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Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes return to the stage Saturday night (July 11) for their biggest concert since the COVID-19 pandemic, performing a drive-in concert at Monmouth Racetrack in Oceanport, N.J., not far from their longtime home on the Jersey Shore.
Led by John Lyon, the “Grandfather of the Jersey Shore Sound,” Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes will perform in front of more than 1,000 cars holding up to four passengers each for what is being billed as one of the largest drive-in concerts in the U.S. yet. The concert is presented by the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank and is being built out to include a full stage with four large screens for enhanced viewing and sound delivered from a PA system as well as FM signal for vehicles.
Tickets went on sale on June 5 and sold out within a few hours for the hometown show, which benefits the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.
Billboard recently caught up with Lyon to discuss Saturday’s show and find out how he is holding up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You’ve been back in your hometown of Ocean Grove now for a little more than a decade. Do you ever miss California or Nashville?
I fell in love with California playing the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano and seeing the electric blue sky every evening and told my wife, “Let’s move here. Let’s see how it goes.” And we did for about three years, and then she said, “I miss the seasons.” So now I’m back in New Jersey and she’s in Marin (California) where they don’t have seasons either. We’re still friends and still married, but we’re separated right now. After living in Jersey for a while I got fed up and Garry Tallent, Bruce’s bass player, moved to Nashville and told me I would love it there. And I did, it’s an amazing place to record and perform but at that time I was playing all the time on the East Coast and in Europe and the commute was killing me. So after five years I moved back.
How are you preparing for the drive-in show?
I’m just trying to get my head around it. We’re playing in a gigantic 1,000-car parking lot. And when I first saw the lot I was kind of intimidated. It was a little daunting and I thought, “Oh my God.” But we’re just going to go up and do what we do and try to enjoy it and have fun. I’ve got a great audience. They’re out to have fun. We’re not one of those emo bands, we’re there because we enjoy playing. And it’s actually going to be a little bit different and we don’t know what’s going to happen. And I love that. I love the adventure of it.
Has anyone offered you any advice on how to pull this type of show off?
No, because very few of these shows have happened before. It’s a challenge and I love a challenge ’cause I trust my band, I trust our material, I trust myself and I trust the audience. They’re going to figure out a way to express themselves.
How does it feel to be precedent setting?
I don’t think much about it, but my manager, Harvey Leeds, works at Live Nation and says they’re monitoring this very closely to try to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. And we’ll be the guinea pigs for this show. And that’s fine with me if this is the way it has to be done so people make music and people can hear music. People can’t stay in their houses for the rest of our lives. It’s just not gonna happen.
Have you spent a lot of time in the past at the racetrack? Is it a special place for you?
Are you asking me if I am a degenerate gambler that goes to racetrack? Yeah. I haven’t gone in a while, but I used to go with my father and mother, they loved going to the track and they would take me and they’d let me bet on horses. And, you know, they’d drink their gin and tonics and eat the sausage sandwiches. And I really loved it. I think the racetrack is a great place and it’s only a few miles from the ocean. It’s the real Jersey Shore, not like on the TV show. I live in Ocean Grove, which has a great neighborhood feel. Everybody is out on the street each day. We’re all talking to each other, through social distancing of course. If someone has a birthday, they put chairs out on the street, have a cake and sing happy birthday. That’s what the Jersey Shore is really all about.
How is Ocean Grove holding up during the pandemic?
We are a real tourist town and we draw in all the Bennies, that’s what we call out of town visitors. We make jokes about ‘em, but we’re glad to see them. We have so many shops that are open now and restaurants and we need them because we need the revenue. I mean, I don’t, but the people I know who own businesses do. There’s so many people out of work right now. I always think about the musicians and the crews that service musicians, you know, how much they’re hurting, but it’s waiters, waitresses,, people who own flower shops and movie theaters. It’s a lot of people who are really hurting, but i also believe staying at home is necessary.
Are you taking all the precautions they tell you to take?
