Honor Fraser Gallery
2622 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Honor Fraser Gallery
2622 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Don't screw with us, TMZ: if you say Jay-Z and Beyoncé are interested in buying the most bonkers new house in Beverly Hills, they better be parking their Bugattis in the car showroom and telling Blue Ivy she can only have one handful of the Sour Patch Kids from the candy room within four weeks, tops. The couple reportedly visited the brand new and completely absurd house—which is asking $85 million—twice over the summer while they were shacking up in a different flashy spec house in Holmby Hills.
The very bonkers mansion of Jay-Z and Beyoncé's dreams hit the market quietly in August and then loudly in September; its listing promises "an overwhelming sensory experience unlike any you've felt before" and it delivers with that car showroom and candy room, a motorcycle under a giant portrait of James Dean, an extensive collection of arty weapons (giant grenade, machine gun, pistols, etc.), Yves Saint Laurent fire extinguishers, and a couple of women in bikinis who seem like they might be annoying to get rid of. All that, plus eight bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, an underground garage for 16 cars, closets the size of your apartment, and a 24-seat theater. Asking price once again is $85 million.
Guy Oseary and Bono during The 45th GRAMMY Awards – MusiCares 2003 Person of the Year – Bono – After-Party at Hudson Hotel in New York City.
It has been a whirlwind nine months for Guy Oseary since he took the reins ofU2’s management after longtime manager Paul McGuinness announced his retirement last fall. That includes a Golden Globe, an Oscar nomination, a bigSuper Bowl campaign and the premiere of The Tonight Show in support of two songs that ultimately didn’t make the final cut on Songs of Innocence, the history-making album that debuted to 500 million iTunes customers on Sept. 9.
With lead single “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” set to be featured in a massive media campaign from Apple, valued at $100 million by multiple sources, U2 has already scored arguably the biggest launch in music history. And it’s one that’s already fraught with a little controversy, from angry retailers to Grammy and SoundScan guidelines. Oseary, 41, rang Billboard on Sept. 11 to address the many questions about the launch, and what’s next (another album?) from this landmark deal with Apple.
Songs of Innocence has already been touted as the biggest album launch of all time. How did you get to this point?
U2 worked five years on this album, they poured blood, sweat, tears into project, and we were really confident with it. The goal was: how do we reach as many as possible? U2 first worked with Apple nearly 10 years to the day when they were sharing a stage with Steve Jobs and launching their iPod with many fewer accounts, and here we are 10 years later with Apple gifting this album to 7 percent of the planet.
Many people are already calling the announcement “disruptive” in the same way that Jay Z’s deal with Samsung and Beyonce’s surprise album drop were also disruptive to traditional industry rollouts. While this news was significant for U2, how could other artists potentially benefit?
Well first of all, when music becomes a piece of the conversation at an Apple event, that’s always a good thing. Two is, the power of music and the fact that it can actually be shared with 7 percent of the planet in one push of a button. That’s a pretty big concept. Any sort of innovation may inspire other people to do things that are innovative. We may see someone sitting with another manager, or another band going, “Hey, what can we do that’s interesting maybe with our lyrics or our videos or something interactive with the ticketing to our shows?”
That’s all, I don’t know where it’s headed, I just know that I’m always looking for the answers, for new ways to do things. That’s my job, my job is to try to not follow the lead. And there’s a lot of other people that have a lot of peers and bands that are in the community wanting to lead, and they’ll lead in other ways. And that’s what’s exciting to me. It’s not gonna be the same thing. But who knows where it goes? There’s endless possibilities to do things today with music and performance.
Jimmy Iovine is a figure we didn’t see onstage Tuesday, but someone who has been closely linked to U2 for many years from his days at Interscope and now happens to be an Apple employee. What was his role in making this deal happen?
