The Beatles cover versions

50 years ago this month, The Beatles released Strawberry Fields Forever – a song that ushered in the psychedelic era and changed the course of popular music forever. But have you ever heard the Latin ska version featuring Blondie’s Debbie Harry? Few would argue it improves on the original, but it certainly brings something different to the table.

As the most popular band in history, The Beatles are also the most covered. Many versions of their classic songs have been attempted in a whole gamut of styles, moods and even languages – often with results that Lennon and McCartney (and Harrison and Starr) could never have imagined. Here are some of the most unusual.

1. Strawberry Fields Forever by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs y Debbie Harry

Strawberry Fields Forever is one of The Beatles’ most idiosyncratic songs, heavy on obscure instruments such as the mellotron and the swarmandal, and spliced together woozily by super-producer George Martin from two wildly different takes in different keys. But that hasn’t stopped legions of other

The Conversation With Brian Eno About Ambient Music

Visiting Brian Eno’s studio in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood, there’s plenty to catch the eye. Shelves sag beneath books and records, a spiral staircase climbs up toward the rafters, and a kitchen table is filled with wine bottles in preparation for a party. Standing in front of a computer monitor, Eno listens to an excerpt of a Baroque opera at formidable volume. Large skylights flood the white-walled space in natural light, and an open doorway affords a tantalizing view into the room where the producer makes his music. Two glowing light boxes, artworks from Eno’s Light Music series—four feet high and priced up to £35,000 apiece—cycle slowly through a series of geometrical shapes in rich pastel colors, like melting blocks of fruit sorbet.

Once the opera stops playing, I ask Eno how long he’s been in this space. “All night,” he says. If that’s true—it’s 10:30 in the morning—he looks remarkably fresh. I clarify: But for how many years? “All night for the past 22

News Jay Z and Hot 97 Combined Forces to Take Over Hip-Hop

Funkmaster Flex is a gifted storyteller. When asked about meeting Jay Z in the mid 1990s, the legendary Hot 97 DJ must first set the scene. “I want you to imagine Puff and Big and Bad Boy shining bright as hell, like nothing else moving,” Flex’s tale begins. “Roc-A-Fella, Dame Dash, and Jay Z were outcasts.”

At the time, Jay Z was best known for his cameo on his mentor Jaz-O’s goofy 1989 single “Hawaiian Sophie.” On most of his early records, Jay didn’t stand out lyrically and rhymed in double-time flows with an unearned confidence. Like some rap fans, Flex, who just happened to be the most influential DJ on the most influential rap radio station in the world, was unimpressed. “I had no faith in Jay Z,” he says. “I did not think he was going to be a hill of beans.”

Still, Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash hounded Flex whenever they crossed paths. “You know you’re fucking sleeping, right?” Dash would tell

Enjoy the music you love in the perfect Bluetooth speakers from Tractor Supply and Co.

Victrola Wooden 6-in-1 Nostalgic Record Player with Bluetooth and 3 Speed Turntable

A beautifully designed wooden record player to play  your music in 6 different ways. Listen to your favorite FM radio station. Go through your cassette and CD collection and relive the good years of music. Or connect it to your mobile device via Bluetooth. Pause play, play it back and have full control with the remote control. This is what you need for all your music needs. It even adds great decor to your home. A good looking piece to add to your living room and jam to your favorite nostalgic or upbeat music.

Bright Tunes Indoor/Outdoor Multi Colored Incandescent String Lights with Bluetooth Speakers

Share your favorite tunes with others and use it for outdoor parties. Lights have 4 built in Bluetooth speakers, so you can stream from your favorite music app or play from your device’s library. Bring the party alive and enjoy the light show. These lights are also perfect for your home decor. Get three pairs to get great surround sound at your  outdoor parties. You can also connect to other lights no matter the brand or style.

Jay Som’s will Hard-Working Dream-Pop

“My heart is beating so fast,” Melina Duterte spurts out. “We just had a connection. Did you see that?”

