April 19, 2015 by Amy Gold
During the week of April 12, 2015, fans bade a final farewell to soul legend Percy Sledge famous for his heartfelt classic, "When A Man Loves A Woman."
Also that week, Ringo Starr, Bill Withers, Lou Reed, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and the "5" Royales were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
This June, Aerosmith will be launching a tour dubbed "Blue Army" that will take the band across North America. James Taylor will also be launching a summer U.S. tour in support of his latest album, "Before This World," which begins this July.
Also that week, the Kinks' musical, "Sunny Afternoon," received honors at the U.K.'s prestigious Oliver Awards. On April 14, Aretha Franklin gave a performance at the White House as part of a celebration of gospel music. This event is set to air June 26 on PBS. Also, it was announced that Electric Light Orchestra co-founder Jeff Lynne will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame later this month.
Finally, for those not able to attend any of the Grateful Dead's final farewell shows, the ones set for this July in Chicago will be shown live in theaters across the nation.
(For more information about the above-listed news items, please see below for a list of sources with links and article summaries.)
Below is the full official trailer for the upcoming Brian Wilson biopic, "Love & Mercy."
April 13, 2015: Kinks Musical 'Sunny Afternoon' Receives Honors At U.K.'s Olivier Awards
The Kinks musical, "Sunny Afternoon," based on a story with music by Ray Davies about the band's rise to fame, received four honors at the prestigious Oliver Awards (the U.K. equivalent of the Tony Awards). The awards ceremonies took place on April 12, 2015 at London's Royal Opera House. Other Oliver Awards winners included the U.K. production of "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," which received two honors.
April 14, 2015: Percy Sledge Passes Away
Soul legend Percy Sledge died on April 14, 2015 from liver cancer at age 74 at his home in Baton Rouge, LA. He is famous for his highly emotional and heartfelt "When A Man Loves A Woman," an oldies classic that topped both the Pop/Rock and R&B charts in 1966 which is listed in Rolling Stone's Greatest Songs of All Time.
He was born Percy Tyrone Sledge in Leighton, AL and began his music career in the early 1960s singing with the Esquires Combo while working as a hospital orderly. During the mid 1960s, he signed a recording contract with Quin Ivy and debuted on the charts with his signature song, "When A Man Loves A Woman." This was followed by a string of hits through the 1970s that also included "Warm And Tender Love" (1966), "Take Time To Know Her" (1968), and "I'll Be Your Everything" (1974).
In the 1980s, Sledge's career had a resurgence when "When A Man Loves A Woman" re-entered the U.K. charts in 1987, peaking at #2. Over the years, he had toured and recorded actively and had a wide international following. His many awards and accolades included being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
Source: Percy Sledge Dead at 74
April 14, 2015: Aerosmith To Launch Summer Tour
Aerosmith will soon be launching a summer tour dubbed "Blue Army" that will take the band across various parts of North America. This trek is set to begin on June 13, 2015 in Glendale, AZ and end on August 7 in Canton, OH, with stops in California, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming, plus British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.
April 14, 2015: Jeff Lynne To Receive Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star
On April 23, 2015, Jeff Lynne, a co-founder of the Electric Light Orchestra, will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1750 North Vine Street in front of the Capitol Records Building. Joe Walsh and Tom Petty will be guest speakers, and this event will be streamed live online at WalkOfFame.com.
April 16, 2015: Aretha Franklin Performs At White House
On April 14, 2015, Aretha Franklin was among the featured performers for a celebration of gospel music at the White House, and among those in the audiences was President Barack Obama. This event is scheduled to air June 26 on PBS as part of that station's series, "In Performance At The White House."
April 16, 2015: Grateful Dead Chicago Farewell Concerts To Be Shown In U.S. Theaters
For those not able to get tickets to any of the Grateful Dead's final farewell shows, the three scheduled performances for July 3-5, 2015 at Chicago's Soldier Field will be shown live in theaters across the nation. Tickets to these screenings will be available starting May 4 through Fathom Events.
April 17, 2015: James Taylor To Launch Summer Tour
James Taylor will be launching a summer U.S. tour in support of his latest album, "Before This World." This trek begins on July 2, 2015 in Allentown, PA and ends on August 6 in Boston, MA, with additional stops in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, as well as in Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North and South Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee. Tickets go on sale April 24 for most shows except for two which are sold out. For more info, go to JamesTaylor.com.
April 18, 2015: Ringo Starr, Bill Withers, Lou Reed To Be Inducted Into Rock Hall
The long-awaited awards ceremonies for this year's inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are set to take place on April 18, 2015 at Cleveland's Public Hall. Among the list of honorees are Ringo Starr, Bill Withers, Lou Reed, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and the "5" Royales. These bands and artists will be inducted, respectively, by Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Patti Smith, Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band, and Steve Cropper of Booker T. & the MGs. This event will be televised May 30, 2015 on HBO.