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Roger Waters to Headline Newport Folk Festival

May 22nd, 2015 · Guitar

Roger Waters will make his first-ever Newport Folk Festival appearance when he headlines the long-running fest on July 24th. The former Pink Floyd bassist will craft a “very special” set list especially curated for the Rhode Island fest, a festival rep tells Rolling Stone. Waters joins a lineup that already features Sufjan Stevens, Courtney Barnett, the Decemberists, J Mascis, Iron Wine with Ben Bridwell and many more artists who will head to Newport’s Fort Adams State Park from July 24th to 26th.

July 25th will also mark the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan “going electric” with a controversial and legendary set at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Jose Gonzalez, Sturgill Simpson and Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson are among the musicians who will perform at the fest that day.

The Newport Folk Festival, which was founded in 1959, promises additional artists will be announced in the near future. While three-day tickets for the fest have already sold out, entry for Friday’s performances – including the Waters gig – are on sale now at the festival’s site.

Waters has toured extensively in recent years, racking up over 200 shows in his three-year-long The Wall Live trek, but it’s been eight years since the bassist has performed a full-length concert that wasn’t tethered to that classic 1979 double-LP. (Waters also hasn’t played a full gig onstage since the Wall tour concluded in September 2013.) Coincidentally, Waters’ Newport headlining performance on July 24th arrives on the same day that the singer will reissue his 1992 concept album Amused to Death, his last rock studio LP; Waters released an opera titled Ça Ira in 2005.

Recently, Waters has made headlines more for his outspoken views than his music. The singer has publicly engaged in spats with Alan Parsons and Dionne Warwick over their decision to perform in Israel, and Waters also labeled Silicon Valley execs as “rogues and thieves” for their role in pushing the music industry toward streaming.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/roger-waters-to-headline-newport-folk-festival-20150521?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Brothers Johnson’s Louis Johnson, Michael Jackson Bassist, Dead at 60

May 22nd, 2015 · Guitar

Louis Johnson, founding member of funk band the Brothers Johnson and an in-demand bassist who appeared on Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” died on Thursday, May 21st. He was 60. Johnson’s nephew Troy confirmed his death to Rolling Stone, though a cause of death has yet to be revealed.

“I’ve never been given parts to play in my whole life. I’m the most rare bass player in the whole world,” Johnson told Rolling Stone contributing writer Steve Knopper in 2013 for the upcoming book MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson. “No one ever gave me music paper to read; no one ever gave me anything to read. They tell me, ‘Here’s a track, play what you want.’”

The Los Angeles-based Brothers Johnson, a group featuring Louis and his brother George, got their start backing up Quincy Jones before releasing their acclaimed, Jones-produced debut LP Look Out for #1 in 1976. Over the next five years, the Brothers Johnson racked up three Number One hits on the RB charts: 1976′s “I’ll Be Good to You,” their 1977 cover of Shuggie Otis’ “Strawberry Letter 23,” and 1980′s smash “Stomp!” (Their rendition of “Strawberry Letter 23″ was later featured prominently in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown.) The Brothers Johnson’s 1980 album Light Up the Night, featuring “This Had to Be” co-written by Michael Jackson and featuring the King of Pop on background vocals, ascended to the top of the RB album charts.

“Louis ‘Thunder Thumbs’ Johnson was one of the greatest bass players to ever pick up the instrument,” Jones tells Rolling Stone. “As a member of the Brothers Johnson, we shared decades of magical times working together in the studio and touring the world. From my albums Body Heat and Mellow Madness, to their platinum albums Look Out for #1Right On Time, Blam and Light Up the Night, which I produced, to Michael’s solo debut Off the Wall, I considered Louis a core member of my production team. He was a dear and beloved friend and brother, and I will miss his presence and joy of life every day.”

After the brothers parted ways in the early Eighties to pursue solo careers, Louis became known for his bass-playing prowess, emerging as a prolific, in-demand session musician. Johnson served as the primary bassist on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall and later lent his skills to Jackson’s Thriller (“Billie Jean,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “P.Y.T.”), Paul McCartney’s Give My Regards to Broad Street soundtrack and the all-star “We Are the World” collaboration.

“When I went to the session with ‘Billie Jean,’ I took like 10 basses and I lined ‘em up. I’d say, ‘Michael, pick one,’” Johnson told Rolling Stone. ”He’d pick one with the zebra wood on it. It had 12 different kinds of wood, different layers. It was dark brown and tan and light-colored, and it looked like a tiger or a zebra. Michael picked it because it sounded good. I hot-rodded it. I beefed it up and put extra magnets underneath the pickups. I did all the things I knew how to do to get the best sound. That’s how come the bass sounded like that.”

