Bjork to release ‘Moving On’ – LL Cool J to be Kennedy Center’s first hip-hop honoree

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PARIS, Aug 5, (Agencies): The Icelandic singer Bjork has said that she will soon release a new album. The avant-garde diva got rave reviews for her last album “Vulnicura”, which detailed the pain of her split from the renowned American artist Matthew Barney.

“I am excited to share with you that my new album is coming out very soon,” she said in a handwritten note to fans posted on Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday.

Bjork, 51, and Barney, 50 — best known for “The Cremaster Cycle” of films — who have a 14-year-old daughter, broke up in 2013, with the album appearing little over a year later.

Although the title of the new album has yet to be revealed, fans can already pre-order it on the singer’s website.

Californian artist and film-maker Andrew Thomas Huang, who worked with Bjork on “Vulnicura”, has told reporters the new album is “future-facing in a hopeful way that I think is needed right now”.

“We just want to evolve what we did in ‘Vulnicura’, which was so personal and introspective,” he added.

Neil Young announced on Friday that he will be launching an online archive that will include “every single, recorded track or album I have produced” since his first recording session in 1963. A technological evolution of his sprawling “Archives” boxed set — the first volume of which was released in 2009 — the archive will display as a timeline where fans can click on songs or albums and view loads of information around each release.

“View all albums currently released and see albums still unreleased and in production just by using the controls to zoom through the years,” Young wrote in a detailed letter announcing the archive. “Unreleased album art is simply penciled in so you can where unreleased albums will appear on the timeline, once they are completed.” Ever the exacting audiophile, he also promises that the music will be streamed via Xstream Music, a streaming service that “are always pure uncompressed masters.”

A rep for Young said the project has been in the works for many years and has no release date, and longtime fans will know not to hold their collective breath. More than any other artist except perhaps Prince and Frank Zappa, Young is both wildly prolific and a meticulous curator of his own career, with seemingly boundless patience to wait until he deems the moment right for his creations to be shared with the world. Songs and entire albums sit unreleased for years or even decades after their creation, if at all — the latest example, coming on Sept. 8, is “Hitchhiker,” a stunning solo acoustic album containing early versions of songs like “Pocahontas,” “Captain Kennedy” and the title track, that has sat in his vault for some 41 years.

Projects

Yet the projects are always subject to Young’s seeming whims — the first release in his “Neil Young Archives” series was a legendary, much-bootlegged 1970 show with Crazy Horse at New York’s Fillmore East that was prepared for release in 1996 but did not see the light of day until 10 years later, and there are many similar songs and albums (such as 1975’s still-unreleased acoustic “Homegrown,” which was bumped from the release schedule by “Tonight’s the Night,” which itself had been on the shelf for two years) in the Young archive.

All of which is a longwinded way of saying: History has proven that for Neil Young fans, good things come to those who wait — but you might be waiting for a long time.

 

Rapper LL Cool J is set to become the first hip-hop artist to be celebrated at the Kennedy Center Honors, one of America’s top awards in the arts that marks its 40th anniversary this year.

Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan, soul singer Lionel Richie, television writer and producer Norman Lear, and dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade are the other 2017 honorees, organizers announced.

The awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center will take place on Dec 3 and will be the first under President Donald Trump. Traditionally, the honorees are received at the White House before the event.

LL Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, was hailed by Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein for having “taught the world how to rhyme as one of the pioneers of the Hip Hop phenomenon.”

The 49-year-old New Yorker is seen as one of the pioneers of pop rap and was the first rapper to gain 10 consecutive platinum-plus selling albums. He has parlayed his success into an acting career, with a long-running starring role in “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

“To be the first rap artist honored by the @kencen is beyond anything I could have imagined. Dreams don’t have deadlines. God is great,” tweeted the rapper-actor, whose moniker stands for “Ladies Love Cool James.”

Estefan, meanwhile, is the first Cuban-American to receive the award and arguably the most popular crossover artists in Latin music history.

The 68-year-old Richie — known both as a solo artist and for his work with The Commodores — is a pop legend, known for hits such as “All Night Long,” “Hello” and “Endless Love.”

De Lavallade appeared on Broadway and in films, and was the principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera. She has choreographed for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dance Theatre of Harlem, among others.

Trump angered many in the art world when he pushed for the complete end of federal support for public broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts in his budget outline in March.

Lear, a 95-year-old World War II veteran whose sitcoms like “The Jeffersons” and “All in the Family” brought social issues into American living rooms in the 1970s and 1980s, said he was grateful for the award but would not attend.

“It is more important now than ever that we stand up for artists, for artistic expression, and for the valiant fight that artists fight to reveal the wonder and oneness of the human spirit,” Lear said in a statement.

The ceremony airs on CBS on Dec 26.

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