Box Office: ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Beats Expectations With $57 Million – Variety

Paramount’s family film “Sonic the Hedgehog” ignited over Presidents Day weekend with $57 million in North America and $100 million globally, the biggest showing ever for a video game adaptation.

“Sonic” is expected to earn $68 million to $70 million through Monday, one of the best results for the holiday weekend. The better-than-expected start is even more notable since movies based on video games tend to be rejected by moviegoers.

That could have been a reality for “Sonic” had director Jeff Fowler not gone back to the drawing board after immense internet backlash from fans over the first trailer. The movie, which cost $87 million to make, was postponed three months to give the filmmakers enough time to redesign the title character. It proved to be a sound decision because audiences gave the film an “A” CinemaScore. Ben Schwartz voiced the furry blue creature, who teams up with a local sherif (James Marsden) to defeat the evil Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey).

“The consumer always determines what is right and what is wrong. They made their voices clear, and we listened,” said Chris Aronson, Paramount’s president of domestic distribution. “This movie exceeded [audience’s] expectations. That’s a testament to that reset and terrific performances by Jim Carrey and the entire cast.”

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After a string of financial failures in 2019 including “Gemini Man” and “Terminator: Dark Fate,” “Sonic’s” box office performance was a necessary win for Paramount. The studio could have a strong year in theaters should its sequels to “Top Gun” and “A Quiet Place” deliver.

“Sonic” unseated last weekend’s victor, Warner Bros.’ comic-book adaptation “Birds of Prey,” for the No. 1 spot on box office charts. After its disappointing $33 million debut, Margot Robbie-led superhero adventure landed in second place with $17.1 million over the weekend and is expected to pull in $19.6 million through Monday. Those ticket sales, a steep 48% decline from its inaugural outing, would push its domestic haul to $61.7 million.

A number of movies opened alongside “Sonic” this weekend, including Universal’s romance drama “The Photograph,” Sony’s thriller “Fantasy Island” and Searchlight Pictures’ remake “Downhill.”

Despite terrible reviews and weak audience reactions, “Fantasy Island” earned $12.4 million — enough for third place — and is eyeing $14 million through Monday. Blumhouse’s PG-13 horror remake of the late ’70s TV show carries a $7 million price tag. It should easily turn a profit, but poor word-of-mouth could negatively impact box office receipts in weeks to come.

“The Photograph” came in fourth with $12.2 million over the weekend and could make $13.3 over the four-day stretch, on par with expectations. That’s a solid start since the film cost $15 million to produce. “The Photograph,” starring Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield, was written and directed by Stella Meghie and produced by Will Packer (“Girls Trip,” “Ride Along”).

“It was the perfect release date,” said Universal’s president of domestic distribution Jim Orr, noting that Galentine’s Day (a nonofficial holiday celebrating female friendships) provided a nice boost in Thursday previews. “With [strong audience scores] from our core female audience, we’re going to have a nice run. It’s very encouraging.”

“Downhill,” a black comedy starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, debuted at No. 10 to a muted $4.6 million over the weekend and should bring in $5.2 million through Presidents Day. The remake of Ruben Ostlund’s “Force Majeure,” about a married couple forced to reevaluate their relationship after an avalanche threatens their family ski trip, premiered at Sundance to mixed reviews. Moviegoers reacted to the film not unlike they might to an impending cataclysm, giving the film a “D” CinemaScore.

Elsewhere, Neon’s “Parasite” added an exceptional $5.5 million after its historic Oscar win and looks to pull in $6.6 over the four days. Ticket sales for the Academy’s best picture winner shot up 234%, the biggest post-Oscars bump in the past decade, according to Neon. After opening in limited release last October, Bong Joon Ho’s dark thriller has amassed $44.34 million in the U.S., a huge result for a foreign language film. 

More to come…

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‘Parasite’ Sees Record Box Office Boost After Oscar Wins – Variety

Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” is reaping box office riches after its groundbreaking Oscar best picture win.

The twisted South Korean thriller collected $5.5 million over the weekend, an exceptional 234% increase in ticket sales and the biggest post-Oscar boost for a best picture winner in the past decade.

In the seven days since the Academy Awards on Feb. 9, “Parasite” has brought in $8.8 million, representing 20% of its domestic tally. To date, “Parasite” has made $44 million in the U.S., a massive result for a foreign language film.

