Music News Digest: Week Of January 1, 2023

January 8, 2023 by Amy Gold

During the week of January 1, 2023, the Recording Academy announced its list of honorees for this year's Lifetime Achievement Awards that includes such veteran bands and artists as The Supremes, Nile Rodgers of Chic, and Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. The awards ceremonies will take place February 4 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles as an in-person event for the first time since 2020.

Also that week, the late Nat King Cole set a new record on the charts with "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)" (a.k.a. "Chestnuts Roasting By An Open Fire"). Originally released in 1946, this holiday classic reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving the celebrated crooner the record for the longest break between Top 10 hits. Cole had his last Top 10 in 1963 with "Those Lazy Days Of Summer."

Aretha Franklin topped Rolling Stone's latest edition of their list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time. Other veteran acts to make the Top 20 include Sam Cooke (#3), Billie Holiday (#4), Ray Charles (#6), Stevie Wonder (#7), Otis Redding (#9), Al Green (#10), John Lennon (#12), Freddie Mercury (#14), Bob Dylan (#15), Prince (#16), Frank Sinatra (#19), and Marvin Gaye (#20).

Also that week, it was announced that "Home Again: Carole King Live In Central Park," a new documentary that captures a performance in May 1973 by the legendary singer-songwriter, will premiere January 19, 2023 at New York's IFC Film Center. On February 9, this film will begin streaming exclusively on The Coda Collection, a subscription streaming platform available via Amazon Prime Video Channels. A companion album, "Home Again," will follow on February 10.

Finally, Queen lead guitarist and band co-founder Brian May was knighted as part of the 2023 New Year's Honours List for his services to music and his charity work. His full title is now Sir Brian Harold May CBE, having been made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2005 and earning his Ph.D. in astrophysics from Imperial College London in 2007.

In Memoriam:

New & Upcoming Recordings:
(Band/Artist - Title - Format - Release Date)

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