Coldplay and One Direction head the all-star lineup at this year's iHeartRadio Music Festival set for Sept. 19-20 at the 16,800-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Front man Chris Martin and his band Coldplay top the Sept. 19 bill that also includes Taylor Swift, Motley Crüe, Usher, Zac Brown Band, Nicki Minaj, Steve Aoki, Ariana Grande and Bastille.
Brit pop sensations One Direction headline the second night with support from Lorde, Ed Sheeran, Eric Church, Train, Paramore, Iggy Azalea and Calvin Harris.
Clear Channel radio will broadcast both nights live and the concerts can be steamed live each night on Yahoo! Screen.
The CW network will air both of the two-hour broadcasts of the festival on Sep. 29 and 30.
Another star-studded lineup has also been announced for Farm Aid, a festival benifitting the nonprofit organization by the same name created in 1985 by John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Willie Nelson that raises money for the family-owned farms throughout the United States.
The 2014 Farm Aid concert is scheduled for Sept. 14 at the 20,500-capacity Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh, N.C.. The four board directors will each perform and they'll be joined this year by Jack White, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, country singer Jamey Johnson, country vet Carlene Carter, and folk rockers Delta Rae.
Pre-sale tickets are already available, but general public tickets go on sale Aug. 1.
The annual Farm Aid festival is the main fundraiser for the nonprofit and has raised more than $45 million .
The idea came about after Bob Dylan said onstage at Live Aid that he hoped some of that benefit's funds could be used to help family farmers. Dave Matthews also joined the board of directors with Mellencamp, Young and Nelson.
A couple weeks ago, the Coeur d'Alene Indian tribe canceled a Ted Nugent concert at its casino of the same name in Worley, Idaho, set for Aug. 4, because of Nugent's “racist and hate-filled remarks,” the tribe said in a statement.
Now, the Puyallup Tribe, which owns the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash., canceled the 65-year-old Motor City Madman's two gigs that were set there on Aug. 2 and 3.
“The first amendment gives people the right to free speech, but I think racism is intolerable and not acceptable here,” said tribal council vice president Lawrence W. LaPointe. “We've been getting lots of complaints from the community and other organizations. I don't want to take away his right to say what he wants to say, but we don't need it here.”
Nugent has been in the news a lot for his opinions over the past few years for, among other things, referring to President Barack Obama as “a subhuman mongrel,” “chimpanzee” and a “liar.” He also invited the president to “suck on his machine gun.”
Earlier this year, the town of Longview, Texas paid Nugent $16,000 not to perform at its Fourth of July concert once his comments became known to the city council.
In June 2012, commanders at the military base at Fort Knox, Ky., canceled his participation in a show over his comments about Obama.
With Garth Brooks cancelling his first five comeback shows in Dublin, Ireland, over a disagreement with its city council that wanted to limit him to only three shows, the biggest–selling artists in country music history selected Chicago as the site of his official comeback to touring (his 2010-2012 solo acoustic residency in Vegas notwithstanding).
Brooks, along with his wife, country singer Trisha Yearwood as opening act, is performing 10 concerts with his band to kick-off his first world tour in 13 years — and it took no time at all for those gigs to sell out.
All 10 shows — all 185,000 tickets at the 18,500-seat Allstate Arena, Sept. 4-14 — sold out in three hours. Thus far, these are his only announced concerts, but his website promises: “More tour cities announced soon.”
In other Brooks news, the RIAA says he's about to pass Elvis as the biggest selling solo artist in American music history. The King currently leads the 52-year-old Tulsa native 134.5 million to 134 million.
The Beatles remain in the top spot with total domestic sales of 177 million songs and albums on vinyl, cassettes, CDs, downloads, and all other formats.
Prior to his death in Zurich on July 16 at age 70 while on a European tour, blues-rock guitarist Johnny Winter was to have headlined the touring “Rock N' Blues Fest.”
It's been decided that the tour, which also features his brother Edgar Winter as well as Vanilla Fudge, decades-long Savoy Brown leader Kim Simmonds, former Rare Earth drummer-lead singer Pete Rivera, and (at a couple shows) former McCoy's leader Rick Derringer will carry on as a tribute to the Texas albino, Edgar Winter said in a statement.
The 12-date U.S. tour stops at the National Grove of Anaheim on Aug. 22 and at the Cannery Hotel and Casino in North Las Vegas on Aug. 23.
Linda Ronstadt, who has been battling crippling Parkinson's disease, was too ill to attend her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Brooklyn in April. However, nothing stopped the California Sound pioneer from travelling to Washington to personally receive the National Medal of Arts from President Obama at the White House on July 28.
During the ceremony, Obama whispered into the ear of the beaming 68-year-old singer known for such hits as “It's So Easy,” “You're No Good” and “Blue Bayou,” telling her that he had a crush on her in the ‘70s, an admission he later told those in attendance.
