The biggest band breakups, icons of pop music, celebrity crimes and more are featured in new original stories
Twisted Sister, Poison, Aretha Franklin, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Celine Dion, Cher, Madonna and Rod Stewart are highlighted in REELZ February 2021 slate of all new original stories. The month of premieres kicks off with two episodes of Breaking the Band on Saturday, February 6th featuring Twisted Sister and Poison.
Twisted Sister: Breaking the Band premieres Saturday, February 6th at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. They were a Long Island bar band that demanded everyone’s attention. Twisted Sister embarked on a decade long roller-coaster ride hungry for success and in 1984 the band reached the pinnacle for heavy metal bands hailed as the new rock kings of MTV but their crash and burn would be equally spectacular. Told by the band themselves including their lead singer Dee Snider who is also the voice of Breaking the Band this is a cautionary tale of how ego, overexposure and intra-band tension would rip the group apart. Snider and Twisted Sister bandmates guitarist Eddie Ojeda, guitarist and band founder Jay Jay French as well as the band’s co-manager Joe Gerber all reveal the band’s struggles and triumphs from not being able to get a record deal to a make-or-break gig overseas, the album that brought harmony within the band and the infamous day-long photoshoot that sent ugly fractures deep within the group. Twisted Sister: Breaking the Band is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
Poison: Breaking the Band premieres Saturday, February 6th at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT. In the mid-1980s big hair glam metal band Poison fronted by the ambitious Bret Michaels with wild lead guitarist C.C. DeVille, bass player Bobby Dall and drummer Rikki Rockett were united in their determination to become global rock stars. Through relentless hard work and constant promotion they did indeed take the world by storm within a short time after arriving in Los Angeles. Thanks to their spectacular arena gigs and more than 40 million album sales they have become one of the world’s most successful and enduring rock bands. Their off-stage excess and partying along with their female following were unmatched. But fame and fortune cost them dearly and they paid big time. By the 1990s serious cracks began to appear. Festering jealousies and power struggles, worsening addictions, backstage fist fights and ultimately burnout from constant touring and partying were amongst the trials they faced. But the eventual push that sent Poison out of the spotlight didn’t come from within the band so what really happened? Poison: Breaking the Band is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
Geraldo Rivera’s Murder in the Family explores the tragic lives of Aretha Franklin and Sean “P Diddy” Combs on back to back Sundays. Geraldo Rivera’s Murder in the Family “Aretha Franklin” premieres Saturday, February 13th at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT. Most Americans know the queen of soul Aretha Franklin who sang like an angel and sold tens of millions of records becoming the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class. But few people know that her father C.L. Franklin was also famous as a pastor and civil rights leader in Detroit who worked with Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. C.L. is known for his sermons and is nicknamed the man with the “million dollar voice.” His preaching commands crowds and big donations to the church but on June 10, 1979 a group of burglars invade his home. In a gunfight Aretha’s father is shot twice and then rushed to Henry Ford Hospital in a semi-comatose state from which he never recovers. For five years C.L. would remain in a coma until he dies in 1984. Will authorities find justice for Aretha Franklin’s murder in the family? Sharing their experience of this tragic family affair is Aretha Franklin’s cousin Brenda Corbett and niece Sabrina Owens. Geraldo Rivera’s Murder in the Family “Aretha Franklin” is produced by Flying Scoop M&E and airs Sunday, February 13th at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT.
Geraldo Rivera’s Murder in the Family “Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs” premieres Saturday, February 20th at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. The GRAMMY Award winning producer and artist built a hip hop empire but his success is not without a troubled past. At just two years old his father Melvin Combs is murdered and it would be years before the ugly truths surrounding his death would become known to Sean. Who killed Melvin and how did the event of losing his dad propel young Sean forward onto a path to become one of the most influential hip hop impresarios and entrepreneurs in American music history? The violence of his early years follows Sean into adulthood culminating in the murder of someone who he considered extended family in friend Christopher Wallace better known as legendary hip hop artist Notorious B.I.G. Wallace was gunned down in a drive by shooting while he was the brightest star on Sean’s label Bad Boy Records. The subsequent investigation would once again have Sean confronting painful truths about murder in the family. Geraldo Rivera’s Murder in the Family is produced by Flying Scoop M&E.
Story of the Songs returns with four new episodes about the inspirations behind game changing hit songs from juggernauts Celine Dion, Cher, Madonna and Rod Stewart who combined have sold more than 750 million albums. With first-hand accounts from the producers, songwriters, backup singers and session musicians who helped craft the pivotal hits Story of the Songs show viewers how the path to the top of the charts is often a rollercoaster ride.
Cher: Story of Her Songs premieres Sunday, February 21st at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. Relive the three epic tracks that helped make Cher a music icon starting with the song that made her an international star in “I Got You Babe.” Discover how Cher and her then husband Sonny Bono achieved worldwide fame and helped to popularize the hippie style. Hear from the session musicians who recorded the track alongside a shy Cher at the legendary Gold Star Studios. Despite the early success of “I Got You Babe” Cher’s musical career didn’t exactly soar and it was years before she’d live out her rock star dream with the 1988 hit “Turn Back Time.” While the song may have become one of Cher’s signature songs it was legendary and award winning songwriter Diane Warren who reveals she had to beg Cher to do it after penning what she believed would be the perfect track for her. Not only was it a huge success but Cher went on to shock the world with a racy and now famous video shot aboard the USS Missouri. For her next career defining track a 52-year-old Cher would redefine pop with her worldwide smash “Believe” in 1998. Hear from record executive Rob Dickins on how Cher’s use of autotune created a sound that no one had ever heard before and went on to influence music to this day. Cher: Story of Her Songs is produced by ViacomCBS International Studios UK.
Celine Dion: Story of Her Songs premieres Sunday, February 21st at 9 pm ET/ 6 pm PT. With a staggering 250 million albums sold Celine Dion is a towering talent. In this episode see the stories of the three tracks that took Dion from child-star in French Quebec to global superstar. Dion was one of 14 children in a family flush with musical talent but it was her exceptional vocal talent that led to a big break on Eurovision song contest. From there it was a rocket ride to success. Her 1996 hit “Because You Loved Me” was a beautiful, soulful ballad written by multiple award winning songwriter Diane Warren who reveals exactly what Dion was like in the studio and what it meant when the track went to the top of the Billboard chart. Now an established pop diva her next hit “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” gave Dion the opportunity to show off the power of her voice with this operatic rock track. Fittingly she matched the song with a cinematic music video whose director Nigel Dick recounts shooting at a gothic castle and stretching Dion to her limits across the action packed day and steamy love scenes. After a hiatus to start a family Dion would return to recording in 2003 taking on established classic “I Drove All Night” but she would make the track her own by injecting some contemporary Swedish dance magic. We hear from accomplished producer Peer Astrom who recalls her soaring vocals as they reinvented the track that went onto become a huge international hit. Relive the incredible moments and these three unbelievable songs that saw Dion become one of the world’s biggest and most beloved divas. Celine Dion: Story of Her Songs is produced by ViacomCBS International Studios UK.
Madonna: Story of Her Songs premieres Sunday, February 28th at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. Madonna’s relentless ambition took her from a struggling club land hopeful to the pinnacle of global stardom. The stories behind three of her pivotal hits reveal how she took the world by storm. She arrived in New York City as a dance school dropout with a few dollars in her pocket but her insatiable drive to breakthrough brought dance chart success with her 1983 hit “Holiday.” Songwriter and guitarist Curtis Hudson shares his story of creating “Holiday” and his experience working closely with Madonna on the upbeat and irresistible song. “Holiday” hit the top of the Billboard Club Play chart and launched her rise to become a formidable pop act. Madonna would shock the world with her next single “Like a Virgin” with its catchy hook and provocative lyrics together with a sexually charged music video helped her change the face of pop forever. Just one year later Madonna would channel Marilyn Monroe in an unforgettable video for her hit “Material Girl.” Renowned back-up singer Frank Simms shares his story of bringing the playful and electronic track to life and his experience guiding the young and unpolished Madonna through her vocals. “Material Girl” came to define the excess of the ‘80s and cemented Madonna as a global star. Madonna: Story of Her Songs is produced by ViacomCBS International Studios UK.
Rod Stewart: Story of His Songs premieres Sunday, February 28th at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT. Celebrate the three tracks that cemented singer and songwriter Rod Stewart as a music icon. Starting with the epic anthem “Sailing” that marked the beginning of Stewart’s golden era which told of his move from the UK to America discover how he took this Sutherland Brothers track and reinterpreted it with the renowned Muscle Shoals musicians to make it an international hit. Years of critical and commercial success would follow but in 1978 Stewart would shock his fans and the critics with his cheeky disco floor filler hit “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” and his former bandmates discuss how Stewart took the saucy phrase and used it to shape his playful disco hit that went to number one in seven countries. For his next career defining track Stewart would adopt the popular synth pop sound to create “Young Turks” which would tell the story of a young couple who wanted to marry against the wishes of their family. Reliving the creation of these three seminal tracks we will reveal the showman that is Stewart and how his remarkable vocal talents and songwriting prowess ensured he was the working class boy who made good. Rod Stewart: Story of His Songs is produced by ViacomCBS International Studios UK.