“Parasite” also saw a notable surge this weekend overseas, adding another $12.7 million for an international bounty of $161 million. Those receipts push “Parasite” past the $200 million mark worldwide with ticket sales currently at $204 million.

“Parasite” became the first non-English film in history to take home the Academy Award for best picture. Out of its six Oscar nominations, it also won for original screenplay, director and international feature.

Though it has been available on home entertainment since January, “Parasite” expanded to 2,001 theaters in North America after it became the toast of awards season. That marks the widest release for a foreign language film since 2004’s “Kung Fu Hustle” played in 2,503 venues.

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“It’s a great win for ‘Parasite,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Comscore. “This example can put to rest the notion that streaming and the big screen are adversaries. ‘Parasite’ is doing well on home video and in movie theaters. Both formats can be successful.”

Best picture winners are often able to leverage Oscar triumphs for box office glory. Last year’s winner “Green Book” saw a 121% increase in revenue the weekend after its victory, the biggest post-Oscar bump at the time. The road trip drama with Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen ended its theatrical run with $85 million from venues in North America and $329 million globally. “Moonlight,” “The Artist,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Million Dollar Baby” are other recent Oscar best picture winners that had subsequent lifts in ticket sales.

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Disney Queen of Katwe star Nikita Pearl Waligwa dies aged 15 after being diagnosed with brain tumour | Daily Mail Online

Disney’s Queen of Katwe star Nikita Pearl Waligwa has died aged 15 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. 

Nikita Pearl played Gloria in the film – also staring Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o – about a chess prodigy from a Ugandan slum.

Doctors first discovered a tumour in 2016 and, after radiotherapy, she was told she was cancer-free a year later.

Shortly after the youngster’s initial diagnosis, her mother Rachel Asiimwe Waligwa was diagnosed with cancer and given just two months to live. 

But she survived against the odds and dubbed her recovery a ‘miracle’.

Disney’s Queen of Katwe star Nikita Pearl Waligwa has died aged 15 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor 

Nikita Pearl played Gloria in the film – also staring Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o – about a chess prodigy from a Ugandan slum. Doctors first discovered a tumour in 2016 and, after radiotherapy, she was told she was cancer-free a year later. Right: Nikita Pearl at the Ugandan premiere of the film. Left: Nikita Pearl at school

Her family told of their heartbreak when Nikita Pearl later developed another tumour.

She died at hospital in Naalya, Kampala, last night, Ugandan media reports. 

After her initial diagnosis, the film’s director Mira Nair asked the public to help cover the cost of her treatment in India. 

Gayaza High School, where Nikita Pearl was a student prior to her death, shared a tribute to Twitter.

They wrote: ‘Fare thee well Nikita Pearl Waligwa. 

‘You were a darling to many and we have lost you to brain tumor at such a tender age. Nikita was in S.3. Rest in Perfect Peace dear.’

Heart-broken fans took to social media to share tributes to the star. She died at hospital in Naalya, Kampala, last night, Ugandan media reports

Fans also took to social media to share tributes to the star.

Matics wrote: ‘Oh my, oh my. May God grant her eternal peace. She was my best actress in the movie.’

Mukiga added: ‘Rest in peace Pearl Waligwa. You’re in a better place. You will be remembered for the great work you did in Queen of Katwe.’

Fawole John Oyeyemi wrote: ‘Sad news coming from Uganda about 15-year-old Nikita Pearl who just died of brain cancer. Nikita, known as Gloria in her role in Queen of Katwe.

‘My favorite part of the movie was when she shouted in the tournament playing hall, “He took my Queen” May her soul find rest.’

Nikita Pearl played Gloria in the film – also staring Lupita Nyong’o and – about a chess prodigy from a Ugandan slum. Pictured: Madina Nalwanga and Lupita Nyong’o in The Queen of Katwe

DJ DenzelUG wrote: ‘Without a doubt, news on the passing of someone is sad. 

‘It is especially sad when that someone is a 15yr old with so much potential. Rest in Peace Nikita Pearl Waligwa aka Gloria.’ 

In the 2016 biographical film, Phiona Mutesi is introduced to chess through charity worker Robert Katende, played by British actor David Oyelowo, who encourages Katwe uneducated children to play the strategy game – likening it to their inherent survival instincts learned in the slums.

