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Capitol Records/UMG

Next year will mark ABBA's 50th anniversary as a band.  Just in time for that major milestone, the Swedish superstars have released their first, official Christmas song, "Little Things."

The gentle tune centers on the joy parents feel waking up on Christmas morning and imagining what it'll be like to watch their children open presents under the tree.

ABBA also delighted fans on Friday with the track's official music video, which follows a group of school-age children putting on their own ABBA tribute concert using motion-capture technology and other innovations.  The group says they wanted to honor the "next generation of geniuses" who will harness future technological advances to stage even greater shows.

"Little Things" is featured on ABBA's new album, Voyage, which is their first in 40 years. The track is available to stream and purchase now.  Proceeds from the single will benefit UNICEF's Global Child Protection Fund.

The group released a joint statement Friday explaining why they wanted to turn the track into a charity single.   

"We think it is impossible to eradicate poverty without the empowerment of women. That's why we support UNICEF in protecting girls from sexual violence and empowering them through the Global Child Protection Fund," Agnetha FältskogBjörn UlvaeusBenny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad said.  "We have done so for many years with our song 'Chiquitita' and now we have decided to give Unicef a Christmas gift in the form of a second song: 'Little Things' from our album Voyage."

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Todd Gallopo; Randee St. Nicholas

Styx and REO Speedwagon will sail away together next year on a U.S. co-headlining tour, and they're taking Loverboy with them as their special guest.

The Live & Unzoomed Tour kicks off on May 31 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is plotted out through an August 21 concert in Wantagh, New York. The trek, which currently features 35 dates, includes one show in Canada, an August 16 event in Toronto.

To announce the tour, a hilarious video has premiered on YouTube featuring Styx's Tommy Shaw, REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin and Loverboy's Mike Reno chatting via Zoom about what they've been up to at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tickets for various dates of Live & Unzoomed Tour will go on sale to the general public on Friday, December 10, at 10 a.m. local time at Styx and REO Speedwagon will be making available VIP packages and exclusive pre-sales starting Monday, December 6, at 10 a.m. local time at and

Citi cardmembers will be able to buy pre-sale tickets for the U.S. shows beginning Tuesday, December 7, at 10 a.m. local time; visit for more details.

"I can't think of a better way of touring the USA next year than with good friends we've known for years and performed with on many a stage," Shaw says in a statement. "What a great night of music this will be!"

Adds Cronin, "Tommy and I have done a number of Zoom performances together during the pandemic, and REO and Styx are ready to go get UnZoomed, and out on the road for our fifth U.S. tour together. Add our great friends Mike Reno and the Loverboy guys, and I am totally psyched."

Meanwhile, Reno declares, "Best tour of the summer…guaranteed."

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Motown legends The Temptations will continue their 60th anniversary celebrations next year when they release a new studio album titled Temptations 60 on January 28.

The 12-track collection includes the recently released single "Is It Gonna Be Yes or No," which was written, produced and features guest vocals by fellow Motown great Smokey Robinson.

Temptations 60 offers a mix of modern and classic influences and, reflecting the group's historic catalog, offers a mix of love songs and topical tunes.

In addition to Robinson, who produced and co-wrote many of The Temptations' early recordings, the album features contributions from a number of other producers with whom the group has collaborated over the years, including current Journey drummer Narada Michael Walden, Dennis Nelson, and Thomas "TC" Campbell.

Otis Williams, the last surviving original Temptations member, executive-produced the album and co-produced five of the tracks.

"Our new album carries with it, our legacy, our love of music and our hope that through our music we can uplift and bring people together," Williams says. "Most of all, we want fans to enjoy it and share it with family and friends around the world. It's a thank you gift from our hearts to all of our fans, past, present and future."

Among the songs Otis co-produced is an updated version of "Come On," which Williams first recorded in 1959 with his pre-Temptations outfit The Distants. The tune also features a special monologue about The Temptations' history.

