Julian Lennon to release NFT of his “Imagine” performance to benefit Ukrainian refugees

Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

Last month, Julian Lennon performed a cover of his late father John Lennon‘s classic peace anthem “Imagine” as part of Global Citizen’s Stand Up for Ukraine campaign. Now he’s set to release a special audio-visual NFT focusing on the performance, which will raise money for Ukrainian relief.

The NFT will include Julian’s recording of “Imagine,” which features him accompanied by Extreme‘s Nuno Bettencourt on guitar and backing vocals, as well as a visual interpretation of the song and audio narration by Julian explaining why he decided to perform his father’s famous tune.

The visual element that accompanies the recording includes black-and-white pencil strokes by Julian that transform into pockets of light.

Starting this Friday, May 20, the NFT will be available for purchase at the Yellowheart digital marketplace for 11 days priced at $11. A portion of the proceeds raised by sale of the digital tokens will benefit Julian’s White Feather Foundation and the charity’s efforts to aid Ukrainian refugees.

“The war on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy, and as a human and an artist I have always felt that music finds a way to heal, comfort, rally and support during times of crisis,” Julian says. “Performing my father’s classic ‘Imagine’ was a very personal decision, but an obvious one given his lyrics reflect our collective desire for peace worldwide.”

He adds, “Partnering with YellowHeart to offer NFT artwork that includes my interpretation of the song will provide an opportunity for fans to connect and unite through the song’s message of unity in a new and innovative way.”

A video of Julian performing “Imagine” with Bettencourt debuted on Julian’s YouTube channel on April 8 in conjunction with the Stand Up for Ukraine campaign. It marked his first public performance of his late father’s song.

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Release of ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ DVD and Blu-ray sets rescheduled for July

Disney/Apple Corps Ltd.

Back in January it was announced the acclaimed three-part Disney+ documentary The Beatles: Get Back would be released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 8, but the release was indefinitely delayed.

Now, Variety reports that the physical versions of the doc will finally get their release on July 12.

According to Variety, the delay was due to a defect that was discovered in the discs.

The DVD and Blu-ray sets will feature the entire 468-minute documentary across three discs, although the outlet reports that there are no bonus features. The foldout packaging includes four commemorative cards boasting pics of each Beatles member. Both editions will offer multiple audio options.

As previously reported, The Beatles: Get Back was directed by Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson and premiered on Disney+ in late November 2021.

The series was created from dozens of hours of previously unseen footage shot in January 1969 for what became the 1970 film Let It Be.

Besides showing the Fab Four working on the songs that eventually appeared on the Let It Be album, Get Back also captures the group jamming on covers and older Beatles tunes, playing songs that would be featured on Abbey Road and the bandmates’ future solo albums — joking, arguing, chatting and more.

The docuseries ends with footage of the entire surprise performance that The Beatles gave on the roof of their Apple company’s headquarters in London’s Savile Row, which turned to be the last time the band played together in public.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis is a 2022 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Rock ‘n’ roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year.

Popular country duo Country Brooks & Dunn announced the news during an event at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Tuesday morning.

Each year, the Hall inducts members in three categories. This year, Lewis is the Veteran Era inductee, late singer/songwriter Keith Whitley is the Country Hall’s Modern Era artist, and music executive Joe Galante is being inducted under the Non-Performer rotating category.

The 86-year-old Lewis was on hand to speak at the ceremony, delivering his remarks from a chair and wearing a glittering red sequined blazer. “I’m just overwhelmed that they asked me here today,” he told the room, adding that it was “always great to be recognized” and that his lengthy career has taught him to “be a good person, and treat your people right, treat your fans right.”

Lewis added that it was difficult for him to find the words to describe the honor he felt.

Jerry Lee, who was infamously nicknamed “The Killer,” came to fame during the late 1950s with classic songs like “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On,” “Great Balls of Fire” and “Breathless” that were hits on both the pop and country charts. He continued to score country hits throughout the 1960s and ’70s and into the early ’80s.

The three inductees will be officially welcomed into the Country Music Hall of Fame during a Medallion Ceremony this fall.

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Journey release new song, “Let It Rain”; Neal Schon taking part in Talk Shop Live streaming event Friday


Journey has released a third advance track from its forthcoming studio album, Freedom, a heavy, funk-flavored mid-tempo rocker called “Let It Rain.”

The song is available now as a digital download and via streaming services, while a visualizer video for the tune has debuted at Journey’s official YouTube channel.

“Let It Rain” showcases some sizzling guitar work by Neal Schon, who in a post on his social media pages describes the song as “a Sassy Funkin Rocker,” adding, “New Chapter from us and definitely proud of it.”

As previously reported, Freedom is a 15-track collection that will be released on July 8. The other songs that have been issued from the album are “The Way We Used to Be” and “You Got the Best of Me,” which debuted in June 2021 and last month, respectively. You can pre-order Freedom now.

Meanwhile, this Friday, May 20, at 9 p.m. ET, Schon will make an appearance on Talk Shop Live’s Rock N Roll Channel, where he will chat about the album and Journey’s upcoming tour plans. In addition, autographed copies of Freedom will be available to pre-order during the steaming event.

