference to social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak, adding “I need this worse than anybody.”
“You get to play your guitar walking around your home because got nothing to do,” Brooks said.
After taking requests from fans, the two performed a cover of “Shallow,” the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga duet from 2018 film “A Star Is Born.” They also covered the Leonard Cohen classic, “Hallelujah” and “Golden Rings,” a song performed by another country couple, Tammy Wynette and George Jones.
At one point Yearwood borrowed her husband’s guitar and took a shot at it herself.
“I want to play. Do not panic,” she said, adding it was about having fun, not “being perfect.”
Brooks took to Instagram to plug the concert last night.
“Inside Studio G by Request!! love, g #GarthRequestLive I know I said I was going to take this down, but some people said in comments that they got kicked off because of capacity. So, we are leaving it up through the west coast airing until 8pm PT. love you all, g & T.”
The concert lasted an hour and was broadcast on Brooks’ Sirius XM satellite radio channel as well.
Even though an annual choral festival in San Bernardino County, California was canceled this year because of coronavirus concerns, a group of high school choir singers wanted their community to hear their voice anyway.
On May 13, all 35 schools in the district shut their doors, Imee Perius, director of communications for Chino Valley Unified School District, told CNN. The Chino Valley Unified School District Choral Festival, originally scheduled for Wednesday, was one of the first events canceled following that announcement.
Perius said she saw videos flooding social media of Italian neighbors singing together to boost morale. She began thinking of a way to duplicate those moments in her community with students who were now forced to practice social distancing in their homes.
That’s when 19 Chino Hills High School chamber singers stepped up to record their individual parts to a song they’d practiced together for months, only this time, they had to sing alone and on camera. An editor working with the district took each student’s part and spent 36 hours stringing together this performance.
In the video, the singers fill the screen to deliver their portion of the classic “Over the Rainbow,” in the style of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. After a quick countdown, in full harmony, the virtual performance begins.
Camille Cortes, one of the singers in the video, told CNN she’s been in choir all four years of her high school career.
“It was really devastating for all of us knowing that we might not get the opportunity to sing together anymore,” she said. “Our choir is more of a family.”
The end product shows a video with 19 voices woven together. Cortes said it took her two hours to get the right video version done for her part.
Cortes said she was skeptical of how the song would turn out, but pleased when she saw the end result.
“The students have come together even though they are apart and contributed to this time in our history and I think they’re so happy about that,” Perius said. “This is the kind of silver lining that we all need right now.”
Bad day? Adam Levine apologized for his performance during Maroon 5’s concert at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Chile on Thursday, February 27, citing “technical problems.”
“I’d really like to address reactions to the concert, and kind of explain myself, because I feel like you guys deserve that,” the “Moves Like Jagger” singer, 40, said via his Instagram Story on Friday, February 28. “You know, being in a band, you play a lot of shows, and I am so passionate and excited about concerts, and about being my best and about the band being our best, and being our best for you guys, honestly, you know, performing I take so seriously. Sometimes too seriously.”
He added, “And to be totally frank, there were some things holding me back sonically last night, and I let them get to me, and it impacted how I was behaving on stage, which was unprofessional, and I apologize for that.”
Levine went on to share that the technical issues were hard for him because he wanted to “sound good.” The Grammy winner explained, “I struggled a lot. And sometimes it’s really hard for me to mask the struggle, and so in that, I did let you guys down and I apologize.”
CHV News reported on Thursday that Maroon 5 was late for their set causing TV presenters Maria Luisa Godoy and Martin Càracamo to “fill in for minutes that became eternal for those present.”
According to the Chilean outlet, Levine became frustrated when the audience sang along to Maroon 5’s hit song “She Will Be Loved” telling the crowd, “Well, if you want to do my job, go ahead.”
In a video filmed behind the scenes, Levine can be heard saying, “That was a TV show. That was not a concert.”
Fans weren’t pleased with the band’s performance and took to Twitter to slam the artist for being unprofessional.
