Singing

Gregg Allman, Southern Rock Pioneer, Dead at 69

Gregg Allman, a singer, musician and songwriter who played an essential role in the invention of Southern rock, has died at the age of 69. Photofest

, the singer, musician and songwriter who played an essential role in the invention of Southern rock, has died at the age of 69. Allman’s rep confirmed to Rolling Stone that the artist died Saturday afternoon.

Allman “passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia,” a statement on the singer’s website read Saturday. “Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.”

Allman’s longtime manager and close friend Michael Lehman added, “I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music. He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him.”

A cause of death was not immediately revealed, but Allman suffered from chronic liver issues in recent years.

Although Allman claimed the term was redundant, the singer-keyboardist helped create the first great “Southern-rock” group as co-founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band alongside his older brother, famed guitarist Duane Allman. The Allmans fused country blues with San Francisco-style extended improvisation, with their sound creating a template for countless subsequent jam bands. Gregg Allman was blessed with one of blues-rock’s great growling voices and, along with his Hammond B-3 organ playing (beholden to Booker T. Jones), had a deep emotional power. Writing in Rolling Stone, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons said that Allman’s singing and keyboard playing displayed “a dark richness, a soulfulness that added one more color to the Allmans’ rainbow.”

As he recounted in his 2012 memoir My Cross to Bear, Allman also experienced a quintessential, and essentially tragic, rock-star trajectory that included too-sudden fame, admittedly excessive drug use, a high-profile celebrity romance, multiple marriages and a late-life liver transplant.

Gregory LeNoir Allman was born December 8th, 1947, in Nashville, Tennessee, a little more than a year after brother Duane. The boys’ father, U.S. Army Captain Willis Turner Allman, was shot to death by a drinking acquaintance shortly after the family moved to Norfolk, Virginia in 1949. As a child, Gregg saved up money from a paper…

James Corden and Harry Styles Can’t Stop Singing at Inappropriate Times

Harry Styles, James Corden, The Late Late Show
Harry Styles, James Corden, The Late Late Show

There’s a time and a place for everything—and as James Corden and Harry Styles proved on The Late Late Show, they have terrible timing. In a pre-taped sketch that aired Wednesday night, they played people whose unrelenting need to dance and sing had fatal consequences.

The scene opened with Corden and Styles playing heart surgeons. Before he began, Corden said, “Guys, this is going to get a little tricky. I’m going to need everybody’s full concentration.”

As he began to hum Tom Jones‘ “It’s Not Unusual,” the music inside him swelled. Before they knew it, Corden and Styles were full on singing in the…

Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell Dead at 52

Chris Cornell, lead singer for Soundgarden, has died at age 52. Rick Diamond/Getty

, a dynamic vocalist and guitarist whose versatile showmanship as Soundgarden and Temple of the Dog’s frontman was a signpost of the grunge era, died Wednesday night. Detroit police are investigating the death as a possible suicide, according to The Associated Press. He was 52.

The singer was in Detroit at the time of his death, having played a show with Soundgarden, who were on tour, earlier in the evening. “His wife, Vicky, and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing, and they will be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause,” his publicist said in a statement. They also asked for fans to respect their privacy.

Cornell’s artistry was marked by his impressive multi-octave vocal range and a rare sensitivity for heavy music. With Soundgarden, he could shift between raging metal declarations (“Jesus Christ Pose”), somber mood pieces (“Fell on Black Days”) and psychedelia (“Black Hole Sun”) with ease.

After years of playing generally aggressive music in the Eighties, his full range of musical expression showed in 1991 when he created Temple of the Dog – a supergroup featuring Soundgarden and eventual Pearl Jam members – to pay tribute to late Mother Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood. He later explored heavier territory with members of Rage Against the Machine in the supergroup Audioslave and his sensitive side as a solo artist, with frequent acoustic shows in recent years.

The band formed in 1984 after a period…

Jennifer Hudson joining “The Voice” as a coach

“American Idol” alum Jennifer Hudson is heading back to her reality TV singing competition roots.

The Oscar-winner has signed on to serve as a coach for the upcoming season of “The Voice,” stepping in for Alicia Keys, who is focusing on producing a new album.

Hudson will join “Voice” mainstays Adam Levine and Blake Shelton as well as returning coach Miley Cyrus. The “Dreamgirls” star served as a coach for the show’s U.K. edition earlier this year.

“Jennifer…