As Phiona starts to beat all her challengers, Katende takes her and the Katwe children to compete in tournaments with players from wealthier backgrounds and education. 

The young girl often doubts her abilities, but her coach keeps guiding her to believe in herself.

Oscar-winner Nyong’o plays Phiona’s fiercely protective and indefatigable mother, Harriet.

Disney Queen of Katwe star Nikita Pearl Waligwa dies aged 15 after being diagnosed with brain tumour

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Phillip Schofield in tears as he pays tribute to Caroline Flack on Dancing On Ice – Manchester Evening News

A tearful Phillip Schofield paid tribute to Caroline Flack at the start of Sunday’s Dancing On Ice.

An emotional Phil and Holly Willoughby began the show by remembering their friend and ITV colleague.

Love Island presenter Caroline, 40, was found dead at her London home on Saturday. A lawyer for Caroline‘s family said she’d taken her own life after she had been “under huge pressure.”

Phil was visibly choked up as he said to viewers watching Dancing On Ice: “We’d like to begin tonight’s show by taking a moment to remember Caroline Flack in light of yesterday’s awful news.”

And co-presenter Holly recalled Caroline’s recent Instagram post urging people to “be kind”.

Tributes have been flooding in for Caroline after the Love Island host passed away.

Caroline’s friend Joe Swash, who is a contestant on Dancing On Ice, was praised for his skate to the Robbie Williams hit Candy in the light of the tragic news, and the popular TV presenter and actor sent his love to her friends and family.

Ahead of the show Holly shared a snap of her love heart decorated nails on her Instagram, believed to be a tribute to Caroline, saying: “I choose LOVE …”

“Choose love and kindness always!!” praised one fan.

She previously shared a snap of the pair on her Instagram saying: “Utterly heart breaking… life is so precious and yet so fragile… huge love to Caroline’s family…”

Speaking on her BBC Radio 5 Live show Laura Whitmore, who took over from Caroline as presenter of the winter series of Love Island last month, delivered a powerful tribute to her close friend.

The TV and radio presenter said the Love Island star had ‘many struggles’ but was someone who ‘loved to love.’

“Yesterday we lost someone before their time. At age 40 Caroline Flack made the decision to take her own life and I want to talk about it,” she said.

Describing her friend she said: “She was bubbly and for such a small stature, commanded a room. She loved to laugh and had the most infectious chuckle.

“She also had many struggles, I am not going to pretend she was perfect. She lived every mistake publicly under the scrutiny of the media. Caroline loved to love, that’s all she wanted.”

Caroline stepped down from Love Island in December after she was alleged to have assaulted her boyfriend Lewis Burton 27, at her flat in Islington, north London.

Caroline had denied the assault charge and was due to face trial on March 4.

Love Island will not be shown tonight as a mark of respect to Caroline.

ITV’s flagship dating show will instead return on Monday night with a tribute to the TV presenter, who hosted the show since 2015 and its spin-off Aftersun since 2017.

Show bosses said the decision was made after ‘careful consideration.’

An ITV spokeswoman said: “Many people at ITV knew Caroline well and held her in great affection. All of us are absolutely devastated at this tragic news.

“After careful consultation between Caroline’s representatives and the Love Island production team and given how close we still are to the news of Caroline’s tragic death we have decided not to broadcast tonight’s Love Island out of respect for Caroline’s family.

“Love Island will return tomorrow night which will include a tribute to Caroline who will be forever in our hearts.”

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Emotional Sir Elton John ends Auckland concert early after being diagnosed with ‘walking pneumonia’ | Stuff.co.nz

Sir Elton John broke down in tears during his Auckland show, leaning on the piano before being ushered off stage, wrapping up the concert early. 

The 72-year-old artist attempted to start singing Daniel, but couldn’t talk.  

“I’ve just completely lost my voice. I can’t sing,” John told the sold-out crowd at Mt Smart Stadium.

“I’ve got to go. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

CARL GREEN/SUPPLIED
Sir Elton John is escorted off stage after losing his voice during his Auckland show. The world-famous singer had just started playing Daniel when he was forced to stop. Earlier Sir Elton was diagnosed with walking pneumonia.

