Music

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Susan Boyle delights the internet with her first ever TikTok video

<p>Susan Boyle has made an incredibly hilarious debut to social media app Tiktok, where she was shown displaying her amazing dance moves with friends. </p> <p>The 59-year-old <em>Britain's Got Talent</em> star took part in a socially distanced dance accompanied by her personal assistant Geraldine and vocal coach Chris Judge.</p> <p>The group boogied to the song <em>Laxed Siren Beat</em> by Jawsh 685 and the video was uploaded to the account of Gez Rae.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N3yKG_Yc4V4"></iframe></div> <p>The Scottish singer revealed in February she’s actually been trying to add another talent under her belt by taking dancing lessons</p> <p>"Someone suggested I would be good on Strictly Come Dancing," she told The Sun. </p> <p>"Yeah, I would like that. I've got some moves. I've been taking dance lessons."</p> <p>The Scottish singer, who rose to fame on the third series of <em>Britain's Got Talent</em> in 2009 with her stunning rendition of <em>I Dreamed a Dream</em> from<em> Les Misérables</em>, told to <em>A Current Affair's</em> Tracy Grimshaw that there's still plenty of things on her bucket list for her to tick off and make sure come to fruition. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BySmiH-lddE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BySmiH-lddE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Susan Boyle (@susanboylemusic)</a> on Jun 4, 2019 at 7:08am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"My bucket list? One is to ride a bike — I got my very first bike, never had a bike when I was a kid," Boyle said to Grimshaw. "And I've got my professional licence, I've learned how to drive."</p> <p>Boyle also admitted in the same interview that being pushed into international fame so suddenly back in 2012, was simply too much for her to handle at the time. </p> <p>She says three years after the show, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which came as a “relief” to her. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8b2ZQpl3Cg/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8b2ZQpl3Cg/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Susan Boyle (@susanboylemusic)</a> on Feb 11, 2020 at 9:34am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"That was just a relief for me, though, because for years I thought I had something a bit more serious, you know? So that took it off my shoulders a bit," Boyle said, explaining that she had previously thought she had "quite serious brain damage."</p> <p>"[With] Asperger's, you just have to make people aware that sometimes you have to go at a certain pace, don't be too bombarded with things. At the very beginning I was too bombarded," she recalled.</p> <p>"I just want to keep going. I just want to keep entertaining people, making albums, touring. I'm as happy as anything."</p>

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Vale Dame Vera Lynn

<p>Iconic songstress Dame Vera Lynn has died at the age of 103.</p> <p>In a statement, the singer’s family said she passed away on Thursday “surrounded by her close family”.</p> <p>The Forces’ Sweetheart, who had sold over a million records by the age of 22, was best known for performing hits such as <em>We’ll Meet Again </em>to troops in World War Two, as well as <em>The White Cliffs Of Dover</em>, <em>There’ll Always Be An England</em>, <em>I’ll Be Seeing You</em>, <em>Wishing</em> and <em>If Only I Had Wings</em>.</p> <p>She was also known for her charity commitments, having been involved with organisations concerned with military veterans as well as polio, breast cancer, blindness and cerebral palsy.</p> <p>Her last public performance was at Hyde Park, in a 1995 ceremony that marked the 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.</p> <p>Days before her 100th birthday, she released a compilation album titled <em>Vera</em> <em>Lynn 100</em>, featuring re-orchestrated versions of some of her most popular tunes. The album rose to number 3, making her the first centenarian to enter the UK charts.</p> <p>In April, the Queen referenced the song during a speech to Britons who were separated from families and friends due to the coronavirus lockdown, saying: “We will be with our friends again, we will be with our families again, we will meet again.”</p> <p>Following the speech, Dame Vera beat her previous record to become the oldest artist to get a top 40 album in the UK after the song re-entered the charts at number 30.</p> <p>Dame Vera is survived by her daughter Virginia.</p>

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Keith Urban surprises fans by giving them his number

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Country music star Keith Urban has won the hearts of fans by asking them to send him a text.</p> <p>He put up a snap on Instagram of a Polaroid with a US phone number, explaining that fans should “shoot me a text”.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CADyIcLpcWc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CADyIcLpcWc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Shoot me a text! 615-240-2938</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/keithurban/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Keith Urban</a> (@keithurban) on May 11, 2020 at 12:21pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The reply, according to<span> </span>Now To Love, is instant but automated and unfortunately, fans outside the US can’t access the latest service.</p> <p>"Hi! Glad you're here. I can't text internationally just yet but fill out your contact info so we can text you as soon as it's available,” the automated text said.</p> <p>The link leads fans to a site called<span> </span>Community, that describes itself as "a new conversation platform enabling direct and instant communication at massive scale, all through text messaging."</p> <p>Other stars, such as the band OneRepublic, have jumped on board, with lead singer of the band Ryan Tedder explaining to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.billboard.com/amp/articles/business/8543190/why-hundreds-music-stars-giving-fans-phone-numbers-community-app" target="_blank">Billboard</a><span> </span>why they use the platform.</p> <p>"We captured over 20% of our audience at Red Rocks and immediately had so much more engagement than we've ever had with Instagram and Twitter," Ryan explained.</p> <p>"Nobody else should have your fan's information other than you -- the fact that Facebook owns all of it and we can't have access to it unless we want to pay exorbitant fees is ridiculous."</p> <p>There’s no word as to when the service will be in Australia or New Zealand as of yet, but fans of Urban should keep their eyes peeled.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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“This is what being an at home roadie looks like”: Nicole Kidman shares sweet video of Keith Urban rocking out

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman is rocking out at home to her husband Keith Urban’s country sounds. She uploaded a crazy and chaotic Instagram video of her husband shredding on the guitar.</p> <p>The<span> </span><em>Big Little Lies</em><span> </span>star couldn’t be prouder as she watched on, smiled and gave a thumbs up to the camera.</p> <p>“This is how I get to hang out now,” Kidman said.</p> <p>The video then cut to a full shot of Urban, 52, riffing on his electric guitar.</p> <p>She uploaded the video to Instagram with a sweet caption, saying “this is what being an at home roadie looks like” and tagged her husband’s account.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B--CZ-CpI8r/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B--CZ-CpI8r/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">This is what being an at home roadie looks like 🎸❤️ @KeithUrban</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/nicolekidman/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Nicole Kidman</a> (@nicolekidman) on Apr 14, 2020 at 10:16am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The couple have had a very musical time in isolation as Keith has been producing live studio sessions for his music fans and followers on Instagram.</p> <p>Urban has been sharing live concerts online via his Instagram account and YouTube channel. One clip late last month showed Kidman dancing up a storm as she relaxed with no shoes on and had her hair in a low ponytail as Urban performed<span> </span><em>Never Comin’ Down</em>.</p> <p>She cheered him on as she played the ultimate supportive wife and cheered him on during his performance.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Rod Stewart performs live for fans amid coronavirus pandemic

