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Bob's Classic Hits News

New Peter Frampton signature guitar based on his Gibson "Phenix" model to be released in May

Credit: Rob ArthurPeter Frampton has announced plans for a new signature guitar, based on his famous Gibson Les Paul Custom VOS model that he played on his classic Frampton Comes Alive! album and which is now known as the "Phenix."

According to a post on Gibson's Twitter page, the new guitar will be available in early May.

"My brand-new Gibson Les Paul Custom VOS is here and boy is it good," says Frampton in a statement. "I couldn't be more pleased with the look and sound. Gibson has gone that extra mile in every area to make this feel and sound the closest to my original, storied Phenix Les Paul Custom guitar.

He adds, "The neck and weight of this mahogany guitar will amaze you at how great it feels and how light it is (and it's even a hair lighter than the Phenix). This is the real deal."

Meanwhile, Gibson Brands executive Mat Koehler says, "It was such a thrill and a privilege to work with Peter on this project. Thanks to recent technology we were able to get the guitars to feel and sound closer than ever to Peter's iconic original."

During his early solo career, Frampton's 1954 Gibson Les Paul Custom VOS was his favorite guitar to play on stage, but he thought the instrument was destroyed in a 1980 cargo plane crash in Venezuela. Unknown to Peter, the guitar actually survived the crash, and it eventually was returned to him in 2012. After he restored the instrument, he named it the Phenix.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Olivia Newton-John on duetting with her daughter & her old pal Barry Gibb: "I'm so honored"

Michelle Day; John Sciulli/WireImageOlivia Newton-John hasn't let the pandemic slow her down: She's recorded different duets with two very special people -- her daughter Chloe and her lifelong friend Barry Gibb.

Olivia and Chloe just released "The Window in the Wall," which Olivia was offered by a woman she met a few years ago. The woman emailed Olivia and said she had a great song for her...written by her cousin.

Olivia laughs, "I'm thinking, 'Oh gosh. It's her cousin and it's going to be terrible, and how am I going to tell her?'"

But when she heard the song, which is about trying to find unity and common ground, Olivia tells ABC Audio, "I was really moved by it...some little voice told me, you need to record this song. It's a very special song."

She adds, "I think this world is in need of healing music right now.  It wasn't intended as a duet...but...for me, that's how it needed to be." 

Chloe says, meanwhile, "The fact that out of all the people my mom could have asked...she asked me.  I was honored, and I thought the message of the song was perfect for the world right now."

You can also hear Olivia singing with Gibb on Greenfields, the Bee Gees singer's new duets album, which just became his first solo #1 album in the U.K., where he was born.

"I'm so thrilled for Barry, he so deserves this," Olivia gushes.  "His songs are so beautiful...I love listening to this album. I sing along with every song."

Olivia, who met Barry when they both were teenagers, notes, "[T]o have known him through all the different stages of his life and career is quite amazing. He's just so clever...and to work with him again now...was a big honor."

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


New MusiCares auction features items from Pete Townshend, David Lee Roth, Brian May, Madonna & more

William Snyder; Courtesy of Julien's Auctions

The MusiCares Charity Relief Auction, which will raise money for those in the music industry affected by COVID-19, is set to launch on January 31, and the sale will feature items from The Who's Pete Townshend, David Lee Roth, Madonna, Queen's Brian MayCyndi Lauper, Bob Dylan, ABBA, Carole King, Joe Walsh and many other music stars.

Townshend has contributed a blue jumpsuit and a long beige coat he wore onstage during The Who's 2019 tour. A black jacket embroidered with rhinestones that Roth wore during Van Halen's 2007-2008 trek also is part of the auction. May has donated a signed black long-sleeved shirt and an autographed photo of him performing at the 2012 Olympics.

A wool dress that Madonna wore while shooting the 1996 film Evita and a signed painted jacket from Lauper also are part of the auction.

Two signed Dylan items are part of the sale: a print featuring handwritten lyrics to "Like a Rolling Stone" on one side and a drawing by Bob on the other, and a hardcover copy of Dylan's 2004 memoir, Chronicles.

ABBA has donated a signed postcard and sheet music for "Does Your Mother Know," while Carole King has offered up an orange silk jacket, a signed program for her Broadway musical Beautiful and an autographed photo.

An autographed Gibson guitar from Walsh and an American Beauty 50th anniversary guitar signed by The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir are also on the block.

Patti Smith has contributed a collection of books and albums, some of which are signed by the punk singer and poet. Billy Idol's handwritten lyrics to his 1990 song "Trouble with the Sweet Stuff" also is up for bid.

The auction goes live January 31 at 1 p.m. PT at JuliensLive.com.

By Matt Friedlander and Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Genesis postpones reunion tour again; trek now scheduled for the fall

Credit: Patrick Balls and Martin GriffinGenesis' The Last Domino? Tour of the U.K. and Ireland, which originally was supposed take place in late 2020, then was pushed back to April of this year, has been postponed again because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The reunion trek, which will be the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers' first tour since 2007, now is mapped out from a September 15-16 stand in Dublin through an October 11-13 engagement in London.

In announcing the new dates, Genesis posted a brief statement on their Facebook page that reads, "We're ready, but the world isn't...yet!" The band also has posted a teaser trailer for the tour on its YouTube channel.

Tickets for the rescheduled concerts are available via Genesis-Music.com. Previously purchased tickets are still valid, and those who bought them will be contacted by their ticket agent regarding updated details.

As previously reported, the trek will feature Genesis' classic trio lineup of Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, joined by Collins' son Nic on drums and the group's longtime touring guitarist Daryl Stuermer.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Mariah Carey releases remix EPs for 2002 album 'Charmbracelet'

Dia Dipasupil/Getty ImagesMariah Carey is keeping the #MC30 celebration going.

As part of the series she started last year for the 30th anniversary of her debut album, Mariah has released a special batch of remix EPs for her 2002 album Charmbracelet.

“#MC30 is back with Charmbracelet digital EPs and HD videos!” Mariah tweeted Friday. “Yayyyy Charmie..!!! I've been told this album is sort of a fan favorite..! Subtle Invitation, My Saving Grace, Yours, The One and many others make this album a fave of mine!”

There are five separate EPs with remixes for “Through the Rain,” “I Only Wanted,” “The One,” “Boy (I Need You)” and “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak.”

Mariah plans to roll out more remix EPs and bonus content from various albums including The Emancipation of Mimi, E=MC2, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel and Me. I am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse.

She released her first #MC30 goody for fans last July. She dropped The Live Debut -- 1990, a four-song digital EP of her first-ever live performance, which took place at New York City's Tatou Club on October 22, 1990. 

Her self-titled debut album was released June 12, 1990.

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


The late Sam Cooke's 90th birthday commemorated with the #ToastToSamCooke celebration

Courtesy of the Sam Cooke EstateToday marks what would have been the 90th birthday of the legendary soul singer Sam Cooke, who is best known for the classic series of enduring songs he released in the late 1950s and early '60s before his untimely death at age 33 in 1964.

To commemorate the milestone, an online celebration has been launched at Cooke's official social media pages, dubbed #ToastToSamCooke, that's encouraging fans to post tribute messages to the influential singer.

Among the celebrities who have posted messages are Rod Stewart, Jennifer Hudson and actress/director Regina King.

Born in Mississippi and raised in Chicago, Cooke became a gospel singer as a child, and when he was a teenager, he took over as lead vocalist for the popular gospel group The Soul Stirrers. Sam launched a solo pop career in 1957, scoring a #1 hit that year with "You Send Me."

Cooke wrote or co-wrote nearly all of his major hits, which also included "What a Wonderful World," "Chain Gang," "Cupid," "Twistin' the Night Away," "Another Saturday Night," "Only Sixteen," "Bring It on Home to Me" and "Shake."

Sam was an advocate for artists' creative rights who recognized the importance of owning the publishing rights to his own compositions. In 1964, he wrote and recorded "A Change Is Gonna Come," which became a posthumous hit and went on to be among the most enduring anthems of the civil-rights movement.

Sadly, Cooke was shot to death in December 1964 during an altercation with a hotel manager.

A portrayal of Cooke by actor/singer Leslie Odom Jr. is featured in the new Regina King-directed film One Night in Miami, which focuses on a fictional meeting between Sam, Malcolm X, NFL great Jim Brown and heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali following the boxer's 1964 win over Sonny Liston.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Heart's Ann Wilson releases soulful new solo song, "Tender Heart," as digital single

Courtesy of Ann Wilson

Heart frontwoman Ann Wilson has debuted a brand-new solo single called "Tender Heart" that's available digitally and via streaming services.

The soaring, soulful original tune is a follow-up to Wilson's cover of the 2004 Steve Earle song "The Revolution Starts Now," which was released in October.

"'Tender Heart' came out of a personal struggle, but quickly evolved into a greater, more universal meaning," Ann explains in a statement. "We as the human race are coming to realize realities we never dreamed we'd have to face -- environmentally, culturally, financially, and health-wise. Humanity is coming to terms with uncomfortable, heartbreaking, terrifying truths."

She adds, "This song is for the soul whose heart is blindsided by reality, but is still soft and innocent. I hope people will identify with this song and feel they are not alone."

You can check out a companion lyric video for "Tender Heart" at Wilson's official YouTube channel.

Ann will chat about her new song and other topics in an interview with Washington Post reporter Geoff Edgers on his Instagram Live show, Stuck with Geoff, which streams live today at 2 p.m. ET exclusively at the newspaper's Instagram page.

Wilson recently released a limited-edition seven-inch vinyl single featuring "The Revolution Starts Now" and, as the B-side, a cover of Alice in Chains' "Rooster." Wilson also performed "Rooster" live as part of a star-studded virtual tribute to the grunge legends hosted by Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture, a.k.a. MoPOP, that took place in December 2020. You can check out a video of Ann's performance at her YouTube channel.

Ann's new song arrives as her sister and Heart band mate, Nancy Wilson, prepares her own debut solo studio album, which is due in April.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ten Years After drummer Ric Lee releases new memoir, 'From Headstocks to Woodstock'

Courtesy of Ric LeeFounding Ten Years After drummer Ric Lee has penned a new memoir called From Headstocks to Woodstock focusing on his long music career, including his adventures with the famous U.K. blues-rock outfit.

The 448-page tome is available now exclusively from Lee's official website, RicLeeTYA.com.

"It was something I'd always wanted to do and I actually started it more than 10 years ago, but kept stopping and starting for various reasons," Lee explains in a statement. "Then a chance conversation with a friend in Los Angeles persuaded me to get it finished."

Ten Years After was led by singer guitarist Alvin Lee and had a series of popular albums in the late 1960s and early '70s. In the U.S., the band is best known for their scorching performing of "I'm Going Home" at the 1969 Woodstock Festival and their hit "I'd Love to Change the World," which peaked at #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971.

Ric says some of the highlights in the book for him are "[m]y early days in bands in the Mansfield (my hometown) area, my stories about meeting people like Sir David Frost, Muhammad Ali, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis and many others, and, of course, playing at Woodstock."

Lee adds that he hopes hi memoir will "also be an inspiration to any aspiring young musicians to keep going against all adversity to finally win through."

While Alvin Lee died in 2013 at age 68 from heart surgery complications, Ten Years after has continued on and currently is led by Ric and founding keyboardist Chick Churchill.  The band is working on a new studio effort that's due out later this year, and is planning to release a deluxe version of its 2017 album A Sting in the Tale in March.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Always take candy from strangers, The Rolling Stones now have their own chocolate bars

Credit: Dave HoganWith Valentine's Day around the corner, The Rolling Stones are launching themed chocolate bars named after their song lyrics that are sure to give fans some sweet "Satisfaction."

The rockers-turned-chocolatiers will be coming out with two mouth-watering candy bars that fans can purchase next Monday on their online store.

British publication The Evening Standard reports that the first sugary confection will be a milk chocolate bar called "Brown Sugar," named after their 1971 hit.  The candy bar, which actually is made with brown sugar, is available for pre-order and will be made available on January 29.

Their second delicacy, which is available now, is a dark chocolate bar filled with cherries, called "Cherry Red" -- a nod to the 1969 Stones single "You Can't Always Get What You Want" that features the lyric, "My favorite flavor, cherry red."

Both bars come packaged in wrapper boasting The Stones' classic lips-and-tongue logo.

The two tasty treats are priced at $8.95.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Heart's Nancy Wilson says the She Rocks Awards is "good positive reinforcement for women among women"

Credit: Sacha GuzyHeart guitarist Nancy Wilson is among the accomplished and influential female music artists being honored tonight at the 2021 She Rocks Awards.

Not surprisingly, this year's edition of the annual event has gone virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wilson tells ABC Audio that she actually pre-taped her portion of the show at her home in Northern California.

"They mailed the award to my house like a couple of weeks ago," the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer reveals with a chuckle. "And so, then I got to pose with the award and accept the award."

Regarding the She Rocks Awards event, Nancy notes, "Most normally I don't go for anything so gender specific as 'only the women get the awards'…but I think…[i]t's really good to have that out there right now, with Kamala Harris stepping into the office. And…women putting on award ceremonies for women, you know, it's only a good thing."

She adds, "[T]here's no man bashing about it, you know? It's just a good positive reinforcement for women among women."

Nancy also says her segment will include a brief documentary-style look at her career using archival footage, and she also got the chance to promote her new signature Epiphone electric guitar, the Fanatic.

This year's other She Rocks Awards honorees include The Go-Go's, Runaways singer Cherie Currie, drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, and Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee.

"I respect and admire them all," says Wilson, "because…they've all worked through a lot of the same…years of getting it done with a lot of the same hurdles to overcome as I've done."

The event streams live at Parade magazine's official website and BelieveInMusic.tv, starting at 6:30 p.m. PT.

Meanwhile, Wilson will release her debut solo studio album in April.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Steve Lukather releases title track from upcoming solo album, 'I Found the Sun Again,' and companion video

Credit: Alex Solca PhotographyToto guitarist Steve "Luke" Lukather has released the third and final advance track from his upcoming solo album I Found the Sun Again, which is due out on February 26.

The atmospheric tune is the new album's title track, which is available now as a digital download and via streaming services. A companion video for "I Found the Sun Again" has premiered at Lukather's official YouTube channel. It features Luke and his girlfriend Amber, who inspired the tune.

In a Facebook post, Lukather says of the clip, "It's a spacy video with many inside bits...and done in my house so...I can't wait for the comments hahahahaha." He adds about the song, "It's Pink Floyd meets Christopher Cross and Joni Mitchell on acid. Enjoy."

Toto frontman Joseph Williams co-produced the track and directed the video.

As previously reported, I Found the Sun Again will be released simultaneously with Williams' latest solo album, Denizen Tenant, on the Toto duo's new label, The Players Club. Both musicians contributed to each other's album.

The other two advance tracks Lukather released from I Found the Sun Again were "Run to Me," which features Ringo Starr on drums, and "Serpent Soul." The latter tune includes contributions from founding Toto keyboardist/singer David Paich, Gov't Mule bassist Jorgen Carlsson, and drummer Gregg Bissonette of Ringo's All Starr Band. Williams sang backing vocals on both songs.

I Found the Sun Again and Denizen Tenant can be pre-ordered now, and will be available on CD, as two-LP sets and packaged together in limited-edition bundles.

Lukather and Williams also recently relaunched Toto with a new lineup, and the band is planning a 2021 trek called the Dogs of Oz Tour that currently is scheduled to kick off on July 15 in Bonn, Germany.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


The Village People, Laura Branigan's rep upset that Trump used their music in his final farewell

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesFor years, artists have expressed their displeasure at the fact that then-President Donald Trump used their music at his rallies and campaign appearances without permission.  While Trump is no longer president, two acts are upset about the fact that during Trump's final farewell, their music was once again played without permission.

Billboard reports that The Village People are angry that Trump played their classic "Y.M.C.A." at his farewell event at Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday. In a statement to Billboard, the iconic disco group said, "We have no ill will towards the president, but we asked him to cease and desist long ago. However, since he's a bully, our request was ignored."

"Thankfully he's now out of office, so it would seem his abusive use of our music has finally ended," they add, noting that they want to work to change copyright law so more control exists over who can and can't use their music "in the public space."

Meanwhile, Kathy Golik, the legacy manager for the late singer Laura Branigan, tells TMZ that she's ticked off that Trump blasted Branigan's song "Gloria" at the same event.

"'Gloria' is a great, energetic anthem that for decades has evoked many good feelings, memories of times and places, etc. for so many across the globe, and that's the association that Laura would want, and that I do as her legacy manager," says Golik.

She adds, "It's about not giving the power to those who do not deserve it, to change all the good that people have always felt about 'Gloria' -- to take the song back and restore it, and in turn, Laura's legacy, once again."

"Gloria" was also played at the January 6th event where Trump gave the speech that is accused of inciting a violent insurrection at the Capitol.

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Eagle-eyed fans realize Bon Jovi wasn't in Miami for 'Celebrating America' performance

Handout/Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty ImagesThe Celebrating America inauguration special on Wednesday night featured a star-studded lineup that included Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and other big-name music stars. But now it appears that the Bon Jovi frontman's performance may not have been entirely as advertised.

While Jon and his backing band's performance of The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" was introduced as taking place in Miami, ABC-TV affiliate WPLG reports that permits were obtained at multiple locations across South Florida to film it, including the iconic pier in the town of Dania Beach. 

In fact, many viewers took to social media to note that the dramatic pier location did not resemble Miami at all, and several guessed that it had been filmed on the Dania Beach Pier. 

While it's possible that the video included images shot elsewhere, WPLG has confirmed that Bon Jovi's performance was actually filmed at sunrise on January 15 in that town, which is located about 23 miles north of Miami.

Dania Beach posted a statement acknowledging the performance, writing, "We are extremely proud that the beautiful City of Dania Beach Pier was chosen as one of the locations for Jon Bon Jovi...to sing...to celebrate the Inauguration 2021."

The statement adds, "The Dania Beach Pier is the gem of our city and we are very grateful to see it shine on such a momentous day."

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


One-man stage play based on The Kinks' 'Lola Versus Powerman' album to premiere on band's YouTube channel

BMGIn conjunction with the recent release of the 50th anniversary reissue of The Kinks' 1970 album Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, a new one-man show called The Moneygoround co-written by Ray Davies will premiere as a one-off livestream presentation at the band's YouTube channel on Friday, January 29, at 3 p.m. ET.

"The Moneygoround is a one-man show documenting a character facing the challenging circumstances of making an album under extreme pressure," Davies explains. "This play, similar to a psychodrama, follows the ups and downs of the character as he plays out events in his life. He confronts the dark forces surrounding him after falling into an emotional and financial 'hole' eventually he is saved by a song after confiding in his friend, Lola."

Ray co-wrote The Moneygoround with Paul Sirett, a British playwright with whom he previously collaborated on the 2008 stage musical Come Dancing and a 2019 BBC radio play inspired by the 1969 Kinks album, Arthur.

The Moneygoround is described as "a unique audio-visual production" that stars U.K. actor, playwright and poet Ben Norris as the lead character. The show also will feature interludes that include archival footage and the recently released lyric videos for the songs "Lola" and "Any Time 2020" from the Lola Versus Powerman reissue.

As previously reported, the Lola Versus Powerman reissue was released last month, and is available as deluxe-edition box set, a single CD, a two-CD set, a vinyl LP and digitally.

The box set features three CDs, including a remastered stereo mix of the original album, alternate mixes and versions of songs, B-sides, live performances, BBC recordings, demos, medleys, and segments offering new conversations between Ray and his brother, Kinks guitarist Dave Davies.

Visit TheKinks.info for more details.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Glastonbury festival, which Paul McCartney and Diana Ross were booked to play in 2020, canceled again

Courtesy of Glastonbury FestivalsThe U.K.'s most prestigious music festival, Glastonbury, was supposed to have celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020 with a star-studded lineup that included Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, The Isley Brothers, Crowded House and dozens more.  Of course, it was canceled due to the pandemic.  Now, sadly, an attempt at a 2021 do-over has been canceled as well.

The festival's official social media accounts posted a message from Glastonbury organizers Michael and Emily Eavis, saying that "with great regret, we must announce that this year’s Glastonbury Festival will not take place...tickets for this year will roll over to next year."

The Eavis' full statement notes, "In spite of our efforts to move Heaven & Earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year. We are so sorry to let you all down....we are very confident we can deliver something really special for us all in 2022!"

In an FAQ, the organizers explain why they're not simply moving the festival -- which normally takes place in June -- to later in the year.

"The global response to the coronavirus pandemic is still changing daily, and it is too early to tell when restrictions on mass gatherings, and the demands on our emergency services will be loosened," they explain.

Of course, when Glastonbury does return in June 2022, there's also no guarantee that any of the artists who were set to play the 2020 festival will be available for the rescheduled date.

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Go-Go's bassist Kathy Valentine on her band receiving a She Rocks Award: "It's fantastic to be honored"

The Go-Go's in 1981; Paul NatkinThe Go-Go's are among the artists who will be honored during the 2021 She Rocks Awards, which will be a virtual event this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Go-Go's bassist Kathy Valentine tells ABC Audio that her band will receive the Icon Award during the event, which streams live on Friday, January 22, at Parade magazine's official website and BelieveInMusic.tv, starting at 6:30 p.m. PT.

Regarding her famous all-female group being recognized at the She Rocks Awards, Valentine says, "[I]t sounds arrogant but, you know, we're The Go-Go's -- of course we should be honored…and it's fantastic to be honored."

Founded in 2012, the She Rocks Awards salutes influential women from all areas of the music industry.

"I think it's a great event," says Valentine. "I think visibility is a key thing…[A]ny time people see women accomplishing, succeeding, working [in the business,] I think it gives a sense of possibility as to…what could happen in your life."

Regarding the band's appearance on the show, Kathy notes that The Go-Go's have provided a performance video of their new song, "Club Zero," adding, "[W]e did interviews. We did a red carpet. And we did little...acceptance speeches, each of us."

Valentine also reveals that she plans to take part in the VIP virtual after-party that's scheduled to follow the main show.

This year's other She Rocks Awards honorees include Heart's Nancy Wilson, Runaways singer Cherie Currie, Santana drummer Cindy Blackman Santana and Evanescence's Amy Lee. Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale hosts the event.

Valentine says of Wilson, "[She's] an absolute icon. She's fantastic," adding, "I remember when Heart came out, and just seeing two women having such a leading role in a band…definitely had an impact."

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi among stars who performed on 'Celebrating America' inaugural event

Handout/Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty ImagesThe 2021 inauguration celebrations wrapped up Wednesday night with the primetime special Celebrating America.

The event, which was hosted by Tom Hanks, featured a lineup of top-tier performers, multiple tributes that celebrated the diversity of America, and remarks from the newly sworn in President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Typically, the day's events are capped off with the official inaugural balls, however, in light of the pandemic, the Celebrating America event took their place this year, which allowed many Americans to tune in to an inspiring night of performances. 

Kicking off the exciting night from the elegant steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. was country rock star Bruce Springsteen, who opened up the program with his 1999 record "Land of Hope and Dreams" as "a small prayer for our country."

Also there to keep things rocking was Jon Bon Jovi. The New Jersey rocker and his backing band appeared from Miami, where they performed The Beatles' iconic hit "Here Comes the Sun" on a boardwalk in Miami as blue clouds gave way to the sun peaking through. 

Other performers on the special included Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Demi Lovato and Katy Perry. Lovato appeared from Los Angeles in front of LED screens as she belted out Bill Withers' R&B classic "Lovely Day."

From Washington, D.C., Pery ended the night with a bang -- quite literally -- performing her smash hit "Firework" in front of the Lincoln Memorial with as an impressive display of colorful fireworks erupted over the capital.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


U2's Bono on inauguration of President Biden: "Today [Lady Liberty's] flame burns bright"

Paul Morigi/Getty ImagesOn a day that saw the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, U2 frontman Bono has posted a message on the band's social media sites reflecting on the historic event that marks the end of the turbulent administration of Donald Trump.

"As an Irishman, I've always believed America isn't just a country, it's an idea…one the whole world has a stake in," the singer writes. "Lady Liberty's been bruised and battered these past four years, but today her flame burns bright as we watch her torch transfer to two new leaders who will calm the waters, even while they chart a new course."

Bono continues, "Joe Biden understands that in perilous times like these it is [Irish poet William Butler] Yeats' concept of cold passion that's required…an idea both very Irish, and very American."

The 60-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer goes on to congratulate and wish Godspeed to President Biden and Kamala Harris, who becomes the first woman, the first Black person and the first person of Asian descent elected U.S. vice president.

"[Her] history making, history-shaping achievement deserves many more moments in the sun," Bono notes.

He ends his message by referencing the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by angry Trump supporters, and saluting "those conservatives who, when incited to turn your back on democracy, chose to put country above party, truth above tribalism...and accepted that the people have spoken."

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Reminder: Watch Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi & more stars perform tonight on 'Celebrating America' special

Courtesy of Biden Inaugural CommitteeHere's a reminder that the star-studded primetime TV special Celebrating America commemorating today's inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris airs this evening at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.

The show will feature performances by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and many others, and will be hosted by Tom Hanks.

Other performers on the lineup include Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, John Legend, Demi Lovato, Tim McGraw, Tyler Hubbard, Luis Fonsi and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The special also will feature appearances by actors Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria, and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In addition, President Biden and Vice President Harris will appear on the special, and will speak on the topic of the diversity and talent of America. In general, the show will focus on the strength of U.S. democracy and how Americans pull together during crises and come out the other side even stronger. Front-line and healthcare workers and teachers will be celebrated as well.

Celebrating America will air on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and MSNBC from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET/PT. It also will be streamed live at BidenInaugural.org, and across platforms including Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Amazon Prime Video.

By Andrea Dresdale and Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rick Allen-hosted virtual benefit concert featuring Billy Idol, Tommy Shaw, Bret Michaels taking place Saturday

Courtesy of nugs.netBilly Idol, Styx's Tommy Shaw and Poison's Bret Michaels are part of the lineup of an all-star virtual benefit concert organized by Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen and his wife, singer/songwriter Lauren Monroe, that will be streamed at nugs.net this Saturday, January 23, starting at 6 p.m. PT.

The event, dubbed the Big Love Benefit Concert, will raise money for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund in support of road crews and production staff who are out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Rolling Stone, Allen and Monroe will host the show, which also will feature performances by ex-Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, Slash collaborator Myles Kennedy, country star Wynonna Judd and the Allman Betts Band, among others.

In addition, Sammy Hagar and members of Chicago will appear to share messages of support for the fundraiser.

Tickets for the virtual show are available now at nugs.tv.

In conjunction with the Big Love Benefit Concert, an online charity auction has been launched that will raise additional funds for the cause. Among the items and experiences up for bid are a private Zoom chat with Allen, a jacket autographed by Idol, drumheads signed by Allen and Sorum, and drum sticks signed by Rick and ex-Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle.

You can check out all of the items being auctioned at CharityBuzz.com.

By Matt Friedlander
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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