Music Icons Bid Goodbye

The year 2016 is not yet halfway but the music industry has already lost several of its music icons. There’s David Bowie, Maurice White, Glenn Frey and Prince. It’s always sad to see great and unique musicians pass away but the good thing about this is they leave their music behind that can still be played over and over again by their fans, young and old alike.

David Bowie

The death of David Bowie shocked music fans worldwide. The British rock n’ roll legend passed on January 10 at the age of 69 after a long battle with cancer. He has two children (Alexandria and Duncan) with model wife Iman. Read More

Natalie Cole Remembered

She may not have been satisfied with how her music career went as she was always under the shadow of her famous dad but now that she’s gone, Natalie Cole is very well remembered by her millions of fans worldwide. For music fans, Natalie Cole made her own mark in the industry contrary to what she thought of herself.

Natalie Cole died on new year’s eve at the age of 65. She was confined at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and suffered complications from ongoing health problems, as stated by her family. Read More

The Spice Girls to Mark 20th Anniversary

It may have been nearly 20 years already but the Spice Girls and their songs are still well remembered by their fans all over the world. Who could ever forget their lovely faces, great voices and energetic performances?

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of this once popular all-girl British pop group. It’s been almost two decades since the Spice Girls released their first hit song “Wannabe” that catapulted them to fame. That same year 1996 saw the group perform at the Newcastle Arena, a famous venue that had established global stars. Read More

Spandau Ballet Takes on The World Anew

It’s been more than three decades since Spandau Ballet took the world by storm with its hit songs. This English new wave band captured the hearts of millions of music fans worldwide who have not forgotten their songs up to now. The group eventually became one of the most successful bands in the so-called New Romantic era.

Formed in London in the late 1970s, Spandau Ballet is composed of five men, two of them brother – Gary and Martin Kemp who both play the guitars. Tony Hadley is the lead vocalist while John Keeble plays the drums and Steve Norman plays the saxophone.

Spandau Ballet before

The band made several hit albums eight of which made it to the U.K. Top 10 charts and was the recipient of the Brit Award in 1984. Their number one single was True released in 1983 while Gold made it to the number two spot. But like any other bands, Spandau Ballet also split up in 1990.

So where are the members now and what have they been up to? During their 20-year hiatus, the band members pursued their own careers. The Kemp brothers pursued an acting career while the others continued to perform. Despite problems they faced including a legal suit filed against one member, the band members were able to keep their friendship.

It was in 2009 when the group reunited for a world tour covering eight cities. Tickets were sold out as expected. Later that year, Spandau Ballet released a new album entitled Once More which made it to the U.K. Top 10.

In 2014, Spandau Ballet reunited primarily to promote a documentary about the band and the 1980s culture. Entitled Soul Boys of the Western World, the documentary premiered at the Royal Albert Hall but was also shown at the South by Southwest and during the Cannes Films Festival. The members also appeared on the ITV show in the U.S. where they performed their hit single “True.” In the same year, the group members started working on a new material.

Spandau Ballet now

This year, the well loved British band is going on a world tour called Soulboys of the Western World Tour covering several countries including the U.S. Their recent concert in the Philippines where they are such a big hit was a huge success.

Martin Kemp said “re-touring is like going back to school and reliving those days and there’s no better feeling than when all five of us are on stage together.” He expressed elation over the fact that crowds still sing their songs back to them while performing on stage. “I love getting on that stage for two hours and performing,” he added.

Prior to their world tour, though, Spandau Ballet again appeared on a number of U.S. television shows such as The Today Show and The Talk. On both those shows, they performed their most requested and most played hit song “True.”

A Tribute to Frank Sinatra’s Centennial

This year marks the 100th birth anniversary and 76th year in the music industry of Ol’ Blue Eyes. But although Frank Sinatra may no longer by physically present to celebrate these milestones in his life, his family and millions of fans around the world are paying tribute.

Frank Sinatra

Sinatra’s daughter Tina said his father’s lasting appeal goes beyond memorable music – “it’s his style and swagger.” The famous American swooner would have celebrated his centennial year in December 2015. He died in 1998 but continued to gain fans worldwide through his songs and movies.

As part of this tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes, a Grammy Museum exhibit is now ongoing at the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center entitled “Sinatra: An American Icon.” The exhibit which showcases Sinatra’s personal items including his childhood toys, cigarette lighters and bedroom slippers will be held until September 4 after which it will go around the U.S. Read More

Lady Gaga: From Loud to Sedate

Music fans know very well how Lady Gaga grabbed international attention a few years ago when she launched her singles and album. She was loud in her makeup, hairstyle, headdresses, dance movements, costumes and even in her songs. For the most part, she was showing much flesh and when performed on stage, it was always with drama.

Lady Gaga in Oscars

But time can change things and so for Lady Gaga, it was time to change her image and even her music. The transformation receive positive feedback resulting in great admiration for the singer.