People in the crowd were in tears after witnessing the world-famous singer break down and be escorted from the stage, the end of an emotional night for the legendary musician.

Following the gig, John posted an apology on Instagram. 

“I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had. Thank-you so much for your extraordinary support and all the love you showed me during tonight’s performance. I am eternally grateful. Love, Elton xx,” he wrote shortly after leaving the stage. 

Earlier, John was forced to interrupt his concert after Someone Saved My Life Tonight. to be checked by a medic as he sat at his black Yamaha grand piano on stage. The crowd was eerily silent, but after about five minutes, without a word, John turned around to crack on with Levon.

However, he then admitted: “I don’t know how much longer I can sing, I just don’t have anything left.

“I will try, but I just can’t promise anything,” he said, with a croaking voice, going on to belt out Candle in the Wind.  

Walking out to a standing ovation for his first Auckland gig on Sunday night, John took the stage with his trademark razzle dazzle. He wore a black velvet suit, with salmon lapels and gold trim. All outfits on this farewell tour were designed by Gianni Versace. John’s rose-coloured glasses and golden spats shimmered around the stadium as he opened with big hit Bennie​ and the Jets.

NICKY PARK/STUFF
Sir Elton John gets a medical check at his Auckland concert.

After his second song, All the Girls Love Alice, John told the full house, constantly on their feet, that he had been diagnosed with “walking pneumonia” earlier on Sunday. 

Also known as atypical pneumonia, it is a bacterial infection that affects the upper and lower respiratory tract. It’s not as serious as other forms of pneumonia and doesn’t usually require hospitalisation, but symptoms can last between a week and a month.  

“My voice is kinda shot, but I don’t want to miss this,” he reassured the crowd. 

Despite ill health forcing the showman to cut his 25-song setlist down to 16, Auckland concert goers would not feel ripped off. The ultimate showman could barely talk when he addressed the crowd in between songs, but his singing voice remained epic until the end.

DAVID WHITE/STUFF
Sir Elton John is playing his last-ever shows in New Zealand.

The mood was edgy, with a 10-minute costume change after Candle easily mistaken for something more sinister. But John, slightly unexpectedly, returned to stage in a powder blue suit with bejewelled cats face on the back, to glide across the stage on his piano, playing Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding. And then the show took a terrible turn, leaving us missing out on classics such as Crocodile Rock and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting. But the most disappointed person in a packed Mt Smart was John himself.   

Recently, health problems and bad weather have caused issues at multiple Elton John concerts.

At the end of January, the singer was forced to abandon a concert in Melbourne, Australia, due to torrential rain and hail.

On October 26, 2019, an “extremely unwell” John postponed his Farewell Yellow Brick Road concert in Indianapolis, Indiana, US.

He will play that concert in March.

In May last year, flu forced the singer to cancel a concert in Verona, Italy, as well.

In late 2018, the singer postponed a Farewell Yellow Brick Road show in Orlando, Florida, US, half an hour after it was scheduled to begin.

At the time, John apologised to fans, saying an ear infection had made the delay necessary.

John announced he would embark on the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in January, 2018.

The tour, a three-year, five-continent outing, includes more than 300 concerts, and is the last of his career.

He is currently about halfway through, with Australia, the US and Europe still to visit. The tour will wrap up in London in December 2020.

After announcing his final tour, John addressed speculation it had anything to do with his health, saying, “if you’re going to do 300 shows, you’re not in ill health.”

The reasoning, The Guardian reported, was that the singer would like to spend more time with his two children.

“When I stop, they will be 10 and eight and that’s a very important time in their lives. I don’t want to miss them, and I don’t want them to miss me.

“It’s going to be the most produced, fantastic show I’ve ever done. It’s a way of saying thank you and going out with a bang. I don’t want to go out with a whimper.”

Farewell to Kiwi fans

John flew in to Auckland this weekend on the back of two concerts at Mission Estate Winery in Napier, broken up by a jet back to LA for the Oscars last Monday.

He is due to play two more Auckland shows – Tuesday, February 18 and Thursday, February 20.

There is no word yet on if there will be refunds from Sunday night’s performance or if Tuesday and Thursday will go ahead. 

The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour will be John’s last-ever shows in New Zealand.

