A new supergroup is on the horizon, but “new” isn’t really the right word— the band has been recording its debut album in secret for the past eighteen months. The seed was planted by Dave Stewart two years ago, when he called up Mick Jagger and proposed the idea of fusing several different genres together. After some brainstorming and a few phone calls, they picked up Joss Stone, Damian Marley and A.R. Rahman to complete the spectrum. We don’t have any doubt that people are intrigued by this illustrious medley of musicians, but let’s face it: Jagger isn’t exactly known for playing nice with others.
We could have called this article “When Egos Collide,” but then again, none of these guys are notorious egomaniacs with the exception of Jagger. Rahman, considered “the world’s most prominent and prolific film composer” by Time Magazine, has been quoted saying “[T]here is only one of the two that can reside in our heart: God or ego. If God is in, ego is out.” Jagger, on the other hand, has been quoted saying “Obviously I have this sort of strange animal magnetism. It’s very hard for me to take my eyes off myself.” Let’s not be too judgmental, though, because the quote’s taken out of context and there’s a good chance that he’s kidding around anyway. But what about his lifelong friend Keith Richards, who refers to Mick as “her majesty” and “unbearable”? You could chalk it up to jealousy, the nature of their relationship or even argue that Mick has earned the right to act the way he does, but come on, it’s pretty obvious that there’s some truth behind the words. Either way, it’s going to be interesting to see if he can share the stage with four other music heavyweights.
It’s still unclear if the supergroup, called “Super Heavy,” will have a definitive frontman or not. According to CNN, Jagger is excited about having four vocalists in the band because it gives him a chance to play other instruments, as well as alleviate some of the dependence on him as a singer. The issue probably won’t come up anyway, unless the band goes on tour, but touring certainly seems like a possibility. “I think if we’re rehearsing and it sounds great and people love the idea then nobody would rule out the possibility of it,” said Stewart. But it’s hard to picture Mick giving up his share of the limelight for the likes of Joss Stone, Damian Marley or anyone else for that matter. In the meantime, the album is recorded, as well as their first video, and it looks like they’re planning a release around September.
What would a Justin Timberlake hosting gig on SNL be without a digital short with Andy Sandberg and some Cross Colours overalls? This latest masterwork introduces the helicopter technology into the art of lovemaking, and includes a very special musical guest. Oh, and if you stick around after the video is over, you’ll get to see Michael Bolton dressed as a pirate.
Mitch Winehouse, or Amy’s pop, is returning to a music career he left in the ‘70s in order to raise his children. The 61 year-old cab driver just released Rush of Love on Janey Records. The record features covers of jazz and lounge songs and four originals. None of which include the lyrics, “I tried to make her go to rehab and she said no, no, no.”
Beyoncé took some heat this week when it was discovered that her multimedia performance at the Billboard Music Awards was suspiciously similar to a performance by Italian pop star Lorella Cuccarini. Beyoncé responded tout suite, saying she had seen Cuccarini’s performance and contacted the producers to collaborate with her on her own interactive video. Personally, we like Beyoncé’s video piece more, but with a hook borrowed from Major Lazer and a performance borrowed from Cuccarini, you can hardly call her innovative on this one. You can watch the two videos side by side below, thanks to the magical powers of the Internet.
Awkward run-ins with an ex are a rite of passage, one that’s captured by Taylor Swift on her new video for “The Story of Us.” The track is rumored to be inspired by her messy break-up with John Mayer. Hang down your head, John. Voyeurs can check out the video below.
Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Joseph Brooks, famous for his perennial ballad “You Light Up My Life,” died this week in what has been ruled a suicide by asphyxiation. Brooks was set to go to trial for thirteen counts of rape at the time of his death. He was 73 years old.
What do you get when you put Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, Damian Marley, Joss Stone and A.R. Rahman in a room? Urdu-reggae-soul? Rasta-Bolly-Brit? We’ll all find out soon enough when the supergroup, dubbed Super Heavy, drops their LP in September.
