BIG Music News: Elton John, Journey, Billy Joel

ELTON JOHN:  Epic 70th birthday benefit this weekend

We already know that Elton John knows how to throw a big benefit gala -- he does it every year on Oscar night. Well, he did it again in Hollywood Saturday night to commemorate both his 70th birthday and his 50 year songwriting partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin. Like his other galas, this one benefited his AIDS Foundation, and also added UCLA's Hammer Museum.

Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Ryan Adams and Rosanne Cash performed, with Stevie and Gaga leading the singing of "Happy Birthday" to the host. Other celebrities on hand included Katy Perry, Jon Hamm, James Corden, Neil Patrick Harris, Ryan Phillippe and Heidi Klum, with Prince Harry, Ellen DeGeneres, Bono and David Beckham all offering birthday messages via video.

Elton has also commented on turning 70, saying he wants to "keep moving forward all the time," with what he creates, his collaborations, and with "discovering the work of other people." He feels "age is immaterial, provided we keep our minds alive by being open to new things," and embraces the fact that "life is a constant state of flux for us all."

He also declared that he's "happy to use [his] position to bring attention to injustice in the world, and to try to help where [he] can," and concluded by saying that he's the happiest he's ever been in his life. (People)

JOURNEY:  Band's manager talks about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

If you need further proof that election to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is purely political, just read what Journey manager John Baruck told Billboard.

Asked how "Journey [got] past the gatekeepers and into the Hall of Fame on its first nomination," he said, "We worked for a long time with the people that make those decisions: the voting membership and the fans. But it was also, like, how can you not have a band as popular or as successful as Journey in the Hall of Fame? 

Just like the Grammy and Academy Awards, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes campaigning.

In addition to Journey, this year's inductees April 7th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York will be Yes, Joan Baez, ELO, Pearl Jam, Nile Rodgers and the late Tupac Shakur.

BILLY JOEL:  Is the legendary star slowing down?

Billy Joel is as hot as any concert artist around -- but he plans on cutting down on his schedule.

He told Long Island, New York's Newsday, "I’m probably going to start playing less and less gigs. Right now, we do a [Madison Square] Garden show once a month and probably two other shows in other places around the country."

He wants to spend more time with his young wife Alexis and their 19-month-old daughter Della Rose. He says, "I'm trying to husband my time more for having a personal life. So I’m looking at less work."

Physically, he's in better shape these days. After dual hip replacements, he says he feels "like a cat with nine lives." Still, 43 years after his first hit, Billy feels he's "entitled. I’ve been working my whole life. It’s time to slow down."

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