Johnson is also credited with creating the bass line from Michael McDonald’s hit version of Leiber Stoller’s “I Keep Forgettin’,” a melody that was later sampled by Warren G and Nate Dogg for “Regulate.” Over his long career, Johnson also worked with Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Herb Alpert and George Benson.

“I had access to all musicians and artists, from Barbra Streisand to Paul McCartney to Michael Jackson,” Johnson told Rolling Stone. “It was like an open door. The Lord blessed me with that — I prayed to God and my prayer he answered. He said, ‘OK, you got the whole world now.’ Every time I’d get in the car to go somewhere, I’d hear me playing the bass… I was all over the place. I released the funk on everybody.”

As news of Johnson’s death spread, hip-hop artists, funk legends and bassists inspired by “Thunder Thumbs” showed love on social media. “Thank you for blessing me and the world with your original #funk. RIP,” Lenny Kravitz tweeted, while Bootsy Collins added, “Another Brick in our music foundation has left the building. Mr. ‘Louis Johnson.’” Slave’s Steve Arrington wrote, “Just heard the great bass player and song writer Louis Johnson has passed away. Awe man….Going to miss U Thunder Thumbs.” My Morning Jacket bassist Tom Blankenship and the Roots’ Questlove wrote similar tributes to Johnson.

Additional reporting by Steve Knopper

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/brothers-johnsons-louis-johnson-michael-jackson-bassist-dead-at-60-20150522?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Neil Young Previews Cheeky ‘Rock Starbucks’ Video

May 22nd, 2015 · Guitar

Neil Young and Promise of the Real, a band featuring Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah, will release their protest LP The Monsanto Years on June 16th, and today Young premiered a first look and listen for the album’s “Rock Starbucks” music video at Democracy Now. Young, once a frequent Starbucks customer, boycotted the coffee company after they aligned with the GMO giant Monsanto in a lawsuit against Vermont.

“I want a cup of coffee, but I don’t want a GMO/I love to start my day off without helping Monsanto,” Young sings on the rollicking track, with the rocker and Promise of the Real hurling empty coffee cups at the camera. “Monsanto, let our farmers grow what they want to grow.” Young first debuted “Rock Starbucks,” along with 10 other tracks likely bound for The Monsanto Years, at a secret show at San Luis Obispo, California’s SLO Brewing Co. on April 16th.

Earlier this month, Young stood by his boycott even following reports that Starbucks was not involved in the Monsanto lawsuit against Vermont. “Still no lattes for me folks. I am not going to support a company that actively tries to defeat the will of the people by fighting their right to know what is in the food they eat,” Young wrote on his official site. “In communications with Starbucks the company was unresponsive to the direct question on whether Starbuck’s coffee product contained GMOs.”

“I don’t really have anything against the human beings working at Monsanto,” Young said during a recent appearance at the IFC Center in New York. “But Monsanto is the poster child for the problems we’re having with the corporate government.”

“Nobody likes Monsanto,” Lukas Nelson told Rolling Stone. “Nobody wants GMOs in their food, or at least they want to know if they’re in there so they can say, ‘No’ if they want. I’m really proud to be on this side of history with Neil.”

This summer, Young and Promise of the Real will embark on their Rebel Content summer trek, where the rocker will visit Vermont, a state he’s never played before. The Burlington Free Press speculates that Young’s concert is a reward for standing up to Monsanto with their laws demanding accurate food labeling.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/neil-young-previews-cheeky-rock-starbucks-video-20150522?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Hear Drake and Beyonce Ask ‘Can I’ on Leaked Song

May 22nd, 2015 · Guitar

Drake and Beyonce have teamed up once more on the leaked track “Can I.” The seductive, sparse song sees Drake taking the lead with Beyonce repeating “Can I?” and “baby” throughout. Listen to the track (via Okayplayer) below.

OVO artist Sal Houdini handles the hook on the pair’s first collaboration since the romantic, introspective “Mine” off Beyonce’s self-titled. While “Mine” saw the singer and rapper share vocal responsibilities, Beyonce’s contributions here are minimal, functioning more as a sample in the background. Houdini offers a smooth vocal, singing wistful, romantic lyrics like “I’ve been thinkin’ lately what it would be like/Make a fuckin’ family, you and I.” Drake caps off the song by sing-rapping, “Before I turn the lights out, tell me who the fuck you wanna be.”