Journey recently wrapped up the initial leg of its Freedom Tour 2022, although the final four shows were postponed because an unspecified member of the group tested positive for COVID-19. Those dates are expected to be rescheduled in the coming months.

The band next scheduled performances are a series of four special symphonic concerts in Las Vegas that will take place at the new, state-of-the-art Resorts World Theatre. The shows are scheduled for July 15, 16, 22 and 23 and tickets are available now.

Schon also promises that Journey is planning a summer leg of its tour.

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Edgar Winter says Steve Lukather delivered “wild, crazy” guitar solo on his new “Rock ‘n’ Roll Hoochie Koo” cover

Steve Lukather and Edgar Winter in 2014; Kevin Winter/Getty Images for John Varvatos

Edgar Winter‘s latest album, Brother Johnny, which was released in April, is a star-studded tribute to his late sibling Johnny Winter.

The 17-track collection includes a version of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Hoochie Koo,” a song written by Rick Derringer that Johnny first recorded in 1970 with his band Johnny Winter And, which featured Derringer, and that Rick subsequently had a solo hit with in 1973.

Edgar’s version features guitar work by Toto‘s Steve “Luke” Lukather, who also is a longtime member of Ringo Starr‘s All Starr Band. Edgar tells ABC Audio that he specifically chose Lukather to play on the track because he envisioned a Jimi Hendrix-style solo that he knew Luke could deliver.

“I wanted it wild, crazy, sort of twisted and demented. And I knew that Steve would do exactly that,” Winter explains. “I said, ‘I know…Steve [is] gonna play something different than Rick would ever have played or completely different than Johnny ever would have played’…And, man, Luke delivered.”

Edgar adds, “He played exactly what I was hoping he would. And I didn’t really tell him anything, I just know Luke and know more or less how he thinks and navigates things, and he always likes to push the envelope.”

Lukather has been a member of Ringo’s All Starr Band since 2012, while Edgar recently rejoined the group after previously playing with Ringo and company from 2006 to 2011. Speaking about Luke’s personality, Edgar notes, “[H]e has this rough, raw sense of humor, sometimes perverse, that we all love.”

Other artists featured on Brother Johnny include Ringo, Joe Walsh, ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons, The Doobie BrothersMichael McDonald and John McFee, ex-Allman Brothers Band members Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks and late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, among many others.

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Lionel Richie reflects on his “amazing ride” of a career

ABC/Gavin Bond

Lionel Richie will be honored with the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize on Tuesday.  Ahead of the moment, the singer caught up with CBS’ Sunday Morning to talk about his lifetime achievements.

Lionel reflected on growing up by Tuskegee University, where he was surrounded by Black lawyers, war heroes, doctors and more, and joked that his parents “had a nervous breakdown” when he decided to pursue a music career with The Commodores.

“You could see everyone passing going, ‘Oh, there’s poor Lionel. Poor misguided Lionel!,'” he chuckled. Of course, The Commodores scored numerous chart-topping singles with Richie as their lead singer, before he set off a solo career.

Lionel reflected on his success, which saw him cross into the mainstream and anger some of his original R&B fan base. “Someone asked me a question one day, ‘Lionel, how does it feel that you’ve left your roots?'” Richie recalled. “And I said, ‘Did you ask that to The Beatles? Did you ask that to The Rolling Stones? Everyone came over to borrow from us, but I can’t go that way?'”

The singer also reflected on his hiatus at the peak of his career, which he took to care for his ailing father, who passed in 1990.  “It gave me an opportunity to kind of take a look over my shoulder just a little bit to see where I was in altitude. And it was frightening,” he reflected. But, he added his father’s death gave him a new perspective on fame.

Lionel now sees his career as an “adventure,” which he says “is just an amazing ride.”

He also admitted it’s been 13 years since he released an album of all-new songs, but teased he’ll break the dry spell “this year.”

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Lisa Marie Presley showers praise on Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming musical biopic about her father, Elvis

Warner Bros. Pictures

Elvis Presley‘s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, has posted a new message on her social media sites in which she shares a glowing review about director Baz Luhrmann‘s upcoming musical biopic about her late father, Elvis.

In the note, Lisa Marie first points out that she is still grieving for her son, Ben Keough, who died by suicide at age 27 in July 2020.

“I am and will forever be mourning the loss of my son,” she writes. “Navigating through this hideous grief that absolutely destroyed and shattered my heart and my soul into almost nothing has swallowed me whole.”

Lisa Marie then proceeds to shower praise on the Elvis film, revealing that she’s watched it twice and thinks it’s “nothing short of spectacular” and “[a]bsolutely exquisite.”

She writes that lead actor Austin Butler “channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully,” adding, “In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully. (If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot, haha.)”

Lisa Marie continues, “You can feel and witness Baz’s pure love, care, and respect for my father throughout this beautiful film, and it is finally something that myself and my children and their children can be proud of forever.”

