Vangelis, the Greek composer and keyboardist best known for his chart-topping theme and Oscar-winning score to the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, has died at age 79, U.K. newspaper The Guardian reports.
According to the paper, representatives for the musician confirmed that he passed away at a French hospital, where he was being treated for an undisclosed illness.
Born Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou, Vangelis gained his greatest notoriety for composing the theme and the soundtrack to Chariots of Fire, which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 during the spring of 1982. His score to the movie also won an Academy Award.
Vangelis also released several collaborative albums with Yes frontman Jon Anderson under the moniker Vangelis and Jon during the 1980s and ’90s.
His other film work included composing the scores to 1982’s Blade Runner and Missing, 1984’s The Bounty, 1992’s 1492: Conquest of Paradise and 2004’s Alexander.
Early in his career, Vangelis was a member of the popular Greek prog-rock band Aphrodite’s Child, which was together from 1967 to 1972.
During his long career, Vangelis also released many solo studio albums, and composed music for ballets and stage productions.
His most recent album, 2021’s Juno to Jupiter, was inspired by NASA’s Juno probe.
The Osbourne family will soon be adding a new member.
Kelly Osbourne, the daughter of Ozzy and Sharon, has announced that she’s expecting her first child.
“I know that I have been very quiet these past few months so I thought I would share with you all as to why,” Kelly, 37, writes in an Instagram post. “I am over the moon to announce that I am going to be a Mumma.”
“To say that I am happy does not quite cut it,” she adds. “I am ecstatic!”
Kelly’s post, which includes photos of her holding up images from an ultrasound, was also shared by her mom.
“My [heart] could not be more full!” Sharon writes. “So excited to share the beautiful journey ahead with you.”
Slipknot‘s Sid Wilson, who was confirmed to be in a relationship with Kelly earlier this year, posted an ultrasound photo, as well.
Kelly’s announcement is an especially bright bit of news amid a tough few weeks for the Osbourne family, which saw Ozzy, Sharon and Kelly herself test positive for COVID-19.
While Elton himself couldn’t make it in person, the 30th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, held Sunday night in Los Angeles, was a huge success.
The party, hosted by Elton’s husband David Furnish, and their friends Lady Gaga, Billy Porter and Eric McCormack, raised $8.6 million for the Foundation. Elton joined via satellite from his concert in Lincoln, Nebraska to thank the attendees, and shared a performance of “Your Song” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” During that performance, guests received limited-edition Elton John Eyewear “Gold Dust” frames to wear along with Elton.
Elton’s friend, singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile, performed at the party and duetted with singer/songwriter Jake Wesley Rogers on “Rocket Man.”
“I’m so grateful to my friends Lady Gaga, Billy Porter and Eric McCormack for joining David in hosting such an incredible evening, and of course Brandi Carlile for bringing down the house with an electrifying performance,” Elton said in a statement. “Most of all, I’m thankful to all who attended and participated to ensure that we can continue our lifesaving work to end AIDS. I could feel the love and support all the way from Lincoln, Nebraska!”
David Furnish added in a statement, “It was an especially unforgettable and emotional evening with our sons in attendance for the first time. They made their fathers extremely proud representing our family at the Foundation’s most important night of the year!”
Guests at the bash included Demi Lovato, Kevin Costner, Donatella Versace, Chris Pine, Zooey Deschanel, Fran Drescher, Patricia Arquette, Heidi Klum, Chrissy Metz and many more.
“Prince: The Immersive Experience” will debut on June 9 – two days after the late musician’s birthday – at the Shops at North Bridge on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago.
The interactive experience, presented by Superfly and in partnership with The Prince Estate, will take visitors on a journey through Prince’s life, offering 10 multidimensional spaces to witness the singer’s creative evolution and original sound.
“It is an absolute honor to partner with The Prince Estate to create an experience that celebrates Prince’s legendary music and the inspirational way that he lived his life,” Superfly Co-founder Kerry Black said in a statement. “I know I will forever be changed by working on this project and hope fans will bring a little Prince inspiration home with them, too.”
One of the spaces will allow fans to “step inside the Purple Rain album cove,r” where they can mix a hit directly out of Prince’s coveted Paisley Park Studio A and boogie down to an audiovisual dance party with an accompanying lighting design. The exhibit will also feature photography, historic instruments and wardrobe pieces and much more.
Though Superfly is known for creating entertainment-based experiences like “TheFriends Experience”and “The Office Experience,” Black says the latest project is “next level,” according to Rolling Stone.
Tickets for “Prince: The Immersive Experience” go on sale Thursday, March 31, exclusively at PrinceTheExperience.com.
In a career filled with best-selling albums, worldwide tours and jam sessions with nearly every legendary rock star on the planet, Dave Grohl may have found his most unexpected project yet with Studio 666.
The new horror-comedy film stars Grohl and the rest of the Foo Fighters as fictionalized versions of themselves, who enter a creepy mansion to record their next album. Things soon turn from spooky to downright evil when Grohl is possessed by demonic forces and begins killing the other band members.
