Displaying items by tag: music
Movie Review written by Jon Patch with 3 out of 4 Paws
Warner Bros. Pictures, Bazmark Films, Roadshow Entertainment, The Jackal Group and Whalerock Industries present a PG-13, 159-minute Biography, Music, Drama, directed by Baz Luhemann with screenplay by Luhrmann, Sam Bromell and Craig Pearce with a theater release of June 24, 2022.
ILLUMINATION AND UNIVERSAL PICTURES ANNOUNCE
THE SING 2 SING-ALONG EXPERIENCE,
BEGINNING MARCH 25, AUDIENCES ARE INVITED TO
SING ALONG WITH ILLUMINATION’S MUSICAL SENSATION,
SING 2, AT THEATERS NATIONWIDE
THE SPECIAL SING 2 SING-ALONG WILL BE AVAILABLE IN ALL MAJOR U.S. AND CANADIAN MARKETS
TICKETS AVIALABLE ON FANDANGO NOW
Illumination’s blockbuster Sing franchise
has earned more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office
The Sing 2 Sing-Along will feature lyrics
to more than 20 hit songs, including,
“Girl on Fire,” “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” and the U2 classic,
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
Universal City, Calif., March 18, 2022 — To celebrate the success of Illumination’s smash musical sensation, Sing 2, Illumination and Universal Pictures today announced the launch of The Sing 2 Sing-Along Experience in theaters nationwide.
Beginning March 25, audiences in the United States and Canada will be able to choose from multiple Sing 2 Sing-Along showings at participating theaters in all major markets and experience the thrill and joy of sharing unforgettable musical performances with fellow fans as, together, they sing their favorite songs along with the film’s beloved characters. Tickets are available on Fandango now.
Conceived and designed as a one-of-a-kind experience for fans, the Sing 2 Sing Along welcomes audiences to join together in creating the kind of magic that usually only happens when a crowd unites in a live concert, as their favorite band performs their favorite song. The Sing 2 Sing Along provides fans that feeling again and again and again throughout the film.
The Sing 2 Sing-Along Experience will include lyrics to more than 20 of the biggest hits featured in the film, including “Girl on Fire,” “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “She Bangs,” and the beloved U2 classics, “Where The Streets Have No Name” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
Illumination’s Sing 2 has been playing in theaters and delighting audiences everywhere since Dec. 22. The blockbuster franchise has now earned more than $1 billion worldwide.
Illumination’s Sing 2 celebrates the thrill of chasing your dreams, as the ever-optimistic Buster Moon and his all-star cast of performers prepare to launch their most dazzling stage extravaganza yet …all in the glittering entertainment capital of the world. There’s just one hitch: They first have to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star—played by global music icon Bono, in his animated film debut—to join them.
With dozens of contemporary and classic hit songs, electrifying performances and breathtaking artistry, Sing 2 serves as an emotional reminder about the importance of dreaming big and the power of music to heal.
Sing 2 features all of the characters audiences fell in love with in the first film (voiced by Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, Nick Kroll and Garth Jennings), plus additional characters played by music superstars Pharrell Williams and Halsey, actors Bobby Cannavale and Letitia Wright and comedians Eric André and Chelsea Peretti.
The film is written and directed by acclaimed returning filmmaker Garth Jennings and is produced by Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and by Janet Healy.
Illumination, founded by Academy Award® nominee Chris Meledandri in 2007, is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of event-animated films, including Despicable Me, the most successful animated franchise in cinematic history. The company’s releases include two of the top 10 animated films of all time, and its iconic, beloved franchises—infused with memorable and distinct characters, global appeal and cultural relevance—have grossed more than $6.4 billion worldwide.
Illumination, which has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures, is the creator of the world of Despicable Me. The franchise includes Minions, the fourth-highest-grossing animated film of all time and the most profitable film in Universal’s history, as well as the Academy Award®- nominated Despicable Me 2 and Despicable Me 3, which made more than $1 billion at the global box office.
Illumination has launched two additional original franchises that have captivated audiences worldwide. The first Secret Life of Pets film achieved the best opening for an original movie, animated or otherwise, in U.S. history, and the studio followed that success in 2019 with The Secret Life of Pets 2. Illumination’s smash hit, Sing, has now became the studio’s latest global franchise with Sing 2 in December 2021. In addition, Illumination’s Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch continues to hold the record for the biggest opening weekend of any Christmas-themed movie in history. Illumination’s upcoming films include Minions: The Rise of Gru on July 1, 2022 and a new Super Mario Bros. film in December 2022.
About Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.