<p><span>Rod Stewart has performed for awestruck fans from the comfort of his home in Florida over the Easter weekend. </span><br /><br /><span>The 75-year-old sat alongside his daughter Ruby, 32, to undergo his #TogetherAtHome performance to raise money for the World Health Organisation and Global Citizen. </span><br /><br /><span>“Hello everybody, this is Rod and Ruby from sunny Florida wishing everybody a happy Easter,” Rod said in the video via Facebook livestream. </span><br /><br /><span>“We’re going to try and entertain you for 20 minutes … it’s going to be absolutely chaotic because neither of us play the guitar, but we’re going to do our best.”</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-0F62ojVid/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-0F62ojVid/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Sir Rod Stewart (@sirrodstewart)</a> on Apr 10, 2020 at 1:39pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span><span>Both Rod and his daughter sang sweetly for the camera, and moved around their living room from the couch to the piano. </span><br /><br /><span>Together they performed in perfect harmony some of Rod’s greatest hits including When I Was Younger, Swing Lol, Dirty Old Town and Sweet Chariot. </span><br /><br /><span>The pair took breaks between each song to chat with fans and dance together, as well as give a special hello from the family pet Ziggy.</span><br /><br /></span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6wolnEAlqt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6wolnEAlqt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Here we come 2020 ❤️</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/thekimberlystewart/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Kimberly Stewart</a> (@thekimberlystewart) on Dec 31, 2019 at 6:15pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>The father daughter duo also welcomed other members of the Stewart family including Penny Lancaster and their 14-year-old son Alastair to perform one of Rod’s most beloved songs Forever Young as the brilliant concert came to a close.</span><br /><br /><span>“Thank you to all the health care workers worldwide for putting their lives at risk to care for others. God bless you. We’ll pay you back somehow, we have to,” Rod said. </span><br /><br /><span>Rod celebrated his 75th birthday milestone this year in hospital while recovering from a knee replacement surgery. </span><br /><br /></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7JT8cmAwob/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7JT8cmAwob/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Penny Lancaster (@penny.lancaster)</a> on Jan 10, 2020 at 8:15am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>Penny shared a sweet message alongside a photograph of her hubby, writing: </span><br /><br /><span>“Roddy is doing remarkably well after his knee replacement surgery on Tuesday (so well that the naughty boy keeps trying to walk without his crutches). </span><br /><br /><span>“Luckily he is being discharged today to celebrate his 75th tonight and home this weekend to see the boys play football!”</span></p>

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Dolly Parton’s BIG announcement!

<p>Dolly Parton has announced plans to donate $1 million to Vanderbilt University’s COVID-19 research efforts.</p> <p>"My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who's been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure. I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations," she wrote in an Instagram post.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-ceG0wlAVc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-ceG0wlAVc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">❤️</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/dollyparton/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Dolly Parton</a> (@dollyparton) on Apr 1, 2020 at 9:24am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The two have been friends since 2014, when he treated her after a minor car accident.</p> <p>The friendship between the pair was discussed in the podcast<span> </span><em>Dolly Parton’s America</em>, hosted by public radio veteran Jad Abumrad.</p> <p>"At some point, Jad realised that there was someone calling on his father's phone and their name was an interesting pseudonym. He asked his dad about it and he says, 'Oh, it's Dolly. I just help out when she needs some advice,'" Dolly Parton's America producer Shima Oliaee said in an interview with <span><em>Pocket Casts</em>.</span> "He's a good friend that advises her when she has a question. So that was the first step."</p> <p>This isn’t the first time Parton has showed off her generosity. In 1990, the singer established Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program that sends low-income children free books every month from birth to age five. During the coronavirus pandemic, Parton is hosting<span> </span><em>Goodnight With Dolly,</em><span> </span>a series where she reads children’s books out loud, beginning with<span> </span><em>The Little Engine That Could</em>.</p> <p>It is estimated that a vaccine for COVID-19 could be ready within 12-18 months, with over 20 vaccines currently in the works.</p>

Music

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COVID concerts: Celebrities around the world who are performing for us

<p>While people around the world confine themselves to their homes so as not to contract or further the spread of the deadly coronavirus, A-listers are live-streaming mini-performances on social media.</p> <p>On Monday, Global Citizen – an organisation that focuses on combatting poverty – announced their new At Home Together series. <span>The concert was live streamed by musician John Legend, however he is not the only celebrity to take it upon themselves to bring a little brightness via a phone or laptop screen during this unprecedented period of social isolation.</span></p> <p>Pink took to Instagram to perform Adele’s "Make You Feel My Love", while Australian powerhouse Keith Urban shared his own special performance which featured his actress wife, Nicole Kidman.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B90HBXEJxP3/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B90HBXEJxP3/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by P!NK (@pink)</a> on Mar 16, 2020 at 5:13pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Cellist Yo-Yo Ma posted a video on Twitter with her own special message: “This is for the healthcare workers on the frontlines — the Sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 3,” he wrote, sharing a two-minute clip of himself playing. “Your ability to balance human connection and scientific truth in service of us all gives me hope.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B90JN2kBdsE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B90JN2kBdsE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Keith Urban (@keithurban)</a> on Mar 16, 2020 at 6:17pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The musicians using their platform to spread a little bit of hope has been received well from fans who are at home.</p> <p>“Thank you for this, I cannot stop watching this performance. Nicole was a nice touch!” one excited fan wrote beneath Keith Urban’s performance post.</p> <p>Another wrote that Pink’s cover was “spectacular! And so very necessary for the soul.”</p> <p> </p>

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Neil Diamond reworks ‘Sweet Caroline’ to encourage hand washing

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Legendary singer-songwriter Neil Diamond has joined a growing number of actors and musicians that are encouraging persistent hand-washing and social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>He posted a video on Saturday night of him at his home playing “Sweet Caroline”.</p> <p>“I know we’re going through a rough time right now, but I love you, and I think maybe if we sing together we might feel a little bit better,” he says during the video.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Stay safe out there! “Hands... washing hands..” 🎶 <a href="https://t.co/QaRB1qZshp">pic.twitter.com/QaRB1qZshp</a></p> — Neil Diamond (@NeilDiamond) <a href="https://twitter.com/NeilDiamond/status/1241584423927074818?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 22, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Diamond proceeds to sing the opening verse of “Sweet Caroline” with the revised chorus, saying “Hands, washing hands, reaching out, don’t touch me, I won’t touch you!”</p> <p>The video has racked up more than 1.2 million views on Twitter alone.</p> <p>Diamond is just one of many musicians that are taking to social media to perform for their followers, with John Legend and Chris Martin recently performing a mini concert in their homes for their followers.</p> <p>Actors, such as Josh Gad, are using the time in quarantine to do daily book readings for kids and adults.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Duchess Kate reveals Prince Louis’ favourite song

<p>The youngest child of Prince William and Duchess Kate is reaching more milestones. As he is approaching his second birthday in April, Prince Louis has been revealed to start developing taste in music.</p> <p>During a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the 25th anniversary of youth mental health charity Place2Be on Monday, Duchess Kate told student choir teams from New North Academy and Salisbury Primary School of her youngest son’s favourite tune.</p> <p>The students collaborated with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to perform an original song for the Duchess as part of the event.</p> <p>“You’ve written it especially for tonight?” the 38-year-old said of the song. “Thank you so much! What a treat for me.”</p> <p>After it was revealed that two of the choir members were having their birthday, the Duchess joked that it ought to be her singing to them instead.</p> <p>She went on to share that the classic song <em>Happy Birthday </em>is “one of Louis’s favourite songs” and added that the young prince was “tucked up in bed” and therefore absent from the event.</p> <p>The Duchess of Cambridge has been a royal patron of the organisation since 2013.</p> <p>“Place2Be was one of the first charities I became patron of,” she said in a speech at the event.</p> <p>“I knew it was special then, but having spent many years since, learning about the importance of childhood development, I see even more the value in the work that you do and I am hugely grateful for all that you have taught me over the past seven years.</p> <p>“You taught me the importance of creating safe and nurturing environments within schools, embracing a holistic view of emotional well-being which permeates through the whole school system. You also taught me that it’s the simplest things that make a difference to children. It’s the quality time that is spent with them. It’s the time you take to listen to them.”</p>