Sir Elton John was crying when he was forced to cut tonight’s concert short coz he’s completely lost his voice. 💔💔💔 He did his best rocking out like 13 songs even with pneumonia. He’s a legend. We still love you. Thank you for an awesome night ❤❤❤ #EltonFarewellTour

— 🍍⛧⭐️Elleven;🕛➰ (@elleRK17)

New Zealand loves you Elton John. Thank you for giving us your best. Be well. ❤️@eltonofficial #EltonFarewellTour pic.twitter.com/oSjIN98itQ

— wackado (@wackado)

just witnessed elton john break down crying during our concert, because he lost his voice and had to stop 🥺

— 𝐣𝐚𝐝𝐚 ♡ (@sugarfineline)

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Adele confirms new album set for release in September

Adele has stated that she intends to release a new album in September this year.

The artist confirmed the news herself at a wedding party over the weekend, where she was both performer and officiant for one of her friends. While speaking on stage, the ‘Hello’ singer told everyone there to “expect my album in September”.

🚨 @Adele is coming!

The singer was filmed saying “expect my album in September” at her friend’s wedding party. pic.twitter.com/Zj0Ir76W2z

— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 16, 2020

Last month, Adele’s manager confirmed that the singer is set to release new music this year.

Jonathan Dickins told Music Week that singer will finally release the follow up to her 2015  album ’25’  and said “the sooner [it comes out] the better.”

The last time the singer herself hinted that new music was coming was when she turned 31 last May. At the time she said: “This is 31…thank fucking god – 30 tried me so hard but I’m owning it and trying my hardest to lean in to it all.”

She added: “For the first time in a decade I’m ready to feel the world around me and look up for once,” before hinting that a new album – ’30’ – could be on the way soon as she joked: “’30’ will be a drum n bass record to spite you. Chin up, eh”.

The singer also announced that she had separated from her husband, Simon Konecki, last year.

The singer’s representatives Benny Tarantini and Carl Fysh confirmed the news in a statement which read: “Adele and her partner have separated. They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment.”

The post Adele confirms new album set for release in September appeared first on NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM.

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Queen, Daryl Braithwaite, John Farnham, Olivia Newton-John, Alice Cooper and more rock Fire Fight Australia | 7NEWS.com.au

Tens of thousands of Australians have united in Sydney to celebrate our resilient spirit and raise funds for bushfire relief.

Tickets to the 10-hour music event at ANZ Stadium sold out in less than a day.

Watch the video above

International acts including Queen and Adam Lambert, k.d. Lang, Alice Cooper and Ronan Keating joined some of Australia’s best artists to rock the stadium.

Comedian Celeste Barber, who raised more than $50 million with her social media campaign, kicked off the event.

An array of Australia’s favourite artists took to the stage to entertain the crowd.

Conrad Sewell performed his poignant hit ‘Healing Hands’ while music icon Daryl Braithwaite performed his classic ‘The Horses’.

Hailing from Lismore, Australian rockers Grinspoon brought the house down with an electrifying medley of hits.

“(It’s) such an honour for us,” Grinspoon frontman Phil Jamison told Sonia Kruger backstage.

“We see the devastation, not just in the Northern NSW area but all across the country, so for us to do just a little bit… it’s the least we could do really.”

Jessica Mauboy performed a selection of her biggest hits, while Delta Goodrem opened her set with a cover of the classic anthem ‘We Are Australian’.

Former Boyzone member Ronan Keating has called Australia home many times over the years. He made a special stopover in Australia from Malaysia to be part of the event.

Keating’s own brother-in-law is a volunteer firefighter on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

“I wanted people in Australia to know that we heard you and that you weren’t alone,” Keating told Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies.

“Even though we’re 12,000 miles away, it’s a small world we live in now thanks to social media and technology… it was devastating, it was heartbreaking,” Keating said.

Australian music icon Tina Arena opened up about how media coverage affected her mental health.

“My mental health suffered a lot, so I retreated from what was going on,” Arena told Sam Armytage and David Koch.

“I couldn’t watch it… I felt helpless, I felt useless. So when it came time to do this, I realised the beauty of our community.”

Aussie exports 5 Seconds Of Summer had the crowd singing along to their catchy lyrics including their ARIA number one hit, ‘Youngblood’.

But it was a powerhouse performance by the legendary Queen with Adam Lambert on vocals that had the stadium at capacity.