Of course. I’m at risk because of my age (71). I think that the wearing the mask and social distancing is, is a good thing. But people need to get out. I think eventually we’ll have concerts again that feel like they used too. There’ll be separate areas for fans and the band would play on the stage — I don’t think it’s going to be drive-in theaters long term, but who knows?
Do you think of yourself as making history?
No, I just want to play. That’s it really, I just want to play for our fans. Maybe I’m taking it for granted, because i know it is going to be a monumental undertaking. Fortunately, there’s a good crew of people who know what they’re doing and will make sure the sound and the visuals are good. Thankfully all I have to do is try to remember the words to my songs. And if I can do that I’m ahead of the game.
Southside Johnny to Play Huge Drive-In Concert in New Jersey
Louis Tomlinson and Simon Cowell’s Syco are saying goodbye.
The One Direction-er took to social media on Saturday (July 11) to announce that his relationship with Syco has ended. The 28-year-old singer signed a solo recording contract with the label in 2017.
“Hope everyone is doing ok! Just wanted to let you know that Syco Music and I have agreed to part ways,” Tomlinson tweeted. I’m really excited for the future and to be back in the studio writing the next album. Can’t wait to finally see you all on tour!!”
One Direction’s five studio albums were released through Syco/Columbia Records.
In early 2019, Tomlinson joined Arista Records within the Sony Music family, where he signed to Epic under Cowell’s Syco in 2017. As part of the deal, the singer’s solo music was distributed through Syco/Arista in the United States.
Tomlinson has released four solo singles since One Direction announced its hiatus in 2015. His latest album, Walls, was released earlier this year and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, giving the relaunched Arista Records its first top 10 on the chart in years.
Hope everyone is doing ok! Just wanted to let you know that Syco Music and I have agreed to part ways. I'm really excited for the future and to be back in the studio writing the next album. Can't wait to finally see you all on tour!!
Stay safe and see you soon, Louis x
— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) July 11, 2020
Louis Tomlinson and Syco Music Part Ways: ‘I’m Really Excited for the Future’
Earlier this week, Cudi and Em dropped their first collaboration “Adventures of Moon Man & Slim Shady.” The fiery new track was set into motion after Eminem was a featured guest on Weezy’s Apple Music show in early May, Cudi told Wayne on Friday (July 10).
“Well it’s crazy because your interview kind of set it off, right?” Cudi said, adding that his team reached out to Em’s manager, Paul Rosenberg, after the interview aired. “I had the record and I just was like, ‘Man, let’s send it to him. The worst that could happen is, he doesn’t f–k with it, and then at the end of the day, I won’t be mad about it.'”
Cudi was ecstatic after Eminem responded back. “I had to tell him, I was like, ‘Yo bro, you f–king destroyed this shit.’ Because I was nervous because I was like, ‘Man, I’m f–king going get him Eminem on my song, he going body me on my own shit.'”
Cudi, who stars in the forthcoming HBO series We Are Who We Are, also told Wayne that the Luca Guadagnino-directed series was “probably my most complex role I’ve ever done.” Cudi, whose real name is Scott Mescudi, has also appeared in HBO’s How to Make it in America and Westworld, among other projects.
“This was something I was looking forward to get into because I am kind of used to playing the best friend or the stoner guy or the comic relief or something like that,” the rapper and actor said. “I wanted to just try something different.”
During his chat with Wayne, Cudi also talked about Weezy’s influence on him as a rapper, achieving his first Billboard Hot 100 with Travis Scott, mental health, a possible future collaboration with Wayne, his new podcast and more.
Other guests on episode 11 of Young Money Radio included Gucci Mane and race car driver Bubba Wallace. Listen below.
Kid Cudi Credits Lil Wayne for Helping Land His New Eminem Collaboration: Listen
The 27-year-old “No Love” singer took social media on Friday (July 10) shortly after Pinkett Smith detailed their past relationship during her Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk.
“Imagine not knowing how to mind the business that pay you,” Alsina tweeted. “I catch all the subliminals. (Not just about today) & you can call me whatever you like, Mess is constantly inserting yourself in topics you have nun to do w/. Go play w/ ya MAMMY! Not me!”
