Thursday, September 5, 2019

JAY-Z and NFL Announce New Apparel Line and Music Series to Benefit Social Justice Organizations

JAY-Z’s Roc Nation and the NFL have announced the first programs to benefit the NFL’s Inspire Change nonprofit, an initiative that seeks to fundraise for organizations committed to education and economic empowerment, police and community relations, and criminal justice reform. The first program is Inspire Change apparel, a new clothing line that will be revealed later this year.

The second is Songs of the Season, a program that will highlight musicians, debut their new songs during NFL broadcasts, and put all proceeds towards Inspire Change. Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor and Rapsody are the first artists to be announced for this program, and will perform at the NFL Kickoff Experience in Chicago’s Grant Park on September 5th.

Earlier this month, JAY-Z and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that JAY-Z and his production company, Roc Nation, would work with the league as a “live music entertainment strategist.” They'll work together on Super Bowl halftime programming in addition to the NFL’s Inspire Change nonprofit.

The news stood at odds with JAY-Z’s support for Colin Kaepernick. JAY-Z has said he declined to perform at the 2018 Super Bowl in solidarity with Kaepernick’s protests, and he wore the former quarterback’s jersey while performing on “SNL”. In 2017, BeyoncĂ© made a surprise appearance at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year to present Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award for his work.

Elton John Celebrated on Royal Mail Postage Stamps

The Royal Mail announced a set of stamps celebrating the career of Elton John, which are available now.

The set features eight album covers chosen by John himself – Honky Chateau, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Caribou, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Sleeping With the Past, The One, Made in England and Songs From the West Coast. An additional collection of four miniatures show live concert scenes spanning five decades.

John is the first living solo artist to be honored with a stamp set – the only other solo act to be given the honor is David Bowie, whose career was marked in 2017 following his death.

“To say I was surprised when Royal Mail got in touch is an understatement,” John said. “Never did I think I'd appear on a stamp!”

“Elton is one of the most successful British solo artists of all time," Royal Mail spokesperson Philip Parker added. "He has recorded some of the best-known songs in pop history such as ‘Candle in the Wind’ and ‘Rocket Man.' Our stamps ... showcase some of his most iconic albums and celebrate his fantastic musical contribution.”

The stamps are on sale in a variety of formats. Along with separate editions, a collected presentation pack, first-day covers and framed sets, there are also limited-edition framed prints and a Dodger Stadium souvenir pack that includes a pair of star-shaped glasses.

The current leg of John’s farewell tour runs across North America until Nov. 16, with dates following in Australia, Europe and the U.K. As of now, the final concert date on the schedule is at London’s O2 on Dec. 16, 2020.

The Rolling Stones Are Out Of This World...Literally

The legacy of The Rolling Stones is transcending Earth as the band now have a rock on Mars named after them.

The honor comes from NASA, or more specifically, the team responsible for NASA’s InSight lander.

They named the small rock “Rolling Stones Rock”. The small rock, which is about the size of a golf ball, appeared to roll three feet following the touchdown of the InSight craft in November. That is the furthest distance NASA has even seen a rock roll while landing a spacecraft on another planet, which is why they’ve paid special interest to it.

The band made a statement about the special rock being named after them.

“What a wonderful way to celebrate the ‘Stones No Filter’ tour arriving in Pasadena,” the Rolling Stones said in a statement. “This is definitely a milestone in our long and eventful history. A huge thank you to everyone at NASA for making it happen.”

The rock will appear on working maps of the planet for time to come, so the band’s prominence is not only cemented here but also on Mars.