(Al Bello/Getty Images)
Grammy Award winning rapper and hip-hop mogul Jay Z is celebrating his 44th birthday today. Considering his affinity for expensive and luxurious items – the artist also known as Hova purchased a 1982 Jean-Michel Basquiat painting for a hefty $4.5 million last month – Brooklyn-born Jay Z will likely celebrate his big day in style. If history is any indication, it seems he doesn’t mind going all out on gifts for his friends and family members either. And with so many powerful and affluent people surrounding him, he’s been on the receiving end of some pretty awesome gifts, too. Here are five examples of Jay Z balling out during birthday celebrations.FULL ENTRY
Boston Calling Music Festival rocked City Hall Plaza twice in 2013 and it’s planning a massive return in 2014, featuring music on not just two, but three days.FULL ENTRY
We're a couple days into the eight-night celebration of Hanukkah but there's never a bad time to break out this classic tune.
Huffington Post dug up a 2012 recording from BBC Radio 6's featuring Haim covering Adam Sandler's "The Chanukah Song." Sandler originally debuted the infectious tune on "Saturday Night Live" during a 1994 edition of "Weekend Update" and the West Coast trio just performed on last weekend's episode with Josh Hutcherson.
So breaking out the tune again felt necessary. Or maybe we just like it.
Check it out below:
Prince William took a break from his royal duties and joined Jon Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift on stage at a Kensington Palace charity event on Tuesday, where the trio performed Bon Jovi's classic "Livin' On a Prayer."
Bruce Springsteen's 18th studio album, "High Hopes," is officially coming out on January 14th. The details were released today through Springsteen's website. The follow-up to 2012's Wrecking Ball (named the top album of the year by "Rolling Stone") will feature Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who collaborated on a several songs, including the title track below.
Deceased members of the E Street Band Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici will also appear on a couple of tracks that Springsteen described on his website as, “some of our best unreleased material from the past decade.” Springsteen will be touring through South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand in the early part of 2014, but there's no word yet as to when he'll be heading back to the U.S. to debut his latest.
From Justin Timberlake telling his "family" to shut up when he got on stage to accept one of his three American Music Awards, to Christina Aguilera's stripped down and soulful duet with A Great Big World, we have the 11 moments from Sunday night's AMAs that we won't soon forget.FULL ENTRY
There's been a lot of Kanye buzz in Boston this week since the hip-hop artist and producer performed a show at TD Garden Sunday night as part of his "Yeezus" tour, with opening act Kendrick Lamar. Kanye's fiance, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, was spotted at the show that was full of elaborate sets, costumes, and outrageous moments.
But today Kanye debuted something that puts Kim in the spotlight more than his own song: the new video for "Bound 2," in which Kim appears topless, seductively riding a motorcycle with Kanye (her nude silhouette is shown rather than a full frontal view). The video premiered on the family-friendly TV talk show "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" with Kanye as the show's guest.FULL ENTRY
Sunday night brought Kanye West to the stage at TD Garden along with Kendrick Lamar, and fans were given anything but dull. The Globe's Sarah Rodman wrote in her review of the show:
Kanye West is a polarizing character. The Chicago rapper-producer (and sometime singer) has been called many things by both fans and detractors — from genius to blowhard.
But one thing he has yet to be accused of is laziness. Sunday night at the TD Garden, whatever anyone’s preconceived notions may have been about West going in, one thing was abundantly clear by night’s end: The dude works hard.
Boston.com correspondent Matt Juul captured the most memorable moments of the night below, using your social media posts to illustrate the highlights (and here's a recap of his updates from the show). We also want to hear from you: What did you think of the show? What was the most outrageous moment? Was anything disappointing? Share your own reviews in the comments.FULL ENTRY
Directed by frontman Jared Leto, an actor-turned-musician whose seen fame from two ends of the entertainment spectrum, the 30 Seconds to Mars video for "City of Angels" shows us a raw, personal side to some of today's most popular celebrities.FULL ENTRY
It should come as no surprise that the highways and subways will be packed this afternoon into the evening with folks heading to the city to watch Game 6 of the World Series.
Since we're dreading the commute ahead as much as we're assuming you are, we put together our Bumper to Bumpin' playlist, featuring some of our favorite new -- and old -- songs to get you through the long haul home.
It clocks in just under two hours. But that's a rough estimate.
It'll take you way longer than that.
Shipping up to Boston is right.
Major League Baseball confirmed Wednesday morning that local group Dropkick Murphys will perform the national anthem to kick off Game 6 of the World Series.
The group performed the patriotic song on Oct. 19 before Game 6 of the ALCS at Fenway where the Red Sox clinched a World Series berth. Think it could be good luck?
Check out the performance from a couple weeks ago above.FULL ENTRY
By now, you've probably heard the song "Cups" on the radio more times than you can count. The catchy tune revamped by actress Anna Kendrick in the a capella-heavy film "Pitch Perfect" has become fodder for tons of covers, but nothing quite like the one choreographed by Broadway dancer Christopher Rice.
The "Book of Mormon" dancer and a slew of other performers tapped the entire tune in perfectly syncopated rhythm, and the video has already racked up close to 350,000 on YouTube since it was posted Monday.
