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Wednesday
Dec082010

'Rolling Stone' Releasing Lennon’s Last Interview in Entirety for First Time

Photo Courtesy - Rolling Stone/Annie Leibovitz(NEW YORK) -- Three days before he was murdered, John Lennon sat down with Rolling Stone magazine for what turned out to be his final interview, and spoke about having “plenty of time” to explore some of his life’s goals.

Now, Rolling Stone has released the entire interview, titled "John Lennon's Last Days," for the first time to mark the 30th anniversary of Lennon’s death.  It will be on magazine stands Friday.

The Dec. 5, 1980 interview by Jonathan Cott was originally planned for a cover story of Lennon’s upcoming Double Fantasy album.  Portions of the interview were rushed into print by Rolling Stone after Lennon was killed.

In the interview, which Rolling Stone is also releasing in audio form on its website, Lennon blasts critics who expressed disappointment with his choices in music and life after The Beatles.  Lennon says, “These critics with the illusions they’ve created about artists -- it’s like idol worship.  They only like people when they’re on their way up...I cannot be on the way up again.  What they want is dead heroes, like Sid Vicious and James Dean.  I’m not interested in being a dead [expletive] hero.”

Lennon predicted that Bruce Springsteen, who at the time was being hailed as the future of rock ‘n’ roll, would one day endure the same jabs from critics.  Lennon told Cott, “And God help Bruce Springsteen when they decide he’s no longer God...They’ll turn on him, and I hope he survives it.”

Lennon also spoke in the interview about two strong connections he’s made in life, saying, “I’ve selected to work with...only two people: Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono...That ain’t bad picking.”

The former Beatle was also reflective about his fame and the status he’s achieved, saying, “I’m not claiming divinity...I’ve never claimed to have the answers to life.  I only put out songs and answer questions as honesty as I can...But I still believe in peace, love and understanding.”

In addition to the complete interview, Rolling Stone will also publish an essay by Yoko Ono, recalling her final days with her husband.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec082010

'Rolling Stone' Picks Top Albums, Singles of 2010

Photo Courtesy - Def Jam Records(NEW YORK) -- Rolling Stone magazine has released their list of picks for the top 30 albums and top 50 singles of 2010.

Leading the top 30 albums is Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.  The Black Keys' Brothers comes in second, followed by Elton John and Leon Russell's joint album The Union in third.  Rounding up the top five, in order, are Arcade Fire's The Suburbs and Jamey Johnson's The Guitar Song.

Kanye West also leads the pack in the magazine's list of the top 50 singles with his Pusha T collaboration "Runaway."  West gets another mention in the top 10 with his single "Monster," which features Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver.  Cee-Lo Green's "F**k You" takes second place, with Sade's "Soldier of Love," Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream," and Arcade Fire's "We Used to Wait" wrapping up the top five, respectively.

Both lists can be seen in their entirety at the magazine's website. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec082010

Paul McCartney to Play Christmas Homecoming Shows

Photo Courtesy - Dave Hogan/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Paul McCartney has spent the past year touring the world's stadiums on his Up and Coming tour, but he's bringing it all back home this month.  The former Beatle has announced two special "homecoming concerts" which will take place Dec. 18 and 20 in London and Liverpool, respectively.

On the 18th, McCartney will take the stage at London's Hammersmith Apollo for his first full solo show there in 35 years.  The last time he performed at the venue was back in 1975 with Wings, though he also played there in 1964 with the The Beatles.  On Dec. 20, McCartney will perform at Liverpool's O2 Academy for the first time.  The last time he played in his hometown was in 2008.

In a statement, McCartney said, "I always love playing to a home audience and for me it’s the perfect way to end the year...Christmas is the perfect excuse for everyone to let their hair down and rock out. We are looking forward to celebrating with the good people of London and Liverpool."  He noted that after a year of playing stadiums, he's excited about the "more intimate vibe" of these two shows.

As with all his shows this past year, the special homecoming concerts will feature a set list that runs nearly three hours, drawing on songs from every era of his career.  Tickets go on sale Wednesday and are limited to four per person.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec082010

'American Idol' Contestants to Live Together, Work with Cirque du Soleil

Photo Courtesy - 20th Century Fox/19 TV Ltd/FreemantleMedia North America, Inc.(LOS ANGELES) -- The new season of American Idol could be the most interactive one yet.  The Hollywood Reporter says Idol producers could have the top 12 contestants live together in a Hollywood Hills home, where they will be able to reach out to fans via Twitter.

Last season, contestants briefly had their own personal social media accounts, but they later used a single joint account.  Footage of the American Idol top 12 at home may be incorporated into the show, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, nothing is set in stone yet.

