John Legend’s All-Star Album ‘Legend’ Has Arrived: Stream It Now

John Legend brings out all the legends on his eighth and latest album — the double-disc Legend.

Executive produced by the EGOT winner along with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, Legend features collaborations with Rick Ross, Muni Long, Jazmine Sullivan, Jada Kingdom, Rapsody, Ledisi, Jhene Aiko, Ty Dolla $ign and others.

Ahead of its release, via Republic Records, the soul man described the recording as being “suffused with an unapologetic spirit of sensuality and joy, informed by the full vulnerability of pain, praise and healing.”

Until this point, he continued, “I’ve never used an aspect of my name as the title of an album.”

“I had to earn that, to live up to it by delivering in the performance and the music. And this is me saying I’m proud of who I am, I’m confident in the work I’ve done, and I’m just going to declare it.”

Spanning 24 songs – one for every hour of the day — Legend carries the previously-released singles, “Honey” with Long, “Dope” with rapper JID and “All She Wanna Do” with Saweetie.

It’s the followup to 2020’s Bigger Love, which hit No. 19 on the Billboard 200 chart.

The U.S. artist is every bit the legend, having become the youngest — and first black male — of the EGOT winners in 2018, when he scooped an Emmy for his work on NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live.

He’ll support the new LP with the second leg of his Las Vegas residency, Love in Las Vegas, at The Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, with a run of shows from Oct. 14-29.

Stream Legend below.

 

 

J Balvin Becomes First Latin Artist to Headline NFL Kickoff Concert

Football fans gathered at Alamitos Beach in Long Beach, Calif., on Thursday (Sept. 8) at the NFL Kickoff Experience to celebrate the beginning of the 2022 NFL season, and to watch Latin star J Balvin.

The Latin star led celebrations with a performance ahead of the first game of the year, which saw the Buffalo Bills battle with reigning Super Bowl champs, the Los Angeles Rams.

Sporting jerseys from their favorite teams — given the event’s location mostly everyone was decked out in Rams gear — attendees defied the L.A. heatwave and made their way to the beach (where it, surprisingly, wasn’t any much cooler) for a free day event that featured all sorts of activities and activations, including a beach football field in case you were feeling particularly sporty.

Before Balvin took the stage for the official NFL Kickoff Concert, a local mariachi serenaded the sweaty crowd before the Alabama State Marching Hornets took over for a riveting number.

Opening for the Colombian star was West Coast-based DJ and producer Tokimonsta who was able to get the concertgoers out of the shade and closer to the main stage where they danced to her eclectic set.

Then, an inflatable giant hand appeared onstage holding up an equally large smiling face balloon — Balvin’s signature smiley face to be exact — which could only mean that the chart-topping artist was ready to take make his grand entrance. While his set was scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., Balvin, who became the first Latin artist to headline this NFL concert, took the stage 10 minutes earlier to perform a nearly one-hour show.

He appeared in a two-piece, army-like outfit styled with a matching balaclava that only exposed his eyes. “Cómo está la vibra esta tarde, how’s the vibe today?” he asked the crowd. Balvin kicked off with the fan-favorite “Mi Gente” and went on to perform back-to-back hits such as “Reggaeton,” “Nivel de Perreo,” “Con Altura,” “Loco Contigo,” “Blanco,” “Ritmo,” “Amarillo,” “Ginza,” “I Like It” and “In Da Getto.” He also brought out a special guest, Trueno, emerging rapper from Argentina, to perform their collaboration “Un Paso.”

“My name is Jose but they call me J Balvin,” he added. “Where are all the warriors that fight for their dreams? I see my Latino gang representing here.”

Throughout the years, artists such as Shawn Mendes, Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor and Ed Sheeran have performed at the NFL Kickoff Concert.

Dolly Parton Enlists Kelly Clarkson for Long-Awaited ‘9 to 5’ Duet: Stream

Dolly Parton and Kelly Clarkson finally shared the studio version of their “9 to 5” duet on Friday (September 9).

The country legend, who wrote the working people’s anthem for the 1980 movie of the same name, lets The Kelly Clarkson Show host shine on lead vocals, with the latter singing, “Well, I tumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen/ Pour myself a cup of ambition/ Yawn and stretch and try to come to life/ Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumping/ Out on the street, the traffic starts jumping/ With folks like me on the job from 9 to 5.”

Produced by Shane McAnally, the reimagining of the song was originally used in the documentary Still Working 9 to 5, which premiered back in March at South by Southwest, and at the time, Parton appeared on Clarkson’s show to tease their duet. “I love how you took that and just made it your own and I got a chance to sing background for a change!” she said at the time. “But I’m really proud of that rendition of it and I think, hopefully, it’ll do well for us. It’s great in the documentary.”

Tied with her Kenny Rogers duet “Islands in the Stream,” “9 to 5” remains the biggest hit of Parton’s career on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at No. 1 for two weeks in the winter of 1981.

Meanwhile, Clarkson also covered the song as her very first “Kellyoke” pick back in September 2019, complete with a full-scale music video and in-studio introduction by Steve Carrell for the premiere of her eponymous daytime show.

Stream Parton and Clarkson’s new version of “9 to 5” below.

