Kid Cudi Returns To Form On New Album 'Passion, Pain & Demon Slaying'

The music world watched Kid Cudi burst onto the scene with his key contributions to Kanye West’s landmark album, 808’s & Heartbreak. There, he helped co-write four songs that not only shaped the album’s direction, but the style of music that would be heard in hip hop and r&b for years to come. The songs were, “Heartless”, “Robocop”, “Paranoid” and “Welcome to Heartbreak”, in which the latter featured Cudi singing on the chorus. Although West signed Cudi due to the overwhelming success of Cudi’s 2008 mix tape A Kid Named Cudi. it was Cudi’s writing skills on 808’s that initially propelled Cudi to cult-like status and laid the foundation for his popularity for the next few years. Cudi’s first two albums, Man on the Moon and Man on the Moon 2 were well received commercially and fan-wise. Kid Cudi [Image by Michael Hickey/Getty Image] But, for his next endeavor, Cudi decided to collaborate with frequent production partner, Dot Da Genius to form a rock band called WZRD in which they released eponymous album in 2012. The album, which some fans could admit they found a few songs enjoyable, didn’t support the album like they did his previous projects. Cudi would release three more albums from 2013-2015; Indicud, which marked a return to his first two albums sound, Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon and Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven, in which the former was a semi-instrumental, alternative hip hop album and the latter was a return to rock. Cudi felt the wrath of core fans who felt Cudi was turning his back on them and was releasing uninspired music. Luckily for fans, Cudi delivered on his sixth album ‘”Passion, Pain & Demon Slaying”. Cudi returned to the melodic rap that made him beloved by many hip hop fans on songs such as “Surfin”, “By Design” which features Andre 3000 and “Illusions”. Below, are excerpts from publications that reviewed Cudi’s album. Via All Music Running at one and a half hours, Passion is long and occasionally drags. Although split into four digestible “Acts,” it tests the limits of the casual listener’s patience. Fans should be pleased, however, by the wealth of new material. “Tuned,” the album’s first act, is one of the better portions, blending ’90s trip-hop with a concoction of Kanye‘s 808s and Trent Reznor‘s Ghosts soundscapes. Via Pitchfork As usual with his music, Passion‘s best moments come from its production. Cudi brought back his career-launching accomplice Plain Pat, and recruited Kanye soothsayer Mike Dean, which lends cohesion and focus to the record. Regardless of its dull content, “Frequency” sounds vibrant, thanks to an instrumental that marries the ambition of Man on the Moon with the spacey calmness of Satellite Flight. Via XXL Magazine One noticeable factor is that he seems more confident than he’s been since those early years of his career. On “Does It,” he calls out his critics with lines like “Uh, doing music, TV and music, sitting on the floors we ain’t heard of/And the media wanna act like I ain’t out here, I’m out here.” On the final track “Surfin’,” Cudi says he “Ain’t ridin’ no waves/Too busy making my own waves, baby.” Kid Cudi [Image by Michael Hickey/Getty Images] Kid Cudi isn’t getting critically acclaimed reviews such as the likes of Frank Ocean, Kanye West pre-The Life of Pablo and Kendrick Lamar, but the critics are appreciative that Cudi returned to the form that helped propel his career. The next question that begs, is where does Cudi go from here? Despite the acclaim from critics and fans, Cudi’s album didn’t sell as well as many would have hoped. Cudi’s sixth solo album only sold 50k units, in which half came from equivalence album sales (streaming) and the other half from traditional album sales. Could this mean the damage of Cudi taking artistic risks has already been done with his core fan base? Only time will tell. But what can be reported, is that Cudi went back to the style that made him beloved by so many. And that, to the core fans who listened, is good enough. [Featured image by Jeff Lombardo/Invision/AP Images]

One Direction Writing And Recording: What Musical Surprises Are Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, And Louis Tomlinson Working On?

One Direction’s Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson are all working on their solo albums, which will be released in 2017. While Liam made it obvious he was working in the recording studio, Niall really gave fans a surprise when he released “This Town.” One Direction’s Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson all have different release date strategies and different ways of writing music. Each 1D member has been able to work out their own individual preference during this hiatus. Niall Horan chose the element of surprise while Liam Payne released a very rough sample of his new work. Harry Styles won’t release a note or a lyrical word until everything is perfect. Louis Tomlinson created “Just Hold On” out of personal tragedy, and his release of the song was timed around an event in his personal life. Harry Styles is still holding back his single and album. One Direction’s Harry Styles may be preparing to release a solo single or perhaps even the album, speculates Unreality TV. Is Harry Styles ready to release some music for Directioners and new fans as well around the first of the year? Somehow, Niall Horan of One Direction was able to convince the media he was only playing golf and traveling when all the time he was working on solo material. It’s been widely publicized that Niall wrote “This Town” in an hour, and it is also clear there is more music for the album which remains unfinished. Louis Tomlinson happened to have “Just Hold On” ready for release even though he was the last of his One Direction bandmates to sign a recording contract. It seems from the lyrics of “Just Hold On” that Louis found a wellspring of creativity through his own personal pain. This makes the song an expression of true art. One Direction’s Harry Styles has not released a thing yet. That doesn’t mean, however, that he hasn’t finished his album. Sometimes, timing is everything, and Harry’s not about to upstage his band mates by releasing his album near the time of their solo single releases. Harry Styles will release his album at what Harry determines as the perfect time. One Direction’s Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne have all been collaborating and consulting in their own various ways with musicians they admire. Making a solo album doesn’t mean it has to be done entirely alone. Most musicians need other musicians to help them write. One Direction singer Niall Horan can write and record a song really fast; he doesn’t need a lot of prep time. What he does apparently need is a brainstorming session with fellow musicians and songwriters. Niall Horan, Jamie Scott, Mike Needle, and Daniel Byer collaborated for one hour and wrote the Top 100 hit “This Town.” Jamie Scott told Billboard that collaboration is based on trust and honesty. “I want great music from great artists and for that to happen, there has to be a level of honesty in a session where you feel free to say things without worrying about anything. Great music comes out of a room where people trust each other, whether it’s a producer and engineer or producer and a writer. Everyone in that room has to be on the same page.” Joe Walsh, Harry Styles, Marjorie Bach, Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach [Image by Larry Busacca/Getty Images] Harry Styles is using collaboration with some of the great artists, but it seems like most of them are acting more as consultants and advisers. Harry gathered a lot of information before creating his solo work. Louis Tomlinson collaborated with one very good friend, fellow musician Steven Aoki. Some artists are more comfortable collaborating one-on-one. Again, it goes back to what Jamie Scott said about trust and honesty. Niall Horan at the American Music Awards [Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images] Harry Styles is comfortable consulting scores of musicians, Niall Horan chose three other songwriters to help him iron out “This Town.” Louis Tomlinson, however, felt most comfortable working with one good friend. RELATED REPORTS FROM THE INQUISITR One Direction’s Priceless Holiday Moments: Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson And Liam Payne One Direction Holidays Update: Harry Styles, Liam Payne, And Louis Tomlinson Home For Christmas, Niall Horan Has Pneumonia One Direction’s Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, And Zayn Malik: Why Solo Work Doesn’t Mean The Band Is Breaking Up One Direction Still Very Much Together: Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, And Louis Tomlinson In Contact One Direction Or Consider Me Dead: Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan And Brandon Pettitt Experiences In Music One Direction Members, Grieving And Under Attack, Are Coming Together: Scary Sad Update On Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan One Direction’s Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, And Louis Tomlinson Are Still Enjoying Fame On Their Hiatus One Direction Expectations For 2017: Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, And Zayn Malik Timetable Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson have a lot of surprises for fans in 2017. They are giving One Directioners a lot to look forward to. First, there is Harry Style’s movie, which is coming out in July. Then there are four solo albums, one from each One Direction member. However, when these albums will be released remains unclear. It might also be possible that the boys will release a real One Direction album toward the end of 2017. They might even be working on writing songs that would work for recording by One Direction when the time comes, but no one really knows. Will One Direction’s Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson come back together in late 2017 with new ideas? [Featured Image by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images]

DAY6 Plans For Epic 2017 — JYP Entertainment K-Pop Boy Band Reveals Monthly Releases And Concerts To Fans [Video]

In the K-pop industry, most K-pop acts consisting of two or more people are considered a band either they be a boy band or girl group. However, if we were to compare K-pop bands to the perceived view of a band, they aren’t bands at all given the fact they only do vocals sometimes with choreography. Bands, the ones in which members play instruments, however do exist with some having a great following. Probably one of the most popular bands in K-pop today is CNBLUE in which each member plays an instrument. Jung Yong Hwa and Lee Jong Hyun both play guitar and provide vocals, Kang Min Hyuk plays drums, and Lee Jung Shin plays bass. Yong Hwa and Jung Shin also rap too. Right now, the one entertainment company and label who seems to have the most popular bands is JYP Entertainment. Wonder Girls is easily on top of the list as they officially became a four-member girl band back in 2015 with Sunmi on bass, Yenny on keyboard, Yubin on drums, and Hyerim on guitar. All members provide vocals with the exception of Yubin who raps. Nevertheless, they showed off their new direction in their 2015 studio album Reboot featuring title track song “I Feel You.” It was also that same year JYP Entertainment debuted a new band known as Day6. The six male member band consisting of Jae as lead guitarist, vocalist and rapper, Sungjin as leader, main vocalist, and rhythm guitarist, Young K as bassist, vocalist, and rapper, Wonpil as the synthesizer, keyboardist, and vocalist, Dowoon as drummer, and Junhyeok as keyboardist and vocalist, released their debut extended play (EP) or mini-album The Day on September 7, 2015. It reached the top ten in both Korea and the United States World Charts and sold over 12,000 copies. Day6 originally consisted of six members thus their name. They include Jae, Sungjin, Young K, Wonpil, Dowoon, and Junhyeok. [Image by JYP Entertainment] After a busy 2016 in which they released their second EP Daydream featuring the title track song “Letting Go” and Junhyeok leaving them after terminating his contract with JYP Entertainment for personal reasons, Day6 is ready to tackle 2017. As a matter of fact, they are so confident in the upcoming year that they made their plans for the year public showing how epic it would be. Fans will surely have a lot to take in with monthly concerts and releases. The details of Day6’s upcoming 2017 schedule was made public knowledge at midnight KST on December 29. According to Soompi, JYP Entertainment released an image of an annual calendar titled Every Day6. In the image, it shows specifically marked days for pre-concerts, releases, and concerts. JYP Entertainment released an image of their band’s schedule for 2017 titled “Every Day6.” [Image by JYP Entertainment] From the image provided, there will only be one pre-concert held on Thursday, January 5. Afterwards, all other upcoming dates are either releases or concerts. The releases and concerts are listed below. Releases Friday, January 6 Monday, February 6 Monday, March 6 Thursday, April 6 Monday, May 6 Wednesday, June 7 Thursday, July 6 Monday, August 8 Wednesday, September 6 Tuesday, October 10 Monday, November 6 Wednesday, December 6 Concerts Saturday and Sunday, February 4 and 5 Saturday and Sunday, March 4 and 5 Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2 Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7 Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7 Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4 Saturday and Sunday, July 1 and 2 Saturday and Sunday, August 5 and 7 Saturday and Sunday, September 2 and 3 Saturday and Sunday, October 7 and 8 Saturday and Sunday, November 4 and 5 Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2 Day6 is really pushing the envelope when it comes to releasing content out to their fans. With 12 official release dates, 24 concert dates, and one pre-concert, Day6 might be busy 24/7 working on new content. To some extent, this might be a reaction to how certain new K-pop acts last year delivered a lot more for their fans such as Black Pink delivering four songs despite only being four months old. Let’s just hope all of the content they work on is at least decent. So much work leaves the door open for duds. For K-pop fans interested in Day6 and the sound they provide, their two mini-albums, The Day and Daydream, are available to purchase on YesAsia. [Featured Image by JYP Entertainment]

David Bowie's Final Album Is Helping People Cope With 2016

David Bowie, the late musician, is regarded as an iconic and innovative singer. Born David Robert Jones, David Bowie was a renowned singer, songwriter, and actor. Although Bowie entered the music scene in 1967 with his self-titled album, it wasn’t until 1972 that he fully established himself in the industry. Always coming up with new sounds and music styles, he carried on experimenting until 1972 when he emerged in the glam rock era as Ziggy Stardust, his alter ego. David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust looked almost bohemian with his red-dyed hair and striking costumes. ZIGGY STARDUST – DAVID BOWIE. pic.twitter.com/po9ymaqnrh — Rachael (ha ha) (@Rachlouise45) December 25, 2016 In 1972, the famous singer was catapulted to fame when he teamed with Spiders from Mars to release his fifth studio album. Besides his album with Spiders from Mars, David Bowie’s previous albums The Man Who Sold the World and Hunky Dory stayed on the U.K. charts for a notably long time. Later, Aladdin Sane, Bowie’s sixth studio album, went on to become the U.K.’s No. 1 album in 1973. From 1962 to 2016, the singer released over 25 studio albums, the last one being Blackstar, released just two days prior to his death on January 10, 2016. You voted David Bowie’s – Blackstar your album of the year pic.twitter.com/TTWYu3hPrW — Absolute Radio (@absoluteradio) December 28, 2016 NPR Music noted that even though David Bowie is not around to receive the praise for his final offering, his Blackstar album has already proven itself as “one of the most enduring records of the year.” Many have remarked that 2016 has been a difficult year – from the tumultuous presidential election to the death of so many music and Hollywood greats, from Leonard Cohen, Prince, and George Michael to Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher – and NPR Music noted that David Bowie’s album is one that “many of us returned to to cope with 2016.” As his career progressed, Bowie continued reinventing both his on-stage appearances and his musical styles. Various artists and critics have attempted to fully understand Bowie by exploring Ziggy Stardust and his other personas, including the Thin White Duke and Aladdin Sane. Recently, a university professor at U.K.’s Kingston University spent a year researching David Bowie by dressing up as his various alter egos. Many artists have copied the Ziggy Stardust persona to either perform David Bowie’s hit songs or simply to show their respect for the legendary singer. “Look up here, I’m in heaven…” David Bowie y su despedida “Blackstar” es el No. 1 en los #MejoresDiscosDelAñohttps://t.co/E5oSoUsQ4H pic.twitter.com/BVSe1pL7Cn — Ibero 90.9 FM (@Ibero909FM) December 24, 2016 Lady Gaga paid tribute to David Bowie at the 2016 Grammy Award ceremony by singing a medley of his songs in just four minutes while imitating his famous Ziggy Stardust persona. However, NME reports that she was criticized by several personalities, including director Duncan Jones, David Bowie’s son, who described the performance as overexcited and mentally confused. TeamRock reports that Lady Gaga was clearly affected by the criticism because she admitted that she was deeply hurt by Duncan’s remarks. “What are you going to do? I’m not his family and that’s his father. Whatever he was feeling in that moment I have compassion and love for him. But yes, of course it hurt.” David Bowie’s Son Throws Possible Shade At Lady Gaga’s Grammys Performance #LadyGaga https://t.co/6yUdMsqhpf pic.twitter.com/q1Np1t5ozU — Mary (@uknewse) December 6, 2016 According to Radio.com, Lady Gaga’s performance was also denounced by Mick Woodman, the drummer for Spiders from Mars, who commented that it was ridiculous for Lady Gaga to perform 15 songs in an incredibly short amount of time. “We looked at it and it was going to be like 14 or 15 songs in the space of four minutes and we just went ‘no, f*** off, that’s stupid, that’s not going to represent anything good about him.’” Mike Woodman has assisted artists who genuinely want to express their love and respect for David Bowie through their performances. However, the drummer believes that it is not acceptable for artists to wear a David Bowie getup and sing his songs just for the sake of it. Woodman revealed that emulating David Bowie is not easy because the legendary artist was so very unique in his music and style. According to NME, the drummer recalled his experience while working with Bowie during the making of the 1971 Hunky Dory album. “It was a bit scary because there was nothing around like that. There was nobody anywhere near with that kind of direction or style or anything. So we thought ‘maybe this is too far, maybe this is a musicians’ thing, that we like it but nobody else will.’” [Featured Image by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images]

Park Bom Says She's Still A Pro Singer Despite 2NE1 Breakup — What CL, Dara And Minzy Are Doing Now

2NE1’s Park Bom wants the world to know that she is still a professional singer despite he fact that the group broke up last month. Park Bom assures fans she’s still a singer https://t.co/zePfA0lGdl pic.twitter.com/spdj3r1a8S — allkpop (@allkpop) December 27, 2016 All Kpop reports that Bom took to her social media to tell fans that she is still working on her music career. This was in response to a fan asking to say whether she was still a professional singer, employed under contract at YG or still figuring out her future. @RebelleBomZi Of course A!!!!???????? — Bom Park (@haroobomkum) December 26, 2016 RELATED POSTS ON INQUISITR Video:Dara Performs ‘Kiss’ On ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar,’ Which Is Her First Performance Since YG Entertainment Girl Group 2NE1 Disbanded [Video] CL, Dara, And Bom Write Heartfelt Letters To Blackjacks In Wake Of YG Entertainment K-Pop Girl Group 2NE1 Disbanding Simply ‘The Best:’ Saying Goodbye And Thank You To K-Pop Icons 2NE1 2NE1: YG Entertainment K-Pop Girl Group Confirmed To Disband, CL And Dara Re-Signed To Label As Soloists Black Pink Vs 2NE1: Is The Rookie Group Just A Copycat? [Videos] As All Kpop notes, Park Bom’s contract with YG Entertainment expired when 2NE1 disbanded but it looks like she’s not going to let that stop her from continuing to be a singer. As you can expect, Park Bom has the support of the Blackjacks, 2NE1’s fan army name, behind her. She expressed gratitude for that support by uploading a cute cartoon to her Instagram showing some of those fans encouraging her to keep on singing. [!!!] #ParkBom posts photo on Instagram with caption “let’s sing Bom ❤️????????????” https://t.co/oBMrSgZMpnpic.twitter.com/xf30KB9tas — Sally Kang (@KIMJ1WON) December 27, 2016 2NE1 members: Where Are They Now Now that we know that Park Bom intends to keep singing, we thought we’d check out some of the current and future career plans of Minzy, Dara, and CL, the other former members of 2NE1. Minzy: For those of you who may be unaware, Minzy left the group earlier this year before the official 2NE1 disbandment. But it looks like she also intends to continue her entertainment career. Korea Portal reports that the former girl group member is currently with a new agency, Music Works Entertainment, a subsidiary of CJ E&M’s music division. There were reports that she was supposed to release new music as a solo artist in December but that new music has not materialized as yet. So far the only thing Minzy has debuted since she left 2NE1 is her new blond hair. CL, Minzy, & Dara are all currently blonde! I am SHOOK by these visuals!! now all we need is for Bom to be blonde & then my life is complete pic.twitter.com/0Xpi2EINhV — Mia #JustTellMeWhy???? (@2NE1ismystyle) December 24, 2016 Dara If you remember, Dara seemed really upset about her group’s disbandment. She wrote a letter to the Blackjacks and shared it on her social media. “I will be missing you. I hope you’re happy” Dara wrote. “I’m sorry and thank you Blackjacks from the bottom of my heart.” When 2NE1 broke up, most media outlets reported that she would be focusing more on doing hosting and acting duties. She, along with CL, retained her contract with YG Entertainment. But as Inquisitr previously reported, Dara gave a superstar performance at Pinoy Superstar recently which shows that she’s got more than enough star power to make it as a kpop soloist. Dara performed her song “Kiss” and it was the first time she performed since the 2NE1 disbandment. CL: CL has been very busy assimilating into the American music industry. If we’re judging using that criteria, she’s the most successful 2NE1 member pre and post-disbandment. She’s made a couple of big career moves since coming to America. Her 2016 single “Get Lifted” made it to the Top 30 of the Itunes Hip hop/Rap chart within hours of being released. [Featured Image by Ken Ishii/Getty Images]

EXO Topples BTS For Highest Kpop Album Sales Of 2016 For Male Idol Group– Block B's 'Toy' Rules Downloads [VIDEO]

EXO could just be the best performing kpop male idol group of 2016. Koreaboo reports the “Monster” crooners have blown other male idol groups out of the water in terms of sales this year. According to Koreaboo, the Kpop album that got the most physical sales of any male idol group of 2016 was EXO’s Ex’act. They sold 793,934 physical copies of the album, based on statistics from the Gaon Music Chart. BTS’ Wings came in second with 681,924 physical copies of the album sold. Soompi reports that the nine member boy band sold over 1 million copies of their 2016 album and its repackaged version, LOTTO. According to The Korea Herald, 660,000 copies of the Ex’act album were pre-ordered. For Life, EXO’s special winter album sold 425,000 copies, according to Soompi. EXO cumulative album sales for this year has exceeded 2.13 million copies????https://t.co/prpGC0A8pI pic.twitter.com/7nvMw0KY6U — 格蕾丝 {hiatus} (@yixinqins) December 28, 2016 EXO’s sub group, EXO-CBX also put out a mini album this year called HEY MAMA which sold 276,000 copies. According to Soompi, this all means that EXO is now a “triple million” selling group, as all of the albums they have put out have sold a million copies or more. RELATED POSTS ON INQUISITR Block B ually Assaulted On SNL Korea Too? Genital Groping Video Surfaces On Social Media Just Like INFINITE and B1A4 Videos Varsity: Kpop’s New Male Idol Group Looks Hot, Hot, Hot! EXO Gives Fans Early Christmas Gift With ‘For Life’ Music Video And Winter Special Album [Video] Bangtang Boys (BTS) Topples EXO In December 2016 Brand Ranking, ‘Wings’ Tour Tickets Sell Out — Are Bangtang Boys The Best K-Pop Band Of The Year? Dara Performs ‘Kiss’ On ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar,’ Which Is Her First Performance Since YG Entertainment Girl Group 2NE1 Disbanded [Video] The news that they sold the most physical albums of any male idol kpop group is just icing on the cake for EXO. The group has had a great year. As Billboard notes, they earned their first number 1 on the World digital chart this year with “Monster” and this made them the sixth Kpop act to hit number 1 on prestigious chart. The other Korean artists who have had number one digital songs on Billboard include Psy, BIGBANG, 2NE1, BTS, CL, G-Dragon, Taeyang. EXO’s Ex’act album also ended up on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart just like their last album, Exodus, did. Asia One also reports that the group’s hit single, “Monster” also completed an “all-kill” in Korea, meaning that the song topped all of the major Korean music charts. EXO arrived on the 2016 SBS Gayo Daejun Red Carpet https://t.co/b5LfsrFdFT pic.twitter.com/DvheXxR5Ah — SMTownEngSub (@SMTownEngSub) December 26, 2016 But Kai, Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O. and Sehun, the members of EXO weren’t just selling albums this year, they were also selling lots of tour tickets. Their tour dates weren’t in small venues either. EXO were filling stadiums with their fans. As Fuse TV reported at the time, the American leg of the boy band’s EXO’luXion world tour was very successful. According to Fuse, they almost sold out The Prudential Center in New York making them only the third Kpop act to do so. But although EXO has had lots of success this year, there’s another male Kpop idol group that topped a prestigious year end chart. Based on the ranking provided by Gaon Music Chart, the most downloaded digital song of any male idol group of 2016 was Block B’s “Toy.” The song got 824,104 downloads this year. Winner came in second with “Sentimental” which had 703,483 downloads in 2016. EXO’s “Monster” came in third with 644,370 downloads. Group: BLOCK B (블락비) Seven Seasons. 2011 pic.twitter.com/O2fx2hP5LG —???? (@_sthend_) December 26, 2016 Are you a fan of EXO? What do you think of their performance this year? Let us know in the comments below. [Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]

Celebrity News 2016: A Rotten Retrospective

The hits just keep a’coming, and the year’s not over yet. Christmas day saw the demise of Wham singer, George Michael, and Status Quo guitarist, Rick Parfitt passed away just a day before. Greg Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer passed away on December 7. More than 60 members of the Red Army Choir went down in flames on December 25, according to Reuters. To say that 2016 has been a devastating year for Baby Boomers in particular and the music world in general may be the understatement of the century. On January 28, the world lost the likes of Signe Toly Anderson and Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane. Ten days earlier, the world of music reeled with the news that Eagles singer Glen Frey passed into oblivion after a brief battle with pneumonia. January 10 was the day we lost David Bowie, and seven days prior, Blue Man Group member, Jason Mackenroth. On 17 Jan 2016, of Mott the Hoople died due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease at age 67. The same day, Mic Gillette of Tower of Power succumbed to heart failure. February 2016 was no easier on the heart of rock ‘n’ rollers. On February first, Jim Reeves of the 90s Euroband, Squeezer, was murdered in Berlin. On February 6, Dan Hicks of Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks took his final breath, just hours after Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire expired at age 74 at his Los Angeles home due to complications of Parkinson’s disease. On March 8, 2016, legendary Beatles producer George Martin died in London. One week hence, Frank Sinatra Jr. succumbed to a massive massive coronary event at the age of 72 after cancelling a show at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach, Florida. On February 22, Chris Finley, who played with Herman’s Hermits and other British Invasion bands, died after suffering a stroke. On February 24, Lennie Baker of Sha Na Na died from a severe infection. April 2016 music deaths included Gib Guilbeau of the Flying Burrito Brothers, and guitar hero, Lonnie Mack. Merle Haggard went off-planet in April 2016 as did free jazz master, Gato Barbieri. In April, pop singer Prince made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois and died at Paisley Park a short time later. “Wait a few days before you waste any prayers,” was one of the final messages he sent to his fans. May 2016 music deaths included the pancreatic cancer related demise of singer Candye Kane and the end of Ohio Players bassist, Marshall Jones. Tony Barrow, who served as press officer for the Beatles during their long-lived heyday, also died in May 2016. The halfway-though-the-year month of May saw even more deaths that brought the music world to its knees. Megadeth drummer Nick Menza died onstage at Los Angeles’ famed Baked Potato at the age of 51. Beastie Boys founding member, Adam Yauch passed away due to temporal dementia on May 19. If you think June was any easier for culture fans, please think again. Before the end of June brought the demise of Rat Dog bassist Rob Wasserman, the month saw the sad end of Elvis Presley band guitarist Scotty Moore, as well as ZZ Top manager Bill Ham. Vietnam war protestor and boxing champion Mohammad Ali passed away on June 23rd in Scottsdale, Arizona. Jimmy Van Zant, formerly of the southern rock band, Lynyrd Skynrd, died in his sleep on April 7. On June 3rd, Dave Swarbrick of seminal folk rock band Fairport Convention died from emphysema. July 2016 was as bad a month for music fans as any we’ve ever seen. On July 6, Danny Smythe of the Box Tops passed away at age 67. On June 3rd, Dave Swarbrick of seminal folk rock band Fairport Convention died from emphysema. Blue Öyster Cult songwriter Sandy Pearlman died July 26. August 2016 music deaths were just as harsh, bringing the end of Matt Roberts of 3 Doors Down and Lou Pearlman of Backstreet Boys. Preston Hubbard of the band The Fabulous Thunderbirds died at age 63, and Glenn Yarbrough of The Limeliters passed away at age 86. In September, Jerry Corbetta who brought the 70s song “Green Eyed Lady” to prominence with the Denver-based band Sugarloaf, died as well. Autumn music world deaths were far from over in September. October 2016 brought another raft of bad news with the deaths of the Dixie Cups’ Joan Marie Johnson and former teen idol Bobby Vee on the 24th. In November, Eddie Harsch of the The Black Crowes passed away, as did the incomparable Leonard Cohen. If there is a lesson to be learned from all this death and destruction, we don’t know what it is. Put on your favorite record or CD, turn the music up and dance for your life while you can. What a death blow 2016 has been to music – Prince, David Bowie and now George Michael pic.twitter.com/VGbU8wN71M — omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) December 26, 2016 [Feature photo by Ritfuse/ThinkStock/Getty Images]

TWICE Praised For Professionalism During '2016 SBS Gayo Daejun' — SBS Accidentally Plays 'Navillera' By GFriend During JYP Entertainment K-Pop Girl Group's Stage Performance [Video]

Today on Monday, December 26 at 10 p.m. KST, the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) aired their end-of-the-year K-pop special event, the 2016 SBS Gayo Daejun. Meaning “Battle of the Bands” when loosely translated from Korean to English, this years venue featured some of the K-pop industry’s most popular acts today performing on stage. The performance lineup alone included K-pop groups Big Bang, EXO, Sechs Kies, BTS, Shinee, Got7, Lovelyz, Red Velvet, Twice, Mamamoo, Black Pink, BtoB, Vixx, Seventeen, CNBLUE, Sistar, GFriend, AOA, Apink, NCT, EXID, Infinite, and more. As for soloists, we got to see Taeyeon, Hyuna, and Ailee perform. Though the 2016 SBS Gayo Daejun is a celebration of all things K-pop, there are certain stage performances K-pop fans anticipate more than others. Besides the producers stage featuring the likes of Lee Soo Man of SM Entertainment and J.Y. Park of JYP Entertainment, the performances fans wanted to see the most were two collaborations. The first was G-Dragon of Big Bang and CL formerly of 2NE1 having a hip-hop collaboration. The second was T.O.P. of Big Bang and Uhm Jung Hwa having a disco collaboration. Nevertheless, the 2016 SBS Gayo Daejun was worth its while to watch except for K-drama fans of Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim. Unfortunately, the 2016 SBS Gayo Daejun did not go off without a hitch. During Twice’s stage performance, SBS accidentally played the music track for “Navillera,” GFriend’s hit song, instead of “TT.” Though the members of Twice were confused on what was going on, they remained in position until SBS fixed their snafu. Now K-pop fans are praising Twice for their professionalism during the awkward moment. JYP Entertainment K-pop girl group Twice is being praised for their professionalism during a snafu SBS did during the 2016 SBS Gayo Daejun during their stage performance. [Image by JYP Entertainment] The incident happened right when Twice’s stage performance was about to start. After all nine members — Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu — got into position for “TT,” SBS started to play its music track. To their surprise, the music track for “TT” did not play but “Navillera” by GFriend. Twice clearly showed their confusion but they did not move from their position for about 30 seconds in what we can call an impromptu mannequin challenge. Eventually, SBS realized their error and changed the music to “TT” so that Twice could do their best performing in front of the crowd. K-pop fans, especially those who are Once (official fan club of Twice), were surprised and upset at the situation. According to AllKpop, many of them have demanded an apology from SBS, making their voice heard on online. Commenter One: “SBS never fails to disappoint me. Freaking idiots. The audio and camera work were horrible too.” Commenter Two: “Jungyeon’s shocked facial expressions was so cute. kekeke but for SBS this year as well.” Commenter Three: “Their facial expressions were like ‘WTF?’ It was cute though.” At this moment, SBS has not posted an official apology to fans and Twice for what happened during the latter’s stage show. Instead, it seems that SBS may be trying to sweep their mistake under the rug hoping nobody notices. On SBS’ official YouTube, they uploaded Twice’s performance from the 2016 SBS Gayo Daejun with their snafu edited out. We as K-pop fans can only wait to see if SBS will offer an apology, but we should also understand issues do happen during live shows such as the 2016 SBS Gayo Daejun. We may be praising Twice for their professionalism, but many K-pop acts are trained to remain professional in such cases. For example, Stellar finished their performance of “Marionette” after the backtrack skipped a couple of times than suddenly stopped via acapella. As for another example, Sister finished their stage performance despite the stage being slippery. Twice and GFriend are sometimes called the new “K-pop BFFs” after their collaboration on “Inkigayo” in which they performed the iconic Girls’ Generation song “Gee.” [Image via Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)] In some ways, the fact that Twice’s performance accidentally played GFriend’s “Navillera” is a peculiar coincidence. Kind of like how Girls’ Generation and Sistar are best friends, Twice and GFriend are best friends after their special stage collaboration performing Girls’ Generation’s hit song “Gee.” Later on, they would both perform each other’s hit songs when Twice performed “Me Gustas Tu” and GFriend performed “Like OOH-AHH.” Also, GFriend is well-known for being professional during stage performance situations. Earlier this year, a video of GFriend performing at Lotte Water Park during heavy rain went viral. They were drenched to the bone but they still performed for those in attendance. Yet, their most popular show of professionalism and the one that made them internationally popular was finishing up a performance of “Me Gustas Tu” on a slippery stage. Yuju slipped a total of eight times while SinB had one major face-plant spill in the middle of the stage. Ultimately, Twice pulled out a wonderful performance at the 2016 SBS Gayo Daejun. And if anything good can come from this situation, it would be that Twice is getting media coverage in which fans are surely taking their side in the situation. For K-pop fans interested in listening to Twice, especially the song they performed at the 2016 SBS Gayo Daejun titled “TT,” their latest album Twicecoaster: Lane 1, which has the song “TT” as a title track, is available for purchase at YesAsia. Take note there are three versions: neon magenta, apricot, and the new Christmas version. [Featured Image by JYP Entertainment]

B*Witched's Keavy Lynch Opens Up About Difficult Reunion And 'Living In Her Twin's Shadow'

B*Witched may have been one of the best music sensations in the late ’90s, but there was certainly lots of drama behind the closed doors, according to News Australia. The band’s member Keavy Lynch recently opened up about how it was like living in the shadow of twin Edele. The women of @BWitchedreunion look SO different, 18 years after “C’est la Vie” https://t.co/vIFel7ZIYI pic.twitter.com/mZWH4MnVAl — HelloGiggles.com (@hellogiggles) December 24, 2016 In her interview with News Australia, Lynch got candid about her experience with B*Witched and how it truly felt during that awkward reunion in 2012. It all started with the four girls – twins Keavy and Edele Lynch, Sinead O’Carroll, and Lindsay Armaou – forming a group of four in 1996. Two years later, B*Witched released song “C’est la Vie,” which broke charts both domestic and international. While it’s been 18 years since the release of their hit single, the girls have sold 3 million albums worldwide. But it wasn’t a stardom full of unicorns and pink elephants for B*Witched. Keavy Lynch revealed to News Australia that the girls had tensions within the band, which could have become the reason why Sony dropped them in 2002. MattYoung : RT brontecoy: LOVE this – MattYoung spoke to B*Witched’s Keavy Lynch about all the behind-the-scenes dr… pic.twitter.com/REPDVxAdgp — MD MAZAHARUL ISLAM (@MdMazaharul2009) December 21, 2016 Lynch admits that it took the four of them “by surprise” that Sony and their management had suddenly given up on them. “Something went wrong, somebody ripped it from under our feet; we were very lost.” Keavy also admits that while it all started out smoothly for B*Witched, as soon as a record company management got involved, her twin Edele was “pushed out front.” The singer reveals that it didn’t make the rest of the band feel “very good.” While Edele took the spotlight and pretty much became the face of B*Witched, her twin Keavy admits that the rest of the band felt isolated and untalented. And while the girls accepted that Edele was the lead singer, what was more shocking is the fact that Sony dropped them. For the next 11 years, the former B*Witched girls were removed from the music industry altogether. But Keavy admits that she probably took the news harder than the rest of the girls. “I ended up feeling very lost about who I was. I was exhausted and it was just really, really tough.” An Interview with Keavy Lynch from B*Witched https://t.co/6g8PSw2XcD pic.twitter.com/F0f8GqAUTZ — Mallory Arbour (@mallory_arbour) December 19, 2016 After B*Witched was pushed to the past, Lynch admits she didn’t know what to do with her life for the next few years outside the band. “I guess I was a ticking bomb, and the bomb exploded. I was a twin in the band and living in my twin’s shadow.” But in 2012, B*Witched had a unique chance to step back into the stardom. It was the British documentary series The Big Reunion that helped the girls get back together. But their reunion didn’t leave the kind of impression one would expect. Keavy admitted that it took “a while” to convince the B*Witched girls to perform in front or large crowds again. But they eventually said “yes.” It’s been a rough journey for the girls. After the group was disbanded in 2002 and dropped by Sony, Sinéad O’Carroll decided to leave, according to Yahoo News. After B*Witched disbanded, Keavy’s twin sissy, Edele, started writing songs for other popular bands like Girls Aloud and Sugababes. She even reunited with Keavy to perform in a duo called Barbarellas. In the past few years, Edele has been focused on her reality TV career and has pretty much faded from the music industry. The former B*Witched band member even won Celebrity Apprentice Ireland in 2013 and appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2014. Happy Birthday Edele & Keavy Lynch (2/4 of B*Witched) #HappyBirthday #BWitched pic.twitter.com/702L9FhDWm — Haunted Like A Wolf (@SnrHunted) December 15, 2016 B*Witched are preparing for their Australian reunion tour in early 2017. Only time will tell if the girls can still claw their way back into the music industry. [Featured Image by Miles Willis/Getty Images]

Alphonse Mouzon Dead At 68

The heartbreaking roster of musicians who perished in 2016 just increased by one. Jazz fusion drummer Alphonse Mouzon is dead at age 68. Always innovative and tasteful, the master percussionist was diagnosed with a relatively rare and advanced neuroendocrine carcinoma in September. On November 25, Mouzon publicly thanked his former wife, Allison Mouzon, for a generous donation that he intended to use to seek medical treatment in Mexico. Today, Facebook friends and followers are adding condolences to Alphonse’s post. His name may not be as familiar as Prince, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Bernie Worrell and other music notables who left the planet this year, but the death of jazz fusion drummer Alphonse Mouzon puts a big hurt on jazz aficionados around the globe. Mouzon’s musical career started when he was in high school in South Carolina. Born November 21, 1948 in Charleston, Mouzon learned to play drums under the tutelage of Charles Garner and Lonnie Hamilton III. Mouzon’s masterful chops were evident even then, prompting Hamilton to hire Mouzon to do public shows with his professional band. A great first gig, but Alphonse had bigger musical ideas. Shortly after graduating from high school, Mouzon relocated to New York City and studied at Manhattan Medical School while furthering his drum education, taking acting classes, and working as a med tech at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital where he was employed until 1969, according to Mouzon’s bio at Tenacious Records. Before being signed to Blue Note Records in the early 1970s, Mouzon served as a session drummer on Tim Hardin’s recording of “Bird on a Wire” and played in the pit band of a Broadway show called Promises, Promises. Mouzon’s description of the experience of being the youngest musician on Broadway at the time appeared on the official Weather Report website earlier today. “I guess I was playing in a place called Small’s, a jazz club in New York, and Bobby came to see me along with Harold Wheeler, who’s now the music director with Dancing With The Stars. Harold was 25, I was 19, and they introduced me to him, and they said, oh, they want me to do this show. Bobby was the drummer for Promises, Promises, but he wanted to go across the street to a TV show with David Frost, so they needed a replacement. So he brought Harold Wheeler to my gig. And that’s when I got that job at 19 years old. I was the youngest kid at that time on Broadway.” In 1970, Mouzon founded seminal jazz fusion combo, Weather Report, with Czech bassist Miroslav Vitouš, Austrian born keyboard master Joe Zawinul and American soprano sax player, Wayne Shorter. Earlier today, the Weather Report website noted that Mouzon was born to be a drummer and remained “hopeful and upbeat” to the end.despite a dire prognosis. “Alphonse was one of those people who was born to be a drummer. He started banging on things when he was a toddler in Charleston, South Carolina. His family didn’t have much money, so he made his own drums out of boxes and tin cans. He used to tap dance on the front porch and play his homemade drums, earning pocket change.” During the course of his illustrious career, Mouzon participated in musical projects with the likes of Larry Coryell, Jaco Pastorius, McCoy Tyner, Stanley Clarke, Al DiMeola, Les McCann, Sonny Rollins and Miles Davis. He recorded with Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana and Chubby Checker. Herbie Hancock, Ernie Watts, Chet Baker, John Klemmer and Gil Evans projects also benefited mightily from Mouzon’s musical mastery. R.I.P. Mr. Alphonse Mouzon (November 21, 1948 to December 26, 2016)
Jazz/Fusion drummer par excellence pic.twitter.com/AlVeZuxEJ4 — IG:BENNYILL91 (@HorsepowerProd) December 26, 2016 [Feature image via Carlos Castilla/ThinkStock/Getty Images]