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Billy Corgan: ‘The Mythology of the Nineties Now Is Irrelevant’

December 18th, 2014 · Guitar

By Jon Blistein |
December 18, 2014

Billy Corgan has been asked to revisit the heyday of Nineties alternative rock a number of times while promoting the Smashing Pumpkins‘ most recent record, Monuments to an Elegy, but in a new interview with The Guardian, the rocker seemed to hit a breaking point, saying: “Right now that era is irrelevant.”


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Corgan noted that neither the Pumpkins nor any of the other bands from that era are charting anymore, and dismissed the notion that a lot of new bands are being influenced by Nineties artists. “I don’t hear that,” Corgan said. “The mythology [of that era] right now is irrelevant to combat the pop menace in America right now.”

While Corgan didn’t back up his rhetoric by naming names, he stated, “EDM is kicking everybody’s fucking ass,” and argued that no matter how sentimental people get about the Nineties, if that music, or the music it inspired, can’t compete in the top cultural spheres, “it doesn’t mean anything.”

“Look at the numbers the DJs are making!” he said. “They’re kicking rock bands’ ass. And we’re sitting here talking about an era from 20 years ago because it’s misty in people’s minds. Meanwhile, there’s 60,000 people in a field watching a guy with lights behind him.”

Although Corgan hasn’t necessarily expressed a rose-colored perspective of the Nineties in other recent interviews, he seemed far more emboldened while talking with The Guardian. Specifically, he pointed to the spate of three-star reviews Monuments received, saying they were no different than the three-star reviews his Nineties albums received – though those are now considered classics.

“Here I am all these years later making a Smashing Pumpkins record that sounds a lot like Smashing Pumpkins and, childish as it may be, I thought there might be a moment of repose this time,” Corgan said. “But here comes the guy with the fucking steak knife that just can’t give the credit. So it reminds me of that 25-year-old that wasn’t getting the credit either. I’m never going to get the credit. That game is over. So I’m going back to being an aggressive, street-level artist.”

Corgan has addressed the Nineties in a number of other interviews as well, whether he was calling himself and Kurt Cobain the top two scribes of the era, questioning Pearl Jam’s place in the alt-rock pantheon (“I don’t think they have the songs”) or reconciling his status as one of the era’s few revered survivors while still being an artist making new music.

“In pop, you have this weird cycle where you have to have a pressing awareness of the past, constantly, and it weighs you down more than it lifts you up,” he told The Wall Street Journal. ”I think I’m finally at a place where I’m jettisoning all the baggage. I don’t feel like I have to play certain songs, but I don’t refuse to play them either.”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/billy-corgan-mythology-nineties-irrelevant-20141218?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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George Harrison, Bee Gees to Receive Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards

December 18th, 2014 · Guitar

By Jon Blistein |
December 18, 2014

George Harrison, the Bee Gees and Buddy Guy are among a number of artists who will be receiving a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award during the festivities surrounding next year’s Grammy Awards.



The Recording Academy will also honor country duo the Louvin Brothers, jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, composer Pierre Boulez and Tejano music accordionist Flaco Jiménez.

Along with the Lifetime Achievement Awards, the Grammys will also hand out Trustees Awards, which recognize contributions to music in areas other than performance. This year’s recipients are producer Richard Perry, husband-and-wife songwriting duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and jazz impresario George Wein. Ray Kurzweil, the scientist and inventor of numerous electronic keyboards, will receive the Technical Grammy Award.

All Special Merit Award recipients will be honored during an invitation-only ceremony held on February 7th, 2015, though they will also be recognized during the actual Grammy Awards, which will air live on CBS on February 8th, starting at 8 p.m. EST.

Earlier, the Recording Academy also named 27 titles that will be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for 2015. The collection now boasts 987 songs and albums, and this latest class comprises an eclectic mix that includes Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonkin’,” ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out,” Kraftwerk’s Autobahn, Harry Belafonte’s Calypso and Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks.