It’s a Friday afternoon in West Oakland, and I am sitting at a plastic children’s table-and-chair set with Duterte. We’re at the Cat Town Cafe, where felines up for adoption preen in hammocks and roam among a scaled Oakland Tribune Tower and a miniature “Tacos for Los Gatos” truck. A mural of the Golden Gate Bridge depicts a looming Catzilla. Our mission: to drink coffee and chill with the cats. That secret locked-eyes moment, then, was with a slightly tentative, black-and-white domestic shorthair named Huck.

Duterte is a noted animal lover with a tattoo of her childhood dog Yung Yung on her arm. She once named a pet guppy fish after Jónsi, from Sigur Rós. An especially brisk cut from her sparkling upcoming album is admirably titled “1 Billion Dogs.” The Cat Town Cafe is one of Duterte’s favorite places in the city, where she recently relocated after a year in San Francisco. (She grew up in the nearby East Bay suburb of Brentwood.)

Now K-Pop Band Beast Changes Name to Highlight After Leaving Agency

Goodbye, Beast. Hello, Highlight!

The Korean quintet formerly known as Beast has officially announced they will now be known as Highlight after leaving Cube Entertainment at the end of 2016.

The band’s new agency, Around US Entertainment, told Korean media that the name signifies their potential to be exceptional and stand out. The name is based on the title of Beast’s latest album, Highlight, which was the first and only album the band released with five members –Yoon Doojoon, Yong Junhyung, Yang Yoseob, Lee Kikwang and Son Dongwoon — under Cube Entertainment. Former member Jang Hyunseung withdrew from the band in April and remains signed to Cube.

In a statement, Highlight thanked fans for their support and revealed that they are in the midst of preparations to release new music.

Beast debuted in 2009 as an underdog act whose members had already embarked on separate careers (Lee had pursued a solo career) or were passed over by other bands (Jang didn’t make the final cut to be in BIGBANG). Over the years, Beast grew to became one of K-pop’s most recognized acts, rarely failing to impress with their sleek, energetic approach to dance music and sentimental pop ballads.

The Frontmen Summit of Deftones, Rise Against and Thrice Discuss Winning

The 21-date North American trek kicks off June 9 in Chicago and also features support from Three Trapped Tigers and Frank Iero and the Patience.

When this summer’s Deftones, Rise Against and Thrice tour came up in a recent interview with Pierce The Veil, the band’s frontman Vic Fuentes half-joked, “Maybe they need another guitar tech.” That’s high praise from a band who has their own headlining tour on the horizon and whose last album, Misadventures,debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.

But in the rock world, that’s the kind of excitement this triple-bill inspires — maybe because it’s the sort of escape we need right now. Deftones bring their fantastical side, which lets fans drift off to another world. Rise Against is always politically outspoken about the present moment. And Thrice lives somewhere in between, a cerebral post-hardcore island that’s very much its own.

Rise Against and Thrice are approaching 20 years together, while Deftones closing in on three decades. They’ve all put in time, and over their careers, they’ve grown their respective fanbases into dedicated units that will come together this summer. Needless to say, the bands are up for the challenge.

Billboard spoke

John Mayer Would Be A ‘The Bachelor’

“I think it would be one of the lowest rated shows.”

John Mayer does not want to be The Bachelor, but Ellen DeGeneres sure wants him to be.

The musician joined Ellen on Friday (Feb. 24) to discuss his new EP, The Search for Everything – Wave Two, but almost all the two could talk about was the ABC reality dating competition.

“I don’t think that I would find love there unless they would change this sort of vetting process for who would be the contestants,” Mayer told DeGeneres, who suggested he should star in an upcoming season. “I think it would be one of the lowest rated shows.”

Mayer has in the past divulged that he likes watching The Bachelor but admitted he hasn’t kept up with this season.

“I love the show, but it’s too much time to ask of me. Two hours is a lot of buy-in time,” he said, stating he’d happily buy a condensed version of the season. “Just get me the helicopters, get me the girls crying, girls crying on helicopters… If you get tears in flight on

George Harrison is the Biggest Billboard Hits

In honor of the anniversary of his birthday (Feb. 25), Billboard takes a look at George Harrison’s successful track record on the Billboard Hot 100, among other charts.

