Charlie Daniels funeral service to take place Friday

Credit: Erick Anderson Charlie Daniels will be laid to rest on Friday.

According to the Tennesean, a funeral service for the country and Southern rock icon will be held at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on Friday at 11 a.m. CT, preceded by an open visitation at Sellars Funeral Home in his hometown of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT. 

Fans will also be able to pay their respects with a special memorial service tonight at 6:30 p.m. CT outside of Sellars Funeral Home. The event will feature appearances by Charlie's country music peers and friends Trace Adkins, Darryl Worley and Tracy Lawrence, along with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. There will also be a military flyover and 21-gun salute. 

In lieu of flowers, Daniels' family has asked that fans make a donation to The Journey Home Project, a nonprofit co-founded by Charlie in 2014 that supports veterans returning from war and connects donors to various veteran organizations. 

Charlie passed away on July 6 at the age of 83 from a hemorrhagic stroke.  

The trailblazing star became a Southern rock pioneer when he formed the Charlie Daniels Band in 1972. The band is known for such hits as the Grammy-winning "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," "In America," "Simple Man" and "Long Haired Country Boy."  He's a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry.

By Cillea Houghton
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Southern rock legend Charlie Daniels dies suddenly at the age of 83

Erick AndersonCountry Music Hall of Famer Charlie Daniels died unexpectedly Monday morning, according to his publicist. The 83-year-old suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, according to doctors at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee.

Born in 1936 in Wilmington, North Carolina, the multi-instrumentalist was best known for his monster crossover hit from 1979, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." It made it to number three on the Billboard Hot 100, and won Daniels the Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance. The next year, it was included in the iconic John Travolta film, Urban Cowboy, with Charlie making an appearance onscreen as well.

The legend found his first success in 1964, writing the song "It Hurts Me," which was recorded by Elvis Presley, and was soon in demand as a session musician, working on projects by the likes of Bob Dylan and the Marshall Tucker Band.

Charlie released his first solo album in 1971, and by 1973, had taken the track "Uneasy Rider" to number 9 on Billboard's pop chart. In 1974, Charlie launched the first of what would become his legendary Volunteer Jam, a star-studded tradition that was still set to continue in February of next year.

Charlie's chart run continued into the '80s, as hits like "In America," "Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye," "Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues" and "Simple Man" found a home on the country chart. "In America" also reached number 11 reached on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980, while "Still in Saigon" peaked at #22 in 1982.

Outspoken about his conservative political views, Daniels was also a passionate supporter of America's military. In 2014, he founded The Journey Home Project, and worked tirelessly to raise money for the nonprofit which helps veterans transition back into life at home.

Two of Charlie's biggest accolades came later in life. In 2008, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and in 2016, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Daniels continued to tour and raise money for his charitable causes even into his eighties. He's survived by his wife, Hazel, and their son, Charlie Daniels Jr. Funeral arrangements are expected to be announced in the coming days.

By Stephen Hubbard
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Little Richard, founding father of rock ‘n roll, dead at 87

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Little Richard, the flamboyant, envelope-pushing musician whose wild performance style and appearance helped set the blueprint for rock and roll, has died, ABC News has confirmed via his agent. He was 87.

Rolling Stone was the first to report the death, via Richard's son, Danny Penniman.  No cause of death was given.

His string of hits, starting with 1956's "Tutti Frutti," included "Long Tall Sally," "Rip It Up, "Slippin' and Slidin'," "Lucille," and "Good Golly Miss Molly." Featuring pumping piano and lyrics often filled with sexual innuendo, Little Richard's songs were a massive influence on future legends like Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Elton John and The Beatles, and have been covered by countless artists through the years.

For a time, Richard's backing band in the early sixties, The Upsetters, featured a left-handed guitarist named James Marshall Hendrix.  Hendrix also recorded a single with Richard in 1965 called "I Don't Know What You Got (But It's Got Me)."  It peaked at #92 -- but Hendrix, later known as "Jimi," soon went on to bigger and better things.

Little Richard's gender-bending onstage appearance -- including makeup, huge pompadours and showy outfits -- earned him screaming fans, and roles in early rock 'n roll movies like "The Girl Can't Help It" and "Don't Knock the Rock."  Prince is one artist who was taking notes -- in fact, Richard himself called Prince "the Little Richard of his generation."

