Toni Cornell named ambassador for International Rescue Committee humanitarian aid organization

John Shearer/Getty Images for NARAS

Toni Cornell has been named an ambassador for the International Rescue Committee humanitarian aid organization.

In her role, the 17-year-old daughter of Chris Cornell will “use her platform to help raise funds and awareness about the International Rescue Committee’s important work in 40+ countries.”

“The International Rescue Committee is excited to welcome our newest and youngest IRC Ambassador, Toni Cornell, to the family,” says IRC President and CEO David Miliband in a statement. “Toni Cornell has been a volunteer, donor, and now Ambassador who will be using her youthful voice to highlight some of the world’s greatest challenges, such as climate change, women and girls’ empowerment and education.”

The Cornell family has long worked with the IRC. Chris’ single “The Promise,” which was his final track to be released prior to his 2017 death, raised money for the organization, as did his duet cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U” with Toni, which was released in 2018.

Toni is set to speak at the upcoming briefing discussing the IRC’s 2022 Emergency Watchlist, taking place this Thursday, January 20, at noon ET.

For more info, visit Rescue.org.

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Watch video of George Martin explaining to his granddaughter why he decided to work with The Beatles

George Martin with The Beatles in 1964; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Giles Martin, son of late Beatles producer George Martin, has shared a touching archival family video that shows his dad telling Giles’ young daughter the story of how he wound up working with the Fab Four.

The clip, which Giles posted on his Twitter feed, shows his elderly father — who died in 2016 at age 90 — sitting on a couch next to the young girl, who appears to be about six years old.

George starts by telling his granddaughter that when he was first told about the band, he thought their name was silly, but it was then explained to him that it wasn’t Beetles, but Beatles with an “a.”

George then explains that he felt he needed to hear the group before deciding to work with them, so they came down from Liverpool to London to meet him.

“And when I listened to what they did, it was OK, but it wasn’t brilliant. It was OK,” George continues. “So I thought, well, ‘Why should I be interested in this?'”

He then notes, “But the magic bit came when I started to get to know them, because they were terribly good people to know. They were funny, they were very clever, they said all lovely things. And they were the kind of people that you like to be with.”

George concludes by saying, “So I thought, ‘Well if I feel this way about them, other people will feel this way about them. So therefore they should be very popular.’ And I made records with them.”

In a note that accompanies the video, Giles — who has overseen and produced many recent Beatles-related projects — writes, “Ordinary people do extraordinary things. Great decisions are made for the simplest reasons.”

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ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons collaborates on signature sandwich for Houston-based Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys

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ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons has collaborated with Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys to create a signature sandwich in celebration of the popular Houston eatery’s 60th anniversary this month.

The Whisker Bomb Po’ Boy is a fried green tomato sandwich that Gibbons devised in collaboration with Antone’s executive chef Alex Padilla. The sandwich is available now at both of Antone’s full-service sandwich shops in Houston, the bearded rock legend’s hometown.

“Antone’s has been notable for presenting one of the greatest sandwich collections and that fact remains unchallenged,” Billy says in a statement. “Their attention to perfection in the world of po’ boys made the draw a natural for teaming up and bringing a new twist and [a] tasty addition with Antone’s line of flavor sensations.”

The Whisker Bomb Po’ Boy features buttermilk-dipped fried green tomatoes, harissa, chipotle mayo, Gibbons’ Whisker Bomb Have Mercy hot sauce, goat cheese, spices and arugula served on warm French bread.

The po’ boy, which is priced at $9.95, is the last offering in Antone’s “H-Town Originals” sandwich series charity initiative, and will be available until June 1. Proceeds from sales of the sandwich will benefit The Clifford Antone Foundation, an Austin, Texas-based organization dedicated to preserving the local music culture and community “by caring for our elders and investing in our youth.”

Gibbons selected the foundation as his beneficiary because of his connection to the historic Austin venue Antone’s Nightclub.

“It’s surreal to be able to partner with Billy F Gibbons, someone who grew up on Antone’s po’ boys, at the same time I grew up watching him on stage,” Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys CEO Craig Lieberman. “[W]e are honored to have a Texas legend like Billy to be a part of [our 60th anniversary].”

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Fleetwood Mac co-founder Mick Fleetwood to produce Fox music drama

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Fleetwood Mac drummer and co-founder Mick Fleetwood is set to executive produce the music drama 13 Songs, currently in development at Fox, according to Deadline.

The series reportedly follows an aging rock star who’s diagnosed with terminal cancer. Given just a few months to live, he reconnects with his old band to write and record 13 final songs as a final love letter to his fans and hopefully leave his mark on the world forever.

Will Reiser, who wrote the Joseph Gordon-Levitt-led comedy feature 50/50, will script the project, along with American Soul creator Jonathan Prince.

It will be directed by Jonathan Levine, who directed Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers.

Additionally, Fleetwood “will lend his creative and musical voice” to the project, according Deadline.

13 Songs is the latest in a series of musical dramas being prepped at Fox, along with Monarch, the country music family dynasty series starring Susan Sarandon and Trace Adkins, and Icon, an anthology drama series profiling some of the world’s biggest music legends, starting with country music duo The Judds.

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Elton John guitarist says band and crew will be “super masked up and tested every two days” on tour

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It’s been almost two years since Elton John‘s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour was sidelined because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the trek relaunches tonight in New Orleans, the first show of a lengthy two-part 2022 North American leg.

With the U.S. and many other areas around the world still dealing with COVID-related issues because of the easily spread Omicron variant, Elton’s longtime guitarist and music director Davey Johnstone tells ABC Audio he doesn’t know if the tour will go off without postponements, but he says every precaution is being made to help ensure the musicians and crew remain healthy.

“It seems it changes so much, and we’ve got to kind of be ready for anything,” Johnstone says regarding the COVID situation. “So, I know there’s no backstage, there’s no guests. There are no backstage passes. There are no wives or girlfriends or anything…[E]verybody’s [going to be] super masked up and getting tested every two days to make sure everybody on the tour stays safe.”

He adds, “I think there’s like a hundred people [who] travel around, between the crew and the production staff and…the band and all that. So it’s a lot of people to keep safe. So…it’ll be a different animal, but, you know, I think we’ll be OK as long as we can just keep to the program.”

Asked if, after a nearly two-year layoff, there might be some changes to Elton’s set list, Johnstone says he and the other band members are more focused on delivering an exciting show.

“[W]e just get out there and play some kick-a** rock ‘n’ roll, and that’s what we’ll do,” he declares. “And there might be a couple of subtle changes…but nothing too drastic.”

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U2’s Bono feels “embarrassed” hearing his voice on the radio

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When it comes to a way to like his own voice, Bono still hasn’t found what he’s looking for.

On a new episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast, the U2 frontman says he feels “embarrassed” when he hears his singing, particularly on the group’s earlier recordings, explaining that, while he thinks the his band mates sound “incredible,” he finds his voice to be “very strained.”

“I’ve been in a car when one of our songs has come on the radio and I’ve been the color of, as we say in Dublin, scarlet,” Bono says. “I’m just so embarrassed.”

During the interview, Bono shares a story about a fellow rock star who had a similar disdain for the U2 frontman’s voice, the late Robert Palmer. He says Palmer once approached U2 bassist Adam Clayton and griped, “God, would you ever tell your singer to just take down the keys a little bit? He’d do himself a favor, his voice a favor, and he’d do us all a favor who have to listen to him.”

Bono adds that he feels he “only became a singer, like, recently.”

“Maybe that hasn’t happened yet for some people’s ears,” he laughs. “And I understand that.”

Another thing Bono isn’t all that jazzed about: the name U2.

“I still don’t really like the name,” he says. Guitarist The Edge adds that they only picked U2 in the first place because, of the potential candidates, it was the one they “hated the least.”

While Bono may have his own issues with his voice, that doesn’t seem to be bothering the voters for the Oscars, who placed U2’s new single “Your Song Saved My Life” — from the animated film Sing 2 — on the shortlist to be nominated for Best Original Song.

