Kurt Cobain ‘MTV Unplugged’ Guitar Sells for Sky-High $6 Million

Grunge became gold Saturday (June 20) as the guitar Kurt Cobain played on Nirvana’s 1993 MTV Unplugged performance sold for an eye-popping $6 million at auction.

The 1959 Martin D-18E that Cobain played in the band’s rare acoustic performance and subsequent live album was sold to Australian Peter Freedman, owner of Røde Microphones, at the Music Icons event run by Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California.

The bids opened at $1 million for the sale that ended up breaking several world records.

Cobain used it to play tunes including “About a Girl” and “All Apologies” at the Nov. 18, 1993, show in New York that came less than five months before the singer and songwriter died at age 27.

A day earlier at the same auction event, a custom guitar played by Prince at the height of his stardom in the 1980s and 1990s sold for $563,500, a small sum compared with the Cobain guitar but well over the $100,000 to $200,000 it was expected to fetch.

Prince played the blindingly blue guitar with the artist’s “love” symbol on its neck beginning on the 1984 Purple Rain Tour, as well as on the classic albums Lovesexy and Sign O’ The Times. He used it into the early 1990s.

Archivists going through Prince’s possessions at his Paisley Park home and musical headquarters in Minnesota recently found the guitar that was thought to be lost during the four years since his death from an overdose at age 57.

Also Friday, a macrame belt that Elvis Presley wore about 30 times on stage brought in nearly 10 times its expected price, with a final bid of $298,000, and an ivory gown worn by Madonna in her 1990 “Vogue” video sold for $179,200.

How P!nk Got Through Coronavirus Panic Attacks Over ‘Wondering If I Was Gonna Die’

P!nk addressed her family’s struggle with coronavirus once more in a candid live chat about mental health with Vanessa Inn.

The pop star — who previously said she and her 3-year-old son, Jameson, had tested positive and recovered from COVID-19 — welcomed Inn, who she said has been “guiding me for 20 years,” to an Instagram Live session Friday (June 19).

“The idea came to me sort of when quarantine started, when this whole COVID-19 thing started, because mental health is always on my radar,” P!nk explained while waiting for Inn to join in.

“You can’t run from yourself in quarantine,” she pointed out. “You can’t run from your family.”

In their discussion, P!nk recalled how she and her son “got really sick.”

“I think this is really important for people right now with coronavirus,” she said of their talk. “You know, anxiety is rampant, and panic attacks, and just — we feel like the rug is being pulled out from under us a little bit right now and different people on different levels.”

P!nk continued: “And I was on the phone with you and I was having one of my very first panic attacks, and it was during the time where I was really afraid for Jameson and just exhausted from being… my adrenaline for 10 weeks of taking my son’s temperature and wondering if I was gonna die.”

“You did something with me that I didn’t know about,” the singer reminded her, and then went on to describe a grounding technique, or “wisdom medicine,” that she learned from Inn in that difficult moment.

“In the midst of a panic attack,” P!nk said, “it was incredibly timely because you told me to look for textures and patterns. And I looked down and I was wearing a paisley dress and sitting on a roque chair.”

On Friday’s live chat, Inn listened and then responded, “In that moment of anxiety and panic, what happens is we get out of the present moment … The idea is how to come back into the room, how to come pack into your body, how to come back to present.”

She suggested looking at textures, wiggling your toes or pulling on your earlobes.

“It’s just to get back to breathing,” Inn explained.

“It really worked,” P!nk said.

Watch their illuminating talk in its entirety below.

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Luke Bryan Debuts ‘Build Me a Daddy’ Live on ‘The Tonight Show’: Watch

Luke Bryan pulled on heartstrings with a performance of “Build Me a Daddy” just in time for Father’s Day weekend.

The country star offered a live take of the new song with a poignant, socially distanced performance for The Tonight Show Thursday night (June 18).

“A boy walks past a window of a glowing ‘open’ sign/ Full of wooden toys and trucks and painted trains/ Rings a bell up on the counter, hands a picture to the man/ Of a kid beside a soldier smilin’ away/ Said, ‘Sir, I’ve heard you can build anything’/ ‘Could you build me a daddy?'” Bryan asks in the first verse of the emotional ballad, from the perspective of a child who’s lost his father.

“Strong as Superman/ Make him ten feet tall with a southern drawl/ And a crooked smile if you can/ I sure miss him/ Maybe you could bring him back/ If I walked in with him, it’d sure make mama happy/ If you could build me a daddy,” he sings in the chorus.

“Build Me a Daddy” will be on Bryan’s new album Born Here Live Here Die Here, out Aug. 7.

Watch his performance below.

Prince’s Custom Guitar From the 1980s Brings Big Dollars at Auction

A custom guitar played by Prince at the height of his stardom in the 1980s and 1990s has sold for a staggering $563,500 at auction.

The “Blue Angel” Cloud 2 electric guitar skyrocketed beyond the estimate of $100,000 to $200,000 it was expected to fetch at the Music Icons sale run by Julien’s Auctions on Friday (June 19) and Saturday in Beverly Hills.

Prince played the blindingly blue guitar with the artist’s “love” symbol on its neck beginning on the 1984 Purple Rain Tour, on the classic albums Lovesexy and Sign O’ The Times. He used it into the early 1990s.