Dylan will also be honored on February 6th as the Recording Academy’s MusiCares Person of the Year. As with Carole King’s ceremony earlier this year, a number of artists will pay tribute to the influential singer-songwriter, with the current list boasting Beck, the Black Keys, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Norah Jones, Tom Jones, Los Lobos, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Eddie Vedder, Jack White, Neil Young and John Doe.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/george-harrison-bee-gees-to-receive-grammy-lifetime-achievement-awards-20141218?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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On the Charts: J. Cole Drives Home a Number One

December 18th, 2014 · Guitar

By Steve Knopper |
December 18, 2014

WISHING YOU ALL A LUMP OF THIS CHART TOPPER FOR CHRISTMAS: A year ago, if I’d challenged you to predict the Top Three first-week sales numbers, would you have answered Taylor Swift, Coldplay and rapper J. Cole? The first one’s obvious, the second possible and the third – like winning your NCAA-tournament pool by picking Valparaiso. Yet Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive sells 354,000 copies this week, or 375,000 if you include Billboard’s newfangled “equivalent units” formula, making its album-chart debut at Number One. How did Cole go where his 2014 contemporaries, from Run the Jewels to Lil Wayne to Future, could not? Tough question. He appeared on Late Show with David Letterman earlier this month, but everybody does, and recently…played touch football in public. That must be it!


Some of the 50 best albums of 2014

SURPRISE, SURPRISE: Perhaps long-dormant RB star D’Angelo‘s only mistake was releasing his first album in almost 15 years on December 14th – almost exactly a year after Beyonce released her surprise album. There’s no comparison, sales-wise: Beyonce moved 617,000 downloads in three days, while D’Angelo’s Black Messiah, a murmuring and murky classic that recalls Sly and the Family Stone‘s There’s a Riot Goin’ On, may sell just 100,000. Why the difference? In addition to the recognition factor, D’Angelo has released no singles so far. My guess is he tours the U.S. next year and takes a million-dollar offer or two to headline festivals. 

THEY ARGUE OVER SPOTIFY WHILE DRINKING TEA WITH THEIR CATS: Another chart development I wasn’t expecting: a late-season surge from singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who ran off with Spotify’s most-streamed title in 2014 – although he gets an asterisk because touring buddy Taylor Swift’s 1989 isn’t on the service. Sheeran’s X jumped from Number 11 to Number Nine, moving 65,000 units (of which 36,000 were album sales). His secret promotional weapon appears to have been CBS’ December 9th Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, on which he showed up to croon “Thinking Out Loud.”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/on-the-charts-j-cole-drives-home-a-number-one-20141218?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Girls Guns and Glory Drink Their Way Through Christmas in New Video

December 18th, 2014 · Guitar

By Joseph Hudak |
December 16, 2014

It’s hard to watch Girls Guns and Glory’s new Christmas video “Holiday Heartache” and not think of Hall Oates’ equally goofy clip for “Jingle Bell Rock.” But the twang-heavy country-rock group’s singer and founder Ward Hayden says he’s never seen Daryl and John’s surreal video. “The intro to the song is a nod to ‘Jingle Bell Rock,’” Hayden tells Rolling Stone Country, “but this might be the first time in our career we’ve done anything that’s resembled Hall Oates.”


Margo Price, Canaan Smith

The Boston-based Girls Guns and Glory, one of Rolling Stone Country‘s Artists You Need to Know, wrote “Holiday Heartache” after a run-in with a plastered pal in Kentucky. “When we arrived on the scene he was drinking Amstel Light and had been up for four days straight,” Hayden recalls. “He said, ‘Boys, whiskey is for the liver, but beer is for the brain!’ I wasn’t sure if what he said made no sense at all or all the sense in the world, but I knew I had to write it down. It wound up being the line that inspired us to write this song.”

Recorded in Brooklyn, and produced by Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, who also oversaw the band’s latest album Good Luck, “Holiday Heartache” was originally set for that LP until Hayden decided such a song didn’t exactly fit the theme. Instead, he and the band saved it for the Christmas season, what Hayden says is his favorite time of year, though not for traditional reasons — Girls Guns and Glory play a series of tribute shows to their hero, Hank Williams, each time this year.

“We started performing this tribute four years ago to honor Hank on the two dates he never got to play: New Year’s Eve 1952 he missed due to foul weather, and New Year’s Day 1953 because of his untimely passing,” Hayden says. “This year we’re stoked because the tribute has really started to catch on. We’ll be doing seven shows all around the Northeast in late December and early January.”

Until then, Girls Guns and Glory are gifting their growing fan base the whiskey-soaked “Holiday Heartache” video, which they had originally planned to film outdoors on Boston Common. When the weather didn’t cooperate, they moved the shoot indoors to Hayden’s Medford, Massachusetts, apartment. It may have been a blessing in disguise.

