As many people know, there are some songs that are considered classics. So when another artist covers a classic song, it can either turn out to be a hit (Whitney Houston covers Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You’) or it could be a dud (Jessica Simpson covering Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’’).
One song that would be considered both, depending on who you talk to, is Madonna’s take on "American Pie" by Don McLean.
At the behest of her co-star Rupert Everett, Madonna recorded her version for the soundtrack to their film The Next Best Thing, a romantic dramedy from Midnight Cowboy director John Schlesinger, which starred Madonna, Rupert Everett, Benjamin Bratt, and Neil Patrick Harris.The film was critically panned and soon faded from memory, but “American Pie” -- released as a single the same day on March 3, 2000 -- became a polarizing global hit.
While the movie did not do well, the song hit its peak at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Billboard Dance Club Songs.
Produced by William Orbit, her lead collaborator on Ray of Light and “Beautiful Stranger” (her psychedelic 1999 single from the second Austin Powers soundtrack), the “American Pie” track is colorful, almost gaudy -- the theremin-like synths and marching snares threaten to tip over into kitsch.
Don McLean, when interviewed in 2015, said this about Madonna covering his song: “I loved it. I thought it was outstanding. I thought Madonna did a great job with it. To me, she’s an artist for the 20th and the 21st century. She’s magnificent."
"It is a gift for her to have recorded 'American Pie,'" McLean continued. "I think it is sensual and mystical. I also feel that she's chosen autobiographical verses that reflect her career and personal history. I have received many gifts from God but this is the first time I have ever received a gift from a goddess."
In the music video, Madonna seemingly becomes an avatar for America itself. Between shots of her dancing in front of the flag, she showcases a diverse cast of working-class, queer, ordinary Americans. “American Pie” was unusually patriotic and nostalgic, two words rarely associated with Madonna.
Sources: Instinct Magazine, Billboard
Who are your biggest influences?
Truthfully, growing up I had too many to count. But I'm going to keep it real, backstreet boys were one of my favorite. I learned how to write lyrics because of them. I used to take the lyrics from the inserts and rewrite them in different orders just to find out that, they figured out the best arrangement for it. It taught me to have patience when creating. Another one of my favorites, definitely Lil Wayne. I have such respect for that dude. HE is the definition of a real artist. most recently, I really enjoy listening to Kevin Gates, Tory Lanez, Drake, Halsey, G Eazy, Jeezy, but then I also have my Latin side, I love Regaaeton and Spanish music in general too like, JBalvin, Maluma, Mariah Angelique, Annuel, etc.
What's the craziest thing that has happened on tour?
I haven't really been on tour per say, but there have been a lot of nights where we had shows and performances, and let me tell you, it got rowdy. Utmost of these stories I'm gonna keep to myself. One I could share, Actually, no I can't. Let's leave that one for a later interview.
What's your songwriting process?
It's not a process at all, and more like finding what's already there. I believe as an artist we all just reach into ourselves, which is an extension of the universe, and those songs already exist, I like to believe they find us. It's like the music sees what's truly in people and chooses who to guide out or into a situation. Through writing it out, singing it, producing it, it's already there. We are just the vessel for it to make itself known. Maybe it's too deep, but what you call a process, I call a way of life (religion with oneself per say).
Who do you sound like?
Like JPOPD1. I don't believe I have heard anyone like me. I kinda have the Miami accent, but truthfully, I have no clue. I'd like to be put in the same category as the likes of Drake, Tory Lanez, Trey Songz, Rod Wave, Robin Thicke, Justin (Cry Me A River days). I'm still growing and developing as an artist, but definitely know my sound is mine.
If you didn't become a musician, what would you be doing right now?
I used to be an EMT and wanted to be a doctor, but it wasn't for me I guess. I worked in the field of EMS for a while, but then I got into really bad legal issues and received felonies for it, so I couldn't continue that path. I won't lie, it had me messed up for a while, but it made me realize that it was meant for me to pursue what I considered a hobby as a career instead as just a hobby.
What do you feel is the best song you've ever released and why?