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​Dolly Parton reveals hopes for future: “I don’t plan to retire”

<p><span>Dolly Parton has opened up about her plans for the future, and says she has no plans to slow down anytime soon.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9fqaDeA5xs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9fqaDeA5xs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Jessica (@jessica_jam)</a> on Mar 8, 2020 at 6:38pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>"I don't plan to retire, I just turned 74!” She told reporter Tom Steinfort in a 60 Minutes interview.</span><br /><br /><span>The award-winning star also shared her plans for her 75th birthday, admitting she plans “to be on the cover of Playboy magazine again”.</span><br /><br /><span>Dolly first made her grand debut on the coveted magazine back in 1978.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9fgdS9ns7B/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9fgdS9ns7B/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Classic Country Music Fan Page (@_classic_outlaws_)</a> on Mar 8, 2020 at 5:11pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>"I thought it would be such a hoot. If they'll go for it. I don't know if they will."</span><br /><br /><span>With over 53 years of 160 million record sales and an undeniable charisma that has continued to draw in hoards of loving fans, Dolly Parton is the most successful country artist of all time.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9fNBkED0Jw/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9fNBkED0Jw/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Miss Dolly ♥️ #DollyParton</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/cordially_katie/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Katie</a> (@cordially_katie) on Mar 8, 2020 at 2:21pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>The star also went on to admit she is no stranger to cosmetic surgery, and is happy to be the centre of attention rather than shy away from it.</span><br /><br /><span>"I always say good lighting, good makeup and good doctors - and a good attitude don't hurt either,” she said.</span></p>

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Elton John and Olivia Newton-John reunite in Melbourne

<p>Olivia Newton-John has reunited with her “brilliant, longtime friend” Elton John at his concert in Melbourne.</p> <p>The <em>Grease </em>star visited the 72-year-old singer backstage before his Saturday show at the AAMI Park and shared the picture they took together on Instagram.</p> <p>“So wonderful to see my brilliant, longtime friend Elton John at his amazing Melbourne concert. Thank you matey,” Newton-John wrote on a Monday post.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B88KY1gH-Cp/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B88KY1gH-Cp/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">So wonderful to see my brilliant, longtime friend @eltonjohn at his amazing Melbourne concert.Thank you matey❤️👏🏼 #eltonjohn #olivianewtonjohn #melbourne #australia</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/therealonj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Olivia Newton-john</a> (@therealonj) on Feb 23, 2020 at 10:45pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>John performed in front of 30,000 fans on Saturday following his walking pneumonia diagnosis, which forced him to <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/16/health/what-is-walking-pneumonia-trnd/index.html">stop a gig in New Zealand earlier this month</a>.</p> <p>“My doctor said I shouldn’t do the show tonight and I said ‘bollocks’ or words to that effect,” John told the audience.</p> <p>“I wasn’t going to miss this. I’m glad I came. My voice is a little rusty, but you’ve been so amazing. You’ve carried me through the night, thank you.”</p> <p>He also dedicated the song <em>Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me </em>to Newton-John, whom he referred to as “Dame Olivia”.</p> <p>“She is such a wonderful, inspiring woman, a great artist and a whole lotta fun,” he said.</p> <p>“I respect and love you so much, it was so great to see you before the show looking as great as you do, bless you forever.”</p> <p>John is set to complete his Australian tour on March 7, with the last concert taking place in Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium.</p>

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What it feels like to perform Beethoven on today's stage

<p><em>In a series marking the 250th year of his birth, we analyse the brilliance of Ludwig van Beethoven.</em></p> <p>When Beethoven died in 1827, thousands of pages of highly notated music were bequeathed to posterity. Yet unlike arts such as painting and sculpture, which communicate directly from the artist to the observer, these otherwise silent pages demand resuscitation. They require performance.</p> <p>From all accounts, Beethoven was an extraordinary pianist. In playing his own compositions, however, he combined two roles that are now necessarily separate: those of composer and performer.</p> <p>How, then, might one recapture the essence of Beethoven’s music in modern times?</p> <p><strong>Playing the part</strong></p> <p>Performing music is akin to acting, where words by long-dead playwrights are given new life. It is a subtle art, honed over years, and is successful only when the “voice” of the performer finds alignment with that of the author, neither one cancelling out the other.</p> <p>Similarly, the role of the performer is distinct and important when interpreting classical music. As with drama it has an added power, as both the content of the music and its performance can be art. When the two synthesise, great music can truly live.</p> <p>Finding a composer’s individual voice takes careful study, and Beethoven’s music is a notable case. He lived at a pivotal time, when the role of composers evolved from functionaries of courts and chapels to artists in their own right. Famously, he wrote some of the first music considered “absolute” - music conveying something of great significance, without reference to a programmatic story or other form of text.</p> <p>Through decades of <a href="https://www.abcmusic.com.au/scott-davie">experience</a> as a pianist, I’ve found Beethoven’s music requires a different approach to that of his Viennese contemporaries. With Mozart, it is often best to stand back, to let the composer do the talking. With Schubert one needs patience, and an empathy for moments of simple bliss.</p> <p>By contrast, Beethoven’s music needs to be championed. One needs to grasp it with both hands, to join in the fight (so to speak), as the following three examples illustrate.</p> <p><strong>A virtuoso musician</strong></p> <p>Beethoven was a virtuoso at the keyboard, as much of his music attests. There are few works harder to perform at the piano than the famous Hammerklavier sonata, and great dexterity and flair are required in works such as the Waldstein and Appassionata sonatas.</p> <p>Beethoven’s earliest sonatas are dedicated to Joseph Haydn, his “teacher” in Vienna. This could be read as a mark of respect, yet, more cynically, one suspects he was ensuring they caught his eye, for what follows is Beethoven trying to out-Haydn Haydn.</p> <p>With unassuming simplicity, the C major sonata summarises brilliantly the thematic kernel of its opening movement in just four bars. Yet the phrase simultaneously presents a technical problem that stumps many pianists: clever fingering is required with the right-hand double thirds, or else they’ll never be crisp!</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/u_ugeUaKo1s"></iframe></div> <p>The movement’s following pages at times require the keyboard to be played as if invoking the force of a full symphonic orchestra, while other passages are more soloistic. The unexpected inclusion of a dramatic solo cadenza highlights further the cross-genre “tease” of the musical content.</p> <p>It’s masterly stuff, and to succeed in performance it’s beneficial to understand the clever wit of its subtext. This includes both the quick moves between soloist and orchestral roles, and the furtive wink back to <a href="https://www.classicfm.com/composers/beethoven/guides/beethoven-and-haydn-their-relationship/">Haydn</a>, which seems to say “See what I can do? I have no need of a teacher now”.</p> <h2>A philosopher</h2> <p>We don’t often credit the young as capable of profound sentiment, but many of Beethoven’s early works feature moments of the sublime.</p> <p>Of note is the slow movement of the early Sonata in D major, written when he was 28. However seven years later, the slow movement of the Fourth Piano Concerto reveals Beethoven as a fully matured philosopher.</p> <p>The orchestra begins with fierce outbursts, yet the piano is unmoved as it responds. At length, the pianist’s passivity and arching melodic lines gain dominance as the orchestra subsides, only to be momentarily undermined by a solo passage of trembling and unresolved harmony.</p> <p>Eventually, all conflict resolves. As an exchange, the movement is dialectical in its structure. From the viewpoint of the pianist, it is like participating in Greek tragedy; it’s a role that must be played with great conviction for the powerful drama to succeed.</p> <h2>A modernist</h2> <p>Given Beethoven’s iconic status among audiences, it’s easy to forget he was a modernist. Even today, performers flinch at the original final movement of his late B flat major string quartet - a movement that still astounds in its dissonance, and which the composer felt obliged to replace.</p> <p>Similar glimpses of music’s future lie in other late works, not least the quixotic final set of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagatelle_(music)">Bagatelles</a> for piano, published in 1825.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_mi8CQmeupI"></iframe></div> <p>In the last piece, the noisy opening recalls the closing bars of the Ninth Symphony, yet this is but a curtain-raiser to the music’s quiet core. The thematic material is disarmingly simple, consisting initially of offbeat, right-hand chords, while the harmony is rudimentary, the static left-hand part suggesting a rustic drone.</p> <p>This is music that stretches notions of time, even, in places, apprehending minimalism. Yet moments of profundity are swept away, as it slips into a carefree waltz. The eschewing of complexity is prescient.</p> <p>To perform this piece well is to be transported and transformed, the audience carried to the long-forgotten realm of a composer who, despite the stresses of his final years, appears to have found peace.</p> <p>Like J. Alfred Prufrock in T. S. Eliot’s famous <a href="https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/44212/the-love-song-of-j-alfred-prufrock">poem</a>, it is as if we linger in “the chambers of the sea” for a while. Until the opening bars return to wake us, and we drown.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/129184/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/scott-davie-406049">Scott Davie</a>, Lecturer in Piano, School of Music, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/performing-beethoven-what-it-feels-like-to-embody-a-master-on-todays-stage-129184">original article</a>.</em></p>