Movie Review written by Jon Patch with 3 out of 4 Paws
Universal Pictures, Kung Fu Monkey Productions, Nuyorican Productions and Perfect World Pictures present a PG-13, 112-minute, Romance, Comedy, Music film directed by Kat Coiro, screenplay by Harper Dill and John Rogers and based on the graphic novel by Bobby Crosby with a theater release of February 11, 2022.
Movie Review written by Jon Patch with 3.5 out of 4 paws
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Walt Disney Animation Studios present a PG, 99-minute, Animation, Adventure, Comedy directed by Jared Bush, Byron Howards and Charise Castro Smith, screenplay by Smith and Bush and story by Howard with a theater release of November 24, 2021.
Taylor Rae Bio
Powered by insightful, poetic and deeply personal lyrics, Taylor Rae’s music is propelled by a voice that, while wholly unique, could best be described as a sizzling folk, jazz and blues hybrid of Norah Jones and Grace Potter. The singer calls her musical style soul and roll: “It's not really soul music; it’s not really rock ‘n’ roll. It's a blend of all the roots genres that come from the earliest days of American music,” she explains.
Born in Santa Cruz and raised in nearby Ben Lomond, Taylor Rae Vencill’s eclectic musical journey took her first from California’s Central Coast to Los Angeles. Then, in 2018, she relocated to Austin, which, like her birthplace, offered the space and freedom to be true to herself both as an artist and an individual. Throughout her career she has remained nomadic, traveling countless miles to grace a plethora of stages from iconic Santa Cruz venues Moe’s Alley, Kuumbwa Jazz and the Catalyst, to Hollywood’s prestigious Hotel Cafe and the second stage at legendary Austin nightspot Stubb’s. Taylor has shared the stage with a variety of artists including Brandy Clark, The Stone Foxes, Kristian Bush and Reggae musician Mike Love. In 2017, Taylor won Santa Cruz NEXTies Award for Musician of the Year.
The natural surroundings of her youth have provided limitless inspiration for Taylor’s craft, as have myriad musical influences ranging from Bonnie Raitt and Carole King, to Simon & Garfunkel and Steely Dan, among others. Taylor wrote her first song at age 8, taught herself guitar at 12, and played her first paid gig by age 15.
With her debut album, Mad Twenties, Taylor delivers 12 original tracks exhibiting a sophistication and maturity beyond her years. Helmed by producer William Gawley, the musical styles run the gamut from acoustic folk to Led Zeppelin-tinged rock and roadhouse blues, while also incorporating jazz and psychedelic influences. A largely chronological concept album, Taylor’s incisive lyrics similarly cover a broad emotional landscape, with a blossoming – then withering – romance charted from start to finish in stunning confessional detail. The gently rolling opening cut, “Window,” inspired by a psychedelic experience, affords the first inviting glance into the real-life relationship on which the majority of songs are based, while the sweetly romantic first single, “Fixer Upper,” offers an optimistic view forward. The paths of touring musician and romantic partner converge in the grease-streaked blues of “Home on the Road.” Taylor’s vocal prowess for searing blues-rock is demonstrated in the electrifying “Forgiveness,” as well as in the raw, edgy and politically charged “Never Gonna Do.” Both represent a brief but compelling detour from the album’s autobiographical approach. “Taking Space,” a darkly bittersweet epilogue to the love story, closes out the collection.
“Recording the album was very cathartic; it reflects my own personal journey of self-actualization, awareness and growth,” admits Taylor, “now I look back on this experience with gratitude.”
KRISTINE W UNLEASHES HER “ISSUES”
Billboard Magazine’s “Dance Music Artist of the Decade” Releases
Episode One of Her Three Part “Issues” Album, “Love and Lies”
Kristine W returns to the dance floor with Love and Lies, the first part of her three-episode
Issues double-album that includes the #1 single “Stars” and her brand new single,
“Barracuda”. Being distributed globally through The Orchard, all eight songs on Issues
Episode 1: Love and Lies deal with love in its complexities: the deception from others as
well as the lies we tell ourselves. Kristine W’s Issues Episode 1: Love and Lies album is
available now at https://orcd.co/episodeoneloveandlies.
“This album is all about real songs and stories,” explains Kristine W. “They tell tales of
true experiences from my life. Nothing is held back because my ultimate hope is that
these songs help others confront their own issues head on.”
Kristine’s previously released single, “Just a Lie,” depicted her painful experience with
divorce. In “Barracuda,” a remake of the classic rock track first released by Heart, Kristine
W takes aim at a record industry that hasn’t always been fair to her. “The song fit perfectly
with the "Keeping It Real” vibe of the Issues Episode 1: Love and Lies album,” she says.
