Every Record on the Billboard Charts – Billboard

Elton John has made Billboard Boxscore history. His Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour is the highest-grossing concert tour of all time.

As Eric Frankenberg reported on Monday: “According to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore, the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour has grossed $817.9 million across 278 shows so far — more than any tour in Boxscore history. Bypassing Ed Sheeran’s The Divide Tour ($776.4 million), it is the first tour in Billboard’s archives to cross the $800 million benchmark.”

Frankenberg adds that Elton owns another Billboard Boxscore record. “Dating back to reports for John’s Ice on Fire Tour (1986), and including his share of co-headline runs with Eric ClaptonJames TaylorTina Turner and, many times over, Billy Joel, John has grossed $1.863 billion and sold 19.9 million tickets over 1,573 reported shows. That’s the highest career gross and attendance for a solo artist in Boxscore history, having passed Bruce Springsteen and Madonna while on this tour.”

These are remarkable achievements, but then most Billboard readers know that Elton John has been setting Billboard records for decades. He has amassed seven No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 and nine No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 (counting his contribution to Dionne & Friends’ 1986 smash “That’s What Friends Are For”). He has topped or climbed high on many other charts as well. In 1974, his funky “Bennie and the Jets” reached No. 15 on Hot Soul Singles, the forerunner of today’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart, a rarity for a white pop artist at that time.

Here are 10 times Elton made Billboard history:

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Album of the Week: The Dessoff Choirs, ‘Margaret Bonds: Credo, Simon Bore the Cross’

“Finally!” booms the chorus, in the closing movement of Credo. The word resounds twice more, before the payoff: “Finally, Finally, I believe in Patience.”

W.E.B. Du Bois wrote the text, but it was Margaret Bonds, the composer of Credo, who repeated that “Finally” for emphasis, setting it against a dramatic blare of low brass and kettle drums. Bonds knew a thing or two about patience, but she couldn’t have known how prophetic this declaration would be in relation to her work. She lived to hear only one full orchestral performance of Credo, by the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers in 1967. Zubin Mehta conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a partial premiere of the piece — in 1972, months after her death at 59.

Bonds would surely have been pleased, and probably surprised, to witness the exalted reputation that Credo now holds within the classical and choral repertory. A proud centerpiece of Opera Philadelphia’s new season, it also now has a sterling performance on record by The Dessoff Choirs, a New York chorus whose previous releases include a world premiere in Margaret Bonds: The Ballad of the Brown King & Selected Songs. Now Margaret Bonds: Credo, Simon Bore the Cross brings new luster, and the utmost care of execution, to not one but two of Bonds’ celebrated late works.

The Dessoff Choirs

Juliana Sohn


Courtesy of the artist

Under the baton of Malcolm J. Merriweather, The Dessoff Choirs has a profound simpatico with Bonds’ mature compositional style, a glowing synthesis of African American and European concert music. The chorus is also firmly aligned with the composer’s vision, and the way in which its realization today extends a legacy.

This is as true of Simon Bore the Cross, another piece Bonds never lived to see realized in concert, as it is of Credo. “Both texts reflect Bonds’ belief in racial uplift,” notes Dr. Ashley Jackson, the choir’s eminent harpist, in the album liner notes. “By centering black historical figures and setting words by black writers, she honors the accomplishments of her ancestors and contemporaries.”

Chief among those contemporaries was poet Langston Hughes, who became one of Bonds’ creative partners soon after they met in New York during the peak of the Harlem Renaissance. She set much of his writing to music; Simon Bore the Cross, which celebrates the North African man known in scripture as Simon of Cyrene, was a joint creation completed in 1965. The Dessoff Choirs imbue this work with solemn dignity, no less in a movement like “VII. The Crucifixion” than on the annunciatory Prelude. The deft balance of voices, strings and organ in this recording underscores the depth of Bonds’ orchestration, notably on “III. The Trial,” which alchemizes Middle Eastern scales and Negro spirituals, while largely avoiding the pitfalls of Orientalism.

Du Bois’ Credo was first published in The Independent, a New York newspaper, on Oct. 6, 1904. He reprinted it in his 1920 book Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil, which is where Bonds encountered it.

W.E.B. Du Bois' Credo

W. E. B. Du Bois Papers (MS 312). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

‘Credo,’ by William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, published in 1904.

As Bonds scholar John Michael Cooper has observed: “The text is a masterpiece of a strategy of dual-perspective: its verbiage of racial harmony and scriptural imagery of children in green pastures beside still waters — language designed to convince skeptical Whites that Du Bois was committed to a racial harmony founded in the Judeo-Christian institutions that they professed to adhere to — is nestled in a fierce pride of Black lineage and self, condemnation of war, and (most importantly) the overarching thesis that racial equality and justice were not things that were granted by humans (let alone White society) but rather were divinely ordained.”

Taking a cue from Du Bois, each of the eight movements in Credo begins with a statement of belief. The foundational opening phrase, “I believe in God,” bursts out of an anticipatory tremolo like the first rays of daybreak over a gray horizon. Bonds keeps her harmonic movement steady and stately, but with a gorgeous lyrical inflection; the gospel-tinged soprano solo in “II. Especially Do I Believe in the Negro Race,” warmly rendered here by Janinah Burnett, is just one case in point.

Bonds composed with an organic sophistication, smoothing over the seams of her many juxtapositions of musical style. Credo further describes an arc that could only have been painstakingly devised. The hints of parallel harmony in “III. I Believe in Pride of Race” provide a natural lead-in to the piece’s starkest flash of modern dissonance, “IV. I Believe in the Devil.” This in turn flows like a waterway into “V. I Believe in the Prince of Peace,” which finds Bonds at her most luxuriously tonal, courting Romanticism — up until the introduction of the phrase “war is murder,” and a breathtaking ensuing passage: “I believe that the wicked conquest / of weaker and darker nations by nations whiter and stronger / but foreshadows the death of that strength.” The storm subsides, and peace comes back into view, attended by an upswell of strings and a woodland drift of flutes.

Just as Bonds’ soprano soloist heralds “the Negro Race,” a baritone — in this case, a surefooted Dashon Burton — gives voice to “VI. I Believe in Liberty.” The shifting harmony in this movement suggests not a trumpeted manifesto but rather the expression of some noble, fragile aspirations. By the time we reach “VII. I Believe in Patience,” Bonds has taken us through an emotional landscape, exceptional in its dynamic nuance and tonal variation. Strikingly, too, the final movement returns to the A minor key and motivic material of the first movement. This cyclical turn emphasizes both the exhortation and the sublimated pain — ”the tardy triumph of Joy and the mad chastening of Sorrow” — in Du Bois’ final line: “Patience with God!”

The Dessoff Choirs will release Margaret Bonds: ‘Credo, Simon Bore the Cross’ on Friday; preorder here.

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Athens GA Live Music Recap: Upchuck, Bob Hay & the Jolly Beggars, The Bad Ends, The Deslondes and More

With Gregory Frederick behind the camera, Athens GA Live Music seeks to document local and touring bands gracing stages across the Classic City. Explore the whole archive and subscribe to the channel here. Get up to speed with recent performances below, and remember to check Flagpole‘s music calendar each week to find out about upcoming shows.

This week’s roundup features lots of full sets, kicking off with a look back at Rick Fowler Band‘s performance at Hendershot’s on Friday, Jan. 13.

On Monday, Jan. 23, Semicircle, Lefty Parker (Austin, TX), John Fernandes and Telemarket played at Flicker Theatre & Bar.

Bob Hay & the Jolly Beggars presented a special tribute to Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns at The World Famous on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Upchuck (Atlanta), Psychic Death (Atlanta) and Snuki played at the 40 Watt Club that same night.

On Thursday, Jan. 26, Flicker hosted Ancient Infant, Robin Shakedown Band (Atlanta) and Swear Jar.

The Bad Ends, a new supergroup with R.E.M.’s Bill Berry and Five Eight’s Mike Mantione, celebrated the release of its debut album at the 40 Watt on Saturday, Jan. 28. Lo Talker, Pylon Reenactment Society and A.D. Blanco also performed to a sold out room.

New West Records closed out the weekend at The World Famous on Sunday, Jan. 29 with The Deslondes (New Orleans), Emily Nenni (Nashville) and T. Hardy Morris.

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Bison Innovative Products is exhibiting at the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) 2023 – Music Industry Today

Bison Innovative Products is exhibiting at the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) 2023 – Music Industry Today – EIN Presswire

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Ice Cube, The Game & Cypress Hill Sell Out Melbourne Show; Announce Second Concert | theMusic.com.au

Ice Cube, The Game and Cypress Hill have proven that 90s hip-hop music is alive and well and extremely popular with Melbourne fans, as their show at Rod Laver Arena has sold out almost two months ahead of time. A second show has been added to meet demand.

The additional gig will take place on Wednesday, 22 March, meaning that the tour kicks off on that date with two Melbourne concerts before the iconic lineup hits the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney and Brisbane Entertainment Centre. 

Tickets for Ice Cube’s second Melbourne show go on sale at 11 am local time on Monday, 6 February. Sign up to MJRPresents.com to get tickets as soon as they go on sale.

Born O’Shea Jackson Sr and professionally known as Ice Cube, the American rapper, actor, and filmmaker has enjoyed success and adoration over a 36-year entertainment career. His lyrics on N.W.A‘s 1988 album Straight Outta Compton were crucial in gangsta rap’s widespread popularity. His politically-driven solo records, AmeriKKKa’s Most WantedDeath Certificateand The Predator, are now iconic. Ice Cube was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2016 as a member of N.W.A.

Ice Cube made Australian history in 2018, becoming the first rapper to headline the Sydney Opera House. His return in 2023 marks his first time playing in the country since that show and lines up with the 30th anniversary of his 1993 album, Lethal Injection.

I love performing in Australia. It’s been four long years since my last visit, and I can’t wait to return for a couple of history-making shows in 2023,” Ice Cube revealed.

Cypress Hill are renowned for their epic stage show. The California rap group are genre-shifting chameleons and performed thousands of shows when rappers struggled to get booked and crucially helped pave the way for rappers to use Spanish in their rhymes. 

Cypress Hill has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, sold over 9 million albums, and received three Grammy nominations. 2023 will be 30 years since the crew released their album, Black Sunday, which features Hits from the Bong and I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That.

Rounding out the lineup is double-platinum artist The Game. Born Jayceon Terrell Taylor, Game emerged in the early 2000s with one of the rawest voices on the West Coast scene, combining intense autobiographical narratives and a creatively referential approach to hip-hop that has justified his stage name.



Wednesday 22 March – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne (new show)

Thursday 23 March – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne (sold out)

Saturday 25 March – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide

Sunday 26 March – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney 


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