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Music

In this photo taken on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008, Blues legend B.B. King pauses during an interview in Los Angeles. King, whose scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans while earning him the nickname King of the Blues, died late Thursday, May 14, 2015, at home in Las Vegas. He as 89.  (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Stamina, Consistency Marked B.B. King’s Legacy

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Let nothing that follows detract from B.B. King’s indelible legacy — a legacy that, though King died early Thursday at 89, stands unparalleled in the history of the blues. He was an incredible guitarist, “without a doubt the single most important electric guitarist of the last half century,” as AllMusic.com put it. He helped create a ornamented, horn-heavy version of minimalist Mississippi Delta blues without sounding like a cheesy lounge act. And he was a stand-up guy: diabetes advocate, philanthropist, friend of U2’s Bono. “From his humble beginnings as a plantation worker to his rise to world-class status as king of the blues, King not …

Kanye West, Nicki Minaj on Billboard Bill

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New York — Kanye West and Nicki Minaj have been added to the list of performers for Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards. Dick Clark Productions also announced that Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth will perform their No. 1 hit remembering actor Paul Walker, See You Again, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Imagine Dragons will pay tribute to the late Ben …

A Living in Music: Patrick Ross Plays and Records With the Urgency of Manual Labor

Saturday, May 9, 2015

It’s about time I understand That timing is everything. The heart beats for a reason. I hear it beat in rhythms that dance. — from The Fun of A Chase April 2015 journal entry by Patrick Ross At the rear of The Stone Room in Bradford, Vt., last Sunday, with 10-month-old Ophelia asleep …

With ‘Empire,’ Diversity Becomes the Watchword on TV

Monday, February 2, 2015

The 2014-15 TV season was already shaping up to be a watershed year for diversity on the major networks, thanks to the success of ABC’s black-ish and How to Get Away With Murder. The most-watched new comedy and …

Picture These Bands in Their Prime

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A shirtless Mick Jagger, relaxing poolside in Clearwater, Fla., in 1965, intently studies the back cover of Bob Dylan’s then-new Bringing It All Back Home album, still in the shrink wrap. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr gaze with delight as George Harrison tosses a yellow balloon …

Old Meets New in Planned Grammy Duets

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Young will meet old — again — at this year’s Grammy Awards. In keeping with longstanding tradition, the Recording Academy has arranged several May-December duets for the Feb. 8 ceremony, organizers announced Wednesday, including planned performances by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Hozier and Annie Lennox, and Jessie …

‘Stay With Me’ Credits Expand

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In a surprise backstage maneuver involving British crooner Sam Smith’s Grammy-nominated breakout hit, Stay with Me, both Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne’s names have been added to the song’s writing credits. Despite never having officially collaborated, Smith, Petty and Lynne now share credit with two others due to …

Still Rockin’ the Road at 81

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Las Vegas — Another Saturday night on Earth. How is this one different? “Honestly, nothing is distinct after a while,” Willie Nelson confesses. He’s talking about life on the road at 81, when wisdom makes the totality of …

If Elvis Were Still Alive ...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What if Elvis Presley had lived? In August 1977, the singer was found unconscious in his Graceland home and later pronounced dead at age 42. But what if the King of Rock ’n’ Roll had in fact been …

With Interest Down, Piano Stores Close

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Washington — For months, Nick Margaritas has been reading stories of his coming demise. His intention, when he set up the alert for any news articles about “piano sales,” was to keep tabs on his world. What he …

Grateful Dead to Reunite for Final Concerts

Saturday, January 17, 2015

New York — The Grateful Dead is coming back to life for final concerts in July. The band announced Friday that surviving members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir will perform three shows from July 3-5 at Soldier Field in Chicago. The band is celebrating …

Concert Set to Honor Stevie Wonder

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New York — Willie Nelson, Usher and Coldplay’s Chris Martin will pay tribute to Stevie Wonder at a concert next month. The Recording Academy announced Wednesday that Ed Sheeran and Janelle Monae will also perform at Stevie Wonder: …

‘Empire’ Scores Big Ratings for Fox, But Can It Soar?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Empire, Fox’s new drama starring Terrence Howard as a hip-hop mogul and Taraji P. Henson as his ex-wife and competitor, is looking like a potential triumph for the network: About 10 million people tuned in the premiere last …