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"Never again": Why Michael Bublé has sworn off social media

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Canadian singer Michael Bublé has revealed why he no longer uses social media in an interview with<span> </span><em>The Daily Telegraph</em>.</p> <p>Bublé is now touring a sold out tour in Australia as he cancelled a tour in 2016 after his son Noah was diagnosed with liver cancer hepatoblastoma. Buble made the decision to be with his family and stay by his son’s side as Noah underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy.</p> <p>Bublé made the decision to no longer post photos of his personal life and live in the moment for his three children, Noah, seven, Elias, four and Vida, one, who he shares with wife Luisana Lopilato after Noah’s diagnosis.</p> <p>“There is a reason why I am a different human being,” he said to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/canadian-singer-michael-buble-explains-why-he-has-dumped-social-media/news-story/2487ea5da433806bc6732cd85ba0a910" target="_blank">The Daily Telegraph</a></em>. “I am grateful. I genuinely appreciate people so much. I am completely liberated as a human, as an artist, as an entertainer.</p> <p>“I have been through the worst thing that could happen to you and now I sing karaoke for money and I am out there laughing and crying and dancing and I love every second.”</p> <p>After being by his son’s side after cancer treatment, Bublé has since sworn off social media for life as he vows to be more present.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BJnSoWmjUrz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BJnSoWmjUrz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Michael Bublé (@michaelbuble)</a> on Aug 27, 2016 at 6:31am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“A lot of it was a philosophical change of really trying to choose to just be in the moment and to like wake up in the morning and to check myself and go, ‘hey dude, you are a lucky man, go out there and show your kids with your actions’ because most of my life was spent being a narcissistic d**k.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BLoIek9jPFg/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BLoIek9jPFg/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Michael Bublé (@michaelbuble)</a> on Oct 16, 2016 at 7:25am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>He still has active Twitter and Instagram accounts, but doesn’t check them personally as his team takes care of them for him.</p> <p>“Never again,” he said of social media. “I just think for me I let my insecurity get the best of me because I wasn’t the guy that could read a review and be okay with it. I would end up calling the person. It is just better for me, more healthy.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

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"Nasty and ungracious”: Elton John exposes feud with Madonna in new book

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pop legends Elton John and Madonna have had an ongoing feud for years as they battled against each other in the music charts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, things have come to a head as John has revealed in his latest autobiography, as he said that Madonna is “nasty and ungracious”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"> After Madonna said that one of Lady Gaga’s hits </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Born This Way</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> was “reductive”, John went in to defend his close friend.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said: “Her tour is a disaster and it couldn’t happen to a bigger ****.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If Madonna had any common sense, she would have made a record like Ray of Light, stayed away from the dance stuff and just been a great pop singer and made pop records, which she does brilliantly.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But no, she had to prove that she was like…</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And she looks like a f****** fairground stripper.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He revealed what really happened in his autobiography ‘</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Me: Elton John’</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2zX0BQjDfE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2zX0BQjDfE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Elton John (@eltonjohn)</a> on Sep 24, 2019 at 10:44am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said: “I got that Gaga’s single ‘Born This Way’ definitely sounded similar to ‘Express Yourself’, but I couldn’t see why she was so ungracious and nasty about it, rather than taking it as a compliment when a new generation of artists was influenced by her, particularly when she claims to be a champion for women.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He also said that due to his years-long friendship with interviewer Molly Meldrum, he did not expect the footage to be aired.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Still, I shouldn’t have said it. I apologised afterwards when I bumped into her in a restaurant in France and she was very gracious about it.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, John ran his mouth later on, calling out Madonna for lip-syncing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Madonna, best live act? F*** off. Since when has lip-syncing been live?” John said in 2004 after accepting an award for classic songwriter at the 2004 Q Awards.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Sorry about that, but I think everyone who lip-syncs on stage in public when you pay like 75 quid to see them should be shot. Thank you very much. That’s me off her Christmas card list, but do I give a toss? No.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Madonna addressed the matter in 2012 backstage at the Golden Globes, after she won Best Original Song.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She said: “I hope he speaks to me for the next couple of years. He’s known to get mad at me… He’ll win another award. I don’t feel bad.”</span></p>

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Why do we like sad music?

