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Watch Def Leppard's New Video for 'We Belong': Exclusive Premiere

Def Leppard's new live DVD is still a few weeks away — and today they're offering fans a sneak peek with a bonus feature from the package. Continue reading…

Watch the Rolling Stones' New Video For 'Ride 'Em On Down'

"Ride 'Em On Down" arrives today as part of 'Blue and Lonesome', the Rolling Stones' first original studio effort since 2005's 'A Bigger Bang.' Continue reading…

Rapper Kendrick Lamar performs in Miami for Art Basel party

Hot, sticky and sweaty, rapper Kendrick Lamar performed Thursday night inside a spaceship-looking dome on the beach as part of the Art Basel Miami Beach festivities.

During the intimate 75-minute show, Lamar first took off his outer shirt and continually wiped sweat from his face, jokingly complaining that if he had to sweat all night long that the crowd better show him some love.

Midway through the show he took several water bottles from the stage and passed them out to the audience. By the end, the Grammy-award winning rapper thanked the crowd of about 400, guessing that some had "lost 10 pounds in sweat."

"That's enough (expletive) sweat to last a lifetime," he said sincerely, thanking the crowd for not caring about mussing up their "cardigans" and fancy clothes so they could jump and dance during the close-quartered show.

Alicia Keys had the same problem during her performance here last year when the humid South Florida weather kept fogging up her sunglasses.

Lamar interacted frequently with audience members, at one point grabbing a woman's hand saying she had made his night. He stopped the show more than once to sign shirts, shoes and other trinkets.

"Your energy is what I pull from when I go into the studio and write what I write so I gotta show back the love," said Lamar, who performed hits including "m.A.A.d city City," ''i" and "B----, Don't Kill my Vibe".

As he rapped, black-and-white images played across the walls and ceiling of the dome. Some were mundane — telephone operators, money counting machines and a space shuttle. But other images included political and pop culture figures. Bill O'Reilly's famous meltdown on "Inside Edition" played repeatedly during one song, and later showed Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush and Muhammed Ali.

The ethereal looking pop-up dome that hosted Amex Music Meets Art outside the Faena hotel looked as if it had dropped from the sky and was just steps away from the waves. Artist Shantell Martin live sketched a massive mural mapped to the beat of the music just outside the dome. The concert was just one of many parties to celebrate the prestigious art fair, which draws a heavy celebrity crowd.

Noticing some writing on a fan's clothing that said "Places and Faces," Lamar said he had just written a song with those words and sang a few bars "from a Swisher Sweet to a hotel suite" to an enthusiastic crowd.

"We are on the same wave," he said.

Earlier this year, Lamar helped President Barack Obama celebrate his final Fourth of July at the White House. The president has repeatedly said he is a fan of Lamar, saying "How Much a Dollar Cost" is his favorite song of 2015.

Lamar saved "Alright," a song that has become a sort of theme for police brutality protests, for one of his last numbers, telling the crowd "we celebrate love tonight, not hate."

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Corrects to rapper from singer in third paragraph.

Dead and Company Announce 2017 U.S. Tour

The John Mayer-fronted band with three founders of the Grateful Dead will play amphitheaters and stadiums in the late spring of 2017.

Continue reading…

Guns N' Roses Invited Mexican Fans to Beat a Donald Trump Pinata

Guns N' Roses' concert in Mexico City last night included a special guest ... sort of.

Continue reading…

Shelton, Lambert to headline 2017 Bayou Country Superfest

Some of the biggest names in country music will headline the 2017 Bayou Country Superfest, which moves from Louisiana's capital to the Superdome in New Orleans for its eighth year.

Organizers on Thursday unveiled the lineup, which features Miranda Lambert, Brooks & Dunn, Rascal Flatts, Brett Eldredge, Jon Pardi and Chris Lane on Saturday, May 27, and Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett, Hank Williams Jr., Old Dominion, Dan + Shay and Maddie & Tae on Sunday, May 28.

The three-day festival, held over the Memorial Day holiday, includes a free, kick-off celebration on Friday, May 26 to be held at Champions Square, outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It features Easton Corbin, Eric Paslay and Dylan Scott.

Quint Davis, the festival's producer, said they're looking to reinvent the festival since it's moved from LSU's outdoor Tiger Stadium to inside the air-conditioned Superdome.

"We wanted to make it bigger, make it new, make it more special," Davis said. "In air-conditioned comfort, with no possibility of rain, the Bayou Country Superfest party will rock harder than ever."

As a result, there are three headliners on each night of the festival and a total of six acts each night, he said.

"This lineup is a great example of having a bigger, broader roster of talent that appeals to everyone," he said. "We've got everything a fan can hope for, from the young, hot stars to the great country music icons."

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in a statement, said the city was "thrilled" to welcome the festival. "This event adds yet another thread in the festival and music-filled fabric that New Orleans is so well-known for. We pride ourselves on our ability to host a wide range of large-scale events and look forward to inviting country music fans to our great city."