Longtime Temptations singer Ron Tyson, who joined the group in 1983, also co-produced two tracks on the album.

Temptations 60 kicks off with "Let It Reign," which showcases the talents of Queens, New York, rapper K. Sparks. You can pre-order the album now.

Here's the full Temptations 60 track list:

"Let It Reign" -- featuring K. Sparks
"When We Were Kings"
"Is It Gonna Be Yes or No" -- featuring Smokey Robinson
"Time for the People"
"Elevator Eyes"
"My Whole World Stopped Without You"
"You Don't Know Your Woman (Like I Do)"
"How Do You Spell Love"
"Calling Out Your Name"
"I Want It Right Now"
"Breaking My Back"
"Come On"

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Credit: Bryan Tanaka

Mariah Carey has made history. Her 1994 classic "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is now RIAA-certified Diamond and becomes the first holiday song to sell over 10 million copies in the U.S.

Mariah was almost at a loss for words over the honor. "The continued love for my song never ceases to amaze me and fill my heart with a multitude of emotions," she says in a statement. "It blows my mind that 'All I Want for Christmas is You' has endured different eras of the music industry. The RIAA DIAMOND award?! Wowww! I'm so fortunate to have the greatest fans on Earth, my Lambily, who continue to support my legacy. I love you."

The timing of the milestone couldn't be sweeter, because the Grammy winner just released her second holiday special on Apple TV+, Mariah's Christmas: The Magic Continues

In addition, the news comes shortly after Billboard adjusted its holiday rankings and dubbed "All I Want for Christmas Is You" the greatest of all Christmas songs.  It recently re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 and currently sits at number 36.

That said, Mariah is now the first and, to date, only artist to have an RIAA-certified Diamond holiday song -- which makes it all the easier for her to claim she's the true "Queen of Christmas."

We dare you to disagree with her.


A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey)

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Credit: Alfred Ligammari

Manticore Records, the record label founded by late Emerson, Lake & Palmer frontman Greg Lake, is being relaunched by his widow, Regina Lake.

"It was always Greg's wish to reinstate the Manticore Records Label," Regina reveals in a statement. "Greg's idea, in his own words, was to give new, talented musicians the chance to be heard, when other doors might have been closed to them for being different. Greg was once one such young Musician."

She continues, "He had put everything in place for Manticore Records to start up again, but as we know, it wasn't possible for Greg to be there to realise his vision. Just a few days before Greg died, he asked me if I would like to carry on with Manticore Records, after he had gone."

Regina points out that Greg had set the label up in her name in case she was interested in keeping it going, while telling her it was entirely her decision.

"I told him, as I am sentimental about Manticore, having been there in the early days, I would give it my best," she says, "with a lot of help from my friends and advisers."

Regina adds, "On reflection I would like this label to be devoted to Greg Lake Music and Songs to keep his legacy alive for us all in years to come."

According to a press release, the first new Manticore project will be "a definitive collection" of Lake's solo work. To celebrate the label's relaunch, a rare video of Greg performing his classic holiday song "I Believe in Father Christmas" in 2005 has been posted on YouTube.

Lake died of cancer on December 7, 2016. He was 69.

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Atlantic Records

Elton John and his pal U.K. pop star Ed Sheeran are making sure fans ring in the holidays with a little extra cheer with their new single, "Merry Christmas."

The song, which they co-wrote and released on Friday, sees the two powerhouse British singers explaining why it's important to enjoy the season with those you love.

Sheeran begins the festive song by encouraging listeners to appreciate the season's wonders by singing, "So kiss me under the mistletoe/ Pour out the wine, let's toast and pray for December snow/ I know there's been pain this year, but it's time to let it go/ Next year, you never know."

Sir Elton adds, "We've both known love, but this love we got is the bеst of all/ I wish you could see it through my eyes, then you would know."