<p>A magnificently scornful piece in <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/nov/28/odesza-oceaan-sylas-sad-bangers">The Guardian</a> this weekend flagged the trend for “sad bangers”, music in which, “Sensitive lads across the land have abandoned their cardies and acoustic guitars for varsity jackets and libraries of soft synths”.</p> <p>Not to be confused with neo-classical cross-overs, such as the magnificent A Winged Victory for the Sullen, sad bangers are much closer to TV Scandic noir theme music by artists such as Ólafur Arnalds which, “Carry the faint imprint of dubstep, house or R&amp;B without ever threatening to rattle your speakers.”</p> <p>The accompanying visual images are of Icelandic tundra, craggy lakes, and big, cloudy skies: you get the idea. The Guardian journalist isn’t a fan:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>It’s a feeble attempt to persuade you that the music’s lack of commitment or thrust is somehow enigmatic, rather than a cop-out.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>I am not an emotional man. To paraphrase Jerome K. Jerome, if my eyes fill with tears, you can bet it is because I have been eating raw onions, or have put too much Worcester over my chop. Nonetheless, like everyone else, I love sad music - Radiohead’s Harry Patch has understandably been everywhere over the past few months, for instance - raising the question of why is it so popular?</p> <p>There are two types of explanation, namely those from social psychology and those from cognitive neuroscience.</p> <p>The most mainstream social psychological explanation is provided by the well-known process of downward social comparison. Put simply this says that we can feel better about ourselves by focusing on someone who is doing worse: we gain an improved sense of self-regard by telling ourselves that we are experiencing nothing like the emotional turmoil experienced by the musician playing a sad song.</p> <p>This is not terribly convincing to my mind though. I would be absurdly narcissistic to find Harry Patch beautiful simply because, as a British passport holder, it reminds me how fortunate I was to have avoided conscription into the British army in the first world war: it is moving because there is something poignant about the passing of the last Tommy.</p> <p>Similarly, if we like sad music because it allows us to tell ourselves we are nothing like the musicians playing it then we would be very unwilling to identify with the musician in question. And of course, the makers of sad music, most notably The Smiths, have tended to attract the most die-hard fans who actually identify themselves very closely indeed with the musicians.</p> <p>Another social psychological explanation for the popularity of sad music at the moment comes from broader consideration of culture. We know that people like to listen to music that mirrors the more general emotional tone of their current life circumstances, and so it is not surprising that sad music should be popular in late 2014 when almost every country in the western world is experiencing some degree of social, political, or economic turmoil.</p> <p>By this argument, sad bangers are popular because they provide an opportunity for positive, thoughtful reflection on one’s life, acting as an acoustic sherpa that guides you through the valley of sorrow and back onto the sunny side of the street.</p> <p>Again this social psychological explanation seems weak. It is not as though music in a minor key only reaches the charts when there is a recession. Although many fans of The Smiths won’t have cared for Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies of the mid- to late-1980s, some would have benefited from the stronger economy of the time, making economic turmoil unconvincing as a necessary and sufficient pre-cursor to Morrissey’s popularity.</p> <p>Instead it makes more sense to ignore sociocultural factors and instead focus on what is happening inside the mind and brain of the listener when hearing sad music. One theory argues that listening to sad music leads to the release of opiates, as the body prepares itself to adapt to a traumatic event: of course, since all that is really happening is that the person is listening to music, and so no traumatic event ever actually materialises, the listener is left with a body full of opiates and nothing nasty for them to mitigate: pleasure ensues.</p> <p>Other cognitive neuroscience approaches have focused on what we really mean when we say that we perceive a piece of music is “sad”. Meta-mood explanations are similar to the downward social comparison approach, and describe how we might feel sad in response to a piece of music, but also feel happy at a more abstract level about feeling this sadness.</p> <p>It is important to distinguish the sadness we perceive in a piece of music (i.e., the emotional valence of the music) from the emotion actually experienced as a consequence (i.e., happiness).</p> <p>Some go even further and argue that one can explain liking for sad music by distinguishing two types of pleasure, namely immediate sensory pleasure (which results from listening to happy music) and analytical, detached pleasure (which can be, for instance, the sense of satisfaction arising from sad music).</p> <p>There may even be a special separate set of aesthetic emotions which are only employed in the context of the arts, and which are entirely separate from our normal, everyday emotions.</p> <p>We may experience feelings of transcendence and awe that come about only in the context of artistic experiences - when did you last experience transcendence and awe while doing the ironing - and some form of sadness might be another of these special aesthetic responses to music that is actually pleasurable because it is qualitatively different from normal, everyday sadness.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/34879/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adrian-north-64734">Adrian North</a>, Head of School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-do-we-like-sad-music-34879">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Listening to music can give you an edge to win

<p><strong>More than just easy listening</strong></p> <p>Millions of joggers habitually cope with the physical discomfort of running using the distractive effects of music, in particular by synchronising their stride rate to the tempo of the music.</p> <p>Swimmers now embrace the tedium of endless laps by tuning in to their favourite tracks, thanks to tiny MP3 players that clip onto goggles and deliver music through the cheekbone direct into the inner ear.</p> <p>For athletes to be headphone-clad has been de rigeur for many years but it now appears to be almost compulsory.</p> <p>After music devotee Michael Phelps swam to an all-time record of eight Olympic gold medals in 2008, one of his first tasks when arriving home was to personally thank rap artist Lil’ Wayne for the inspiration he had provided in Beijing.<span class="attribution"><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/" class="license"></a></span></p> <p>But is the ubiquitous use of music by athletes and exercisers justified or simply hype? Well, decades of research on the use of music in sport and exercise has confirmed some powerful effects and surprising benefits.</p> <p><strong>Music and performance</strong></p> <p>The first published <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23267224.1911.10651270#.VDuQUfmSyyc">study</a> on the subject, in 1911, showed that cyclists in a six-day race in New York produced faster lap times when a brass band was playing.</p> <p>Although it was impossible to separate the effects of the music from the increased crowd noise that it generated, this humble observation paved the way for the many scientific studies that have followed.</p> <p>A recent meta-analysis of more than 100 empirical investigations of music in sport and exercise conducted over the past century has confirmed that music produces significant beneficial effects on psychological responses, perceived exertion, physical performance, and even physiological functioning.</p> <p>Although it should be no surprise that music influences psychological responses, – especially our moods, emotions and feelings – the ways that athletes use music to manipulate their pre-competition mindset are occasionally surprising.</p> <p>Olympic rowing champion, James Cracknell, listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Get On Top to inspire him to the ultimate effort is logical enough.</p> <p>But what music would you recommend to an Olympic super-heavyweight boxer before his gold medal bout? Tina Turner’s Simply The Best or Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger would be popular choices. But how about Japanese classical music?</p> <p>When you’re a technical boxer trying to generate the qualities of speed, lightness, precision and relaxation to outbox a brawling opponent then his choice of music starts to make sense. It certainly worked for Great Britain’s Audley Harrison, a former student of mine, at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.</p> <p><strong>The rhythm of exercise</strong></p> <p>Music has the capacity to reduce perceived exertion by about 10% when used during physical activity, which explains the enduring popularity of exercise-to-music classes.</p> <p>The stimulative and motivational properties of up-tempo music, with lyrics that encourage effort (Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run, Britney Spears’ Stronger) and associations of glory or success (M People’s Search For The Hero, Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive) typically help exercisers to work harder for longer by masking the objective level of effort. In turn, this produces a performance benefit that some elite performers have been able to exploit.</p> <p>Ethiopian superstar runner, Haile Gebrselassie, the double Olympic 10,000m gold medallist and multiple world champion, has broken several world records while running in time to the high-tempo song Scatman, the rhythm and tempo of which he describes as “<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/the-running-blog/2013/may/10/haile-gebrselassie-interview">perfect for running</a>”.</p> <p>A 2012 <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21803652">study</a> conducted with elite triathletes at the Queensland Academy of Sport showed that treadmill running to exhaustion was increased by a staggering 18% when participants ran in time to music that included everything from Oasis and UB40 to Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, compared to completing the same task without music.</p> <p>Such clear performance benefits have caused music to be labelled a “<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/raiseyourgame/sites/motivation/psychedup/pages/costas_karageorghis.shtml">legal drug</a>” by some commentators.</p> <p>Perhaps for this reason, many sports prohibit listening to music while performing. The New York Marathon famously tried to “<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/01/sports/01iht-run.1.8142612.html">strongly discourage</a>” competitors from using personal listening devices in 2007, ostensibly for safety reasons.</p> <p>The outcry and outright defiance from a large proportion of recreational runners who used their iPods regardless, caused race organisers to subsequently restrict the ban to elite runners, many of whom prefer to focus attention on sensory feedback from their own bodies rather than, as they see it, the distracting effects of music.</p> <p><strong>Sing when you’re winning</strong></p> <p>Of course nothing can prevent athletes from creating their own musical rhythm during a race, like six-time marathon kayak world champion, Anna Hemmings, who gained an edge by singing R. Kelly’s The World’s Greatest to herself, but only during the world championships so as not to dilute its impact.</p> <p>Other <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21803652;%20http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22828457">recent studies</a> have demonstrated greater physiological efficiency when exercising to music, notably the completion of identical workloads using significantly less oxygen consumption than without music. This indicates that music effects are far more than just a psychological phenomenon.</p> <p>Whether the physiological benefits are explained by greater biomechanical efficiency derived from a metronome effect, improved blood flow derived from a generalised relaxation response, or some other mechanism that is not yet well understood, there is little doubt about the wide-ranging potential benefits of listening to music.</p> <p>There’s no shortage of ways to use music to your advantage and many different musical genres have been shown to boost athletic performance, although preferably not something that leaves the Wallabies giggling before taking on the All Blacks in Brisbane tomorrow evening.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/32822/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-terry-140674">Peter Terry</a>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/want-to-win-let-music-give-you-the-edge-32822">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Why seeing live music as a child matters

