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Earth Wind & Fire to Perform on "A Home for the Holidays" Special


PRNewsFoto/Legacy RecordingsEarth Wind & Fire is a part of the entertainment lineup for this year's edition of the CBS special A Home for the Holidays, which airs December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The show also will include performances by Train, Jennifer Hudson, U.K. pop act Rixton and country artists Ashley Monroe and Dan Shay.

As always, the special will feature uplifting stories about families whose lives have been changed by adoption from foster care.  Celebrity presenters, some of whom have had their own adoption experiences, or who are involved in children's issues, will also be part of the show.

Also scheduled to appear on A Home for the Holidays are Katharine McPhee and Jillian Michaels.

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Sammy Hagar Says He "Was Honored" to Be Asked to Appear on "The Simpsons"


2014 TCFFC/FoxSammy Hagar will join an illustrious list of fellow rock stars when he appears tonight in cartoon form on The Simpsons.  The Red Rocker's voice and animated likeness will be featured in an episode titled "Covercraft," in which Homer -- suffering from a mid-life crisis after Moe's bar closes -- becomes the bassist in a cover band with some other local dads.

Hagar says he jumped at the chance when he was asked to take part in the show, which in the past has featured cameos by such music legends as Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, The Who and Michael Jackson.

"I liked the list of people that have done it before me, and I was honored," Sammy explained during a press teleconference held Thursday.  He added that he also was excited because it gave him the opportunity to do "something new, something different."

He also noted that he enjoyed doing the show because he got the chance to ham it up. "I liked being a little bit of a caricature of myself," he said.  "I get to overdo it, and every time I overdo it around the house, you know, I get criticism from my kids and stuff.  So it's really nice to be able to overdo it and get away with it."

One thing Hagar wasn't too pleased with was the way he looked as a cartoon character.

"I don't think anyone can relate to themselves as a Simpson," he said with a laugh.  "When I saw it I went, 'Whoa!  Hey!  Hold on here.'  You know, it's pretty funny but, like I said, I can't relate too much to the character except…they got my tennis shoes really right and they got my…flower shirt…my kind of semi-Hawaiian lifestyle look…But [I] couldn't relate to the body and face look."

Besides that, Hagar said he was so happy with his Simpsons experience that it made him want to become a full-time cast member.

"It made me want to do voice-overs," he explained.  "I told the guys after I did it…I said, 'Hey man, invent a permanent Simpson character for me and I'll do it.'…I'm telling you, it was really, really fun."

Sammy revealed that at this stage in his career, he's very interested in trying things he hasn't done before, so beyond doing voice-overs he'd like to try his hand at acting in a film.

"I'd love to have a bit part in a movie," he said.  "Not like a star, but I would love to…try some things like that, where I can be some other character.  I'm tired of being Sammy, you know what I mean?"

You can check out a video featuring behind-the-scenes footage of Hagar recording his Simpsons cameo on RollingStone.comThe Simpsons airs Sundays on Fox at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

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Jackson Browne, Robert Plant Featured on Season Finale of PBS' "Austin City Limits"


Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana MusicThe season finale of the long-running PBS performance series Austin City Limits will premiere Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.  The show will feature highlights from the 2014 Americana Music Association's 13th annual Honors and Awards ceremony, which took place this past September at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

The event included performances by Jackson Browne, Robert Plant, Rosanne Cash, folk-blues veteran Taj Mahal and country legend Loretta Lynn.  Browne was honored with the Spirit of Americana Award at the ceremony, and during his appearance he performed "The Long Way Around," a song from his new album, Standing in the Breach.  Plant, meanwhile, joined his one-time musical and romantic partner Patty Griffin for a rendition of her tune "Ohio."

You can watch a video preview of Browne's performance now at RollingStone.com.

Here's a complete set list for Saturday's Austin City Limits episode:

"Feather's Not a Bird" -- Rosanne Cash
"Truck Stop Gospel" -- Parker Millsap
"Coal Miner's Daughter"-- Loretta Lynn
"Snake Eyes" -- The Milk Carton Kids
"You Can't Judge a Book" -- Americana All-Star Band
"Ingrato Amor" -- Flaco Jimenez
"The Long Way Around" -- Jackson Browne
"Grass Is Greener" -- St. Paul & the Broken Bones
"You Can't Be Told" -- Valerie June
"Ohio" -- Patty Griffin & Robert Plant
"Statesboro Blues" -- Taj Mahal
"Cover Me Up" -- Jason Isbell
"Life of Sin" -- Sturgill Simpson

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R.E.M. Documentary Making Television Debut on Saturday


Image Courtesy of REMHQ.comR.E.M. by MTV, the new documentary exploring the relationship between the legendary band and the music network, will be making its television debut on Saturday.  The documentary will air at 9 p.m. ET on VH1 Classic and Palladia.

