MUSIC NEWS: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2015
ACM AWARDS NARROW DOWN NEW ARTIST FINALISTS
Thomas Rhett, Sam Hunt and Cole Swindell will face off for the Academy of Country Music New Artist of the Year award. They were the top three vote-getters, based on votes from fans and the A-C-M professional membership. Fans and the A-C-M members will determine the winner. Voting begins April 8th and running until the A-C-M telecast begins at 8 P-M Eastern on April 19th. Semifinalists who were eliminated were Dan and Shay, Brett Eldredge, Tyler Farr, Kip Moore and Chase Rice.
VANILLA ICE ARRESTED
Vanilla Ice has been charged with stealing items from an abandoned home. Police in Lantana, Florida, say Vanilla Ice had been renovating a home next door when he took furniture, a pool heater, bikes and other items from the abandoned home sometime during December and February. They say some of the items were found at his property. Vanilla Ice was charged yesterday with burglary of residence and grand theft. He was taken into custody, then released last night on a six-thousand-dollar bond.
TWO MEMBERS OF NICKI MINAJ'S TEAM STABBED
Nicki Minaj says two men who had just joined her tour as team members have been stabbed, one fatally. Minaj tweeted the two men had flown into Philadelphia for rehearsals two days ago. Philadelphia police say a 29-year-old man was killed and a 26-year-old man is critically wounded. Their names were not given.
Police say a man started arguing with the victims inside a bar early yesterday and pulled a knife once they got outside. Police are offering a 20-thousand-dollar reward for information leading to an arrest. Minaj calls the stabbings ``another senseless act of violence that took the life of a great guy.''
JIMMY PAGE DEFENDS LED ZEPPELIN'S EXCESSES
Led Zeppelin in their heyday needed a bit of extravagance, according to Jimmy Page. He says they got a reputation for excesses like private planes, but that had a practical side.
Page says they would base themselves out of New York and fly to the surrounding cities for concerts. He says they'd play five nights a week and three hours a night, so with that schedule a private plane didn't seem so excessive to them. The deluxe edition of Led Zeppelin's ``Physical Graffiti'' album comes out Tuesday, 40 years to the day since its original release. Yahoo Live will stream the deluxe album today at 2 P-M Eastern, and Page will answer questions from fans afterward.
CANADIAN DRAKE HITS NUMBER ONE
Drake's album was a surprise. Drake's album hitting number one this week was not. ``If You're Reading This It's Too Late'' is tops on the Billboard album chart with just three days of sales and all of them digital. It sold 495-thousand copies, plus 40-thousand digital stream equivalents, which Billboard now uses to compute album rankings. It's Drake's fourth number-one album.
KEITH, LAUPER, DIXON SET FOR SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME
Toby Keith says being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame means so much to him, it will be the only award he keeps on his desk. Keith, Cyndi Lauper and bluesman Willie Dixon are among the acts who will be inducted in the Songwriters Hall on June 18th in New York. Other inductees include Linda Perry, Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead and country songwriter Bobby Braddock, who wrote ``D.I.V.O.R.C.E.'' for Tammy Wynette and ``He Stopped Loving Her Today'' for George Jones.
BLUES FOUNDATION WILL INDUCT ERIC CLAPTON, LITTLE RICHARD
Eric Clapton and Little Richard will be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. They will be inducted along with Tommy Brown, who had a number-one R-and-B hit in 1951 with the Griffin Brothers called ``Weepin' and Cryin'.'' They will be inducted the first weekend in May, which is also when the Blues Music Awards are given out and the Blues Hall of Fame will open in Memphis, Tennessee.
MTVU WOODIE AWARDS ANNOUNCE NOMINEES
J. Cole, Sam Smith and Charli XCX are among those facing off for Woodie of the Year at the mtvU Woodie Awards. They'll compete against Run The Jewels, Porter Robinson and FKA Twigs. The awards are based off M-T-V's college network and winners get chunks of wood. Other nominees include Childish Gambino, Beyonce', Drake, Lil Wayne, Sia (SEE'-ah) and Skrillex. The awards will be given out March 20th in Austin, Texas, and for the first time the main MT-V channel will carry the show live.
We now know half of the Top 24 on this season of ``American Idol.'' But the judges had a tough time deciding on one of the finalists going on to the live shows. So, the judges had Maddie Walker and Rachel Hallack do what was called a spontaneous sing-off. The judges gave an ever-so-slight edge to 16-year-old Maddie, who will compete on the live shows. Daniel Seavey also makes it through. At 15, he's the youngest contestant still in the running this season. One of the best performances on last night's House of Blues show came from 16-year-old Tyanna Jones. She's one of 11 kids in her family, which was homeless for a time. The final selections for the Top 24 continue tonight.