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First Out: New Music From Elton John, Pvris, Ashnikko & More

Elton John, The Lockdown SessionsAfter becoming one of the world’s most iconic pop stars, Sir Elton John could have easily rested on his laurels. Instead, the 74-year-old icon decided too go about one of his more ambitious projects to date with a new album of collaborations, The Lockdown Sessions. Filled to the brim with his various partnerships…

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First Out: New Music From Elton John, Pvris, Ashnikko & More

Elton John, The Lockdown SessionsAfter becoming one of the world’s most iconic pop stars, Sir Elton John could have easily rested on his laurels. Instead, the 74-year-old icon decided too go about one of his more ambitious projects to date with a new album of collaborations, The Lockdown Sessions. Filled to the brim with his various partnerships over the last year, Lockdown features John dipping his toe in a little bit of everything, from pure pop nostalgia (“Cold Heart” with Dua Lipa & PNAU) to soul (“Finish Line” with Stevie Wonder) to hip-hop (“Always Love You” with Young Thug & Nicki Minaj ) to Americana (“Simple Things” with Brandi Carlile).Pvris, “My Way””Turn the days into nights/ Hit the switch in my mind/ I burn through phases of life/ No reset, no rewind.” There’s a confidence to frontwoman Lynn Gunn’s voice as she croons the lyrics to Pvris’s new single, “My Way.” Scintillating with the alt-rock energy that flowed through previous tracks like “Monster” and “No Mercy” but with a dash of added swagger, “My Way” finds Gunn taking her rightful place as the leader of her band, while a blown-out bass and some razor-sharp synths help her send the message home.Ashnikko, “Halloweenie IV: Innards”Ready to get scared? Ashnikko certainly is, as she continues in her own tradition of dropping a Halloween song the week before the holiday officially arrives. On the fourth iteration of her “Halloweenie” series (this year with the subtitle “Innards”), Ashnikko takes the melody of Edvard Grieg’s masterpiece “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” chops it, twists it up, and adds in some of her own lyrics to fit the spooky season. Rapping and singing about organs, human skin suits, ghosts, ghouls and spiders laying eggs in your brain, Ashnikko goes out of her way to paint a gory picture that will have you boogieing all through this spooky season.Cavetown, “Teenage Dirtbag (feat. Chloe Moriondo)”It’s been over 20 years since Wheatus released their hit debut single “Teenage Dirtbag” — but it’s still finding new audiences everywhere. That’s thanks in part to Cavetown, who teamed up with fellow alt-pop artist Chloe Moriondo to deliver a stripped-down, chilled-out cover of the track this week. Subbing in some drowsy synths in place of the original’s slamming guitars, this new version of “Teenage Dirtbag” portrays a softer, more mellow version of the single, as Cavetown and Moriondo beg you to come listen to some Iron Maiden with them.Joy Oladokun, “I Can’t Make You Love Me (feat. Jason Isbell)”What happens when a fast-rising singer-songwriter and a country superstar come together to cover a blues icon’s classic single? Magic, that’s what happens. For her new Spotify Sessions, Joy Oladkun tapped none other than Jason Isbell to assist her on her cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” The result is a groovy, modernized version of the track that sees Oladokun flexing her vocal prowess while Isbell shreds on the guitar, doing perfect justice to Raitt’s stunning single while still making it entirely their own.Alekxandr, “Sunflower””I only have eyes for you.”  With six words, rising indie-pop singer Alekxandr draws you into his vision of romance and heartbreak. Backed up by a set of strings, some heart-pounding drums and a simple piano melody, Alekxandr lets his vocals shine through on “Sunflower” as he waxes poetic on the waning days of a relationship, wondering where things went wrong, and what he would do fix his mistakes. “I’m sending you all my love/ And my hand’s full of sunflowers,” he moans on the chilling chorus.

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Stephen Sondheim Remembered by Uzo Aduba, Hugh Jackman, Josh Gad and More: ‘The Best There Ever Was’

Following the death of Stephen Sondheim, Hollywood stars took to social media to share tributes and memories of the award-winning composer and lyricist who was known for revolutionizing American musical theater. Sondheim, whose achievements included Company, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park With George and Into the Woods, died at 91. Explore See latest videos,…

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Stephen Sondheim Remembered by Uzo Aduba, Hugh Jackman, Josh Gad and More: ‘The Best There Ever Was’

Following the death of Stephen Sondheim, Hollywood stars took to social media to share tributes and memories of the award-winning composer and lyricist who was known for revolutionizing American musical theater.
Sondheim, whose achievements included Company, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park With George and Into the Woods, died at 91.