R.E.M. and MTV have been linked since they both began -- the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers released their first album in 1981 just weeks before MTV premiered its first video.  Directed by Alexander Young, R.E.M. by MTV exclusively uses archival footage to trace the history between the two rising stars.

"It occurred to us that there's all this footage of some of the band's absolute career highlights sitting in some MTV vaults in London and New York -- and thanks to a lot of effort and digging and arranging, this is our chance to share that music with various generations of R.E.M. fans in a pretty unique release," says longtime R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs.  "And Alexander Young's documentary is a fine way to tell the story of R.E.M. through its various twists and turns, as captured in real time by MTV's cameras -- it has some great funny bits too!"

R.E.M. by MTV is part of a six-DVD collection entitled REMTV, which includes more than 14 hours of material.  REMTV will be released on Monday, November 24.

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Paul McCartney Loves Dylan's Contribution to Tribute Album, but Isn't Sure If Everyone Will


MPL/Mary McCartneyThe star-studded Paul McCartney tribute album The Art of McCartney was released this past week, featuring renditions of the rock legend's songs by such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Brian Wilson, Roger Daltrey and many many more.  During a BBC Radio interview Wednesday, McCartney himself chatted about the compilation, marveling about the "amazing people" the producers got to take part in the project.

One star McCartney said he was particularly glad contributed to the record was Dylan, although he admitted that the lauded singer/songwriter's weathered vocals might not be everyone's cup of tea.

"[With] his croaky old voice…he's doing one of my songs called 'Things We Said Today,'" Sir Paul pointed out in the interview, before proceeding to imitate Bob's rendition.  Macca added, "I think I was saying…'If I started singing like that they'd shoot me.'  Bob's great, you know.  I love it…It's just, you're either a fan or you're not, and I'm a big fan of his."

McCartney also revealed that The Art of McCartney producer Ralph Sall had asked him to take part in the recording, but he didn't think it was a good idea.

"I said, 'Well, I can't, 'cause if it's a tribute I've got to just sort of be thankful they're doing it.  I can't get involved in my own tribute,'" he recalls.  "So I just let them get on with it.  He's done a good job, really."

Meanwhile, McCartney reported that the next project he's focusing on is an animated feature film based on a 2005 children's book he co-wrote called High in the Clouds.  Sir Paul said his "main job is to do the music," but he also will voice one of the characters in the movie.

The former Beatle also talked a little bit about "Hope for the Future," the theme song he wrote for the recently released video game Destiny that's expected to be issued as a single soon.

McCartney's BBC Radio interview is streaming now at BBC.co.uk.  His segment begins at about the 37-minute mark.

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Tickets for Bob Dylan MusiCares Tribute Being Auctioned to Aid Grammy Charities


Image Courtesy of William ClaxtonA new charity auction is offering the chance to attend the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year benefit, which will feature an all-star tribute to Bob Dylan.  The event will be held on February 6 in Los Angeles, and will honor the singer/songwriter's musical contributions, as well as his humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.

The winning bidder and a guest will receive two premium tickets to the event, as well as passes to private rehearsals that will be held the day before.  Bidding on the MusiCares Person of the Year package will be open until December 10 at CharityBuzz.com.

Among the many big-name artists scheduled to perform at the gala are Neil Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, John Mellencamp, Bonnie Raitt, Eddie Vedder, Tom Jones, Jack White, Los Lobos, Willie Nelson and Beck.

The experience is just one of many VIP packages being offered as part of the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares' second annual holiday auction, which raises money for educational programs and to aid members of the music community who've fallen on hard times.

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Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Lionel Richie Among Honorees at "Billboard" Touring Awards


Rankin; Library of CongressThe Rolling Stones, Billy Joel and Lionel Richie were among the honorees at this year's Billboard Touring Awards, which recognizes achievements in concert touring business.  The event was held Thursday night at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.

