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Heart’s Ann Wilson pays tribute to Chris Cornell

Ann Wilson of Heart paid tribute to the late Chris Cornell on Thursday during “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” with a sultry cover of the Soundgarden singer’s signature track, 1994's "Black Hole Sun." 

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Backed by Kimmel's house band, the Cletones, Wilson utilized her raspy, voice to pay tribute to the singer recognized as one of the architects of the grunge movement of the 1990s.

Cornell, 52, died early Thursday morning after a concert in Detroit. His death was ruled a suicide. 

Wilson and her sister, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, issued statements honoring their late friend.

"It's important now to keep thoughts of Chris positive," Ann Wilson wrote. "He is on his way. We loved him well, now wish him well on his journey. He was and is a beautiful soul." 

"No one is ever prepared to hear about a death in the family,” Nancy Wilson wrote. “And today Chris Cornell my brother from my Seattle music family is gone. I thought his voice would forever grace the world of music. Devastating."

Vicky Cornell, the Soundgarden singer's widow, issued a statement Friday remembering her husband. She speculated that his suicide may have been caused by taking too much anxiety medication. 

2 months after death, Chuck Berry gets first music video

Chuck Berry, who pioneered rock ’n’ roll guitar playing, finally got his own music video, two months after his deathNPR reported.

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For the song “Big Boys,”  which was completed just before Berry’s death on March 18, directors Matt Bizer and Curtis Wayne Millard tapped choreographer Jeremy Green, who put together a dance sequence at a high school sock hop. The song by the 90-year-old legend is vintage Berry, with fast-paced guitar action and a frenetic beat.

Green used some hip-hop elements that gave the video more momentum and an edge, NPR reported.

“Chuck Berry tunes are a good time, and they tell stories that everyone can relate with, so we wanted to stay true to that,” Bizer and Millard told NPR in an email. 

The video. which features performers from Atlanta’s Dance 411 studio, was shot in Jasper, Georgia. 

“Big Boys” will be featured on “Chuck,” the first album of Berry material in nearly 40 years, NPR reported. It is scheduled for release on June 9 on Dualtone Records.

Harry Styles, James Corden perform ‘Carpool Karaoke’

Former One Direction singer Harry Styles and “The Late Late Show” host James Corden hit the road for “Carpool Karaoke” to sing a few songs, according to the Hollywood Reporter

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Styles and Corden began with the solo star's first single, "Sign of the Times." 

"I went somewhere else emotionally," Corden said. "You weren't here in the car."

Styles confessed that the ballad “makes me cry — in a cool way."

At one point during the ride, the two men swapped clothes. Styles wore Corden’s navy polo shirt like “an international rock star,” while Corden wore Styles’ bright shirt, looking like he was “going to a barbecue,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. 

Styles and Corden also sang Outkast's "Hey Ya" and "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. 

They also pulled over the car to talk about films, then re-enacted scenes from “Notting Hill” and “Titanic.” Styles took on the female lead roles, telling Corden that he wanted him “to draw me like one of your French girls,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Glenn Frey's son, Deacon, to perform with the Eagles

Late Eagles vocalist and guitarist Glenn Frey's son, Deacon, reportedly will perform with the Eagles during their upcoming Classic East and Classic West shows in Los Angeles and New York.

According to Billboard, Don Henley told Dallas' KTCK on Monday that Deacon would join the band for the July performances.

“There’s going to be an official announcement in a few days, but let’s just do it here,” Henley said. “Glenn’s son, Deacon, is a very talented young man, and he seems to be up for the task. He’s enthusiastic about it, and he’s been working real hard on it, and he’s gonna do it with us. And I think that’s appropriate."

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Henley added: "There’s an old system both in Eastern and Western culture called the guild system, where the father is the master and the son is the apprentice. The trade, the craft, the business is handed down from father to son. I think it’s the only appropriate way to carry on."

Henley also said there will be "one more musician along for the ride," but he wouldn't reveal the person's identity.

The Eagles will perform July 15-16 at Dodger Stadium in LA and July 29-30 at Citi Field in New York.

Read more here.

Brantley Gilbert, wife Amber expecting baby in November

If babies were flowers, then we’d all be walking through a country music garden this year. And after several years of trying, we’ve just learned that Brantley Gilbert and wife Amber will be adding their own little blossom to the field.

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Brantley and Amber have not shied away from the subject of babies since they married just two years ago. In multiple interviews, the country star admitted that they were trying, but no announcement came. That is, until now.

In an interview with People, the country star said the delay in adding to their family was beyond their control. Brantley explains, “We’d been to see a fertility specialist, and two different folks that told me it would be close to a miracle if it happened without IVF. I’m not much of a quitter, but I was really, really frustrated.”

Still, the couple waited to start in vitro fertilization. Then in February, Amber had a surprise for her husband while they were on the road. “She handed me a box and there were three pregnancy tests in there and all of them were positive,” Brantley says. “I think I stared at it for at least two minutes without saying anything because I was literally in shock. We’d been told it was just not in the cards, and I’m staring at this answer to many, many, many prayers.”

