Dave Koz, Chris Botti Guest on Rod Stewart's Christmas CD
- Dave Koz, Chris Botti Guest on Rod Stewart's Christmas CD
Grammy Award winning singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Rod Stewart is set to release his first ever Christmas album on October 30 on Verve Music. Merry Christmas, Baby features a host of guest artists including Dave Koz on "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow," Chris Botti on Stewart's virtual duet with Ella Fitzgerald for the classic "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?," Michael Buble on "Winter Wonderland" and Mary J. Blige who duets with Rod on "We Three Kings." Legendary producer David Foster handles the producing and arranging for the set. If that weren't enough, Rod is also releasing his first autobiography entitled Rod: The Autobiography, due out on October 23. The book promises a candid look at his five decades in the music business and reflections on his highly publicized love life, including his three marriages and eight children. Rod will kick off the New Year with a series of shows at Caesars Palace Colosseum in Las Vegas beginning on January 23, 2013.
- Brenda Russell's "Piano" gets new Life on Hot 100 Chart
Brenda Russell is enjoying renewed chart success thanks to the latest dance hit from Flo Rida called "I Cry." Brenda’s Grammy nominated song “Piano In The Dark” is sampled in his tune which sits at No. 81 on the Hot 100 this week. This is the second time “Piano” was sampled for a dance hit. The Dutch duo Bingo Players reworked the tune as "Cry (Just a Little)," which reached No. 15 on Dance/Mix Show Airplay in March. Brenda tells Billboard, "It's pretty cool that artists like Flo Rida and Bingo Players can be inspired to interpret a song like 'Piano in the Dark' in completely new genres. As an artist and writer, it's the highest compliment we can be paid. I never imagined 'Piano' as a dance hit (but) I'm thrilled that it's reaching a new generation of audiences." Meanwhile, Brenda has been working on a new project to encourage voter registration for the nearly 20 million unmarried women in the US who comprise the largest group of non-voting Americans. Brenda recorded "L.O.V.E. (Let One Voice Emerge)," which she co-wrote with Patti Austin, Siedah Garrett and Mervyn Warren. The star-studded tune features Fergie, Keke Palmer, Sheila E, Judith Hill, Lalah Hathaway, and Jenna Ushkowitz, aka, Tina Cohen-Chang of Fox TV's Glee, as well as Russell, Austin and Garrett.
- Tony Bennett set to Release New Album/Book
Legendary jazz singer Tony Bennett is set to release a new album and book this fall. Viva Duets features the award winning singer pairing up with top Latin recording artists like Marc Anthony, Miguel Bose, Chayanne, Robert Carlos, Gloria Estefan, Thalia and Christina Aguilera, among others. The album is due out on October 22 and Tony has already released several videos, posted on his website. On November 20, he'll release his latest book entitled Life Is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett, an inspiring memoir from an artist whose career spans 60 plus years. Bennett has also announced he plans to do a jazz album with Lady Gaga, who appeared on his Duets II album last year. In an interview with Rolling Stone Tony says, "We're gonna do a jazz album with Marion Evans, a big swing band, and I'm looking forward to it because a lot of people don't know it, but she's a phenomenal jazz singer. I can't mention the composer because I don't want anybody to do it before we do it, but there's a great composer that's very underrated, very famous, but not as famous as Gershwin or Porter. But he did as many hit songs as anybody, and so we're gonna do a big swinging album." Tony's next live performance is in Richmond, KY on October 27.
- Happy Birthday Toni Braxton
Birthday wishes to singer, songwriter, actress Toni Braxton who celebrates on October 7. Toni was born in Severn, Maryland and got her start performing with her sisters as The Braxtons. She was signed as a solo artist in 1992 to LaFace records, run by L.A. Reid and Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds. Her self-titled debut album was released in 1993 and offered the hits "Another Sad Love Song" and "Breathe Again." The six-time Grammy winner has appeared on Broadway in Beauty and the Beast and Aida, and teamed with partner Alec Mazo in the seventh season of Dancing With The Stars. Toni just wrapped up the second season of her family reality television show Braxton Family Values. She is currently working on a new film, starring in a Lifetime original movie called A Narrow Bridge. Braxton will play a Black Christian woman who falls for a white Jewish man in the made-for-television film, which will also co-star her 9-year-old son Diezel. Toni is also working on her seventh studio album. The first single from the project, "I Heart You" was released in March 2012.
- GRP Celebrates 30th Anniversary with 2CD Set/Shows
Universal Music has released a two-CD compilation entitled GRP 30: The Digital Master Company 30th Anniversary. GRP Records was founded by artists Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen and was often referred to as the Digital Master Company. They were the first record company to adopt digital recording technology for all its releases, launch every release on CD world-wide, and one of the earliest to market itself as a lifestyle brand. The albums will feature music from Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour, Patti Austin, George Benson, Ramsey Lewis, Diane Schuur, Larry Carlton, Yellowjackets and Spyro Gyra, among others. A special anniversary show will take place at the famed jazz club, the Blue Note in New York City on October 9-14. The line-up includes GRP alumni Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour, John Patitucci, Will Kennedy (Yellowjackets) and Diane Schuur.
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