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Blige, Clinton interview clips face ridicule online

A pair of clips teasing Mary J. Blige's interview with Hillary Clinton on her upcoming Apple Music show "The 411" isn't winning over social media users.

The teaser featuring the R&B singer crooning Bruce Springsteen's "American Skin (41 Shots)" before clasping hands with Clinton was instantly mocked online after it was released following the presidential debate Tuesday by Apple.

Another clip showcased Blige telling Clinton that "a lot of people in my community think Obama was blocked in congress because he was black."

"How are you going to do what he wasn't able to do?" the "No More Drama" and "Real Love" singer asks Clinton.

Inae Oh of Mother Jones wrote in in a story titled "Someone Please Explain What the Hell Is Going on With This Mary J. Blige, Hillary Clinton Interview" that the clips "created far more confusion than the excitement Apple likely intended."

Maeve McDermott of USA Today said "thanks to Blige's all-in sincerity and Clinton's miraculously straight face, the impromptu song is almost too awkward to watch."

Springsteen wrote "American Skin (41 Shots)" about the 1999 police shooting death of Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo.

Apple is billing the interview as "an intimate conversation" featuring Blige "like you've never seen her." ''The 411 with Mary J. Blige" is set to debut Sept. 30.



Street named after late country music star Marty Robbins

City officials in Glendale have named a street after late country music star Marty Robbins, who was born in the Phoenix suburb in 1925.

Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers (wires) helped unveil the new honorary sign near 58th Avenue on Monday, which would have been Robbins' 91st birthday.

The one-mile stretch of Glendale Avenue is now known as Marty Robbins Boulevard.

Robbins, a singer-songwriter, is known for such hits as "El Paso," ''My Woman, My Woman, My Wife," ''Don't Worry" and "Honkytonk Man."

Born Martin David Robinson, Robbins recorded more than 500 songs and 60 albums and won two Grammy Awards.

He died in December 1982 at age 57 in Nashville, Tennessee after suffering a heart attack.

Two months earlier, Robbins had been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Kashif Saleem, producer for Whitney Houston, dies at 59

Kashif Saleem, the singer, songwriter and producer who crafted dance-funk hits in the 1980s and also produced Whitney Houston's first big hit, died Sunday from undetermined causes in his California home, his representative said Tuesday. He was 59.

No further details about the musician's death were provided.

Saleem produced Houston's "You Give Good Love," which became a worldwide hit in 1985. It reached No. 3 on the main Billboard chart and reached No. 1 on the R&B chart, becoming Houston's first breakout hit song.

Saleem also worked on dance-floor hits for Evelyn "Champagne" King in the 1980s, including "Love Come Down," ''I'm In Love," sampled by Janet Jackson in 2004, and "Betcha She Don't Love You," sampled by Monica and Missy Elliott in 2010.

His biggest hit as an artist was a remake of the 1978's "Love Changes" by R&B group Mother's Finest. Saleem's 1987 duet version with Meli'sa Morgan peaked at No. 2 on the R&B charts. The song was covered by Mary J. Blige and Jamie Foxx in 2005.

Saleem was born Michael Jones in New York, on Dec. 26, 1956, and was raised in various foster homes. He changed his name to Kashif Saleem after studying Islam. As a teenager, he joined the funk-disco group B.T. Express.

Pam and Mike Stitt, a couple Saleem unofficially adopted as his brother and sister more than 20 years ago, said they were saddened by his death.

"We are saddened by the passing of our brother. We ask for your thoughts and prayers to be with us at this time," they said in a statement.

Saleem also had Top 10 R&B hits with songs like "I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On)," ''Personality" and "Baby Don't Break Your Baby's Heart."

Saleem wrote the book, "Everything You'd Better Know About The Record Business," published in 1996. His rep said he had conducted more than 200 interviews for a 10-part documentary called "The History of R&B Music and Its Influence On World Culture" before he died.

Spotify's Top 10 most viral tracks


1. Rockie Gold, "Dicks out for Harambe" (Rockie Gold)

2. Artists Of Then, Now & Forever, "Forever Country" (Country Music Association, Inc)

3. Darlyn, "Stepping Stone" (Darlyn)

4. Ghasper, "Foley" (Ghasper)

5. Lizzo, "Phone" (Atlantic Recording Company)

6. Flock of Dimes, "Don't Dream It's Over (feat. Sylvan Esso)" (Partisan Records)

7. Melle Jutte, "Concrete" (Trapdoor Records)

8. Vanic, "Samurai" (Disruptor Records)

9. Buku, "Front to Back" (Buku)

10. Ian Munro, "Stay Lit (feat. Adi Medici)" (Quality Goods Records)


1. Artists Of Then, Now & Forever, "Forever Country" (Country Music Association, Inc)

2. Rockie Gold, "Dicks out for Harambe" (Rockie Gold)

3. Dj Remix Fellow, "I Play Pokemon go Everyday" (Dj Remix Fellow)

4. Beck Martin, "Friday night" (Beck Martin)

5. Nick Murphy, "Fear Less" (Opulent Records)

6. Emeli Sandé, "Hurts" (Virgin Records)

7. James Arthur, "Say You Won't Let Go" (SME Germany)

8. MiC LOWRY, "Oh Lord" (Decca)

9. glue70, "Casin" (glue70)

10. Herizen Guardiola as Mylene Cruz, "Set Me Free" (RCA Records)


1. Rockie Gold, "Dicks out for Harambe" (Rockie Gold)

2. Artists Of Then, Now & Forever, "Forever Country" (Country Music Association, Inc)

3. Darlyn, "Stepping Stone" (Darlyn)

4. Nick Murphy, "Fear Less" (Opulent Records)

5. Herizen Guardiola as Mylene Cruz, "Set Me Free" (RCA Records)

6. Emeli Sandé, "Hurts" (Virgin Records)

7. Flock of Dimes, "Don't Dream It's Over (feat. Sylvan Esso)" (Partisan Records)

8. Vanesa Martín, "Complicidad" (Warner Music Spain)

9. Vanic, "Samurai" (Disruptor Records)

10. Calvin Harris, "My Way" (Sony Music UK)


Spotify's Top 10 most streamed tracks


1. The Chainsmokers, "Closer" (Columbia Records)

2. Major Lazer, "Cold Water (feat. Justin Bieber & MØ)" (Mad Decent/Def Jam)

3. Twenty One Pilots, "Heathens" (Atlantic Records)

4. DJ Snake, "Let Me Love You" (Interscope Records)

5. D.R.A.M., "Broccoli (feat. Lil Yachty)" (W.A.V.E. Recordings)

6. Drake, "Too Good" (Cash Money Records)

7. Drake, "One Dance" (Cash Money Records)

8. Ariana Grande, "Side To Side" (Republic Records)

9. Hailee Steinfeld, "Starving" (Republic Records)

10. Rihanna, "Needed Me" (Roc Nation)


1. The Chainsmokers, "Closer" (Columbia Records)

2. Major Lazer, "Cold Water" (Because Music/WMI)

3. DJ Snake, "Let Me Love You" (Interscope Records)

4. Ariana Grande, "Side To Side" (Republic Records)

5. Twenty One Pilots, "Heathens" (Atlantic Records)

6. Martin Garrix, "In the Name of Love" (SME Netherlands)

7. Sia, "The Greatest" (RCA Records)

8. Shawn Mendes, "Treat You Better" (Island Records)

9. Drake, "One Dance" (Cash Money Records)

10. The Chainsmokers, "Don't Let Me Down" (Columbia Records)


1. The Chainsmokers, "Closer" (Columbia Records)

2. DJ Snake, "Let Me Love You" (Interscope Records)

3. Major Lazer, "Cold Water (feat. Justin Bieber & MØ)" (Mad Decent/Def Jam)

4. Twenty One Pilots, "Heathens" (Atlantic Records)

5. Drake, "One Dance" (Cash Money Records)

6. Martin Garrix, "In the Name of Love" (SME Netherlands)

7. Ariana Grande, "Side To Side" (Republic Records)

8. Sia, "The Greatest" (RCA Records)

9. Shawn Mendes, "Treat You Better" (Island Records)

10. The Chainsmokers, "Don't Let Me Down (feat. Daya)" (Columbia Records)


2nd woman dies after being struck by car at Ohio concert

A second woman has died after a car drove into a crowd of dancers last month at a community concert in suburban Cleveland.

Parma Heights police say 68-year-old Hinckley resident Nancy Gielas died Monday at a hospital.

The Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County medical examiner's office says another woman, 61-year-old Parma Heights resident Kathleen McDonald, died of heart failure during surgery for a broken leg two days after the Aug. 21 incident.

Police say a 74-year-old woman leaving the concert pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake while pulling out of a parking space and drove onto a makeshift dance floor in a parking lot. Nine people were initially reported injured, including the driver.

A police spokesman has said the driver likely will be charged criminally.

'Tristan' makes Rattle want to 'curl up in a fetal position'

Simon Rattle thought back to his first staged performance of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" in Amsterdam in 2001.

"I remember wanting to lie down on the rostrum and curl up in a fetal position and sob," he said. "While every bone of my body was asking me to do that, the rest of me was saying, no, actually you have to be professional and keep on conducting."

Wagner's hypnotic love story, composed from 1857-59 and premiered in 1865, returned to the Metropolitan Opera on Monday night in a psychologically fascinating, nautically centered contemporary staging by the Polish director Mariusz Trelinski. The run, marking 50 years since the new house at Lincoln Center opened, continues for a month, and the Oct. 8 matinee will be telecast to movie theaters around the globe.

"Tristan" had not opened a Met season since 1937 and before this staging Rattle had not conducted a full performance since 2009 in Vienna.

Composed during Wagner's affair with Mathilde Wesendonck, Wagner's "Tristan" was a musical landmark for its chromaticism. Rattle says Wagner's transformation is evident from the autograph score.

"His handwriting was famously beautiful and accurate, and sometimes he even used to send his musical handwriting to ladies as a kind of seduction tool," he said. "When you look at the manuscript of 'Tristan,' it simply doesn't do that at all. I mean, it is perfectly legible, but it's obviously done at such burning haste. It's like one of the great biographers of Wordsworth said, he didn't so much write poems as vomit them out. And it looks as though some other power has taken him over."

Wagner set the first act on Tristan's ship, the second outside King Marke's castle in Cornwall and the third at Tristan's castle in Brittany. Trelinksi and set designer Boris Kudlicka move all three acts to an ominous, dark and starkly lit warship, setting the first in cabins, the second on the bridge and in a lower-deck weapons bay, and the third in sickbay, where Tristan drifts in and out of consciousness and has flashbacks to his youth that include a doppelganger boy.

Sonar is a frequent backdrop for Trelinski along with Bartek Macias' projections of waves, flames, black suns and the Northern Lights. This production evokes Peter Sellars' 2005 Paris staging dominated by Bill Viola videos, and Lars von Trier's 2011 film "Melancholia."

Trelinski takes liberties with Wagner's stage directions. Rather than allowing Melot to stab him, Tristan shoots himself with a pistol, and Isolde slits a wrist before the Liebestod. When the production appeared in Warsaw in June, the Liebestod was sung at a newly created state funeral procession for Tristan. At the Met, Trelinski reverted to the staging used at the March premiere in Baden-Baden, Germany, where Isolde sings to Tristan's dead body slumped in a chair.

Rattle decided on a second-act cut that reduces the love duet by about 10 minutes to a half-hour. The previous staging by Dieter Dorn that was used from 1999-2008, was always performed uncut by James Levine and then Daniel Barenboim.

Rattle said last week "I've been begging the orchestra to be more like chiffon than wool," and after a pulsating, glistening rendition he was greeted by overwhelming cheers and applause. Some boos were mixed in for Trelinski.

Tenor Stuart Skelton (Tristan), soprano Nina Stemme (Isolde) and bass Rene Pape (King Marke) also received bravos. Stemme, dressed at times walking through fog in a trench coat (think Lauren Bacall) had a glorious, if sometimes unemotional sheen to her voice. Skelton became slightly gravelly in the third act.

"What is asked of the tenor is beyond anything the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals should allow," Rattle said.

His tenure as chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, which began in 2002, ends in 2018, and he starts next September as music director of the London Symphony Orchestra. He said plans for a new hall on the Museum of London site near St. Paul's Cathedral may be put on hold because of the Brexit decision by British voters. Rattle plans to return to the Met for a pair of productions in three years

To prepare for "Tristan," he studied the marked-up conducting scores of Gustav Mahler and Wilhelm Furtwaengler.

"A mine of information," Rattle said. "I can't get them on the phone. The Wi-Fi situation where they are is problematic."

Allison Janney clowns around in Rachael Yamagata's new video

It's a steamy afternoon in a sun-soaked loft in Los Angeles and Allison Janney is in full clown makeup preparing for her dance solo.

"Should we not even address it?" Janney joked of her dramatically painted eyes and bright red nose.

"Let's just talk like we're absolutely serious," she said while settling in for an interview on the set of Rachael Yamagata's new music video.

The seven-time Emmy winner and "Mom" star had no qualms with the physical transformation for Yamagata's "Let Me Be Your Girl."

"I've always loved her music and I've never done a music video. And I thought, 'What the hell?' Definitely I'm all about doing things I haven't done before and I'm having fun," Janney said.

The video, directed by actor-filmmaker Josh Radnor of "How I Met Your Mother" fame, premiered Tuesday.

The unlikely trio took a quick break between takes to chat about the project, Yamagata's newfound optimism and her latest album, "Tightrope Walker," released last week.


AP: How did you get Allison Janney to agree to this?

Yamagata: There was a lot of money involved.

Radnor: You've got to pay to play with Janney.

Yamagata: No, I was very fortunate. We have a mutual friend, Emily Wachtel, who is a champion of my music and talked to Allison about my song and just convinced her to do it.

Janney: No convincing at all! I knew of Rachael way before my friend Emily asked me to do this because I use music a lot to prepare for when I act. And there are several songs of hers that would make me feel things and I love her music. And then Josh and I went to (the same) college. ...He directed me in "Liberal Arts."


AP: What's your vision for the video?

Radnor: I started listening to the song and for some reason I just had this image of Allison putting on like funky kind of clown makeup and then just dancing. I was like, "I would really love to see Allison dance to this song in a clown outfit." And that's how the whole thing started.

Janney: Probably one of my favorite things to do is dance. I do a lot of dancing by myself in mirrors and it gives me a lot of joy. I think I'm not alone. I think a lot of people are private dancers.


AP: Is this is a bigger production than you're used to?

Yamagata: I've definitely done like that one camera (shoot) and I am the wardrobe and standing at Lowe's ordering paints. The last video I did ...we were hanging tarps from trees and climbing ladders by ourselves. So this is fantastic that we even have a fruit platter available.

Radnor: It's a killer fruit platter.


AP: Allison, what are your go-to Rachael Yamagata songs?

Janney: Her song "Quiet" ...every time before I have to cry (on set) I listen to that and I'm like, "Oh my God!"

Radnor: She's talented, Rachael Yamagata.

Janney: She's very, very talented.

Yamagata: Can I get a copy of this? Because before I go onstage I'd like to watch it every time.


AP: What was your inspiration for "Let Me Be Your Girl"?

Yamagata: This is one of those like put your windows down, drive, songs of joy. ...My sort of calling card in music has always been these troubadour of heartbreak, get-your-soul, emotional breakup songs. ...This new record is a different side. I finally think I figured out how to express the optimism that I feel in life into art.


AP: How would you describe the new album?

