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Norman Black advised Allen Durham to take up Japan B.League offer

MANILA, Philippines—Allen Durham is enjoying a successful run in the 2021-22 Japan B.League as his team Ryukyu continue to tear up the competition. But Durham could’ve returned to Meralco for the 2021-22 PBA Governors’ Cup if not, ironically, for Norman Black’s advice. Black said that Durham was already willing to play for the Bolts but […]

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Yuzuru Hanyu’s failed quad Axel attempt augurs end of an era

BEIJING—With what seemed like the whole world watching, Yuzuru Hanyu stepped on to the ice at the Beijing Olympics on Thursday, seeking the ultimate prize in figure-skating jumps that he had longed for since he was a child. The dream fizzled, triggering, perhaps, the end of an era. After a dizzying build-up of anticipation, Hanyu’s […]

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Ed Sheeran to write a song with Bring Me The Horizon

Ed Sheeran has revealed that he’s set to enter the studio with Bring Me The Horizon.

On Tuesday night (February 8), Sheeran teamed up with the metal group for a reworked version of his 2021 track ‘Bad Habits’ to open the BRIT Awards 2022.

READ MORE: Ed Sheeran’s ‘Bad Habits’ is an on-trend bop from one of the savviest men in pop

Speaking to The Daily Star (via The List), Sheeran said that getting to perform with Bring Me The Horizon was “a dream” and they’re now “going to write a song together”.

“I got in touch with [Oli Sykes] and we were going to write together but then the pandemic happened, so we were in touch – I’ve been a fan for a long time,” he said. “Oddly enough, that’s the kind of music I grew up listening to.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Sheeran said: “’Bad Habits’ would be a bit of a wet fart if I was just going up there [at the BRITs] and playing it normally. The song is EDM, and [Bring Me The Horizon have] took it and made it a whole new thing. I was just like, ‘You know what, these guitars are going to be great’.”

“It was a week’s turnaround – we emailed each other two weeks ago, recorded it a week ago and rehearsed it three days ago,” continued the pop star, seemingly confirming that a studio recording of the track exists.

It’s not the first time that Sheeran has spoken about a heavy metal collaboration either. Cradle Of Filth’s Dani Filth hinted at a future collaboration with the singer after Sheeran revealed that he was “really into death metal as a kid”.

I think the Ed Sheeran collaboration would be great fun,” said Filth. “I think it’d be great if we did it for charity because at least it would bring a bit of credibility to it. Because obviously to his public, it’d be like ‘Oh my god, he’s got this weird comical guy’, and to my public, it’d be like ‘Oh my god, this is a bit weird, isn’t it?’ But I think that sort of thing, nowadays, works.”

Bring Me The Horizon will perform the closing set at the BandLab NME Awards 2022.

The wildest night in music will return to London’s O2 Academy Brixton on Wednesday, March 2 to celebrate the best in music and entertainment from around the globe. Tickets to the event are on sale now and available here.

“To be honest we’re surprised we’ve even been asked back at all!” said Sykes. “What a huge honour it is to be asked to close the prestigious NME Awards show, we’re literally buzzing.”

The post Ed Sheeran to write a song with Bring Me The Horizon appeared first on NME.

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Kanye West’s ‘Late Orchestration’ is now available to stream in the US

Kanye West‘s 2006 live album ‘Late Orchestration’ has finally been made available on streaming platforms in the US.

The rapper and producer’s live LP was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London in September 2005, and featured live renditions of tracks from West’s first two studio albums, ‘The College Dropout’ and ‘Late Registration’.

READ MORE: Divorce, Drake disses and problematic features: 10 talking points from Kanye West’s ‘DONDA’

‘Late Orchestration’ saw West working with a 17-piece all-female string orchestra, while the likes of John Legend, Lupe Fiasco and Consequence made guest appearances.

Nearly 16 years on from its original release as a CD and DVD in April 2006, ‘Late Orchestration’ has finally become available on streaming services in the US.

You can hear Kanye West’s ‘Late Orchestration’ below.

West, who is now legally known as Ye, is currently working on the sequel album to 2021’s ‘DONDA’. Future is said to be executively producing the record, while Marilyn Manson is also working on the album.

The rapper reportedly held a private listening party for ‘DONDA 2’ in LA earlier this week, which was attended by the likes of DrakeTravis Scott and Yung Lean.

West also gave a passionate speech about “Black Future Month” on Instagram this week.