“Lousy show in Viña del Mar guys.. haven’t seen such unprofessionalism in a good while,” one user penned via Twitter. “You should ask your fans for forgiveness… there are no excuses for doing such a poor job.”
Another disappointed fan wrote, “Love your music but your show in Viña del Mar was disrespectful to every fan who paid and waited to see you live. Very frustrating.”
Levine has been primarily focusing on Maroon 5 since he announced his departure from The Voice in May 2019 after a 16-season run. The band is currently on its 2020 Tour, which has stops throughout North and South America, until September 2020.
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An eclectic assortment of stars including Olivia Newton-John, Queen, Alice Cooper and KD Lang will headline a massive benefit concert for Australian wildfires relief, according to a report Sunday.
The Fire Fight concert, scheduled for Feb. 16 at the 83,500-seat ANZ Stadium in Sydney’s Olympic Park, will also feature a host of Australian artists and will be emceed by Aussie comedian and actress Celeste Barber — whose Facebook fundraising effort has helped raise more than $50 million for the catastrophic blazes.
“Celeste has done an amazing job raising the money she has,” Paul Dainty, the event’s organizer, told Australia’s The Age. “She is great with the quips and the dialogue that will bring another dimension to the day. She will be the glue to get through the day and night.”
Dainty said he expects more acts to sign on to join the wide-ranging collection of artists on the roster.
“I have been talking to managers and agents in the UK and American,” he said. “There isn’t anyone who doesn’t know about how devastating it is.”
Topping the current lineup are a string of acts whose glory days dates to the 1970s — including 71-year-old Cooper, whose theatrical stage shows wowed baby boomers, and Queen, which is touring with American singer Adam Lambert in place of the late Freddie Mercury.
On the mellower side are Newton-John, also 71, an Australian singer who had a string of pop hits in the ’70’s, culminating the decade with a starring role in the movie version of the musical “Grease.”
Candian-born singer-songwriter Lang, just 58, will also be featured.
Rounding out the roster are locally popular — and younger — Australian acts, including rappers Baker Boy, 23, and Illy, 34, and singers Jessica Mauboy, 30, Conrad Sewell, 31, Amy Shark, 33, and 35-year-old Delta Goodrem, who once dated Nick Jonas and played Newton-John in a Lifetime movie.
Tickets for the event go on sale Monday and are expected to cost between $70 and $100.
The fires, fueled by high winds and scorching temperatures, have ravaged more than 25 million acres and killed 28 people since October.
Beloved emo rock band My Chemical Romance returned to the concert stage on Friday for the first time in seven years.
The band, which broke up in 2013, reunited at a sold-out Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles.
Fans who lined up and camped out for hours — and even days — before the concert were surprised with blankets from the band.
“The true meaning of Devotion isn’t just the fans who were out here before sunrise this morning- it’s the band who’s worked unflaggingly for decades to create music that makes us feel seen – and then makes blankets for their fans,” one concert attendee said on Instagram.
The band performed hits including “I’m Not Okay (I Promise),” “Welcome to the Black Parade” and “You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison,” which featured a special appearance from Sara Taylor of the American electronic body music duo Youth Code.
The band, whose last show together was at the Bamboozle Festival in May 2012, will play another three live shows in Australia, New Zealand and Japan in 2020.
The group was formed in 2001 by frontman Gerard Way and drummer Matt Pelissier in Newark, New Jersey. The band announced its breakup in 2013 after recording four albums.
Since then, former members including Frank Iero, Ray Toro and Mikey Way, have pursued other musical projects.
Way created a comic book series called “The Umbrella Academy,” which was developed into a Netflix series.
“Ooh, a storm is threatening/My very life today/If I don’t get some shelter/Ooh yeah, I’m gonna fade away.” So Mick Jagger sings for his “very life” at the beginning of “Gimme Shelter,” the apocalyptic anthem that kicks off the Rolling Stones’ classic “Let It Bleed” album, which was released 50 years ago on Dec. 5, 1969.