The guitarist and singer-songwriter would have turned 74 today; he died of complications from lung cancer at age 58 on Nov. 29, 2001. While he became iconic as a member of The Beatles, alongside John Lennon, Paul McCartney andRingo Starr, Harrison enjoyed a lengthy and successful solo career beginning in the late 1960s, while the Fab Four were still together. In the late ’80s, he scored success in another band, supergroup Traveling Wilburys, with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty.

Over the length of his solo career, Harrison placed 15 songs on the Hot 100, with five hitting the top 10 and three reaching No. 1. His first chart entry, the double-sided “My Sweet Lord”/”Isn’t It a Pity,” ruled for four weeks in 1970-71 (with “Lord” later the focus of a famed copyright infringement case). While all four Beatles would top the Hot 100 on their own, that single made Harrison the first to earn the honor.

Harrison topped the Hot 100 again with “Give Me Love —

Maren Morris,Jon Pardi and More at Country Radio Seminar

The New Faces Show brought this year’s Country Radio Seminar to a close Friday night (Feb. 24) at the Nashville Omni. And while the evening served as a deserved coronation of Columbia’sMaren Morris for the incredible year she continues to enjoy, the format might very well have given rise to the next soul-toned singer in the format, as well as one of the most traditionally-minded male artists since Alan Jackson came along.

First up for the evening was Dot’s Drake White. The Alabama native wasted no time showcasing his blue-eyed soul stylings to the industry crowd, with a set that included “Heartbeat,” “It Feels Good,” and his breakthrough record “Livin’ the Dream.” Perhaps he got his best reaction of the night on his current single “Makin’ Me Look Good Again.” White was definitely on his game from the opening line of the song, which gave him a showcase for his incredible vocal approach. Radio programmers might be very receptive to the new single, which could very well be the romantic ballad performance of the year. White has been around the block before, and his experience showed with a performance that seemingly made himself hard to follow.

The Highest-Charting Hit Win the Best Original Song Oscar

This year, Justin Timberlake’s Trollssoundtrack smash “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” is in contention for best original song at the Academy Awards,becoming the 41st No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 to be Oscar-nominated. It’s easily the biggest chart hit of the songs nominated this year, with the only other song to even hit the Hot 100 so far being “How Far I’ll Go,” from Moana, which has peaked thusfar at No. 41 for Auli’i Cravalho (and No. 56 for Alessia Cara’s version).

But how often is chart success a predictive measure of Oscar gold? To figure that out, we looked back at every group of Oscar nominees since 1959 — the first ceremonies after the introduction of the Hot 100 — and found the chart history for each nominated song, to determine how often the highest-charting hit won, and how often the winning song was a Hot 100 hit at all.

As it turns out, of the 57 Oscars that have taken place since the ’59 ceremonies, 20 of them have seen the highest-charting Hot 100 hit among nominees win the award, while 28 of them have been won by a lower-charting hit. (We only

This Nicki Minaj Collection Discontinued at Kmart

Kmart’s partnership with Nicki Minaj has come to a close, a representative for the retailer confirms, after news that the rapper’s apparel line was discontinued in stores circulated on social media Saturday (Feb. 25).

“Kmart is thrilled that we were the first retail partner to create a custom apparel line for Nicki Minaj,” a rep for Kmart tells Billboard. “From the development of the line, to showcasing it in stores, to designing exclusive capsule collections, we have enjoyed a positive relationship with Nicki Minaj and her team over the last three years. As our partnership came to a close in 2016, we would like to thank Nicki Minaj for being a great partner and wish her continued success in her future endeavors.”

The topic came to light when Twitter handle @KmartFashions tweeted the following: “Due to a dramatic decrease in sales, Nicki Minaj’s clothing line will soon be discontinued.”

While the @KmartFashions account does not appear to be affiliated with the company — the Minaj update is its only public tweet — another user shared the tweet with Kmart’s official Twitter account (along with the message “tell me you guys aren’t serious right now”), and the company tweeted back.