Following the release of his surprise mix tape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and two weekends at Coachella, Drake has plotted out a number of festival dates and solo shows that will occur throughout the summer and fall, including Governors Ball in June, Washington D.C.’s inaugural Landmark Festival in September and ACL Fest in October. In late May, he’ll embark on a short Jungle tour with special guest Future.

Drake will also resume two special annual events that he has led in past years. Memorial Day Weekend will see a number of athletes and entertainers participate in charity-driven events — including a celebrity softball game — in Houston for the second annual Houston Appreciation Weekend. On the first weekend of August, Drake will headline the sixth OVO Fest in his hometown of Toronto alongside Big Sean and J. Cole.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-drake-and-beyonce-ask-can-i-on-leaked-song-20150521?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Leaked Sony-Spotify Contract Reveals Inner Workings of Streaming Music

May 22nd, 2015 · Guitar

Somehow, Verge managed to get a copy of the top-secret contract between music-streaming service Spotify and Sony, the major record label that owns music by Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey and One Direction. The terms may have changed since both companies signed this 42-page deal on January 18th, 2011, but the big news is the big money. Here are the top revelations from the leak:

1. The Money’s Really Good…for Labels
Sony received $25 million in advance payments in the first two years of its contract, then another $17.5 million from an optional third year. (The payments are recoupable, which means Spotify could have received that money back if it took in more than that in a given year.) The label likely did not share these payments with its artists. “The whole streaming business has been a ridiculous system of not paying independent labels and artists,” Allen Kovac, manager of Motley Crue, Blondie, Five Finger Death Punch and others, tells Rolling Stone. “In the industry, everybody knows it’s a way to keep that capital to float the record labels.”

2. Who Needs a Level Playing Field?
“Most favored nations” clauses came up last year when YouTube attempted to negotiate contracts with independent record labels for what became its Music Key streaming service. Indie reps complained they lacked the clout to demand such a clause, giving their major-label competitors a distinct advantage. “If that’s a level playing field, I’m sorry, but Death Valley is a mountain,” veteran independent songwriter and guitarist Marc Ribot told Rolling Stone last year. But the “MFN” language is standard in music-streaming contracts, including this one. Here, it essentially means that if any competing label, like Universal or Warner, gets a better yearly advance rate, Sony can insist on making up the difference in cash.

3. How Much Artists Really Get Paid
How much does Spotify really pay artists? This territory has been covered before, particularly by the company’s chief executive, Daniel Ek. It’s a complicated formula, but as Ek has said, the streaming company essentially gives 60 percent of its revenue to rightsholders — and Sony takes a cut based on its proportion of overall streams. However, as Verge reports, if customers were to use Spotify a certain number of times, a different revenue formula kicks in, which amounts to between $0.00225 cents and $0.0025 per stream. Of course, the labels have to share a portion of that money with artists, depending on their contracts.

4. Cut It Off Any Time
Record execs mistrust tech execs. It’s actually written in Sony’s contract that Spotify reps are not to inflict “viruses,” “worms,” “spyware,” “destructive codes” or “adware” onto their customers. Why this needed to be spelled out is unclear. Daniel Ek probably shouldn’t murder anybody, either, but the Ten Commandments aren’t in the contract.

5. No Hacking!
Sony can yank music from Spotify with just two days notice, for any reason, without negotiation — by e-mail, no less. Why? “For reasons of artist relations, loss of rights and/or any third-party claim regarding such content,” reads the contract. Pity the poor Spotify rep who gets the Sony e-mail that Springsteen no longer feels like streaming.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/leaked-sony-spotify-contract-reveals-inner-workings-of-streaming-music-20150521?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Hear Kendrick Lamar and Lady Gaga’s Scrapped ‘Partynauseous’

May 22nd, 2015 · Guitar

Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar‘s lost collaboration “Partynauseous,” which was reportedly set to be on Lamar’s major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d cityhas leaked.

“Partynauseous” sees more subdued pop fare from Gaga, who sings the hook alongside two new verses from Lamar. The beat and the rapper’s flow are reminiscent of Lamar’s “Swimming Pools (Drank).” It’s unclear whether the leaked version is the scrapped final track or just a demo from their sessions. A representative for Lady Gaga declined to comment on the track.

The singer previewed her studio time with Lamar back in August 2012. “I am so excited to announce that a record I’ve been working on has now become a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar for HIS ALBUM,” she tweeted.