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The Grammys rescheduled for April 3, ceremony moved to Las Vegas

CBS

What happens in Vegas…will be the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.

After canceling plans to hold the awards ceremony on January 31 because of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the Recording Academy has announced that “Music’s Biggest Night” will now take place Sunday, April 3, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The show will air live on CBS, and also will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

Trevor Noah will return as the host for the ceremony. Details about Grammy Week events like the MusiCares Person of the Year Gala and Clive Davis‘ annual pre-Grammy party will be announced soon.

Hits Daily Double reports that options being considered include holding these events in Las Vegas, holding them in Los Angeles that same week, or holding them the week after the Grammys.

Among the veteran rock artists receiving nominations for Grammy Awards this year are Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters, AC/DC, Chris Cornell, Jackson Browne and ex-Talking Heads frontman David Byrne.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

The Grammys reschedule for April 3, move to Las Vegas

CBS

What happens in Vegas…will be the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.

After canceling plans to hold the awards ceremony on January 31 due to the Omicron variant, the Recording Academy has announced that “Music’s Biggest Night” will now take place Sunday, April 3 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on CBS.  The show will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

Trevor Noah will return as the host for the ceremony.  Details about Grammy Week events like the MusiCares Person of the Year Gala and Clive Davis‘ annual pre-Grammy party will be announced soon. 

Hits Daily Double reports that options being considered include holding these events in Las Vegas, holding them in Los Angeles that same week, or holding them the week after the Grammys.

The leading nominee for the Grammy Awards this year is Jon Batiste, who has 11 nods, followed by Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and H.E.R., all of whom have eight nominations.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Children of Chris Cornell are “working on songs together”

Christopher Cornell Jr., Toni Cornell and Vicky Cornell in 2019; Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

No one may sing like Chris Cornell anymore, but the late Soundgarden frontman’s children seem to be forging their own musical path.

In a recent Instagram post, Cornell’s widow Vicky Cornell shared a photo of their children, Toni and Christopher, playing music together.

“Sneaked a pic,” Vicky wrote in the caption. “My babies all grown up working on songs together.”

Last month, Toni made a guest appearance on The Tonight Show during which she performed a cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Her father’s version of the Prince-penned Sinéad O’Connor classic is posthumously nominated for Best Rock Performance at this year’s Grammys.

Chris also had a daughter named Lily with his first wife, Susan Silver. Lily hosts an ongoing mental health series called Mind Wide Open.

In related news, the YouTube channel of Chris’ band Audioslave recently unearthed a batch of footage from a 2003 performance for AOL. The sessions featured performances of songs including “Cochise,” “Like a Stone” and “I Am the Highway.”

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New Neil Young & Crazy Horse documentary ‘Barn’ premiering on YouTube this Thursday

Neil Young/Reprise Records

The new documentary Barn, about the making of Neil Young & Crazy Horse‘s 2021 album of the same name, will be streamed exclusively at Young’s official YouTube channel starting this Thursday, January 20, at 1 p.m. ET.

As previously reported, the Barn film was directed by Young’s wife, actress Daryl Hannah — aka “dhlovelife” — and offers an intimate look at Neil and the current Crazy Horse lineup working on the album in a restored 19th-century log barn in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains during the COVID-19 pandemic in June of last year.

Most of the album was recorded live.

A description of the movie notes that it “intentionally lingers on single shots for entire songs, showing there are no tricks, revealing the raw, organic and spontaneous process of the music bursting to life from unexpected moments.”

The Barn film previously premiered in a few select theaters around the time of the album’s December 10 release, and also is available on a Blu-ray disc that’s included in the deluxe box set version of the album.

Here’s the album’s full track list:

“Song of the Seasons”
“Heading West”
“Change Ain’t Never Gonna”
“Canerican”
“Shape of You”
“They Might Be Lost”
“Human Race”
“Tumblin’ Thru the Years”
“Welcome Back”
“Don’t Forget Love”

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