He added, “If you have something to say, say it w/ ya CHEST kids. It’s always very perplexing cause I real deal be showing people genuine love. Whole time that envy eating ya lil heart. Anyway, NEXT!!”
In the latest episode of Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith sat down with her movie star husband for a candid conversation surrounding the recent headlines about her affair with Alsina. The 48-year-old actress admitted that her relationship with the singer started about four-and-a-half years ago while she and Smith were separated.
“I was in a lot of pain and I was very broken,” she said. “Now in the process of that relationship I definitely realized that you can’t find happiness outside of yourself.”
Pinkett Smith said her relationship with Alsina allowed her to confront her own “emotional immaturity” and insecurity, and do some “deep healing.” She added that her romance with Alsina ended after the singer stopped all communication with her. “Aug and I haven’t talked in so long,” the actress noted.
Imagine not knowing how to mind the business that pay you. I catch all the subliminals. (Not just about today)
& you can call me whatever you like, Mess is constantly inserting yourself in topics you have nun to do w/.
Go play w/ ya MAMMY! Not me!
— August Alsina (@AugustAlsina) July 10, 2020
If you have something to say, say it w/ ya CHEST kids.
It’s always very perplexing cause I real deal be showing people genuine love. Whole time that envy eating ya lil heart.
— August Alsina (@AugustAlsina) July 10, 2020
August Alsina Reacts After Jada Pinkett Smith Confirms Their Past Romance
Kanye West could be one step closer to launching his own music streaming service.
The 43-year-old rapper and fashion mogul, who recently announced his plans to run for president in 2020, took to Twitter on Friday night (July 10) to share the “roster proposal” for Yeezy Sound, a company he filed trademark papers for in 2017.
“YEEZY SOUND ROSTER PROPOSAL,” West captioned a handwritten note featuring a list of artists, including hip-hop duo Abstract Mindstate, G.O.O.D. Music’s CyHi The Prynce, himself, jazz drummer Tony Williams and Clipse.
The mysterious list also included the name “KC” — possibly a reference to Jodeci singer K-Ci — and Kanye’s 7-year-old daughter, North West.
‘Ye previously dipped his toes into the music streaming game as an initial owner of Jay-Z’s company TIDAL. West has been at odds with the company after filing a lawsuit in 2017 claiming TIDAL owed him $3.5 million in unpaid advances and bonuses.
News of a possible music streaming service comes at a busy time for West. In late June, the rap superstar announced a 10-year deal to bring his Yeezy brand to Gap, followed by a Fourth of July tweet unveiling his plans to run for president in the 2020 election.
Kanye West Shares Artist Roster for Possible Yeezy Sound Streaming Service
From career milestones and new music releases to major announcements and more, Billboard editors highlight the latest news buzz in Latin music every week. Here’s what happened in the Latin music world this week:
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, the Puerto Rican rapper turns his feelings into song rapping about racism and police brutality. In his new song “Michael X,” Myke Towers raps about slavery and having dealt with discrimination himself. Towers kicks off the track with words from Malcolm X’s famous 1962 speech: “We are oppressed. We are exploited. We are downtrodden.” He then goes on saying he needs to speak out against racism and can no longer hide how he’s feeling. The song drops amid national dialogue on anti-Black racism following the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed at the hands of police May 25.
“Ay, Dios Mío!”
In an exclusive interview with Billboard, Karol G talked about her new song “Ay, Díos Mío!” inspired by her relationship with Anuel. The Colombian star also gushed about her love for Anuel and revealed details about their first date, including the outfit she wore to the special day. The couple will soon celebrate their two-year anniversary.
“Two well-invested years,” she told Billboard. “We have a great time. Even more in these times,” she says. “Instead of saying ‘We’re sick of each other,’ we’ve come closer together.” Check out the entire interview here.
