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Musical comebacks are very risky. Years out of the studio and off of the stage can leave the artists of yesteryear relatively unknown to younger fans, and even hardcore fans often perceive artists’ efforts to rekindle their success and fame as shallow marketing ploys meant to exploit nostalgic yearnings in order to bring in some much needed cash.

But when a comeback is a musician’s genuine effort to share their artistic and personal growth with the world, they are very special and memorable indeed. In the age of Facebook and YouTube, when musical acts are so frequently here one minute and gone the next, fans are excited to greet the artists who made up the soundtrack of their lives and can help them to understand who they are by remembering who they were.

2014 has already been loaded with so many amazing musical comebacks. Pharrell Williams, U2, Kylie Minogue and Mariah Carey are just a few of the names that have re-emerged on the scene over the past several months, but the best may be yet to come.

Several of our favorite artists have recently announced that they will be returning in a big way this fall. Whether you’re a fan of soul, hip hop, nu wave, rock, or country, these returns will have you throwing on old records and buying tickets to a comforting state of musical nostalgia.

Culture Club:
The legendary UK-based band that once asked Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? will be making their triumphant return to the United States this November. After an immensely successful tour of the UK, Culture
Club is bringing their show to American shores with multiple dates on both the east and west coasts. The original members of this multi-racial, eclectic group who brought you classics like Karma Chameleon, I’ll Tumble 4 Ya, and The War Song will be performing for American audiences for the first time in 14 years. For music-lovers of all ages and styles, this tour promises to be one of highlights of the entire year. Culture Club

Culture Club originally broke onto the scene in 1981, but their success wasn’t without struggles. Though embracing headlines announcing a celebrity’s sexual orientation are increasingly common occurrences in today’s entertainment world, very different opinions were widely held in the 1980s. Openly gay front-man Boy George recently told Late-Night host Seth Meyers, “To start with, because of the way we looked, we couldn’t get a record deal…nobody wanted to sign us at all.” But thankfully the kingpins of the music industry wised up and brought this amazing, ahead-of-the-curve group of artists to the masses.

Their success was tremendous and immediate. With their debut release Kissing to Be Clever, Culture Club became the first group to have three Top Ten hits in the United States from a debut album since the Beatles. The album sold millions of copies all around the world with Top Ten hits in every country and went platinum in the U.S. While the press was obsessed with Boy George’s androgynous style, fans were obsessed with the group’s unique sound and catchy hooks. The GRAMMY® Award-winning group went on to sell 100 million singles and 50 million albums all around the world over the course of their 30-year career.

Now, Culture Club is together once again and looking to take the music world by storm. After a lengthy hiatus and two years of writing, the band has entered the studio with legendary producer Youth (The Verve, Killing Joke, The Cult) to record a highly-anticipated, new album set to release in early 2015. But you don’t have to wait until next year to reconnect with this iconic group. Be sure to catch them this November on their North American tour. Click here for a list of dates.

Macy Gray:
It’s been a while since we have
heard some new tunes from this soulful and inspiring singer/songwriter who has never been afraid of experimenting musically and challenging industry standards since the very beginning of her musical career. Though she did record an amazing compilation of covers for her Macy Gray2012 release Covered, fans have been yearning to hear the amazing artistry, incredible vocals and unique style that only Macy Gray can write and deliver. But now, the wait is over! Gray has announced that her new album The Way will be available on all digital platforms and in “good” record stores on October 7. 

Macy Gray’s debut release On How Life Is took the music world by surprise after its release in 2000. Gray’s hip hop influenced tracks layered with soulful vocals reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan pushed the envelope of popular music, brought her immediate national recognition and launched a career that saw numerous GRAMMY®, Billboard, and MTV awards as well as 25 million record sales around the globe.

Macy GrayNow, Gray hopes to add yet another dimension to her critically-acclaimed body of work. “I wanted to create a record that reflects who I’ve become as a woman, mother and artist,” says Macy Gray. “This album is very personal to me. I want my fans to understand the place where I’m at in life and feel inspired by my music because it’s relatable.” The single mother of three teenagers focuses on topics ranging from female independence and triumph over adversity to the importance of self-expression in her eighth studio release, and if the teaser track Stoned is any indication of what we can expect from this long-awaited, forthcoming album, then there should be no doubt in any one's mind that Macy Gray will once again show the world the way to make good music. Check out a list of upcoming tour dates by clicking here and don’t forget to snag your copy of The Way from your favorite digital platform or record store on October 7.

Big & Rich:  
The duo that brought country fans the iconic Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy back in 2004 is at it again. Big Kenny and John Rich are celebrating 10 years
Big and Rich Coverof country music stardom with their fifth studio album entitled Gravity. The first single from the forthcoming release Look at You has been climbing the country charts since its release back in April, and the rest of the album promises to be an enormous success as well. 

According to the duo, the level of creative control that creating their own label Big & Rich Records has afforded them is the thing that sets this album apart from all of the others. “This is an exciting and intense time in the history of Big and Rich,” Big Kenny says when describing he and his partner’s newest business venture. “We continue to embrace all the change that happens in our business of entertainment. As artists, we are now at the place where we can finally gain complete creative control. That's huge. It allows us to be true to ourselves and be the trailblazers we've always risked being. We want to be important to Country music. It's important to Big and Rich. It is our musical legacy. Our new album title is perfect. Big and Rich can now really feel the Gravity. We are counting our blessings," he says. big and rich

"We couldn't be happier with how the fans and radio are responding to our new music!” John Rich adds. “To take on the challenge of being your own label and slugging it out with the majors is a gambler's move, but BK and I are happy to just let it all ride.”

big and richSince the release of their debut album Horse of a Different Color, Big & Rich have enjoyed tremendous success. The multi-platinum artists have been nominated for numerous GRAMMY®, ACM, CMA, and CMT Awards and have worked with some of the biggest names in music including Jason Aldean, Gretchen Wilson, James Otto, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Merle Haggard, Bon Jovi, Willie Nelson, Jewel, Hank Williams, Jr., John Legend, Wyclef Jean, Tim McGraw, and many others to become one of the most recognized acts in country music history. With this release, Big Kenny and John Rich hope to build upon their legacy with another string of hit songs and unforgettable moments. Click here to watch Big & Rich’s music video for the single Look at You and be sure to check out Gravity available now wherever music is sold. / Issue 163 - September 3411
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