In between the R-rated flick’s blood, gore and entrails, one might find a metaphor for the way a song might “possess” someone as they write it, though Grohl doesn’t think it’s exactly the same thing.
“Well, it’s a little different, because in the film I’m inspired by Satan,” Grohl tells ABC Audio. “That’s not my typical motivation when I’m writing a Foo Fighters song. ‘Times Like These’ is not about the Devil.”
He adds, “Making this movie, we know what it’s like to make an album. We just had to learn what it’s like to make an album possessed by the Devil.”
Even putting Satan aside, making Studio 666 brought its fair share of surprises to Grohl and company.
“I thought the hardest part was sitting around waiting,” Grohl says, channeling his one-time band mate, Tom Petty.
“Remember the room that we would sit around and wait in?” laughs guitarist Chris Shiflett. “We did it so f***ing low-budget. Like, there was two folding chairs and, like, a dirty old couch or something in this room, and we would just be huddled in there for, like, 12 hours a day.”
The news was confirmed in a statement on the rocker and actor’s Facebook page.
“Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side,” the statement reads. “Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours.”
The post notes Meat Loaf’s “amazing career,” which spanned six decades. Meat Loaf, birth name Marvin Lee Aday, sold 100 million album sales worldwide and starred in over 65 movies including Fight Club, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne’s World. His 1977 album Bat Out of Hell is one of the top selling albums of all time and he scored a number one hit with 1993’s “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).”
The statement continues, “We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man…From his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking!
For a second year in a row, the Grammy Awards will not take place on January 31 as originally planned because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ABC News confirms the Recording Academy has delayed this year’s ceremony, which was to be hosted again by Trevor Noah.
“After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners, the Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards Show,” the organization announced in a statement on Wednesday.
The Recording Academy continued, “The health and safety of those in our music community, the live audience, and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remains our top priority. Given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show on January 31 simply contains too many risks.”
At this time, the organization has not announced when the Grammys will be rescheduled, but promised the new date “will be announced soon.”
Currently, federal data reports that more than 100,000 people are hospitalized in the U.S. for COVID-19. Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from the weekend shows that the U.S. is now averaging nearly half a million new cases a day — averaging out to nearly six Americans testing positive every second.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest airs on ABC Friday night, but on Wednesday, two of the stars scheduled to perform in New York’s Times Square — LL Cool J and Chloe — pulled out, LL due to a positive COVID test. Ryan Seacrest, however, says the show must go on.
“In our minds, the show is always going to happen. There’s always going to be a ball that drops, whether there are people there or not. I think we learned that last year!” he tells ABC Audio.
And while there will only be a quarter of the usual crowd in Times Square, Ryan notes, “Over these years…we’ve faced real challenges and we still turn the page and a new year still starts.”
As for the loss of two marquee performers, Ryan explains, “Over the years, there have been situations where we thought…a performer couldn’t make it in or they weren’t going to be able to get there to perform. So we are trained to know how to react to last-minute changes.”
“We’re going to pivot — we’re going to put Journey” — a previously announced Time Square performer — “in [LL Cool J’s] spot,” Ryan adds. “We have enough performers and enough different moving parts that the show will always fill any gap.”
This year marks the show’s 50th anniversary, and first-time co-host Liza Koshy says the show will “commend the incredibleness that Dick Clark began.”
“There are so many clips that we have that we’re playing back from the ’80s, ’90s, 2000s…it’s been an incredible journey,” she says. And with additional performances in L.A., Puerto Rico and New Orleans, Liza notes, “People are going to be tuning in to just layers of performance and entertainment the whole night!”
As for why New Year’s Rockin’ Eve is still rockin’ 50 years later, Ryan says, “There’s a mixture of nostalgia and relevance…[It’s] a part of our DNA as kids…and also an extreme relevance when you look at the artists that are performing.”
This year, those artists include Ciara, Billy Porter, Måneskin, Avril Lavigne, AJR, Travis Barker, Polo G, Walker Hayes, Daddy Yankee, OneRepublic and many more.
Those things, he adds, will “hopefully continue to make this the franchise that it is for another 50 years!”
In an interview with Empire magazine, director and writer Matt Reeves explains how the late Nirvana frontman helped inspire his characterization of the Dark Knight in the upcoming film, The Batman.
“When I write, I listen to music, and as I was writing the first act, I put on Nirvana’s “Something in the Way,'” Reeves shares. “That’s when it came to me that, rather than make Bruce Wayne the playboy version we’ve seen before, there’s another version who had gone through a great tragedy and become a recluse.”
Reeves adds he was reminded of the 2005 Gus Van Sant film Last Days, a fictional film that’s loosely based on Cobain’s death.
“I started making this connection to Gus Van Sant’s Last Days, and the idea of this fictionalized version of Kurt Cobain being in this kind of decaying manor,” Reeves says.
The Cobain connection to The Batman is already clear in the film’s trailer, which is soundtracked by “Something in the Way.” The movie, which stars Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, hits theaters March 4, 2022.
By the way, The Batman isn’t the first superhero film to use Nirvana’s music. “Come as You Are” is featured in Captain Marvel, while Black Widow opens with a choir version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”