In another twist on previous seasons, American Idol contestants may briefly travel to Las Vegas for what The Hollywood Reporter calls "an integration" with Cirque du Soleil's Beatles-themed show The Beatles Love.

The new season of American Idol begins Jan. 19.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec072010

Kelsey Grammer Engaged

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Calling Dr. Frasier Crane. Actor Kelsey Grammer is tying the knot for the fourth time.

Grammer, 55, proposed to Kayte Walsh, a former flight attendant, according to People Magazine.

Walsh, 29, reportedly suffered a miscarriage this past fall.

The former Frasier star is still working through his divorce from his ex-wife, Camile Grammer, 41, who appears on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec072010

Judas Priest Announce Farewell Tour

Photo Courtesy - Sony Records(LONDON) -- After celebrating the 30th anniversary of their landmark release British Steel and winning their first Grammy Award, Judas Priest has decided to retire from the road.

The pioneering metal band has announced their final world tour will start in 2011. The Epitaph tour will kick off in Europe with a series of festivals, beginning June at the Sweden Rock Festival and continuing through Finland, Denmark, France, Italy, Belgium, the U.K. and Germany.  Additional dates are forthcoming.

A rep for the band tells ABC News that Judas Priest is not breaking up, simply ending its touring career.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec072010

Carrie Underwood Wins Big at First-Ever American Country Awards

Photo Courtesy - Arista Nashville(LAS VEGAS) -- Carrie Underwood was the big winner at the first-ever, fan-voted American Country Awards Monday night, taking all six categories in which she was nominated, including Artist of the Year.  She was also honored with Album of the Year for Play On and Touring Artist of the Year for her Play On tour.

While making her speech at the end of the night, Underwood said, "I would first off like to thank God for giving all the artists, all the people in this room, and all the fans watching back home, and myself the biggest love for the best music in the world -- country music."

Lady Antebellum was also a big winner, with their tune "Need You Now" named Single of the Year, Single of the Year by a Duo/Group and Music Video of the Year by a Duo/Group.  The band was also named the ACA Group of the Year, for a total of four American Country Awards.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec072010

Host, Performers Announced for 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve'

Photo Courtesy - Disney/ABC Television Group/Dick Clark [dot] com(NEW YORK) -- ABC's annual special Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest will be quite the star-studded affair this year.

Not only is Fergie returning for a fifth year to host the Los Angeles party segments of the show, but viewers will see performances during those segments from the likes of Natasha Bedingfield, Train, Jennifer Hudson and Avril Lavigne, as well as Will Smith's 9-year-old daughter Willow, whose song "Whip My Hair" has become an online sensation.

The event kicks off 10 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 31 and will run for three-and-a-half hours, cutting back and forth between Ryan Seacrest, Dick Clark and Jenny McCarthy in New York City's Times Square, and Fergie and the L.A. party segments.  There will also be a look at New Year's celebrations from around the globe, and the traditional countdown to midnight from Times Square.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec072010

Mariah Carey's 'Oh Santa!' Powers to Number One

Photo Courtesy - Island/Def Jam Records(NEW YORK) -- Mariah Carey just got an early Christmas present -- her new holiday single "Oh Santa!" has just jumped to number one on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart after just two weeks.

According to Billboard, the single's journey to number one on that chart is the fastest since they started tracking things electronically back in 1993.  Even Carey's classic "All I Want for Christmas Is You" never hit number one on that chart -- the highest it ever got was number six.

"Oh Santa!" is now Carey's first number one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in 14 years.  The last time she was at the top was back in 1996 with "One Sweet Day."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec072010

Alicia Keys, Friends Digitally Resurrected Thanks to Donations

Photo Courtesy - Keep A Child Alive [dot] org(NEW YORK) -- Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Ryan Seacrest and dozens of other stars have now returned to the digital world of Facebook and Twitter, thanks to $1 million worth of charitable donations.

Keys and her friends all "died" online last week in an attempt to encourage people to donate to Buy Life, her initiative to raise funds for her charity Keep a Child Alive.  Fans were told their favorite stars would return to the digital world when $1 million was raised for the cause.

In less than a week, half a million dollars was raised, but on Monday, billionaire Stewart Rahr kicked in the other half million, allowing the initiative to reach its goal.

Keys said in a statement, “From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of the fans, friends and artists who stood together for this cause and saved real lives."  She added, “I am humbled by the outpour of support from everyone.”

Besides Keys, Gaga and Seacrest, other stars who participated in the event included Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Hudson, Lenny Kravitz, Serena Williams, Elijah Wood, Usher and Keys' husband Swizz Beatz.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio