Grapevine: Songwriter/artist Allee Willis visits Friday

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
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Award-winning songwriter and artist Allee Willis visits

Detroiter Allee Willis will make an appearance at Cinetopia Celebrity Night at Maccabbees Traders in Midtown Friday. The free event kicks off at 7 p.m. with a welcome from Sultan Sharrief, show runner of “Street Cred” television show, followed by a presentation from Willis. After she speaks, contestants from “Street Cred” will perform. A graduate of Mumford High School, Willis may not be a household name, but her talents have affected many. She’s a Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Webby Award-winner whose songs have been featured in more than 20 films. She has songwriting credit on Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September,” the Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance” and “I”ll Be There For You” by the Rembrandts, known as the theme from the TV show “Friends.” Most recently Willis completed a song and micro-documentary about Detroit, which will premiere at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Sept. 28. She’ll give a preview of that work on Friday, along with a review of her musical career. Doors open at 6 p.m. for Friday’s event. Maccabees Traders is at 5057 Woodward in Detroit. Visit

U2 hits Ford Field in September

“The Joshua Tree” is headed to Detroit. U2 will perform its first Metro Detroit concert in more than a decade when the group brings its Joshua Tree Tour 2017 to Ford Field on September 3, promoters announced Tuesday morning. Tickets for the show, which start at $35 (general admission floor tickets are $70), go on sale June 12, with pre-sales for subscribers beginning at 10 a.m. June 8. The show is part of the band’s trek marking the 30th anniversary of “The Joshua Tree,” its seminal 1987 album which elevated the group to worldwide icon status. Metro Detroit holds a special place in U2 tour lore; the group’s April 1987 concert at the Pontiac Silverdome, part of the original Joshua Tree Tour, was its first-ever headlining U.S. stadium show. The band’s last Metro Detroit concert was Oct. 25, 2005, the second of a two-night stand at the Palace of Auburn Hills during its Vertigo Tour. U2 brought its 360 Tour to East Lansing’s Spartan Stadium in June 2011. The group’s 2015 Innocence + Experience Tour skipped Michigan altogether. As for the last time U2 played within Detroit city limits, you have to jump back to March 1985 when the group played Joe Louis Arena. An earlier date on that tour fell in December 1984 at the Fox Theatre. The Detroit concert kicks off a 12-date run of shows that wraps Oct. 19 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Ice Cube to appear on ‘Real Time’ in spite of racial slur

Rapper and actor Ice Cube will appear as scheduled on Friday’s episode of “Real Talk with Bill Maher,” a week after Bill Maher apologized for using racial slur on his show in a joke about Maher being a house slave. Ice Cube’s representatives sent a statement to the Los Angeles Times about the appearance: “Ice Cube will still appear on Bill Maher this Friday as scheduled to talk about the release of ‘Death Certificate: 25th Anniversary edition,’ an album that was recorded in the wake of the Rodney King beating in 1991, which sadly, speaks to many of the same race issues that we as a society are still dealing with today.” While Cube will stick to the schedule, Democratic Senator and good friend of Maher, Al Franken opted to cancel his appearance on Friday’s show. Author and radio host Michael Eric Dyson will replace Franken. In a social media post, Detroit native Dyson defended the comedian, saying Maher has “used his platform to highlight black faces and amplify black voices.”

New Fillmore Detroit shows announced

2 Chainz will perform at the Fillmore Detroit on Aug. 31. Tickets are $42.50-$75. Steve Earle is also coming on Sept. 21, $25-$54.

Compiled by Melody Baetens

Adam Graham contributed

Wednesday’s birthdays

Tom Jones, 77

Liam Neeson, 65

LA Reid, 61

Dave Navarro, 50

Bill Hader, 39

Michael Cera, 29

Iggy Azalea, 27

Fetty Wap, 26

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