*John Legend andAlicia Keys will take part in the upcoming Grammy special “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute To The Beatles.”
Organizers announced the line up Monday, which will include Annie Lennox and Award winner Dave Stewart, who will reunite as the Eurythmics for one night only; 14-time Grammy Award winner Keys and nine-time Grammy Award winner Legend together in a special performance.
Singer Emeli Sande visits the Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show at Z100 Studio on April 25, 2013 in New York City
*Singer-songwriter Emeli Sande has broken The Beatles’ long-standing record for the most consecutive weeks spent in the top ten of the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart.
The Scottish songstress’s Brit Award-winning debut album “Our Version of Events,” released in February 2012, has held a slot in the charts for 63 consecutive weeks, beating the previous record held by the Fab Four for their release “Please Please Me,” which spent 62 weeks somewhere in the top 10 between 1963 and 1964.
Sande’s “Our Version of Events” has gone on to become the bestselling album of 2012 in the U.K. with over 1.82 million copies sold, according to the Official Albums Chart.
In an interview with the Official Charts Company, Sande described herself as being completely lost for words.
“The Beatles are the greatest band of all time and their legacy lives on and continues to inspire all of us that make music,” she said. “I’m so happy that so many people have connected with the stories and the songs on the record, this really is our version of events now. I’d like to say thank you to everyone that has bought, played or shared my music in the last year, without your support this would never have been possible.”
“Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” made its U.S. debut Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, only a handful of miles away from the old Motown Records headquarters where Jackson got his start as a member of The Jackson 5, says the Associated Press.
The two-hour show incorporates the magnificent talent of Cirque’s acrobatic performances and the sheer showmanship Jackson was known for.
“Michael was a performer that was not just music. He was dance. He was cinema. He had a humanitarian side,” said Kevin Antunes, the “Immortal” show’s musical designer. “So, you can take all of that and put it all into the show. That’s where I think the difference is.”
If you go see the show, expect the Cirque version of “Smooth Criminal,” “Thriller,” and other classics. The show will tour around the country through July 2012, but more dates will be added. And by 2013, it will take permanent residence at the Mandalay Bay Theatre in Las Vegas.
Speaking of “Immortal,” the unreleased music and remixed versions of the Jackson hits will hit stores on Nov. 21 and will feature 37 tracks.
*Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive charity will honor late Beatle guitarist George Harrison at its annual Black Ball event next month in New York.
Harrison was chosen for his “philanthropic contributions to India,” the organization announced today.
Keys will perform alongside Usher, Norah Jones and will.i.am at the Nov. 3 show at Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom. Mary J. Blige, Gary Clark Jr., Jay Sean and Midival Punditz with Karsh Kale will also hit the stage.
Harrison died of lung cancer at age 58 in 2001.
The event marks the eighth year for Keep a Child Alive, which helps children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.
*Legendary singer Roberta Flack is putting the finishing touches on a collection of Beatles classics for a new album that will be her first in more than eight years.
Scheduled for early February 2012, the project will be released through 429 Records/Sony ATV Music Publishing and Flack’s RAS Records. Lead single “We Can Work It Out” is available worldwide exclusively today (Sept. 27) at iTunes. [Scroll down to listen.]
Last seen performing a duet with Maxwell at the 2010 Grammy Awards, Flack collaborated on her new album with producer Sherrod Barnes and contributing producers Jerry Barnes and Barry Miles. “My passion for the project comes from the magical genius of the greatest songwriters of all time,” says the four-time Grammy winner in a statement. “Love, inspiration, friendship and my own life’s lessons come together when I sing the songs they created.”
Best known for such hits as “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Killing Me Softly” and her 1969 breakthrough debut album “First Take,” Flack continues to tour worldwide and is also planning a new tour next year. She founded the Roberta Flack School of Music in Bronx, NY in 2006.
*A soon-to-be-auctioned Beatles contract for a 1965 California concert reveals that the group took a firm stand in support of the era’s civil rights movement, refusing to play before a segregated audience.
The contact, which is signed by the Liverpool group’s manager, Brian Epstein, specifies that they “not be required to perform in front of a segregated audience” for their August 31, 1965, show at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California.
The document will be auctioned on Sept. 20 by Nate D. Sanders in Los Angeles, reports Reuters.
The Beatles took a public stand on civil rights in 1964, during their first American tour, when they refused to perform at a segregated concert at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida. City officials relented, allowing the stadium to be integrated, and the band did take the stage for that show.
The Cow Palace concert was part of the Beatles’ third major tour of the United States. Signed on March 24, 1965, the contract guaranteed the band $40,000 against gross box office receipts of more than $77,000.
In addition to the desegregation requirement, the agreement called for at least 150 uniformed police officers for protection and a special drumming platform for Ringo.
The contract is estimated to sell between $3,000 and $5,000.