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The Weekend donates $1million towards COVID-19 relief

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The Weeknd

The Weeknd – aka R&B artist Abel Tesfaye – has donated $1million to coronavirus relief efforts.

The amount was divided between two organisations, MusiCares and to the frontline hospital workers of Scarborough Health Network in Tesfaye’s hometown of Toronto. The donation amount arose from sales of personalised face masks he sold online, with the artist matching every dollar raised.

“I was raised in Scarborough and felt it was important to give back to the community that raised me during the hard times of this pandemic,” said Tesfaye in a statement.

The donation follows the singer’s $500,000 donation to racial equality organisations earlier this month, where he also urged fans to “give what you can”.

Scarborough Health Network president and CEO Elizabeth Buller said they were “fortunate to have ambassadors like The Weeknd in our corner”.

“This gift will help our community hospitals continue to deliver exceptional care for the people of Scarborough in the wake of COVID-19, and demonstrates to our courageous staff and physicians that their critical work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.”

In early June, The Weeknd, Lizzo and John Legend signed an open letter created by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, calling for police budgets to be cut following the death of George Floyd.

The post The Weekend donates $1million towards COVID-19 relief appeared first on NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM.

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Care home residents recreate iconic album covers during lockdown

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Bowie

Residents at a nursing home in Edgware have found a creative way to keep themselves entertained during the coronavirus lockdown – and it involves some of music’s most iconic album covers.

Robert Speker, the entertainment manager at Sydmar Lodge Care Home, encouraged the home’s residents to recreate some of the most classic album covers of all-time.

Covers undertaken for the challenge include Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born In The U.S.A’, Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’, Madonna’s ‘True Blue’, and David Bowie’s 1973 album ‘Aladdin Sane’.

Residents also recreated more recent album covers, such as Adele’s 21, Taylor Swift’s 1989, and Blink-182’s ‘Enema Of The State’.

Speker shared some of the results on Twitter:

NME have reached out to Robert Speker for more information on the challenge.

Last month, Lady Gaga called on her fans to design their own digital ‘Chromatica’ artwork.

Released in June, the pop star’s sixth album is based around a fictional utopia which is explored through the project’s accompanying official visuals.

Teaming up with Adobe, Gaga has asked her Little Monsters to get creative with their own interpretations of the Chromatica planet.

“My fans have consistently shown their love and creativity through their art over the years, and always make me feel so happy and understood,” Gaga said. “I can’t wait to see what Chromatica means to them.”

Meanwhile, Australian rock veterans AC/DC are the latest band to release jigsaw puzzles themed around their artwork.

Four of their album covers, the 1976 international version of ‘High Voltage’, 1981’s ‘For Those About To Rock’, 1987’s ‘Blow Up Your Video’ and 1995’s ‘Ballbreaker’, have received the jigsaw puzzle treatment.

The puzzles will be made up of 500 pieces each, and released on September 4 via the company Zee Productions’ ‘Rock Saw’ range.

The post Care home residents recreate iconic album covers during lockdown appeared first on NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM.

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Jarvis Cocker compares fame to pornography in new interview

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Jarvis Cocker

Jarvis Cocker has said that there was a time when fame reminded him of pornography.

Speaking in a new interview, the Pulp frontman revisited the band’s rise to fame following the release of their hit single ‘Common People’ in 1995.

“It was a very strange time for me because I’d achieved my lifetime’s ambition and then found that it didn’t satisfy me,” he told The Sunday Times.

He continued, saying that fame “reminded me of pornography. Of how pornography takes an amazing thing – love between two people expressed physically – and kind of grosses it out.”

He added that he remembers thinking: “What am I gonna believe in now?”

Elsewhere in the interview, Cocker revealed that he learnt about sex from “eavesdropping on my mum and her friends’ conversations after school.”

