New music coming from Jackson
NEW YORK — A new posthumous album of previously unreleased Michael Jackson music comes out May 13.
Epic Records and the late pop singer’s estate will release “Xscape,” an album of eight new tracks that have been updated musically by producers including Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome “Jroc” Harmon and John McClain.
Executive producer L.A. Reid refers to the work as “contemporizing” in a Monday news release. A deluxe version will include the original recordings.
Few details were shared Monday, but Reid did say the album is named for a track produced by Jackson and Jerkins, then later updated by Jerkins. It’s the only song on the album where the original producer freshened the music.
Jackson died in June 2009 at 50 from a lethal dose of an anesthetic.
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NEW YORK — NBC has signed singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams as a coach for the upcoming seventh season of its musical competition series “The Voice.”
Williams scored an Oscar nomination this year for his song “Happy” from the film “Despicable Me 2.” He also had a Grammy-winning collaboration with Daft Punk on the dance hit “Get Lucky.”
He was an adviser to team Usher on season four of “The Voice,” and performed the song “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke on the show last May.
NBC said it would announce the remainder of the coaching line-up at a later date.
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NORFOLK, Va. — A judge has dismissed a $10 million lawsuit that claimed Justin Bieber and Usher copied parts of a song written by two Virginia songwriters.
U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled Friday that the song, “Somebody to Love,” isn’t intrinsically similar to a song by the same name that Bieber and Usher performed.
Devin Copeland and Maerio Overton filed the lawsuit in 2013 in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. The lawsuit claimed that the song performed by Bieber and Usher contains numerous lyrical and stylistic similarities to their copyrighted song.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that the judge listened to both songs at a hearing earlier this month.
Allen’s ruling says a reasonable juror couldn’t conclude that a member of the public would construe the songs’ aesthetic appeal as being similar.
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SANTIAGO, Chile — Trent Reznor says he feels “a fresh new start” for Nine Inch Nails after the band’s latest album and world tour.
Reznor released “Hesitation Marks” in September after his long, self-imposed hiatus. In the five years since the industrial rockers’ last offering, he won an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on “The Social Network,” married musician Mariqueen Maandig and became a father to two young boys.
“In these few years, I kind of accidentally got into scoring films. I started a new band: How to Destroy Angels; we put two records out. I tried writing a TV show for HBO, which failed. I started a family, and surprisingly, I found myself inspired by that,” Reznor told The Associated Press before playing over the weekend at the Lollapalooza festival in Chile.
And he felt like writing some Nine Inch Nails songs.
At first Reznor was hesitant about embarking on tour. “But we started rehearsing and it was fun, it felt fresh. I’ve been looking at things through finite eyes,” he said. “Life feels different at 48 than it did at 24. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be doing this, or people will care ... it’s not as endless as it once seemed, so I treat it more preciously.”
While on tour, Reznor is also working on scoring director David Fincher’s upcoming film “Gone Girl.”
“The main thing that I’m concerned about is putting myself in positions and places that are often uncomfortable, to force myself to grow as an artist,” Reznor said.
“I don’t think I’ve written the best songs I can write. I don’t think I know how to write songs very well yet. I’m not saying that to be humble, but I’ve got a long ways to go.”
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Veteran singer Sam Moore of the soul duo Sam & Dave is releasing a song in remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. to coincide with the anniversary of the civil rights leader’s death.
Known as the “Legendary Soul Man,” Moore teamed with producer Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell and studio musicians to record “They Killed a King” in Memphis in January.
The song is being released April 4, the 46th anniversary of King’s assassination.
King was shot while standing on the balcony of the old Lorraine Motel in Memphis.
Moore and his Sam & Dave singing partner, the late Dave Prater Jr., recorded several soul and R&B hits such as “Soul Man” and “Hold On, I’m Comin’” at Stax Records.
Moore knew King and performed at many of his speeches.