If that wasn't enough to help bring some joy back to the holidays after another stressful year, Ed and Elton also released the official and ultra-campy music video for "Merry Christmas." The two are decked out in several of their best holiday outfits, from sequined tuxedos to very short Santa-like robes, as they rotate through various Christmas-like scenes.

"Merry Christmas" is available to stream and purchase now across all platforms. Proceeds from the single will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation.

The track also appears on the "Christmas Edition" of Sheeran's latest studio album, = (Equals).

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Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Stagecoach

Founding Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington, the last surviving original member of the legendary Southern rock band, celebrates his 70th birthday this Saturday, December 4.

The band that became Lynyrd Skynyrd formed in 1964, when Rossington teamed up with singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Allen Collins, drummer Bob Burns and bassist Larry Junstrom.

After undergoing a few name changes, in 1969 the band settled on Lynyrd Skynyrd, partly a mocking tribute to their high school gym teacher Leonard Skinner.

A number of lineup changes and additions followed, and in 1973 Lynyrd Skynyrd released its debut album, (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd), the first of five successful and memorable albums.

During Lynyrd Skynyrd's heyday, Rossington co-wrote several of the band's most popular songs, including "Sweet Home Alabama," "Simple Man," "Gimme Back My Bullets" and "What's Your Name."

Tragedy struck Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1977, when a plane crash claimed the lives of Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines -- who'd joined Skynyrd in 1976 -- and Steve's sister, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines.

Following the accident, Gary and Allen went on to form the short-lived Rossington Collins Band. The group's lead singer, Dale Krantz, went on to marry Rossington in 1982, and later became a Skynyrd backing singer.

Gary and Dale also led The Rossington Band during the late 1980s.

In 1987, Lynyrd Sknyrd reunited, with Ronnie's younger brother Johnny Van Zant taking over as frontman. Since then, the group has undergone many lineup changes, with Rossington and Van Zant remaining the two constants. 2018 saw Skynyrd launch a planned farewell tour that has been extended multiple times, partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rossington has experienced serious health issues in recent years, and in July of 2021 he underwent emergency heart surgery that forced him to sit out most of the band's recent tour dates.

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Mark and Colleen Hayward/Getty Images

Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Queen and AC/DC are among the top 10 rock artists of 2021, according to Billboard.

The publication has unveiled the 2021 edition of its annual year-end charts, which determine the biggest acts in a variety of different genres using combination of factors including airplay, sales and streaming data for songs and albums, as well as touring revenue and social media activity.

Fleetwood Mac is #4 on Billboard's Top Rock Artists chart, followed by the Fab Four at #6, Queen at #7 and AC/DC at #10. Other veteran rock artists ranked high on the tally include Creedence Clearwater Revival at #11, the Eagles at #12, Elton John at #13, Foo Fighters at #15, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at #16, Nirvana at #17, Journey at #18, Guns N' Roses at #19, and Metallica at #20.

Contemporary rock act Glass Animals is #1 on the chart.

Meanwhile, the Top Rock Albums chart, which is based on sales data, is dominated by best-of compilations and classic studio albums by veteran artists.

The list is topped Queen's Greatest Hits, and also features Fleetwood Mac's Rumours at #3, Elton's Diamonds at #4, Creedence Clearwater Revival's Chronicle at #5, Journey's Greatest Hits at #6, AC/DC's Back in Black at #7, Petty and the Heartbreakers' Greatest Hits at #8, and The Beatles' 1 at #10.

No album released in 2021 made the chart's top 10.

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VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Beverly Hills police announced Thursday that they have arrested a suspect in Wednesday's Beverly Hills, California home invasion murder of 81-year-old Jacqueline Avant, wife of famed music executive Clarence Avant.

Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook announced that a separate burglary was reported to Los Angeles police at 3:30 a.m. Thursday. When police arrived, they found a male in the backyard of the residence, suffering from a gunshot wound to his foot, which officials determined was the result of the suspect accidentally shooting himself. Authorities identified the suspect, identified as 29-year-old Aariel Maynor of Los Angeles, as the same person recorded by surveillance cameras leaving the Jacqueline Avant murder Wednesday.

Maynor was arrested by the LAPD and transported to a local hospital and has been in law enforcement custody since. Police believe that Maynor is the only suspect in Mrs. Avant's murder.

Following news of the arrest, the Avant family released a statement, declaring: “Our deepest gratitude to The City of Beverly Hills, the BHPD and all law enforcement for their diligence on this matter. Now, let justice be served.”

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Joseph Okpako/WireImage

A streaming event focusing on a recent concert by Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde showcasing her 2021 Bob Dylan covers album Standing in the Doorway will premiere December 26 on the platform.

The show, Chrissie Hynde & Co. Sing Bob Dylan (and Other Songs), was recorded during a three-night engagement Hynde played this past July at London's Royal Opera House. The concert featured renditions of all nine Dylan songs Chrissie recorded for Standing in the Doorway, as well as a couple of classic Kinks tunes, selections from The Pretenders' 2020 album Hate for Sale, and more.

Hynde was accompanied at the shows by Pretenders guitarist James Walbourne -- her main Standing in the Doorway collaborator -- along with Carwyn Ellis on keyboards and Danny Williams on upright bass.

Tickets are available now at for $22.

The show debuts at 3 p.m. ET on December 26. Anyone purchasing tickets will be able to re-watch the concert until January 3, 2022, at 2:59 a.m. ET.

Standing in the Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan was released in May, coinciding with the folk-rock legend's 80th birthday. The album came together over the course of 15 weeks in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and includes renditions of nine Dylan songs that Hynde recorded remotely with Walbourne.

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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey proudly wears her "Queen of Christmas" crown and is always telling us how hard she goes around the holidays.  But no one really knew how to celebrate Christmas just like Mariah...until now.

Speaking to People, the Grammy winner dishes on her dos and don'ts when it comes to throwing a party designed to "spread some holiday cheer, darling."

Her biggest rule that cannot be broken is: "Bleak people cannot come." 

As for what you'll need to throw a Mariah Carey-approved Christmas party, the "Fantasy" singer says you have to string up some mistletoe and leave out some milk and cookies for Santa.  Although Mariah loves her real Christmas trees, she gives her blessing to go the artificial route, saying, "Unfortunately we kind of have to deal with that now because we don't wanna kill all the trees in the land."

What are the things that Mariah wants you to steer clear of for your party?  She says lock up those "ugly" Christmas sweaters and put down that homemade tinsel -- mainly because she admits, "I don't know what that is." She also warns against putting up decorations in October, but relents on one condition, which is, "Only if you're under duress."

Mariah also hopes to remind everyone that she is more than a holiday novelty, even though "Christmastime really is my favorite part of the year."  She quips, "It's not like, 'Oh, I only emerge from the sea at Christmastime.' But I live for that stuff, and it makes me laugh!"

Mariah also laughs her way to the bank every holiday. Celebrity Net Worth estimates that she's earned $60 million -- or between $600,000 to $1 million a year -- just in royalties alone for her 1994 hit "All I Want for Christmas Is You."

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Concord Records

ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons is a sharp-dressed Santa in a new animated video for his recently released holiday tune "Jingle Bell Blues," which premiered today on his official YouTube channel.

The clip features a cartoon Gibbons donning a Santa Claus outfit as he embarks on a snowy adventure to deliver presents in a hot rod that's been converted into a flying sleigh. Along the way he rocks out on his new Christmas tune with help from a harmonica-playing snowman.

"The animators put me in a hot rod that looks suspiciously like our very own '34 Ford-based 'Whiskey Runner' though they've made some few seasonal adjustments," Billy explains of the video. "There's considerable snowfall so the wheels are replaced midway by a set of skis and now there's a pickup bed in the back so gifts can rain down from it. They have me doing a header into a chimney but it's not clear if I get to to enjoy any cookies and milk for my efforts."

