In more of 2016’s sad news it has been announced that Grammy-nominated soul singer Sharon Jones, beloved for her work with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, passed away on Friday (Nov. 18), after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 60.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that Sharon Jones has passed away after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer,” her rep said in a statement. “She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings.”
Jones earned her first Grammy nomination in 2013 when Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ album Give the People What They Want was up for Best R&B Album. That same year, she was diagnosed with cancer. “I just started crying,” Jones told Rolling Stone in July. “All kinds of thoughts went through my head because I figured that I was going to die.”
Instead, Jones fought cancer for years, vowing not to let it control her life. “I have cancer; cancer don’t have me,” she explained. “I’m gonna keep on going. I’m gonna take this medicine, and it’ll be alright.”
With her new album Long Live the Angels in stores now, Emeli Sandé gave her first late night performance on Friday (Nov. 18), visiting “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.”
The Scottish songstress lit up the stage with a commanding performance of her riveting single “Hurts.” Sandé’s powerful vocals led the charge, backed her band, as she belted out the chorus: “Baby I’m not made of stone, it hurts / Loving you the way I do, it hurts / When all is left to do is watch, it burns / Well baby I’m not made of stone it hurts.”
While backstage, Emeli sat down for the segment “How I Wrote That Song,” where she explained that the rap-sing style of “Hurts” was inspired by the sound of spoons banging on a table at a restaurant in the English countryside.
Check out her outstanding performance below.
Erykah Badu and aerial silks? We’re in!
In Complex’s latest episode of “Get Sweaty,” they traveled to Dallas, TX and caught up with the queen of soul at Lone Star Circus school.
Badu recently joined after her daughter, Puma, inspired her to get involved. While trying not to fall, Emily Oberg spoke with Erykah about everything including her high-alkaline diet, hosting this year’s Soul Train Awards, her love for recent collaborator D.R.A.M., and more.
Check out the fun interview below.
Justine Sky was one of the latest rising stars to hit the stage on MTV’s new performance series “Wonderland.”
Surrounded by neon lights, the Roc Nation songstress gave fans quite the show with a set of four tracks and they showed her love right back.
The Purple Unicorn performed her latest single “U Don’t Know” for the Los Angeles crowd. “I’m afraid it’ll hurt when I finally fall down,” she sings. “Because the weight of the world is in the palm of your hands now / But you don’t know it.”
From there, she went into the throwback sounds of “Jezebel.” “You all on my IG,” she sings. “Talkin’ about me / All in my timeline / You trying to out me.”
Skye also presented the seductive “I’m Yours,” which features Vic Mensa, and “Just Another Love Song.”
Check out her set below.
Bruno Mars just dropped his brand new album 24K Magic, but the superstar singer’s life wasn’t always so golden.
During a candid interview with “60 Minutes,” Mars opened up about his upbringing, revisiting the park in Hawaii where his family used to call home. Today, the one-room structure is rundown, has no roof, and has plants growing all over its walls.
“Just so people don’t think that we were crazy,” he explains, “it did not look like this. It had a roof. It didn’t have plants growing inside. I don’t know what happened to the roof.”
His family moved around often, he says. “Where we were staying at first didn’t have a bathroom so we had to walk across the park to this other spot that had a bathroom, in the middle of the night,” he added.
According to Bruno, the family stayed in one bed, but he calls those memories “the best.”
“We had it all,” he said. “We had each other. It never felt like it was the end of the world. ‘It’s alright, we don’t got electric today. It’s alright. It’s temporary. We’re gonna figure this out.’ Maybe that’s why I have this mentality when it comes to the music. I know I’m gonna figure it out. Just give me some time.”
Check out the preview below, and watch Bruno’s full “60 Minutes” profile this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT on CBS.
Usher joins Hamilton.
The R&B icon is the latest artist to share his talents on the upcoming ‘Hamilton Mixtape,’ which is due out Dec. 2. Ursh joins the star-studded project with a rendition of the key Aaron Burr song “Wait For It,” originally performed by Leslie Odom Jr.
Usher takes on the chorus in his own way singing: “Love doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints / It takes and it takes and it takes / And we keep loving anyway / We laugh and we cry and we break, and we make our mistakes / And if there’s a reason I’m by her side, so many have tried / I’m willing to wait for it, I’m willing to wait for it.”
According to Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, “the chorus becomes a chance for Burr to discuss many of the biggest, most fickle influences on his life. He says the same thing about death, and life, and Hamilton. Both Burr and Hamilton have this sinner/saint duality. They are, at the core, good men, but both are extremely flawed.”
Take a listen to Usher’s version of “Wait For It” below.
Grammy-nominated songwriter, producer and artist Kay Cola has released her latest EP, Lucy. The 9-track collection is a raw and honest journey of a spirit-being trying to find the purpose of life on earth. The Lucid Dream Queen opens our minds to its outermost depths and helps us discover our truth.
“‘Lucy’ is the raw true story of everything my pain, mistakes, fears and ego have taught me,” explains Kay Cola. “It is the evolution of me shedding my ego and anger, and using everything I’ve learned to inspire and teach others. It is me at my purest form. I am Lucy.”
Kay Cola is a Grammy-nominated songwriter, producer, and artist whose talents has had her collaborate with the likes of Ne-Yo, Jhené Aiko, Eric Benet, Boi1da (Drake), RedOne (Lady Gaga) and more. After penning songs for some of music’s heavyweights, Kay Cola is now taking her career in a different direction as a talented songstress. Lucy was written solely by Kay Cola and executive produced exclusively by Avenue Prod.
Stream Lucy below.
Earlier this year, emerging artist Ella Mai had many R&B fans singing her praises following the release of her TIME EP. Today, the London born songstress has released her follow-up project, CHANGE.
Executive produced by West Coast hip-hop phenom, DJ Mustard, the project is a heartfelt throwback to ’90s R&B. “I’m a big fan of music from that era,” admits the half Jamaican-half Irish beauty, now officially signed to Mustard’s 10 Summers label.
A thematic continuation of TIME, which chronicles the slow demise of a love relationship, Ella Mai says the new project is all about “newfound love, new emotions and new experiences.” She offers, “It’s about finding someone new and knowing how to appreciate what he’s giving you in comparison to what you were dealing with.”
The stellar five-song collection kicks off with “Down,” where Ella elegantly flips the script on the 1994 Brandy classic “I Wanna Be Down.” The following “Lay Up” proposes an island getaway with her new man, while “Who Knew” has the 22-year-old pondering, “how did we fall so deep so fast.” The single, “10,000 Hours,” she says, is about putting in the time it takes to master love. “In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says you need to do something for 10,000 hours in order to have it down pat,” Ella Mai reasons. “My song applies that same theory to love.”
Stream Ella Mai’s CHANGE EP below.