The Stones won the Top Boxscore prize, for a three-show engagement at the Tokyo Dome in Japan in February and March of this year.  The British rock legends beat out Paul McCartney and U.K. boy band One Direction for the award, which honors the highest-grossing single engagement by an artist.

Joel took home the Concert Marketing & Promotion Award for his ongoing residency at New York's Madison Square Garden.  The Rolling Stones' 50 and Counting Tour won the same award last year.

Richie was on hand to accept the Legend of Live Award, which recognizes his lifetime achievements as a touring act.

The evening's big winner was One Direction, which was presented with the Top Tour and Top Draw prizes.

The awards are based on numbers reported to Billboard magazine from October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014.  You can check out a complete list of winners at Billboard.com.

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Billy Joel Ties Elton John's Record at the Garden, Considers Return to Broadway


Lloyd Bishop/NBCBilly Joel and Elton John aren't very close anymore, but the two now have something else in common besides their keyboard, singing and songwriting skills: The Piano Man has just tied the Rocket Man's all-time record for most shows at Madison Square Garden by one artist.

Joel has just announced another concert at New York City's Madison Square Garden for June 20, 2015.  This will be his 64th show overall at the legendary venue, and the 18th as part of his residency at the Garden, which began in January of this year.  Tickets for the June show go on sale November 22 at 10 a.m. ET.

In other Joel news, he says that his pal Sting's new Broadway show, The Last Ship, has inspired him to reconsider Broadway.  He won a Tony for the hit Broadway musical Movin' Out, which was based on his songs, but that show closed in 2007.  Speaking to New York Newsday, Billy says, "It’s always in my head.  People do ask me if I want to write music for other shows they’ve written… But I'd really need to do it right."

He said of The Last Ship, "I really enjoyed the show.  I was talking to [Sting] about it, but it's a lot of work.  He worked on it for five years -- the songs, the orchestration, the story line.  If I'm going to do it, I'm going have to set aside a lot of free time.  If I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it 100 percent."

That's why Joel's Broadway plans might have to wait: In addition to his residency, he's also doing select concerts around the country.  "I can't just do one gig a month," he says.  "We have to do other shows...there's rehearsals and travel.  Those shows generate a certain amount of work."

This week marked a milestone in the Piano Man's career: He received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on Wednesday night in Washington, D.C., and the ASCAP Centennial Award Monday night in New  York.  "It's been a helluva year," he tells Newsday.  "It's kind of overwhelming -- a multitude of blessings."

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High-Def Audio Version of George Harrison's "The Apple Years" Box Set to Be Released Next Week


Universal Music EnterprisesBack in September, a box set titled The Apple Years 1968-75 featuring remastered versions of George Harrison's first six solo albums was issued on CD and as a standard digital download.  Now, a high-definition digital version of the compilation is set to be released this Monday, November 24.

The revamped collection has been mastered in 96-kHz/24-bit digital resolution from the album's original master tapes, and will be available for purchase from all major high-def audio sellers.

The Apple Years 1968-75 includes 1968's Wonderwall Music, 1969's Electronic Sound, 1970's All Things Must Pass, 1973's Living in the Material World, 1974's Dark Horse and 1975's Extra Texture (Read All About It).  Each album includes bonus rare or previously unreleased tracks.  Harrison's son, Dhani, oversaw the compilation project.

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The Beach Boys' Mike Love to Write Memoir, "Good Vibrations"


Image Courtesy of MelecoBeach Boys co-founder Mike Love has inked a deal to write a memoir about his time in the group.

Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, will publish Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy.  The book will discuss the singer's childhood growing up in the Los Angeles area, the many ups and downs he experienced as a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, his spiritual journey and long devotion to transcendental meditation, and his "complex" relationship with cousin and fellow Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson.

"I've had an incredible life with a lot of triumphs, my share of heartbreak and some pretty amazing experiences," says Love in a statement.  "There are a lot of things I haven't shared before, and I'm looking forward to opening up about my life and my work in this book.  It's a story about family, music, a country in transition, and audiences all over the world coming together in harmony."

Good Vibrations -- named after the 1966 Beach Boys hit of the same name -- is due out in the summer of 2016.

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Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel Pay Tribute to "Graduate" Director Mike Nichols


Columbia MasterworksMike Nichols, one of the most celebrated and successful film and stage directors in American history, died Wednesday night at age 83.  Nichols directed some of American cinema's classic films, including 1968's The Graduate, for which he won the Academy Award for best director.

Many of the acclaimed director's celebrity friends and colleagues have written messages paying tribute to Nichols, including Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, whose music, including the hit "Mrs. Robinson," made up the majority of The Graduate's soundtrack.

Simon issued a brief statement that reads, "My dear friend of 47 years. I love and admire Mike Nichols."

Garfunkel, meanwhile, had a more extensive professional relationship with Nichols, having acted in two films directed by Mike -- 1970's Catch-22 and 1971's Carnal Knowledge.

In his heartfelt homage, the singer wrote, "Aahhhh how I loved Mike. Truly. Deeply. He was the most sparkling man among us. Life will be different for us now. Earth will be a little duller. Mike Nichols is not alive."

Garfunkel's tribute continues, "The self is a creation. Mike created an extraordinary star -- so bright, so extremely clever -- himself. When you were with him, he brought you up to your best smart self, and kept it light with humor. To act for him on camera was to glide on a liquid film of intelligence."

"Before each scene, Mike gave his actors a brilliant and subversive insight," Garfunkel continued. "As you were stirred, he then got you with something really funny. In this state of transcendence, he walked away and said 'roll camera.' Now that he has truly 'walked away' the act of life is, for me, forever charmed."

Nichols is one of a select group of entertainers who have won the Academy Award, Emmy Award, Grammy Award and Tony Award, and received numerous other significant honors.  His other directing credits include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Silkwood, Working Girl, Postcards from the Edge, The Birdcage and Charlie Wilson's War.  Nichols was married to ABC News journalist Diane Sawyer, whom he wed in 1988.

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Cher Cancels the Rest of Her Dressed to Kill Dates


Peter Kramer/NBCPoor Cher.  Back in September, she became ill and and had to reschedule all her concert dates.  But now, she's been forced to cancel all those rescheduled dates, because she still hasn't made a full recovery.

After Cher wrapped up the first leg of her Dressed to Kill tour in March, she was going to embark on a second leg, but she contracted an infection that affected her kidney function, leading the postponement and rescheduling of the dates.  But now, her doctors have advised her that she needs even more time to ensure a "complete and total recovery."  Ticket holders can get refunds at the point of purchase.

In a statement, Cher said, "I am totally devastated. Nothing like this has ever happened to me.  I cannot apologize enough to all the fans who bought tickets.  I’m so proud of this show. It is my best ever. I sincerely hope that we can come back again next year and finish what we started.” 

The dates were to have run through January, and included two shows at New York's Madison Square Garden.

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Watch Paul Rodgers on Season Finale of "Later…With Jools Holland" on Thursday


Image Courtesy of Paul MoscowPaul Rodgers will appear on the season finale of the popular BBC performance show Later…With Jools Holland, which will premiere in the U.S. on the Palladia channel tonight at 10 p.m. ET.  The famed frontman of Bad Company and Free will be featured performing songs from his latest album, The Royal Sessions, along with most of the respected Memphis studio musicians who accompanied him on the recording.

Rodgers sang three tunes from The Royal Sessions during his Later appearance: covers of the Sam and Dave classic "I Thank You," Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is" and Albert King's "Down Don't Bother Me."  The singer's visit to the TV program was taped earlier this month shortly after he played a concert with the same Memphis musicians at London's Royal Albert Hall.  That show helped raise money for a charity Rodgers supports, the Willows Animal Sanctuary & Animal Assisted Therapy Unit in Scotland.

In other news, Rodgers and some of his Royal Sessions collaborators are featured in a new episode of the public television series Front and Center that premiered on select stations this week.  The show still is scheduled to debut on various public TV stations in the coming weeks; visit FrontandCenter.com for a list of stations and air dates.

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3-D Paul McCartney Concert Performance Viewable Now with New Virtual Reality App


MJ Kim/MPL CommunicationsA newly launched app is giving fans the chance to experience a recent Paul McCartney performance in a completely immersive 3-D environment.  Through the Jaunt VR app, viewers can watch footage of the rock legend playing his hit "Live and Let Die" during the historic final concert at San Francisco's Candlestick Park this past August from every imaginable angle and viewpoint.