This year, the bold singer surprised fans worldwide with her Sound of Music tribute at the 87th Annual Academy Awards. She wore only her white gown during the entire performance with no costume changes and dance moves. The most notable that night was her powerful voice which was truly fit for the medley of songs she sang. In fact, critics said her performance was perfect and deserving a standing ovation. A bonus for Lady Gaga was a hug from the Sound of Music main star herself, Julie Andrews. Read More

Madonna Still Rocks the Stage

She may be past her 50s but Madonna is still rocking the music scene and she never ceases to surprise her avid fans. Her recent performance at the Coachella Festival was a testimony of how she can still sing and dance at her best and even create a stir.

Madonna Grammys 2015

The 56-year-old Madonna apparently shocked her fans when she planted a French kiss on 28-year-old Canadian rapper Drake during a performance of her new single Human Nature at the Coachella Festival. She got a lot of negative feedback for that but the American singer, songwriter and actress replied to her bashers on social media saying “If you don’t like me and still watch everything I do, you’re a fan.”

She also thanked fellow rock star Rita Ora for defending the discrimination she received after that kissing incident onstage. Drake, for his part, clarified that he enjoyed Madonna’s kiss contrary to what other people are saying. Read More

Fast and Furious 7 Singles Released

Avid fans of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and the Fast and Furious film series should be able to enjoy now the sounds of the upcoming sequel set for release this April 3rd. Two singles from the Furious 7: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack were released last February 17 via Atlantic Records while the entire soundtrack is set to be released on March 17. This follows the release of the official trailer of the 7th sequel of the Fast and Furious 7 film a few months back.

Furious 7 Movie Poster

Wiz Khalifa is featured in the soundtrack. His two previously unreleased remixes are among the eight new recordings included. Unknown to some fans, Khalifa is also behind the Fast & Furious 6 anthem entitled “We Own It” which he did with 2Chainz.

The latest two singles released last week were “Ride Out” from Kid Ink, Y.G., Wale, Tyga & Rich Home Quan as well as “Go Hard Or Go Home” by Khalifa and Iggy Azalea. Their videos were also released recently with “Ride Out” being featured on MTV Jams. Read More

Singing About the Comfort Women

A beautiful thing about music is how it, like other forms of art through history, captures a moment in time, becoming a way to address current issues in a language that transcends languages. Political songs are not new; from Bob Marley’s I Shot the Sheriff to John Lennon’s Imagine, music that speaks directly to one’s heart is sometimes the best way to handle a controversial topic.

Such is the case in the following song about comfort women- aptly titled “Comfort Women Song”:

The Japan comfort women were women in the second World War who serviced the military in various comfort stations throughout Asia. In 1993, more than twenty years ago, the Japanese Government made several investigations into the issue before publicly apologizing in the well-known Kono Statement:

“The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.”
Source

The atonement also included personal letters of apology written to all surviving comfort women, and millions of dollars disbursed to the latter through the special government-run foundation, the Asian Women’s Fund.

The issue has, however, recently been brought up anew, particularly by the South Korean and Chinese governments- both of whom, it should be noted, have ongoing disputes with Japan over island territories. It’s clear that the topic has become politicized.

Here are a few more “Political Songs” we love:

Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit

It’s sometimes hard to believe this anti-racism is more than 75 years old; referring to the lynching of black men, it still gives us chills:

The Clash’s Clampdown

An anthem for the disgruntled working class.

John Lennon’s Imagine

We love this one because it’s less Anti-War and more Pro-Peace.

K-Pop Group Loses 2 Members in a Tragic Accident

Ladies' Code in October 2013

Earlier this month, popular K-Pop girl group Ladies’ Code was involved in a motor accident, resulting in the death of two of their members.

It was raining heavily he van carrying the group crashed into a guard rail on a highway near Seoul. They were on their way back to the South Korean capital after recording a television program in Daegu, a city in the southeast. Witnesses reported seeing the van roll over multiple times.

Twenty-two year old Go Eun-bi, known as EunBi, died shortly after the accident. Kwon Ri-sae, popularly known as RiSe, was treated for severe cranial and abdominal injuries, and was in critical condition, comatose, for four days before passing away. The group’s final two members, Ashley, Sojung and Zuny, were injured but survived the crash.

There was much mourning at the recent funeral for EunBi, attended by hundreds of mourners, including many from the world of K-Pop. The K-Pop music scene is thriving in South Korea, a nation which has had many international problems lately, including ongoing hostilities with North Korea, and a disturbing lawsuit filed against the government by Korean War US comfort women.

The song below, I’m Fine Thank You from the group’s second album has topped several real-time music charts.

Ladies’ Code was first formed in February last year by Polaris Entertainment. Their debut song, Bad Girl, was an instant hit.