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Millie Small, ‘My Boy Lollipop’ singer, dies aged 73

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Jamaican singer Millie Small has died at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke.

The star was most famous for her hit single My Boy Lollipop, which reached number two in both the US and the UK in 1964.

It remains one of the biggest-selling ska songs of all time, with more than seven million sales.

Island Records founder Chris Blackwell announced her death and remembered her as “a sweet person… really special”.

It was Blackwell who brought Small to London in 1963 and produced her version of My Boy Lollipop, showcasing her childlike, high-pitched vocals.

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“I would say she’s the person who took ska international because it was her first hit record,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“It became a hit pretty much everywhere in the world. I went with her around the world because each of the territories wanted her to turn up and do TV shows and such, and it was just incredible how she handled it.

“She was such a sweet person, really a sweet person. Very funny, great sense of humour. She was really special,” said Blackwell.

Born Millicent Small in Clarendon, south Jamaica, she was one of seven brothers and five sisters, raised on the sugar plantation where her father was an overseer.

At the age of 12, she won a talent contest at the Palladium Theatre in Montego Bay; and by her teens, she was recording for Sir Coxone Dodd’s Studio One label in Kingston.

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There, she teamed up with reggae singer Roy Panton, and they became one of the island’s most prolific duos, scoring a major hit with We’ll meet .

Blackwell took an interest in the singer after releasing some of those records in the UK on his fledgling record label, Island, and brought her to London in 1963.

Small was enrolled at the Italia Conti Stage School for speech training and dancing lessons; and she toured the UK before cutting My Boy Lollipop with a group of London session musicians (Small claimed Rod Stewart played the harmonica solo, but he has denied being present at the recording).

Released in February 1964, it made her an international star, and helped popularise ska music around the world.

“It is the ska equivalent of Elvis’ Heartbreak Hotel or the Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen – the disc that popularised a sound previously considered to be on the margins of mainstream consciousness,” wrote music historian Laurence Cane-Honeysett in Record collector magazine.

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However, Small was unable to replicate the success of My Boy Lollipop, scoring only one further hit, a soundalike called Sweet William, later the same year.

But she continued to tour and record, and appeared frequently on 1960s pop shows like Juke Box Jury and Ready Steady Go.

“My life seemed very normal to me – even though I was only 17, I took fame in its stride,” she told the express in 2016.

After leaving Island in 1970, she recorded for legendary reggae label Trojan Records, where her first single was a cover of Nick Drake’s Mayfair.

However, it was the b-side that attracted greater attention. Called Enoch Power, it was a defiant response to Enoch Powell’s inflammatory, anti-immigration “Rivers of Blood” speech.

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Small’s lyrics, which captured the mood of the UK’s Caribbean population, received a rapturous response when she played the song at the Caribbean Music Festival at Wembley Arena, a month after its release.

Soon after that single, and the accompanying album Time Will Tell, Small stepped away from music, saying “it was the end of the dream and it felt like the right time”.

In later years, she lived in Singapore and New Zealand before returning to London, where she concentrated on writing, painting and raising her daughter.

When My Boy Lollipop was re-released in 1987 to mark Island Records’ 25th anniversary, the singer gave a rare interview to Thames TV, where she revealed she had, at one point, been penniless and sleeping rough in London.

However, she took the hard times in good grace, explaining: “That’s all experience. It was great. I didn’t worry because I knew what I was doing.

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“I saw how the other half live. It’s something I chose to do.”

In 2011, Jamaica’s Governor-General made Small a Commander in the Order of Distinction for her contribution to the Jamaican music industry.

The singer is survived by her daughter, Joan, who is also a musician based in London.

Tributes were led by actor Vas Blackwood, who said Small “lit the fuse for Jamaican ska music”.

SOURCE: BBC

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Studio Ghibli Honorary Palme d’or of the 77th Festival de Cannes

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Apple Music’s Top 100 Albums of All Time Day 2: 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, Neil Young and more

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Today we’re excited to reveal albums 90-81 on Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums countdown.