Yamagata: Almost like Tom Waits and Nick Cave meet Roberta Flack. There's beautiful cinematic songs. There's saxophones and banjos and drumming on ladders in the middle of the woods and French spoken word. It's a smorgasbord of sound. I keep describing it as if you're thinking of quitting anything then this might be the record for you. Call me Pollyanna. I'm changing my tune.



"Let Me Be Your Girl" video:


Follow Nicole Evatt on Twitter at

Adele is still winning: '25' album reaches diamond status

Adele's comeback album "25" has reached diamond status in less than a year.

"25" was released last November and features the hits "Hello" and "Send My Love (To My New Lover)." Adele received a plaque for her top-selling achievement at Madison Square Garden in New York on Monday night after performing a whopping six shows at the venue.

The Recording Industry Association of America awards diamond plaques to albums and songs that reach 10 times platinum status. That once was the equivalent of selling 10 million albums or songs but has changed since the RIAA began incorporating streaming from YouTube, Spotify and other digital music services.

So far, "25" has sold more than 9 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music.

Adele's 2011 album, "21," also reached diamond status.

Jason Aldean shuns streaming, tops the charts with new album

Country star Jason Aldean rarely has time to be a tourist when he's touring, but during a recent trip to New York, he and his wife, Brittany, found some downtime to walk around the city. The crowds afford the Georgia-born singer a little anonymity that he doesn't always get back home.

"I can go wherever here and you just kind of blend in with everybody else," said the reigning Academy of Country Music's entertainer of the year. "When there are a hundred people walking down the street, you just kind of slip on in there."

A couple of nights later, Aldean and Kid Rock headlined a doubleheader at Fenway Park in Boston in front of tens of thousands of fans.

Despite his star status, Aldean still holds onto his everyman qualities. He isn't a big TV star like some of his country music peers, but he regularly sells out stadiums and arenas and is the first country artist this year to top the Billboard 200 albums chart with his seventh effort, "They Don't Know," released this month.

The title track is an anthem to Aldean's core audience, the small town working class.

"People work hard just to be able to go out on the weekend and have fun," Aldean said of his fans. "They are not flashy. They aren't working on Wall Street. They are just simple people."

But he doesn't shun all recognition. Aldean admits he was confused that he was shut out of the nominations for this year's Country Music Association Awards when the nominees were announced last month. Although his new album wasn't eligible for this year's awards, he was eligible for other nominations such as entertainer of the year or male vocalist.

"It's a little weird to me that you can win the highest honor that one award show has to offer and you can't get a single nomination from the other," Aldean said. "It is frustrating and disappointing. You feel like you're out there and that you've done well and you feel like you've got as good a shot as anybody of being there and you're not."

In the past three years, he's only been nominated for one award at the CMAs, which was album of the year for his last platinum-selling record, "Old Boots, New Dirt." He admits he's a competitive person and he definitely wants to win, but he's come to a conclusion about it.

"Everyone that gets nominated wants to feel like they have a legitimate shot (of winning)," said Aldean, who has received Grammy nominations in the past unlike some of his peers, including Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line. "At this point, if we can't even get enough votes to get a nomination, we're definitely not going to win it, so what's the point in getting a nomination?"

One of country's music biggest digital artists, Aldean decided to keep his new album off streaming services for a month, including Tidal, where he is one of the artist-owners along with Jay Z, Beyonce, Madonna and others. As he has said before, he doesn't think songwriters, producers and musicians are being compensated fairly through streaming services.

"Instead of people paying $10 an album, they are paying $10 for a million albums," Aldean said. "You can only split $10 so many ways until there is really nothing left."

Although he says he understands why music fans are drawn to streaming, he said the practice has devalued music. He removed all of his music from Spotify for a year, but he felt like he was the only artist in Nashville to take a stand.

"It was one of those things where everything sort of backfired and made me look like I was sort of greedy for doing it," Aldean said. "In reality, I am trying to look out for everybody else. And I turn around I am the only guy holding the flag. OK, I guess I am a one-man show."



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