Tag Archives: GRammy

Saying goodbye to Marvin Hamlisch

| aaltman@queenscourier.com


Marvin Hamlisch, the stage and screen composer who scored countless cultural masterpieces such as “A Chorus Line” and “The Way We Were,” passed away at the age of 68 in Los Angeles after a brief battle with an illness.

Hamlisch was one of the few entertainers to obtain the coveted EGOT – winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award. In addition to these, Hamlisch also won a Pulitzer Prize – one of only two people in history to attain all five commendations.

Born in Manhattan, Hamlisch exhibited musical genius from a very young age. He was accepted to Julliard’s Pre-College Division and worked as a rehearsal pianist on the production of “Funny Girl,” starring Barbara Streisand, who. he worked with at various points throughout his career.

In 1967, Hamlisch graduated from Queens College with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

“Everyone in the Queens College family mourns the passing of American music icon Marvin Hamlisch. His experience at Queens College echoes that of many of our current students—he was a young man from humble beginnings who benefited from a dedicated faculty, and then went on to make great contributions to his field,” said Queens College President James Muyskens.

Hamlisch’s best known screen compositions include music for “The Sting,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford; “Sophie’s Choice” with Meryl Streep; and the 1977 James Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me.” The Bond movie’s theme song, “Nobody Does It Better,” performed by Carly Simon, became a radio sensation.

The musician also received an Academy Award nomination in 1986 for the film version of the Broadway hit “A Chorus Line” – centered around the lives of dancers during a tense and somewhat revealing audition — for which he wrote popular songs like “One,” “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three” and “What I Did For Love.”

Recently, Hamlisch joined director Steven Soderbergh to compose music for the 2009 film “The Informant!” In 2011, Hamlisch became the lead conductor of the Pasadena Pops and occasionally conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and San Diego Symphony.


J. Cole earns Best New Artist Grammy nod

| brennison@queenscourier.com


In a year that J. Cole released a debut album that reached the top of the Billboard charts, the St. John’s University graduate has been recognized for his meteoric rise with a Grammy nomination.

Cole, 26, was nominated for Best New Artist where he will go up against The Band Perry, Bon Iver, fellow Queens rapper Nicki Minaj and Skrillex.  Acts such as The Beatles, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys have taken home music’s version of Rookie of the Year.

The nominations were announced Wednesday in Los Angeles at a concert hosted by Queens’ own LL Cool J.

The rapper was born in Frankfurt, Germany, where his parents were stationed in the military, but grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. At 12, Cole began writing his own lyrics. After graduating from high school in 2003, Cole headed to the Big Apple determined to achieve his goals of breaking into the music business and earning his college degree.

In May 2007, Cole graduated magna cum laude from St. John’s and then got a part-time job selling classified ads for The Queens Courier.

The Roc Nation rapper’s debut album, “Cole World: The Sideline Story,” sold over 200,000 units in its first week.

Minaj also received nominations for Best Rap Album for “Pink Friday” and Best Rap Performance for “Moment 4 Life.”

The award show will be held Sunday, February 12.