The week's biggest music news rounded up, including Janelle Monae at Worthy Farm's West Holts Stage, new albums from Foals, James Blake and Sleater-Kinney, plus a Bowie rarities set.
Excitement ahead of Glastonbury 2019 later this summer has increased with the announcement that R&B star Janelle Monáe has been added to the line-up.
Speaking on BBC Radio 6 Music’s breakfast show, Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis told host Lauren Laverne that the American singer had been booked to headline the West Holts Stage at the festival, on a night yet to be confirmed.
The American R&B megastar will headline the West Holts Stage at Worthy Farm in June.
Anticipation for Glastonbury Festival later this summer has risen with the announcement that R&B star Janelle Monáe has been added to the bill.
Speaking on BBC Radio 6 Music’s breakfast show on Monday morning (January 7th), Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis told host Lauren Laverne that the American singer had been booked for the 2019 edition of the festival, and would be headlining the West Holts Stage on a night yet to be confirmed.
Monáe, who released her third studio album Dirty Computer last year to rapturous reception, has not performed at Glastonbury since 2011, when she rolled out a set that was recently voted as one of the 100 finest that Worthy Farm had ever seen.
Continue reading: Janelle Monae To Perform At Glastonbury 2019
She's out and she's proud.
Janelle Monáe has finally confirmed rumours of her sexuality, revealing that she does indeed identify as a 'queer' woman, as her new album 'Dirty Computer' suggests. However, she's still keeping her personal life to herself and won't comment on any reports regarding who she might be dating.
Janelle Monae at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party
The 32-year-old is set to drop her third album 'Dirty Computer' tomorrow (April 27th 2018), and with it comes a huge revelation that is of so much importance to members of the LGBT community both young and old: this beautiful songstress is queer and proud.
Continue reading: Why Janelle Monáe Coming Out As Queer Is So Important
She describes her upcoming short film as an 'emotion picture'.
Janelle Monae is back is she's fusing her two big loves; music and film; with this unique album trailer in the run up to the release of her forthcoming record 'Dirty Computer'. Far from being a run-of-the-mill music video, this is what she has defined as an 'emotion picture'.
Janelle Monae at the premiere of 'Annihilation'
'Dirty Computer' will mark the 32-year-old's first album in five years and comes alongside a short 'film narrative' that is set to hit select theatres ahead of the 'Black Panther' screenings. She has now unveiled the 30-second trailer for the visual, which stars Tessa Thompson from 'Thor: Ragnarok'.
Continue reading: Janelle Monae Unveils Inspired Trailer For Her 'Dirty Computer' Album
Janelle Monae at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Annihilation' held at the Regency Village Theatre. Directed by Alex Garland, the film stars Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Natalie Portman as researchers in an exhibition whereby nature has developed beyond the rest of the world - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 13th February 2018
Janelle Monae at the world premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Black Panther', held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The movie is the second to feature Chadwick Boseman as the titular superhero, following 2016's 'Captain America: Civil War' - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 30th January 2018
Janelle Monae at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards held at Madison Square Garden. Bruno Mars was the most successful winner this year, taking home seven awards altogether including Record of the Year - New York, New York, United States - Sunday 28th January 2018
It's gone quiet on the music front, but Janelle Monae's film career is going from strength to strength into 2017.
There are many, many reasons to love Janelle Monae. Uncategorisable in her wider career as well as in her nominal job as a pop star, there have been few artists in the 2010s who are as daring and consistently compelling as her.
Where to start? Well, there’s the matter of her two exceptional studio albums The ArchAndroid (2010) and The Electric Lady (2013) – three if you count her out-of-print and hard-to-find debut The Audition way back in 2003 when she was just 18. Slavered over by critics and both selling around 200,000 copies in the States, they represent some of the most unique visions for pop music in ages.
Janelle Monae outside the 2016 American Music Awards
Continue reading: The Year Of Janelle Monae: Why We Love Her And What To Expect In 2017
The singer was attempting to deliver a speech about police brutality after her performance on ‘The Today Show’.
Singer Janelle Monae found herself silenced by NBC on Friday when she tried to deliver a speech about police brutally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Monáe was appearing on 'The Today Show' where she performed three songs, ‘Tightrope’, ‘Yoga’ and 'Hell You Talmbout’, a protest song written in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Janelle Monáe was cut off by NBC after a performance of 'Hell You Talmbout’.
Monáe was joined by her Wondaland labelmates Jidenna, Deep Cotton and Roman GianArthur for the performance which took place outside NBC headquarters in Manhattan. After her rendition of 'Hell You Talmbout’ Monáe began her speech which addressed the recent incidents of police brutality in the US.
Continue reading: Janelle Monae Gets Cut Off By NBC During Black Lives Matter Speech
It makes absolute logical sense for any company to want to be affiliated with the biggest events in the world, which the football World Cup unarguably is. But what to do when your biggest rival is a corporate partner of said tournament? In this case, the answer is a compilation record.
Whilst a couple of months may already have elapsed since the World Cup ended, this does afford us the ability to review this album using a host of clichés and tournament-inspired analogies. Santigold's 'Kicking Down Doors' signals the start of play with a pounding dub beat on a track that fails to take off. The arrival of a collaboration between Rita Ora and Calvin Harris - 'I Will Never Let You Down' - is like Spain making an appearance, but the resulting club number is as disappointing as the showing from the former champions. The decision to allow Janelle Monae to give Bowie's 'Heroes' an urban makeover gets a red card, but Don Omar adds the correct sort of bite to proceedings with a carnival-enthused 'Pura Vida'.
The second half begins with a substitution to the likeable quirky pop of 'Crescendo' by Jetta, before Kelly Rowland takes centre stage. Unfortunately, 'The Game' is a tuneless effort that falls well beneath the high standard of the output she has previously been involved with and leaves us needing a hero as we enter the latter stages of play. It would be too much now for the result of the album to be saved, but like a late consolation, it doesn't mean you can't put positives into the outcome. It isn't forthcoming though, with the remainder playing out a drab affair lacking impact and passion. Likening this to the England team's performance seems too obvious, but given the lack of expectation in the first instance, is actually quite appropriate.
Continue reading: Various Artists - Pepsi Beats Of The Beautiful Game Album Review
The first day of Bonnaroo went off without a hitch - even the Tennessee weather was cooperating.
Happy Bonnaroo weekend! The Tennessee-based arts and music festival effectively kicked off the season on Friday. Per USA Today’s recap, he weather was appropriately mild and the rain that threatened for the entire day never came through, letting crowds enjoy the show free from sweltering heat and soaking rain – a good thing, considering that the lineup, including the likes of Phoenix, CVRCHES, Vampire Weekend and Neutral Milk Hotel were not to be missed. And then there were the headliners.
CHVRCHES were just one of the bands playing Bonnaroo Friday.
Kanye West kicked off his set late at night on Friday. As usual, West’s performance was on point, but due to the large crowd and somewhat poor technical execution, it was difficult for many fans to connect. A number of the people, who were too far from the stage, reportedly booed the rapper.
Continue reading: Sam Smith, Janelle Monae - The Unexpected Gems Of Bonnaroo Day 1
Rowland made the announcement via Instagram this past Tuesday.
Kelly Rowland is pregnant! Unlike other celebrity pregnancies, the news came straight from the source this time, with the singer posting a photo on her Instagram of a baby-sized pair of Air Jordans. Aw, isn’t that the cutest product placement you’ve ever heard of?
Congrats on the baby. And the general awesomeness.
It’s been a whirlwind year for Rowland and her longtime beau, Tim Witherspoon, who just tied the knot a month ago. The couple celebrated their love with an intimate ceremony in Costa Rica on May 9.
Kelly also recently released a new single, The Game, as part of Pepsi’s World Cup visual album. The album features Rowland, alongside the likes of Janelle Monae, Rita Ora and Idris Elba, of all people, and includes audio and visual contributions, centered around the theme of, y’know, the Game. Also collaboration and togetherness, etc.
Made in America Festival is an annual music event founded by rapper and businessman Jay-Z in 2012. Following its inaugural year, it was announced to take place in Los Angeles for the later events and its arrival has since become an important symbol of unity. Jay-Z created the festival in a bid to join together musicians of all genres, creeds and cultures to emphasise the bond between music-lovers regardless of any animosity that may have existed between hip hop artists, rock artists and pop artists in the past. It is an attempt to build a world of peace and diversity because, in the words of Run DMC star Darryl McDaniels, 'Music succeeds where politics and religion fail'.
'Made In America' is a music documentary based on the new festival of the same name founded by Jay-Z who is also the movie's executive producer. It has been directed by double Oscar winner Ron Howard ('The Da Vinci Code', 'Apollo 13', 'Rush', 'A Beautiful Mind') and features behind-the-scenes clips and interviews of various music superstars including Run DMC, Rita Ora, Kanye West, Janelle Monáe, Tyler The Creator, Skrillex, Santigold and The Hives. The film premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for 'Outstanding Television Documentary' at the Black Reel Awards.
Made In America is available on VOD and DVD 19 May 2014
Date of birth
1st December, 1985
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