<p>The mass media invented the teenager during the 1950s and 60s – and thus emerged a whole new audience for popular culture. What we’re seeing now is the recognition of children as an ever more important audience. Musicians and performers, including many <a href="http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2014/Family/">on the program</a> at the Sydney Festival, are tailoring their shows to meet the needs of their young fans.</p> <p>Of course adolescence was nothing new back in the 1950s – but teenagers became an identifiable group who were targeted by people selling music, advertising and live performance in a way that they never had been during this time.</p> <p>The follow-on effect has been quite remarkable, with 50s and 60s teenagers – AKA babyboomers – continuing their teenage patterns of music and media consumption.</p> <p>As Andy Bennett and his colleagues have noted of the emerging era of <a href="http://www.bloomsbury.com/au/ageing-and-youth-cultures-9781847888358/">Aging and Popular Music Studies</a>, “in the early 21st century, the concept of ‘youth culture’ appears increasingly ambiguous and open to interpretation”. Audiences don’t grow out of mass media consumption, live music, and arts performance – rather, they take those habits with them as they grow up and on.</p> <p><strong>Step aside, teens, the kids are in town</strong></p> <p>If the teenager was invented in the 50s and 60s, the pre-teenager, the “tween” (in between child and teenager) and even the toddler, have been created by changes in the late 1990s and into the 2000s.</p> <p>The rise of Australian children’s entertainers <a href="http://www.thewiggles.com/">The Wiggles</a> as all-round performers, composers, merchandisers and popular music innovators has proven that an audience once considered too young for “youth music” is, in fact, a group to be considered.</p> <p>Not only have The Wiggles had <a href="http://www.brw.com.au/p/brw-lounge/the_biggest_earners_in_show_business_pL28d9FkZRUrlqqg0LoCmJ">the type of financial success</a> most musicians can only dream of, theirs is a unique position in terms of influencing the next generation of music makers.</p> <p>This was demonstrated by <a href="https://shop.abc.net.au/products/rewiggled-a-tribute-to-the-wiggles">Re-Wiggled</a>, a covers album released for The Wiggles’ 20th anniversary, in which “grown-up” musicians gave the pre-school fodder serious treatment. Particularly impressive are offerings by bands with members in their twenties. Their first experiences of The Wiggles come full circle with the new recordings.</p> <p><strong>Live music for young audiences</strong></p> <p>Listening to recorded music at home with your family is such an important thing for kids, and it can unquestionably set off a lifelong love of music. But seeing music live with a group of strangers is something else again.</p> <p>Live music remains an important part of a working musician’s life and a music fan’s experience, with a <a href="http://www.apra-amcos.com.au/news/allnews/LiveMusicfuelsAustralianeconomytothetuneof%2412billion.aspx">2011 study</a> finding that live music in Australia is an industry worth over a billion dollars. Once that light has been fired up, it seems, it’s hard to extinguish.</p> <p>It makes sense then that live music and performance generally for young audiences being increasingly incorporated into community festivals and live performance events.</p> <p>Dedicated kids performances and experiences, such as Ali McGregor’s <a href="http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2014/Family/Jazzamatazz!/">Jazzamattazz! At The Spiegeltent</a> for the current Sydney Festival, a show she previously <a href="https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/childrens-shows/ali-mcgregor-s-jazzamatazz">toured</a> at other large cultural events such as the Edinburgh Fringe. It’s not unlike other successful shows, such as Holly Throsby’s program, in previous years.</p> <p>These aim to acknowledge the special needs of young fans with early starting times and encouraged interaction. At these events kids learn how to be audiences in person rather than consumers at home.</p> <p>We’re also seeing children’s events at key venues, such as the <a href="http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/about/program_kids_at_the_house.aspx">Kids at the House</a> programs at the Sydney Opera House. It would be great to see more opportunities set regionally, and perhaps even staged for free or at discounted rates.</p> <p>Tailoring live music to young audiences helps provide a more rounded musical experience generally, but can also build up lifelong music and arts-going habits. By tying these shows to a broader experience – of going to the annual festival, say, or to a particular venue – the hope is that audiences may continue to visit those places/ events in years to come.</p> <p><strong>An intimate and a social experience</strong></p> <p>In a recent book, <a href="http://au.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405192410.html">Why Music Matters</a>, music academic and fan David Hesmondhalgh tackles the puzzle of music’s appeal.</p> <p>Exploring music across a range of different types of artistic expressions and audience experiences, he argues that “the fact that music matters so much to so many people may derive from two contrasting yet complementary dimensions of modern societies” – that is, “the intimate and the social, the private and the public”.</p> <p>Similarly, the British <a href="http://livemusicexchange.org/">Live Music Exchange</a>, headed up by iconic industry and academic commentators Martin Cloonan and Simon Frith, also makes the case for the importance of both private and public music engagement.</p> <p>Locally, initiatives such as <a href="http://slamrally.org/">Save Live Music Australia</a> actively put their weight behind the maintenance of a sustainable live music culture in Australia. The grassroots organisation is backed as much by those onstage and in the audience – a love for the live experience is something shared across the barriers as well as during all stages of life.</p> <p>Being able to access mediated music whenever we want – either via broadcasting, digital delivery or personal recorded music collections – is something that many young listeners get attached to at a very young age. But experiencing music live, as often and as young as we can, provides something special again.</p> <p>It gives a type of context for where sounds are coming from, and the first steps into learning how we socially experience something that matters so much to so many. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/22003/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liz-giuffre-105499">Liz Giuffre</a>, Lecturer of Media, Music and Cultural Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/shows-for-little-people-why-seeing-live-music-early-matters-22003">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Three evolutionary perks of singing

<p>We’re enjoying the one time of year when protests of “I can’t sing!” are laid aside and we sing carols with others. For some this is a once-a-year special event; the rest of the year is left to the professionals to handle the singing (except, perhaps, some alone time in the shower or car).</p> <p>Music – and singing in particular, as the oldest and only ubiquitous form of music creation – plays a central role in our lives and shared community experiences, and this has been true for every culture for as far back as we can trace our <a href="http://msx.sagepub.com/content/12/1_suppl/147.short">human ancestors</a>.</p> <p>So does singing in a group provide specific and tangible benefits, or is it merely a curious ability that provides entertainment through creative expression?</p> <p>This is a question currently of great interest to evolutionary theorists, linguists, psychologists and musicologists. The debate took off when psychologist <a href="http://stevenpinker.com/biocv">Steven Pinker</a> stated his opinion that music is a spandrel – a useless evolutionary by-product of another, useful, trait. In this case, he <a href="http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/media/1998_02_07_independentsunday.html">suggested</a> that music is a spandrel of language development, providing no advantage and serving no purpose.</p> <p>There are strong links between music and language development, although there is no consensus on the actual nature of the relationship. <a href="http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=5N-5ufxUuJkC&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PR7&amp;dq=mithen+language+music&amp;ots=Nmz7BqWOGN&amp;sig=cORWFrjZRXp0u0foYweaNXpVgsA&amp;redir_esc=y#v=onepage&amp;q=mithen%20language%20music&amp;f=false">Arguments</a> include theories that:</p> <ul> <li>language developed from music</li> <li>music sprang from language</li> <li>they both developed from a proto-language that was musical in nature</li> <li>they developed concurrently.</li> </ul> <p>A <a href="http://pom.sagepub.com/content/33/3/269.short">strong body</a> of <a href="http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/intellect/jaah/2010/00000001/00000001/art00003">research</a> conducted with choirs indicates that membership has many benefits to individual wellbeing and physical health. It is possible these effects are due to people – the singers – participating in something they enjoy doing. Or, there may be something more elemental taking place.<span class="attribution"><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/" class="license"></a></span></p> <p>If these findings are viewed through an evolutionary lens, though, there is compelling evidence that music making provided some very specific benefits for our ancestors. Specifically, there are three theories which have been proposed that, if true, may explain these effects while suggesting that group singing is still beneficial to all:</p> <ol> <li>singing creates a shared emotional experience</li> <li>singing increases social bonding</li> <li>singing improves cognitive function.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Sing us a song, you’re the hominid</strong></p> <p>Our hominid ancestors used music to create <a href="http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/40285265?uid=2&amp;uid=4&amp;sid=21105364197793">shared emotional experiences</a>. This would have been particularly important for early hominids struggling to survive, because emotions serve as a kind of “red flag” to our cognitive processing systems, signalling that something critical requires attention.</p> <p>Emotions prioritise the many options that we may have at any given time, and reduces “data overload” from the bombardment of senses that we experience. Hominids, like many other primates, could have developed very small social groups, or even no social groups.</p> <p>But the ability for a large group to work cooperatively together was more advantageous than individuals attempting to survive alone. In order to cooperate, individuals needed to subsume their individual priorities for action, and learn to delay gratification so that the good of the group could take precedence (such as forgoing eating or sleeping in order to build a shelter). Group singing likely provided a rewarding, positive activity where emotional empathy could be developed.</p> <p>We know that interacting with music today is, for <a href="https://theconversation.com/video-why-some-people-just-dont-like-music-28605">almost everyone</a>, both an emotional and overwhelmingly positive experience. Music is also used to reinforce positive moods and manage negative moods. Adolescents regularly use music as an effective <a href="http://pom.sagepub.com/content/35/1/88.short">mood regulator</a>.</p> <p>Others put music to targeted purposes; many athletes use music to put them in a mood state that supports peak performance (and research shows it to be an <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25202850">effective strategy</a>). Music’s ability to change or reinforce a mood relies on the same principle of emotion contagion.</p> <p><strong>Social significance</strong></p> <p>Second, music engagement would likely have led to increased <a href="http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4615-1221-9_9#page-1">pro-social behaviours</a>. This would be supported by a shared emotional state, which relies on empathic skills (empathy) to spread.</p> <p>But music is also at the centre of where we first learn to be sociable – in the <a href="http://msx.sagepub.com/content/3/1_suppl/29.short">mother-infant bond</a>. Infants are mesmerised by their mothers’ infant-directed singing. It is a communication tool between mother and infant, and is highly companionable in nature.<span class="attribution"><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/" class="license"></a></span></p> <p>Listening to a mother sing has an immediate and profound impact on an infant’s arousal and attention, including physical responses. These musical communications are highly effective despite the infant not understanding the linguistics involved. They are also universal; lullabies are recognisable as such in virtually <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/pmu/10/2/73/">every culture</a> on Earth.</p> <p>There are strong indications that group music making and social behaviours are still linked today. Individuals with <a href="http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/40300863?uid=2&amp;uid=4&amp;sid=21105364472083">Williams Syndrome</a>, in addition to profound cognitive deficits, are known for both their love of music and their incredible sociability.</p> <p>Music therapy has been shown to reliably <a href="http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD004381/BEHAV_music-therapy-for-people-with-autism-spectrum-disorder">improve social behaviours</a> in individuals on the autism spectrum. Choir members consistently report that <a href="http://rsh.sagepub.com/content/121/4/248.short">social bonds</a> are one of the primary benefits of choir membership.</p> <p>More experimental studies indicate that instrumental jazz musicians use the <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/charles_limb_your_brain_on_improv?language=en">communication centres</a> of their brains when coordinating play, and that guitarists and even audience members experience synchronised brain waves when a duet is played (see video below).</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DQwDVf3ydUM"></iframe></div> <p>Studies also show that musical interactions increase both <a href="http://pom.sagepub.com/content/41/4/484.short">empathy</a> and <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090513810000462">pro-social behaviours</a> in children.</p> <p>Taken together, the evidence points to a strong link between co-creation of music and improved social bonding.</p> <p><strong>Getting ahead</strong></p> <p>Finally, evolutionary theorists argue that it was their musicality that allowed hominids to develop what is known as the “<a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/content/317/5843/1344.short">social brain</a>”, while others argue that the complex brain we enjoy today developed to keep track of large social networks. It may have been a bit of both.</p> <p>By creating a shared emotional experience and increasing members’ pro-social behaviours, group singing supported complex social networks. Tracking and managing complex social networks may have led to the development of the neocortex. This brain region supports the suite of abilities known as <a href="http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/executive+function">executive function</a>, which provide the skills necessary to make and implement long-term plans.</p> <p>It also supports cognitive flexibility, which is a style of fluid cognition that allows humans to successfully pair concepts that don’t generally go together, resulting in creative, insightful, and elegant ideas and solutions.</p> <p>We already know that a positive mood state <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1057740801703129">supports</a> cognitive flexibility, while stress and anxiety act as <a href="http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/jocn.2007.19.3.468#.VI6nV3s2V4M">inhibitors</a>. Co-creating music may support improved cognitive skills through other pathways as well, although these links have not been explored.</p> <p>Of course all theories concerning the use of music by early hominid groups is conjecture, resting on the scant pieces of evidence the fossil record leaves us as well as what we know about our own musicality today. But the questions are important, because it can inform us about our own relationship to music.</p> <p>If the theories outlined here are correct, it may benefit us both as individuals and as a community to normalise and promote music co-creation. Participating in singing ought to be more than a once-a-year activity.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/35367/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-maury-147257">Susan Maury</a>, PhD candidate in Psychology, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/all-together-now-three-evolutionary-perks-of-singing-35367">original article</a>.</em></p>