“We set up our gear around the tree,” he says, “and the videographer, Joan Hathaway, filmed us messing around and having a good time.”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/girls-guns-and-glory-drink-their-way-through-christmas-in-new-video-20141216?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Roger Daltrey Illness Postpones London Who Shows

December 18th, 2014 · Guitar

By Daniel Kreps |
December 17, 2014

The Who were forced to postpone the final two 2014 dates of their Who Hits 50 tour after singer Roger Daltrey was diagnosed with a throat infection. The Tommy rockers were scheduled to perform at London’s O2 Arena on December 17th and 18th, but doctors ordered Daltrey to rest his voice, NME reports.


The Who, circa 1965.

The Who have rescheduled the O2 gigs for March 22nd and 23rd, three weeks before the band embarks on the lengthy North American leg of the tour. “The band and their management wish to sincerely apologize to all ticket holders for the inconvenience and disappointment this has caused,” the band said in a statement. The postponed gigs give Daltrey over three months to recuperate before taking the stage again for the rescheduled concerts.

On April 15th, the Who will bring their 50th anniversary trek – which has seen the band performing some of their classic tracks for the first time in decades – stateside with a leg-opening concert at Tampa Bay, Florida’s Amalie Arena. The itinerary also includes a May 30th concert at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York, which marks the Who’s first performance at that venue since a pair of 1971 shows. The North American leg wraps up November 4th, 2015 at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.

In November, the Who kicked off their anniversary jaunt with a star-studded birthday tribute concert at London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, with Eddie Vedder, Liam Gallagher and Rush’s Geddy Lee among those paying homage to the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. Proceeds from that concert benefitted Daltrey’s Teenage Cancer Trust.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/roger-daltrey-illness-postpones-london-who-shows-20141217?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Elton John to Wed David Furnish This Weekend in England

December 18th, 2014 · Guitar

By Kory Grow |
December 17, 2014

Elton John will marry his partner of more than two decades, David Furnish, this weekend at a ceremony in England. The couple underwent a civil partnership in 2005, according Us Weekly, and has been waiting for a same-sex marriage to be legal in the country before planning their wedding; a law went into effect this past March allowing same-sex marriage in England and Wales.


That month, the singer told Matt Lauer that the couple was planning a quiet wedding and that their children would be present. “For this legislation to come through is joyous and we should celebrate it,” John said. “We shouldn’t just say, ‘Oh, well, we have a civil partnership, we’re not going to bother to get married.’”

“I think what we’ll do is go to a register office in England…and take the boys with us, and a couple of witnesses,” Furnish told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (via The Guardian) in a separate interview around the same time.

The couple met in 1993 and now have two sons, Zachary and Elijah. “I was attracted to David immediately,” John told Parade in 2010. “He was very well dressed, very shy. The next night we had dinner. After it, we consummated our relationship. We fell in love very quickly.”

The singer has always been an outspoken advocate of marriage equality, but has been more vocal this year as he has planned the wedding. This past June, he had powerful words to people who use religion as an excuse to dismiss same-sex marriage. “If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him – as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was – saying this could not happen,” he told Sky News. “He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that’s what the church should be about.”

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/elton-john-to-wed-david-furnish-this-weekend-in-england-20141217?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Hear Joe Pug’s Cathartic ‘If Still It Can’t Be Found,’ Featuring Wilco’s Pat Sansone

December 17th, 2014 · Guitar

By Marissa R. Moss |
December 17, 2014

Once in a while, you have to be a little out of tune to find your way. This was the case for folk troubadour Joe Pug, anyway, as he toiled away in a quest to create the songs that would comprise his upcoming LP, Windfall — and, in particular, the wistfully-strummed ballad “If Still It Can’t Be Found,” premiering exclusively on Rolling Stone Country.


Joe Pug

“I had been in a bit of a songwriting rut, just sitting in my house with the guitar in my hands playing the same chords over and over,” Pug says. “To wake myself up, I went out and got one of those ‘free-if-you-move-it’ Craigslist pianos. When I got it back to my place, I sat down and ‘If Still It Can’t Be Found’ just kind of flowed out. A week later, I hired a piano tuner and he just laughed when he played the first note. It was so out of tune, that it was a half-step flat. The demo I recorded was in B flat, but I thought it was in B.”

The final song is anything but flat, however. With help from a little mellotron playing by Wilco’s Pat Sansone, who turned Pug’s initial key-based melody into a striking backdrop for his vulnerable vocals, it showcases the singer’s unique and achingly honest point of view that spins lyrics into folk poetry.

“Joe has the uncanny ability to write a song that feels like it’s been there always, and ‘If Still It Can’t Be Found’ is one of those,” says Sansone. “I was really honored when he asked me to contribute to the recording of this truly beautiful and deeply soulful song.”

