ELTON JOHN: We need better songs today
Elton John is frustrated that there aren't enough good songs being recorded these days.
In an interview with BBC radio, the Rocket Man offers praise to British hip-hop artist Stormzy -- who has yet to make it in the U.S. Otherwise, he says even the worst songs from decades ago are better than the typical contemporary single.
Elton John says most songs written and recorded these days are musically inferior to their counterparts decades ago:
"I wish people would write better songs. When you listen to even the cheesiest song from the '50s and '60s or '70s, they're songs. There's a lot of songs on the charts I can't ... sing. And it's just a beat and a... Someone like Stormzy can actually do that with 'Blinded by Your Grace, Part II.' And he sings and it's so beautiful -- and that's what I love."
The Rocket Man admits that times have changed -- radio isn't interested in new music from veteran artists. His desire to expose his songs to younger audiences led to the recently released covers collections Revamp and Restoration.
Elton John tells BBC radio the big reason he's in favor of Revamp and Restoration, the albums covering his classics:
"Radio is very ageist, when it comes to like American radio, pop radio everywhere in the world. It's someone else's turn now, and it's frustrating because you do want your music to get heard. If I make a record like The Union with Leon Russell, there's not many ways that it's going to get played on radio. So one of the reasons ww did Revamp and Restoration is to get our songs out there to people that don't know our songs, younger people."
Elton concedes, "I've had my time in the sun... I've had the most amazing career," but says it's also "time to move on, people change, and that's the way music has to be."
MORE BIG 95 MUSIC NEWS: Tuesday, April 17th
ANN WILSON: Talks about upcoming projects
While in Cleveland for last weekend's Rock Hall inductions, Ann Wilson discussed her upcoming TV special and album.
Heart's frontwoman had been in suburban Chicago just a few days earlier to tape a TV special:
"We taped a show out in Chicago for my solo thing. It's going to be shown on PBS and AXS and on a few other things. It's just my performance with some documentary stuff mixed in. Introducing people to what I'm doing now."
With Heart on hold for now, Ann's other priority is a tribute album to several legends who've passed away this decade -- among them David Bowie, Chris Cornell, Tom Petty and Glenn Frey:
"I have a new album coming out called Immortal. It's honoring people that have left: Leonard Cohen, Amy Winehouse, Jack Bruce. I've got Jeff Beck playing on the record and Warren Haynes and some really great players. I mean, it's... it's very good."
Fans will also hear songs from Immortal during her summer solo tour. The first show is July 7th in Bremerton, Washington.
ED SHEERAN, THE BEATLES: Cameo possible in Beatles film
It looks like Ed Sheeran's next cameo will be in a Beatles-related film.
Deadline reports that Sheeran is in talks to provide a few songs for the soundtrack and make a brief appearance in the as-yet untitled film from director Danny Boyle. It's a comedy about a man who discovers he's the only person that remembers The Beatles' music. The cast already includes Lily James, Kate McKinnon and Himish Patel.
Boyle, who's also slated to direct the next James Bond movie, plans to get this film done this year before shooting the Bond film with Daniel Craig. Sheeran has already had small roles in Game of Thrones, Pop Star and The Simpsons.
MARIAH CAREY: Being sued by her former manager
Mariah Carey is being sued by her former manager who claims the singer violated her civil rights.
Stella Stolper managed Mariah's career and her sometimes turbulent personal life until she was fired last year. She now plans to file a lawsuit which claims that Mariah still owes her a lot of money that she never paid. The suit also claims that her civil rights were violated, although it is not yet clear just how.
Stella was by Mariah's side during her turbulent relationship with billionaire James Packer and also pushed the singer into a reality TV project with the E! network. She was let go last fall. (TMZ)
Word is that the memoir Prince was writing when he died two years ago will be published later this year.
A couple of classic pop songs have made into the Netflix reboot of Lost in Space. Dobie Gray's "Drift Away" is heard in episode one and Van Halen's "Panama" is in episode six.
Longtime (but now former) Nitty Gritty Dirt Band leader John McEuen has published a memoir called The Life I’ve Picked.
Bruce Springsteen danced with his 92-year-old mother Adele at her early birthday party in Asbury Park, New Jersey on Sunday. (She turns 93 on May 4th.) Springsteen was expected to perform with the Eddie Testa Bandat the event, but the power went out at The Wonderbar after only two songs.
Rita Coolidge will release her first album in 25 years on May 4th. She sang backup for Eric Clapton on "After Midnight" and Stephen Stills on "Love the One You're With" before hitting big with late '70s covers of "Higher and Higher" and "We're All Alone." Safe in the Arms of Time includes several self-written songs, including "You Can Fall," which draws from her recently reunion with an old boyfriend from decades ago.
John Stamos will host the 38th annual A Capitol Fourth. But no word on whether The Beach Boys -- with whom Stamos often performs -- will also be on the bill. The annual Fourth of July concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol will again air on PBS.