MUSIC NEWS: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018
American heavy metal band Metallica and Afghanistan's National Institute of Music have won the 2018 Polar Music Prizes, a Swedish award. It is the first time a heavy metal band gets an award given each year for significant achievements in music. The award panel said Metallica had ``through virtuoso ensemble playing and its use of extremely accelerated tempos'' taken rock music ``to places it had never been before.'' It said the Afghan ensemble ``revives Afghan music, and shows you can transform lives through music.''
Drummer Lars Ulrich, who co-founded Metallica, said getting the prize ``puts us in very distinguished company.'' They have been invited to receive their awards, including a cash prize of 1-million kronor or 124-thousand U-S dollars each, on June 14th from members of the Swedish royal family in Stockholm.
ROBERT PLANT DROPS IN RALEIGH RESTAURANT
As one of the owners of a restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina, puts it, when Robert Plant walks in, he kind of stands out. Plant and his band, the Sensational Space Shifters, stopped by Garland restaurant after doing a show in Raleigh on Friday, according to the News and Observer. Co-owner and chef Cheetie Kumar says the kitchen was closed, but she whipped up several small plates, including hummus, fried cauliflower and a beet-and-persimmon salad. Co-owner Paul Siler says they felt bad for not being able to serve a proper meal, but it meant that they could hang out with Plant. Plant and the band sang ``Happy Birthday'' to Kumar, even though it was not her birthday.
SUGARLAND: WHAT DID WE MISS?
Sugarland's back after a five-year hiatus and they believe it was an interesting chunk of time to be out of the music business. Singer Jennifer Nettles says they didn't even have an Instagram account five years ago. She says they completely missed ``bro country,'' which works out fine for her because she's not a guy. Sugarland's new song, ``Still The Same,'' is about Nettles and Kristian Bush getting back together and how they felt about that.
Nettles says it wasn't even art imitating life, but art as life.
U-S tourism officials hope Aloe Blacc's musical journey around the country will inspire international visitors to do the same. The tourism group Brand U-S-A is releasing a 40-minute I-MAX movie this week called ``America's Musical Journey.'' It follows Blacc as he explores jazz in New Orleans, rock and roll in Memphis, hip-hop in New York, country music in Nashville and Motown in Detroit. Gloria and Emilio Estefan give him a lesson in Latin beats in Miami. Blacc says the film shows the best there is to see in America. ``America's Musical Journey'' premieres tomorrow at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
Zac Brown Band guitarist Coy Bowles is a father for the second time. His representative tells People magazine that Bowles' wife, Kylie, gave birth to a girl on Monday in Atlanta. They have named her Millie Mercy Bowles. They also have a 15-month-old daughter, Hattie.
(The Associated Press)