As previously reported, "Jingle Bell Blues" is 12-bar-blues-infused version of the Christmas classic "Jingle Bells" that's available now as a digital download and via streaming services. A limited-edition seven-inch vinyl single pressed on red-translucent vinyl will be released on December 10.

The disc, which you can pre-order now at Gibbons' official online store, comes with an old-school vinyl center hole adapter with "Billy F Gibbons" written on it. The single's flip side features an etching of a whitewall tire.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Beth Garrabrant

Taylor Swift always does the right thing.  After her song "All Too Well" broke the record for the lengthiest track ever to top the Billboard Hot 100, she sent a gift to the guy who'd held the record for the past 50 years: singer/songwriter Don McLean.

McLean, whose 1971 hit "American Pie" ran eight minutes and 36 seconds, was bested by Taylor, with "All Too Well" clocking in at 10:13.  McLean tweeted a photo of the flowers and letter that Taylor sent him, and commented, "What a classy artist! Thank you @taylorswift13 for the flowers & note!"

In her letter, Taylor wrote, "Don, I will never forget that I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. Your music has been so important to me. Sending love [from] one writer of LONG SONGS to another. Your fan, Taylor.”

McLean, 76, said in a statement to ABC Audio last month, "Let's face it, nobody ever wants to lose that #1 spot, but if I had to lose it to somebody, I sure am glad it was another great singer/songwriter such as Taylor."

Taylor's 10-minute-plus recording of "All Too Well" is featured as a bonus track on Red (Taylor's Version), which she released on November 12.


A post shared by Don McLean (@thedonmclean)

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Carlos Santana has canceled all the December shows of his Las Vegas show at the House of Blues, because he's recovering from what's described as an "unscheduled heart procedure."

The 74-year-old guitar legend posted a video on YouTube and his Twitter feed in which he explains that last Saturday, he asked his wife to take him to the hospital because "I had this thing happening in my chest."

"We found out that I need to take care of it, so I am," Carlos goes on. "So I'm gonna be taking time out for a little bit to make sure that I replenish and I that when I play for you, I will play the way I'm used to and give you 150%. I wouldn't show up unless I can do that."

Santana will resume his shows in January of 2022.  A statement from his manager further explains that Santana's "procedure" "impacted his performance," but adds that Carlos is "doing fantastic and is anxious to be back on stage soon."

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Spinefarm Records

In September, The Scorpions announced that their long-awaited new studio album, Rock Believer, was due out on February 11, 2022, but the release date recently was pushed back to February 25.

This week, Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine and guitarist Rudolf Schenker shared some details about the album during a Zoom interview with Chile's Radio Futuro.

Asked what fans can expect when they hear the new material, Meine said, "Well, you can expect an album that is dedicated to all the rock believers in the world…The goal was to make a rock album -- to make an album with lots of attitude, power and focus on the good old times and really enjoy the music and have some fun with the music."

Talking about the meaning of the album's title, Schenker said, "Look, we [have been] around the world since 50 years or more. And [if] somebody can say he's a rock believer, then this is us. And of course, we meet our rock believers in front of us, our audience."

The Scorpions gave fans their first taste of Rock Believer last month when they released the lead single, "Peacemaker," along with a companion music video for the hard-driving tune.

Meine told Radio Futuro that "Peacemaker" exemplified a lot of the tunes on the new record, noting, "It is an uptempo rock song, and this album really rocks…There are many uptempo songs and, believe it or not, there are even faster songs than 'Peacemaker.'"

In addition, the singer revealed, "There's also a very beautiful ballad on the album, and I'm sure there are fans out there [who] especially love the Scorpions ballads, and they will enjoy this record as well very much."

Rock Believer can be pre-ordered now.

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