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Bonnaroo and Erykah Badu

By Mike Breen · June 13th, 2012 · Minimum Gauge

Shocking ’Roo

The folks at Bonnaroo managed two great surprises this year. For the “Superjam” curated by The Roots’ drummer ?uestlove, singer D’Angelo — who disappeared from the public eye after his initial fame a decade ago — joined the group for a roll through tunes by Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Ohio Players and Funkadelic. But topping that in sheer WTFness was a Sunday cameo by ’80s hitmaker Lionel Richie, who joined the already-a-fish-out-of-water Kenny Rogers for versions of “Lady” and “All Night Long.” Though no one in the crowd would probably ever attend a normal Rogers or Richie concert, they went nuts just the same. Maybe they were just being sarcastic. 

Badu Not Mess With Badu

It’s a battle that is getting nastier than the brutal Tiny Tim/Eartha Kitt wars of 1972 — after debuting the captivating video for their collaboration with Erykah Badu, The Flaming Lips found themselves on the receiving end of a rant from the Soul diva.

Badu claimed she felt betrayed that the video for their version of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” — a swirl of glitter, color, nudity (not Badu’s) and liquids — was released without her approval. Badu accused the Lips’ Wayne Coyne of exploiting her for publicity; Coyne said that’s why Badu was making a stink. The two parties have since been engaged in civil conversations to resolve the issue … no, wait … they’ve actually just taken to Twitter to bash each other like 12-year-olds.

The Latin Jazz Lobby is Strong …

The Recording Academy showed that it does listen to feedback and is open to changes … especially if you make a good argument or file a lawsuit. Bobby Sanabria became a spokesperson for the anti-“Kill Off Less Commercially Appealing Categories at The Grammys” campaign when he filed a lawsuit saying the Academy violated its own procedures when axing categories for Zydeco, Hawaiian music and other “ethnic” genres. The case was thrown out, but the Grammys recently announced that Latin Jazz — which Sanabria happens to play — would be back next year. The Academy told The New York Times it made the change because of a well-executed proposal. So Native American musicians, take note — you are a clever Power Point presentation away from getting back in the mix! 



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