Nine others, plus the Brooklyn Academy of Music, were honored, including 87-year-old documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles (“What's Happening: The Beatles in the USA,” “Monterey Pop” and “Gimme Shelter”) and Broadway musical composer John Kander (“Cabaret” and “Chicago”), who is also 87.
Lionel Richie is Billboard's 2014 Legends of Live recipient. He's being honored for his four decades of touring, both as the leader of The Commodores and as a solo act. The 65-year-old Richie will receive his award during the Billboard Touring Conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City on Nov. 20.
Previous awardees include George Strait, Neil Diamond, Elton John, Rush, The Allman Brothers Band, Journey and Ozzy Osbourne.
Jon Bon Jovi will be honored with The Marion Anderson Award (named after the acclaimed opera singer) on Nov. 18 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. Organizers said the award is given to “critically acclaimed artists who have impacted society in a positive way.” They also said Bon Jovi, 52, was selected because he has used his musical success to support groups working to end homelessness and hunger.
Songwriters Hall of Fame member Diane Warren will be presented with the Leadership Award from the Point Foundation that empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. It's presented to individuals who have achieved professional prominence while supporting the LGBT community.
The 57-year-old Warren, whose hits include Laura Brannigan's “Solitaire,” Cher's “If I could Turn Back Time,” DeBarge's “Rhythm of the Night” and Starship's “Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now,” will receive her award at a dinner and concert on Sept. 13 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville is a happening place. To celebrate the release of his memoir, “Ray Stevens' Nashville,” the 75-year-old pop, country, serious and satirical singer-songwriter performed a concert and discussion at the Hall's Ford Theater before a sold-out crowd that included his pal, Oak Ridge Boys lead singer Duane Allen on July 19. The show included 1974's “The Streak” and 1970's “Everything is Beautiful,” both if which hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 pop singles chart.
On Aug. 16, Kenny Rogers, also 75, will attend the opening of the “Kenny Rogers: Through the Years” exhibit that will include an interview and panel discussion. The exhibit runs until June 15, 2015.
Another superstar exhibit, “Alan Jackson: 25 Years of Keepin' It Country,” runs from Aug. 29 through March 2015, concurrent with the 55-year-old's tenure as Artist in Residence, a title that will see him perform several times and organize concerts at the theater.
Among the recently released albums, digital reissues, MP3 downloads and box sets are the 16-song “Eric Clapton & Friends — The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale)” finds Slowhand paying tribute to his late idol with help from Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler, John Meyer, Willie Nelson, and Derek Trucks; the rocking 11-track “Hypnotic Eye” is Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' 13th since their self-titled debut LP in 1976 and their first in four years; “1971 Fillmore East Recordings (6 CD Edition)” from The Allman Brothers Band; “Signe's Farewell: At the Fillmore Auditorium 66” is The Jefferson Airplane's last concert with original front gal Signe Anderson, who retired to raise a family, to be replace days later by Grace Slick, and features Airplane staples “Come Up The Years,” “High Flying Bird” and “3/5 Of a Mile In Ten Seconds.”
The 20-song “Get On Up: The James Brown Story — Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” to the Mick Jagger-produced biopic includes both studio and live versions of “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine” and “Please, Please, Please”; a 40th anniversary edition of “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” from former Yes keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman that originally sold 15 million copies worldwide; the 10-cut, “Bobby Womack In Concert” from the soul icon who died in Tarzana last month at 70; and “Live Bootleg Series Volume 11” from Johnny Winter, who died two weeks ago while on tour in Zurich at 70, includes his takes on Taj Mahal's “E-Z Rider” and Jimmy Reed's “Baby What's Wrong.”
“How to Stuff a wild Bikini: Original Stereo Soundtrack” includes “The Perfect Boy” by Annette, “Follow Your Leader” from biker Erich Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and The Ratz, “Madison Avenue” by Mickey Rooney and Brian Donlevy, and a couple songs by The Kingsmen; “Cadence Sessions 1957-60: 1” from The Everly Brothers; and an import, “Left Coast Angst: Live Radio Broadcast Recordings 1982-1983,” from tongue-in-cheek L.A. Glam rockers Sparks, includes “Funny Face,” “Modesty Plays” and “Angst In My Pants.”
the 19-song “Complete Ode Recordings” from “Mod Squad” actress-singer and former wife of Quincy Jones, Peggy Lipton includes Donovan's “Wear Your Love Like Heaven,” Laura Nyro's “Stony End” and four previously unreleased songs; the 17-cut “Don't Call Me Mama Anymore Plus Rarities – Her Final Recordings,” a reissue of her last LP, from 1973, commemorates the 40th anniversary of Cass Elliot's passing in London at 32; a reissue of Bette Midler's 1974 LP, “Song for the New Depression” includes guests Bob Dylan (a rare appearance then), Rick Derringer, and Todd Rundgren & Utopia and session players and singers that included Luther Vandross, the Brecker brothers, Eric Weissberg, drummer Steve Gadd.
Steve Smith writes a new Classic Pop, Rock and Country Music News column every week. Contact him by email at Classicpopmusicnews@gmail.com.