Little Richard passes away at 87
R.I.P., legend. On May 9, famed musician Little Richard died in Nashville from bone cancer. He was 87. The showman born Richard Wayne Penniman, who was known for his flamboyant style, amazing piano prowess and loud personality influenced generations of artists with hit songs including "Tutti Frutti," "Long Tall Sally," "Rip It Up," "Lucille," "Good Golly Miss Molly" and more. He was laid to rest at Oakwood University, a historically black college in Huntsville, Alabama, that he attended in his youth, on May 20.
Melissa Etheridge speaks out after son Beckett's overdose death at 21
Music star Melissa Etheridge shared heartbreaking news on May 13: Her son with ex Julie Cypher was dead from an opioid overdose. "Today I joined the hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction. My son Beckett, who was just 21, struggled to overcome his addiction and finally succumbed to it today. He will be missed by those who loved him, his family and friends," she said in a statement. "My heart is broken. I am grateful for those who have reached out with condolences and I feel their love and sincere grief. We struggle with what else we could have done to save him, and in the end we know he is out of the pain now. I will sing again, soon. It has always healed me." Music legend David Crosby is Beckett's biological father. She also shares 23-year-old daughter Bailey with Julie, as well as 13-year-old twins Johnnie Rose and Miller Steven with ex Tammy Lynn Michaels.
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Madonna reveals she tested positive for coronavirus antibodies
On May 1, Madonna revealed that she tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. "I took a test the other day, and I found out that I have the antibodies. So tomorrow I'm just going to go for a long drive in the car, I'm going to roll down the window and I'm going to breathe in the COVID-19 air. Yup. I hope the sun is shining," she said. On May 6, she gave a little more detail, explaining that she was ill during her European tour a few months earlier. "I am not currently sick," she said on Instagram. "When you test positive for anti-bodies it means you HAD the virus which I clearly did as I was sick at the end of my tour in Paris over 7 weeks ago along with many other artists in my show." At the time, Madge just thought she "had a very bad flu."
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Grimes and Elon Musk explain son's name
On May 5, Canadian music star Grimes welcomed her first child with SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk — and they named him X Æ A-12 Musk. While some initially thought the name was a joke, Grimes got on Twitter to discuss the moniker, explaining that X stands for "the unknown variable" while Æ is "my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence)" and the A-12 portion refers to an aircraft the couple love. Grimes later clarified how to pronounce her son's name: "It's just X, like the letter X. Then A.I. Like how you said the letter A then I." According to Elon, however, that second part is pronounced "Ash" and "A-12 is my contribution." On May 24, Grimes took to the comments in an Instagram post to tell an inquiring fan that she'd changed their son's name for his birth certificate (California only allows the 26 letters of the English alphabet). Her baby's name is now "X Æ A-Xii," she wrote, later adding, "Roman numerals. Looks better tbh." X is the first child for Grimes and the seventh for Elon, who lost his first-born son to SIDS in 2002.
CMT Artists of the Year event to honor coronavirus pandemic heroes
CMT announced on April 27 that this year's Artist of the Year event will instead focus on workers across the country who are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. The event, which is scheduled for June 3 — it takes the place of the CMT Music Awards, which have been pushed to Oct. 14 — will feature the biggest stars in country like Thomas Rhett, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini and more. "From the first responders and health care workers to members of the military, our educators, food industry workers and so many more, the country music community will come together to honor these heroic men and women," the network said in a statement. "The evening of unity will feature incredible performances, uplifting tributes and a salute to those risking their lives on the front lines of this crisis."
Adele thanked essential workers, but the internet obsessed over her weight
Adele hopped on instagram on May 5 to praise essential workers for everything they're doing during during the global COVID-19 pandemic and to thank fans for their birthday wishes the day before when she turned 32. "Thank you for the birthday love. I hope you're all staying safe and sane during this crazy time. I'd like to thank all of our first responders and essential workers who are keeping us safe while risking their lives! You are truly our angels," she wrote. While the message was inspiring, many fans were more focused on the photo she attached to her message, which shows the British Grammy winner looking incredibly svelte. While the singer received a lot of praise for her evolving look, many fans were quick to point out the problems that arise from praising someone for slimming down. One wrote, "I see that Adele is trending because people are saying how gorgeous she is since she lost weight. Y'all, we've been over this… Your weight doesn't determine your beauty. Your appearance doesn't determine your beauty. The number on the scale doesn't make you worthy or unworthy."
On May 8, music executive Andre Harrell (pictured) passed away at 59. It later emerged he died at home from congestive heart failure… Electronic music pioneer Florian Schneider of the German band Kraftwerk died "from a short cancer disease just a few days after his 73rd birthday," the Grammy-winning group's co-founder, Ralf Hütter, confirmed on May 6… Brian Howe, the frontman for British rock band Bad Company for eight years, died on May 5 at 66 from cardiac arrest in Florida… Country singer Cady Groves passed away at 30 from unknown causes, her brother announced on May 3… Phil May, the frontman for rock band Pretty Things, passed away on May 15 in England at 75 from complications of a hip surgery he underwent following a bike riding accident… Grammy-winning soul, funk and R&B singer Betty Wright, 66, died on May 10 at home in Miami following a fall 2019 endometrial cancer diagnosis.