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The composer often collaborated with producer-director Hal Prince, pairing with him on musicals such as West Side Story and Merrily We Roll Along. Sondheim collected nine Tony Awards during his tenure, as well as an Oscar, a Pulitzer Prize and eight Grammy awards.

On Twitter, Uzo Aduba referred to Sondheim as “the best there ever was.” She wrote, “I don’t know when we will ever have another of his caliber, of his breadth and scope. Just the greatest, a legend, a true titan. Rest In Peace.”
“He wrote me a wonderful permission letter to use ‘Old Friends’ in American Gods,” wrote Neil Gaiman. “I avoided meeting him (failed only once) and refused dinner because I didn’t have many heroes. Now I’ve got one less. Thank you Stephen Sondheim so much.”
Hugh Jackman wrote: “Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form. Stephen Sondheim was one of those. As millions mourn his passing I also want to express my gratitude for all he has given to me and so many more. Sending my love to his nearest and dearest.”
Anna Kendrick shared that “performing his work has been among the greatest privileges of my career” and called Sondheim’s death “a devastating loss.”
George Takei, meanwhile, labeled Sondheim a “towering giant” and wrote that his legacy of song and lyric was unparalleled. “From West Side Story to Sweeney Todd, from Gypsy to Sunday in the Park with George, there will never be a master like him.”
Darren Criss thanked Sondheim for “something between ridiculous and sublime.”
Read these reactions and more, below.

Stephen Sondheim was the best there ever was. I don’t know when we will ever have another of his caliber, of his breadth and scope. Just the greatest, a legend, a true titan. Rest In Peace. ❤️
— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) November 26, 2021

Perhaps not since April 23rd of 1616 has theater lost such a revolutionary voice. Thank you Mr. Sondheim for your Demon Barber, some Night Music, a Sunday in the Park, Company, fun at a Forum, a trip Into the Woods and telling us a West Side Story. RIP. 🙏 https://t.co/jHX7ob9JWv
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) November 26, 2021

Just a few months ago the legend Stephen Sondheim joined us in person for an unforgettable conversation. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/qyhdjz9TX6
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) November 26, 2021

Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form. Stephen Sondheim was one of those. As millions mourn his passing I also want to express my gratitude for all he has given to me and so many more. Sending my love to his nearest and dearest. pic.twitter.com/4KlnJJJipq
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) November 26, 2021

I am at a loss. Feels like the end of an era. He did indeed set the standard for the American musical.
Rest well, sir. #StephenSondheim
— Ariana DeBose (@ArianaDeBose) November 26, 2021

I was just talking to someone a few nights ago about how much fun (and fucking difficult) it is to sing Stephen Sondheim. Performing his work has been among the greatest privileges of my career. A devastating loss.
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) November 26, 2021

Goodbye dear sir. We will spend our lives trying to make you proud. #stephensondheim
— Idina Menzel (@idinamenzel) November 26, 2021

thank you so muchfor something betweenridiculous and sublime#StephenSondheim
— Darren Criss (@DarrenCriss) November 26, 2021

Rest In Peace Stephen Sondheim. You gave us something new. You changed the game. I was so lucky. pic.twitter.com/iF3iMKd5YJ
— Mario Cantone (@macantone) November 26, 2021

He only wrote one screenplay, but it’s an absolute gem of a whodunnit. Why not pay tribute to the great Stephen Sondheim by watching his parlor game cult classic ‘The Last Of Sheila’. (Co-written with Anthony Perkins, no less). RIP x pic.twitter.com/Cqd2FpUgtw
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) November 26, 2021

He wrote me a wonderful permission letter to use “Old Friends” in American Gods. I avoided meeting him (failed only once) and refused dinner because I didn’t have many heroes. Now I’ve got one less. Thank you Stephen Sondheim so much. pic.twitter.com/soRo4G2ZFU
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 26, 2021

RIP Stephen Sondheim, master musical man. His words for West Side Story alone would have guaranteed him theatrical immortality but there was so much more. He bestrode songwriting like a Colossus.
— Tim Rice (@SirTimRice) November 26, 2021

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

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Billboard Buys: Sony is Blowing Out These Top-Rated Headphones for $10

