Category: Black Eyed Peas

Elton John, Lady Gaga among pop stars snubbed in Oscar best song category

Click for photos of the top nominees

The consolation for Elton John, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Chris Cornell, Zooey Deschanel and other superstar pop, rock and country musicians who got snubbed in the best song Academy Award nominations announced Tuesday is that they’re in pretty stellar company.

With just two songs earning nominations —“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” and “Real in Rio” from “Rio” -- the list of also-rans includes a bounty of heavyweight performers and songwriters.

Yet they didn’t score enough points with Academy voters to make the final nomination list. Voters had 39 songs to sort through this year, for which they were asked to assign a score to each on a scale of 6 to 10 points, after viewing clips from each film that included the eligible song.

FULL COVERAGE: The Oscar nominees

Only songs that received an average of 8.25 points or more could be nominated, with a maximum of five songs in the category, and no more than two songs from the same film.

Among the songs that fell short of that score were two Elton John songs from “Gnomeo and Juliet”: “Love Builds a Garden” and his duet with Lady Gaga, “Hello Hello.” Mary J. Blige’s “Living Proof” from “The Help” and Elvis Costello’s “Sparkling Day” from “One Day” were under consideration, along with Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell’s “The Keeper” from “Machine Gun Preacher,” Deschanel’s “So Long” from “Winnie the Pooh” and Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am’s “Hot Wings,” also from “Rio.”

One of the most powerful songs to appear in a movie last year was J. Ralph’s “Hell and Back,” sung by Willie Nelson. But because it appeared in a documentary, director Danfung Dennis’ “Hell and Back Again” about the war in Afghanistan, it was a longshot for a nomination.

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Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, Sting tapped for iHeartRadio Music Festival

Billed as "the biggest live music event in radio history," the two-day festival, set for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in September, also features Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj and Kelly Clarkson.

Iheartradio

Though summer has already had its fair share of big-ticket, multiday festivals, Clear Channel is kicking off fall with what it's billing as "the biggest live music event in radio history."

The radio conglomerate on Monday announced the lineup for the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival, and the roster for the two-day festival, set for Sept. 23 and 24 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, is quite the who’s who among Top 40.

Night 1 features performances by Coldplay, Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas, John Mayer, Carrie Underwood, Bruno Mars and Jane's Addiction. While Night 2 has Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, Kenny Chesney, Nicki Minaj, Rascal Flatts, Kelly Clarkson, David Guetta, Sublime with Rome and special guest performances by Sting and Usher.

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Black Eyed Peas answer Super Bowl critics at all-star charity concert [Video]

BEP_LAT

Before ushering out a slate of high-profile surprise guests at a pre-Grammy Black Eyed Peas event, will.i.am and co. addressed their detractors following their recent Super Bowl halftime performance. What will.i.am offered was a freestyle littered with a few choice words that this blog can't print. But the bottom line? The Peas don’t give a hoot if you didn’t get their vision.

The event, held last Thursday at the Music Box in Hollywood, benefited will.i.am’s scholarship program. It could have easily succumbed to little more than who's-who madness, as stars squeezed down the red carpet for photo ops and crammed tiny VIP sections inside the theater. But this was a night of endurance, and rewarded those who were in it for the long haul rather than celeb-seekers. 

After the group opened with hits “Boom, Boom, Pow” and “Pump It,” most of the less-than-enthusiastic -- and uncomfortably packed -- crowd swiftly funneled out. Over the course of the first hour, most opted to travel a block down the street to Usher’s party at Avalon, which this writer was denied entrance to after Jamie Foxx apparently was involved in some sort of scuffle.

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Ciara performs at Black Eyed Peas' Peapod benefit concert [video]

So, R&B vixen Ciara may be begging to be set free from Jive, but the 25-year-old put aside the label drama for one night, albeit for a good cause, to perform at the Black Eyed Peas' seventh Peapod Benefit Concert on Thursday at the Music Box Theater in Hollywood.

Though her latest album, "Basic Instinct," hasn't proved to be a hitmaker -- the album debuted at No. 43 on the Billboard chart -- she was in true form in a set that offered up her best-known tracks ("Goodies," and "1,2 Step"), as well as current single "Gimmie Dat."

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Video: Gerrick D. Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

 

Earth, Wind & Fire perform at Black Eyed Peas' annual Peapod benefit concert [video]

The Black Eyed Peas on Thursday brought out legendary R&B/funk band Earth, Wind & Fire to appear at their yearly Peapod Benefit Concert at the Music Box Theater in Hollywood.

Though the clock had already struck 2:30 a.m. and a hefty percentage of the packed crowd had wavered and emptied out, the band treated the remaining audience to a rousing set of classics.

Actually, we advise you to stop reading and check out the performance of "September" at the Peapod event now. 

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Video: Gerrick D. Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

 

The Black Eyed Peas at the Super Bowl: Pop absurdity at its finest

Bep

As the Black Eyed Peas' Super Bowl halftime performance in Arlington, Texas, halted and revved up for its final act, there was a brief glimpse at the band that could have been. The retro-future stage -- outfitted with multiple moving platforms and a multitude of lights, as if the Peas had blown up Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade -- rearranged itself to spell out the the word "Love." 

Peas ringleader will.i.am stood straight and looked directly into the camera. Outfitted to look something like a cross between an astronaut and a "Star Wars" character, will.i.am updated the lyrics to "Where Is the Love?" and called upon the president to "create jobs so the country stays stimulated." As political commentary, it was far from divisive, but the 2003 hit was a brief reminder of the Los Angeles act's roots. The Peas were once a socially-conscious hip-hop act, and as recently as eight years ago were interested in more than simply overly stimulating their audience.

But that shift in direction -- these days, the Peas have time for only mindless partying -- is largely what made the act quite possibly the most perfectly suited contemporary group for a Super Bowl halftime show. Since the 2004 Janet Jackson disaster, the NFL has targeted the boomer crowd, with little success. Bruce Springsteen hammed it up in 2009 to pander the mass audience, and the Who ran out of gas last year, trying to play the part of an act that still mattered.

The Peas, however, didn't really have to change a thing. The Peas of 2011 embrace all things commercial and ridiculous. Corny? Please. In the world of the Peas, nothing is too silly and everything is built for exaggeration.

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Bon Jovi tops the 2010 tour list, followed by AC/DC, U2 and Lady Gaga

Jonbonjovi The concert business was hit in 2010 by some of the same tough economic times that have been gripping other factions in the music industry in recent years, but New Jersey rock group Bon Jovi has reason to pop the Champagne anyway.

The band posted the highest grossing concert tour of the year not only in North America, but across the globe, topping the $200-million mark worldwide, according to figures released Tuesday by Pollstar, the concert-tracking publication.

Bon Jovi posted total concert revenue of $201.1 million, a little over half that figure -- $108.2 million -- from the North American dates on its world tour.

Behind the group on Pollstar's worldwide ranking is AC/DC with gross ticket sales of $177 million, followed in the top 5 by U2 ($160.9 million), Lady Gaga ($133.6 million) and Metallica ($110.1 million).

Looking only at North American tour numbers, Roger Waters and his remounting of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" was second to Bon Jovi with a tour gross of $89.5 million, followed by the Dave Matthews Band ($72.9 million), Canadian pop crooner Michael Bublé ($65.7 million) and the Eagles ($64.5 million).

The big guns, however, couldn't bring up the entire concert business over last year's numbers. The top 50 North American tours combined for an overall take of $1.69 billion, down about 15% from $1.99 billion in 2009. The story was only marginally better throughout the world, where the top 50 total tour gross of $2.93 billion was off about 12% from $3.34 billion a year earlier.

Numbers were down almost across the board: total ticket sales dropped 12% in North America, from 29.9 million in 2009 to 26.2 million last year, and decreased 7% worldwide, from 45.3 million in 2009 to 38.3 million in 2010.