The program and the McCartney video can be downloaded for free via Google Play for use with the Google Cardboard viewer and Android devices.  The 3-D content is being made available to celebrate the launch of Jaunt.  The performance was captured using 360-degree stereoscopic cameras and three-dimensional sound-field microphones.

"The concert at Candlestick put Sir Paul McCartney in front of 70,000 live fans, and with our technology and the launch of our app, we're opening up this access to many more," says Jaunt CEO Jens Christensen in a statement.  "We're creating a completely new medium for entertainment.  This is just the first step of our broader mission to bring viewers immersive access to the latest concerts, movies, sporting events and more through virtual reality."

The immersive McCartney video also will be available soon for the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift virtual-reality devices.

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Rod Stewart's New Album Coming in Spring, May Feature Reggae, Ska & Celtic Sounds


Credit: Penny LancasterRod Stewart's 2013 album Time was a success, and featured his first new, original songs in years.  Now Stewart says he's going to release another new album this spring, but what it's going to sound like may surprise you.

Vegas Player magazine reports that the singer's forthcoming record will feature a lot of "Celtic melodies" -- perhaps reflecting his Scottish heritage -- and that he's also been experimenting with ska and reggae sounds.  "Believe it or not, I've got 10 tracks ready for the new album," he tells the magazine.  "I've got songs coming out of my bum at the moment," he says with a laugh.  "I just wish I could have had this 25 or 30 years ago.  I was enjoying myself too much then."

Meanwhile, Rod is currently performing in Las Vegas at his residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, and he'll be back in January and February for more shows there before he heads to Australia on tour.  Asked how much longer he plans to record and tour, Stewart tells the magazine, "As long as the voice is there, I'll keep going.  I've been really lucky with my voice.  It's stayed in pretty good shape.  It gets a bit of a battering now and then -- four shows in six days -- but I look after it as if it were the crown jewels."

Adds the 70-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, "It's all about being comfortable with what you do, who you are, what you wear, what you say and who you mix with.  I'm very comfortable in the suit I'm wearing at the moment.  When I do feel uncomfortable, I will step aside and there's no doubt that day will come. We all know nothing can last forever."

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Billy Joel Honored with Gershwin Prize for Popular Song


Kris Connor/Getty ImagesBilly Joel was honored Wednesday night in Washington, D.C. by the Library of Congress with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

A number of artists were on hand at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall to perform classics from the Billy Joel songbook. Tony Bennett crooned "New York State of Mind," Josh Groban sang out "She's Always a Woman," Gavin DeGraw performed "It's Still Rock & Roll to Me," and Boyz II Men delivered a rendition of "The Longest Time."

The lineup also included John Mellencamp, LeAnn Rimes, and Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines.

Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand and James Taylor saluted Billy with pre-recorded messages.

When it was time for Billy to accept his award, he joked that he was feeling a little bit "verklempt."

After his speech, he entertained the audience with hits including "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)." He was eventually joined by actor Kevin Spacey and the night's other performers for "Piano Man," with Spacey on vocals and harmonica.

The event will premiere on PBS stations on January 2.

The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song is a lifetime achievement honor named after songwriters George and Ira Gershwin. Past recipients include McCartney, Carole King and Stevie Wonder.

Earlier this week, Billy was one of the recipients of the ASCAP Centennial Award at a New York City event staged by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

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Def Leppard's Joe Elliott Says Band Is "About Halfway" Finished with Next Album


Press Here PublicityIt's been more than six years since Def Leppard released its last studio album, 2008's Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, but frontman Joe Elliott says the band is well on its way to finishing a new record.  Speaking at the recent Classic Rock Roll of Honour ceremony, Elliott revealed that the veteran British group is "about halfway through" with the album.

"With a bit of luck, we should have it done by springtime," he told ABC News Radio, pointing out that he would be getting back to work on the project this month.

Elliott said Def Leppard has written 15 songs for the album, and doesn't think he and his band mates will write any more for it, since "we're kinda happy with the [ones] we've got."

He added, "It's a good record…It's the kind of record that we should be making at this stage of our career.  And that's about as much as I'm going to say about it."

Elliott performed with the star-studded supergroup Kings of Chaos at the 2014 Classic Rock Roll of Honour, but he told ABC News Radio that he won't be joining the band when it heads to South Africa for three concerts in late November and early December.  He explained that the trek overlaps with a December U.K. tour he has lined up with his Down 'n' Outz side project.