Well I've released so many that I can't recall, but I do have a list of my top favorite: Love In Miami, Come Over, The Way You're You, The whole "Wildfire" and "Crossover-r" album, just because they are all based on real life situations that happened to me. Truthfully, I also love my entire "Talking To Stars" project. Most recently I'm working on a collection of songs that I'll be releasing over the next few months as singles, and I think these are my best works to date just because of the amount of maturity and passion which has gone into them. So yeah, I love all my music equally.
Which musician would you like to collaborate with next and why?
I'm definitely not really thinking about that right now. Whoever wants to work with me I'm always open so long the vibes are positives. I've been through too much in my life to worry about anyone else but me. I think people should be saying "damn, let me reach out to JPOPD1".
What's the biggest problem you've had to overcome so far?
I have my confidence, but I'm always willing to learn more from whomever is at a level to teach me something I don't already know. In other words, don't listen to people who never did anything. My biggest problem has been to weed through all the lies and fakes. Everyone in this industry pretends to be someone they are not. So, I keep to myself, my fam, and those I consider family. So yeah, just dealing with people with hidden agendas of their own.
What do you enjoy most about being a musician? What do you hate most?
The freedom to find my creations about anything I possibly have going on in my life. There are words for it all. It's my way to vent and not stress myself. I consider myself more of an expressionist than a musician. If that's even a thing. Give me a stack and I'll make something out of it. Give me paper and I'll write you a story. Give me a camera and I'll show you the world.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
The lack of integrity. Flat out, weed out the fake! I don't believe in "fake it till you make it". I'd rather keep it real and watch my supporters grow and mature with the real me.
What inspires you? What connection do you have to your music?
Life. Without it I'd be on the street, in jail or worse, DEAD! Sounds cliche', but it's the truth and I can't change it. It keeps me living!
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No umbrella needed! It is all sunshine for American pop music icon BJ Thomas as he celebrates a golden milestone for his Oscar winning classic “Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head.” “It's hard to believe it's been fifty years since “Raindrops” went #1,” Thomas reflects. “I've sold over 70 million records, but I have to say I am most appreciative of this song. It was a career changer for me when it came along. More than that, it was a life changer—a true blessing.”
Follow up to 2019 EPs Pursuit of Happiness and Apocalypse First single “M.Y.O.B.” out now June 26, 2020 - Triple threat Ricky Persaud Jr. – singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist– is back with amazing new music off his forthcoming album, M.Y.O.B. (Mystiqson Records). A melodic tour-de- force, the release has several new tracks he can’t wait to debut for fans.
Since he began recording music at age 15, Ricky has played every instrument on all of his releases, produced the albums, and written, or co-written, all of the songs; M.Y.O.B. is no exception. He plays guitar, bass, percussion and piano and put his typical enthusiasm in to arranging and performing them. While his band, Ricky Persaud Jr and Crossroads, are unable to perform live at the moment, Ricky is putting together some social media performances that will only confirm that this musical prodigy remains a virtuoso.
First single “M.Y.O.B.” is a righteous anthem that encourages embracing your own individuality. “This track is for all the non- believers,” says Ricky. “I am going to do the best I can, always, and don’t want anyone’s negativity to bring me down. I hope this song reaches people who are going through something similar and they find strength in the words.”
“NGU” (Never Giving Up),” an intensely vivid song that builds like a slow burning fire, deals with depression. “My outlet has always been music. There’s a lyric that says “Sadness can drive someone to madness, but I use it for my canvas to get out of this haze.” I used my frustration and put it toward something I love –music – and it helps me work through whatever is bringing me down.”
Produced by Billboard-charting producer and songwriter Keath Lowry, "I.W.M.H.B." describes reminiscing about the stage of a relationship when everything seems perfect. "Appreciate what you have while you have it because once they're gone, you're probably gonna want it back," Malik explains. The latest single stands out from his typical sound; this track comes from a darker side of his persona, as he typically writes more uplifting and optimistic songs. In the early stages of writing and production, Malik created drafts of the song on his phone and used them for reference for the final product. The final track completed as Lowry and Malik re-recorded all of the vocals in the studio, bringing the pop-infused R&B track to life.
