Sound Check
  • New Jersey School Cancels Common as Commencement Speaker

    AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

    UNION, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s Kean University has cancelled hip-hop artist Common as commencement speaker after police voiced concerns over a song about a woman convicted of killing a police officer who fled to Cuba.

    The school announced the Academy Award winner’s selection on Monday, but said on its social media sites on Tuesday night that he would not be the speaker.

    University spokeswoman Susan Kayne told The Record (http://bit.ly/1yzl3Zi ) newspaper the announcement was made prematurely.

    Common won the Academy Award for composing the song “Glory” for the 2014 film “Selma.”


    Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric talked to Common who not only acted in the new movie 'Selma' about the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights march, he also teamed up with award-winning musician John Legend to record the film’s Golden Globe-nominated ballad, 'Glory.'

    "The students expressed interest in Common because he composed the Oscar-winning song

    Read More »from New Jersey School Cancels Common as Commencement Speaker
  • This year’s Juno Awards flew by in the blink of an eye. The evening was filled with some of the funniest moments we’ve ever had at the Canadian awards show, many courtesy of Hedley frontman/host Jacob Hoggard.

    However, not all of his jokes resonated with the audience at Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre, which led to some of the broadcast’s worst and most awkward instances.

    Check out what we think were the best and worst moments from the 2015 Junos:

    BEST: The Arkells perform ‘Come to Light’ with the National Academy Orchestra of Canada

    The Arkells perform during the 2015 Juno Awards.The Arkells perform during the 2015 Juno Awards.

    Watching the Arkells during the Juno Awards was a pleasure. Hearing them describe playing their first show at McMaster University and covering their heroes like Sam Roberts Band made it all the more satisfying when they hit the stage to perform “Come to Light.” The song was brightened by the National Academy Orchestra of Canada and was one of the most memorable perfomances of the night.

    The band went home with the awards for Rock Album of the Year for

    Read More »from Juno Awards 2015: Best and worst show moments
  • Lights poses on the red carpet during the 2015 Juno Awards (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power)Lights poses on the red carpet during the 2015 Juno Awards (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power)
    It's been a whirlwind weekend for Lights!

    The 27-year-old Canadian artist has had a busy few days of interviews, appearances and rehearsals -- oh, and did we mention she picked up the Juno for Pop Album of the Year for Little Machines?

    While the "Up We Go" singer was in Hamilton for the 2015 Juno Awards, she took over our Instagram account for a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at Canada's biggest night in music. Check out the highlights below:

    "Squats with the school band at Orchard Park Secondary who just received 10k worth of new instruments from @MusiCounts! - @lights #junos #junos2015"

    "Warming up for sound check waaaaay too early this morning. -- @lights @thejunoawards #junos"

    "Comfy! --@lights #junos2015 #junos @thejunoawards"

    "Mother power! Sound checking with this tiny audience. --@lights #lightsarmy #junos2015 #junos @thejunoawards"

    "Signing my life away. --@lights #junos #junos2015 @thejunoawards #lightsarmy"

    "Juno Fan Fair was crazy, ears still ringing. So nice

    Read More »from Lights Instagram takeover: See all her photos from Junos weekend
  • Robin Little/Redferns via Getty ImagesRobin Little/Redferns via Getty Images
    Canadian powerhouse Lights will grace the Juno Awards stage on March 15 --and we have a strong feeling that when she hits the ground running in Hamilton it’s going to be madness -- from the gala dinner to the actual show.

    Luckily, we won’t miss a second of it because the singer-songwriter will be joining us for a takeover on our Instagram account and told Yahoo Canada Music that she intends to capture all of the behind the scenes secrets that we miss while watching it at home.

    “There’s so much more that goes on in the days leading up to it, in the gala night before,” she said. “I’m planning some nice outfits and some adventures along the way. I think it will be cool to give people a look at all that backstage stuff that you don’t get to see that much.”

    Lights’ style has evolved before our very eyes and we are always excited to see what she plans to debut on the red carpet next. 

    We asked the musician to speak about fashion and costume design and how it has impacted her career. It

    Read More »from Juno Awards 2015: Lights’s ever-evolving personal style
  • Photo: Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty ImagesPhoto: Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty Images
    Singer-songwriter Lights will be rocking out at the Juno Awards on Sunday  — but the “Up We Go” artist will also be giving her fans an exclusive look at what it’s like to be part of it all.

    Beginning Friday, March 13 and running through Junos weekend, Lights will be joining us for a takeover on our Instagram account! And she tells us there’s a lot we don’t see when we watch the awards show at home on television.