Jimmy is part of whatever this band does, even in their personal lives. It’s a family. We look to Jimmy for guidance and support no matter what we end up doing, whether its this project or talking about the next single, or whether we’re talking about doing other things down the road. Talk about family, trips, things that we wanted to to do in our personal lives — we’re really connected, we’re really supportive. Jimmy is near and dear to this band, he’s definitely a source of support and guidance. He’s a big part of the U2 family, and to myself personally — whether I’m working with U2 or someone else, he’s always been a very supportive and dear friend. We consider him family and there’s been a lot of hand-holding together through this process.
On Tuesday, Bono emphasized the fact that the band was paid by Apple for the album, and there’s a reported $100 million ad campaign in the works, which may have ruffled some feathers of longtime fans who admire Bono’s humanitarian work. So, is there an altruistic component to this new Apple partnership?
Apple’s very private about their philanthropic work, but they’ve done a lot for (RED.) They’ve given $70 to $90 million to saving lives, and while I was at the event I counted two times where two (RED) products were actually promoted at the event.
Bono also mentioned on Facebook that there’s a second album already in the can. What else can we expect from U2 and Apple?
We’re working on other things as well with Apple that have to do with how music is heard and innovation, with [iTunes VP of content] Robert Kondrk leading that charge. There’s a lot of things still to come that are really interesting. The band really wants people to engage with albums, they want them to support the art form of artwork and lyrics and video content and just get into their music in a much different way than an MP3 file. This is a long relationship.
Some retailers are already up in arms about a five-week exclusive with iTunes. How will you make sure there’s still value to the commercial release when it arrives Oct. 14?
There’s four brand-new songs, and Gary Kelly [Interscope’s head of retail sales] can tell you there’s a bunch of acoustic versions of songs from the album, too. So it’s probably gonna be anywhere between nine or 11 songs that were not on the standard. Retail is important, too, we’re not trying to alienate anyone. We’re just trying to reach our potential, and it happens to be with a company that is very forward-thinking. U2 is part of the Apple story, and Apple has played a big part in U2′s life.
It’s been a decade since U2 has had a true mainstream hit, so there’s a whole generation of music listeners who may just be discovering the band’s music. How do you convert them into fans without oversaturating them?
As you can see from today’s iTunes charts, clearly people are digging back into the catalog to learn more about the band, with 16 albums on the iTunes charts. That’s a statement, that people are going, “Oh, let me learn more about this band.” I’ve seen a lot of tweets from kids who are 14, 15, 16, 18 who are going, “Wow, this is really good.” They didn’t know what to expect. That’s a great feeling, that maybe someone in their collection only has hip-hop, and yet maybe someone only has country artists, or someone in India doesn’t have any Anglo artists, and they discover U2 today. The one thing all these people have in common is U2 now. The one thing everyone on iTunes has in common today is U2 and a U2 album. It’s an amazing opportunity, even at this stage in U2’s career, to make new friends.
You just gave away an album to 500 million people worldwide. How do you turn those free customers into album buyers a month from now?
This is all new territory, but we have four brand-new songs and the deluxe is a killer package. And it’s early days. You can’t look at the standard as one piece of this puzzle, you have to look at whether we reached as many as possible. Are people buying the catalog all of a sudden? And the answer is yes.
By releasing a free album this week, you’ve missed some of the requirements for the Billboard as well as Grammy deadlines. So what’s the overall statement you wanted to make?
Look, we just went with organic, genuine feelings of “Let’s share this album with as many people as possible” and then we know that there’s a lot of unknowns. And we accept the ups, we accept the downs, it’ll be what it’ll be, but we’re really happy with this week and historical launch.
The iWatch may be arriving sooner than anyone expected. With the announcement of the upcoming iPhone 6 introduction at Apple’s September 9 iPhone event, reports have been made that the tech giant will also unveil its iWatch, a wearable version of the latest smart technology. First reported to be arriving later in October, the launching of the iWatch coinciding with the arrival of the iPhone 6 signifies a bold move on Apple’s part as it transitions to a new generation of tech devices.
