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Nick Yates

Nick Yates That didn't happen -- yet. Instead, Dio and Appice left again, and Iommi replaced them by bringing back Tony Martin and adding drummer Bob Rondinelli. Cross Purposes (February 1994) was a modest seller, and, with Iommi apparently maintaining a Rolodex of all former members from which to pick and choose, the next album, Forbidden (June 1995), featured returning musicians Cozy Powell, Geoff Nichols, and Neil Murray, along with Iommi and Martin. The disc spent only one week in the British charts, suggesting that Black Sabbath finally had exhausted its commercial appeal, at least as a record seller. With that, the group followed the lead of the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, putting the most popular lineup of the band back together for a live album with a couple of new studio tracks on it. Recorded in the band's hometown of Birmingham, England, in December 1997, the two-CD set Reunion -- featuring all four of Black Sabbath's original members, Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, and Ward -- was released in October 1998. It charted only briefly in the U.K., but in the U.S. it just missed reaching the Top Ten and went platinum. The track "Iron Man" won Black Sabbath its first Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. The band toured through the end of 1999, concluding their reunion tour on December 22, 1999, back in Birmingham. In February 2001, Black Sabbath announced that it would reunite once again to headline the sixth edition of Ozzfest, Osbourne's summer concert festival, playing 29 cities in the U.S. beginning in June. More surprisingly, the group also announced its intention to record a studio album of all-new material, the original lineup's first since 1978. By the end of the year, a failed recording session with producer Rick Rubin proved what an unreasonable idea this was, and the band laid dormant while Osbourne enjoyed scoring a hit TV series the following spring. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide

With rumors running rampant that he had become a bloated, bald, and drug-addled hermit (due to the fact that he did not grant a single interview between 1994-1999, staying completely out of the spotlight), Rose continued to work on GNR's next release himself. 1999 saw GNR's first new song released in nearly eight years, the industrial rocker "Oh My God" from the End of Days soundtrack, as well as a live compilation of old-school GNR tracks, Live Era: '87-'93, yet both came and went without much fanfare. But all that changed when Rose and his new cohorts (which included ex-Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, mask-wearing solo guitarist Buckethead, ex-Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, ex-Primus drummer Brian Mantia, plus longtime GNR keyboardist Dizzy Reed) played their first live shows together in early 2001, receiving unanimously favorable reviews. With a world tour booked and album nearing completion (reportedly to be titled Chinese Democracy), the GNR/Axl Rose hype machine appeared to be building up to a feverish pitch once again. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide

Nick Yates : As anyone who has been to a Disney theme park can tell you, the Mouse House knows how to throw one hell of a party. That point was reinforced further Wednesday, as its movie studio invaded Kodak Theatre with everyone from Miley Cyrus to Johnny Depp to the cast of "High School Musical" in tow.

Thousands of VIPs packed in to get a sneak peek of every Disney film between now and 2012. MTV News was in attendance and live-blogged such big stories as Depp's surprise appearance, Oprah's newest role and Pixar's "Cars 2" plans over on the Movies Blog.

But the rest of the day was stolen away by soon-to-be-16-year-old Miley.

Just days after Disney's announcement that her "Hannah Montana: The Movie" would get an earlier release date, Cyrus and her father were introduced onstage by Walt Disney Pictures Chairman Dick Cook. During a brief interview, Miley spoke about the movie, as well as her November 23 birthday.

Though the title of Debut implied that it was Björk's first-ever solo project, she had actually been a professional vocalist since she was a child. When she was in elementary school in Reykjavik, she studied classical piano and, eventually, her teachers submitted a tape of her singing Tina Charles' "I Love to Love" to Iceland's Radio One. After "I Love to Love" was aired, a record label called Falkkin offered Björk a record contract. At the age of 11, her eponymous first album was released; the record contained covers of several pop songs, including the Beatles' "Fool on the Hill," and boasted artwork from her mother and guitar work from her stepfather. Björk became a hit within Iceland and was not released in any other country.

Nick Yates Australia : The group was formed by four teenage friends from Aston, near Birmingham, England: Anthony "Tony" Iommi (b. Feb 19, 1948), guitar; William "Bill" Ward (b. May 5, 1948), drums; John "Ozzy" Osbourne (b. Dec 3, 1948), vocals; and Terence "Geezer" Butler (b. Jul 17, 1949), bass. They originally called their jazz-blues band Polka Tulk, later renaming themselves Earth, and they played extensively in Europe. In early 1969, they decided to change their name again when they found that they were being mistaken for another group called Earth. Butler had written a song that took its title from a novel by occult writer Dennis Wheatley, Black Sabbath, and the group adopted it as their name as well. As they attracted attention for their live performances, record labels showed interest, and they were signed to Phillips Records in 1969. In January 1970, the Phillips subsidiary Fontana released their debut single, "Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me)," a cover of a song that had just become a U.S. hit for Crow; it did not chart. The following month, a different Phillips subsidiary, Vertigo, released Black Sabbath's self-titled debut album, which reached the U.K. Top Ten. Though it was a less immediate success in the U.S. -- where the band's recordings were licensed to Warner Bros. Records and appeared in May 1970 -- the LP broke into the American charts in August, reaching the Top 40, remaining in the charts over a year, and selling a million copies.

Substance, simplicity, soul and a bit of love in the context of rock n' roll are not as common as, perhaps, they once were. Enter Nic Armstrong, a 25 year-old English boy blessed with an uncommonly powerful voice. Nic and his band, The Thieves, have fashioned a remarkably confident and exciting debut album, The Greatest White Liar - a work that mixes rockers with ballads and melody with blues-ey riffing in tight, skilful writing - creating a sound which proves that not everything with a keen eye on the past must surrender its character and turn a blind eye to anything vaguely contemporary.

"Music saved me from going mad," muses Nic in the Old Angel pub in the heart of Nottingham, England. He elaborated to Mojo magazine, "Every day I would be learning from the way Leiber & Stoller told a story through a song, and how Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly would get so much in two and a half minutes. Then I would try to write songs that reflected my mood on the day."

Nick Yates Australia Following the breakup of the group, Björk moved to London, where she began pursuing a dance-oriented solo career. The previous year, she had sung on 808 State's "Ooops," which sparked her interest in club and house music. Björk struck up a working relationship with Nellee Hooper, a producer who had formerly worked with Soul II Soul and Massive Attack. The first result of their partnership was "Human Behaviour," which was released in June of 1993. "Human Behaviour" became a Top 40 hit in the U.K., setting the stage for the surprising number three debut of the full-length album, Debut. Throughout 1993, Björk had hit U.K. singles -- including "Venus as a Boy," "Big Time Sensuality," and the non-LP "Play Dead," a collaboration with David Arnold taken from the film Young Americans -- as well as modern rock radio hits in the U.S., and in both countries she earned rave reviews. At the end of the year, NME magazine named Debut the album of the year, while she won International Female Solo Artist and Newcomer at the BRIT Awards; Debut went gold in the U.S. and platinum in the U.K.

Spears' public image was dealt more blows in early 2008, when she lost custody of her children, made several court appearances, and was placed on involuntary psychiatric hold two times in one month. Blackout nevertheless won several MTV-sponsored awards, including "Album of the Year" from the Europe Music Awards in November 2008. That same fall, the leadoff single from Spears' next record, "Womanizer," became her first number one single in nearly a decade. The full-length Circus arrived in December, featuring a mix of syrupy ballads and uptempo dance numbers that were designed to fuel Spears' comeback. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide

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