“We’re sad to see Nicki leaves

Here’s On Every Nicki Minaj Associate Remy Ma Name

Remy Ma arrives for VH1’s Hip Hop Honors: All Hail The Queens on July 11, 2016 at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Saturday was canceled after Remy Maunleashed a new diss track against Nicki Minaj called “ShETHER,” a play off of Nas’ iconic 2001 diss called “Ether” against Jay Z utilizing the same menacing Ron Browz-produced beat.

The nearly seven-minute-long track finds the Bronx rapper exposing the Queens MC in a hard-hitting barrage of claims that cite Minaj’s family (specifically her brother), label deals and, uh, butt while also gunning for the title “queen of rap.”

Like Rem assured in a recent Breakfast Club interview (“If you look at the history of Remy Ma, whenever I’ve had a problem with any female in the entire game, I will say your name”), she not only called out Onika by her rap name, she also cited several hip-hop associates connected to Minaj.

Here’s a guide to the name-dropping, plus any reactions to the savagery.


Collaborator as heard on on “Touchin, Lovin” and “Bottoms Up”

Songwriter Erin Bowman Talks About Oscars Sync

We already have our first Oscar winner, and its independent recording artist Erin Bowman.

Bowman, who signed a publishing deal with Kobalt Music in 2016, has been living out her Academy Award dreams ever since her song “Good Time Good Life” was picked to be the soundtrack for this year’s commercials leading up to Sunday’s (Feb. 26) ceremony on ABC. The song will also be played during the red carpet as well as all post-show events Sunday.

It will be a huge moment for the Hamilton, N.J., native — and she can’t wait to watch. “That is my favorite part of the Oscars. You see everyone looking so pretty,” Bowman tells Billboard. “It is going to be really exciting.”

Bowman has been on a rocket ride since the first promo — which features Oscar nominee Natalie Portman reciting the line, “People like to believe in fairy tales,” from her new movie Jackie — aired on the network one month ago. Since then, her phone has been ringing off the hook. On Friday, she scored a major coup when ABC’s Good Morning America invited her to perform the song live on the show.

“It is

‘Lose Yourself’ the Writer Jeff Bass Reflects On Oscar-Winning Eminem

Eminem’s career-defining hit “Lose Yourself” was released to the masses in October 2002. Not only did the 8 Mile smash become a cultural phenomenon, it helped steer a significant and important conversation about race in the rap game. The track also made history as the first rap song to win an Academy Award for best original song at the 2003 ceremony.

Billboard caught up with Oscar-winning producer/songwriter Jeff Bass, a Detroit native who helped Slim Shady pen the prolific song, just in time for this year’s ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 26. As one-half of the production team Bass Brothers, with his sibling Mark, Bass produced songs on Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP and lent his production skills and voice to the skits “Public Service Announcement,” “Soap Skit” and “Lounge Skit” on the Slim Shady LP.

Read on to learn about Bass’ creative relationship with Em, what he remembers about the moment he won his Oscar and the song’s undying legacy.

How did you first meet Eminem?

He was already sending people his mixtapes and work, always ready to work and had a passion for it. When we first started out, my brother and I worked with artists

YouTube of Star William Singe Talks RCA Records Deal

For 24-year-old YouTube sensationWilliam Singe, singing is his remedy for overcoming heartaches. Born Liam Anthony Singe, the Australian-bred crooner has used his mesmerizing vocals to reel in millions of YouTube views through his popular covers ofDrake’s “Hotline Bling”, Zayn’s “Pillowtalk” and Bryson Tiller’s “Don’t.” Once Singe burgeoned into a full-fledged YouTube cover star, RCA Records took notice and offered him a deal last July.

Now, Singe is slowly segueing into an original artist. His first offering “Rush” is a lush, slow-burning track that finds the singer seeking a woman to be his safe haven in love. As he currently travels across the United States for his Changes Tour with his YouTube counterpart, Alex Aiono, Singe is aware of the hindrances that he faces. Not only is he hoping to remove the tag “YouTube sensation,” he wants to become a mainstream staple.