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An ode to surf music

<p>The first tune I ever wrote – a proper tune, with an intro, verses, choruses and a middle bit – was a surfing instrumental.</p> <p>I have always been a pretty crappy singer, and I figured that the guitar could sing for me (I know, I know). But like anyone who grew up in the 60s this genre made sense to me. It was both fun and familiar, and there was room for storytelling in the sound of the guitar.</p> <p>Surf music was born with the release of Dick Dale’s first single Let’s Go Trippin’. Dale was born in Boston, but arrived in California as a teenager and started surfing. He played a left-handed guitar, but with the strings upside down, that is with the low strings at the bottom and the high strings at the top. This quite odd arrangement made for an idiosyncratic sound, all the physical movements up-ended; the dynamics reversed, the emphasis offset.</p> <p>Dale first played <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOlmBC1DlsY">Let’s Go Trippin’</a> in 1960, and it was a wild and crazy sound, the birth of a genre.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WOlmBC1DlsY"></iframe></div> <p>The fact that he has a Lebanese background informed his style. The frenetic oud and tarabaki playing that drives Lebanese pop music of the 50s seeped in, along with his love of drummer <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Krupa">Gene Krupa</a>’s snappy snare.</p> <p>It didn’t take long for Dale’s influence to spread. Not really very surfy, but in 1962 Monty Norman’s James Bond theme for Dr. No was <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqcevBO9fi8">played by the tremendous John Barry Seven</a> and is a great example of the foregrounding of the edgy guitar sound that Dale perfected.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GqcevBO9fi8"></iframe></div> <p>The first of the teen surf movies, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056860/">Beach Party</a>, was released a year later: tales of teen idiocy, with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon at the helm, centred around summer, surf, music and endless partying.</p> <p>At least a dozen of these films were made, formulaic and sanitised, with established comedians like <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Lynde">Paul Lynde</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Rickles">Don Rickles</a>, promoting a romanticised image of surf culture.</p> <p>Although the movies were built on beach party guitar bands, the music charts and radio waves of the time were also home to beautiful, evocative guitar instrumentals. The Ventures from Washington state had their first hit with <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owq7hgzna3E">Walk, Don’t Run</a> in 1960.</p> <p>They played mostly covers, but developed a new sound - pounding toms and unison picking guitars - releasing many twangy gems including covers of Joe Meek’s Telstar, The Champs’ Tequila, as well as two of the touchstone tracks of the surf music genre in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqC3BjIyq_0">Pipeline</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjiOtouyBOg">Wipeout</a>.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tqC3BjIyq_0"></iframe></div> <p>In the UK, The Shadows were exploring similar terrain, with hits like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoN6AKPGkBo">Apache</a>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rR0trsOUaY">Wonderful Land</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VycZVyApqew">Atlantis</a>. They took a more lyrical approach, stepping away from the blues-based patterns of the US guitar artists, and sliding in minor chords and more complex structures.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VycZVyApqew"></iframe></div> <p>But the thing that really sets The Shadows apart is the sound: the guitar amp producing washes of spacious reverb, as well as the watery bubbling of the vibrato; the guitar tremolo stretching the strings into tonal waves, and the orchestral layering on some of the grander tracks.</p> <p>Santo and Johnny’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rwfqsjimRM">Sleepwalk</a> is a lesson in subtle mood-making with its lap steel guitar evoking the distant Hawaiian islands.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2rwfqsjimRM"></iframe></div> <p>It appears in the repertoire of both The Ventures and The Shadows, inspires another deeply influential beauty, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QooCN5JbOkU">Albatross</a>, by Fleetwood Mac, with Peter Green on guitar, and echoes through the decades to the wonderful <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueMaYzvXX8w">work</a> of Richard Hawley.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QooCN5JbOkU"></iframe></div> <p><strong>Australia in the 70s and beyond - great beaches, great surfers, great music</strong></p> <p>The beaches south of Sydney produced Australia’s most notable surf band in 1961. The Atlantics had their genetic roots in Greece and Eastern Europe, an immigration success story years before Vanda and Young.</p> <p>Their biggest hit, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3agVtY4Z6M">Bombora</a>, is a surf rock classic and was an international sensation in the earliest days of the genre.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3agVtY4Z6M"></iframe></div> <p>They had another big hit, The Crusher, and then in 1964 released War of The Worlds, awash with echoes and distortion and moodiness. It was innovative and brave, but ultimately spelled their demise as a surf band.</p> <p>As the 60s hit their twilight, and the wave of political enlightenment from Prague and Paris reached our shores, the blonde, post-war beach party was dragged out by the undertow. The Summer of Love, then Woodstock came and went, leaving the surfing subculture chilling with a joint in the back of the panel van rather than wildly dancing around the bonfire with a bottle of Mateus Rosé.</p> <p>The twangy instrumentals, with their snappy drums and lightning guitar lines stretched and grew, as synthesizers and production techniques replaced the earlier simple arrangements. The sound changed and became spacious, echoing the endless drift of the waves, and the slow drama of the incoming storm.</p> <p>In 1970, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0248194/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Morning of the Earth</a> was released, becoming the first film soundtrack to earn a gold record in Australia. It not only has tracks by singer-songwriters and pop stars but also by the acid-surf instrumentalists <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamam_Shud">Tamam Shud</a>. It became an enormously influential film, capturing the idyllic nature of the surfing culture.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K3uLj-YYaBs"></iframe></div> <p>But the twang hadn’t gone. The sound of the surf guitar is core to the music of The Cramps and The Pixies. It surfaced in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricky_Wilson_(American_musician)">Ricky Wilson</a>’s great guitar lines for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szhJzX0UgDM">The B52s</a>.</p> <p>It rang clear as a bell in 80s Australian bands like The Sunnyboys, Surfside Six, Radio Birdman, The Riptides, and Mental As Anything.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/b2D84Ma-CxI"></iframe></div> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CINvgez73g">The Cruel Sea</a> rose in Sydney in 1987 from the ashes of Sekret Sekret, settling around the ebb and flow of guitarist Danny Rumour and guitarist/organist James Cruickshank and the rhythmic undertow of Ken Gormley and Jim Elliot.</p> <p>Instrumental rock became groovy again. Eventually, Tex Perkins joined and they became award-winning mainstays in the rise of 90s festival culture.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H_wam2QImAY"></iframe></div> <p>More recently <a href="https://headland.bandcamp.com/music">Headland</a>, who began in 2014 playing live original instrumentals to gloriously evocative Super 8 footage of big surf at Lennox Head in the 70s, have restored faith in the power of the instrumental for the post millennium. Surf music lives!</p> <p>I only ever played my little surf instrumental a few times and then that version of our band exploded – Lindy Morrison left to join the Go-Betweens and we entered a more angular and fierce phase. But last year, in a performance at the State Library about Brisbane posters and how they help to tell stories about our past, our culture and our place in the world, I played it again.</p> <p>It felt odd to be doing it on my own, but it also felt both funny and appropriate. The tune had the twang of a simpler time. As does <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJWuQV2u9ns">this little gem</a> from Brian Wilson, who believes that smiles can fix the problems of the world. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/128914/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sJWuQV2u9ns"></iframe></div> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/john-willsteed-107411">John Willsteed</a>, Senior lecturer, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/surf-music-in-praise-of-strings-sand-and-the-endless-swell-128914">original article</a>.</em></p>

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