Gaga revealed to fans on her Little Monsters site that “Partynauseous” had been shelved due to creative differences and interferences from his team. “When I collaborate with an artist, I work solely with them, not with their camps or management,” she wrote. “I love Kendrick dearly as a friend but was not willing to compromise musically to the changes his team was making to my music. This is why I am not [on] his record.” She promised that the song would “be released at a different time, for a different project” and delivered on that promise when she used her solo version as an interlude during her ArtRave tour.

Though they never officially released a collaboration together, Lamar confirmed that Gaga was originally intended to sing the hook on his single “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” in a 2012 interview with Complex: “[Lady Gaga was going to be on the song]. We had a date, but we had to meet the deadline for the pre-order date. That’s just the business side coming through and messing things up. But you know it’s God’s plan. I’m not really too tight about it because I know we have something special.” Gaga later released audio of her demo.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-kendrick-lamar-and-lady-gagas-scrapped-partynauseous-20150521?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Madonna Postpones First Five Dates of Rebel Heart Tour

May 21st, 2015 · Guitar

Madonna has postponed the first five dates of her Rebel Heart tour. The tour was scheduled to kick off on August 29th in Miami, but she will now begin her international trek on September 9th in Montreal.

Along with two nights in Miami (August 29th and 30th), the pop star also moved dates in Atlanta (September 2nd) and San Juan, Puerto Rico (September 5th and 6th) to January 2016. “As my fans already know, the show has to be perfect,” Madonna said in a statement. “Assembling all the elements will require more time than we realized. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause my fans. I can promise you this show will be worth the wait. Can’t wait to share it with all my Rebel Hearts out there.”

Madonna released her latest album Rebel Heart and announced the tour in March. Since then, she’s made a number of high-profile live appearances, including the Brit Awards, where she quickly recovered from a nasty mid-performance fall, and the IHeartRadio Music Awards. At the latter, Taylor Swift played guitar as the pop vet sang her latest Rebel Heart single “Ghosttown.”

Her most-talked about performance, however, was at Coachella, where she joined Drake onstage. As Drake sang the If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late cut “Madonna” during the festival’s headlining set, the titular inspiration joined him to perform a medley of her own songs and give the rapper-singer a passionate kiss.

Rebel Heart North American Tour Dates:

September 9 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
September 12 – Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
September 16 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
September 19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
September 24 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
September 26 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden
September 28 – Chicago, IL @ United Center
October 1 – Detroit, MI @ Joe Louis Arena
October 3 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Boardwalk Hall
October 5 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
October 8 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
October 11 – Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
October 14 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
October 17 – Portland, OR @ MODA Center
October 19 – San Jose, CA @ SAP Center at San Jose
October 22 – Glendale, AZ @ Gila River Arena
October 24 – Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
October 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Forum

Rebel Heart European UK Tour Dates:

November 4 – Koln, Germany @ Lanxess Arena
November 7 – Prague, CZ @ O2 Arena
November 10 – Berlin, Germany @ Mercedes-Benz Arena (02 World)
November 14 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Tele 2 Arena
November 17 – Herning, Denmark @ Jyske Bank Boxen
November 21 – Turin, Italy @ Pala Alpitour
November 24 – Barcelona, Spain @ Palau Sant Jordi
November 28 – Antwerp, Belgium @ Sportpaleis
December 1 – London, UK @ O2 Arena
December 5 – Amsterdam, Holland @ Ziggo Dome
December 9 – Paris, France @ Bercy
December 14 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Arena
December 16 – Birmingham, UK @ Barclaycard Arena
December 20 – Glasgow, Scotland @ The SSE Hydro

Rebel Heart Rescheduled North American Dates:

January 20 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
January 23 - Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
January 24 – Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
January 27 - San Juan, PR @ Coliseo de Puerto Rico
January 28 – San Juan, PR @ Coliseo de Puerto Rico

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/madonna-postpones-first-five-dates-of-rebel-heart-tour-20150521?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Hear Hunter Hayes Go Big With New Song ’21′

May 21st, 2015 · Guitar

At 23 years old, Hunter Hayes is already taking a look back to those carefree days when he was barely legal. The multi-talented performer has just released his new single, “21,” a party anthem that serves as the first taste of the CMA award-winning entertainer’s upcoming third LP.

The celebratory tune, penned by Hayes with Dallas Davidson, Kelley Lovelace and Ashley Gorley, casts the singer-songwriter and his partying partner in song as a couple of crazy kids on the run, staying up all night “chasing the sunrise, like we’re wild and young.”

Looking back at his own experience of turning 21, Hayes told USA Today he showed remarkable restraint. “I was in New Orleans. I played my first headline show in a theater the night before. At midnight, I went out with some friends, members of my team.”

