Music News: Eddie Vedder helps struggling family

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Eddie Vedder
Eddie Vedder (Karen Loria)

It looks like Eddie Vedder won't need to be visited by three ghosts this holiday season: he donated $10,000 to a Maryland family who were facing eviction from their home. Vedder, who sent a check after seeing a plea from the family posted to Craigslist, said the family's situation reminded him of his own childhood. "There were years there were toys from Santa, but they were used and they came from garage sales and they didn't always work," he told the Washington Post.

Tyshika Britten, the mother of the family, appreciated the generosity — though she didn't initially recognize the name of the donor. "Is he in a band?" she asked. Britten turned to YouTube, and now Pearl Jam have a new family of fans.

Remembering George Michael

As the world mourns George Michael, questions remain about the pop star's death. On Sunday, Michael's body was discovered at his home by his boyfriend, Fadi Fawaz, who says Michael seemed to have died peacefully and that "we don't know what happened yet." (New York Times)

In the wake of Michael's death, Wham!’s "Last Christmas" makes its first appearance on Billboard's Hot 100, debuting at number 50. Billboard believes that the 1984 classic would have cracked the chart even if it hadn't been for the surge in attention that followed the star's death.

Inauguration update

Donald Trump tweeted that he doesn't need any big celebrities at his presidential inauguration, but music managers tell Rolling Stone the inauguration planning committee has approached numerous stars.

So far Elton John, Garth Brooks, and Celine Dion have reportedly declined invitations to perform, while the Mike-Love-led Beach Boys say they've received an invitation but haven't yet decided on their response. So far, the only confirmed musical performers at the inauguration are the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Jackie Evancho, as well as at least some of the dancing Radio City Rockettes.

Jams to watch

In a new three-part video series from Rough Trade, Iggy Pop and Thurston Moore hang out together and trade stories — as well as jam together on Chuck Berry’s "Johnny B. Goode." (NME)

On Friday night in Louisville, Kentucky musicians took the stage for a Leonard Cohen tribute concert that raised money for the social-justice organization Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Below, watch Will Oldham and Joan Shelley cover "Night Comes On." (Stereogum)

Kanye goes rainbow

Kanye West has a new look.

Mac McCaughan sings 2016 out the door

Mac McCaughan (Superchunk) has released a NSFW New Year's song that lists at least one horrible thing that can't happen in 2017. (Billboard)


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