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Saturday
Mar302013

Justin Timberlake's Hidden Albums Treasure Hunt Sparks Fan Frenzy

Jason Kempin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With five tweets, singer Justin Timberlake made several lucky fans’ dreams come true.

Fans didn’t walk –  they ran when the Grammy-winning superstar tweeted on Friday that he was hiding signed copies of his new album The 20-20 Experience in various places around the U.S.

“It’s friday and I ain’t got $h*t to do! Sooo I placed 5 signed vinyls around the country! #staytuned #finderskeepers,” Timberlake tweeted.

The clues came in the form of Instagram photos with the first taken in New York City’s Central Park.

Skyler Green wasted no time.

“I ran from my house a few blocks away…saw the album…(I’m) very excited,” Green said.

To prevent people from just snatching the albums, Timberlake’s record label representatives were nearby.

Whoever picked up the album had to confirm the hashtags Timberlake gave in the twitter clue.

Other albums were hidden in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Memphis near Timberlake’s hometown.

Abby Rutgens found one on a park bench in Chicago.

“It’s more special because you know that it came from him,” Rutgens said.

There’s no doubt the 32-year-old is a music marketing megastar as well.

“Timberlake is no fool.  He grew up in this business,” said Joe Levy, editor of Billboard magazine.

Leading up to his album’s release, he performed at the Grammys, Saturday Night Live and even appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon for a whole week.

The strategy is now stirring-up sales through social media.

“When people are talking about your music and how much they love it and how they want to find copies of it, then other people are going to see that and they might go, well…buy a copy, ” Levy said.

On Friday, Timberlake congratulated the fans who found the signed albums.

“Congrats to my 5 winners! Maybe we’ll do something like this again soon… #youneverknow #staytuned #bestfansever,” he tweeted.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov192012

Alicia Keys on Having More Kids, New Album "Girl On Fire"

ABC/Jeff Neira(NEW YORK) -- Alicia Keys, who is gearing up for the release of her brand-new album Girl On Fire, said she "definitely" wants to have more children, just not right now.

"I would love to have some more, definitely one more for sure," she told Nightline anchor Cynthia McFadden. "At least one more, but I have to finish this album, I have to finish this tour, I have to finish this stuff first because -- the juggle, is something."

These days, Keys, 31, and her husband, 34-year-old Kaseem Dean, otherwise known as hip-hop producer Swiss Beatz, have their hands full. In October 2010, they welcomed a baby boy named Egypt Daoud Dean. Now 2 years old, Egypt can be heard on his mother's new album, crooning on the track, "When It's All Over."

"Which is so beautiful, because the chorus goes 'When they lay me down and put my soul to rest, when they ask me how I spent my life, at least I got to love you.' And that I feel about my husband, that I feel about son," she said.

When talking about her son, Keys can't stop herself from smiling, "What happens is you just kind of turn into a syrup."

She readily admits he's a handful.

"I think that he is a really independent, strong-minded, really vivacious, incredible personality, and that's just kind of his character," Keys said.

Keys said she and Dean, who has children from previous relationships, love their blended family and she enjoys being a part of all of the kids' lives.

"There are oftentimes children from past relationships and you are able to, I think, become stronger for it, you're able to become more loving for it," she said. "So three brothers and a sister and the way that they love each other it's crazy, it's really special."

These days, the award-winning singer-songwriter is a living model of her new album's hit title track, "Girl On Fire."

"The song, you know, it came from a feeling," the singer said. "This feeling of, kind of finding my own space and my own place to be myself, my own full self. Love it or hate it, whatever the case, here I am and here's me."

Keys said she has come into her own with this recent studio album, her fifth.

"I'm more excited about this album than I've ever been for any record ever," she said.

And that's saying something. Keys' first single, "Fallin," debuted at number one in 2002. The New York native recorded that song in her tiny, six-floor walk-up apartment in Harlem when she was just 17.

Nightline's Cynthia McFadden first spoke with the singer in 2003, when her talent and drive was already very clear. Looking back, Keys said, even then, it was "all about the work."

"I grew up with my mother, who was my everything, and a single parent, and she had to work her behind off, you know, to survive in a city," Keys said. "And that's what I've seen my entire life, is a specific work ethic that has been, you know, necessary. And so she also instilled that in me as well because being a young girl and growing up in the city you have to be busy, you know, or you're going to get lost."

Growing up in Hell's Kitchen, which back in the 1980s was a rough neighborhood, Keys graduated as valedictorian of her class at age 16 from New York's prestigious School of Performing Arts and was accepted to Columbia University. But then Columbia Records called. After a month at college, Keys quit.

"I had to focus on the music if I was going to make it work," she said. "And alternatively, I was going to have to focus on school if I was going to make it work. I had to focus on something, but I couldn't juggle two."

So she moved to Harlem and started recording -- and it paid off. Her debut album, Songs in A Mirror, earned her five Grammys, including one for Best New Artist. Her follow-up album, Diary of Alicia Keys, which included the single, "If I Ain't Got You," won her four more.

"I think a lot of my life I did live ahead of myself," Keys said. "That's not a bad thing, you know, to have visions and dreams for yourself…that was all I had, was the chance to show and prove that I was good at it. I was going to do that to every degree possible."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct122012

Drew Lachey Confirms 98 Degrees Reunion Is Going Forward with New Album, Tour

ABC/CRAIG SJODIN(NEW YORK) -- Drew Lachey of 98 Degrees, who won season two of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, returned to the show this season for its All-Stars edition, but was voted out this past Tuesday night. But that’s OK -- it means he can now turn his attention to the 98 Degrees reunion.

Over the summer, 98 Degrees, including Drew, brother Nick Lachey, Jeff Timmons and Justin Jeffre, got together for the first time in years for two performances: one on NBC’s Today show, and one at the Mixtape Festival in Hershey, Pa. They stopped short of announcing any additional plans, but now Drew confirms to ABC News Radio that a full-fledged reunion is on tap.

“We’re gonna start heading back into the studio here in the next month or so making new music,” Drew tells ABC News Radio. “And then, hopefully, in 2013, we are gonna be back out on tour. So … we got some great stuff coming up and I’m looking forward to getting back with those guys and making some new music.”

98 Degrees never actually broke up; they just went on hiatus. Their last album, Revelation, came out in 2000, so fans were psyched to see the foursome at those shows this past August.

“That was fantastic,” says Drew. “It was 11 years since we had performed together last, and to get back together and take that step out there, to say, ‘Alright, we’re doing this. Let’s go for it,’ and to have the fans embrace us like that, was magical.” In fact, the response encouraged them to continue with the reunion plans, as Drew explains.

“When we did that, that was like, ‘Alright, we gotta keep doing this. We can’t let it be another 10 years before we do this again,’” he says.

Now that boy bands are back in fashion thanks to One Direction, it seems like a good time for 98 Degrees to return, but what will the 2013 version of the group sound like? “Well, it’s still gonna be based on the harmony and vocals. I mean, that’s our signature sound. That’s not gonna change,” explains Drew. “The production, obviously, will. You know, pop music is a lot different now than it was then, different sounds, different kind of musical influences.”

But as Drew points out, “When it all is said and done, a great song is a great song whether it was made in the ’50s or whether it’s made 30 years from now. Music is music and it can transcend time.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug232012

Pink's First Movie Will Debut at Toronto Film Festival

VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Pink's new album The Truth About Love will hit stores Sept. 18, but some fans will get to see her very first movie 10 days before that.  The movie, Thanks for Sharing, will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 8.

The movie, in which Pink is billed under her birth name, Alecia Moore, is described as a "comedy drama" about a group of people who join a support group for sex addicts.  Pink plays Dede, one of those sex addicts, who starts a relationship with Neil, another member of the group, played by Josh Gad.  The movie also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Ruffalo and Tim Robbins.  The festival's programmer describes Pink's performance as "charming."

Earlier this year, Pink told Cosmopolitan magazine that while making the movie, she was intimidated by Gwyneth Paltrow on set, but was able to get through her big movie debut because she totally understood her character.  "It's not like I was playing the girl next door; she's a sex addict," Pink says of Dede.  "I was on lots of drugs as a teenager and had friends die of overdoses, so addiction isn't a foreign concept.  I get that."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug132012

ABC Exclusive: Taylor Swift Reveals New Album, "Red," and Drops New Single

Kevin Mazur/WireImage via ABC(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Taylor Swift has written the next chapter of her “Love Story,” and she means business.

The six-time Grammy winner debuted the name and cover of her brand-new album, Red, which will be out on Oct. 22, and premiered the album’s first single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” during a live Webcast Monday in Nashville, taking fan questions in real time afterwards. Aug. 13 was an apt choice for the announcement date because 13 is the Swift’s lucky number and over 72,500 viewers tuned in.

Swift said she decided to use the title Red because “it was really simple” and epitomized the different emotions she experienced in the crazy, “semi-toxic” relationships she’s had in the past two years, and “there’s nothing beige about that.” The singer also revealed that she wrote “30 to 35″ songs for the album, but whittled it down to 16 tracks, which include a duet with recording artist Ed Sheeran.

“I am so excited for you to hear the new direction of things,” Swift said, adding that “really dysfunctional” and “not good” relationships can provide “a lot of inspiration.”