While in New York for his concert, Singe sat down with Billboard at the Playstation Theater to discuss his success as a YouTube cover star, signing with RCA Records and creating original music.

When did you first fall in love with music?

Since I was a little boy. I was raised

Future got Earns Fourth No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart

Future scores his fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart as his new self-titled effort starts atop the list, earning 140,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Feb. 23, according to Nielsen Music.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new March 11, 2017-dated chart (where Future debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Future’s latest No. 1 is also his fourth leader in a row, following Evol (2016), What a Time to Be Alive (with Drake) and DS2 (both in 2015). It’s likely that Future will notch another No. 1 in short order — as he released another album on Feb. 24: HNDRXX. Industry forecasters suggest the new set could also open atop the tally, bumpingFuture from the top slot, and giving the artist an unprecedented feat: back-to-back No. 1 debuts in successive weeks.

As for Future’s current No. 1, more than half of its units

Kelly Lee Owens’ Of Techno Daydreams

In 10th grade, Kelly Lee Owens’ class unanimously voted her “Daydreamer of the Year.” Today, her pride in the achievement is undiminished. “I was like, ‘Yes! Someone understands me,’” the 28-year-old beams, perched in the café of Rough Trade East, the London record store where she worked a few years ago. As if to welcome the ascendant producer home, staff are blasting out Radiohead’s “Daydreaming,” soundtracking shoppers’ Tuesday-evening daze. Owens, though, is anything but distractible. Were you a genuine daydreamer, I ask, or actually—“planning to take over the world?” she says, grinning. “Mixture of both.”

Since then, Owens’ global domination prospects have broadened considerably. Last February, Alexander McQueen picked up her track “Arthur”—an Arthur Russell tribute that merges lush dream-pop and austere techno—for a runway show. After seeing the event, the Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound signed Owens for an EP,Oleic, as well as her debut album, due this year. The self-titled record is a confluence of enveloping club tracks and underwater transmissions—roiling currents, sonar bass pulses, and a sense of chaos teeming beneath a pristine veneer. A few songs nod to the underground dance sounds

Kraus Makes Some Noise Rock for Anxious People

A bedroom can say a lot about a person: their passions, their priorities, their preferred thread count. Will Kraus’ bedroom, a small, orderly alcove nestled above a Mexican restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn, is no exception. With two guitars hanging beside his bed, a few drawings leaning up against a wall, and some scattered articles of clothing on the floor, the bare room suggests both minimalism and possibility. When he opens his laptop and a barrage of noise escapes the speakers, it becomes clear that this cordial 22-year-old has the ability to transform his otherwise calm demeanor into a frenzy when given the chance.

I’m in Kraus’ domain on a freezing Friday in December to conduct his second-ever interview, which is occurring only a few months after his second-ever public performance. It’s all happening in the wake ofEnd Tomorrow, Kraus’ debut record under his surname. The album is loud and hectic, with cooing vocals set over spazzy drums and unceasing blasts of dissonance made up of sampled piano, keys, strings, and drones. It’s a carefully crafted attack that clobbers the listener with

Wow Save the Last Dance

e endangered Corsica Studios crouches under the railway arches of Elephant and Castle Station, a clubbers’ hideaway in southeast London. The neighboring district lays low on weekday evenings, populated by commuter traffic, bored teens, and the occasional clan of city boys ambling by from a pub on the roundabout. But when I arrive one Tuesday in the fall, the DIY performance space is aglow. Inside, gloriously profane rapper Princess Nokia is inciting a riot amongst art students in chokers and drawstring backpacks, tropical shirts and sports shorts. “Children, are you having fucking fun?” she enquires, as purple spotlights dance in the fog. The couple hundred in attendance scream their approval.

At midnight, friendly clusters split into squadrons of solo dancers, carving out space with fluid hips and fast limbs. As the DJ’s baile-funk rhythms swell, a succession of women twerk and belly-dance onstage. Beside me, a man and woman suddenly become entangled, hands delving as they back onto a carpet of crumpled craft beer cans. An hour later, everyone streams through the exit and past a series of billboards on the backstreet.