“There’s no more Black History Month,” he said in the clip. “Every February, reminding us that we just barely can vote – you shouldn’t have to be a tech genius, a basketball god, a musical wizard, to be able to hold down your family. It’s been about four or five days since I’ve seen my kids, but we’re in America, ain’t we? That’s just how it is.”

The post Kanye West’s ‘Late Orchestration’ is now available to stream in the US appeared first on NME.

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Griff on her Sigrid collab: “It’s just about girls having a good time”

Speaking to NME at the BRIT Awards 2022, Griff revealed that she’s progressing well with her debut album – as well as discussing what it was like to collaborate with Sigrid on recent single ‘Head On Fire’. Check out our video interview with Griff above.

Having won the BRITs Rising Star Award last year, Griff was down at the London ceremony this week where she was nominated for Best New Act and Best Pop/R&B Act.

Up against the likes of Adele, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Joy Crookes, Central Cee, Little Simz and Self Esteem across her categories, Griff said that “you can’t really look at it as competition”.

“First of all, the Pop and R&B category is Dua, Ed, Joy, they’re all such incredible artists and I feel very grateful to be in and amongst the nominations,” she told NME.

Looking to the future, Griff told us about progress on the follow-up up to her acclaimed ‘One Foot In Front Of The Other’ mixtape and what to expect from her long-awaited debut album.

“I’m always trying to write, but it’s quite funny because it feels like we’re kind of coming out of the pandemic and I feel like it was a blessing to write in such a space where I was left alone,” she told NME. “Now we’re on the road again, I feel like I’m just learning how to write again in this capacity.”

She continued: “We’re writing [an album], but I just think we need to make it really amazing. It’s the debut album and I can never do that again, so I want to make sure that we’re putting out the best music we can.”

A taster of new material came earlier this year when Griff shared her collaboration with Sigrid when the pair released the empowering ‘Head On Fire‘.

“She’s just amazing,” Griff said of Sigrid. “We met at a fashion show and we’re both fans of each other. We’ve grown really close over working on each other with this song. I love it because it’s encouraging to see two pop girls come together, have a good time and there not be competition or comparison.

“It’s just about girls having a good time.”

Check back at NME for more interviews from the BRIT Awards 2022.

Griff has also been announced to perform at the BandLab NME Awards 2022at the O2 Academy, Brixton in London on March 2. Today it was also revealed that FKA Twigs will be receiving this year’s Godlike Genius Award, and that Bring Me The Horizon will be delivering the closing set on the night.

This follows the news that the evening will be co-hosted by comedian, actor and writer Daisy May Cooper and grime trailblazer and radio host Lady Leshurr, alongside huge live performances from Sam Fender, Rina Sawayama as well as the recently revealed BERWYN and Chvrches featuring special guest Robert Smith of The CureHalsey will also be in attendance on the night to pick up this year’s Innovation Award, while Bleachers frontman and super-producer Jack Antonoff will be receiving the Songwriter Award in person on the night.

Check out the full list of nominations for the BandLab NME Awards 2022 here.

Head here to cast your vote for Hero Of The Year and Villain Of The Year.

This year’s official charity partner for the BandLab NME Awards 2022 will be the Music Venue Trust, continuing our ongoing work with the MVT to support, protect and promote the UK’s grassroots live music scene.

Check back in the coming weeks for more news on winners, performers and more at the NME Awards 2022. Visit here for tickets.

The post Griff on her Sigrid collab: “It’s just about girls having a good time” appeared first on NME.

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Jack Antonoff Calls Damon Albarn’s Songwriting Criticism of Taylor Swift a ‘Trumpian Approach of Just Making Things Up’

Jack Antonoff is not ready to make nice. Three weeks after Blur leader Damon Albarn set off a war of words over his claims that Jack’s pal Taylor Swift “doesn’t writer her own songs,” the Bleachers leader doubled down on his defense of Taylor’s songwriting bona fides. The seemingly final word in the pop skirmish came in an interview on The What podcast in which Antonoff pointedly took a shot at what he said was Albarn’s very off-the-mark ideas about what constitutes proper songwriting.

“I don’t mind talking s–t, like this or that — but I don’t like it when artists take almost this Trumpian approach of just making things up,” Antonoff said, comparing the Gorillaz singer’s comments to the deluge of false and misleading information masquerading as fact spread during the previous U.S. presidential administration. “I don’t care if Damon Albarn or anyone likes or doesn’t like something. But to unequivocally make a statement that isn’t true, that you actually have no idea about, and not to get too deep on it, but isn’t that kind of everything that’s wrong with our world at the moment? People talking about s–t at they have no clue about?”