MalikOnMusik has worked on creating a platform that sets himself apart from the sea of young talented singers that saturate pop culture. He wants to make a lasting impact on music while sharing his story and supporting his loved ones, creating a sense of drive and work ethic that was formed by his childhood experiences in his hometown of Philadelphia. Inspired by the greatest of vocalists like Whitney Houston, John Legend, and Jazmyn Sullivan, he also pulls inspiration from his favorite contemporary artists like John Bellion, Kehlani, and Miguel. The young artist has acquired extensive vocal, instrumental, and dance training, to add to his roster of performance capabilities. Having shared a stage with Michelle Williams and Grammy-winning artist Tasha Cobbs, and performed for major network televised events, Malik is on track for stardom.
"I.W.M.H.B." proves that Malik is a promising new talent with a full range of musical skills deserving of attention. There's plenty of MalikOnMusik to look forward to, as he prepares to release his debut album this summer. The single is now available for streaming and download on digital platforms worldwide. Keep up with the on-the-rise artist by following @MalikOnMusik on all social platforms.
United Stations, an independent leader in content and services for radio stations is now presenting operators coast to coast with a rare opportunity to add Grammy and Emmy award-winner Kenny Loggins to their airstaff. The show, which will debut at a yet-to-be-finalized date in the Summer of 2020, will be delivered as completely flexible segments allowing stations to build their imaging and music around voice tracks supplied by Kenny Loggins. Kenny, who interestingly enough played a radio DJ in the video game Grand Theft Auto V, now brings his hosting and story-telling skills to radio stations all over the country. The show is designed to be easily ingested into any radio station automation system, and is in-keeping with United Stations’ growing menu of Dayparts on Demand. Affiliates are being secured now, and this announcement comes jointly from Andy Denemark, EVP/Programming at United Stations and the Kenny Loggins management team at Higher Vision, Inc.
United Stations will produce and distribute Kenny Loggins: The Real Thing on a market-exclusive basis. In marking the addition of the program, Andy Denemark of United Stations commented, “We have always aimed to deliver great talent to radio stations, and often that talent comes in the form of a celebrity or musician. We saw a growing need for a new type of programming for Gold-based radio stations, and given everything about Kenny Loggins we just felt he was the perfect choice. He’s got a lifetime of cool stories, he’s a rock star you’d want to have coffee with, and he’s charming, easy-going and relatable.” Kenny Loggins added, “I grew up on radio, I always loved the medium and I also love the idea of doing something new in this new decade. Music and music radio has been my life, and I’m excited about where we might go with this new endeavor.”
Over the last four decades, Kenny Loggins has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide and has won two Grammy Awards. His songs have left his musical imprint on “the soundtrack of our lives,” with chart-topping hits including “This Is It,” “I’m Alright,” “Footloose,” “Danger Zone,” and so many more. In addition to his string of successful recordings, both solo and as a member of the famed duo Loggins & Messina, Loggins became the first major rock star to dedicate himself to recording music for children and families. His album Return to Pooh Corner remains the best-selling children’s album of the last 20 years. Kenny was a recent recipient of the ASCAP Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award and the Guild of Music Supervisor’s first-ever Icon Award for his outstanding achievements in film, television, and soundtracks. Loggins regularly lends his musical talent and generous heart to support youth-based programs like Make a Wish, Toys for Tots, Notes for Notes, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, and Little Kids Rock. In 2016, he was honored with a Humanitarian of the Year Award from Little Kids Rock for his extensive commitment to children’s causes. For more information, please visit: http://www.kennyloggins.com.
United Stations Media Networks, Inc. is a division of United Stations, America’s leading independently owned and operated radio network. United Stations produces and distributes dozens of format-specific programs and services accounting for over 6000 affiliations with commercial radio stations across the country. The New York-based company maintains programming, sales and affiliation offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Washington and Nashville and was founded in 1994 by radio pioneers Dick Clark and Nick Verbitsky.
For affiliate information visit www.usrn.com/Kenny
Spotify (NYSE: SPOT), the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service, and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced a new, multi-year global license agreement that further aligns the companies’ efforts to foster groundbreaking new features providing value for artists and great experiences for music fans.
