Music News Digest: Week Of August 26, 2018

September 3, 2018 by Amy Gold

During the week of August 26, 2018, the city of Detroit spent much of it in remembrance of the celebrated music titan and cultural icon, Aretha Franklin, who passed away on August 16. Following a public viewing of the casket and a tribute concert, a private funeral was held on August 31 at the city's Greater Grace Temple where guests paid their respects to the late Queen of Soul. This day-long event, which was streamed by Fox News, CNN, BET, MSNBC, and other news agencies, featured performances by Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Ron Isley, and many other artists as well as numerous tributes by celebrities, politicians, friends, and family members.

Also that week, Paul McCartney announced the first U.S. dates of his "Freshen Up" tour to take place starting next spring. Five concerts have been confirmed so far beginning May 27, 2019 in Raleigh, NC and running through June 11 in Moline, IL, also covering Greenville, SC, Lexington, KY, and Madison, WI.

Steven Tyler's cover of The Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" is among the highlights of the upcoming new tribute compilation titled "Muscle Shoals...Small Town, Big Sound" due out on September 28, 2018. Among this album's other featured artists are Tom Johnston and Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers and Willie Nelson. Also, William Shatner will release his first-ever Christmas album, "Shatner Claus," on October 26. Guest artists in this upcoming 14-track collection include Todd Rundgren, Judy Collins, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman, and Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson.

A restored and expanded version of the 1968 movie, "Sympathy For The Devil," will be released on October 5, 2018 in various formats to commemorate its 50th anniversary. This documentary chronicles the making by The Rolling Stones of the film's title song against a background of grizzly footage of then-current events that reflected the social and political unrest taking place at the time. Also, the documentary, "Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story Of The Grateful Dead," which aired in 2017 as a six-part series on Amazon Prime, will be released November 9 on DVD and Blu-ray.

Also that week, it was announced that Fleetwood Mac and Cher will be among the guests on the new season of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" which kicks off on September 4, 2018. Fleetwood Mac will appear on September 5 and perform some classic songs. Cher will join Ellen on September 7 and give a performance of "S.O.S." from her upcoming ABBA cover album, "Dancing Queen." Also, Rick Springfield will guest star in the 3rd episode of ABC's "The Goldbergs" upcoming fall season which premieres September 26.

Finally, August 26, 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' "Hey Jude," one of rock's all-time favorite sing-alongs. Also, in commemoration of what would have been Michael Jackson's 60th birthday (August 29), the RIAA re-certified a number of the King of Pop's albums and singles. The song "Thriller" is now certified six times platinum, "Billie Jean" five times platinum, and "Beat It" four times platinum.

(For more information about the above news items, please see below for a list of sources with links.)

Elton John stars in a new funny ad for Snickers candy bars which is set to air worldwide beginning September 1, 2018.