Top_20_Tours_of_2010 The only increase reported by Pollstar was in the average ticket price worldwide, which went up by $2.86 per ticket, or about 4%. Tickets in North America actually dropped by about $1.55 or 2%. Even Bon Jovi's field-leading $108.2 million for North America was the lowest figure in recent years for the No. 1 spot. The record high belongs to the Rolling Stones, who took in $162 million on their 2005 "A Bigger Bang" tour.

"Artists worked fewer shows in a tough business climate and those that overreached suffered the consequences," Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni said in a statement that accompanied the numbers. "In general, the international concert business was stronger than in North America, where overbooked and overpriced shows at outdoor amphitheater venues made it an especially difficult year for Live Nation," a reference to the world's largest concert promoter.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney has received consistent praise for his stamina, still typically delivering three-hour performances while touring at age 68. But he generally worked fewer nights for more money than most of his peers. His average gross of $3.86 million per night over 21 dates in 2010, and an average ticket price of $138.49, gave him the highest per-concert average in North America, followed by Bon Jovi ($2.85 million), Waters ($2.49 million), Alejandro Fernandez ($2.4 million) and Elton John-Billy Joel ($1.97 million).

Popularity-wise, however, Dave Matthews Band reigned, selling 1.27 million tickets in North America for the year. Bon Jovi was second with 1.18 million, Justin Bieber with 987,000, John Mayer with 894,000 and Brad Paisley with 880,000.

Rounding out the top 10 grossing North American tours were McCartney, who took in $61.8 million over 42 shows in 38 cities. Lady Gaga finished No. 7 with total ticket sales of $51 million, followed by the James Taylor-Carole King "Troubadour" reunion tour that nipped at Gaga's 6-inch spiked heels with a $50.7 million total gross, the Black Eyed Peas at $50.5 million and singer-songwriter guitarist John Mayer at No. 10 with $49.9 million.

Bublé also performed well around the world, finishing at No. 6 behind Metallica with $104.2 million, the "Walking With Dinosaurs" animatronics tour ($104.1 million), McCartney ($93 million), the Eagles (92.3 million) and Waters ($89.5 million).

Michaelbuble "Walking With Dinosaurs" attracted more patrons than any other tour, logging almost 2.06 million visitors. But the spectacle's overall gross finished farther down the list because the average ticket price was a comparatively modest $50.56.

Billboard's concert business rankings, which cover a slightly different, non-calendar year -- Nov. 22, 2009-Nov. 20, 2010 -- and factor in worldwide tour revenues, also place Bon Jovi at the top of the heap, with a gross during that period of $146.5 million from sales of nearly 1.59 million tickets.

The rest of the magazine's top five touring acts were largely consistent with Pollstar's, with the No. 2 slot taken by U2 ($131.5 million, 1.31 million tickets), then AC/DC ($122.6 million, 1.16 million tickets), Lady Gaga ($116.2 million, 1.36 million tickets) and Black Eyed Peas ($81.6 million, 1.26 million tickets). U2 scored its penultimate finish with only 22 stadium shows, compared to 69 performances for Bon Jovi.

U2 was tops on Pollstar's list of 2009's biggest tours, posting $123 million and another 1.31 million tickets sold. The Irish quartet was the only act to top the $100-million mark last year, with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band coming in second with $94.5 million, Elton John and Billy Joel's duo tour pulling in $88 million, Britney Spears at $82.5 million and AC/DC fifth with $77.9 million.

Among Pollstar's Top 100 North American tours, the crown for highest average ticket price of 2010 goes to Waters, who charged an average of $126.14 per ticket. That's considerably less than last year's high of $173.89 for Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks Live" tour.

Pollstar will release a full Top 200 early next month in its 2010 Year End Special Edition.

 -- Randy Lewis

Top photo: Jon Bon Jovi led the concert word with over $200-million in concert revenue. Credit: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.