Davis said he hoped the event would continue to draw fans from around the state who annually trekked to Baton Rouge to see some of the genre's top stars.

"Hopefully, there will be a whole new population of people spending a holiday weekend in New Orleans," he said. "Those who attended for years, from Lafayette and Houma, hopefully they'll still come down. Think of it like we're hosting the country music equivalent of LSU in the Sugar Bowl."

Tickets and VIP Packages go on sale Thursday, Dec. 8.

New 'Hamilton' CD features songs by Alicia Keys, Sia, Usher

The Broadway megahit "Hamilton" has already spawned a best-selling cast album, a PBS documentary and a book about its creation. Now it's spinning off a CD by fans who happen to be some of popular music's biggest stars.

The 23-track "Hamilton Mixtape," set for release Friday, features covers by such artists as Usher, Kelly Clarkson, Nas, Ben Folds, Alicia Keys, Ashanti, John Legend, Sia, Common, Wiz Khalifa, Queen Latifah, The Roots, Jill Scott and Busta Rhymes.

It was unveiled Thursday during a four-song performance at the Broadway home of "Hamilton" at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, which was packed with those who had won an online lottery. A live stream also captured the event.

Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter of The Roots served as host, and he helped open the show with his version of "My Shot." There were also performances by Ashanti and Ja Rule ("Helpless"), Andra Day ("Burn") and Regina Spektor ("Dear Theodosia").

The album features songs from the show that have been reworked with new arrangements and new lyrics, as well as demos that never made the show, remixes and new songs like "Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)."

Highlights include Legend reimagining "History Has Its Eyes On You" as a gospel anthem, Clarkson turning "It's Quiet Uptown" into a power ballad and TV host Jimmy Fallon channeling his inner-Broadway with "You'll Be Back."

Joell Ortiz, a New York rapper who is featured on the mixtape, said he thinks the new album has more appeal to a non-Broadway audience. "I have friends who have never been to Broadway," he said. "I realized they're just scared of it. The buildings seem big and the elevators seem like places they don't belong."

Lin-Manuel Miranda's hip-hop-flavored biography about the first U.S. treasury secretary has become a hot ticket on Broadway and has birthed a production in Chicago, with plans for others for San Francisco and London.

The mixtape is in many ways a return to the roots of the project, which began as a collection of songs inspired by hip-hop artists. When Miranda was writing "Helpless," he admits he was thinking of Ashanti and Ja Rule singing it.

Ja Rule went to see the show without high expectations, fearful the mix of rap and Broadway wouldn't work. He left "blown away" and a Miranda fan. "This is the beauty of what he did: He took something so left and fused it with something so right and made it so right," he said before hitting the stage.

The mixtape arrives after the cast album has sold more than 2 million copies and won a Grammy for best musical theater album. It debuted at No. 12 on Billboard's album charts — the highest for a cast album debut since 1963. The new mixtape is executive produced by Miranda and Questlove of The Roots.

Producer and DJ !llmind, who produced four tracks on the mixtape, said the biggest challenge of putting together the new album was maintaining the integrity of the original songs while also making them new and fresh.

"Trust me, it was definitely a challenge," he said. "Sometimes it was like 'OK, we're on our 15th revision' and then we end up going back to the original one. That's just the nature of music but it was a hell of a lot of fun doing this."

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

How many days does it take Rolling Stones to make an album?

The Rolling Stones initially went into the studio to create original rock music, but after rehearsing blues songs to flex their musical muscles, they took an unintended path.

They recorded an entire blues album, and it only took them three days.

"It was really quick, super quick. It was really fun to do something that fast. And you didn't really have time to analyze and think and overdub," Mick Jagger said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. "I didn't know if it was any good ... it was just too fast, and I listened back and in the end we used all the songs we recorded."

"Blue & Lonesome," the iconic rock group's first album in 11 years, is out Friday. The 12-track set, recorded last December at British Grove Studios in West London, includes covers of blues songs from Jimmy Reed, Little Walter, Eddie Taylor and more. Eric Clapton, who was recording at the same studio, plays guitar on two tracks, while Jagger plays the harp throughout.

The idea of recording a full blues record came after Keith Richards suggested they play Memphis Slim's "Blue and Lonesome" to warm up.

"We had no intention of making a blues album," Richards said. "'Let's make a blues album' just ain't us, you know. But at the end of the sessions we said, 'We made a blues album!'"

Jagger then started suggesting more artists to cover, from Howlin' Wolf to Willie Dixon: "Mick basically was coming out with most of the ones he wanted to do. And you know, when you're in a band, what the singer wants to do is what you do — that way you get the best performance," Richards said.

Charlie Watts said the album, produced by Don Was and The Glimmer Twins, was easy to record because it reminded the band of their earlier work.

"It's really back to what we did when we started," he said. "It's what we started doing at Edith Grove ... that's what we used to do when Mick was at London School of Economics."

