Next week sees the release of Mary J. Blige‘s The London Sessions (on December 2), the 13th studio album in the legendary R&B diva’s storied career, and today Idolator is bringing you another look behind the scenes at the making of the LP. This time we’re giving you a glimpse at Blige in the studio in London with fellow singer-songwriter Emeli Sande and her right-hand man, “La La La” songwriter-producer Naughty Boy, as they work on the track “Pick Me Up.”
Like Mary’s electrifying Disclosure collaboration “Right Now” from the album, “Pick Me Up” is one of the project’s more upbeat numbers — so much so that a segment in the video below shows her hitting up the DJ booth at a London club to premiere the track in front of an enthusiastic audience. More »
Sir Bob Geldof has stressed that he only has good intentions behind each rewrite of Band Aid‘s charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” The songwriter does this because he has been criticized before for questionable lyrics, like when Bono sings “Well, tonight thank God it’s them instead of you” in the original 1984 edition. Some have also said that, while attempting to raise awareness on the ’80s drought or the ebola crisis, Band Aid’s portrayals of Africa reinforce negative stereotypes.
Last night (November 22), Emeli Sande became the latest to address recent criticism surrounding Band Aid 30, featuring One Direction, Sam Smith, Bono and herself. “Yes, I agree the lyric needs changing. In fact I feel a whole new song is required,” she says. She also reveals that she and genre-bending Beninese vocalist Angelique Kidjo wrote and sang suggested edits, Geldof ultimately left them out. See her Twitter statement in full below. More »
The video clip for Band Aid 30‘s rendition of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” premiered Sunday evening (November 16) during the UK telecast of The X Factor, and even without Adele taking part, the new version is quite the star-studded affair. Here on the lyrically-revised 2014 installment of the song — the fourth time it’s been recorded for charity over the past 30 years — One Direction take the first line, followed by Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Sam Smith, Paloma Faith and a slew of others (including Bono, a veteran of the very first version, and Chris Martin, who took part 10 years ago in Band Aid 20‘s take on the classic holiday track). More »
Mary J. Blige has always been an R&B innovator, so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the legendary diva packed her bags and headed to London to record her 13th studio LP with some of the hottest names in British music. The resulting album — appropriately titled The London Sessions — drops December 2 and signifies a complete creative rebirth for the evergreen soul siren.
Now the “No More Drama” hitmaker wants to show you how the ambitious project came together. Over the next 20 days (the same amount of time it took to record the album), Mary J. will reveal daily insights into her English journey. We’re excited to kick off the countdown with a video about the creative process behind bluesy lead single “Therapy” featuring Sam Smith (he wrote the song) and Emeli Sande (she also contributed to the album).
“When I initially heard that she was going sing that song I was like ‘but that song is so about me, I can’t imagine it!’ and then you hear her singing and it’s her song… it was made for Mary J. Blige,” declares Sam. It’s hard to argue with that assessment when you hear the finished version and see her obvious passion for the material. Watch the intriguing black-and-white video after the jump. More »
Whether you view holiday staple “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by the Band Aid collective as a guilty pleasure or Christmas classic, chances are, if it’s a significant anniversary year following the charity single’s original release, songwriters Bob Geldof and Midge Ure will be orchestrating an updated version with a whole new set of voices.
Case in point: It was announced this week that Geldof and Ure will be recording the fourth version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” this Saturday (November 15) in London, to coincide with the song’s 30th anniversary, and to raise money for Ebola relief in West Africa. You won’t have to wait too long to hear the update, either — it’s being released on Monday…as in two days later. More »
Did You Hear?
:: Over the weekend, a handful of Madonna‘s clothing was sold at Icons & Idols: Rock n’ Roll charity auction in Beverly Hills, CA. One of the standout pieces from the entertainers collection was her wedding dress from her four year-long marriage to Sean Penn that sold for $81,250. Another was her famous jacket from Desperately Seeking Susan, which went for a whopping $252,000! [E! Online]
:: Sad news for Emeli Sandé. The singer has divorced from her husband of only one year, Adam Gouraguine. The pair announced their separation in 2013, but now the split is official. [Digital Spy]
:: The 2014 MTV EMAs just aired on Sunday, November 9, but the ceremony is already readying their plans for next year! The awards show will be held in Milan at the Mediolanum Forum on October 25, 2015. The last time MTV hosted it in the Italian city was back in 1998. [Digital Spy]
:: Rihanna‘s stalker, a 54-year-old named Kevin McGlynn, was ordered by a NYC judge to stay away from the singer’s Manhattan apartment. Comparing him to the likes of John Lennon‘s killer, Mark David Chapman, the judge stated: “[He's a] ticking time bomb who is wholly fixated on [Rihanna] and poses a direct threat of serious physical harm or death to her and anyone around her.” [Gawker]
Find out what music you can catch on TV today below. More »
David Guetta‘s new album is called Listen, it’s due November 24 and features every second vocalist with a record deal. Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration but the line-up reads like Nothing But The Beat on steroids. The French DJ reunites with “Titanium” collaborator Sia on two tracks (“Bang My Head” and “The Whisperer”) and hits up “Turn Me On” femcee Nicki Minaj for “Hey Mama”.
The rest of the featured artists are fresh and seemingly out of the box. There are soul singers (John Legend and Emeli Sande), rockers (MAGIC! and The Script), rising EDM divas (Elliphant and Bebe Rexha) and quirky singer/songwriters (Jaymes Young and Birdy). It’s a pretty exciting assembly of talent. Check out the full tracklist after the jump. More »
David Guetta confirmed early on October 5 that he has wrapped his sixth studio album. And he did that in a completely unexpected way – posing with British singer-songwriter Emeli Sande (above), after a late-night and super last-minute studio session. “Very last day of studio before giving the album to press, @emelisande killed it!!!” he said.
Guetta’s forthcoming LP follows 2011′s breakthrough Nothing But the Beat, which was certified two times platinum in the UK. Most recently, the French DJ-turned-hitmaker released “Lovers in the Sun,” which features Avicii and Sam Martin, and its epic Spaghetti Western-themed video starring Goodfellas actor Ray Liotta. The new album is out November 24 on Big Beat/Atlantic. More »
We’re still waiting for the actual first single off Mary J. Blige‘s upcoming LP The London Sessions to arrive — it’s called “Therapy” — but in the meantime, we now have the second so-called buzz track to surface ahead of the album’s release. “Whole Damn Year” follows up the far more upbeat, Disclosure-produced “Right Now.” It’s a ballad that finds Blige lyrically detailing the aftermath of an extremely painful breakup.
“Tryin’ to find a way to explain this, why you can’t touch me tonight / I can feel you getting impatient, but I really can’t let you inside,” Mary sings mournfully in “Whole Damn Year.” Some outlets are reporting that the song is a co-write done with Emeli Sande, but there’s no official word on that just yet.
Hear “Whole Damn Year” below. More »
That new One Direction
material might be coming sooner rather than later.
After the boys hinted at their “more edgy” new material on The Today Show, “La La La” hit-maker Naughty Boy‘s just gone and revealed the title of a (potential) 1D lead single called “One Chance To Dance,” co-penned by Emeli Sandé and 1D’s own Zayn Malik.
“We wrote it with Emeli Sandé and it’s a real progression for them. I’ve been told there’s a big chance it’s going to be the first single from their next album. I literally finished it this morning so I’m allowed to talk about it now,” he revealed to The Sun. More »