Check it out above and let us know what you think of the performance in the comments.
So, Kanye West declared himself a creative genius last week during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, and now Eminem says he's a rap god. Would anyone care to refute?
Note: The track is not censored. Listen at your own discretion.FULL ENTRY
Justin Timberlake must really love the Hub.
The "Take Back the Night" singer just announced a slew of new "20/20 Experience World Tour" dates, including a show in Boston on Feb. 27, 2014 at TD Garden. The February performance will be a follow-up to his already scheduled Nov. 4 show at the same venue.
Members of Timberlake's fan club, The Tennessee Kids, and Mastercard holders can take part in a presale this Wednesday, Sept. 25. The LiveNation presale begins on Friday, Sept. 25, and the regular sale kicks off Wednesday. Sept. 30. All tickets and show listings are available through Ticketmaster.
Timberlake's second album of the year drops on Sept. 30, but fans can stream it for free online if they can't hold out for another six days. Check out the video for his latest single off the album below.
Are you going to see either of his Boston shows? Let us know in the comments.
(Charles Sykes/Associated Press)
The Life is good Festival will be returning to Prowse Farm in Canton Sept. 21-22 for two days of music, fundraising, and fun.
The event will feature interactive arts activities, games, and plenty of live musical performances, including Hall and Oates, Jack Johnson, The Roots, Dawes, and more. There will also be a strong local presence, including acts with New England ties like Jesse Dee, Lake Street Dive, Gentlemen Hall, Ryan Montbleau, and more.
Check below to find out all the info you'll need for this year's Life is good Festival.FULL ENTRY
(Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff)
The final notes of Passion Pit's Sunday night set may still be hanging in the air over City Hall Plaza, but mark your calendars: Boston Calling is returning to the downtown location for Memorial Day weekend 2014.
After debuting the festival in May with headliners fun. and The National, and hosting a second rendition last weekend with Vampire Weekend, Kendrick Lamar, and more, today the organizers announced the dates for the next musical gathering: May 24-25.
A limited number of early bird tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. for the special price of $75. Purchasers of those tickets also get a silkscreened poster from last weekend's event.FULL ENTRY
Ever dream of being in a music video? You can get pretty close to making that dream a reality with the newest Arcade Fire video for the single, "Reflektor," which was released Sept. 9.
The watcher of the video can be the reflektor by using their webcam, mouse or finger (touchscreens) to control elements of the band in the video. Check it out at justareflektor.com. Viewers can bring subjects and items into focus, blur the video, and create flash like snapshots.
Another fun fact about the band's latest single: it features vocals by none other than David Bowie. The "Ziggy Stardust" singer's people confirmed it on his Facebook page this week.
The Canadian band's fourth album is due out on Oct. 29.
Have you viewed the "Reflektor" video? What did you think of the interactive element? The song? Let us know in the comments.
The genre of artists performing on Sunday varied from EDM (Major Lazer and Wolfgang Gartner), to indie-dance-pop (Royal Teeth, Passion Pit), and hip-hop (Kendrick Lamar, Flosstradamus), so it was only fitting that the energy from the crowd Sunday night was very different than Saturday's vibe (performers on day 1 included Vampire Weekend, The Airborne Toxic Event, and Gaslight Anthem, all rockers, some with genres in the indie arena).
But the crowd was still passionate. The audience in front of the Major Lazer stage appeared to be one of the largest for a daytime performer on either day of the festival. Hands stayed in the air throughout Kendrick Lamar's performance, which started earlier than it's 7:45 p.m. scheduled time.FULL ENTRY
Saturday marked the second manifestation of the Boston Calling festival of 2013, and although most concert-goers were there to catch Indie ballads from Vampire Weekend and Local Natives, attendees were pleasantly surprised by the smoking grills offering food truck favorites from Roxy's Grilled Cheese and The Chicken and Rice Guys.
This time around, a food truck park was shelved in favor of tents to aid with line congestion and visibility. Patrons still milled about with giant pretzels and mouths ringed with powdered sugar from stands of fried dough, but most gravitated to more eclectic fare like Roxy's Green Muenster Melt with muenster, bacon, and homemade guacamole and Tasty Burgers slathered in Alex's Ugly sauce.
Check out all the gooey, glistening comfort food and all the hoppy craft beer that made the fall Boston Calling festival a perfect weekend for live music.
Flatbread Company's mobile wood fired oven.
Variety of music? Check. Portable bathrooms? Check. Food and beer? Check. Crowd? Definite check.
The two-day Boston Calling music festival took over Boston's City Hall Plaza on Saturday, and drew thousands to the fenced in area at Government Center. The folks at Boston Calling expected that 30,000 people would have attended by the time the festival wrapped on Sunday night. They'll have a more concrete number later this week.
Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe staff
Gates opened at noon on Saturday and fans began slowly trickling in to watch groups like Boston-based Viva Viva and Cambridge's own You Won't in the early afternoon. By the time The Airborne Toxic Event took the main (blue) stage at 4:30 p.m., there was a solid swarm (see above), but nothing compared to the group gathered for headliners Vampire Weekend, which kicked off its day-ending set just after 9 p.m.FULL ENTRY
About Sound Effects
ContributorsSarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.