In winning this year's Polar Music Prize, Patti Smith and the Kronos quartet join a distinguished past winner's list that includes Led Zeppelin, Sir Paul McCartney, Bjork, Isaac Stern and Ennio Morricone. Thing is, none of it would be possible without a man known as the "fifth member of Abba."
Within hours of the passing of songwriting legend Jerry Leiber, another of the rock era’s most successful songwriters, Nickolas Ashford, died in New York City. Known worldwide as the composing partner and husband of Valerie Simpson, Ashford & Simpson's Hot 100 history dates back to the 1960s and includes songs Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Diana Ross to Method Man & Mary J. Blige and (even) Jessica Simpson made famous.
The passing of Jerry Leiber on Monday marks the end of an incredibly fruitful songwriting partnership with Mike Stoller that lasted 62 years. It’s hard to imagine rock ’n’ roll without their contributions. The duo's top 30 hits spanning the years 1956 - 2007 include songs performed by everyone from Elvis Presley, the Coasters and Aretha Franklin to Michael McDonald, Tom Jones and Sean Kingston.
Katy Perry’s historic fifth No. 1 on the Hot 100 from her “Teenage Dream” album makes her one of only seven artists in the history of the Hot 100 to put together a string of five or more consecutive chart-toppers, placing her in esteemed company that includes Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. So how does Perry stack-up against these music luminaries?
Parents usually want their children to outshine their own accomplishments, and if that’s Berry Gordy’s hope for his son Stefan, his wish is on the way to coming true: Only four of Motown's 57 chart-toppers have ruled the Hot 100 longer than LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem."
Six years after she made her debut on the Hot 100, British-born Natasha Bedingfield is in new chart territory, breaking into the top 30 of the Hot Country Songs chart this week with “Easy,” her collaboration with Rascal Flatts. Bedingfield told Billboard.biz how the unlikely collaboration came about.
It’s no secret that Adele is the biggest star to hit the British charts in a long time, but here’s some perspective: By securing an 18th week at No. 1 on this week’s tally, her “21” is now tied with the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack from 1977 as the longest-running chart-topper in 40 years.