“Growing up In Washington (state), we were all immersed in rock,” Kristine W continues.
“Heart, in particular, were super heroes to all of us because they were global rock stars
that gave us young aspiring musicians hope that we could make it big somehow too.”
The original “Barracuda” was written as a testament to Heart's anger towards the music
industry. Believing in that old adage of ‘any publicity is good publicity’, the band’s label
issued press releases filled with fake stories to create any kind of buzz about the band in
order to sell records. Many were unflattering and even detrimental to the band’s longterm
success and they eventually led to the band splitting from the label.
“Barracuda” presented a few challenges for Kristine. The biggest being matching Ann
Wilson’s incredible vocals. Wilson was 18 when she recorded the single, allowing her to
hit notes in the stratosphere. “I told my engineer I didn't want to cover ‘Barracuda’
unless I could sing it in the original key,” Kristine W explains. “He looked at me like I
was nuts but three sessions later, I nailed it.”
Kristine and her producer, John Keenan, manage to reframe the single, adding a bit of
dance influence into the production while keeping its original magic.
Kristine W hails from Pasco, Washington. After winning titles as Miss Tri-Cities and Miss
Washington and placing first in the talent competition at the Miss America pageant, she
went on to pursue her educational and musical dreams in Las Vegas. There, she found
success headlining her own show at the Las Vegas Hilton, winning several 'Las Vegas
Entertainer of the Year' awards and being officially sanctioned as the entertainer who
performed more live shows at the Las Vegas Hilton than any other performer in its history,
including Elvis. The award led to June 28th being officially sanctioned Kristine W day in
the state of Nevada.
She began recording pop and dance tracks in 1994. Her first track, “Feel What You
Want” reached #1 and since then, Kristine W has had a steady flow of chart toppers.
“Stars,” the first release off Issues Episode 1: Love and Lies, was her 17th Billboard #1.
She now ties Mariah Carey for the sixth-most No. 1s since the chart’s August 28, 1976,
inception. Madonna leads the chart with 46.
The three episodes of Issues are intended to take listeners on a journey, with songs
relating to the subject of each episode. Following Issues Episode 1: Love and Lies, Issues
Episode 2: Struggles will deal with life’s battles including those associated with
relationships, work, time management and self-esteem. Then, Issues Episode 3:
Redemption will celebrate life's small victories. All thirty tracks of Issues will be released
as a double album in early 2021.
The producers who lend their talent to Issues Episode 1: Love and Lies read like a
veritable who’s who of today’s top hitmakers. Hans W. Mallon from Holland, best known
for his work with Tiesto, shines with his productions of “Wind In the Trees”, “Can’t take
No More" and "Whites Girls.” Joey Moskowitz, responsible for creating some of the
biggest US house anthems of the last two decades, masterfully reinvents Kristine's #1
smash "Land Of The Living." London superstar FREEJAK hits gold again with his
radiating production of Kristine’s “Stars.” Jesper Kettenis and Phill Wellz (both from
Amsterdam) also appear on the album.
“I still have my issues,” Kristine admits, “but I’m not obsessing over the small things like
I use to do, especially when it comes to my music. Unlike the Wilson sisters in the 70s, I
feel very blessed to have a great team of talented people working with me on Issues
Episode 1: Love and Lies. We are a family with lots of music coming out this year and so
much to be grateful for.”
Kristine W’s Issues Episode 1: Love and Lies album is available now on all digital retailers
via Kristine’s own imprint, Fly Again Music Productions. Fly Again Music is a diversified
entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best
of dance, pop and jazz culture. For more information on Kristine W and her music, visit
ABOUT KRISTINE W
Named by Billboard Magazine as the #8 Greatest Dance Artist of All Time and the #3 greatest
from the Last Decade (trailing only Madonna and Beyoncé), Kristine W has proven herself a
lasting talent. Through nearly twenty-five years in music, she has consistency delivered songs
that touch hearts and souls and compel bodies to find the mighty groove out on the dance
floor. With “Stars,” Kristine’s 17th #1 single, she now ties Mariah Carey for the sixth-most
Billboard #1 dance hits. The song was also included on Billboard’s "Best 100 Dance Songs of
2018,” coming in at #25, next to Ariana Grande and U2: https://www.billboard.com/charts/
In addition, Kristine recently made waves in the cabaret circuit, starring alongside her longtime
friend, the Emmy-Award winning TV personality, style expert, fashion designer and New York
Times best-selling author, Carson Kressley. Together, the dynamic duo toured the USA,
presenting lovely evenings of comedy and jazz music classics in a live stage show called
Straight Up with a Twist.