Dwight Yoakam quietly weds
Dwight Yoakam's rep revealed on May 4 that the country music star and longtime love Emily Joyce quietly married in March in front of a very small group of close friends and family, purposely keeping the guest list tight in order to follow social distancing guidelines. "Dwight Yoakam and Emily Joyce were married in March just prior to the [coronavirus] quarantine in a private ceremony at St Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica, CA. At a time when there is so much uncertainty in the world, there are still happy moments. In the face of shutdowns and social-distancing requirements, love prevailed, and the less than 10 attendees were seated at least six feet from one another," said his rep. The couple of a decade chose not to announce the news when it happened out of "respect to so many people affected by and on the front lines of this pandemic," Dwight's rep added.
Brian May reveals health crisis
On May 25, Queen guitarist Brian May revealed that he was "very near death" after suffering a heart attack in recent days — and that he's now undergone stent surgery that has saved his life. After initially seeking medical treatment in early May after he tore a muscle in his bottom, then undergoing an MRI that found a compressed nerve, things took an unexpected turn. "I had a small heart attack. I say small — it's not something that did me any harm. It was about 40 minutes of pain in the chest and tightness. It's that feeling in the arms and sweating," he explained in an Instagram video. His "wonderful doctor" realized what was likely going on and "drove me to the hospital himself," Brian said. There, he had an angiogram. "I actually turned out to have three arteries which were congested and in danger of blocking the supply of blood to my heart," he said, explaining that after much consideration, he opted to have stents inserted instead of undergoing triple bypass surgery.
Taylor Swift's concert special available on Hulu and Disney+
On May 18, fans were treated to some great Taylor Swift news. The music star's concert special, "Taylor Swift City of Lover Concert" — which aired on ABC on May 17 to rave reviews — was added to Hulu and Disney+ for fans to stream. Since Taylor's 2020 live shows were postponed due to COVID-19, fans now have this option to watch her perform some of her biggest songs off her newest album, "Lover."
Noah Cyrus opens up about growing up in sister Miley's shadow
Noah Cyrus got candid about the struggles that come with growing up in superstar sister Miley Cyrus's shadow. While discussing new EP "The End of Everything" on May 15, Noah dropped lyrics like, "My sister's like sunshine, bringing good light wherever she'll go / and I was born to rain clouds, blessed in her shadows." Noah continued by jumping on Instagram Live and saying, "I think just the message in the second verse, being born in the family I was in, everyone gave me such a hard time for having a hard time being Miley's little sister, but you know, I always felt like I was that person that no one gave a s— about due to what people said to me online." For her part, Miley has always been a big protector of her sister and has given her some solid advice: "I always tell Noah, keep your Instagram comments turned off. Never read anything that anyone says about you. Don't Google yourself."
Roger Waters lays into Pink Floyd bandmates
There's drama in the world of Pink Floyd! On May 19, Roger Waters laid into David Gilmour, claiming his former bandmate wouldn't allow him to use the band's website or social media channels to promote his solo efforts. Roger said, "Nothing from me is on the website — I am banned by David Gilmour from the website. David thinks he owns it. I think he thinks because I left the band in 1985 that he owns Pink Floyd, that he is Pink Floyd and that I'm irrelevant that I should keep my mouth shut. We're all welcome to our opinions." In 2019, Roger chatted with Rolling Stone about the band's issues, saying, "We spoke in June . We had a big meeting where I came up with a big peace plan that has come to nothing, sadly." He continued by questioning why fans can't connect with his work through the group's online platforms: "A year ago, I convened a sort of Camp David for the surviving members of Pink Floyd at a hotel at the airport in London, where I proposed all kinds of measures to get past this awful impasse that we have and the predicament we found ourselves in, and it bore not fruit, I'm sorry to say. One of the things I asked for, I suggested that because whoever the 30 million of you are that subscribe to the web page, you do so because of the body of work the five of us created. … In consequence, it seems to me that it would be fair and correct if we should have equal access to you all and share our projects."
Rihanna says she "lost" her new album
Rihanna fans might be desperate for a new album, but Rihanna has jokes to spare! It's been four years since a new Rihanna album dropped, and while fans know new music is coming, they are losing their patience while waiting. On May 13, while RiRi was promoting her new sunglasses line in Instagram, a fan wrote "WHERES THE ALBUM," to which the FENTY designer cheekily replied, "I lost it." In March, Rihanna told British Vogue that there is new music coming, saying, "I can't say when I'm going to drop, but, I am very aggressively working on music."