With this new agreement, the companies advance their industry-leading partnership, reflecting a shared commitment to music’s continued growth, deeper music discovery experiences and collaboration on new, state-of-the-art marketing campaigns across Spotify’s platform. Additionally, as music’s most innovative company and one of Spotify’s earliest supporters, UMG will deepen its leading role as an early adopter of future products and provide valuable feedback to Spotify’s development team.
Daniel Ek, Chairman & CEO of Spotify, said, “From their early experimentation with Marquee, to testing new experiences like Canvas, Universal Music Group has been an important partner in helping to shape the development of our marketing tools. With today’s announcement, we will expand on this level of early stage innovation and further strengthen our partnership and shared vision for helping advance artists at all stages of their careers. We’ve said all along, the goal of our Marketplace strategy is to harness Spotify’s ability to connect artists with fans on a scale that has never before existed and bring new opportunities to the industry. Together, we look forward to reinvesting in and building new tools and offerings for artists around the world.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said, “With this agreement, UMG and Spotify are more aligned than ever in our commitment to ensuring the entire music ecosystem thrives and reaches new audiences around the globe. Given our commitment to innovation and early adoption of music technologies, and Spotify’s leadership in the development of forward-thinking tools, our new partnership will provide our artists with new and powerful opportunities to connect with fans on Spotify’s growing platform. Working together, our teams will expand and accelerate our collaborative efforts to deliver artist-focused initiatives, strategic marketing campaigns and new offerings to provide exciting new experiences for fans worldwide.”
About Spotify Technology S.A.
Spotify transformed music listening forever when we launched in 2008. Our mission is to unlock the potential of human creativity by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by these creators. Everything we do is driven by our love for music and podcasts.
Discover, manage, and share over 50 million tracks, including more than 1 million podcast titles, for free, or upgrade to Spotify Premium to access exclusive features for music including improved sound quality and an on-demand, offline, and ad-free listening experience.
Today, we are the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service with a community of more than 286 million users, including 130 million Spotify Premium subscribers, across 92 markets.
We use our Investors and For the Record websites as well as other social media listed in the “Resources – Social Media” tab of our Investors website to disclose material company information. For more information, images, or to contact the press team, head over to https://newsroom.spotify.com/.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company.
Prominent entertainment promoters, Rocklands Entertainment celebrates 40 successful years of entertainment management and concert promotion in Canada and 25 years in the U.S.A. Featuring concert management and promotion of legendary acts such as Red Green, Tommy Hunter, Charley Pride, Frank Mills (Mr. Music Box dancer”, Carroll Baker, Kitty Wells, Johnny and Bobby Wright, Mickey Gilley, Roger Whittaker, the late ‘Stompin’’ Tom Connors, Rita MacNeil, George Jones, Tammy Wynette and many more. Rocklands Entertainment ranks with the best on the top 100 promoters in the world chart as reported by Pollstar Magazine in Los Angeles, California. Rocklands Entertainment has delivered one-of-a-kind shows, placing unforgettable memories in the hearts of all audiences along with forming lasting connections with music industry legends.
The story begins in August 1980 when a 17-year-old Peterborough Ontario, Canada native became the youngest licensed entertainment booking agent ever in North America.
“It all started by working in Peterborough back when I was an assistant to local Peterborough disc jockey, "Sunshine" Sean Eyre. I started working with Sean when I was 15. One thing led to another and it soon became apparent that working with live entertainment was my calling. The odds at 17 were all stacked against me getting a booking license, but the right people pulled all the right strings and made it happen,” shares Brian Edwards, Owner and Founder of Rocklands Entertainment.