Bottom photo: Michael Bublé also had a good year, including finishing at No. 6 internationally. Credit: Associated Press.

U.K. chart wars: The Trashmen's 1963 surf classic 'Surfin' Bird' challenges 'X Factor' winner Matt Cardle* [Updated]

Trashmen_band_photo 
Reason No. 785 that “there will always be an England”: The U.K. pop singles chart this week is topped by the latest winner of Simon Cowell’s hit show “The X Factor,” coming to U.S.  TV screens soon. But on his way to No. 1 with his single “When We Collide,” newly crowned pop star Matt Cardle got a surprise challenge from a nearly 50-year-old U.S. surf-rock classic.

The Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird’’ -- the one boasting the Shakespearean refrain, “Bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word” -- debuted at No 3, right behind Cardle and the No. 2 single, Rihanna’s “What’s My Name,” and ahead of the Black Eyed Peas’ “The Time (Dirty Bit),” last week’s No. 1 place holder.

“Every Christmas, the No. 1 single has been by the person from that show,” said Tim Livingston, director of sales and publicisty for Sundazed Music, the New York-based reissue specialty label that has the rights to “Surfin’ Bird” in the U.S. “Evidently, a bunch of people over there got fed up with that, and last year they had a grass-roots campaign to try to get Rage Against the Machine to No. 1.”

It worked: Rage’s 1992 song “Killing in the Name” outsold 2009 “X Factor” winner Joe McElderry’s “The Climb” and wrested the No. 1 slot from Cowell’s talent-contest victor during Christmas week.

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On the charts: Is there room for the Black Eyed Peas in the Season of the Boyle?

SUSAN_BOYLE_GETTY_6_

The music business doesn't have an overabundance of sure things these days, but a holiday-themed album from Susan Boyle probably comes close. Like a warm cup of cider, Boyle's "The Gift" is all yuletide comfort, and Boyle fans have propelled the album to more than 1.1 million in sales in four weeks, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In the last week alone, the album has sold 272,000 copies.

In its return to the pole position on the U.S. pop chart, Boyle knocks out Kanye West, whose "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" slides to No. 7 in its second full week. A return to hip-hop after the downbeat "808s & Heartbreak," West's "Fantasy" has generated a bounty of media attention and given the artist a solid two-week total of 605,000 copies sold.

Boyle has a lead over Taylor Swift on the Billboard-managed tallies. The country star's "Speak Now" has already sold more than 2.1 million copies, racking up an additional 182,000 copies sold this week. A number of holiday albums infiltrate the charts, including Jackie Evancho's "O Holy Night" and the latest collection of music from the Fox show "Glee." The two sit at Nos. 3 and 4, each selling a little more than 128,000 copies.

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Album review: Black Eyed Peas' 'The Beginning'

Bep Dealing with the Black Eyed Peas' dominance of pop radio is like planning for earthquakes in Los Angeles. There's no use in protesting about either anymore. You can stock up on supplies and map an escape route for your family, but each is a geologic fact, and you might as well accept the inevitability.

With the Peas' latest, “The Beginning,” the Big One that will topple freeways and leave Power 106 a smoldering crater is “The Time (Dirty Bit),” a typically house-jacking club track that so flagrantly bites the chorus of “(I've Had) The Time of My Life” from “Dirty Dancing” that it has a kind of post-authorial genius. Consider it a musical Snuggie for tottering Valley party girls — it will feel marvelous in the cold, drunken and lonely hours of the night.

But complaining about such is like lamenting the rise of global capitalism. There is no viable alternative anymore. The better challenge is to find the pearls of techno-caveman beauty in the coke-nose vocal tweaks of “XOXOXO” or the Daft Punk aspirations of “The Best One Yet (The Boy).” They have a song called “Love You Long Time,” for goodness sake. That's all the Peas want to do, and they will not be ignored.

— August Brown

The Black Eyed Peas
“The Beginning”
Interscope
Two stars

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