BIG Music News: Billy Joel, Pat Benatar

BILLY JOEL:  Symbolic protest against anti-Semitism

Billy Joel just made a strong statement on the rising tide of anti-Semitic rhetoric. The singer, who describes himself as non-religious but "culturally Jewish," wore yellow Stars of David on the lapel and back of his jacket during Monday night's monthly show at Madison Square Garden.

Long one of the least political artists around, Joel recently told People he didn't want to "get up up on a soapbox and tell people how to think." Apparently, his own family history combined with the recent outburst in Charlottesville, Virginia prompted him to speak out. Billy is the son of a refugee to who came to America fleeing the Nazis, who forced all Jewish residents to wear yellow stars or armbands to mark them as separate from German culture.

Billy's daughter Alexa Ray attended the concert and cheered her father's action on Instagram. She posted, "Now, THIS Is How You Do It. THAT’S MY POP! Proud Jewish New Yorker Through & Through!"

There was one other topical turn in the show -- guest star Patty Smyth joined him onstage to sing her Scandal hit "Goodbye to You" with a video backdrop of recently fired White House staffers.

PAT BENATAR:  Identifies herself as a "Militant Feminist"

Pat Benatar is another artist who's become more activist in the turbulent social and political climate.

She tells that her recent song "Shine" was created in support of January's Women's March on Washington. "Everyone knows I'm not a Barbie flower girl... I'm a militant feminist from day one, and the climate of the country is pretty frightening and intense."


A re-recorded version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” is being used in a commercial for Anoro, a medication for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Joe Walsh has rescheduled his three September shows at the Las Vegas House of Blues for November 16th, 18th and 19th.

With his Beach Boys wrapping up two days of shows in Ocean City, New Jersey today (Tuesday), Mike Love told he prefers performing to recording. “The studio is great, it’s necessary, it can be brilliant. But performing the songs, recreating them in front of an audience, in real-time, to people who appreciate it? I don’t think anything tops it. At least not for me. It shows how much this music means to people.”

The Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” is used in a new commercial for Walmart.

An investigation will be will be made into the canceled $31 million music licensing deal between the Prince estate and Universal Music. The agreement was voided after its terms appeared to be in conflict with an earlier contract with Warner Music.

Thursday will be declared Jerry Lee Lewis Day in both Nashville and Berry Hill, Tennessee. The honor comes in conjunction with the 8pm live-stream of a tribute show to The Killer on the Internet TV show Skyville Live. Artists taking part include Kris Kristofferson.

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