This year was a curious one in GRAMMY world, with some heavy hitters being shut out and some less popular acts finally getting a chance to shine. The ‘Record of the Year’ category is dominated by urban pop, with just one band—CMT Artist of the Year Lady Antebellum (nominated in six categories)—bringing up the rear with their country album Need You Now. Eminem leads the pack with ten nominations for his smash success Recovery, landing on the list for ‘Best Rap Album,’ and “Love The Way You Lie”, featuring Rihanna, scoring nominations for ‘Record of The Year,’ ‘Song of The Year,’ ‘Best Rap Song’ and ‘Best Rap Collaboration.’
Other hip hop standouts include Cee-Lo’s three nominations for “[Forget] You” for ‘Record of The Year’ and ‘Song of The Year’ and ‘Best Urban Performance’. Jay-Z made the list for ‘Best Rap Album’ with Blueprint 3 and again with newlyweds Alicia Keys (with “Empire State of Mind” up for ‘Best Rap Song’ and “Best Rap Collaboration”) and Swizz Beatz (with “Onto The Next One” contending for ‘Best Rap by Duo’ and ‘Best Rap Song’). Keys’ album, Elements of Freedom was shockingly snubbed from all categories, despite its heavy radio play. Swizz Beats is also nominated for “Fancy,” his collaboration with Drake, whose debut album, Thank Me Later earned him a nomination for ‘Best Rap Album,’ while his single “Over”scored him a bid for ‘Best Solo Rap Performance.’
On the pop front, Katy Perry is the front-runner with four nominations for her album, Teenage Dream. Ke$ha’s debut, Animal, failed to garner any attention for the saucy newcomer and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” popped up on the shortlist for ‘Best Female Pop Vocal’ but was slighted in the categories of ‘Song and Record of The Year.’ “Dance In The Dark” earned Gaga a ‘Best Dance Recording’ nom and “Telephone,” her duet with Beyoncé, earned her a nomination for ‘Best Pop Collaboration.’
B.o.B fared well with his debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, earning him five nominations including ‘Record of The Year’ and ‘Best Rap Album’ while his single, “Nothin On You” featuring Bruno Mars is making a run for ‘Best Rap Song’, ‘Best Rap Collaboration’ and ‘ Record of The Year’. B.o.B’s duet with Paramore front-woman, Hayley Williams is also up for ‘Best Pop Collaboration.’ Meanwhile, Mars came in with seven nominations for his work with B.o.B., his single, “Just The Way You Are” and his work as producer with The Smeezingtons who are up for the ‘Producer of The Year’ title.
‘The ‘Best New Artist’ category seems the most diverse with contender Justin Beiber going head to head with Florence and the Machine, Drake, Mumford & Sons, and Esperanza Spalding (who was curiously excluded for any noms in the Jazz category) for the honor. Usher’s, Raymond V Raymond will go against Chris Brown’s, Grafitti for ‘Best Contemporary R&B Album.’
This is the year of new beginnings. In addition to Chris Brown’s nomination, fellow tabloid darlings Lee Ann Rimes and Fantasia, whose troubling private lives made very public headlines, end their year on a happier note with nods for the former in ‘Best Female Country Vocal Performance’ and the latter in ‘Best Female R&B Vocal Performance’ and ‘Best R&B Song’ for “Bittersweet.”
There’s a good chance we’ll see last year’s ‘Best New Artist’ winner Zac Brown Band on stage again this year, this time sans stick puppet—2009 addition Clay Cook was unable to accept the award with the band for their win last year because he did not have a credit on their first album. They’re nominated for ‘Best Country Performance,’ ‘Best Country Song’ and ‘Best Country Album.’ Other country favorites Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, Miranda Lambert, Jewel also received nominations.
No huge surprises found among artists in the rock categories, with multiple nominations for veterans Jeff Beck (‘Best Rock Album,’ ‘Best Rock Performance’ with Joss Stone and ‘Best Rock Instrumental’) and Neil Young (‘Best Rock Song,’ ‘Best Rock Album’ and Best Solo Rock Performance’) while Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, John Mayer earning one nom each. Hard rock and metal showcased no new artist nominations either: Ozzy Osborne, Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Iron Maiden, Korn, Megadeth, Lamb of God and Slayer.
For the complete list of nominees across all 100 categories, visit Grammy.com
By Cortney Wills with additional reporting by Paula Gould
Cortney Wills is a pop culture journalist born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has lived in LA, Chicago and NYC and enjoys all things entertainment.