Those lyrics would prove to be prophetic when, on the following afternoon, the Stones arrived at the disastrous Altamont Speedway Free Festival in Livermore, California. “We’re walking off the helicopter, and a guy jumps up and punches Mick [Jagger] in the face,” recalled Ronnie Schneider, 76, who was the Rolling Stones’ 1969 US tour manager. “The guy was just out of his mind, punched Mick in the mouth, and I wanted to kill the guy. And Mick’s like, ‘Don’t hurt him, don’t hurt him.’ That’s when we knew we had a problem.”
Conceived as a West Coast Woodstock — the music festival that had taken place in Bethel, NY, just four months earlier — Altamont would go down to symbolize anything but peace, love and doves. The Dec. 6 festival, which would be chronicled in the Stones’ 1970 documentary film “Gimme Shelter,” was swept up in turbulence and violence that culminated in the fatal stabbing of concertgoer Meredith Hunter by Hells Angel Alan Passaro. As the Vietnam War raged on, here was a battleground at home set to the sounds of California bands such as Santana, Jefferson Airplane, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, all of whom preceded the Stones on the lineup. By the time the festival cleared out, four people would be dead.
“And in the kind of fog of that euphoria, Altamont took place. A lot of people believed that things were possible — both the people behind the concert and the people that came to the concert. You would have thought they would have got at least one lucky bounce.”
But scuffles broke out as soon as opening act Santana took the stage, and by the time Jefferson Airplane followed, it was clear that magic wouldn’t be recaptured.
“It was definitely a feeling of a lot of agitation in the air, a lack of preparation for the crowd’s comfort,” said Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady, 75, who, since the group split up in 1972, has played in Hot Tuna. “As the crowd kept moving in towards the stage, which was too low to the ground, we could feel that there was a portent of disaster.”
The tragic chain of events began when the concert — spearheaded by the Grateful Dead, who would end up not playing — had to be relocated last minute from its originally intended site in San Francisco, about 60 miles from Altamont.
“The original plan — which wasn’t so much of a plan as a pipe dream — [came from] one of the managers of the Grateful Dead getting high with Keith Richards,” said Selvin. “And what he wanted to do was have a concert in Golden Gate Park with the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, and then just announce a surprise guest: the Rolling Stones. That’s so San Francisco hippie … The Rolling Stones went for it for a while, but then at some point they sort of took charge.”
In fact, Selvin said, it was the Stones who persisted until a new location for the free concert — Altamont Speedway — was found just two days before the event was scheduled. “They built that stage in under 36 hours,” said Selvin, noting that Woodstock producer Michael Lang had gone along with Grateful Dead manager Rock Scully to check out the site. “They were still plugging in cables and nailing down boards when Santana started.”
The stage was only about 3 1/2 feet high, and Jefferson Airplane’s performance was soon engulfed by a chaotic crowd of more than 300,000, egged on by Hells Angels who viciously guarded the stage.
“We did a partial set because [co-lead singer] Marty Balin got dragged into the audience and pummeled by one of the Hells Angels,” said Casady. “We were trying to keep it together as our lead singer was on the ground getting beat up. There was pushing and shoving going on during our set by various elements onstage. There was no protection onstage. It had gotten so out of hand and chaotic … but we played a number of songs before we stopped.”
The Hells Angels’ part in the violence that took place at the festival has always played a major role in the Altamont story. But Selvin said the notion that the Stones hired the Hells Angels as concert security for $500 worth of beer is “bulls–t.” Rather, he said, Hells Angels from the San Francisco chapter were invited to attend because they were friends with the Grateful Dead.
“The guys that caused all the trouble at Altamont were from the San Jose chapter,” said Selvin. “They weren’t hippies, they’d never gone to concerts in the park, they probably hadn’t even taken much LSD. So you had an entirely different strain of Hells Angel out there.”
Bill Owens — a Livermore-area photographer who was assigned by the Associated Press to shoot the Saturday concert — captured the Hells Angels in violent action from his vantage point at the top of a sound tower he had climbed.
“I did photograph the Hells Angels beating people up,” said Owens, 81, who earlier this year released the photo book “Bill Owens: Altamont 1969.” “I took those classic shots of the guys swinging the pool cues.”
