Aretha Franklin is releasing her 39th studio LP on September 30. Wait… what? The news comes as a surprise because the queen of soul is kind of ‘doing a Beyonce‘ — the album isn’t a total secret but details are heavily guarded. Clive Davis, who is overseeing production for Arista Records, did, however, shed some light on the tantalizing project for Billboard.
For starters, it’s a concept album. Aretha will cover classic songs by fellow divas including Adele, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Alicia Keys, Etta James and Diana Ross. “[The diva's] new album is purely and simply sensational,” Clive says of the unexpected opus. “She’s on fire and vocally in absolutely peak form. What a thrill to see this peerless artist still showing the way, still sending shivers up your spine, still demonstrating that all contemporary music needs right now is the voice.” My iPod is ready. More »
Alicia Keys dropped by the TODAY show this morning for a touching performance of her new single “We Are Here.” The singer, who is pregnant with her second child, explained the meaning of the song to host Matt Lauer.
“It started with this conversation that I had, that question [why are we on this planet] was asked to me,” Keys said. “That really opened up a whole conversation and a whole dialogue. And with the backdrop of everything that’s going on in the world, we’re wondering what can we do about it. We all have a voice, but how can it be used?”
See if Alicia’s song motivates you to answer why we’re all here on the planet below. More »
has been cracking the whip
with producer Diplo
to get her upcoming 13th studio album in the can. And lo and behold, in addition to the wide array of collaborators who’ve already put time
in with Madge for the project (including Avicii
and Natalia Kills
), there was room for yet another to hop on board: Alicia Keys
“#wearehere. Alicia Killin it on my record….,,,,.,..,,#livingforlove,” Madonna wrote while posting a photo on Instagram — one that shows the Material Girl holding up a sign incorporating Keys’ new single/charity project “We Are Here.” Diplo also Instagrammed a pic of himself and Alicia sitting at a piano. He captioned it with this: “Just played a sick version of chopsticks w @aliciakeys”
Catch both images below. More »
Did You Hear?
:: The Los Angeles County Coroner has ruled Simone Battle‘s death at the age of 25 a suicide by hanging. The former X Factor contestant had finally found fame with girl band G.R.L., who are currently climbing the charts with “Ugly Heart”. [ABC News]
:: Avicii has cancelled all his touring and promotional plans for the foreseeable future due to ongoing health concerns. The Swedish DJ recently had his gallbladder and appendix removed and also suffers from pancreatitis. [MTV]
:: While she waits to give birth to her second child, Alicia Keys has been busy thinking about the state of the world and her place in it. She just wrote a song addressing the matter called “We Are Here”. Prepare to be uplifted. [Facebook]
:: Taylor Swift is going all out with the deluxe edition of 1989. Take the exclusive Target release. The packaging includes voice memos, a collection of photos and even a chance to meet the former country queen. [Target]
Find out below what music you can catch on TV today. More »
“I was trying to make the perfect album,” Nas
says of his 1994 debut Illmatic
, in a just-released trailer for a documentary celebrating exactly that. Directed by One9
, Nas: Time Is Illmatic
details the creative process behind the Queensbridge, N.Y. rapper’s stunning debut, which received The Source
‘s perfect, five-mic rating
and became one of the most acclaimed hip-hop albums of all time.
Pharrell, Alicia Keys and Busta Rhymes all appear in the Time Is Illmatic trailer to help speak for Illmatic‘s influence. “It’s one of the best albums of all time,” Keys says. More »
:: R&B legend Alicia Keys
and husband Swizz Beatz
are pregnant with their second child! Congratulations are in order! [Billboard
:: By now, everyone knows the story about Memory Map‘s Michael Bridavsky and his ridiculously adorable cat Lil Bub. Or, at least,they should. [Spin]
:: DJ Mustard has confirmed that he produced three songs on Rihanna’s upcoming album. [Pop Justice]
:: Canadian DJ Deaudmau5 goes takes his Nyan Cat-wrapped Ferrari out for a “coffee run” with Rob Ford, the current Mayor of Toronto. [TIME]
:: The trailer of DirectTV’s new drama Kingdom, starring Nick Jonas, is officially out, and, let’s just say, he looks more ripped than ever. [Gossip Cop]
Find out what music you can catch on TV today below! More »
reveals that she has a new album in the works. “With this album, I find I have much more I want to talk about,” she said to WWD
While posing as the face for Givenchy’s newest fragrance Dahlia Devin (above), Keys has tentatively scheduled her new music for a 2015 release. Her last record, 2012′s Girl On Fire, was her sleekest and most cohesive to date, though she continued to face the same criticism from throughout her career. For all of her hopes to uplift, Keys has a tendency to cast out vague, if not cliched lyrics (“Looks like a girl, but she’s a flame”) instead of revealing herself. Fortunately, she recognizes this now. More »
The reigning pop stars of today are no doubt talented, hard-working and fearless. Yet what makes many of the reigning female artists extra-special is their balance of taking care of their children while simultaneously ruling the music world. From Beyonce
to Lily Allen
to Britney Spears
, these pop stars (and all
moms around the world) are the definition of Wonder Women. In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday (May 11 — better get those flowers ordered!), Idolator is honoring pop music’s favorite moms by taking a look back at their personal odes to their children.
Head down below to see how these music moms celebrate their precious kids in their own unique ways. More »
‘ “It’s On Again,” The Amazing Spider-Man 2
soundtrack’s lead single, features an unusual and hefty roster of collaborators: Keys and Kendrick Lamar
on vocals, with Pharrell
and famed composer Hans Zimmer
as co-writers. They even recorded two versions
, one that begins with wall of guitars and another, the single edit, setting Lamar’s introductory verse with a piano melody.
Somehow on The Tonight Show (April 24), they found room to add even more to the song. While Pharrell was absent, Zimmer was joined instead by former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. Producer AraabMuzik also led a drum machine breakdown, an incredibly brief demonstration of what he’s capable of doing. While the stage was crowded, this beefed-up version of the already-titanic song came together seamlessly. More »
Three superstars unite for the superhero visuals of “It’s On Again”
from The Amazing Spider-Man 2
soundtrack. The visual for the Alicia Keys
track starts off with Kendrick Lamar
barking his verse into a walkie talkie, setting the stage for some sort of rebel heist that’s going down. Keys is the ringleader, I suppose, motivating the troops or whatever, and the ubiquitous Pharrell
mans the control room (fitting since he co-wrote and produced the song), for what ends up being an operation to turn the New York City skyline into a giant EQ visualizer. Wasn’t there a commercial that did this recently?
Also, what does this all have to do with Spidey? Who cares! Because he’s in the video, too, as is the film’s composer (and G I R L collaborator) Hans Zimmer.
Check it out up top. More »