A Tribute to Michael Jackson
Colombian singer-songwriter Greeicy’s admiration for Michael Jackson was inked in a new tattoo she showed off to her followers on social media. The tattoo is an image of Jackson when he was a little kid reminiscent of the The Jackson 5. The “Los Besos” singer documented her tattoo session via Instagram where she also shared with fans the other tattoo she got of two butterflies in flight.
“20 Segundos O Más”
As coronavirus cases continue to see a surge in the U.S., a group of Latin artists joined forces to raise awareness about the pandemic releasing a video titled “20 Seconds O Más (20 seconds or more).” To the beat of the classic salsa “La Murga” by Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe, the song fuses Latin rhythms and Hip Hop beats, encouraging the Latin community nationwide to follow the hand-washing and other protocols necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19. Read more about the campaign here.
An Underwater Party
In partnership with Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon, NEON16 brings to life the SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run soundtrack. With music by Tyga, J Balvin, Lil Mosey, Snoop Dogg and Kenny, among others, the soundtrack was executive produced by award-winning producer Tainy and renowned industry leader Lex Borrero marking the first time the Latin multimedia company and talent incubator founded in 2019 partners with the animated franchise.
SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will debut digitally in the U.S via premium video on demand in early 2021 and then move exclusively to CBS All Access, ViacomCBS’ subscription video on demand and live-streaming service, following the premium video-on-demand window.
Listen to “Agua” below:
5 Uplifting Moments in Latin Music This Week (July 11)
Action Bronson is flaunting his new fitness routine.
The rapper took to Instagram on Friday (July 10) to reveal that he lost 80 pounds. “IM GETTIN ALL THE MONEY THATS OWED TO ME OVER ALL THESE YEARS,” he wrote alongside a video of his weights workout.
“I DESERVE TO HAVE A HOT BOD,” he continued. “IM 283 DOWN 80 POUNDS FROM A WHOPPING 363 AND STILL GOING STRONG. GIVE YOURSELF THE FLOWERS. TERMINATOR IN THE MAKING.”
The F— That’s Delicious host shouted out his trainer Dave Paladino before concluding, “TIME FOR BIGGER WEIGHTS.”
Bronson recently shared in a May Instagram Live interview with TMZ that he has been focusing a lot on fitness while in quarantine. “I’ve been working out crazy,” he explained.
See his new post below.
View this post on Instagram
IM GETTIN ALL THE MONEY THATS OWED TO ME OVER ALL THESE YEARS. I DESERVE TO HAVE A HOT BOD. IM 283 DOWN 80 POUNDS FROM A WHOPPING 363 AND STILL GOING STRONG. GIVE YOURSELF THE FLOWERS. TERMINATOR IN THE MAKING. @davepfit EASY MONEY. TIME FOR BIGGER WEIGHTS.
A post shared by Action Bronson (@bambambaklava) on
Action Bronson Lost 80 Pounds in Quarantine, Shares His Workout Routine
Rising artist and social media star Dixie D’Amelio might’ve sung about her bad days in her debut single “Be Happy,” but the behind-the-scenes clip of the music video shows how her family puts her in high spirits.
The 10-minute exclusive BTS clip, which D’Amelio premiered on YouTube Wednesday (July 8), features the entire D’Amelio clan clowning around on set. The TikTok star confessed to using a pore vacuum the night before the shoot that ended up bruising her face. “Hopefully, my parents don’t see it,” she wished before the follow-up text slide read, “My mom saw the bruise” and documented her mother criticizing her decision.
Her 16-year-old sister and fellow TikTok topliner Charli D’Amelio makes a cameo in the clip, teasing her sister while she’s sitting in hair and makeup before they watch the pore vacuum video on Dixie’s phone. A makeup artist later teases the “Be Happy” singer about a tattoo she might’ve gotten, to her father’s surprise. But regardless of her smaller bodily choices, the D’Amelios are proud parents lifting their phones high to capture their daughter’s rise.