Presley also notes that she was moved to tears when she saw how her three daughters — Riley, Harper and Finley — were “so filled with pride about their grandfather and his legacy in a way that I have not previously experienced” after watching the movie.

She adds, “It breaks my heart that my son isn’t here to see it. He would have absolutely loved it as well.”

Elvis, which also features Tom Hanks as the rock ‘n’ roll legend’s manager, Col. Tom Parker, hits theaters on June 24.

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Remix of Journey’s “Separate Ways” released as advance track from ‘Stranger Things’ season-four soundtrack

Legacy Recordings

The first trailer promoting the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things premiered in April and featured a dramatic remix of Journey‘s 1983 smash “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” and now the track is available via digital formats.

The Bryce Miller/Alloy Tracks remix of “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” has been released as an advance track from the forthcoming official soundtrack album to the hit Netflix series’ new season.

Two volumes of the album, titled Stranger Things: Soundtrack from the Netflix Series, Season 4, will be released digitally in the coming weeks, on May 27 and July 1, respectively, coinciding with the premiere dates of the show’s two-part season.

Volume 2 will feature all of the songs that appear on Volume 1, as well as additional music heard in the second run of episodes of Stranger Things‘ fourth season.

The full Stranger Things: Soundtrack from the Netflix Series, Season 4, including both volumes, will be released on CD and cassette on September 9, while a two-LP vinyl edition will be made available later in 2022.

Those who preorder the Stranger Things Season 4 soundtrack will receive an automatic free download of the “Separate Ways” remix.

Soundtracks for previous seasons of Stranger Things have included a variety of hits from the 1980s, reflecting the period during which the sci-fi horror series is set.

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The Who plays first Cincinnati concert since 1979 tragedy; Pete Townshend: “There’s no words that we can say”

Rick Kern/Getty Images for The Who

The Who made an emotional return to Cincinnati on Sunday to play their first concert in the city since the band’s infamous December 1979 show at the Riverfront Coliseum, where 11 young people died as fans rushed the venue’s doors before the event.

The British rock legends’ show on Sunday was the first concert ever at Cincinnati’s new TQL Stadium.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Who guitarist Pete Townshend addressed the crowd during the show, saying, “I’ve been trying to think of why to say, what would be cool to say, what would be uncool to say, and really there’s no words that we can say that can mean [as much as] the fact that you guys have come out tonight and supported this event. Thank you so much.”

Townshend then referenced the fact the that The Who planned to donate proceeds from the concert to local charities, noting, “[Y]our money is going to great causes, many of which are related to what happened back here in Cincinnati in 1979, which is probably time for us to both remember and try to forget. … Anyway, it’s so lovely to be here.”

Prior to The Who taking the stage, a prerecorded video of Pearl Jam‘s Eddie Vedder was played, in which Vedder recalled how Townshend and Who singer Roger Daltrey gave him support after nine people were killed during a 2000 PJ concert in Denmark.

During Sunday’s show, photos of the 11 victims of the 1979 tragedy were shown on the video screen while Who touring keyboardist Loren Gold played the intro to “Love, Reign O’er Me.”

Also, 10 students from Finneytown High School, the school that three of the 1979 victims attended, joined the orchestra that accompanied The Who for the show’s final song, “Baba O’Riley.”

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Expanded 40th anniversary reissue of Michael Jackson’s landmark album ‘Thriller’ due in November

Sony Music Entertainment

Michael Jackson‘s Thriller, the best-selling album of all time worldwide, marks its 40th anniversary this November 30, and in celebration of the milestone, an expanded version of the classic record will be released on November 18.

Michael Jackson Thriller 40 will be available as a two-CD set and via digital formats, and will feature the original Thriller album along with a bonus disc of previously unreleased tracks that Jackson worked on during the 1982 album’s sessions.

In addition, Walmart and Target will be releasing exclusive vinyl reissues of the original Thriller album with an alternate 40th anniversary cover. The Target reissue also will come with a commemorative Thriller 40 vinyl slipmat.

Meanwhile, the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab company will release high-quality audiophile versions of Thriller on November 18 as a single-LP vinyl disc and on the hybrid SACD format.

Thriller has sold over 70 million copies worldwide, and has been certified 34-times Platinum by the RIAA, making it the second-best-selling album ever in the U.S., after the Eagles‘ 38-times-Platinum Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 compilation.

Thriller spent an amazing 37 weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200, spinning off seven top-10 hits, among them the chart-topping singles “Billie Jean” and “Beat It,” and the #2 Paul McCartney duet “The Girl Is Mine.”

The album also is credited with breaking the color barrier at MTV. In 1982, the channel rarely played clips by Black artists — until “Billie Jean” came along. And the extended clip for “Thriller,” directed by John Landis and filled with state-of-the-art special effects and over-the-top choreography, became the standard by which all music videos were judged.

You can pre-order the Thriller reissues now. Here’s the original album’s full track list:

“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”
“Baby Be Mine”
“The Girl Is Mine” (with Paul McCartney)
“Beat It”
“Billie Jean”
“Human Nature”
“P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”
“The Lady in My Life”

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