But the violence went beyond pool cues, fists and bad acid. Performer Stephen Stills would be stabbed multiple times in the leg. After the Grateful Dead decided not to go on stage due to safety concerns, there would be about a three-hour break from any performances. As the Stones waited for darkness to fall to hit the stage, tension was getting higher — right along with many of the concertgoers. The worst was still to come.
After The Stones opened with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Hunter — an 18-year-old black man who was attending the concert with his white girlfriend — tried to make his way up to the stage. By the time the Stones launched into “Under My Thumb,” Hunter was perched on a speaker box when a brutal attack began.
“Hunter gets pushed back down by a Hells Angel, and he gets back up in the Hells Angel’s face,” said Selvin. “That’s when he starts getting his ass kicked — several Angels beat on him — and he falls back and comes up with a gun in his hand. Several feet away, Alan Passaro, who’s a San Jose chapter member, sees all this going down, he grabs a knife out of his ankle scabbard, and he stabs Hunter in the neck and back four times.”
Although Selvin said that the Stones saw what happened, Schneider insisted that the band didn’t find out until after the show — once they completed a full set and made a quick getaway in a helicopter that was overweight with too many passengers. “Everybody was, like, in shock,” says Selvin of the band’s reaction. “Nobody talked about it after that.”
In early 1970, Owens had his Altamont concert photos published in both Rolling Stone and Esquire magazines, but he used pseudonyms in fear of the Hells Angels seeking revenge. “I knew to not publish my name,” he said. “Your name’s in the phone book, right? So I used two different aliases.”
A year later, Passaro, who argued he had acted in self defense, would be found “not guilty” in the death of Hunter.
The tragic legacy of Altamont still lives on five decades later. In addition to the killing of Hunter, one man would drown and another two men would die in a hit-and-run. Although it ended the ’60s on a sad, violent note, Casady doesn’t see it so symbolically. “In reality,” he said, “it was just a really poorly run concert, and then people attached all kinds of significance to it. But it was a lesson for everybody that these things have to be entered into with a lot more forethought.”
Schneider said that, despite all of the chaos, it wasn’t all bad: “The people that were 100 feet back from the stage had a great time. They listened to music; they were partying.”
But for years to come, that will not be how Altamont is remembered. Reflecting on the “enduring fascination” in that fateful festival, Selvin said, “This is a scar on rock history that just won’t go away.”
It was Jay-Z’s house and his streaming service, but the Brooklyn rap god did not take the stage at the fifth annual Tidal X concert on Monday night at Barclays Center — the arena that the MC helped build into what it is today.
Still, the Big Apple was represented by plenty of other artists at the music marathon, which this year raised money and awareness for Rock the Vote, the voter-registration organization.
In fact, Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” partner — and fellow New York native — Alicia Keys headlined the festivities, which were live-streamed on Tidal. And she gave Brooklyn some love with a salute to the borough’s rap legend the Notorious B.I.G., weaving bits of “One More Chance” and “Juicy” into her new single “Show Me Love.”
Keys also brought out Brooklyn rapper Leikeli47 to rock the mic with her jam “I Get Money.” But her set’s placement in the middle of the four-hour-plus concert — timed to accommodate her “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” appearance during the show’s Brooklyn Week — made her a hard act to follow for the rest of the night’s performers.
Other artists keeping the New York state of mind alive included Harlem hip-hopper A$AP Ferg, Queens rapper Lil Tecca and Bronx MC Fat Joe — one of the night’s surprise performers, who appeared during his protégée Angelica Villa’s set.
The event — co-hosted by Power 105.1 DJ Angie Martinez and former Miss Dominican Republic Clarissa Molina — also spotlighted local up-and-comers such as Brooklyn-bred rapper Gashi, who served as an early hype man for the evening.
And while one of the night’s standouts — Grammy-winning R&B singer H.E.R. — wasn’t a New York native, it hardly mattered. “Brooklyn’s like my second home, so I’m happy to be home,” she said. And the audience was more than happy to adopt her as one of their own.