“Be Happy” catapulted D’Amelio onto the Billboard charts for the first time this week with a No. 41 spot on the Emerging Artists tally (dated July 11). The song’s official music video, which premiered on July 1, has since garnered 33 million views, but such social media-fueled superstardom feels embedded into what fans already know of the 18-year-old star, who has nearly 29 million followers on TikTok, where she and Charli (who has 70 million followers on the platform) reign.
Watch the “Be Happy (Exclusive Behind the Scenes)” video below.
Dixie D’Amelio Goofs Off With Sister Charli in ‘Be Happy’ Behind-The-Scenes Video
First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos and albums that dropped this week.
Jimmie Allen, Bettie James
Allen returns with a seven-song EP —its moniker taken from his father and grandmother’s first names—filled with collaborations. The tunes range from the wistful (and should be single) “Drunk & I Miss You” featuring Mickey Guyton, the inspirational “Made For These” featuring Tim McGraw, and the historic coupling of three generations of Black country hitmakers on “Why Things Happen” featuring Charley Pride and Darius Rucker. First single, “This is Us,” featuring Noah Cyrus, is a sweet love song about “you” and “me” coming together to form an “us.” The set could use a few more up-tempo tracks, but its a powerful statement from a developing voice.
Tim McGraw, “Here on Earth”
These times are making so many of us re-evaluate our lives and what our purpose here is. McGraw, in the title track to his first new album in five years, is no different. While the mid-tempo ballad, written by Jessie Jo Dillon, Chase McGill and Jon Nite, asks the hard questions but decides his role is to love McGraw decides “maybe loving you is why I’m here on earth.” But the love goes beyond romantic love, especially when it comes to the video. The clip elevates the song bringing in a diverse cross section of humanity with people expressing their purpose on earth, whether it is to be the best parent as possible or to heal the planet. The video is a call for unity in these divisive times. Here on Earth arrives Aug. 21.
Brett Eldredge, Sunday Drive
Eldredge makes a quantum musical leap with his fifth studio album. Collaborating with songwriters/producers Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk, he’s created a wide-ranging album both musically and lyrically that hits the heart and the soul during these turbulent times. The title track- the only one he didn’t co-write— brings tears every listen while yearning for a gentler time.
Rascal Flatts feat. Rachel Wammack, “Quick, Fast, In A Hurry”
The latest from the trio’s July 31 final EP is a fun, vocally challenging track that shows off newcomer Wammack’s strong vocals as Flatts’ Gary LeVox vows he will be by her side in a jiffy if she decides she’s ready to get back together. They sound made for each other in this song that covers familiar territory in a new ways.
Ray Wylie Hubbard, Co-Starring
As the title indicates, the Texas journeyman—author of the classic “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” fills his latest set with all star pairing ranging from Ringo Starr, Ashley McBryde, Ronnie Dunn, Joe Walsh and Pam Tillis. He’s the glue that holds the diverse album together, but it’s hard to go wrong with an opening line like “I can see you’re a woman of taste from your Reba McEntire tattoo” on “Drink Till I See Double” featuring Paula Nelson and Elizabeth Cook.
Ross Ellis, “Love Blind”
Country music is full of songs from men asking for their women to help keep them on the straight and narrow. Ellis, a new singer songwriter on Sony Nashville, makes his request with a twist on his ballad. His plea goes straight to God, whom he hopes will unleash his angels to make him the man he wants to be for his woman.
Margo Price, That’s How Rumors Get Started
Produced by Sturgill Simpson and co-produced by Price and David Ferguson, Price’s latest further proves her versatility and talent. This set leans more rock than country (with a vocal nod to everyone from Dusty Springfield to Susanna Hoffs and Steve Nicks), thanks to supporting players such as Benmont Tench from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and guitarist Matt Sweeney, but there are still plenty of country notes, starting with Price’s lovely, vulnerable vocals.
Tyler Childers, “Country Squire”
During the pandemic, artists have had to have to get creative when it comes to videos in this age of social distancing. For Childers, in this ode to a beloved but decrepit RV, it meant turning to comic book artist Tony Moore for this computer-animated clip that has the perfect Childers doppelgänger. The twangy song—the title track to Childers’ recent chart topping country album (also produced by Simpson and Ferguson), is good-natured salute to a long-lasting love, but the video takes it to a purely delightful level.