"I can't do both," he insisted.  "I've tried.  Doesn't work."

Down 'n' Outz pays homage to the music of Mott the Hoople, Ian Hunter and other 1970s glam-rock acts.

In other Def Leppard news, guitarist Vivian Campbell recently underwent a stem cell transplant as he continues to battle lymphoma.  Last week, he posted a message on his Facebook page announcing that he'd returned home from the hospital.

"So glad that's over," he wrote.  "Time to recover/recuperate and grow some hair…Thanks for all the love you've sent -- much appreciated!...Normal service will be resumed shortly."

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Barry Manilow on Why He's Doing One Last Tour: "I Started to Miss It"


ABC/Lou RoccoBarry Manilow has announced a new tour for 2015 called One Last Time!, with that tour name indicating that this will be the final time he'll hit the road.  The legendary singer, whose new album My Dream Duets debuted in the top 10 a few weeks ago, is no fan of the endless grind of touring, but he says he realized that he missed the thrill of performing live for fans.

"You know, I took off for a year, and touring is not what I want to do anymore," he tells ABC News Radio.  "It's just, [I've] spent too many years in hotels."  However, he says this new tour, which kicks off in February, won't be as punishing as some he's done in the past, and it'll give him a chance to enjoy the one part of touring he doesn't mind.

"It's not going to be a tour like going away for months at a time.  It's going to be one-nighters," he explains.  "And as I've started to perform these [new] songs live, I remember what it's like to stand up on a stage with an audience that's excited.  There's nothing like it!  And I started to miss it.  That's why I think I'll do it again."

But instead of stopping touring altogether after this trek, why couldn't Manilow explore some sort of residency where he performs near his house once a month, like Billy Joel has done at New York's Madison Square Garden?  Barry says he's already been there, done that.

"I did weekends in Vegas, and I flew to Vegas from my home in Palm Springs with the dogs and it was great," he tells ABC News Radio.  "It was just a great gig.  That's what Billy is getting: still stay home and not have to go out on the road."  

The One Last Time! tour starts in Omaha, Nebraska, on February 11 and tickets go on sale to the general public on November 24.  As previously reported, they will start at $19.75 a piece, in honor of the year that Manilow's hit "Mandy" topped the charts.

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Pink Floyd's "The Endless River" Debuts at #3 on "Billboard" 200 Chart


Columbia RecordsPink Floyd's The Endless River nabbed the #1 spot on the U.K. chart earlier this week, but in the U.S., the group's first studio album in 20 years wasn't able to overcome the latest offerings by Taylor Swift and the Foo Fighters.  Swift's 1989 takes the top spot on the Billboard 200 for the third consecutive week after selling 320,000 copies, while the Foos' new album, Sonic Highways, debuts at #2 with 190,000 copies sold.

Pink Floyd, meanwhile, bows at #3, as The Endless River moved 170,000 units.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's previous record, 1994's The Division Bell, was much more successful, debuting at #1 after notching sales of 475,000 in its first week of release.

The Endless River is Pink Floyd's 10th studio effort overall to appear in the top 10 of the Billboard 200.  It also likely will be the band's last, as singer/guitarist David Gilmour has announced that The Endless River will be their final album.

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Compilation of Short Films Inspired by U2's "Songs of Innocence" Album Due in December via iTunes


Image Courtesy of Glen Luchford/Interscope RecordsU2 is planning to release a collection of short films inspired by the 11 tunes on its new album, Songs of InnocenceFilms of Innocence, which is expected to be released on December 9 via iTunes, will feature short movies created by 11 different respected urban artists from various countries.

According to a description posted on iTunes, the filmmakers were picked "for their undisputed ability to capture the imaginations of their audiences, [and] were given complete creative freedom to showcase their personal responses to U2's music."  The videos include both animated and live-action sequences, and offer a variety styles and points of view.  The film's synopsis also reveals that director "the political murals of Northern Ireland" served as "a reference point" for the project, celebrating "the unique democratic power of urban art."

The artists who contributed films to the release are Oliver Jeffers, Robin Rhode, D*Face, Mode 2, Chloe Early, Ganzeer, Vhils, Maser, ROA, DALeast and Todd James.  A trailer showing snippets of each video included in Films of Innocence has been posted on iTunes and also can be viewed at Vimeo.com.

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