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Ariana Grande returns to Manchester to play poignant Pride show

Star performed in city for the first time since a benefit gig for those killed at her concert in 2017 The last time Ariana Grande performed in Manchester, in the harrowing days after the blast that killed 22 people and injured hundreds more at one of her concerts there, her tribute show began with a minutes silence and the words: Lets not be afraid, Manchester. She returned to the city in sparkling style on Sunday night, dazzling through a party playlist as she pledged her undying love to a place…

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Starwoman? Mattel announces David Bowie Barbie dressed as Ziggy Stardust

Toy company heralds the ultimate pop chameleon with new doll, complete with striped jumpsuit and accessories Mattel has announced its latest Barbie doll: one dressed as David Bowies iconic alter ego Ziggy Stardust. Complete with red boots to match a backcombed mane of hair and a striped jumpsuit, plus some cosmic accessories and face paint, Barbie replicates the look of Bowies bisexual messenger from the stars though her usual pleasant smile doesnt quite match the intense stare usually associated with the character. Introducing the $50 (40) doll, The Rise and…

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Richard Ashcroft making up with Mick cant change the mould | Rebecca Nicholson

The Verve frontman has settled his dispute over Bitter Sweet Symphony but this wont be the last row over songwriting royalties Richard Ashcroft received an outstanding contribution to British music accolade at the Ivor Novello awards last week, and took the opportunity to confirm that the rights to the Verves Bitter Sweet Symphony had been OneRepublic frontman and songwriter Ryan Tedder, who has created monster hits with and for Beyonc, Adele and Ariana Grande among others, told the BBC of his concerns about copyright lawsuits. Its a conversation in every…

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Whole lotta rock: first official Led Zeppelin documentary announced

Bernard MacMahon, director of roots music series American Epic, will helm film exploring bands explosive early years The first ever official documentary film about Led Zeppelin has been announced, to celebrate the bands 50th anniversary. Announcing the project, bassist Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page said in a statement, with frontman entire history of the group, MacMahon will focus on their development and rise to fame, as the three members each left session work and existing bands to come together in 1968, along with late drummer John Bonham. The film will…

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The National: ‘We’re the sound of the apocalypse!’

After 20 years of soundtracking human heartbreak, the legendary US rockers talk about depression, infighting and playing live while Paris burns Ten minutes before Notre Dame is on fire. The inner thoughts of the Grammy-award-winning American alternative rock band are ticker-tape flashes of catastrophe. They were a fledgling band in Brooklyn when 9/11 happened; they are in Paris tonight, four years on from the Bataclan theatre massacre, and two years on from the UKs Manchester Arena bombing. The bands frontman Matt Berninger feels certain it is a hate crime and…

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Jenny Lewis: Its scary to share this stuff, but its true

Shes one of the worlds pre-eminent songwriters but Lewis didnt feel she could tackle the subject of her mothers heroin addiction until now I just had to blab it all out there, Jenny Lewis says, with a sigh. Right at the beginning. First interview. Blab, blab, blab. I regret it, but I put it out into the ether, and maybe Ill learn something. As Lewis began the promotion for her brilliant fourth solo album, Benmont Tench, Beck, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr. Lewis has been in showbiz for 40 of her…

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The Cure’s Robert Smith: ‘I was very optimistic when I was young now I’m the opposite’

The singer and songwriter has been curating the Meltdown festival, and is planning to record the first Cure album in 10 years. But will it be fuelled by magic mushroom tea? The first thing Robert Smith does is apologise for the makeup. He hasnt worn it since his last concert with the Cure, in December 2016, but he has a photoshoot today at the Royal Festival Hall and thinks his features are too indistinct without it. To be honest, I would be disappointed if he wasnt wearing it, along with…

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Rage Against the Machine beats X Factor’s Joe to Christmas No 1

After an Facebook campaign against Simon Cowell's chart domination, music fans celebrate their victory In recent years, it had become as predictable as elections in North Korea singer wins X Factor, singer’s debut single goes to No 1. So when Joe McElderry won the TV talent contest, he was no doubt confident he would celebrate Christmas at the top of the charts. Alas for the 18-year-old from South Shields, it wasn’t to be: a song almost his own age denied him the top spot after a successful online campaign. Killing…

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Abba announce first new songs for 35 years

Swedish four-piece take to Instagram to announce two releases that will form part of an avatar tour project Abba have announced that they have written and recorded their first new songs since they split in 1983. The Swedish four-piece, who had nine No 1 hits in the UK between 1974 and 1980, and who have sold hundreds of millions of records worldwide, in Brussels earlier this week. The centrepiece is the two-hour TV show co-produced by NBC and the BBC, which will see the band perform as computer-generated avatars. Ulvaeus…

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‘You don’t own or control me’: Janelle Mone on her music, politics and undefinable sexuality

The cyborg-fixated singer is back with her first album for five years. Outspoken as ever, she explains why shell always speak up for black women and how much she misses her mentor, Prince Days before she delivers her unequivocal Times Up speech at the Grammys We come in peace, but we mean business Janelle Mone walks into an upper-level hotel suite in Manhattan, just as sunset begins to fade over the Hudson river. Her 5ft stature is amplified by a wide-brimmed hat and a warm, room-owning confidence. She is dressed…

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‘Columbine destroyed my entire career’: Marilyn Manson on the perils of being the lord of darkness

He has been called an emissary of Satan and falsely blamed for one of the most notorious shootings in US history. But the singer has never been afraid of outrage. Is that really an excuse, though, to flick our interviewers testicles? It is while discussing the difference between his stage persona and his day-to-day life that Marilyn Manson leans over and flicks me in the testicles. This comes as quite a surprise: I have encountered a lot of unusual things as a journalist, but have thus far managed to get…

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In defence of Ringo Starr a masterful drummer and the Beatles’ unsung genius

He may have lacked precision and showmanship and he did write Octopuss Garden. But those who dismiss Ringo as a journeyman who got lucky wildly underestimate a rhythmic powerhouse In 1983, the British comedian Jasper Carrott made an unhelpful contribution to Beatles legend when a tribute video for Starrs Rock & Roll Hall of Fame presentation. Is it someone thats technically proficient? Or is it someone that sits in the song with their own feel? Ringo was the king of feel. What this means is that many of Ringos best…

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Holger Czukay, bassist with Can, dies aged 79

The man who helped give the German psychedelicists their driving rhythm section was found at his apartment, with the cause of death currently unknown Holger Czukay, co-founder and bassist with pioneering German rock band Can, has died aged 79. He was found by a neighbour at his apartment, converted from Cans old studio in Weilerswist near Cologne. The cause of death is currently unknown. His wife Ursula had died in July, while his former bandmate krautrock by the British music press, alongside bands including Tangerine Dream, who paired the strident…

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‘That’s Melodrama’: Lorde plays exclusive show on Sydney’s Cockatoo Island

Singer takes the stage in a sparkling playsuit, throwing off the dark intensity of her last tour. This time, shes dancing with us The last time Lorde toured a solo show it was 2014. Then 18, Ella Marija Lani Yelich-OConnor already a few years into her career was touring her debut album Pure Heroine, and its breakout track Royals. She had disarmed critics with a voice, lyrics, stage presence and songcraft a decade older than they thought they should be. She had sold 5m records and performed at the Grammys.…

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