Music News: Kendrick Lamar buys wheelchair-accessible van for fan


Fan Jennifer Phillips with a jacket from Kendrick Lamar
Fan Jennifer Phillips with a jacket from Kendrick Lamar (via Jennifer Phillips on Instagram)

Kendrick Lamar has given a wheelchair-accessible fan to one of his biggest fans. Jennifer Phillips has been quadriplegic since a car accident many years ago, and has been trying to crowdfund a van that can get her around the city with her wheelchair. At a Dallas concert last Friday, Lamar invited Phillips backstage to reveal that he's taking care of the van, and to present a signed jacket.

"For all the years of inspiring me," wrote Lamar on the jacket, "the least I can do is make sure [you're] comfortable driving the city."

"Next time," wrote Phillips on Instagram, "I'm driving myself to your show!" (Billboard)

Kenny Rogers says goodbye to Nashville

Kenny Rogers, one of the biggest country stars of his generation, is saying goodbye to Nashville with what he says will be his final show in the city. The Oct. 25 concert at Bridgestone Arena will feature guests including Little Big Town, Alison Krauss, the Flaming Lips, Idina Menzel, Jamey Johnson, Elle King, and Dolly Parton.

Parton's appearance, she and Rogers say, will be the last time he'll be joined onstage by his "Islands in the Stream" duet partner. "Performing with Kenny for the last time ever on Oct. 25 is going to be emotional for both of us," says Parton, "but it's also going to be very special. Even though Kenny may be retiring, as he fades from the stage, our love for each other will never fade away." (Billboard)

Phish set to take MSG over for two weeks

On Friday, Phish arrive in New York to begin a 13-show residency at Madison Square Garden, and the Big Apple is bracing itself. "We're going to see several hundred thousand people come in over this run," says promoter and journalist Peter Shapiro. "You'll feel it at museums. You'll see it in restaurants. There's going to be way more tie-dye."

American Beauty, a nearby bar, is hosting a "tailgate" party every day of the run. Other venues are planning family-friendly concerts for the kids of Phish "Phans," Phish-themed workout classes, and a Phish-themed art fair; three tribute bands are joining forces to entertain passengers on boat cruises around Manhattan. (New York Times)

Today's TV news

Ed Sheeran is back on Twitter after a brief absence that came, perhaps not coincidentally, shortly after he made a much-criticized cameo on Sunday night's episode of Game of Thrones. All of his tweets since 2013 have been deleted, and somehow he's dropped several million followers. He hinted earlier this month that he's wearying of Twitter, calling it a place were people said "mean things." He can't figure out, he says, "why people dislike me so much." (Billboard)

If response to the cameo soured Sheeran on social media, it didn't diminish his taste for TV. He's slated to make a guest appearance on a music-themed episode of The Simpsons next season. According to Entertainment Weekly, he'll play Lisa's love interest in a La La Land parody.

Meanwhile, Mariah Carey has signed on to executive-produce a new series inspired by her own early career. According to Rolling Stone, "The Starz series, currently untitled, is about an aspiring 16-year-old singer working her way into the music industry and finding fame in the early '90s."

Lars Ulrich replaced by kid

At Metallica’s Detroit show last week, drummer Lars Ulrich was briefly replaced by a young girl the band brought up out of the audience. She played the first few beats of "Seek and Destroy," then relinquished the kit to Ulrich. "Aw, is that all?" asked James Hetfield. (NME)

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