Of course, they’re both excited, but the outlaw country star, who is actually a teddy bear, admits, “I’m not an emotional guy, but this has got me crying like a baby. I’m pretty good around other folks now, but when I’m by myself, if I look at one of the pictures from the doctor’s office, I lose a few tears.”

Brantley and Amber’s first baby is due in November and the couple is planning to learn the gender in the coming weeks.

Nicki Minaj plans to launch charity for struggling students after paying fans' loans

Nicki Minaj is in a charitable mood.

>> Nicki Minaj offers to pay fans’ college costs

Earlier this month, Minaj handed out cash on Twitter to 30 struggling students, and now she wants to help many others in debt by starting her own charity.

>> Read more trending news

In a new post on Instagram, Minaj proved she actually stuck to her word and paid the fans and also hinted that she may feel like “another impromptu payment spree” soon.

>> See the post here

(H/T Essence)

Ludacris surprises mom by redecorating house for Mother’s Day

Ludacris presented an early Mother’s Day gift to his mom, completing a remodeling product she had started after moving into the rapper’s former home, The Grio reported.

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Ludacris, aka Chris Bridges, said he bought his first home in Atlanta in the early 2000s and decorated it as a bachelor’s pad that included his own logo on the wall. 

“At that point I had really no sense of style,” Ludacris said on the latest episode of “My Houzz.”

Ludacris told “My Houzz,” that he invited his mother, Roberta Shields, to move from Virginia to Georgia into his house. But although Roberta was now closer to her family, a bachelor’s theme was not something she wanted. So, she started to redecorate it.

“This is the first house that I bought when I became commercially successful and I never got rid of it,” Ludacris told Us. “I’ve been wanting to do these changes and help my mom out and make sure I make her proud.

“When she moved into it, she was wanting to make it her own,” Ludacris told The Grio. “But a lot of the rooms my mother has started on are just incomplete.” 

So, as a Mother’s Day present, Ludacris, along with his wife Eudoxie, decided to finish up the remodeling job for her. The couple worked with designer Rachel Oliver to remake the house, making it more modern and feminine.

“It makes me feel that I’m blessed beyond belief,” Roberta said after seeing her new home. “What I would say to them is, ‘Thank you for loving me.’”

“I feel like every child wants to do everything they can possibly do for their mom to give back an ounce of what their mother has given them,” Ludacris said. “This is one step closer.”

Review: Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo' join up for uplifting blues

The first collaboration by Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo' — the trailblazer and his by-now experienced disciple — is an easy listen.

It's as a blues album when "TajMo" sounds best, like Mo's resonator guitar on Sleepy John Estes' "Diving Duck Blues," Billy Branch's harmonica on opener "Don't Leave Me Here" and the gruff vocal combination on "She Knows How to Rock Me."

Mo's songs often take the music in other directions. "Om Sweet Om" features exquisite guest vocalist Lizz Wright and a refrain with a sunny, James Taylor-like disposition, while "All Around the World" has Quentin Ware's trumpet solo to accentuate its optimistic outlook, also anchored in pop sounds.

"Soul," the sole exclusive Mahal-Mo' co-write, has an indestructible beat inspired by African rhythms and lists enough global locations to assemble a geography bee. Among the detours, The Who's "Squeeze Box" has lead and rhythm accordions, while Bonnie Raitt hits an unintentional home run on John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change," with her backing vocals placed way, way, way back in the mix.

Mahal is a golden musical reservoir who also helped Mo' (born Kevin Moore) get his first recording contract, while Mo's roots as an acoustic bluesman are part of a musical identity where pop and other sounds also get their due.

"TajMo" is an apparent contradiction in terms, mostly uplifting blues. If there's a follow-up — perhaps "Keb'Mahal"? — there are plenty of other bluesy moods left to explore.

Review: Blondie's 'Pollinator' buzzes with fun hooks, guests

Blondie updates their sound of recent years on "Pollinator" by returning to some familiar and successful foundations.

Joan Jett joins the band on opener "Doom or Destiny," one of the few tracks written by Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein, but its thump sets the right tone.

"Long Time," penned by Harry and Devonte Hynes (Blood Orange), is a "Heart of Glass" offshoot and mentions the Bowery, the home of club CBGB where Blondie was an early performer along with the Ramones, Patti Smith and Television, to name a few. The nostalgia is justified, "running circles round a night that never ends."

"Already Naked" also evokes classic Blondie vibrations circa 1979, while Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio contributes "Fun" whose Nile Rodgers-like guitar and disco chorus sounds ripe for a Scissor Sisters cover, should they return.

"When I Gave Up on You" is a perfectly fine ballad marred by The Gregory Brothers' Auto-Tune shtick, but actor and comedian John Roberts' input, along with a surging horn section, boosts the merriment on "Love Level."

Closer "Fragments" starts and ends in a cloud of gloom but the band, propelled by drummer Clem Burke and Harry's passionate vocals, pulls out the stops during a vigorous middle section. At nearly seven minutes long, there's plenty of time for the mood changes and it should be a highlight of their shows.

Blondie emphasizes energy, excitement, New York vibes and solid beats on "Pollinator." The rest is up to you, pistils and stamens.

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