Out on March 10th, Windfall is Pug’s third studio album, but it almost never came to be. After years of touring relentlessly, he’d come to a crossroads: His music was connecting with fans, but he was losing touch with himself — with his personal relationships, his writing, even his general sense of happiness. It took decamping to Lexington, Kentucky, for the recording process — after a sizeable breather — to refocus on exactly what it was he loved about being an artist, and to open himself up to the cathartic impact that the creative process can hold.

“[If Still It Can't Be Found] was one of the first ones that I wrote for the album,” recalls Pug, “and I think in a strange way, it was an unconscious set of instructions for myself.”

With lyrics such as “If it’s not around this corner, it’s around the next,” the introspective song urges listeners to cling to what matters but let go of the rest — and it proves that there’s sometimes no such thing as the wrong key.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/hear-joe-pugs-inspirational-if-still-it-cant-be-found-featuring-wilcos-pat-sansone-20141217?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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5 Things We Learned at Nicki Minaj’s Revealing CRWN Q&A

December 17th, 2014 · Guitar

By Claire Lobenfeld |
December 17, 2014

Last night at New York venue Le Poisson Rouge, Elliott Wilson hosted the latest edition of CRWN, a rap version of Inside the Actors Studio, with Nicki Minaj as his guest. The conversation was pegged to the release of The Pinkprint, her latest LP, but the night quickly became a celebration of the local star’s entire catalog, with fans rapping back verses – even obscure freestyles – at every segue. In between, Minaj spoke candidly about the state of Young Money, her position in the game and the making of the album. Here are five things we learned.


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1. She didn’t think “Bed of Lies” was going to be a single
The chorus was presented to Minaj early, around the time of a recent breakup, but the beat that producer Detail (Drunk in Love, Lookin Ass) delivered wasnt up to snuff. She tried out multiple alternatives before deciding on the one from Kane Beatz.

2. She didn’t know that Jay Z was going to be on “Monster”
Minaj said that Kanye West pushed her to go all the way on the career-defining track, but she didnt know how strong her competition was going to be until she had already spit her legendary bars. Minaj initially got nervous when she learned that Jigga had also contributed, but last night she was confident enough to even tell Wilson that if he thought this had been her first impressive verse, he hadnt been paying attention to her before it.

3. Irv Gotti told her to sign to Young Money
Minaj spent a lot of time talking about Deb Antney, her former representation and Waka Flocka Flame’s mom and manager. The rapper said that she originally moved to Atlanta to work with Mama Flame and because there are better apartments and opportunities outside of New York. During the move, she remained in contact with both Lil Wayne and Murder Inc. boss Irv Gotti, and despite the fact that Gotti wanted to sign her, he encouraged her to become part of Wayne’s Young Money.

4. She’s worried her career will get in the way of motherhood
On Pinkprint opener All Things Go, Minaj raps, “Life is a movie, but there’ll never be a sequel/And I’m good with that, as long as I’m peaceful/As long as seven years from now, I’m taking my daughter to preschool.” During the QA, Minaj expressed fear that she would not have a child, citing Janet Jackson as an example of a successful singer who never gave birth.

5. She didn’t know Lil Wayne was so unhappy with Cash Money
Wilson doesnt usually get too deep with CRWN subjects, but he was sure to ask about Waynes recent Twitter admission that a feud with his label, Cash Money, is keeping Tha Carter V in purgatory. Minaj said she knew that Wayne was frustrated but didn’t know how mad he actually was until she read those tweets. She thinks there must be other things bubbling between Wayne and bosses Birdman and Ronald Slim Williams but said that Young Money/Cash Money is a dysfunctional family because theres a thin line between genius and crazy.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/5-things-we-learned-at-nicki-minaj-crwn-interview-20141217?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan Are 2014 Country Chart Champs

December 17th, 2014 · Guitar

By Stephen L. Betts |
December 17, 2014

It was, by all accounts, a very good year to be Eric Church, Jason Aldean or Luke Bryan. But which of them was the year’s top country artist overall? It depends on which year-end chart statistics you consult.


40 Country Albums

Church, whose The Outsiders garnered four Grammy nominations, had the best-selling album of 2014, according to year-to-date Nielsen Soundscan figures, and the LP was Billboard‘s Number Four country album of the year (on a chart that’s topped by three 2013 releases). Selling an impressive 288,000 copies in its debut week back in February, the collection continues to make an impact, having taken home the award for Album of the Year at this week’s first-ever American Country Countdown Awards. The Outsiders has since been certified platinum, for sales in excess of one million. Church’s Outsiders World Tour, with openers Dwight Yoakam and Halestorm, has, according to Pollstar, sold an impressive 382,112 tickets over 33 shows.