Archivists going through Prince’s possessions at his Paisley Park home and musical headquarters in Minnesota recently found the guitar that was thought to be lost during the four years since his death from an overdose at age 57. A similar Prince guitar sold for $700,000 in 2016.

At the same auction, a macrame belt that Elvis Presley wore about 30 times on stage brought in nearly 10 times its expected price, with a final bid of $298,000.

An ivory gown worn by Madonna in her 1990 “Vogue” video sold for $179,200.

The identities of the buyers were not revealed.

Items still to be sold Saturday included Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics to the Beatles song “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.”

Public Enemy Returns With Anti-Trump ‘State of the Union (STFU)’ Song: Watch

Public Enemy has returned with a fiery new protest song called “State of the Union (STFU).”

The iconic hip-hop group commemorated Juneteenth on Friday (June 19) by dropping the explosive anti-Trump song and accompanying video, which features recent footage from nationwide protests in response to the killings of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks.

“Our collective voices keep getting louder. The rest of the planet is on our side. But it’s not enough to talk about change. You have to show up and demand change,” frontman Chuck D said in a statement. “Folks gotta vote like their lives depend on it, ‘cause it does.”

Produced by DJ Premier, the fiery “State of the Union (STFU)” finds Chuck D and Flavor Flav clearly stating their distaste for the current White House administration while also commenting on police brutality against Black Americans.

“Here’s another scare/ Keep them hands in the air/ Better not breathe/ You dare not dare,” Chuck D raps in the three-minute song.

“State of the Union (STFU)” is available as a free download on Public Enemy’s website and can be streamed on major music streaming services. Watch the video below.

Harry Connick Jr. Honors Workers During Pandemic Road Trip

Singer and actor Harry Connick Jr. has spent a lot of his life on tour buses and traveling from city to city, but even when the pandemic shut down the country, he couldn’t sit still.

With the help of his daughter, Georgia Connick, who is a filmmaker, and a bunch of GoPro cameras, he embarked on a pandemic road trip to meet essential workers around the country who were risking their lives during the pandemic.

United We Sing: A Grammy Tribute to the Unsung Heroes, a TV special that airs on CBS on Sunday (June 21) at 8 p.m. ET/PT, highlights the everyday heroes along his journey to New Orleans, with help from Connick’s celebrity pals including Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, Sandra Bullock and Renee Zellweger. The show also features musical performances from Jamie Foxx, Cyndi Lauper, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Dave Matthews, Tim McGraw, Irma Thomas and more.

“I just want to reach out and meet some of these folks, sanitation workers or elementary school teachers or people that are working at food banks,” Harry Connick said. “These are the people that are keeping the supply chain going and keeping our lives going.”

Over the course of about 12 days, Georgia Connick filmed her father on handheld cameras or GoPros as he drove a recreational vehicle to learn about how the new coronavirus was affecting workers in public transportation, grocery stores, health care and more.

“Watching these people do their everyday jobs, not necessarily thinking they’re heroes, but everyone else thinking they are heroes, is very incredible,” Georgia Connick said.

They started their trip at a hospital in the Queens borough of New York City, where Connick’s sister, an Army Reserve colonel and psychiatrist, helped with the Pentagon’s response to the pandemic.

“It was highly emotional,” Harry Connick said. “We wanted to do a show that was about celebration as opposed to constantly reminding people of how sad the situation is. And it is. But there’s a lot of silver linings.”

Once reaching his hometown of New Orleans, Harry Connick walked through the empty streets of Bourbon Street, the neon-lit entertainment hotspot normally filled with music, drinking and dancing that had gone quiet during the pandemic.

“The mayor was kind enough to let us film on Bourbon Street under very, very tight circumstances and conditions,” he said.

Instead of the traditional second line parade, the dancers and musicians stayed 12 feet apart, dancing in place with masks.

“We hope when people watch on Sunday night, they’ll kind of have a respite from the normal barrage of bad news,” he said.

The special will raise funds for charities that support underserved children, including No Kid Hungry and the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans, as well as to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, a charitable organization of the Recording Academy.

Toni Cornell to Remember Dad Chris Cornell in Billboard Instagram Takeover on Father’s Day

Chris Cornell’s daughter Toni will reminisce about the late Soundgarden frontman when she takes over Billboard’s Instagram Stories at noon ET on Father’s Day, Sunday (June 21).

During the takeover, the 15-year-old will talk about her dad, who died in May 2017 while on tour with the iconic Seattle grunge band. In addition, Toni will share with viewers some of the celebrated musician’s cherished personal belongings and discuss what they meant to the rocker.

Since the Soundgarden vocalist’s death, Toni has been keeping her dad’s legacy alive through music and charity. She has released songs that the father-daughter duo worked on together, as well as a cover of “Hunger Strike,” which was written by Cornell for Temple of the Dog, the Seattle supergroup he was in that also featured Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.

The younger Cornell has also been donating the proceeds from these musical projects with her late dad to charity through her parents’ The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation. The non-profit organization, which the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman formed with his wife in 2012, aims to protect vulnerable children around the globe.

To watch Toni remember her Grammy-winning dad, follow Billboard on Instagram and check out the Stories beginning at 12 p.m. ET Sunday.