While Richard once said his flamboyant appearance was designed to make him appear "less threatening" to white audiences, the sad truth is that white singer Pat Boone's much-criticized anodyne covers of "Tutti Frutti" and "Long Tall Sally" were more appealing to the mainstream, doing better or as well as Richard's did on the charts.

Born Richard Wayne Penniman in 1932 in Macon, Georgia, Richard was one of 12 children and left home at age 13.  He borrowed much of his musical style and appearance from Esquerita, a pompadoured singer and pianist from South Carolina.  Little Richard got his first record deal in 1951, but didn't experience any success.

In 1956, while working as a dishwasher at a bus station, Richard sent a tape of the racy song "Tutti Frutti" to a record label in Chicago. As the legend goes, he came up with song's signature lines -- "a wop bop a lu bop a wop bam boom" -- while washing dishes.  He was signed to the label, and a tamer version of the song became his first hit.

In 1957, Little Richard gave up music and became ordained as a minister. When he returned to music, it was gospel. However, he switched back to rock 'n roll in 1964 and, as Rolling Stone notes, when he played Hamburg, Germany in 1964, The Beatles opened for him.

In the '70s, Little Richard worked the oldies circuit, but in the '80s, he became a pop culture fixture, appearing in movies and TV shows, including Miami Vice.  In 1986, he was one of the first 10 artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Elton John, Mariah Carey, Billie Eilish and others raise nearly $8 million on Fox’s ‘Living Room Concert for America’


Elton John, Mariah Carey, Billie Eilish and other major music stars gathered together for the Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America on Sunday, and raised nearly $8 million to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and salute the strength and resilience of the U.S. people during the health crisis.

Highlights included Demi Lovato performing her hit "Skyscaper"; Eilish and her brother Finneas teaming up for an acoustic rendition of "bad guy"; Camilla Cabello and Shawn Mendes joining forces for her song "My Oh My"; and Mariah belting out her hit, "Always Be My Baby.”

Elton, who hosted the event from his home, closed out the evening with a special performance of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me."

Other performers included Backstreet Boys, Dave Grohl, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, Alicia Keys and Tim McGraw.

The hour-long special drew more than 8.7 million viewers across multiple networks, who were encouraged to donate to two of the many charitable organizations that are helping COVID-19 victims and front line workers, such as health care professionals: Feeding America and First Responders Children's Foundation.

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Report: Concert promoter Live Nation to pause all concert tours worldwide through end of March

iStock/Cesare FerrariFor several weeks, artists have been announcing concert tour cancellations.  But now, all the tours are being canceled for all the artists.  Well -- almost all artists.

Live Nation, one of the world's biggest concert promoters, plans to press pause on all of the tours it's currently promoting, both foreign and domestic, through the end of March, Billboard has learned

According to Billboard, Live Nation told employees that while a few shows will continue on Thursday or Friday, any shows starting this weekend will be postponed.  Billboard reports company executives told employees that March is generally a slow month anyway. Live Nation plans to re-evaluate in April, with an eye towards getting artists back out on the road in May or June.

The tours affected span all musical genres: Just some of them, Billboard notes, include Billie Eilish, Jason Aldean, Zac Brown Band, Cher, Kiss, Post Malone, Tool, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Shania Twain's Las Vegas residency, Chris Stapleton and more.

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South by Southwest officially canceled

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty ImagesAfter a number of high-profile drop-outs due to concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus, the annual South by Southwest music, film and culture festival in Austin, Texas, has been officially canceled.

"The City of Austin has cancelled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU," reads a statement from the festival. "SXSW will faithfully follow the City’s directions."

"We are devastated to share this news with you," the statement continues. "'The show must go on' is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation."

Over the past week, a number of big-name companies pulled out of SXSW, including Apple, Netflix and WarnerMedia, resulting in the cancellation of talks by Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, Ozzy Osbourne and Beastie Boys.

SXSW 2020 was set to take place March 13-22. Festival organizers say they are "exploring options" to reschedule, or provide a "virtual SXSW online experience."