Jason Aldean’s Old Boots, New Dirt was the fourth-best-selling album according to Soundscan figures, and the Number Seven country LP of 2014, per Billboard‘s tabulations. Released in October, the album debuted at Number One on the multi-genre Billboard 200 as well as the Top Country Albums chart. It was the first country LP to ship one million units for the year, which put Aldean in the company of pop heavyweights Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Sam Smith. The newly-crowned ACC Artist of the Year also had the Number Two song of 2014 on the Hot Country Songs chart with “Burnin’ It Down,” which was the Georgia native’s first ever to top the all-genre Digital Songs chart.

Taking part in the Number One country song of 2014, “This Is How We Roll,” with Florida Georgia Line, was just one aspect of Luke Bryan’s incredible 2014, as he ended the year being crowned Billboard‘s top country act and top male artist. Bryan’s Crash My Party album was the second best-selling of 2014, according to Soundscan, and the Top Country Album of the year on Billboard’s survey. The LP has sold 2.3 million copies since its August 2013 release and notched an impressive 4.4 million in individual track sales during 2014, including “Drink a Beer,” and “Play It Again,” which between them topped the charts for 14 weeks.

With his second Number One single, “Beat of the Music,” Brett Eldredge topped the year’s Country Airplay chart, spending a total of 39 weeks on the list with the hit that was also crowned ACC Song of the Year. Eldredge was named New Artist of the Year at the CMA Awards in November.

The year wasn’t exactly overflowing with female acts when it came to chart action and country radio airplay. Miranda Lambert, who had Billboard‘s eighth best-selling album of 2014 with Platinum, was the Number Seven country act of the year, and the only solo female act among the Top 10. Lambert was also the only solo female artist to earn a Top Five hit (“Automatic”) on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart.

But, for one of country music’s most iconic female artists, it was a huge year across the pond. Dolly Parton’s Blue Smoke… The Best of, the UK release of her most recent studio album, which also includes a compilation of some of her most memorable hits, has been certified platinum. Three of the new tracks from that album, “Try,” “Home,” and Parton’s cover of Bon Jovi’s “Lay Your Hands on Me” all reached the Top 30 in UK airplay, while the album’s title track also hit the Top 40. Parton triumphed at England’s legendary Glastonbury Music festival this past summer, which also marked the Country Music Hall of Famer’s 50th anniversary of graduating high school and moving to Nashville to pursue her country music dreams.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/eric-church-jason-aldean-luke-bryan-are-2014-country-chart-champs-20141217?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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‘Nashville’ Stars Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen Do Broadway in ABC Special

December 17th, 2014 · Guitar

By Stephen L. Betts |
December 16, 2014

Nashville stars Clare Bowen (Scarlett) and Sam Palladio (Gunnar) are leaving Music City for the bright lights of Broadway — temporarily. The pair will sing the title song from the Disney film-turned Broadway hit Beauty and the Beast during an ABC behind-the-scenes special about the eight musicals Disney has taken to the Great White Way. (Watch the performance above.)


Connie Britton, Nashville

The producers of Backstage With Disney on Broadway: Celebrating 20 Years told the singers appearing on the special that they were looking for performers who could offer unexpected interpretations of the familiar tunes. Bowen says she rearranged a few things to come up with the stripped-down version of the song she and Palladio performed.  

“I wanted to make it my own, and I think that’s important when you’re doing a tribute,” Bowen told the Hollywood Reporter (via Billboard). 

A native of Australia, Bowen confessed to being a lifelong Beauty and the Beast fan, noting that her parents would read the classic fairytale to her as a child.

“That song in particular, it meant a lot to me growing up,” she says. “It’s really a beautiful story… and the accessibility of the characters and the music is just so beautiful.”

“Beauty and the Best” was sung by Broadway veteran Angela Lansbury in the 1991 animated film, and also popularized by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, who appeared on the film’s soundtrack.

Backstage With Disney on Broadway: Celebrating 20 Years, which will also include songs from The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Newsies, Aladdin and more, airs Sunday, December 21st, at 7 p.m. ET on ABC. Hosted by Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the special features performances from Elton John, Toni Braxton and others.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/nashville-stars-sam-palladio-and-clare-bowen-do-broadway-in-abc-special-20141216?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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