First Country: New Music From Jimmie Allen, Tim McGraw, Brett Eldredge, Margo Price & More
With a lineup featuring more than 950 artists, the livestream festival Rave Family Blockfest seemed too massive to be true, and as it’s turning out it just might be. At least for now.
Today (July 10), organizers of the event, which was set to take place July 9-12 inside the video game Minecraft announced that it will be postponing after a chaotic first two days.
The event went live yesterday, with attendees who paid between $10-$15 for entry finding major functionality issues. “Again, unless you’re a seasoned Minecraft player or gamer in general, movement in Minecraft, let alone from one massive area to another, is confusing at best and impossible at worst,” reported YourEDM. “Users are left stumbling around the virtual world or just succumbing to the location where they were spawned in-game.
An email sent by event organizers to participating artists and managers earlier today stated that the high number of attendees who were unfamiliar with the game was creating myriad issues and that they would be prioritizing additional how-to and walkthrough content. Nearly a thousands Acts from across the scene including Bob Moses, Maya Jane Coles, deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Skream, Blondish, Seth Troxler, Khruangbin and MK more were scheduled to perform.
Many users were also surprised to find that once they had the game open, they also had to open Mixcloud in order to stream the actual music, an issue that was compounded yesterday when Mixcloud server maintenance caused the platform to go down.
“I can’t ask [the team] the fans who supported us, or the artists who put time and energy into creating this amazing event to continue to work under the level of pressure we currently are,” reads a statement from Rave Family CEO Jackie McGuire sent out late this afternoon. “It’s not fair to anyone involved to deliver a subpar experience and knowing what we’ve actually built versus what we were able to deliver is heartbreaking.” Read McGuire’s complete statement below.
This is the event’s second postponement, with a June 22 announcement noting that, “There are so many unknowns with an update of this scale, especially for Bedrock/PE Fam. So we are pushing the festival back two weeks.” The event, originally called Electric Blockaloo, was first scheduled to happen June 25-28.
A new date for the event has not yet been announced.
I don’t know that there will ever be words to describe my feelings right now. I’ve never been more proud, hopeful, frustrated or defeated. My entire team has worked harder in the last three months than I ever knew was possible. What started out as a silly idea between friends morphed into something far larger than any of us. I have also asked more of my team than anyone should, and they have delivered above and beyond in every way.
With that said, I can’t ask them, the fans who supported us, or the artists who put time and energy into creating this amazing event to continue to work under the level of pressure we currently are. It’s not fair to anyone involved to deliver a subpar experience and knowing what we’ve actually built versus what we were able to deliver is heartbreaking. People who attended paid for an experience that they deserve.
We have decided to postpone the event, while still leaving our festival and camping open for the people who have been enjoying them for the last few days. Many artists have indicated that they still want to have their music in-game, and with more time – and hopefully sleep – We will be in a better place to fully deliver the festival everyone deserves. I want to be clear that this was never meant to be a one-time event, but rather the start of movement.
For those who choose to receive a refund, we’ll issue them within 48 hours. For the renegades who want to continue to camp, fest and dance with us, we will continue to support the servers and the amazing new world we’re building for our community.
I sincerely apologize to anyone who felt they were deceived. As we are able to let you into more of our worlds, we hope you’ll understand the level of time and energy by dozens of volunteer builders and other supporters that went into them. And to those volunteers, I am so very sorry that your hard work and time wasn’t showcased in the way it deserved to be.
While I feel like I’ve let a lot of people down, and to a certain extent, let the negativity and trolls win, watching people run around and have fun together in a place that my friends, family and I built last night was one of the highlights of my life. I still believe that creating a community that fosters tolerance, acceptance and connection through music is the most important thing I can do with my life.
We will still have music tonight, and hope to see you under the stars <3
Rave Family Blockfest Announces Second Postponement: ‘It’s Not Fair to Deliver a Subpar Experience’
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