Lauryn Hill, the successful solo artist and former singer of The Fugees, will begin a small tour across a number of venues in early February 2015. Simply titled, "Small Axe: Acoustic Performance Series," Hill's tour will consist of six shows in small theaters in Washington D.C. and New York, each of which only holds under 500 spectators. While Hill has performed at major festivals such as Bonnaroo and the Voodoo Music Experience, her artful blend of hip hop, R & B and reggae seems especially apt for more intimate music halls. Regular and VIP tickets are currently on sale. The VIP package includes a chance to meet with the artist as well as opportunities for photos and autographs.
Hill's acoustic series will kick off in Washington D.C. at the Howard Theatre during Valentine's Day weekend, with back-to-back dates on February 13th and 14th. This will be followed by a Tuesday show on February 17th at Rough Trade in Brooklyn. Hill will then perform two shows at the Highline Ballroom in New York City on February 20th and 23rd, before completing her short run with an early and late show on the 25th at Blue Note.
Born in East Orange, New Jersey in 1975, Hill began singing and acting at a young age, and started working with The Fugees when she was only 13. While initially the group had little success, The Fugees sophomore album The Score brought Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel to international fame. During this time Hill took breaks from the group to pursue her acting career and attend Columbia University. Shortly after, Hill garnered mass critical acclaim for her debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
By the year 2000, Hill had purposefully tried to remove herself from the public eye. She instead focused on raising her children with Rohan Marley, son of legendary reggae musician Bob Marley, although Hill did release an acoustic live double album titled MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. Over the following years she'd tour sporadically, performing at some of the biggest music festivals in the world such as Coachella, New Orleans Jazz Fest and the Raggamuffin Music Festival. In 2014, Hill served as narrator of the Swedish documentary, "Concerning Violence," which won several major cinematic awards. Hill continues to release singles every once and awhile and remains a talented live performer.
Legendary artist Neil Diamond is gearing up for several months of touring across the U.S. and Canada before heading out to Europe, New Zealand and Australia on the remainder of his world tour. Diamond, best known for classics such as "Sweet Caroline," "Cherry, Cherry," "Cracklin' Rose" and "America," will begin his tour with two shows at the PPL Center in Allenstown, Pennsylvania on Feb. 27 and March 1, 2015. From there, he will move north to Canada, playing shows in London and Ottawa. Diamond will then travel across the East Coast and Midwest, before bouncing around Canada, Mexico and the West Coast.
Near the end of May, the timeless musician will wrap up the North American leg of his world tour with two dates in Texas and a show in Denver. Afterward, Diamond will begin the European leg of his tour in Koln, Germany. Tickets for Diamond's U.S. shows are still available online.
The tour will likely help support Diamond's 32nd studio album, Memory Road, which was released by Capitol Records in October 2014. Memory Road marks Diamond's first original music since 2008, and is his debut with Capitol. The album opened at No. 3 on the Billboard charts and received widespread commercial and critical acclaim. His new label also released a compilation of all-time greatest hits in 2014, highlighting the timeless classics that Diamond has composed throughout his illustrious career in music.
Diamond has sold more than 125 million records worldwide, putting him among the best-selling musicians of all time. Though he was only inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, Diamond has been writing and performing music since the 1960s. Interestingly enough, Diamond had plans to go into the sciences and aspired to help cure cancer. However, during his senior year at New York University, he was offered a job writing songs for a music publisher. In 1962, Diamond signed with Columbia Records as a solo artist, but due to his lack of success he was quickly released.
In 1966, Diamond was signed to a subsidiary of Atlantic Records and soon had his first hit with the single "Solitary Man." Moving forward, Diamond paved his road into superstardom, and is now one of the most recognizable names in music around the globe.
Of all the legends of classic rock, Eric Clapton is among the most successful over the last two decades. Though his time with the Yardbirds, Derrick and the Dominoes and Cream made him an icon of the 1960s and 1970s, he has maintained a place in contemporary music while some of his peers may have faded from view.
Over the last decade, Slowhand has continued to tour and record new music, and he's planning on furthering the trend in 2013. Clapton recently announced an extensive U.S. tour that kicks off on March 14 before culminating at the much-anticipated Crossroads Guitar Festival on April 12 and 13 at Madison Square Garden.
Clapton's resurgence as a force in the industry began more than 20 years ago. He was years removed from songs like "Crossroads" and "White Room," but when he recorded his now-legendary Unplugged album, Clapton was once again atop the music world. The 1992 album perfectly showcases Clapton's technical skill and songwriting prowess, taking listeners through an acoustic take on classics like "Layla" and newer songs such as "Tears in Heaven," an emotional eulogy to his deceased son.
Clapton's unplugged album earned him six Grammy awards including Album of the Year and Song of the Year, and helped set the stage for what would prove to be an impressive decade. He released a number of popular tunes throughout the 90s that helped introduce him to a younger audience. Songs such as his cover of "Change the World" and 1998's "My Father's Eyes," made were hits among a diverse audience.
More recently, Clapton has not slowed down. He continues to perform with some of the most talented guitarists from across generations. Over the last several years he has played with the likes of Keith Richards, Jeff Beck (who was also a member of the Yarbirds) and Gary Clark, Jr., one of the most skilled emerging guitarists. His 2010 album, Clapton, was a critical and commercial success and peaked inside the top 10 on the Billboard 200 charts.
In 2013, Clapton's participation in the Crossroad Guitar Festival is especially important because it marks his 50th year in the music industry. Since it first launched in 2004, the festival has brought together some of best guitarists in history and 2013's is no different. The two-day event will feature the likes of Buddy Guy, John Mayer, BB King and Vince Gill.