When the show’s host said it seemed like Albarn’s idea of “you’re either a songwriter or not”  was “very, very literal,” Antonoff responded by saying “it’s literal, but it’s also wrong… the Damon thing, what it says to me — because obviously it’s completely absurd and every one knows that — you’re talking about one of the greatest songwriters of our generation who has her name as the only name on many songs. You don’t need to to explain it, it’s just fact.”

Frankly, Antonoff added, he expects that kind of distortion from “politicians… idiots and herbs and corporate a–holes,” but not from fellow artists. “To launch this weird, baseless concept with this bravado that it’s such fact,” he added, alluding to a tweet he sent in the midst of the imbroglio in which he suggested that before saying such things Damon should maybe just, “shut the f–k up.”

Albarn set the fire during a Los Angeles Times interview in January in which he claimed that Swift doesn’t really write her own songs because she frequently collaborates with others. “I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes,” said Albarn, 53 in the Times profile.

After a number of fellow musicians came to Swift’s defense, Albarn quickly backtracked and apologized to Swift, claiming that the Times writer had manipulated his words to get clicks, tweeting, “I totally agree with you. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand.”

That mea culpa came after Antonoff tweeted, “i’ve never met damon albarn and he’s never been to my studio but apparently he knows more than the rest of us about all those songs taylor writes and brings in. herb,” on (Jan. 24). A day later, Billboard reported that, for the record, Swift has sole writing credit on 54 songs, beginning at age 12 up until now, while noting that she wrote all of her third studio album, Speak Now, on her own.

Listen to Antonoff’s interview here (Taylor talk begins at 37 minutes).

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Motown Gospel Signs Karen Clark Sheard: Exclusive

Four-time Grammy winner Karen Clark Sheard has signed with Motown Gospel in partnership with Clark Sheard’s own Karew Records.

Clark Sheard will release a new album later this year, her first since the 2015 live album Destined to Win (released via Karew Records and Entertainment One Music).

“I am honored and excited to partner with Motown Gospel,” said Clark Sheard in a statement. “I’m passionate about encouraging, inspiring and uplifting people through my music, and I can’t wait to share it with my long-time supporters and with the world.”

“No other female vocalist in gospel music has had as broad an influence as the legendary Karen Clark Sheard,” said Monica Coates and EJ Gaines, co-executive directors of Motown Gospel. “She uniquely brings generations of gospel and R&B music-lovers together with the power of her voice and the purity of her spirit. We are so honored to work with her and the Karew team.”

Clark Sheard first gained success as the youngest sibling of The Clark Sisters, which earned a crossover hit with “You Brought the Sunshine” in 1981. The group is also known for such hits as “Is My Living in Vain,” “Blessed & Highly Favored” (which earned Clark Sheard a Grammy for best gospel song), “Livin’,” “Victory” and more.

In 1997, she released her debut solo album, Finally Karen, the first of five studio albums. In 2007, her album It’s Not Over (released via Word Records) won the GMA Dove Award for contemporary gospel album of the year. In 2009, her collaboration with Donnie McClurkin of “Wait on the Lord” won a Grammy for best gospel performance and in 2011, she earned the Stellar award for female vocalist of the year.

In 2009, Sheard and her husband, Bishop J. Drew Sheard, partnered to launch Karew Records, which counts not only Clark Sheard but her daughter Kierra Sheard, as well as The Clark Sisters, on its artist roster. In 2020, Lifetime released the biopic The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel. That same year, the Clark Sisters appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to perform a 17-minute medley of their classic songs.

A division of Capitol CMG/Universal Music Group, Motown Gospel’s roster includes Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Merry Clayton, Tye Tribbett and Evvie McKinney.

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Sting Sells Entire Song Catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group

In a move that reunites his music publishing rights with his master recordings, Sting has sold his entire song catalog from his early days in The Police through his solo career to the Universal Music Publishing Group.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Billboard previously reported that Sting had been shopping a music asset bundle that produced an annual royalty income stream of about $12million-$13 million and was looking at about a $360 million payday.

That catalog includes such songs as “Roxanne,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Shape Of My Heart,” “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You,” “Fields Of Gold,” “Desert Rose,” “Message in a Bottle,” “Englishman in New York” and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” among countless other global hits. Between the Police and his solo career, Sting’s music globally has sold more than 100 million albums, according to the Universal Music Group, which has been Sting’s label home for his entire career through A&M, Interscope and Cherrytree Records.

“So many memories from my youth are tied to the great songs written by Sting — whether it was first seeing the Police perform in Philadelphia or hearing his music on the radio or playing those albums until I wore them out,” UMPG chairman & CEO Jody Gerson said in a statement. “I could never have imagined that someday I would get to lead a company that will be the guardian of Sting’s remarkable songwriting legacy. Every one of us at UMPG looks forward to this work with a sense of honor, responsibility and enormous excitement about what we can achieve for his music in the future.”

Since UMG already had his recorded masters, the addition of Sting’s music publishing rights provides UMPG and its parent a strong hand for synchronization and other income-producing, rights-licensing opportunities. That likely means that if someone wants to license his songs for a movie or a commercial, Universal can insure his recordings are used, thus reaping a bigger payday instead of a less-costly license for recording of a cover version.

Besides giving UMG a stronger hand in licensing, sources say that the Sting music publishing catalog is boosted by a larger-than-usual component of royalties coming from cover songs and from samples used in hip-hop songs by the likes of Puff Daddy and Juice Wrld, Nas, RZA, 2Pac, Black-Eyed Peas, the Fugees and Cam’ron, among others. Also, his songs have been covered by such artists as George Michael, Johnny Cash, Herbie Hancock, Isaac Hayes, Eva Cassidy, Violet Femmes, Gloria Gaynor, Shirley Bassey and Fall Out Boy, amongs others.

According to the announcement, UMPG and UMG will work with Sting to further build and expand his vast audience reach, “strengthen the impact and influence of his timeless works,” and continue supporting future music releases.

“I’ve had the privilege to work with Sting for over 20 years and I’m so thrilled to expand our relationship to now include music publishing,” UMG chairman & CEO Sir Lucian Grainge said in a statement. “Sting is a songwriting genius whose music permeates global culture. We are honored that by choosing UMPG for his music publishing, Sting’s entire body of work as a songwriter and recording artist — from the Police to his solo work — will all be within the UMG family. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly as well as a great validation of what we have built for artists at UMG.”

By closing the deal, that means Universal Music Publishing Group has been involved in two of the three biggest single artist publishing acquisitions. In December 2020, UMPG acquired the Bob Dylan publishing catalog in a deal that is believed to have carried more than a $400 million valuation.

In December, Bruce Springsteen received about $500 million for selling his catalogs but beside music publishing catalog that sale also included his master recordings, which he had owned. It’s unclear what valuations were assigned to the Springsteen song catalog versus his master recordings.

Sting, born Gordon Sumner, has been the recipient of 11 Grammy awards for his solo woks, while the Rock Hall-inducted Police have earned six Grammys and two Brit Awards, according to UMPG. Moreover, Sting has also been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

“I am delighted to have Jody and the team at UMPG curate and manage my song catalog,” Sting said in a statement. “It is absolutely essential to me that my career’s body of work have a home where it is valued and respected – not only to connect with longtime fans in new ways but also to introduce my songs to new audiences, musicians and generations. Throughout my career, I have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with UMG as my label partner, under the watchful guidance of Lucian, so it felt natural to unite everything in one trusted home, as I return to the studio, ready for the next chapter.”

Sting, who is managed by Martin Kierszenbaum/Cherrytree Music Company, was represented in the transaction by Allen Grubman with his partners Joe Brenner and Stuart Prager.

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‘Pam & Tommy’ Director Lake Bell Explores ‘Personal, Cathartic’ Episode Four

[This story contains spoilers for Pam & Tommy episode four]

The party is over.

The fourth episode of Pam & Tommy has arrived, and with it, a revelation for some and a reminder for others, of just how devastating the tape situation was for Pamela Anderson (Lily James).

To this point, the Hulu limited series has focused on the glitz and glamour of the central couple and their wild, whirlwind relationship. But “The Master Beta” strikes a new chord. Among the humorous moments, of which there are plenty, there is the tale of a couple — but more so a woman — being victimized.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, episode director Lake Bell, who has a personal experience with abhorrent invasion of privacy, calls the central theme of this episode her “North Star.” The director also discusses her great joy of working on a ’90s period piece and the pure greatness who is Nick Offerman.

This episode really humanizes the couple, especially Pamela. Can you talk about that important departure from what was previously in the series a huge party? 

The narrative shifts and crystallizes into something raw and exposing vs. the pop culture, sexy world. It’s a crime story about invasion. Lilly and I really connected on this particular episode in the sense that Pam’s voice was muted at the time of the incident. In episode four, you’re reminded of the criminal event of theft of a private tape not intended for the public. It is a personal issue for me. I was a victim of the 2014 [celebrity nude photo leak] hacking and Lily has had photos published that were sensitive. So I think we both had this added layer of connection.

Did that personal connection to invasion make this episode empowering or difficult, or both, to direct? 

It is a vulnerability that you cannot control and [I] did not ask for. So, there is an exhilarating quality to this episode where Pam allows herself to connect with rage. I think women are encouraged to not express rage and anger. It was very cathartic at the end when we shot that final scene. It was 110 degrees. It kept getting pushed because of COVID. I only had two takes to do it. And I was like, “Let this woman smash this car.” It was this wild, kinetic beat that seals this rage. My North Star was to protect the story of this woman who is grossly exploited.

The episode also does a fantastic job of reminding viewers such an experience is not the same for men as it is for women. Equally important to show, yes? 

From Pam’s point of view, it is a violation and an indictment of her privacy. For Tommy (Sebastian Stan) — he is pissed and on the offensive. That is a big turning point in their relationship. They had to deal with real coupledom life-shift, not just the pomp and circumstance of being beautiful, wealthy, young and successful.

The ’90s vibe to the series is epic. What was that like to work within? 

It was really fun because I grew up in the ’90s. The music alone is luxurious and makes it really fun. Sometimes [to set] I would dress ’90s just for fun. The time is a character in the show. You can’t half any of this. For me, it’s the cars and the innards of the cars. The smell! A lot of gas smell. And also the electronics and computers, like waiting for a website to load.

All your leads were tremendous, but Nick Offerman really stole this episode for me. What was it like directing him? 

I have directed Offerman for ages now. His dryness; he has such funny bones, he can play the circumstances very real and find humor in it. Nick Offerman, he commits. He is amazing.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

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Philippines, 3 other Southeast Asian nations chase first Winter Olympics medal

MANILA, Philippines—Snow in Southeast Asia will never be seen, but doesn’t stop athletes from the region competing in winter sports. The Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Timor Leste are well represented in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics with a total of eight athletes competing in the slopes. Asa Miller of the Philippines and Yohan Goutt Goncalves, […]

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San-En backs Thirdy Ravena’s Gilas stint despite ongoing B.League season

MANILA, Philippines—San-En is fully supporting Thirdy Ravena in his campaign with Gilas Pilipinas in the February window of the 2023 Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers. In a statement posted on its website, the NeoPhoenix admitted that Ravena’s absence is a big blow to their run in the 2021-22 Japan B.League season but having one of their […]

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Stereophonics and Anne-Marie to headline Alex James’ Big Feastival

Stereophonics and Anne-Marie are set to headline Big Feastival, a music and food festival hosted by Blur’s Alex James on his Cotswolds farm.

The Human League will join them at the top of the bill while special guests Sugababes will also perform at the festival, which is set to take place August 26-28.

READ MORE: 20 festivals to look forward to in 2022

Stereophonics will play the Sunday night and Anne-Marie will close Saturday, while The Human League are set to headline the Friday night.

Also appearing across the weekend are Alfie Templeman, The Futureheads, The Sherlocks, The Lottery Winners and Lola Young. Jake Bugg, Gabrielle, Sam Ryder and a Basement Jaxx DJ set have also been confirmed, with more musical acts still to be announced.

Big Feastival also has a full line-up of guest chefs and family entertainment to be revealed in the coming weeks.

“We’ve been busy building on last summer’s sold out festival and our strongest line up yet will bookend what promises to be an unforgettable summer of celebration. This is just the tip of the iceberg – best to book camping now to avoid disappointment. Roll on August Bank Holiday Weekend,” said James.

Tickets are on sale now.

Stereophonics, Sugababes, Anne-Marie and Sam Ryder will also be appearing at Victorious Festival in Portsmouth the same weekend, alongside James, The Wombats, Declan McKennaSelf EsteemBecky Hill and We Are Scientists.

In other news, Anne-Marie has reacted to her on-stage stumble at the BRIT Awards 2022, which happened during her performance with KSI.

The performance began with Anne-Marie singing her verse from her Little Mix collaboration ‘Kiss My (Uh Oh)’ n front of a heart at the top of a small staircase. When she began to walk down the stairs, she missed one and tripped, landing on the stage a few steps below.

The star continued with the performance and later tweeted about the incident. “Didn’t need my left ankle anyway,” she wrote

The post Stereophonics and Anne-Marie to headline Alex James’ Big Feastival appeared first on NME.

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