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Adele Using Voice-Generating Smartphone App To Talk While On Vocal Rest

Posted by MTV News On November - 30 - 2011

By Zachary Swickey

Most music fans are aware that songbird of the year Adele is currently on the mend from vocal surgery after canceling her North American tour for a second time earlier this year. However, the singer is getting by in high-tech fashion, using a smartphone app to communicate.

The Sun reports that the British singer has a fancy new app that essentially reads messages aloud as she types them into her phone, which allows the star to still run errands while she’s on complete vocal rest.

A source revealed to the tabloid, “She’s been using the speaking app to buy coffee at Starbucks and order cabs. … It is far easier to communicate using it rather than writing everything down on paper and showing people.”

Adele is still recovering stateside in Boston, where she underwent vocal surgery earlier this month, and while vocal issues have been a setback, she’s still having an amazing year. Her album 21 continues to sell like crazy, recently topping 12 million units worldwide and easily on track for 13 million by the end of the holiday season. The album has spent an impressive 39 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, where it has basically lived in the top five (it is currently No. 3) and spent more weeks at number one than any album since Santana’s Supernatural in 2000.

Adele will likely have plenty more to be excited about when tonight’s Grammy nominations concert special airs tonight, as the singer is expected to be showered with multiple nominations.

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Coldplay And Emma Stone Are No Match For Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’

Posted by John Mitchell On November - 14 - 2011

Adele‘s music is widely acclaimed for its emotional resonance and it seems that the diva’s voice and powerful lyrics can reduce even the world’s biggest band and one of Hollywood’s top up-and-comers to tears.

That was the joke during a sketch on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend. In the skit, Emma Stone and Co. played officemates who discover that whenever you need a good cry, Adele’s “Someone Like You” is the perfect track to turn to.

So secretly universal is breaking down to Adele’s hit that Kristen Wiig’s character declares, “Everyone with a heart and an iTunes account does it.”

Later, in a bit of behind-the-scenes fun, we see this week’s musical guest Coldplay losing it while watching the sketch on a monitor.

This was Stone’s second time hosting the show and she proved once again that her natural comic timing and graceful presence make one of the best “SNL” hosts in recent memory (actually, between Stone, Melissa McCarthy and Charlie Day, “SNL” is having a pretty strong season so far).

Check out the full episode after the jump. (The Adele sketch begins at about 52:10.)

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Keith Urban Joins Adele And John Mayer As Latest Star To Tackle Vocal Chord Issues

Posted by MTV News On November - 4 - 2011

Keith Urban

By Zachary Swickey

Country star Keith Urban is the latest in a long list of musicians to require throat surgery to remove a polyp from his vocal cords. The singer made the announcement on his website, stating the surgery will be minor, although it is undetermined how much vocal rest he will actually need.

This has forced Urban to postpone his “All for the Hall” benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which was scheduled for Jan. 18 in Nashville. It was to include performances from Rascal Flatts, Vince Gill and Allison Krauss with Urban acting as emcee for the evening. Urban will still honor any one-song performances leading up to his surgery later this month.

There seems to be some sort of throat epidemic going around considering the growing list of musicians facing serious vocal ailments. Adele, the best selling artist in the U.S. this year, has nixed her tour of the states twice (which had been selling tickets like hotcakes) due to her persisting vocal problems that now require the amazing British songbird to undergo surgery. (Word of advice: lay off the cigs my dear). But trust us; she’s just as bummed as we are about it.

Who else is on doctor-ordered vocal rest? Read on for more.

It seems like a long time since we’ve heard from lady-killer John Mayer, considering he’s been keeping a low profile in recent years, which is not what we’re used to from the singer. He was finally going to come out of hiding and give us a new album; however, he’s been forced to postpone it entirely after announcing on his Tumblr last month that he’d quietly undergone throat surgery to remove a throat lesion – a granuloma resting above his vocal cord.

“I am now on complete vocal rest for a month or more,” Mayer wrote candidly. “I stay in at night, picking guitar parts off of records and dreaming of playing on the big stage. The only difference between now and when I was 18 is that now I have this beautiful, meaningful record waiting for me when I can sing it. Until then, I’m taking off. Going to travel the country, look and listen.”

And yet there are two more artists whose throats have gone under the knife lately: R. Kelly and KISS singer-guitarist Paul Stanley. Kelly had emergency throat surgery to drain an abscess on one of his tonsils in July this year. Stanley is currently recovering from his throat procedure. He commented to CNN on his issues, saying, “I hold myself to a higher standard than others do. With that in mind, I wanted to remedy a few minor issues that come with 40 years of preaching rock and roll.”

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Bob Dylan Tribute Album to Feature Adele, My Morning Jacket and … Kesha

Posted by MTV News On October - 20 - 2011

Bob Dylan

By Zachary Swickey

Even at 70 years old, Bob Dylan is still a big deal and one of the most revered singer-songwriters ever –and now some big name musicians, including Adele, Ke$ha, My Morning Jacket and Sting, are preparing to pay their respects on a new tribute album for charity.

Titled Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International, the disc is expected to land on November 21 stateside with proceeds benefiting the human rights group.

Ke$ha will be handling the ’63 tune “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” and you may be surprised to discover her enthusiasm for the project. While the collab is sure to have some detractors, Ke$ha defended her love for the icon to Rolling Stone, saying, “When you think of me, you wouldn’t think of Bob Dylan. My music is more crazy than politics. But he’s a huge influence – he writes his own music and means what he says. I write my own music and I f***cking mean every word I sing.”

Adele will include her beautiful rendition of “Make You Feel My Love,” which can already be heard on her smash-hit debut, 19, while My Morning Jacket will supply a superstar jam fest with the help of Sting and Dave Matthews Band for a cover of “You’re a Big Girl Now” off of Dylan’s 1975 album, Blood on the Tracks.

Other artists set to appear include Rise Against covering “Ballad of Hollis Brown,” the iconic Patti Smith handling “Drifter’s Escape,” and notorious punksters Bad Religion joining forces with legendary folk singer Lucinda Williams on Dylan’s “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven.”

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Adele’s Tour Cancelation Brings Back Bad Memories Of Other Must-See Tours That Fell Apart

Posted by MTV News On October - 5 - 2011

By Zachary Swickey

Chart-topping songstress of the year Adele is disappointed just as much as us that she’s had to cancel her U.S. tour once again. It’s easy for fans to be upset, considering this is her second scrapped stateside tour, and there’s no immediate mention of rescheduling the dates. Although, it’s understandably imperative that she properly rests her vocal chords because it appears they never fully healed from the first tour cancellation.

Axed tours are always a bummer, especially when it’s from one of the year’s biggest acts, but she’s not the first heavy hitter forced to cancel. From Kanye to the Lollapalooza festival itself, here are five of the biggest tour cancellations that prompted a universal sigh from fans.

Kanye West and Lady Gaga’s “Fame Kills Tour”
Appropriately, Kanye West visited the ladies on talk show “The View” in June 2009 to announce a co-headlining tour with then-rising star Lady Gaga, who was riding high on the success of her debut The Fame. Dubbed “Fame Kills: Starring Kanye West and Lady Gaga,” the tour would have found West supporting his auto-tune disc 808s & Heartbreak, while Gaga would release The Fame Monster EP during the tour. However, following West’s infamous stage-crashing incident with Taylor Swift at the VMAs, the entire production was canceled (only two weeks after it was even official). Various rumors suggested poor ticket sales, creative differences and feuding between the two icons … but they both seem to be doing all right today.

Lollapalooza 2004
Lollapalooza originally called it a day after the ’97 iteration. It seemed to have slowly lost the luster that made it a special, must-see event. Perry Farrell revived the fest in 2003 (along with his group, Jane’s Addiction) with acts such as Audioslave, Incubus and Queens of the Stone Age. A year later in 2004, Perry revised the new Lolla by adding a second day for each date on the tour. The lineup was drool-worthy by today’s standards: Morissey, The Killers, Wilco, The Flaming Lips, Modest Mouse, Danger Mouse, Broken Social Scene, PJ Harvey … to name a few. Somehow despite the bevy of impressive acts, the entire tour was nixed due to poor ticket sales. It would have been the tour’s final year as a traveling road show, since it began setting up shop in Chicago for a single, three-day festival beginning in 2005.

Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine’s “Rhyme & Reason Tour”
In what would have been a legendary tour, the Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine were set to pair up for a late summer jaunt in 2000. There was a variety of supporting acts on all the dates as well: Busta Rhymes, The Roots, Queens of the Stone Age and At the Drive-In (who would break up soon after). Unfortunately, the much-anticipated tour never came to be as Mike D of The Beastie Boys hit a pothole while riding a bicycle and royally screwing up his arm in the process (he would require intense physical therapy in order to fully recover). Mere months later, Rage frontman Zack De La Rocha sadly announced the demise of his group.

Amy Winehouse’s Comeback Tour
Most are aware that the late Amy Winehouse had a troubling time leading up to her passing. Early this summer, her Euro fans went into a frenzy when she announced a small comeback European tour. After the first two shows consisted of disappointing performances from the singer, she initially pulled out of two festival stops before eventually withdrawing from the tour altogether. Her final onstage appearance came a few weeks later when she joined goddaughter Dionne Broomfield on stage to playfully dance along to The Shirelle’s “Mama Said” just days before her death.

Kings of Leon’s 2011 Tour
Just a few months ago, the late summer tour from Southern rockers Kings of Leon famously came to a halt when singer Caleb Followill walked off stage to “vomit and grab another beer” promising to return for three more songs (which he never did). Even his brothers/bandmates gladly pointed the finger, as KOL bassist Jared Followill told the crowd that fans should “F**king hate Caleb, not us.” The rest of the tour was immediately canceled, and the nix supposedly cost their insurers upwards of $15 million dollars. That’s one costly hangover.

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