Los Enanitos Verdes’ Frontman Marciano Cantero Dead at 62

Marciano Cantero, lead vocalist and bass player of prolific Argentine rock band Los Enanitos Verdes, passed away on Thursday (Sept. 8), just two weeks after his 62nd birthday on Aug. 25.

Cantero (real name Horacio Eduardo Cantero Hernández) was in intensive care after undergoing surgery due to a kidney infection on Sept. 5, according to El Tiempo, which also revealed that the singer had one of his kidneys and part of his spleen removed at the Cuyo Clinic in his hometown Mendoza, Argentina.

The news of his passing was confirmed on the official Enanitos Verdes Instagram account, which simply shared a black ribbon as a public display of grief. A couple of hours earlier, the account posted a photo of Cantero with a caption that reads: “Today and always with you, Marciano,” alongside praying hand emojis.

Cantero, alongside Felipe Staiti (guitar) and Daniel Piccolo (drums), formed Los Enanitos Verdes in 1979, and became one of the biggest Latin rock bands of the ‘80s and ‘90s thanks to timeless hits such as “Lamento Boliviano,” “Luz De Dia,” and “La Muralla Verde.”

The trio obtained two best Latin rock/alternative performance Grammy nominations for “Nectar” and “Traccion Acustica.” In 2019, reggaeton artists J Balvin and Bad Bunny reeled in Cantero for their urban-alternative track “Un Peso,” part of their collaborative album Oasis.

On July 6, 2022, Los Enanitos Verdes kicked off their 17-city U.S. tour, produced by Frias Entertainment and Live Nation, in celebration of their more than 40-year career. The tour officially wrapped on Aug. 13 at Orlando’s House of Blues.

The lineup featured Cantero, Staiti, and Jota Morelli on the drums.

Paul McCartney, Adele, Bono & More Musicians and Music Execs Honored by Queen Elizabeth II

During Queen Elizabeth II’s more than 70-year reign, dozens of major music industry names were honored under the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the order of chivalry designed to reward British individuals who have contributed to the arts and sciences, charity and public service in the U.K. This has included both famous and behind-the-scenes players in the industry, ranging from Elton John to Universal Music Group chairman Lucian Grainge.

The five classes of the Order of the British Empire, in descending order of importance, are: Knight and Dame Grand Cross (GBE), Knight and Dame Commander (KBE and DBE, respectively), Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE) and Member (MBE).

Not all music luminaries who have been offered these titles have accepted them. David Bowie famously turned down both a CBE and a knighthood (GBE) in 2000 and 2003, respectively. Of the latter honor, the icon reportedly told The Sun, “I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that. I seriously don’t know what it’s for. It’s not what I spent my life working for.”

Other high-profile music professionals who have declined honors over the years include John Lydon, aka Sex Pistols‘ Johnny Rotten (MBE); singer-songwriter Paul Weller (CBE); jazz musician Humphrey Lyttelton (knighthood); and George Harrison, who turned down an OBE three years after his Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney was knighted.

But overall, the list of music industry notables who have accepted these honors far outweighs those who turned them down. In the wake of the Queen’s death on Thursday (Sept. 8) at age 96, we’ve compiled a list of those individuals who did show up to receive their titles — and in turn earned the right to place a “Sir,” “Dame” or other designation alongside their names.

J Balvin Reclaims His Crown as the Artist With the Most Videos in YouTube’s Billion Views Club

J Balvin’s “Ritmo (Bad Boys for Life)” video, in collaboration with Black Eyed Peas, surpassed 1 billion views this week, officially making Balvin the artist with the most videos in YouTube’s coveted Billion Views Club.

“Ritmo” — which was released Oct. 11, 2019, on the video platform — marks the Colombian artist’s 12th entry as a lead, featured artist or collaborator. Prior to reclaiming his crown, Balvin was tied with Justin Bieber with 11 music videos each surpassing 1 billion views.

In 2016, the artist born José Álvaro Osorio Balvin became the first Latin urban artist to reach 10 digits with his “Ay Vamos” video. He was only the third Latin artist of any genre to reach a billion views, following Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailando,” featuring Gente de Zona and Descemer Bueno, and Romeo Santos’ “Propuesta Indicente,” both in 2014.

“Ritmo” samples Corona’s ’90s smash hit “Rhythm of the Night,” fusing hip-hop and pop with Balvin’s incendiary and infectious take on reggaeton. In 2020, the track topped the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and Hot Latin Songs charts, becoming the Peas’ first leader on each ranking and Balvin’s first on the dance chart.

The video, which shows scenes of the Bad Boys for Life movie, joins Balvin’s 10 other billion-view clips: the Willy William-assisted “Mi Gente”; “X (Equis)” with Nicky Jam; “Con Altura” with Rosalía; “China” alongside Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G and Ozuna; “No Me Conoce (Remix)” with Jhayco and Bad Bunny; “Ay Vamos”; “I Like It” with Cardi B and Bad Bunny; “Ahora Dice” with Chris Jedi, Ozuna and Arcangel; the Farruko-assisted “6 AM”; and “Safari” featuring Pharrell Williams, BIA and Sky.

Watch the “Ritmo” video below: