Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams Perform At Global Citizen Festival

Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder perform onstage during the 2017 Global Citizen Festival: For Freedom. For Justice. For All. in Central Park on September 23, 2017 in New York City. at Central Park. Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen/AFP

Stevie Wonder knelt before a packed New York festival on Saturday in a protest for peace as he led stars and politicians in pressing for sustained aid to eliminate the world’s worst poverty.

On a balmy late summer night, thousands converged on Central Park for the live-broadcast Global Citizen Festival which hands out tickets for free to fans who take actions such as petitioning their governments to support development assistance.

With President Donald Trump proposing sweeping aid cuts, the concert had set a goal of building political momentum in the world’s largest donor nation. But in a deeply divided United States, another Trump controversy came to the forefront.

Wonder took the stage and knelt, emulating a gesture popularized by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem to denounce racial injustice. Trump on Friday angrily denounced such protests, using profanity to demand that teams fire the athletes.

“Tonight, I’m taking a knee for America,” the blind soul legend said as took to the ground, his son Kwame Morris clutching his arm.

Wonder also voiced worry over the increasingly personal venom between Trump and North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un.

“We could lose the ultimate video game — of life — losing sight that weapons are real, and rhetoric is dangerous, whether it be from a superpower in North America or a superpower in North Korea,” Wonder said.

Wonder jammed through more than an hour of his best-loved songs before turning his ever-powerful belting voice to the 1985 charity singalong “We Are the World” as well as “Imagine,” the peace anthem by John Lennon who was assassinated a short stroll away.

The 67-year-old Wonder closed by bringing up a visibly star-struck Pharrell Williams, singing together a funk-heavy take of “Get Lucky,” which Williams co-wrote for Daft Punk, as well as the younger artist’s ode to optimism “Happy.”

Blurred Lines Verdict: Thicke And Williams Seek Appeal

Blurred linesPharrell Williams and Robin Thicke are to appeal the verdict which ruled that they copied a Marvin Gaye track.

Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court jury in Los Angeles sided with Gaye’s estate, finding that parts of his 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up” were lifted by Thicke and Williams for their 2013 R&B chart-topper.

Heirs of the late soul singer, Marvin Gaye, won a $7.4 million judgement on Tuesday against recording stars Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, who a jury found plagiarized the Motown artist in the creation of their hit single “Blurred Lines.”

However, the musicians’ lawyer remained adamant Blurred Lines was original, as his clients insist it was created solely by them.

Howard King told Fox Business News, “We owe it to songwriters around the world to make sure this verdict doesn’t stand.

“My clients know that they wrote the song Blurred Lines from their hearts and souls and no other source.

“We are going to exercise every post-trial remedy we have to make sure this verdict does not stand.”

Mr King added that expert evidence in the case, which may have swayed the jury, should have been inadmissible.

He said, in particular, that the testimony from a musicologist that compared Blurred Lines with Got To Give It Up was based on elements of Gaye’s song that were not on the original sheet music.

The attorney for Gaye’s heirs, Richard Busch, had said that they would seek an injunction to halt further distribution of Blurred Lines.

Marvin Gaye’s Heirs Win $7.4 Million For ‘Blurred Lines’ Plagiarism

Blurred linesHeirs of the late soul singer, Marvin Gaye, won a $7.4 million judgement on Tuesday against recording stars Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, who a jury found plagiarized the Motown artist in the creation of their hit single “Blurred Lines.”

The U.S. District Court jury in Los Angeles sided with Gaye’s estate, finding that parts of his 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up” were lifted by Thicke and Williams for their 2013 R&B chart-topper.

The jury awarded Gaye’s heirs $4 million in actual damages plus $3.4 million in profits that Thicke and Williams were found to have derived from their copyright infringement.

Several other parties sued by Gaye’s estate, the rapper T.I. and various music companies, were cleared of infringement.

Gaye’s daughter, Nona Gaye, hugged her attorney and wept as the court clerk read the verdict capping a week-long trial that explored the boundaries between artistic inspiration and theft.

“Right now I feel free, free from, honestly, from Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s chains and what they tried to keep on us, and the lies that they told,” she said.

Neither Thicke nor Williams was present for the verdict.

Their lawyer, Howard King, said they were keeping their options open. “It’s a lot of money. It’s not going to bankrupt my clients. It’s a disappointing number,” he said.

The attorney for Gaye’s heirs, Richard Busch, said they would seek an injunction to halt further distribution of “Blurred Lines.”

The suit cited magazine interviews given by Thicke in which he admitted drawing on “Got to Give it Up” when producing and recording “Blurred Lines.”

Thicke said later in sworn statements he was high on painkillers and alcohol when “Blurred Lines” became a hit and that he exaggerated his contribution to writing the song.

Thicke sang the raunchy, percussive dance tune, the biggest U.S. pop song of the summer of 2013, at that year’s MTV Video Music Awards in a provocative performance featuring pop singer, Miley Cyrus.

Williams acknowledged in court he had been a fan of Gaye’s music since childhood, but said “Blurred Lines” and “Got to Give it Up” were similar in genre only.

“The last thing you want to do as a creator is take something of someone else’s when you love him,” Williams testified. Gaye, whose hits included “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” was fatally shot by his father in 1984 at age 44.

Performers At Grammys 2015 Are…

GrammysThe melancholic singer of ‘In The Lonely Hour’, Sam Smith and the “Happy” Williams Pharrell have been announced as some of the artistes to perform at the Grammys, next month.

The Recording Academy announced Wednesday , that Usher and Miranda Lambert also will take the stage at the Feb. 8 show in Los Angeles, while Common and John Legend will perform their Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated song, “Glory,” from the movie “Selma.”

Smith, Pharrell and Beyonce are the Grammy leaders with six nominations apiece. They will battle Beck and Ed Sheeran for the top prize, Album of the Year.

More stars have been announced as performers for the night and it looks like it is going to be a full house with Sam Smith, John Legend, Pharrell Williams, Miranda Lambert, Usher, Ariana Grande, Madonna, Ed Sheeran, Eric Church and many more.

 

 

Photo Credit: Billboard

 

BET Awards: Beyonce, Pharrell, Davido, Nicki Minaj Win Big

BEETThe 2014 BET Awards held on Sunday night, June 29 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

African stars and media including Tiwa Savage, Mafikozolo, Ice Prince, Stephanie Coker and Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi were at the event.

Nigerian music star, Davido won the Best International Act-Africa.

The night’s big winner was Beyonce. The pop superstar got three awards, including the 2014 FAN-demonium award, voted on by viewers. Pharrell Williams and August Alsina also had a happy night, taking home two awards apiece.

Nicki Minaj won for Best Female Hip Hop Star, and in her acceptance speech, she praised herself as a hip-hop star that doesn’t have someone writing for her, an apparent dig at Iggy Azalea. Drake beat out Jay Z for Best Male Hip Hop star.

12 Years a Slave was chosen as Best Movie, with the film’s stars, Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor, taking home acting awards. Lionel Richie was honored as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

One memorable moment of the night was Kevin Hart interrupting presenter, Kerry Washington and referring to himself as “Oliver Pope,” a reference to Washington’s Scandal character, Olivia Pope.

Full list of winners below… 

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist: Pharrell Williams

Best Group: Young Money

Best Male Hip Hop Artist: Drake

Video Of The Year: Pharrell Williams

Best New Artist: August Alsina

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor

Best Movie: 12 Years A Slave

Sportsman Of The Year: Kevin Durant

Best International Act UK: Krept And Konan

Viewers’ Choice Award: August Alsina

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist: Beyonce

Best Collaboration: Beyonce And Jay Z

Best Female Hip Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj

Video Director Of The Year: Hype Williams

Best Gospel Artist: Tamela Mann

Best Actress: Lupita Nyong’o

Youngstars Award: Keke Palmer

Sportswoman Of The Year: Serena Williams

Best International Act Africa: Davido

Centric Award: Jhene Aiko

Gipsy Kings, Ladysmith Black Mambazo Beat Femi Kuti At Grammy Awards

Nigerian frontline Afrobeat singer, Femi Kuti, has lost out at the Grammy Awards for the fourth time, as French group, Gipsy Kings and South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo tie for the World Music category prize.

The winner for the category and some others were announced at a pre-telecast Sunday evening.

The critically acclaimed singer who did not attend the awards ceremony received the news graciously and sent out a congratulatory message to the winners.

The Afrobeat king, who was nominated for his latest album, No Place for My Dream,’ also lost out at the Grammys in 2003, 2010 and 2011.

Two unconventional acts, French electronic music DJs Daft Punk and New Zealand teen Lorde, took home the top Grammy awards.

The quirky robotic duo, Daft Punk, scored the double win of ‘Album of the year’ for “Random Access Memories,” and ‘Record of the year’ with the summer dance hit “Get Lucky,” featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers.

Rodgers praised the French DJ duo for creating their electronic music album using live music recorded on to analog tape, calling it “a labour of love.”

“The fact that they decided to put this much effort into the music and bringing in musicians, they had this incredible vision and they believed they achieved something greater by doing that,” Rodgers said backstage.

 See the full list of the 2014 Grammy Awards winners

2014 Grammy Awards Winners’ Full List

The 56th annual Grammy Awards, the highest honours in the music industry, were handed out at a televised ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 27.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Album of the Year:
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories (Julian Casablancas, DJ Falcon, Todd Edwards, Chilly Gonzales, Giorgio Moroder, Panda Bear, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams & Pharrell Williams)

Record of the Year:
Daft Punk, “Get Lucky” (Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, producers; Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta & Daniel Lerner, engineers/mixers; Antoine “Chab” Chabert & Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers)

Song of the Year:
Lorde, “Royals” (Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters)

Best Country Album:
Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer Different Park

Best Pop Vocal Album:
Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration:
Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake, “Holy Grail”

Best Pop Solo Performance:
Lorde, “Royals”

Best Rock Song:
Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear, “Cut Me Some Slack”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
Daft Punk Featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, “Get Lucky”

Best New Artist:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Best Rock Album:
Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day

Best Metal Performance:
Black Sabbath, “God Is Dead?”

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical:
Pharrell Williams

Best Alternative Music Album:
Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City

Best Rock Performance:
Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive”

Best Country Song:
Kacey Musgraves, “Merry Go ‘Round” (Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves and Josh Osborne)

Best Country Solo Performance:
Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
the Civil Wars, “From This Valley”

Best Music Film:
Paul McCartney, Live Kisses (Jonas Åkerlund, video director; Violaine Etienne, Aron Levine and Scott Rodger, video producers)

Best Music Video:
Justin Timberlake Featuring Jay Z, “Suit and Tie” (David Fincher, video director; Timory King, video producer)

Best Blues Album:
Ben Harper With Charlie Musselwhite, Get Up!

Best R&B Album:
Alicia Keys, Girl on Fire

Best Urban Contemporary Album:
Rihanna, Unapologetic

Best R&B Song:
Justin Timberlake, “Pusher Love Girl” (James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley and Justin Timberlake, songwriters)

Best Traditional R&B Performance:
Gary Clark, Jr., “Please Come Home”

Best R&B Performance:
Snarky Puppy With Lalah Hathaway, “Something”

Best Pop Instrumental Album:
Herb Alpert, Steppin’ Out

Best Dance Recording:
Zedd Featuring Foxes, “Clarity”

Best Dance/Electronica Album:
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories

Best Rap Performance:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz, “Thrift Shop”

Best Rap Song:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz, “Thrift Shop” (Ben Haggerty and Ryan Lewis, songwriters)

Best Rap Album:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, the Heist

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:
Michael Bublé, to Be Loved

Best New Age Album:
Laura Sullivan, Love’s River

Best Improvised Jazz Solo:
Wayne Shorter, “Orbits”

Best Jazz Vocal Album:
Gregory Porter, Liquid Spirit

Best Jazz Instrumental Album:
Terri Lyne Carrington, Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album:
Randy Brecker, Wlodek Pawlik Trio and Kalisz Philharmonic, Night in Calisia

Best Latin Jazz Album:
Paquito D’Rivera and Trio Corrente, Song for Maura

Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance:
Tasha Cobbs, Break Every Chain

Best Gospel Song:
Tye Tribbett, “If He Did It Before . . . Same God”

Best Contemporary Christian Music Song:
Mandisa, “Overcomer” (David Garcia, Ben Glover and Christopher Stevens, songwriters)

Best Gospel Album:
Tye Tribbett, Greater Than

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:
Mandisa, Overcomer

Best Latin Pop Album:
Draco Rosa, Vida

Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album:
La Santa Cecilia, Treinta Días

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano):
Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea, A Mi Manera

Best Tropical Latin Album:
Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Best American Roots Song:
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, “Love Has Come for You” (Edie Brickell and Steve Martin, songwriters)

Best Americana Album:
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Old Yellow Moon

Best Bluegrass Album:
Del McCoury Band, The Streets of Baltimore

Best Reggae Album:
Ziggy Marley, Ziggy Marley in Concert

Best World Music Album:
Gipsy Kings, Savor Flamenco (tie)

Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Live: Singing for Peace Around the World (tie)

Best Folk Album:
Guy Clark, My Favorite Picture of You    

Best Regional Roots Music Album:
Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, Dockside Sessions

Best Children’s Album:
Jennifer Gasoi, Throw A Penny In the Wishing Well

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books and Storytelling):
Stephen Colbert, America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t

Best Comedy Album:
Kathy Griffin, Calm Down Gurrl

Best Musical theater Album:
Kinky Boots

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media:
Sound City: Real to Reel

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media:
Skyfall, Thomas Newman, composer

Best Song Written for Visual Media:
Adele, “Skyfall” (Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth, songwriters)

Best Instrumental Composition:
the Clare Fischer Orchestra, “Pensamientos for Solo Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra” (Clare Fischer, composer)

Best Instrumental Arrangement:
Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, “on Green Dolphin Street” (Gordon Goodwin, arranger)

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s):
Bobby McFerrin and Esperanza Spalding, “Swing Low” (Gil Goldstein, arranger)

Best Recording Package:
Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon (Sarah Dodds and Shauna Dodds, art directors)

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package:
Paul McCartney and Wings, Wings Over America (Deluxe Edition) (Simon Earith and James Musgrave, art directors)

Best Album Notes:
John Coltrane, Afro Blue Impressions (Remastered and Expanded) (Neil Tesser, album notes writer)

Best Historical Album:
the Rolling Stones, Charlie Is My Darling – Ireland 1965 (Teri Landi, andrew Loog Oldham and Steve Rosenthal, compilation producers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer) (tie)

Bill Withers, the Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums (Leo Sacks, compilation producer; Joseph M. Palmaccio, tom Ruff and Mark Wilder, mastering engineers)

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical:
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories (Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta and Daniel Lerner, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer)

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical:
Lana Del Rey, “Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix) (Cedric Gervais, Remixer)

Best Surround Sound Album:
Paul McCartney, Live Kisses (Al Schmitt, surround mix engineer; tommy LiPuma, surround producer)

Best Engineered Album, Classical:
Dawn Upshaw, Maria Schneider, Australian Chamber Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Winter Morning Walks (David Frost, Brian Losch and Tim Martyn, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer)

Producer of the Year, Classical:
David Frost

Best Orchestral Performance:
Minnesota Orchestra, Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4 (Osmo Vänskä, conductor)

Best Opera Recording:
the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; the Metropolitan Opera Chorus, Adès: the Tempest (Thomas Adès, conductor; Simon Keenlyside, Isabel Leonard, Audrey Luna and Alan Oke; Luisa Bricetti and Victoria Warivonchick, producers)

Best Choral Performance:
Tui Hirv and Rainer Vilu; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Sinfonietta Riga and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Latvian Radio Choir and Vox Clamantis, Pärt: Adam’s Lament (Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor)

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance:
Brad Wells and Roomful of Teeth, Roomful Of Teeth

Best Classical Instrumental Solo:
Albany Symphony, Corigliano: Conjurer – Concerto for Percussionist and String Orchestra (Evelyn Glennie; David Alan Miller, conductor)

Best Classical Vocal Solo:
Maria Schneider; Jay anderson, Frank Kimbrough and Scott Robinson; Australian Chamber Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Winter Morning Walks (Dawn Upshaw)

Best Classical Compendium:
Hindemith: Violinkonzert; Symphonic Metamorphosis; Konzertmusik, Christoph Eschenbach, conductor

Best Contemporary Classical Composition:
Schneider, Maria: Winter Morning Walks, Maria Schneider, composer (Dawn Upshaw, Jay anderson, Frank Kimbrough, Scott Robinson and Australian Chamber Orchestra)