NEW YORK (AP) — John Legend will play a musician in the upcoming film “La La Land,” and he doesn’t play a piano player. Legend had to learn guitar for the role. It’s not his first time in a movie, because he was in “Soul Men,” but he didn’t speak in that film. This time he has lines. Legend says it was a real education for him because he had to learn dialogue and to improvise with Ryan Gosling.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — There are 50 positions on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart. David Bowie occupies 21 of those spots. The highest-ranking song is “Lazarus” at number 3. All seven songs from his “Blackstar” album are on the chart. Bowie shatters the record held by Mumford and Sons, who had 14 songs on the chart after the release of their “Babel” (BAY’-bel) album in 2012.
LONDON (AP) — Sting thinks Rock Paper Scissors is the perfect game, because no one can have dominance. Peter Gabriel thinks it’s a great game because he cheats at it. Gabriel says the trick is to wait a fraction of a second to see what the other person throws before throwing his own hand. He says he’s always been a little bit behind. Sting and Gabriel will begin their Rock Paper Scissors tour June 21 in Columbus, Ohio. Gabriel says, “‘Rock’ makes the music, ‘paper’ is an offer we can’t refuse and ‘scissors’ we do the business and then we’re off.” He says he knows he’ll get along fine with Sting on tour because they had a great time together during the Amnesty International Tour in 1986. He says they had a lot of great music and pillow fights on that tour.
NEW YORK (AP) — Don Felder had always hoped he and Glenn Frey would speak again. Felder says he felt “unbelievable sorrow” hearing the news of Frey’s death on Monday. Felder says Frey was “the leader and everybody looked up to him.” Felder and Frey famously fought on stage during The Eagles show in Long Beach, California, in 1980 that led to the breakup of the band. They regrouped in 1994, but Felder was forced out of the band in 2001. Felder says in spite of their difference, he remembers Frey most for the music they made together and for the “laughter and the parties.” Felder says he has not been in contact for years with Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh or Timothy B. Schmit, but Randy Meisner called him when Frey died. Felder says Meisner was in tears.
NEW YORK (AP) — Hello, it’s Adele, and she’s performing at next month’s Grammy Awards.
The Recording Academy told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the British singer, leading nominee Kendrick Lamar, the Weeknd and Little Big Town will perform at the Feb. 15 show.
Adele returned to music in top form with “25,” her third album that has sold about 8 million units in the U.S. since its November release. The 10-time Grammy winner will qualify for nominations at next year’s awards show because she released music after the Sept. 30, 2015, deadline.
Lamar has 11 nominations, followed by Taylor Swift and the Weeknd, who earned seven nominations each.
LL Cool J will host the 58th Grammy Awards, to air live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
NEW YORK (AP) — David Bowie was private in his personal life and his family wants his death to be private as well. Bowie’s family writes on his website they are planning a private memorial service for him and won’t give any more details. They say they welcome the tributes and concerts that are being held in Bowie’s honor, but the family did not organize or endorse any of them. They say they “welcome everyone’s celebration of his life as they see fit.” Bowie died Sunday of cancer.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — David Bowie has knocked Adele out of the top spot for video views on Vevo. Bowie videos were viewed 51 million times on Monday, the day after his death. That sets a new record for most single-day video views on Vevo. Adele had held the record on October 23 when her “Hello” video debuted. Bowie’s video for “Lazarus” was the most-viewed Vevo video on Monday, with 11.1 million.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A prankster has changed the name of Bowie Street in Austin, Texas, to David Bowie Street, and Austin is fine with it for now. The Austin Statesman reports the sign is near the offices for the South By Southwest music festival. City officials say the sign was not sanctioned, but they’ll leave it up until next week.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Celine Dion is cancelling her shows tomorrow and Sunday night in Las Vegas. Dion’s husband and former manager, Rene Angelil, has died of throat cancer in Vegas. He was 73. Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg says his office was notified yesterday of Angelil’s death. Angelil discovered Dion when she was 12 and mortgaged his house to fund her first record. They married in 1994 and had three children. Dion had taken time off of her Las Vegas residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace to take care of Angelil for a year. She returned in August.
NEW YORK (AP) — Sam Smith was in a coffee shop with his mother when he found out he was nominated for an Oscar. He’s up for best original song for co-writing “Writing’s On The Wall” from “Spectre.” Smith says he’s feeling overwhelmed and jokes, “Better pick out a gown.” His competition includes Lady Gaga and Diane Warren, who wrote the song “Til It Happens To You” from the sexual assault documentary, “The Hunting Ground.” Lady Gaga says her nomination “lends a voice to the victims and survivors all over the world.” It’s Warren’s eighth nomination for best original song, but she’s never won. The Weeknd is nominated for co-writing “Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey.” He tweets, “It can’t get more surreal than this” and it’s “truly a proud moment.” The other nominees are “Manta Ray” from “Racing Extinction” and “Simple Song Number 3” from “Youth.” The Oscars will be given out February 28.