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  • Prince given a worthy tribute by the BET Awards

    Prince given a worthy tribute by the BET Awards

    Prince hated tributes. He yanked covers of his music off YouTube, and generally loathed it when people played his songs. How could he not? Excepting Sinead O’Connor, were they ever remotely up to par with the original?  But it’s hard to imagine that he wouldn’t have been pleased on some cosmic...

  • Passion, politics and Prince: How the BET Awards captured a moment

    Passion, politics and Prince: How the BET Awards captured a moment

    The list of things you’ll encounter when watching the BET Awards and no other awards show is a long one, and of course it begins with black people speaking without interference to one another on national television. In the era of #OscarsSoWhite, it was a beautiful thing, indeed, to see actor Jesse...

  • Kanye West's 'Famous' premiere is only skin-deep

    Kanye West's 'Famous' premiere is only skin-deep

    When you’re Kanye West, a music video is not just a music video, it’s a “visual.” And a premiere for your “visual” is not just a small-screen event, it’s a ticketed spectacle at a Los Angeles arena in front of thousands. On Friday, fans braved the 110 and 405 freeways at rush hour to get to the...

  • Kanye West unveils risque 'Famous' video featuring naked celebrities, tweets he is ready to be sued

    Kanye West unveils risque 'Famous' video featuring naked celebrities, tweets he is ready to be sued

    A shaky camera lingers on a row of sleeping figures sprawled on a very large bed: Billy Cosby, Caitlyn Jenner, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Donald Trump and even President George W. Bush — breasts and rumps exposed. Nestled into the middle of what appears to be this post-orgy pile is none other than...

  • Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs find that collaborating isn't always easy

    Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs find that collaborating isn't always easy

    When singer/songwriter k.d. lang had a notion to form a supergroup, her inspiration was the Traveling Wilburys, an act that counted the likes of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne as members.  So she shot emails to two contenders: Neko Case, whose breathtaking lyricism...

  • It's brother and sister against brother and sister in bitter fight over control of Frank Zappa's legacy

    It's brother and sister against brother and sister in bitter fight over control of Frank Zappa's legacy

    Inside a home recording studio known as the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, where the late Frank Zappa composed and recorded some of his most adventurous works, his youngest son, Ahmet, reflects on his father’s legacy. It is a rich musical heritage from one of rock ’n’ roll’s most beloved figures,...

  • Bluegrass music patriarch Ralph Stanley dies at 89

    Bluegrass music patriarch Ralph Stanley dies at 89

    Ralph Stanley “carried the ancient sounds,” in the words of his protege Ricky Skaggs. Skaggs and others noted an uncanny quality in the style of the bluegrass patriarch — an ability to summon the mysterious. Stanley, who died Thursday at 89, was mesmerizing new fans with it to his last days. The...

  • Led Zeppelin didn't steal music for 'Stairway to Heaven,' jury finds

    Led Zeppelin didn't steal music for 'Stairway to Heaven,' jury finds

    Rock giant Led Zeppelin did not lift music that formed the basis for the group’s hit “Stairway to Heaven,” a jury found Thursday, clearing the band of accusations that it stole the opening of one of rock’s most celebrated songs. The unanimous decision by the panel of eight men and women came after...

  • Exactly how bad is Fall Out Boy's new 'Ghostbusters' theme song?

    Exactly how bad is Fall Out Boy's new 'Ghostbusters' theme song?

    Oh, it’s bad. Hauntingly bad. So ghastly is Fall Out Boy’s new theme to “Ghostbusters” that if, after first listen, you vaporized it, pumped it into a tank, locked it in a safe and buried it under the Empire State Building, “Ghostbusters (I’m Not Afraid)” would still flatulently seep to the surface to...

  • Neil Young is out to reinvent the live album on 'Earth'

    Neil Young is out to reinvent the live album on 'Earth'

    Neil Young’s latest work, “Earth,” just might be one of the most unusual projects of a long and varied career. He created some of the wildest music films ever, mashed up electronic music with crunching hard rock and now he’s toying with the live album format. While drawn from concerts Young has...

  • Destiny's next children? How Beyoncé helped propel Chloe x Halle to the BET Experience

    Destiny's next children? How Beyoncé helped propel Chloe x Halle to the BET Experience

    In 2013, Beyoncé put her superstar power to work in a sold-out arena show to help launch the inaugural BET Experience in downtown Los Angeles. Three years later, the singer isn’t expected to perform at the annual music festival and confab, but she’ll be present (at least in spirit) in a different...

  • Here's how to enjoy the 2016 BET Experience for about $200

    Here's how to enjoy the 2016 BET Experience for about $200

    Now in its fourth year, the BET Experience hasn’t slowed its ambitions to be the preeminent celebration of black music. There are four days of action across multiple venues at downtown’s L.A. Live. Among a heaping of free and ticketed events, we curated the perfect schedule for you and a friend...

  • Kanye West to premiere 'Famous' video at the Forum on Friday

    Kanye West to premiere 'Famous' video at the Forum on Friday

    Kanye West is continuing his unconventional approach to unveiling new projects. Now, the artist is giving his latest music video a grand coming-out party at the Forum on Friday.   On Wednesday, West’s label, Def Jam, announced the polarizing rapper had teamed up with streaming service Tidal to...

  • Jury hears closing arguments in Led Zeppelin copyright infringement trial, begins deliberations

    Jury hears closing arguments in Led Zeppelin copyright infringement trial, begins deliberations

    Attorneys for members of rock giant Led Zeppelin and the estate of the man alleging they stole musical elements of their iconic song “Stairway to Heaven” made final pleas to jurors Wednesday as the high-stakes copyright trial came to an end. In his closing arguments, Francis Malofiy, the attorney...

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