“Congratulations to Brian and all the Rocklands crew for 40 great years. Brian and I have been friends for most of those years and I have always enjoyed working with the Rocklands folks.” – Charley Pride (Country Music Pioneer and Hall of Fame Member)
“The kindest, most considerate, most decent and most relentlessly honest person to ever work in the field of entertainment.” – Red Green (Comedian)
“This I can say without hesitation... I have “not” met many Promoters/Agents/ Managers, who have maintained such long-lasting relationships with their clients as Brian Edwards has managed to do. I have total respect for Brian Edwards and his work ethic. As a person, I feel so fortunate to call him my friend. Congratulations Brian Edwards, and to everyone at Rocklands Entertainment. I am looking forward to working with you in the future and many more years of our friendship. Your friend always!” - Carroll Baker CM (Canada's first lady of country Music)
“I had the pleasure of working with Brain Edwards in Canada. The tour was successful for us yours truly and I hope it was successful for him. I would like to congratulate Brian and his beautiful wife for their success and to many more years with Rocklands Entertainment.” - Mickey Gilley (Country Music Artist)
Three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member Charley Pride performed the National Anthem Friday night at the Texas Rangers season opener vs. the Colorado Rockies. The game was a wildly different take on America's favorite past-time, with cardboard fans in the stands, players in masks and roar of the crowd produced by Memorex, but nonetheless, it was still baseball. Texas Governor Greg Abbott delivered the first pitch, albeit virtually, from Austin, followed by Pride's performance. The game was the team's first in the new Globe Life Field ballpark.
"I was in the left field from where I was singing the anthem and I thought everything went fine," said Pride. "I would have loved to been down there with the players -- to have been one of the players, but I love the game! I couldn't be down there -- I was like a whole field away from them, doing the anthem. With the virus, and with my age, that's the way it had to be!"
"When I go to spring training I dress with all the coaches - before I get in the club they always ask me 'when are you gonna sing for us' and I just tell them 'well, set it up!'"
"I think it was a fine game. It was the first time I saw the park and it's a beautiful! I enjoyed everything I did today."
“There’s always been a handful of people with global appeal that goes beyond the face value of the culture of Country music. Mr. Pride is absolutely one of those folks.”- MARTY STUART“Charley deserves every accolade he can get. And, we’ll make up some new ones if we need to. He’ll deserve them too!”
- WILLIE NELSON
“He’s one of America's great country stars. He is Americana personified.”
- WHOOPI GOLDBERG
In under 24 hours, Taylor Swift’s 5 Star album folklore sold over 1.3 million copies around the world. It also shattered “the global record for first-day album streams on Spotify by a female artist” with 80.6 million streams and delivered “the most-streamed pop album on Apple Music in 24 hours” with 35.47M streams. Additionally, folklore set the U.S. and Worldwide Amazon Music Indie/Alternative Streaming Record.
folklore is the ten-time GRAMMY® Award-winning, record-breaking superstar’s eighth album. folklore arrives as a fan favorite and ranks as Taylor's highest rated critically acclaimed album on Metacritic, currently ranked 96.5.
As self evident in many of his songs such as "Oh Africa", and "System Set" for example, recording artist Omari Banks hasn't rested only on what Forbes magazine describes as his dashing good looks and rockstar stage presence to gain legions of fans. Although the latter first captures attention, it is his music that really gives an insight into his the mult-award winning guitarist and songwriter. Always embracing his roots, culture and melanin, Omari is.."LIKE A KING".
On Friday, July 17th, 2020 Omari will be celebrating another journey around the sun by releasing in tandem his single and video for "Like A King". Directed by Rickiell Hodge with a concept by Omari Banks, the video which boasts Afro inspired fashions by Donilia Reid (rising Anguilla Designer and Seamstress) was filmed in Anguilla at some beautiful and highly historically relevant places and scenic locations, such as the oldest religious site in the northern hemisphere of the Native Ameridian people.
"The message behind the song "Like a King" is about balance. There are a lot of concepts in today's society on how we should live, I believe we should seek the balance that we were created to live in. As men we should live like a king and treat our women like the Queens that they are..." explained Omari of his song, further adding, "This video meant a lot to me for many reason, such as both of my daughters Somaiya and Ashe' who play significant roles with in the video to tell the story of the video. An Ancient truth."
"Like A King" single will be available on all major platforms via ONErpm, while the video will premiere on Omari Banks official YouTube channel. https://ps.onerpm.com/ob-king
Although 2020 has changed the landscape of the music arena, Omari has been hard at work behind the scenes working on new music for his next album, and also an upcoming release in partnership with Indian based music label IncSync Music. Omari who in 2018 premiered his “Reggae Summertime” video, received a warm welcome from the press, new fans and of course hardcore cricket lovers!