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December 2018

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Music!

Bublé is Back!

Michael Bublé

Bublé is Back!

  • By Ken Werther

Michael Bublé is back! The four-time Grammy Award-winner’s new CD, Love, is his first in more than two years and his fans are over the moon. Here’s some fun stuff most people don’t know about Bublé — he dreamed of becoming a famous singer from the age of two and as a teenager he slept with his bible and prayed to become … well, at least a singer, if not a famous one. In the meanwhile, he had a strong passion for ice hockey and wanted to become a professional player. He didn’t think he was good enough and once said, “If I was any good at hockey, I probably wouldn’t be singing right now.” Bublé began performing in nightclubs at age 16 and as a young entertainer he used the name Mickey Bubbles!

In 2016, his then three-year-old son Noah was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare liver cancer that occurs in children. Bublé immediately canceled all public engagements and stayed with his family while Noah was treated. I think it’s safe to say everyone was rooting for him. Now returning to the music scene, Love drops on December 4th. He considers this effort to be a love letter to his fans and to music itself. I must admit I came late to the Michael Bublé fan club, but I’m heading to iTunes right now to see what I’ve been missing!

For all things Michael Bublé, click here.

Barbra Streisand!

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand!

  • By Dennis Petrone

With nearly six decades in show business and at seventy-six years old, the iconic, legendary and even more relevant than ever goddess of screen and stage, Barbra Streisand, just released her 36th (yes, that’s right, 36th!) studio album. What’s more is that it is a rebuke of Donald Trump called Walls and it is her only political protest album to date.

“I was in a car and I was listening to the news, as usual. And it was something Trump was saying that I knew was a lie,” Streisand said in a recent New Yorker interview. “I thought, Oh, my God, I can’t listen to these lies anymore. And I started to just write.” Those writings were the spark that ignited her new album. While there are some new songs on the album, there are also several classics remastered. She blends “Image” with “What A Wonderful World” and performs profound versions of “What the World Needs Now” and “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

Streisand is literally the best-selling female artist of all time according to the Recording Industry Association of America. She is among a small group of artists who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. And there are a ton more awards. She has always been an advocate for people. The LGBTQ community has loved her for generations.

For all things Barbra Streisand, click here.

Boy George!

Boy George

Boy George!

  • By Dennis Petrone

While the Culture Club’s latest album, Life, is their first in nearly twenty years, it really marks the beginning of their third act. Their first lasted from 1981 to 1986 and saw the four-piece band – Boy George (lead), Roy Hay (guitar), Mikey Craig (bass) and Jon Moss (drums) – produce such world-shattering glam hits as “Karma Chameleon” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” They sold millions of albums and won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Their second act fizzled when the band reunited in the late ‘90s for the album, Don’t Mind If I Do. So when news broke of their latest reunion, fans couldn’t be blamed for asking, what’s changed.

Yes, he’s the same Boy George contributing a creative sound to the mainstream lexicon. Back then his music was considered part of the English New Romantic movement. Now his music is being classified as blue-eyed soul, a combination of reggae and blues. But if he’s still musically disruptive, what’s making all the difference now on the backend? His sobriety. Rocked by years of drug abuse that culminated in a brief prison stint, George’s self-proclaimed discipline offers his newest music a depth, and it’s a refreshing and oddly addictive one.

For any true fan of George, it’s that craziness that’s been so emblematic of the singer. But now it’s more focused, more disciplined, carries with it a soulfulness that makes this new album feel so nourishing.

For all things Boy George including information on his current tour, click here.

Jesse J!

Jesse J performing in a red hot jumpsuit on GMA (Good Morning American on ABC)

Jesse J!

  • By Michael Jacobo

Every time we feel scared and alone and when there’s no hope left to look forward to, Jessie J emerges from wherever she was at since the last time we saw her and blesses us with her guttural, insanely good voice. I know she doesn’t literally disappear from the spotlight (she’d have to try very hard), but when she releases new music, stars on a live musical special, or performs on a morning talk show, it’s all anyone can talk about for months.

Jessie J, who released her fourth album, R.O.S.E., in May, is still reeling from the success of her first Christmas album, This is Christmas Day, which was released back in October, and what better way to celebrate a productive year than going all out for the holidays. The album, produced by prominent music artists including Babyface and Rodney Jerkins, bolsters a strong, smooth R&B mood while also featuring the amped up, but not too crazy, pop tunes one would expect (there is such a thing as too much jingle bells). Jessie J recently promoted the album (and some fine Christmas party fashion sense) on Good Morning America where she performed “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” and no one since the Jackson 5 has been able to do that song justice.

Aside from music, Jessie J performed the opening number “Grease (Is the Word)” for Grease Live! back in 2016. It shouldn’t be long until she surprises us again.

For all things Jesse J, click here.

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