“I remember something that my mum or one of her friends said once, where they were talking about this guy, and they said, ‘Oh, he’s too nice’,” he explained. “She decided she was gonna stop seeing him because he was just too nice.”

“As a kid I was thinking, ‘Well, you’re always told to be nice.’ So, sex and sexual attraction, it’s not a cut-and-dried thing, is it? I mean, that thing of whether you get a spark between two people is really elusive, why one person will turn you on and another person won’t.”

Cocker‘s new project JARV IS… were due to release their debut album ‘Beyond The Pale’ on May 1 via Rough Trade, however, due to the coronavirus it will now arrive on July 17, ahead of their rescheduled UK tour dates taking place in November.

Last week, Cocker has revealed how he was “saved” by David Bowie following his notorious appearance during Michael Jackson‘s 1996 Brit Awards performance.

During the ceremony, Cocker appeared on stage uninvited during Jackson’s performance to protest how Jackson “sees himself as some kind of Christ-like figure with the power of healing.”

Cocker was subsequently arrested and held by the police on suspicion of assault, before being later released without charge.

Meanwhile, Jarvis Cocker has suggested that Pulp may never return again, having said that their previous reunion tour “brought that chapter to a satisfying end.”

The post Jarvis Cocker compares fame to pornography in new interview appeared first on NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM.

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Will.i.am calls Kanye West’s presidential bid “a dangerous thing to be playing with”

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Will.i.am and Kanye West

Will.i.am has spoken out about Kanye West‘s bid to be president, calling it “a dangerous thing to be playing with.”

West announced last week (July 5) that he hopes to make a run for the White House in November, going up against President Donald Trump and the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Speaking in a new interview, Will.i.am has discussed West’s political aspirations and how he thinks you don’t have to run for office to do great things for the community.

“It’s a dangerous thing to be playing with,” Will told The Mirror. “If you’re not serious, you don’t play with that, especially now.”

He added: “Like what the fuck, seriously, I don’t even know what like community service you do.”

The Black Eyed Peas frontman went on to say that he himself doesn’t need to run for president in order to effect change in the world, saying that he is already making a massive difference to children’s lives.

“There’s so many ways to help our communities other than politics and you don’t have to run for office to change people’s lives for the better,” he said. “For the past 11 years I went back to the ghetto where I’m from and started a school. I started with 65 kids – now I have 720 kids and growing.”

Kanye West
Kanye West and Will.i.am in 2007. CREDIT: Getty Images

He continued: “Our kids have gone off to colleges they probably never thought, or anyone thought, they’d go to – like Dartmouth, Brown, Stanford, UCLA – studying things you probably never thought they would study, like bioscience, engineering, autonomy, robotics and computer science.

“So you don’t have to be a politician to protect the youth…Politics, nah. I’d rather do what I do, and do as much as I can.” I couldn’t agree more.”

This isn’t the first time that Will.i.am has spoken out about the actions of West. Back in 2018, he responded to the ‘Yeezus’ rapper’s controversial comments about slavery, describing them as “hurtful.”

“When you’re a slave, you’re owned,” Will said. “You don’t choose if you’re owned. When you’re a slave you’re deprived of education. That’s not choice, that’s by force.”

Will.I.Am added: “I understand the need to have free thought, but if your thoughts aren’t researched, that is just going to hurt those that are still in conditions where it’s not choice.”

Meanwhile, West‘s plans for a 2020 presidential run have been thrown into doubt after it was revealed that he’s already missed several key deadlines.

According to Ballotpedia, Kanye failed to register as an independent candidate in North Carolina by 3 March, May 11 in Texas and 26 May in New York.

He has also missed the deadline in Maine (1 June), New Mexico (25 June) and Indiana, which requires independent candidates to register by 30 June.

However, he is still eligible to register in states such as South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Colorado and Michigan where the deadlines fall in July.

The post Will.i.am calls Kanye West’s presidential bid “a dangerous thing to be playing with” appeared first on NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM.

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