"We will continue to work hard to bring you the unique events you love," the statement reads. "Though it's true that our March 2020 event will no longer take place in the way that we intended, we continue to strive toward our purpose -- helping creative people achieve their goals."

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Deborah Dugan hits back at Recording Academy with new allegations

Jamie McCarthy/Getty ImagesFollowing her ouster on Monday, former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan filed a supplemental charge against the organization, claiming it provides "significant additional information and evidence" of alleged attempts to influence the nominations process by the Academy and longtime Grammy Awards executive producer Ken Ehrlich.

The supplemental charge, filed by Dugan's lawyers on Tuesday, cites an email from Ehrlich that allegedly implies a superstar artist would be more likely to perform on the Grammy Awards telecast if that artist received a nomination.

The email, sent to Dugan and the Recording Academy's interim CEO and president Harvey Mason, reads in part, "looking at the [American Music Awards] nominations this morning, it’s more about who’s NOT there than who is…..and [superstar] is definitely not gonna be happy. minor representation at best."

"I think there’s a case to be made to [superstar] that a performance of [song] from [album] on our show, should it be nominated,’” the email continues, “‘and that a blowout performance of that song, which IS a Grammy song, might."

Erlich, in the email goes on to write there "should there be some discussion in a certain room at your meetings next week for Record, Album and Song, and if it involves making a choice between [one album] vs. [a second album], my thought from knowing [superstar] since [superstar] was a child, is that [superstar] might see the wisdom of a [sic] performance [of a song from the second album]...I’m jus [sic] sayin."

"Gotcha. Thanks Ken,” Mason replies.

Dugan also claims to have new evidence of the Academy’s efforts to retaliate against her, particularly after her legal complaint of January 21, in which she she "exposed alleged misogyny, sexual harassment, discrimination and corruption, including voting irregularities, at the Academy."

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Recording Academy fires suspended CEO Deborah Dugan

John Lamparski/WireImageDeborah Dugan, who was placed on administrative leave from her post as president/CEO of the Recording Academy in January following allegations of misconduct by a senior female Academy member, has been terminated, the organization announced in a letter to its members on Tuesday.

“After weighing all of the evidence from two independent investigations, the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy voted to terminate Ms. Dugan from her role as President/CEO, wrote Harvey Mason Jr., Chair and Interim CEO of The Recording Academy.  "We will initiate a search for a new leader who will leverage the Academy’s diverse membership and rich history and help us transform it to better serve our members today and into the future.

Mason further pledged to "realize a future in which our organization is known for its diversity, transparency, creativity, mutual respect, and overall excellence.”

“The investigation overwhelmingly confirmed the serious complaints that had been lodged against her by a multitude of Academy staff members," said Tammy Hurt, Vice Chair, National Board of Trustees at The Recording Academy in a separate statement.  "The damage she has caused this organization is truly heartbreaking.”

Explaining that it was “not one thing that led to this action, but rather the large number of incidents that demonstrated poor judgment,” Christine Albert, Chair Emeritus, National Board of Trustees at The Recording Academy noted, “There was just no way she could continue to serve this organization.”

Dugan has claimed she was pushed out after exposing alleged sexual harassment, nomination rigging, and what she described as a toxic "boy's club" that sidelined women and minority groups.  

In response, the Recording Academy alleged it was Dugan who created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment and is investigating both Ms. Dugan's alleged potential misconduct and her subsequent allegations.

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The Voice 18 recap: Nick Jonas parachutes in and fights John Legend over contestant everyone wants

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It may be a new season of The Voice, but there's a brand new face sitting in one of the judge's chair this year -- Nick Jonas of The Jonas Brothers. The young singer proved to be a formidable opponent when battling it out with the other judges over competitors, too.

Jonas knew how to keep his fellow judges guessing from the second he arrived on the set -- via parachute.  That wasn't all, though.  He also proceeded to do a series of costume changes before Kelly ClarksonBlake Shelton, and John Legend right after he landed.

"Is this a Magic Mike moment?"  Kelly yelled in disbelief as Jonas ripped off his wingsuit to reveal a black tuxedo underneath.  He then tore off that outfit to reveal underneath a much more casual gray suit.

Memorable introductions aside, Jonas didn't make it easy for the other judges to woo over competitors that he wanted on his team.

First up was Todd Tilghman, 41, of Mississippi.  The father of eight created the season's first four-way chair turn during his soulful rendition of Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band's "We've Got Tonight." 

While Kelly tried winning Tilghman over by approaching him as a fellow parent as Jonas turned on the charm and spoke to him husband to husband -- it was Blake who snagged the first competitor of the night by connecting with Tilghman on a personal level.

Next to take the stage was 27-year-old Nelson Cade III, a full time musician who once performed with the legendary Stevie Wonder. It doesn't take long for his raspy, bluegrass voice to win over John, Kelly, and Nick with his cover of Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Pride And Joy."

Unfortunately for Nick, he realizes that he was blocked by Legend, meaning no matter what pitch he had up his sleeve to win Cade over, it was fruitless.  To turn insult to injury, the "All Of Me" singer then bragged about it by mocking he the words "star" and "wow" that Nick jotted down during the audition.  Playing dirty paid off for John, who ended with a three-punch combo by casually sharing that Wonder also performed at his wedding to Chrissy Teigen.

Now with the judges warmed up, it's game on when Tate Brusa, 16, takes the stage. Brusa's chances of making it on a team looked grim, that is until he hits an edgy note towards the end of his audition convincing Nick to spin around. But he's not alone, Shelton follows shortly after, if for nothing than to give the Jo' Bro a hard time.

Nick hops on stage with Brusa and gives him an impromptu singing lesson to prove just how good of a coach he can be which triggers Shelton to play dirty by bringing out some reinforcement -- an adorable white-furred puppy. 

"If you don't choose me as your coach, this puppy's gonna go straight back to the animal shelter," he threatened.

Despite the taunt, the threat fails to sway Brusa and the teenage crooner picks Nick, making him the first contestant on his team.

Seven more hopefuls take the stage including rocker Todd Michael Hall who makes it onto Blake's team but it's "old soul" Joanna Serenko who closes out the show with a four-chair-turn.

The 18-year-old from St. Louis wooed with her jazzy, slowed-down version of "All My Loving" by The Beatles and just as she's deciding who's team to go to, Nick decides to lay it all on the line.

Bearing it all he pleads, "I'm gonna fight for you today. I know I'm not the logical choice but I have something to prove," which works.

The other singers of the night were Darious Lyles who went over to Team Legend, Todd Michael Hall to Team Blake --and two for Team Kelly, Megan Danielle and Tayler Green.

The Voice returns to NBC Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.

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Ousted Recording Academy CEO says she has “evidence” of Grammy nomination rigging

ABC NewsTuesday on ABC's Good Morning America, ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan told her side of the story in a contentious debate that's roiled the music industry just days before the Grammy Awards.

Dugan claims she was pushed out after exposing alleged sexual harassment, nomination rigging, and what she described as a toxic "boy's club" that sidelined women and minority groups. In response, the Recording Academy alleges it was Dugan who created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment and is investigating both Ms. Dugan's alleged potential misconduct and her subsequent allegations.

Regarding the nomination rigging, Dugan told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Thursday, "There are incidents of conflict of interest that taints the results."

Stephanopoulos then read out loud what's written in her complaint: "One artist who initially ranked 18 out of 20 in the 2019 Song of the Year category ended up with a nomination. This artist was actually permitted to sit on the Song of the Year nomination committee. Incredibly, this artist is also represented by a member of the Board."

"Who is this person?" Stephanopoulos then asked.

Dugan and her lawyer wouldn't reveal the artist's identity, but Dugan went on to say that that alleged incident wasn't an isolated one.

"It's not even just that one room. I have evidence that in another room....there were complaints made in the jazz category," she began, before Stephanopoulos interrupted her, saying, "That was gonna be my next question, so you do have evidence?

"I do," she responded.

As a reminder, last year's Song of the Year winner was Childish Gambino's "This Is America."  The other nominees were Lady Gaga's "Shallow," "All the Stars" by Kendrick Lamar and SZA, "Boo'd Up" by Ella Mai, "God's Plan" by Drake, "In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes, "The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey, and "The Joke," by Brandi Carlile.

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