The Game decides to pay tribute to Michael Brown by linking up with Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Diddy, Fabolous, Wale, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz, Yo Gotti, Curren$y, Problem, King Pharaoh and TGT for this new track called Dont Shoot.
“I managed to get everyone on fairly easy, simply because we have hearts. We care & are inclined to take a positive approach to resolving an issue that has existed since the beginning of mankind & that’s RACISM & hatred towards one another as human beings
Beyonce and Jay-Z perform during the “On The Run Tour: Beyonce And Jay-Z” at Minute Maid Park on July 18, 2014 in Houston, Texas.
Larry Busacca/PW/WireImage for Parkwood Entertainment
Jay Z and Beyonce‘s On The Run tour wraps in North America with two nights at AT&T Park in San Francisco, both tonight (August 5) and tomorrow night (August 6). The pair’s 19 North American shows will gross over $100 million in ticket sales and has sold at more than 90 percent capacity, according to Omar Al-Joulani, vp of North American touring for Live Nation, the promoter/producer of the tour. Attendance will top out at more than 850,000.
Al-Joulani declined to comment on press reports of rancor between the couple, adding that he hadn’t read it. Regarding such reports, and speculation that Live Nation might be losing money on the tour, Al-Joulani would only say, “everybody’s winning.” And regarding reports that the plug might be pulled on the tour, the promoter adds, “Production is loading-in in San Francisco as we speak.”
Some reports put the couple’s performance guarantee at $4 million per show, which is a reasonable figure, considering the tour’s nightly take is over $5.2 million from an average attendance of nearly 45,000 per show. As predicted by Billboardback in June – when inaccurate reports that the tour was struggling began to surface — sales for the tour finished strong, following a general market trend of tickets selling closer to show date. “These shows sold tremendously well at the end, so we were able to sell-up limited-view and clean up production holds or other holds,” says Al-Joulani. “It was a very successful tour, and we’re pleased to have that big gross number at the end.”
The Jay/Bey tour was conceived and launched fast compared to most stadium tours, which are often planned more than a year in advance. “It came together quite quickly, around mid-March,” says Al-Joulani. “By April, we had everything together, and once the routing was in place we had about three weeks until the tour was announced.”
Considering the quick ramp-up, the fact that both Jay and Beyonce had been on the road much of last year, and the available window was narrow, routing was a bit of a challenge. “We knew we needed a big ‘statement play’ in L.A., and we needed big statement in New York, so we started by figuring out the avails at the Rose Bowl [in Pasadena] and MetLife Stadium [in New York],” Al-Joulani explains, “and then from there it was just a matter of sorting it out.”
Given the “event” status of music’s reigning power couple and the fact that producers were on a tight schedule, “We threw all the usual rules out the window,” Al-Joulani says. “We didn’t worry about days of the week, as long as we were headed in the right direction. There is one beautiful thing about routing late: There’s no messing around, the building is either available or it’s not. You’re not holding for anybody, you’re not waiting for a football or baseball schedules, there was no room for ‘maybes.’ It was all, ‘is this building available?’ which makes your life a lot easier, because there are no variables. And [stadiums] wanted it, so we were able to pick and choose our way through it.”
Along with the “must-play” major markets, the tour routed into some secondary markets like Cincinnati, New Orleans and Seattle “that turned out to be wildly successful,” Al-Joulani says. Cincinatti sold out on the pre-sale, New Orleans was “massive,” and Seattle went completely clean. “We had the greatest time in those markets.”
Production was “epic,” as described by Al-Joulani, with three staging systems hop-scotching across the route. Elements included a moving high-def screen, pyro, hyrdraulic lifts, and a B stage extended well into the audience. “Knock on wood — we started production load-in in San Francisco at noon today — every show has gone up on time, with no production issues,” he says, adding that there were no weather issues or delays, either. The total production moved on 42 trucks, with about 150 crew.
Given the unique nature of these two artists, their fans, and the fact that they’ve both toured in the last 18 months, ticket scaling was tricky, but Al-Joulani says the goal was to be inclusive. The low end was $40, then prices went up the chain to P1s topping out at $275, and a wide array of premium packages. “Our strategy was to sell as best as we could on the primary system and to price tickets for what people were willing to pay for them, with a very dynamically priced model, so that wherever you were on that ticket chain, you… had an opportunity to attend the show,” the promoter explains. “We made sure we had affordable tickets as well as the higher-priced tickets that we know the market can bear. Pricing went right across the spectrum.”
Momentum was solid, from the couple’s sizzling Grammy performance in January, Beyonce’s new record carrying through until Q1, a hit in “Drunk In Love,” and the single “On The Run” from Jay Z’s record, as well as a dramatic tour trailer created by the two artists. “We had a lot of things that went into making this tour an event, and that was part of our success,” Al-Joulani says. “These events are driven by content and demand, and being dramatic and creative and putting out content people want to see. The two of them are as about creative as you can get, and it was pretty brilliant to watch them work. The show itself is spectacular.”
Chase handled the pre-sale as the tour’s credit card sponsor, and the financial services firm, “really embraced it and did a great job,” says Al-Joulani. Adding that deal was put together by the Roc Nation sponsorship team, led by Michael Yormark. “He delivered that and did a great job executing and bringing Chase to the relationship.”
After North America, Jay Z and Beyonce will take On The Run to Paris Sept 12-13, which is being shot for an HBO special. “We’re on track to sell out both shows,” says Al-Joulani.
Far from stressed out, Al-Joulani was upbeat and clearly happy with the tour’s success. “This has been a lot of work, but it has been the smoothest, most fun run that I’ve ever worked on,” he tells Billboard. “We have a great group of people on the road, the artists have been phenomenal, both management teams are engaged and available. It has been a ball, and I’m actually sad it’s ending. I wish we could be out for another two months.”
Veteran WNBA player Becky Hammon is joining the reigning NBA champion San Antonio Spurs’ coaching staff.
The Spurs made the announcement Tuesday. Terms of the contract were not revealed.
Hammon, who is currently in her 16th WNBA season, announced July 23 that she would retire as a player at the end of the 2014 season.
“I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said in a statement Tuesday. “Having observed her working with our team this past season, I’m confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs.”
Hammon is not the first woman hired to be an NBA assistant. Lisa Boyer, now associate head women’s basketball coach at South Carolina, served on John Lucas’ staff in Cleveland in the 2001-02 season.
When Hammon’s 15th WNBA season was derailed because of a knee injury, Popovich invited her to attend his team’s practices.
Popovich was asked in May whether women can coach men’s players, and he replied, “I don’t see why not. There shouldn’t be any limitations. It’s about talent and the ability to do things. It’s not about what your sex is or your race or anything else.”
Named one of the WNBA’s top 15 players of all time in July 2011, Hammon ranks seventh in WNBA history in points (with 5,809), fourth in assists (1,687) and sixth in games (445).
A six-time WNBA All-Star, Hammon has spent the past eight seasons with the San Antonio Stars. She is their all-time leader in assists (1,112) and 3-point field goals made (493) while ranking second in franchise history in points (3,442) and games (218). In 2012, Hammon was the top vote-getter for the Stars’ All-Decade Team.
The Spurs hired European coaching legend Ettore Messina to join Popovich’s staff earlier this summer.
For James, a return to his home state of Ohio is a sensational turnaround after the fiasco that was “The Decision.” After all, it was only four years ago that Cavaliers fans were using LeBron jerseys for firewood after the star decided to take his talents to South Beach.
But reactionary fans and embarrassing letters aside, James’ return to Cleveland really does make the mind wonder. What if every team was full of hometown stars?
Imagine no more. Here’s what the NBA would look like if stars played for their local clubs:
*Neither Utah, Colorado or the San Antonio area has produced more than five
Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.
Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.
I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.
I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true.
I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.
When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.
I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.
To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?
I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.
But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.
In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.
I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming