- Title: A look at the dominant music and television in 2016
- Date: 2nd December 2016
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE - FEBRUARY 28, 2016) (UNRESTRICTED POOL) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** SINGER SAM SMITH WITH CO-WRITER JAMES NAPIER ON THE ACADEMY AWARDS RED CARPET
- Embargoed: 17th December 2016 00:27
- Keywords: Taylor Swift Grammy Kendrick Lamar Ed Sheeran Led Zeppelin Justin Bieber Adele Sam Smith Beyonce Rihanna Bob Dylan Zayn Malik Beyonce Drake Lady Gaga Sting
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- Reuters ID: LVA00I5B325OT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The world of music may have lost many musical icons including Prince and David Bowie in 2016, but The Rolling Stones were still going strong.
They rocked a massive crowd reported to be half a million people at a free, outdoor concert in Havana, Cuba on March 25th, capping a week of engagement with the West for the Communist-led country that once censored the veteran British band's music.
The Stones started their first-ever show in Cuba with "Jumpin' Jack Flash," a song recorded in 1968, when Cuban rock fans were secretly sharing pirated vinyl records and risked being sent to rural work brigades to cure "ideological deviation."
The Stones formed in London in 1962, three years after Fidel Castro's bearded rebels toppled a pro-American government. Castro's revolutionary government came to see counterculture bands like the Stones and the Beatles as dangerously subversive and prohibited their music on TV and radio.
As usual, in February, the annual Grammy awards took place. This year, Taylor Swift was the big winner, taking home three awards including the Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for '1989' and Best Music Video for 'Bad Blood'.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar, who had 11 nominations, won the most awards but missed out on the most prestigious prizes. He won five prizes including Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Son, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Music Video, shared with Swift for 'Bad Blood'.
"Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars won the Record of the Year after lingering on the radio waves since it was released in November 2014.
Song of the Year was won by British singer songwriter Ed Sheeran for his chart-topping hit single "Thinking Out Loud". However, that single came under scrutiny in August when heirs of the composer for Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" sued the musician claiming the song copies core elements of the late soul singer's 1973 track.
In June, two California-based musicians began legal proceedings against Sheeran over his hit song "Photograph", suing the artist for $20 million and claiming it bears a similar structure to one of their songs.
Sheeran wasn't the only musical act taking to court for copyright infringement. Led Zeppelin found themselves in court with claims that the band had copied the riff from the famous "Stairway to Heaven" from the 1967 Spirit track "Taurus."
However, a jury in Los Angeles cleared singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page after they found that the guitar riff from "Stairway" differed substantially from "Taurus" after a week-long trial.
Canadian pop star Justin Bieber and the co-writers of his 2015 smash hit "Sorry" found themselves being sued for allegedly stealing a vocal riff from another artist who said she used it on her own song a year earlier.
In a complaint, Casey Dienel, an indie artist who performs under the name White Hinterland, accused Bieber of infringing her copyright to the song "Ring the Bell" by using a "virtually identical" riff without permission.
Bieber also hit headlines for breaking eight Guinness World Records. Among them, he broke the records for the most simultaneous tracks on the Billboard Top 100 from his 2015 album "Purpose", and became the first act to hold the top three spots in the UK singles charts.
In February, Bieber won the International Male Solo Artist Award at the UK music award show The Brits. Adele, however, was the big winner, winning British album of the year, the Global Success award, best British Solo Artist, and best British single for 'Hello'. 'Hello' also continued to dominate charts around the world at the beginning of 2016 despite being released in October 2015.
British singer Sam Smith also had awards glory, taking home an Academy Award for the song 'Writing's on the Wall' - the theme tune from the James Bond film 'Spectre'.
In his Oscar acceptance speech, he suggested that he was the first openly gay man to win an Academy Award. Speaking backstage Smith said "I wanted to take this opportunity to show how much I care about my community. In the past in my career people had said in the beginning that I didn't and stuff and I just wanted to make it clear how much truly I care."
However, he was widely criticised on social media over the claims - as openly gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black won in 2009 for 'Milk' - and he quit his Twitter account saying "I'm logging off for a while. Some Martinis shaken not stirred are definitely in order."
The Nobel Prize in Literature's recipient was announced as being American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. However, the notoriously media-shy Dylan said after repeated attempts by the award-giving academy to contact him that he would accept the 8 million crown prize ($870,000) although he would not attend the ceremony because of "pre-existing commitments."
British boyband One Direction went on their planned hiatus earlier in the year. However, before they did that, their former band member Zayn Malik released his first solo single "Pillowtalk" under the moniker Zayn. The video featured Malik in the video alongside his girlfriend model Gigi Hadid.
The song went to number 1 in the singles charts in numerous territories including the UK, US and Canada. His ex-band member Niall Horan was the first of the other four Directioners to release solo material. He released a single called 'This Town' which peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at 25.
Beyonce once again surprised the world in a few ways. She made a political statement during her performance at the half-time of the Super Bowl in February by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement with a rendition of her new song "Formation".
Immediately after the performance she announced that she was beginning a "Formation" world tour beginning in April.
Later in April, she cemented her status as the queen of surprise releases, by putting out a completely new album and videos called "Lemonade" via a widely anticipated one-hour special on cable network HBO.
The album appeared to shine a light on troubles within the relationship of Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z, and speculation became rife in tabloids as to the identity of the "Becky with the good hair" in the album track "Sorry".
Beyonce swept the board at the MTV Video Music Awards with the videos from her album "Lemonade" in late August. Barbadian pop singer Rihanna was the other big winner at the MTV VMAs winning the Best Male Video for her collaboration with Calvin Harris, 'This is What You Came For' as well as being honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. She received that award from her reported boyfriend Drake.
She also released her new album 'Anti' and the title track 'Work' stayed at the top of the Billboard 100 chart for the entirety of March and April.
Drake also took over the Billboard 100 charts for June and July with the hit single "One Dance" and the album "Views" dominated the album charts from late-May until mid-August.
Lady Gaga may have won Best Female and Best Look at the MTV European Music Awards (EMAs) but in 2016 she was also acknowledged for her acting, winning a Golden Globe for her role in 'American Horror Story: Hotel'.
However, she angered Chinese fans by meeting with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, Indiana.
China considers the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet into exile in India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, to be a dangerous "splittist", or separatist. The Dalai Lama says he only wants genuine autonomy for his remote homeland.
It was subsequently reported by a newspaper in Hong Kong that the artist is now barred from performing in China.
In France, rock star Sting was selected to headline a concert in Paris' Bataclan music hall in November to mark the venue's reopening a year after three Islamist militants gunned down 90 revelers in France's bloodiest terror attack.
Sting, who fronted the hit pop band The Police before a long solo career, opened the emotionally charged gig with a minute's silence, telling the crowd: "We will not forget them."
Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and Ringo Starr were among the musicians who decided to pull out of gigs in Mississippi and North Carolina in protest against state laws which they saw as discriminatory against the LGBTQ community.
Cyndi Lauper decided not to boycott her performance in North Carolina in support of the LGBTQ community there.
Speaking after getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the "True Colors" singer exclaimed "You have to really understand that if you start to single out other people and say 'oh we're free, we're this, we're that except for you guys' you can see very selfishly you shouldn't do that because you never know when someone is going to point to you so either we are all equal or we're not equal. We're all free or we're not free at all."
Eighties supergroup Guns N' Roses made a return to the limelight kicking off their "Not in this Lifetime Tour" in the US, reuniting Axl Rose, Duff McKagan (bass), Slash (lead guitar), Dizzy Reed (keyboard), Richard Fortus (rhythm guitar), Frank Ferrer (drums), and Melissa Reese (keyboard).
They began with a "secret" club show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles on April 1. Axl Rose also performed as lead singer of Australian rock band AC/DC in May after lead singer Brian Johnson was advised by doctors to stop touring "or risk total hearing loss".
Justin Timberlake made a triumphant return to the charts with the single "Can't Stop the Feeling!". The song was released in May, nearly 6 months prior to the release of the animated film 'Trolls', which the song was the title track for and in which Timberlake took the leading voice role of Branch.
Other hits that dominated the airwaves included the ballad "7 Years" by Danish star Lukas Graham, and "Closer" by The Chainsmokers featuring upcoming female star Halsey.
In television, 'Game of Thrones' dominated the year. After the season finale of their fifth season in 2015, fans were traumatised by the death of leading character Jon Snow, played by Kit Harrington, who was stabbed to death in a scene reminiscent of Julius Caesar.
After being teased with a promotional poster for the sixth season depicting Jon Snow, intrigue surrounding the show hit fever pitch. However, at the world premiere of the series in Los Angeles, his 'Game of Thrones' co-stars all vehemently denied that the character was returning and that he was, in fact, dead.
Snow did return and the cast and crew of 'Game of Thrones' gained something even more - 12 Emmys, including best drama series, directing and writing.
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