MUSIC NEWS: WEDNESDAY, JULY 5, 2017
PRINCE'S DRUMMER - DIES
One of Prince's drummers has died. John Blackwell Junior was 43 when he died in Florida. He had played drums for the musician for more than a decade. His wife says in an Instagram post that Blackwell died ``peacefully'' with her by his side. The medical examiner's office didn't respond to a message seeking confirmation of Blackwell's death. His wife recently set up a Go Fund Me saying her husband was being tested for tumors in his brain. The fund, which was set up four months ago, had raised about 79-thousand dollars U-S.
A CAPITOL FOURTH
A large slice of American pop music with a heaping dollop of patriotism thrown on top. That was the deal in Washington D-C last night for the annual ``A Capitol Fourth''
concert. The annual Fourth of July national picnic featured music from The Beach Boys, the Four Tops and the National Symphony Orchestra. The event, hosted by actor John Stamos, aired on P-B-S.
Mary J. Blige helped close out the Independence Day celebration in In Philadelphia a celebration that itself closes down a major thoroughfare in Philly. Blige as part of a daylong musical event on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Hundreds of thousands attended the party, which ended with a fireworks display.
NYC - CELEBRATION
Fireworks and vocal pyrotechnics both were in full effect at New York City celebration of the Fourth of July.
Among the artists performing at last night's event were Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow and Jennifer Lopez. After the singing, the audience was treated to a fireworks show staged above the East River and sponsored by Macy's. Barges launched fireworks shells at the average rate of 2,400 per minute, prompting oohs and aahs from the huge crowd. Some of the shells produced colors like purple, orange and yellow.
CONCERT SHOOTING - LITTLE ROCK
Police in Little Rock say the investigation continues into a shooting last week that left 28 people injured. And they say, as part of that investigation, they have interviewed the rapper who was performing at the venue where the mass shooting took place. It wasn't hard to track down Finese2Tymes; he's being held without bail in an incident in the Arkansas town of Forrest City. Authorities say the rapper shot someone in the neck after getting into a beef with someone he felt was blocking his way. Days later, the gunplay at the rapper's show in Little Rock broke out. Authorities haven't determined whether the two incidents are related. One 9-1-1 caller says she saw rappers with guns as they arrived at the venue.
CELINE DION - NAKED
Quebec superstar singer Celine Dion has appeared naked in a photo published on Instagram by Vogue magazine. The photo shows Dion sitting on a chair with her arms covering her breasts and her right leg crossed over her left. The caption states the photo was taken between a costume change. The post discusses Dion's love of custom-made haute couture clothing, which Vogue says she has worn almost exclusively during her performances over the past five years.
Vogue quotes Dion saying -- ``The clothes follow me; I do not follow the clothes.''
APOLOGY - RAPPER
The City of Toronto is apologizing for what it calls inappropriate content during a rapper's closing performance to the city's Canada Day festivities at Nathan Phillips Square. In a statement, the city says it expects all artists to deliver G-rated, family-friendly shows suitable for all ages, as per contracts. The city's apology comes after complaints from revellers, who also expressed their displeasure on social media, about what they said was repeated use of profanities by Belly. The Ottawa-raised Belly has been defending himself on social media, saying organizers were aware his performance would contain profanities. He has also posted various tweets denouncing censorship and promoting freedom of expression.
CAPITOL FOURTH EVENT
There was music from the Four Tops and the Beach Boys. And, of course, there were fireworks. But along with the Fourth of July picnic the nation throws for itself every Independence Day, came reminders of how the times we live in are so dangerous. As thousands streamed to the National Mall for the festivities, they had to go through security checkpoints. It was easy to spot police officers with semiautomatic rifles around their necks. And key roads were blocked by concrete barriers, military vehicles and construction equipment. Another reminder came from host John Stamos. He took time during the broadcast of ``A Capitol Fourth'' to honor special agent David Bailey of the U-S Capitol Police. He was shot while protecting members of Congress from a man who opened fire on the lawmakers during a baseball practice last month.
FOURTH OF JULY - NEW YORK
While the best-known Independence Day celebration in the country is in the nation's capital, the Big Apple made some noise of its own. And there was sure a lot of noise to be made what with 60 thousand shells of fireworks shot into the night sky over the New York City's East River. As was the case in Washington, security in New York was tight. Police had checkpoints up check bags and items like chairs and blankets had to be left behind before people could get close to the fireworks display. Before the pyrotechnics lit up the sky, there was a treat for the ears as Jennifer Lopez, Brad Paisley and Sheryl Crow performed for the crowd.
FOURTH OF JULY - PHILADELPHIA
The queen of hip hop helped cap the big Fourth of July celebration in Philadelphia. Mary J. Blige was among those who performed for the hundreds of thousands of people who partied on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. That event like the ones in D-C and New York ended with a fireworks display.
(The Associated Press)