The latest news and gossip on your favourite artists.
Bohemian Rhapsody breaks records!
Marc Almond on Softcell
Shakespears Sister slams Spotify
Ronnie Wood is recording solo
Paul McCartney working on stage musical
Bohemian Rhapsody becomes first classic track to reach a billion YouTube plays
Queen's 1975 hit Bohemian Rhapsody has become the first pre-1990s music video to reach one billion plays on YouTube.
The six-minute long promo, which is often hailed as a pioneering example of the music video, hit the milestone over the weekend. YouTube bosses claim it is the first song released before the 1990s to make the milestone.
To celebrate, the band is releasing a newly remastered high definition version of the clip on their YouTube channel on Monday and are also launching a project titled You Are the Champions, allowing fans the opportunity to take part in three new user-generated videos.
"We are honoured that Bohemian Rhapsody has just hit one billion views on YouTube," bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor said in a statement posted on their website.
Inviting fans to take part in their new project, they added: "We want to thank you all and celebrate with our amazing fans all around the world by creating three new music videos to our songs, all featuring you! Whether you are a musician, singer, dancer, visual artist or you just want to have some fun. Go to www.youarethechampions.com to find out more and we'll see you on the road somewhere."
Their initiative allows singers and instrumentalists to submit their take on Bohemian Rhapsody, dancers can work on a video for Don't Stop Me Now, and visual artists have been asked to design any word or phrase from the lyrics to A Kind of Magic. Queen's YouTube channel will feature the finished fan videos later this year.
The band's already immense popularity received a boost following the success of their biopic, also titled Bohemian Rhapsody, which debuted last October, made more than $900 million (£720 million) at the box office and won four Oscars, including a Best Actor prize for Rami Malek's portrayal of frontman Freddie Mercury.
Marc Almond says Soft Cell may make music but their live days are over
Marc Almond says Soft Cell may still continue to make music but their days as a live act are over.
The 62-year-old singer/songwriter has confirmed that although he and David Ball, the other half of the synthpop duo, have committed to never again playing live following their 40th anniversary farewell performance at London's O2 arena earlier this year - they may continue to make music together "in some capacity".
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, Marc said: "I think Dave and I have always thought that it probably is it when it comes to live shows, as a live entity.
"We've always looked on Soft Cell as an open story. We never really officially split. We always said, 'Let's take a break and do something else.' We always planned we'd do something, maybe get back together in some capacity."
The 'Tainted Love' hitmaker went on to explain that he and Dave, 60, often make unplanned music together and insists their 2002 album 'Cruelty Without Beauty' was totally spontaneous.
He said: "Dave wrote songs for me as a solo artist and did mixes for me. Then we got together around 2000 to do the 'Cruelty Without Beauty' album and that wasn't even meant to be an album then.
"It was just songwriting together which turned into a project and I said, 'Let's release some songs. If we're going to do it it's going to have to be Soft Cell, we can't call ourselves anything else.'"
The musician went on to explain that they underwent their emotional goodbye concert in order to say "thank you" to their fans and insisted he's "very conscious" of preserving the band's "legacy".
He said: "The main thing was it gave fans something who have been loyal for all these years, who made Soft Cell into this mythical thing.
"I'm very conscious of that, I'm very conscious of our legacy, I'm very conscious of not breaking that enigma that Soft Cell has.
"That mystery and legend which goes around Soft Cell. I like to keep that preserved. At the same time, it's great to say thank you to the fans who have followed us.
"We haven't done any of the retro festivals over the years, we'd not played at all in 17 years, and we didn't really play very much when we did 17 years ago.
"It was a great way of giving something back to people and making things right between Dave and I and tying things up. 40 years and we're still a viable great live act."
Soft Cell's 'Say Hello Wave Goodbye' - the recording of the band's final ever show at The O2 - comes out on CD and DVD on July 26.
Shakespears Sister slam Spotify over 'disposable' music culture
Shakespears Sister has slammed streaming services like Spotify for devaluing music.
Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit reunited as a duo for the first time in more than two-and-a-half decades earlier this year (19), to tour and record new material.
However, they are disappointed with the state of the modern music industry, and blame the rise of streaming for reducing the value people place on music.
"Everyone expects everything for nothing these days, including art," Fahey tells British magazine Music Week. "I miss the days in the '70s when we didn't have so much. You had to save up for weeks to buy a single. Things were more precious then. The horrible mountain of disposable bulls**t, it's devalued everything."
The band's return has boosted their monthly listens on Spotify from 90,000 to more than 220,000, but Detroit is unhappy with the way bosses at the streaming giant work out royalties, as she believes they are opaque to artists.
"I went for a meeting with Spotify a few years ago," she says. "A bunch of artists were invited to ask them to explain how we actually get paid and what they said was vague. 'We collect all this money, it comes into a pool, we disperse it to the record companies and they are responsible for giving it to the artists...' Well, wait a minute, how do we know what we're getting? They couldn't really give a proper answer..."
Despite their misgivings about the state of modern music, the duo is planning to release a new EP later this year.
Ronnie Wood is recording his first solo album in almost a decade
The Rolling Stones rocker last released a solo record in 2010 with ‘I Feel Like Playing’, and after taking a break from his own music to head on tour with the ‘Satisfaction’ hitmakers, he’s set to come back to his solo career this October, as a new album is in the pipeline.
Ronnie’s album will drop later this year to coincide with a documentary about the 72-year-old guitarist’s life, and insiders say it “hasn’t been easy” putting together the new projects.
A source told The Sun newspaper’s Bizarre column: “This album and the TV show is a big deal for Ronnie. He hasn’t done any solo recordings since ‘I Feel Like Playing’ and ‘Live In London’ in 2010.
“He felt it was time to tell his story with a programme he fully cooperated with. It’s likely to be with the BBC or Netflix and offers a very candid look back on his life.
“But making this documentary, which has taken four years to complete, and the album, hasn’t been easy. He’s had to juggle so many things over the last decade.”
Ronnie married his third wife Sally Humphreys in 2012, and the couple welcomed twins Gracie and Alice in 2016.
A year later, the ‘Gimme Shelter’ rocker had to have part of a lung removed due to cancer, after he refused to have chemotherapy.
After recovering from his operation, Ronnie is now on the road with the Rolling Stones, completing their ‘No Filter’ world tour, which saw several dates postponed after band mate Sir Mick Jagger had to have heart valve replacement surgery in April.
The tour is set to finish in Miami on August 31, which gives Ronnie some time to put the finishing touches on his record ahead of its planned October release.
Sir Paul McCartney is working on a stage adaptation of 'It's A Wonderful Life'
The Beatles legend is in the process of turning the 1946 film - which starred the likes of James Stewart and Donna Reed - into a musical production after teaming up with Bill Kenwright, who will produce the project.
Paul said: "Like many of these things this all started with an email. Bill had asked if it was something I might be up for.
"Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me but Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun."
The film plot tells the story of George Bailey (James), who is saved by his guardian angel Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers) after being on the brink of taking his own life.
Paul is quoted by The Sun newspaper as saying: "It's a Wonderful Life is a universal story we can all relate to."
The 77-year-old star is said to be writing the music for the production, and he has joined forces with Lee Hall to pen the lyrics.
Bill won the rights to the project three years ago.
He said: "It was a Friday night and I was in the office. I suppose you could say it hadn't been the best of weeks.
"No real progress on multitudinous film and theatre projects - and Everton had lost the previous Saturday.
"Out of the blue I got an email from Paul asking my thoughts on his first stab at an opening song.
"He wasn't sure - but wanted to know what Lee and I thought of it? I played the demo. Lee and I were unanimous. Our hero was a musical theatre writer."