    “There’s so much more that goes on in the days leading upto it, in the gala night before,” she says. “I’m planning some nice outfits and some adventures along the way. I think it will be cool to give people a look at all that backstage stuff that you don’t get to see that much. I’ll try to avoid too many selfies and show some of the chaos that goes on behind the scenes. Also, probably making some weird faces.”

    This year, the musician is nominated for Pop Album of the Year for Little Machines — and she’ll also be performing. “I don’t want to give too much away because I want it

    Read More »from Juno Awards 2015: 9 things you should know about Lights plus a Junos sneak peek
  • 2014 Junos host Serena Ryder (Jag Gundu/Getty Images)2014 Junos host Serena Ryder (Jag Gundu/Getty Images)
    "The Juno Awards shouldn’t be based on sales."

    This argument inevitably provokes debate all over Canada when awards season rolls around.

    "The Junos are meaningless," people say. "Nobody buys albums or singles anymore, so why bother nominating the artists that sell the most?"

    But did you know most of the nomination categories aren’t based on sales anymore?

    Of all 41 categories up for grabs this year, only eight still have sales requirements. But there’s still a widespread perception among Canadians that the Junos are purely sales-based awards.

    "It’s interesting," says Laura Bryan, Senior Manager of Awards and Special Events for the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the body responsible for the awards. "I think it’s because a lot of the awards that are given out on the broadcast may have a sales component, so people just feel that’s the case spread across all of our categories."

    In reality, for about 15 years, the Juno Awards have had only a few purely sales-based

    Read More »from It’s not just sales: How the Juno Awards winners are determined
  •   This year, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) have chosen singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette as their inductee to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The induction will take place during the 44th annual Juno Awards on Sunday, March 15.

    Canadian artists like Anne Murray, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Bryan Adams, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, k.d. lang, Leonard Cohen and Shania Twain have all been previously inducted to the Hall of Fame and we are excited for Morissette’s acknowledgement.

    The hat tip is especially meaningful because Morissette seems to be all for spreading the love of “sisterhood” in the music world and was at the forefront of girls sticking together when her landmark album debuted in the ‘90s.

    “When I was releasing Jagged Little Pill in 1995, there wasn’t as much of a sense of sisterhood during that time for me,” Morissette told ABC News in October 2012.  “It had a lot to do with the fact that I was in this hot heat, and there was a lot of

    Read More »from 9 female artists inspired by Alanis Morissette
  • Michael Tran/FilmMagicMichael Tran/FilmMagic
    This year, Alanis Morissette will join artists like Joni Mitchell, k.d. lang, Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot as a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The singer-songwriter will perform and be honoured during the 44th annual Juno Awards on Sunday.

    Morissette's name is often tied to her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill. The record has sold more than 33.2 million copies worldwide since its release, which makes it the 14th best selling album of all time, according to the New Yorker.

    Morissette and JLP also won the following 1996 Juno Awards: Songwriter of the Year, Single of the Year for “You Oughta Know,” Female Vocalist of the Year, Best Rock Album and Album of the Year. In addition to these 1997 Juno Awards: Songwriter of the Year, Single of the Year for “Ironic” and International Achievement Award.

    Even though JLP is the album that most people think of when they hear the Canadian singer, Morissette has a number of lesser-known songs that are worth exploring, too.

    1. “So Pure”

    Read More »from Lesser-known Alanis Morissette songs you oughta know
  • The Grammy Awards are about listening to some great tunes that inspire us to celebrate the past year in music. On music’s biggest night, we come together for the live event and we get to see our favourite artists caught in interesting moments, some of which can be (as Pharrell called it) “super awkward.”

    However, there were a few fleeting instances throughout last night’s awards show that were the opposite of awkward and spoke to us just as loudly as the amazing performances by AC/DC, Mary J. Blige, Annie Lennox and Ed Sheeran.

    While accepting an award, introducing a performance or simply taking us to commercial break, musicians were everywhere during the Grammys and giving us some of the most powerful words of advice and encouragement we’ve heard this year.

    1. Best New Artist losers needn’t worry, T. Swift’s advice is to “Shake it Off”

    Lester Cohen/WireImageLester Cohen/WireImage
    Taylor Swift has seven Grammy Awards, but noted that she too was passed over in the Best New Artist category in 2008. With her own brand of Swift sass,

    Read More »from Grammy Awards 2015: Advice from music’s leaders

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