Ronnie Wood added that starting with original songs but ending with a blues album was "a great accident." Of the original material they started with, he said: "That was going fine, but they all take time to cook and to settle."

Wood added that he didn't have a hand in picking which songs to cover, but their cover of Jimmy Reed's "Little Rain" is a winner with his kids.

"And it surprised me when we got to Jimmy Reed because 'Little Rain' would have been the last song I would have that we would have done, and I'm really pleased — it's like a lullaby to my little twin babies. They love it," he said.

The Stones will also release "The Rolling Stones Ole Ole Ole!: A Trip Across Latin America" to 300 U.S. theaters on Dec. 12 for one night only. It includes footage from their tour of Latin America this year, which included a historic show in Cuba.

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Online:

http://www.rollingstones.com/

Song for 7-month-old daughter moves John Legend to tears

John Legend's favorite track off his new album, "Darkness and Light," was written for a very special lady: His 7-month-old daughter, Luna.

"When I played it for her and Chrissy for the first time, I just started crying because it felt so real to me and felt so appropriate for how I feel as a new father," Legend said of the melancholy ballad titled "Right by You (For Luna)."

The Grammy-winning singer welcomed his first child with wife Chrissy Teigen in April.

In "Right by You" Legend ponders the kind of person his daughter will become.

"New parents have questions more than they have answers and that's what we wanted the song to reflect," Legend, 37, said in an interview last week. "You know, will you live like me? Will you look like me? Will you have your mother's fire? Will you think like me?"

The Hollywood couple's passionate love story permeates Legend's fifth studio album, out Friday. It's his first album in three years, following the massive success of the No. 1 hit, "All of Me," and Oscar and Grammy wins for "Glory" from the film "Selma."

"The theme of 'Darkness and Light' is — it's that idea that there is trouble in the world, there is darkness, there is uncertainty, but we have light. We have love in our lives that we can hold on to," he said. "We named our daughter Luna, which literally is the moon, the light in the darkness."

The crooner stays true to his soul and gospel roots on "Darkness," while weaving in his signature pop inflections. He recruited Alabama Shakes' producer Blake Mills for the project, and even duets with the Shakes' Brittany Howard for the sultry title track. Chance the Rapper appears on the funky and retro "Penthouse Floor," while Legend sings with former collaborator Miguel on the smooth jam "Overload," about his life in the limelight.

Legend reteamed with "All of Me" director Nabil Elderkin to film couples highlighting various social issues in the music video for his carpe-diem anthem "Love Me Now."

Along with images of his wife and daughter, the video features couples from a refugee camp in Northern Iraq and North Dakota's Standing Rock Reservation, where members demonstrated against the Dakota Access pipeline. Another scene follows a survivor of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando.

"I didn't want all these conditions in the world to happen for the album to feel so timely and for the video to feel so timely, but they have happened and they are happening," Legend said. "Hopefully it will help people kind of get through that and give them ... some warmth in the winter and some light in the darkness."

He also hopes his passion for social justice translates to one fan in particular — his daughter.

"I want her to know that she's in a privileged place, but that there's a lot of people that are less privileged. I want her to know where I come from, where her mother comes from. We both come from working-class families that didn't always have it easy," he said. "And I want her to be grateful for what she has, but also to be kind and considerate and giving and aware of what's happening around the world."

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Online:

https://www.johnlegend.com/

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Follow Nicole Evatt on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NicoleEvatt

Neil Diamond to celebrate career with world tour

Neil Diamond took "Song Sung Blue" to the top of the charts, and now he promises to leave "no song unsung" when he takes the stage next year for a world tour.

The 75-year-old singer-songwriter promises to play the highlights of his discography on his upcoming "50 Year Anniversary World Tour" — including songs he wrote for the 1960s TV rock band The Monkees.

"Especially stuff from The Monkees," Diamond told The Associated Press before taking the stage at the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday night. Diamond wrote several songs for the band, including "I'm a Believer," which has sold more than 10 million copies.

The first leg of the tour kicks off in Fresno, California, on April 7, and goes through August, including a stop in New York in June. Other stops include Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles.

"We play all over the United States, North America, and then we will find other places to go," he said.

The Grammy winner's hits also include "Cracklin' Rosie," ''Sweet Caroline" and "Love on the Rocks." He has sold over 125 million albums and has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Diamond said he feels energized when he performs for his fans. "People have been loyal and listening to you for years, so you just want to give them everything. Let it all wash over them, and make sure everybody has a great time."

He said performing at the tree lighting ceremony was like "coming home."

"I walked these streets. I went hungry in these streets, and I'm happy to be back and to be welcomed by the New Yorkers."

Diamond promises to pull out all the stops on his tour.

"They can expect me to give everything I possibly can. I will leave no stone unturned, and no song unsung."

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Online:

http://www.neildiamond.com

Follow AP Entertainment producer John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci

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