HOLLYWOOD—Diana Ross has teamed up with psych-rock band Tame Impala to record a song for the forthcoming “Minions” movie. The track is “Called Turn Up the Sunshine,” and is a laid-back, feel-good summer anthem whose funky horn stabs recall the Commodores’ “Brick House.” Can you believe that Ross even raps in the verses?
“There’s light at the end of the tunnel if you stay on track,” says Diana, before cutting loose on a soaring soul chorus.
The single comes in advance of the star’s set at Glastonbury this June. The 78-year-old will play the festival’s coveted “legends” slot on Sunday June 26, following in the footsteps of Dolly Parton, Kylie Minogue and Lionel Richie. She’s expected to ply a selection of her 68 top 40 singles, from Motown hits like “Baby Love” and “You Keep Me Hanging On” to solo classics “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out.”
The collaboration with Australian band Tame Impala was produced by Jack Antonoff, who helmed Taylor Swift’s Grammy Award-winning Folklore as well as albums by Lorde, St Vincent and Lana Del Rey. Antonoff also worked on Ross’s 2021 album, “Thank You” and “Turn Up The Sunshine” is believed to have originated during those sessions. It features some of the swirling, abstract soundscapes that have turned Tame Impala into global festival headliners-including a sample of a baby, which could possibly be front-man Kevin Parker’s newborn daughter, Peach.
Prior to the single’s announcement, rumors circulated that Ross and Parker had created an entire album together after mysterious posters featuring their names appeared around London. However, their song is currently a one-off, destined for the soundtrack of the family animation “Minions: The Rise of Gru.” Set in the 1970s, the film is a prequel to the “Despicable Me” series, telling the story of how the world’s greatest supervillain, Gru, voiced by actor Steve Carell, first met his banana-obsessed henchmen, the Minions. The film will also feature a number of 60s and 70s hits covered by current indie and alternative acts. St Vincent will put a new spin on Lipps Inc’s 1979 hit “Funkytown” and Phoebe Bridgers is re-recording The Carpenters’ 1972 single “Goodbye To Love.”
Tierra Whack is covering Santana’s Black Magic women, H.E.R. is taking on sly & The Family Stone’s “Dance To The Music” and Caroline Polachek will re-interpret Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang.” To cap it all, the Minions themselves are covering Simon & Garfunkel’s Cecilia. “This sun-soaked 70’s inspired soundtrack is guaranteed to have you Gru-ving all summer long,” said Decca records in all ill-advised press release.
The Minions franchise has a history of producing hits. Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” featured in 2013’s “Despicable Me” before becoming the UK’s best-selling song of 2014. Ross and Tame Impala’s single will be released on Friday, with the film and its soundtrack following on July 1. By the way, the “Minions” and “Despicable Me” films are the world’s biggest animation franchise, in terms of box-office takings. The Glastonbury festival will begin on June 22 and end on June 26
So far the line-up for this year is Billie Ellish, Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar, Diana Ross, Amyl & The Sniffers, Angelique Kidjo, Pet Shop Boys, Arlo Parks, The Avalanches and more than 80 artists have been added to the line-up, including Olivia Rodrigo, Lorde and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. The festival was cancelled for the last two years, will make its return in June with Sir Paul as its Saturday night headliner-his second time topping the Pyramid stage after a performance in 2004.
The former Beatle will play one week after he turns 80. Rapper Kendrick Lamar, will make his debut at the festival. Ellish, 20, would headline Friday, becoming the festival’s youngest ever solo headliner, while Diana Ross will of course, play the legends slot. Former Led Zeppelin front-man Robert Plant will appear alongside American county and bluegrass star Alison Krauss following the release of their second collaborative album. The event’s proceeds will go towards the Red Cross Ukraine appeal, as well as the festival’s regular charities-WaterAid, Oxfam and Greenpeace.
Rose’s Scoop: The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial has taken the week off and will resume on May 16.