Kristine W has made a career by focusing on the art and profession of being a singer,
songwriter and musician. She enjoys a grassroots mutual affection with fans who revere her
voice, appreciate how the aspects of life and emotions she sings about echo their own feelings
So how did a ranch-raised small-town girl from rural Washington State end up as “the most
soulful vocalist in dance music, period,” according to All Music Guide? Kristine credits Donna
Summer for instilling the love of dance into her.
“She had that big gorgeous voice,” says Kristine of the late disco music pioneer and superstar.
“Her voice sounded almost like gospel to me. It was dance with the big background vocals
and the layered harmonies. She was everything I would aspire to.”
Kristine’s mother was also an entertainer. She showed Kristine that a singing career was
possible. “Mom did it because my Dad passed away when we were babies and it was a matter
of survival. Singing and performing was how she was able to keep food on the table for us,”
Her maternal grandmother, who helped raise Kristine and her four siblings, was a classical
violinist who was struck by lightning (“One of the few people to survive that,” Kristine notes).
The bolt threw her arms out of their shoulder sockets. After they were wired back in place, she
could no longer play the violin, so she taught herself how to play the guitar set in her lap. “It
just showed me the power of music because she continued to be musical and figured out ways
to adapt to her situation. She was an amazing woman.”
Kristine’s paternal grandfather was a rancher and competitive horseman. “He was like John
Wayne.” Her late father was a rodeo champion and country music singer. “I had a lot of
inspirational people around and nurturing me. I was blessed,” she says of her childhood.
From almost the time she could walk Kristine was singing in church, talent contests and local
Oprys. The music she heard ranged from the sophisticated jazz her mother sang to hard-core
country to the classical warhorses and all between, plus the pop music on the radio. When she
first heard Summer, Kristine saw how all she was learning was also a part of her icon’s training
PROJECT PUBLICITY, INC. · NEW YORK CITY · 212.445.0099 · WWW.PROJECTPUBLICITY.COM
“When you latch onto an artist like that at such a young age and just immerse yourself in their
music, you pick up on all of their nuances,” Kristine explains. “She really was a huge influence
on how I approached my music career, including taking opera lessons.”
Kristine learned to play guitar and piano from her grandmother and took up alto saxophone at
seven years old to help her with her scat singing and improvisation. She would ride her bike
around her hometown of Pasco, WA searching out classic jazz albums at yard and garage
sales. “I studied with jazz coaches and was in all the jazz choirs, church choirs and in R&B
groups. Won all the local talent contests and then went to Seattle and Portland and Spokane
and beat them all there.”
Ultimately Kristine won the biggest local competition, Miss Washington, and went on to
compete for Miss America, winning the opening swimsuit and talent categories (the latter by
singing the Gershwin Broadway classic “Summertime”). The scholarship funds she earned
enabled her to head out from Pasco to pursue her musical dreams.
“I decided to take my scholarship money and head to Las Vegas,” Kristine explains. “I couldn’t
afford UCLA, it was too expensive. I couldn’t drive to New York because my car was too old
and beat up. So I thought: I can make it to Vegas and I can afford to go to school there. And I
know I can work my way through college performing. And I did. As soon as I arrived here I
started getting hired to do everything.”
She was determined to front and lead her own band as her mom had done. “I heard a lot of
you can’t do that, you can’t do this, you’re not going to be a female bandleader, it’s not gonna
happen, you’re going to have to sing with somebody else’s band. I was like I’m going to sing
with other people’s bands until I make enough money to buy my own PA and put together my
And so she did, leading her group Kristine W and the Sting to prominence in the fiercely
competitive Vegas market, eventually performing at the Las Vegas Hilton more than any other
entertainer, including Elvis. “I won Entertainer of the Year, Best Singer, Best Band, Best
Showband,” explains Kristine. “I had 18 employees. I was the most successful female
bandleader probably ever as far as showbands go.”
Record labels and production companies constantly courted Kristine with offers to sing every
style of popular music imaginable. But her band’s specialty – molding pop and rock hits and
classics into propulsive dance numbers – belied her musical aim. “I’m a high energy person,”
she says. “I love the energy of dance music, always have. It’s really joyful and happy. To me
dance music is like the energy of life.”
So she took her voice and songs to Europe, where dance music reigns supreme and most of
the genre’s cutting edge producers and mixers are found, and recorded her first album in
London. In 1996, “Feel What You Want,” Kristine’s debut single, made an immediate mark in
the dance clubs, soaring to #1 here and abroad and becoming a dance floor classic. “One
More Try” followed for another #1 dance hit, and a third chart-topper on the album’s title song,
“Land of the Living,” secured Kristine’s place as a new dance floor star. When the album was
officially released in 1997, Kristine’s in-store concert at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square
drew lines of adoring fans around the block.
She signed with RCA Records and followed with more #1 hits on her 2000 album, Stronger like
its title tune and “Lovin’ You.” Just as she was establishing her career, Kristine was diagnosed
with a particularly aggressive strain of leukemia and given only a 30 percent chance of survival.
She was given an experimental stem cell transplant and spent two years fighting the disease
while also raising two infant children. Ironically, songs she had written before being struck by
the disease like “Land of the Living” and “One More Try” proved almost prophetic as well as
motivational as Kristine struggled to overcome the disease. “My music always seems to give
me the inspiration to keep fighting for it,” Kristine notes.
When Kristine returned with Fly Again on the pioneering indie dance label, Tommy Boy, in
2003, she racked up three more #1s: the title song, “Save My Soul” and “The Wonder of It All.”
Writing the album while hospitalized and recovering, Kristine further distinguished herself as an
artist whose songs of struggle and triumph speak to the lives of countless fans as well. After
topping the charts again with her dance remake of the Ashford/Simpson-penned Diana Ross
hit “The Boss,” Kristine then debuted as a totally independent and self-managed artist with The
Power of Music in 2009. Its seven #1 hits proved Kristine’s enduring appeal as a major dance
Next up was a longtime singer’s dream project that also fulfilled a promise to her mother:
Straight Up with a Twist, a Top 15 two CD jazz chart album, on which she enjoyed three radio
hits, including a sensual reworking of her first dance hit, “Feel What You Want” and a jazz
rendition of heroine Donna Summers’ disco music landmark, “On The Radio.” Kristine also
transformed such rock classics as “Stairway to Heaven” and “Take It to the Limit” into vocal
jazz stunners, redid “The Boss” in yet another genre, and closed the set with her impassioned
reading of the folk-pop standard “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”
Kristine returned to dance with her next album, New & Number Ones, revisiting some of her
past hits with new mixes and edits and offering new songs that also topped the charts. The
collection featured seven re-worked Kristine W originals, including “I Get Up,” “So Close To
Me,” Glow On,” “Busted,” “and “Through the Fire.” “Land of the Living” (1997) got a
Subgroover edit, ‘96’s “One More Try” enjoyed an expansive JRMX mix, and “Lovin’ You” from
2001 was edited by Soul Seekerz. “Love Come Home” opened the album in Subgroover style
and closed the set with a Frankie Knuckles Vs. Bitrocka Epic Club Duet. (Love Come Home
went Top 5 on Billboard’s Clubs Songs Chart in 2015 and Top 30 on the UK Club Chart.)
The collection was rounded out by covers of Chaka Khan’s “Through the Fire” and Donna
Summer’s “Sometimes Like Butterflies”; a tribute edit that recalled the golden days of disco.
Her new album is Love and Lies. It is the first part of her three-episode Issues double-album.
Being distributed globally through The Orchard, all eight songs on Issues Episode 1: Love and
Lies deal with love in its complexities: the deception from others as well as the lies we tell
The producers who lend their talent to Issues Episode 1: Love and Lies read like a veritable
who’s who of today’s top hitmakers. Hans W. Mallon from Holland, best known for his work
with Tiesto, shines with his productions of “Wind In the Trees”, “Can’t take No More" and
"Whites Girls.” Joey Moskowitz, responsible for creating some of the biggest US house
anthems of the last two decades, masterfully reinvents Kristine's #1 smash "Land Of The
Living." London superstar FREEJAK hits gold again with his radiating production of Kristine’s
“Stars.” Jesper Kettenis and Phill Wellz (both from Amsterdam) also appear on the album.
Following Issues Episode 1: Love and Lies, Episode 2 will deal with life’s battles including those
associated with relationships, work, time management and self-esteem. Episode 3 will
celebrate life's small victories. All thirty tracks of Issues will be released as a double album in
“I love creating the work and seeing people’s reaction to it,” Kristine W concludes. “My voice is
a gift and I’m thankful for it. It has definitely made my life very interesting. I’ve gotten to make a
difference and bring a lot of joy to the world, and that’s really what’s important.”
Movie review written by Jon Patch with 4 out of 4 paws
I Still Believe
Lionsgate and Kevin Downes Productions present a PG, 115 minute, Romance, Music, Drama film, based on a true story and directed and written by Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin with a theater release date of March 13, 2020.