All products and services featured are independently chosen by editors. However, Billboard may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes. Sony headphones used to cost a pretty penny, but the electronics company has come out with a line of budget headphones…

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Billboard Buys: Sony is Blowing Out These Top-Rated Headphones for $10

All products and services featured are independently chosen by editors. However, Billboard may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
Sony headphones used to cost a pretty penny, but the electronics company has come out with a line of budget headphones that pack a decent punch.
Case in point: these Sony ZX Series Wired On-Ear Headphones, which are on sale right now for just $10 on Amazon (regularly $24.99+). For just 10 bucks, you get a pair of brand new, genuine Sony headphones for music, work, recording and more. This is not just one of the best Sony headphone deals online, but one of the best headphone deals – period.

Shop: Sony ZX Series Wired Headphones $9.99

The Sony ZX Series Headphones feature 30mm neodymium dynamic drivers that deliver loud, peppy music with a well-balanced output of highs, mids and low-end bass.
The headphones are super lightweight (under five ounces!) and come with cushy earpads so they stay comfortable even while wearing for long periods of time. The headband is adjustable too, and Sony says its closed-back design helps to seal in sound.

What we like: the swiveling earcup design allows the headphones to fold flat when you’re traveling, so they tuck easily into your bag without taking up too much space.
You don’t have to worry about battery life here — these are traditional wired headphones, so they can plug-in directly to your laptop, phone or gaming console to get long, uninterrupted sound. The durable cable holds up to repeat use, and at 1.2 meters (about four feet), you’ll have plenty of room to move around without being tied down — literally — to your listening device.
This is the best deal online for cheap Sony headphones. But don’t take our word for it: the Sony MDR-ZX110AP headphones are a #1 best-seller on Amazon with a 4.5-star (out of five) rating from more than 70,000 reviewers online. Get the $10 Sony headphones on Amazon here. Amazon also has a pair of Sony headphones with a mic (great for teleconferencing or video calls) on sale for $19.99 here.
Another way to snag these $10 Sony headphones? Target has the Sony headphones deal for $9.99 and is offering same-day delivery or in-store pickup. See details here.
Billboard is picking a weekly deal to share with our readers. Check billboard.com each week for our Billboard Buys product.

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Celebrate the Premiere of ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ With These Beatles Turntables

All products and services featured are independently chosen by editors. However, Billboard may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes. It’s been 54 years since the May 26, 1967 release of the Beatles’ classic album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band, and,…

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Celebrate the Premiere of ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ With These Beatles Turntables

All products and services featured are independently chosen by editors. However, Billboard may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
It’s been 54 years since the May 26, 1967 release of the Beatles’ classic album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band, and, as expected, searches for Beatles merch have gone up online.
For music lovers looking for more than just a T-shirt or hat, Ringo Starr has an official drumstick collaboration with accessories brand, Zildjian. Designed with the drummer himself, the $11.99 sticks feature his signature and trademark star. See them here.

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But the best piece of Beatles merch online right now are a pair of Beatles turntables. Both pieces are on sale for the holidays, making them a no-brainer gift idea for both Beatles fans and collectors alike.

Turntable brand Pro-Ject also recently re-stocked their limited-edition Sgt. Pepper turntable, first released in 2017 in honor of the Beatles’ eighth studio album’s 50th anniversary.

Shop: Pro-Ject The Beatles Sgt. Pepper Essential III Special Edition Turntable $500

The design of the Essential III turntable from Pro-Ject shows the base drum of the album, laid on top of a blue psychedelic pattern. It also features a factory-mounted Ortofon series OM-10 cartridge and a precision aluminum tonearm.  See it via Amazon here.
The other turntable from Pro-Ject, a high-end 2Xperience SB features a sleek black and wooden design with both the Beatles and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band logo. See it here.
For a more portable Beatles-inspired record player, Crosley has a Beatles-edition version of its popular suitcase-style turntables. Available now for $159.95 on Amazon, the vintage-style turntable is part of Crosley’s “Anthology” series and plays 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM LPs with full, loud sound through its built-in speakers.

Shop: Crosley Anthology Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable $159.95

Both the Pro-Ject turntables and the Crosley record player are officially-licensed releases from the brands and The Beatles. Everything was produced in limited-edition though, so we recommend adding these record players to your cart before quantities are sold out.
It’s a great time to pick up some Beatles merch, as the Fab Four are the subject of a new Disney+ documentary called The Beatles: Get Back. Directed by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, The Beatles: Get Back is streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.

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