“It was a no-brainer,” Lambert told Sonia Kruger.

“Brian and Roger immediately said yes… we were very excited to be a part of this.”

k.d. Lang’s haunting performance of ‘Hallelujah’ brought the crowd to a standstill after a minute’s silence lead by Russell Crowe, who was personally affected by the Australian bushfires first hand.

Iconic Aussie rockers, Icehouse took to the stage shortly after 10 pm to play some of their greatest hits including ‘Electric Blue’ and the classic ‘Great Southern Land’.

The night concluded with Australian music royalty John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John.

Farnham performed hits ‘Age Of Reason’, ‘Pressure Down’, ‘Two Strong Hearts’ with Newton-John and ‘That’s Freedom.’

The climax of the night being Australia’s unofficial national anthem, ‘You’re The Voice’, where Farnham was joined on stage by Queen’s Brian May and Mitch Tambo.

Fire Fight Australia ended the night raising just over nine million dollars for key organisations providing vital “Rescue”, “Relief and Recovery” and “Rehabilitation” assistance in fire affected areas. You can still donate by heading here.

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ALICE IN CHAINS’ JERRY CANTRELL Is Working On New Solo Record

ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell has confirmed that he is working on a new solo album. The upcoming effort will mark his first full-length release since “Degradation Trip”, the epic solo album he made in 2002 with future METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo and FAITH NO MORE drummer Mike Bordin. Cantrell discussed his plans to record and release new solo music during a pair of interviews he gave last month. While chatting with Gibson about his new collaboration with the guitar maker, Cantrell touched upon his solo activity, saying: “There’s gonna be some cool things happening this year. I’ve already done a couple of shows in L.A. in December with a great group of friends. My friend helped me put together a really cool group of people, and we did a couple of solo shows. “I’ve been in this band, in ALICE IN CHAINS, since 1987, so 33 years. And that’s always been my first love and my commitment, but I did have the opportunity to make a couple of solo records, and since we started the band back up, I really didn’t have the opportunity to revisit that,” he continued. “[ALICE IN CHAINS] just finished touring in September off of ‘Rainier Fog’, and we generally take about a year off when we’re done touring anyway — just give it a rest for a second and then get it reinvigorated and focus on what’s new. So we’re gonna take a year off, so I thought I’d maybe do some shows and I’m working on some music as well. And there’s gonna be some exciting things. I don’t wanna say just yet what’s happening, but I can tell you that there’s gonna be some cool shit happening this year.” In a separate interview with People TV on the red carpet of the MusiCares benefit honoring AEROSMITH, Cantrell said that he tries to stay away from listening to other artists while putting together new material. “I’m working on a new record myself, so, generally, when I’m in that sort of a mode, I pretty much don’t listen to anything until I’m done, so nothing creeps in there,” he explained. “I did a couple of shows December 7th and 6th at The Pico Union Project in L.A. with some friends, and I got to play some of my material from my solo records. “When I’m with ALICE, I’m with ALICE, and that takes the majority of my time. This year, we’re taking a little time off, so… If you liked any of the solo work that I did or the work with ALICE, I’m sure you might like some of this stuff too.” Back in 2018, Cantrell told Billboard that he wasn’t in good headspace when he made “Degradation Trip”. “I was just really fucked up back then, to be honest with you, and you can totally hear it on that record,” he said. “It was done right before I got sober, and it was also done right when I was dealing with the death of my band, and then the unhappy coincidence of Layne [Staley, ALICE IN CHAINS frontman] passing away right after I released that record. So it was not a good time in my life, and it totally comes across on that record.” Cantrell added: “It’s a record I don’t listen to a lot anymore because of all those things I mentioned,” revealing that he got sober a year after it was recorded. He continued: “But it’s a record that’s important to me, and I’ll see Robert and Mike every once in a while and they’re like, ‘We should do some fucking shows, man. Some ‘Degradation Trip’ shows.’ [Laughs] I tell ’em we’ll do it someday.” “Degradation Trip” was Cantrell‘s second solo outing, following 1998’s “Boggy Depot”. ALICE IN CHAINS regrouped in 2006 with William DuVall joining the band, and released its third LP with DuVall in the lineup, “Rainier Fog”, in August 2018. Image courtesy of Ernie Ball

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