For in-depth analysis of each album, archival interviews and so much more please visit the new Apple Music 100 Best microsite – updated daily at 9am PT to make it easy for fans to follow along with us.

Albums 90-81 on Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums list 

  • 90: Back in Black – AC/DC
  • 89: The Fame Monster (Deluxe Edition) – Lady Gaga
  • 88: I Put a Spell on You – Nina Simone
  • 87: Blue Lines – Massive Attack
  • 86: My Life – Mary J Blige
  • 85: Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves
  • 84: Doggystyle – Snoop Dogg
  • 83: Horses – Patti Smith
  • 82: Get Rich or Die Tryin’ – 50 Cent
  • 81: After the Gold Rush – Neil Young
Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums is a modern, 21st century list of the greatest records ever made, crafted by Apple Music’s team of experts alongside a select group of artists, including Maren Morris, Pharrell Williams, J Balvin, Charli XCX, Mark Hoppus, Honey Dijon, and Nia Archives, as well as songwriters, producers, and industry professionals. The list is an editorial statement, fully independent of any streaming numbers on Apple Music — a love letter to the records that have shaped the world we live and listen in.

Press Release: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2024/05/apple-music-celebrates-the-launch-of-inaugural-100-best-albums-list/
Apple Music 100 Best: https://100best.music.apple.com/us

Tomorrow we will reveal albums 80-79 on the list. Follow @AppleMusic on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and X and be part of the conversation.

 

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Paris 2024 in Cannes!

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The Festival de Cannes and the City of Cannes are gearing up for Paris 2024! Sports personalities and athletes will be the guests of an exceptional evening on Tuesday, May 21, for the premiere screening of Mickaël Gamrasni’s documentary Olympiques! La France des Jeux, with its most prestigious ambassador, the Olympic flame!

When the Olympiads of sport meet the Olympiads of cinema, fraternity, the celebration of peoples and a humanist ideal converge on the red carpet and climb the steps like a podium before coming together on the screen.
Because cinema and sport are languages that transcend words and overcome borders, they coalesce into pacifist values. This will be the motto of this festive evening around the screening of Mickaël Gamrasni’s documentary, Olympiques! La France des Jeux, featuring David Douillet, Guy Drut, Jean Galfione, Céline Gerny, Laura Flessel, Laure Manaudou, Cédric Nankin and some twenty Olympic and Paralympic champions.

Aged 20 to 100, they tell their stories and trace France’s incredible Olympic genealogy, from the creation of the Games in 1896 to recent exploits, from Charles Coste, gold medallist in 1948, to Romain Cannone, gold medallist in 2021, including Kiki Caron, who lit up Tokyo 1964, and Béatrice Hess and Nikola Karabatic, four and three-time gold medallists.

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In this film, produced by France Télévisions, three generations of French athletes are brought together for the first time, revealing why France has such a special relationship with the Games.
“What a joy it is to welcome such a host of Olympic stars,” Iris Knobloch, President of the Festival de Cannes, and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate, said. “We look forward to continuing to write the great history between sport and the Seventh Art, and to delving with as much fervor as happiness into a century of participation in the Olympic Games, which have left an indelible mark on our collective memory.”

Tony Estanguet, Marie-José Pérec, Thierry Rey, Iliana Rupert, Marie Patouillet, Nélia Barbosa, Alexis Hanquiquant, Christine Caron and Brahim Asloum will flank Arnaud Assoumani (Paralympic Champion in Para Athletics), who will carry the Olympic flame onto the red carpet. Paris 2024, in agreement with the Mairie de Cannes, is offering the flame to the Festival, as a preview on the red carpet, before it is welcomed in the City of Cannes by all Cannois on June 18.

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Olympiques ! – La France des Jeux

A film by Mickaël Gamrasni

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Written by Mickaël Gamrasni and Benoit Heimermann

Produced by Elephant Adventures (Gaël Leiblang, Philippe Pécoul), with the support of France Télévisions

Narrated by Marion Cotillard

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Usher, Solange and Travis Scott Albums Launch Apple Music’s Top 100 Best Albums of All Time list

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Apple Music today announced the release of its 100 Best Albums of all time, a celebratory list of the greatest records ever made, crafted by Apple Music’s team of experts alongside a select group of artists, including Maren Morris, Pharrell Williams, J Balvin, Charli XCX, Mark Hoppus, Honey Dijon, and Nia Archives, as well as songwriters, producers, and industry professionals. The list is an editorial statement, fully independent of any streaming numbers on Apple Music — a love letter to the records that have shaped the world music lovers live and listen in.

Apple Music is bringing its 100 Best Albums to life with a countdown celebration beginning today, revealing 10 albums each day for the next 10 days, along with a brand-new 100 Best microsite, new and exclusive content, dedicated Apple Music Radio episodes, and so much more. The countdown will culminate on the final day with the reveal of Apple Music’s top 10 albums of all time during a broadcast radio special.

“100 Best brings together all the things that make Apple Music the ultimate service for music lovers — human curation at its peak, an appreciation for the art of storytelling, and unparalleled knowledge of music and an even deeper love for it,” said Rachel Newman, Apple Music’s senior director of content and editorial. “We have been working on this for a very long time, and it’s something we are all incredibly proud of and excited to share with the world.”

“Putting this list together was a true labor of love, both in that it was incredibly difficult to do and in that we are all so passionate about it,” said Zane Lowe, Apple Music’s global creative director and lead anchor for Apple Music 1. “We were tasked with selecting the 100 best — that’s practically mission impossible. But as music fans, it was also amazing to really take a minute and sit and think about the music and albums and artists that we love so much in this context. If this list sparks more debate among fans outside of Apple Music and gets people talking passionately about the music they love, then we’ve done what we set out to do.”

Introducing the Top 100 – 91 Albums

The first 10 albums, revealed today, offer a glimpse into Apple Music’s unique approach with 100 Best. With seven of the 10 records hailing from the 21st century, two from the 90s, only one from the 70s, and various genres represented, the list spotlights contemporary artists like Tyler, The Creator; Robyn; Lorde; Travis Scott; Solange; Burial; and more who have helped define this century through their music and its influence on others.

100. Body Talk, Robyn
99. Hotel California, Eagles
98. ASTROWORLD, Travis Scott
97. Rage Against the Machine, Rage Against the Machine
96. Pure Heroine, Lorde
95. Confessions, USHER
94. Untrue, Burial
93. A Seat at the Table, Solange
92. Flower Boy, Tyler, The Creator
91. Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, George Michael

“There are so many fun facts for our listeners to discover about these albums,” said Scott Plagenhoef, Apple Music’s global head of music programming. “For example, two of the records revealed today were promoted without the image of the artist, but for opposite reasons — Burial’s Untrue because the artist was still operating anonymously at the time, and George Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 because the artist was actually retreating from fame.”

Discover, Learn, and Share with Friends

To accompany the list, today Apple Music also revealed a dedicated microsite that will update every day of the countdown, making it easy for listeners to follow along. Available now at 100best.music.apple.com, the new 100 Best microsite spotlights in-depth analysis of each album, archival interviews, and more, and makes it easy for fans to share their favourite albums with friends and on their social channels.

Explore records 100-91 of Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums at 100best.music.apple.com.

Follow Along on Apple Music Radio

Fans will also be treated to a full 100 Best Albums Radio takeover on Apple Music Hits, where round-the-clock specials with Apple Music Radio hosts and daily specials at 9 a.m. PT (noon ET) will be broadcasted, plus exclusive content will drop every day on demand on Apple Music and Apple Podcasts.

The last 10 albums will be revealed on Wednesday, May 22, with a special roundtable discussion broadcasting globally on Apple Music that features guest artists Nile Rodgers and Maggie Rogers reflecting on the list alongside Apple Music’s own Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden. Lowe will also curate a special mashup-style DJ mix featuring songs from all 100 Best Albums.

Apple Music will keep the momentum going after the countdown ends with an additional week of 100 Best Albums Radio takeover on Apple Music Hits.

All 100 Best Albums recipients will be given an award comprised of blasted anodized aluminum, sourced entirely from recycled Apple products, in a unique polished PVD gold. The design on the back of the award takes its cues from a vinyl LP record and is inscribed with the artist’s name, the album title, and the album’s year of release.

Explore Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums at 100best.music.apple.com and check back daily to discover the full list. Get exclusive content by following @AppleMusic on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and X.

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Ice Spice returns with “Gimmie A Light”

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Today, GRAMMY® Award-nominated global superstar Ice Spice returns with “Gimmie A Light” — the first official single from her forthcoming debut album Y2K. Set for release via 10K Projects/Capitol Records, the massively anticipated Y2K is due out later this year. Go here to stream/download “Gimmie A Light,” and check out the video here.

 

Produced by Ice Spice’s longtime collaborator RiotUSA — who also handled production on career-defining hits like her gold-certified breakout single “Munch (Feelin U)” — “Gimmie A Light” centers on a sample from dancehall legend Sean Paul’s 2002 single “Gimme the Light.” With all the effortless star power that made her an icon soon after emerging from New York drill scene, the Bronx Baddie unleashes a two-minute anthem spotlighting her whip-smart bars, rapid-fire delivery, and potent vocal command. Slick and self-possessed, the result is a high-energy track stacked with bouncy beats and irresistible hooks.

 

For the video to “Gimmie A Light,” Ice Spice once again joined forces with fellow New York City natives George and Frederick Buford, aka The Evil Twins — the fast-rising filmmaking duo behind the visuals for past hits like “Deli” and “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2” (her platinum-certified, chart-topping 2023 collaboration with PinkPantheress). Equal parts fantasy and hyperreality, “Gimmie A Light” places Ice Spice in a dizzying sequence of high-glamour scenarios: sipping Patrón El Alto on the dancefloor with a shiny piece of bling bearing her own likeness; posing with fat stacks of cash in her J’adore Dior baby tee; twerking in the back of a hot-pink Range Rover, surrounded by stuffed animals as the smoke-filled SUV speeds through the streets of her hometown.

 

Last month at Coachella, Ice Spice thrilled the crowd with a sneak-peak performance of “Gimmie A Light.” Her debut at the famed festival instantly drew raves from the likes of UPROXX, who proclaimed that Ice Spice “will almost certainly headline Coachella in the near future if her trajectory continues.”

 

Due out later this year, Y2K has been hailed as one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2024. With its title nodding to her birthday (January 1, 2000), Ice Spice’s full-length debut will also include her recent smash single “Think U The Shit (Fart).” The album arrives on the heels of her widely acclaimed debut EP Like..? — a 2023 release that landed on best-of-the-year lists from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and more and featured hits like “Munch (Feelin U)” and the platinum-selling “In Ha Mood” and “Princess Diana.”

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Dennis Bergkamp: 55 Years of Football Brilliance

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Dennis Bergkamp, the legendary Dutch footballer, celebrated his 55th birthday today amidst a global outpouring of love and admiration from fans, clubs, and football personalities.

Known for his exceptional skill and contributions to both Ajax and Arsenal, Bergkamp’s birthday has become a worldwide celebration of his illustrious career, highlighting his impact on the sport and his enduring legacy.

From Ajax to Arsenal, Bergkamp’s artistry on the pitch has left an indelible mark, with fans and experts alike hailing him as one of the greatest players in football history.

As the tributes pour in, it’s clear that Bergkamp’s influence extends far beyond the trophies and accolades, cementing his place in the hearts of football fans worldwide.

Happy birthday, Dennis Bergkamp, and here’s to many more years of celebrating your remarkable contribution to the beautiful game

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