Since he was scheduled to sing the national anthem at the New Orleans Saints game at the Superdome later that day, the Louisiana native celebrated responsibly. “I capped it off with one drink,” he recalls. “I was proud of my behavior, I must say.”

Already playing “21″ for concertgoers, Hayes says the same “all-in” behavior that he addresses in the song extends to his approach to live performances. “I firmly believe that if you’re lucky enough to step onstage in an arena and your name is on the sign, you owe the fans more than just a good set list and a couple of lighting cues,” he once told Rolling Stone Country. “They deserve months and months of planning. They deserve sleepless nights. They deserve you going to bed every night trying to figure out how to improve the tour.”

Hayes is currently overseas headlining his Let’s Be Crazy Tour UK and on May 29th returns to the U.S. on the Wheels Up Tour with Lady Antebellum and Sam Hunt.

The summer-ready “21″ is currently streaming on Spotify and also hits country radio today (May 21st). Digital downloads of the song will be available beginning May 26th, one day after the singer is scheduled to perform the new tune on ABC’s The View.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-hunter-hayes-go-big-with-new-song-21-20150521?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Joy Division Fan to Turn Ian Curtis’ Home Into Museum

May 21st, 2015 · Guitar

The Macclesfield, England home where Joy Division‘s Ian Curtis lived and committed suicide in will be turned into a museum after being bought by a fan, The Guardian reports.

Hadar Goldman, a musician and entrepreneur, forked over the asking price of £115,000 (approximately $180,200), plus £75,000 ($117,525) to cover the legal fees necessary to reverse the sale to a private buyer that was already in progress.

Before Goldman stepped in, a group of fans had started an Indiegogo campaign to raise the money to buy and turn the property into a museum, and hopefully keep it out of the hands of a developer. The campaign, however, only garnered about £2,000, which was ultimately donated to the mental health charity Mind in Curtis’ name (the frontman suffered from both depression and epilepsy).

“Although I paid £190,000 — nearly double the asking price — I felt as if I had to get involved, especially after hearing the plight of fans who had failed to raise the necessary funds to buy the house owned and lived in by one of the musical heroes of my youth,” Goldman said.

Though Goldman didn’t offer any specifics regarding the museum or its collection, he said in a statement, “When the time comes, we will welcome the input and ideas of anyone interested in being part of such an exciting project, commemorating a meaningful part of musical history.”

The museum idea has already garnered mixed reactions from Curtis’ former Joy Division bandmates, Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner. While the latter told The Guardian he thought the museum would be ”a great compliment,” Sumner was more wary and worried that the house would become ”a monument to suicide.”

Sumner’s concerns may have been bolstered last year by the sale of the kitchen table that Curtis stood on before hanging himself (it fetched £8,400 on eBay). At the time, Sumner and Stephen Morris called the auction “distasteful and upsetting,” adding that it had caused Curtis’ family great distress.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/joy-division-fan-to-turn-ian-curtis-home-into-museum-20150521?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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Watch Ed Sheeran & Ben Kweller Cover ‘Stand By Me’

May 21st, 2015 · Guitar

Three weeks after the death of Ben E. KingEd Sheeran brought out tour opener Ben Kweller in Salt Lake City Tuesday night for a soulful cover of the singer’s signature song, “Stand by Me.”

“You all know the words to this,” Sheeran said before the two singer-songwriters plucked away at their guitars for a charming rendition of the classic track. Kweller and Sheeran traded off verses, showed off their guitar skills and even covered a bit of Sean Kingston’s “Stand By Me”-sampling 2007 hit “Beautiful Girls.”

The Salt Lake City show isn’t the first time Sheeran has surprised fans with a cover of “Stand by Me,” taking on the track solo at a 2013 wedding.

The “Thinking Out Loud” singer is headlining his own arena tour across North America. Kweller joined as a last-minute opener when original opener Foy Vance was unable to start the tour due to immigration issues. Kweller has performed in Albany and Pittsburgh prior to the Salt Lake City show. Vance is set to return for the North American dates on May 23rd in Uncasville, Connecticut. The tour runs through September 10th, though Sheeran will make a pit stop in Kansas City, Missouri to open for the Rolling Stones on their Zip Code tour.

King passed away earlier this month at the age of 76. “Stand by Me” has been widely covered since its release in 1960, having been interpreted and reimagined by everyone from Otis Redding to Miley Cyrus. At Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, Imagine Dragons paid tribute to King with their own intimate take on the track.

Article source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/watch-ed-sheeran-ben-kweller-cover-stand-by-me-20150520?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral?utm_source=yahoomusic&utm_medium=referral

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