Her new song, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” which is about ending a bad relationship, is out Monday on iTunes and GooglePlay. While at a shoot for Glamour magazine, the 22-year-old singer told Nightline anchor Cynthia McFadden exclusively that the song was about something that actually happened to her.

“Writing ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ was one of the most hilarious experiences I have ever had in the studio because it just happened so naturally,” Swift told McFadden.

Swift said the song was born while she was in the studio with songwriters Max Martin and Johan Shellback and a friend of her ex’s -- she declined to name names -- walked in.

“He starts talking about how he’s heard we were getting back together and that was not the case,” Swift said. "When he leaves, Max and Johan are like, ‘so what’s the story behind that?’ And so I start telling them the story of break up, get back together, break up, get back together, just, ugh, the worst.”

“Max says, ‘this is what we’re writing. We’re writing this song,’ and I picked up the guitar and just started singing, ‘we are never-- ’” she continued. “It just happened so fast. It was so much fun.”

Swift, who is one of the most successful country-pop crossover artists ever and has over 17 million Twitter followers, has made a career out of turning feelings of heartache and longing into smash hit singles, including "Love Story,” "Sparks Fly” and "You Belong With Me.”

Red will be the singer’s fourth studio album. Swift’s previous 2010 album, Speak Now, won her two Grammys and sold over one million copies in its first week.

The rest of McFadden’s interview with Taylor Swift will come later this fall in a Glamour profile as well as on Good Morning America and Nightline. Tune into Nightline TONIGHT at 11:35 p.m. ET to get an exclusive sneak peek.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan092012

Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi Diagnosed with Lymphoma

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Following November's announcement that Black Sabbath would be reuniting with Ozzy Osbourne for a new album and tour, there's now some bad news from the band's camp:  Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, and the band is asking fans to send "positive vibes" the guitarist's way.

According to a statement from the band's representatives, Iommi, 63, is, "currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan," and is, "determined to make a full and successful recovery."

The news apparently isn't putting a damper on the reunion plans. The current members of Black Sabbath, which include Ozzy, Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward, are still writing and recording their first album together in 33 years, and a fall release date is still the target.  However, the band will move the sessions to the U.K. so they can continue to work with Iommi as he receives treatment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan062012

Van Halen Announces Official Album and Tour Details

Steve Granitz/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Van Halen has confirmed details about their hotly anticipated new studio effort and plans for a major North American tour to support the recording. The album will be titled A Different Kind of Truth and, as expected, will hit stores on February 7. The first single will be called "Tattoo" and will be released on Tuesday, the same day a video for the tune will premiere.

The tour will kick off February 18 in Louisville, Kentucky, and is scheduled to wind its way around the U.S. and Canada through a June 26 show in New Orleans. So far, 46 dates have been confirmed.  In a bit of a curveball, funk veterans Kool & the Gang will serve as the opening act on select stops on the tour. Tickets for the trek will go on sale starting January 14.

Van Halen celebrated their new album and tour with an intimate show at New York City's Café Wha? on Thursday night.  In front of an estimated 250 people, mostly member of the media, the quartet -- David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and Wolfgang Van Halen -- delivered a blistering 11-song set made up almost entirely of the rock legends' classic early material. They only performed one new song, titled "She's the Woman."  Upon hitting the stage Roth -- clad in brown overalls and a flat cap -- quipped, "Welcome to Occupy Van Halen, ladies and gentlemen."

Roth interrupted the show throughout to offer up witticisms and reminiscences, at one point remarking, "The last time I stood on a stage this low, I had to have the car back by midnight."  The entire band seemed to be having a great time, especially the frontman, who commented more than once that he thought the concert was one of his best ever.  Roth also took time to introduce his 92-year-old uncle, Manny Roth, who used to own the venue during the 1960s.

The singer recalled carving his name in the basement club's banister when he was seven years old.  "This is a temple, he said. "This is a very special place."

Here's the set list from Van Halen's Café Wha? show:

"You Really Got Me"
"Runnin' with the Devil"
"Somebody Get Me a Doctor"
"Everybody Wants Some"
"She's the Woman"
"Dance the Night Away"
"Panama"
"Hot for Teacher"
"Ice Cream Man"
"Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love"
"Jump"

Here are all of Van Halen's confirmed North American tour dates:

2/18 -- Louisville, KY, KFC Yum! Center
2/20 -- Auburn Hills, MI, The Palace of Auburn Hills
2/22 -- Indianapolis, IN, Bankers Life Fieldhouse
2/24 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
2/28 -- New York, NY,Madison Square Garden
3/1 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
3/3 -- Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
3/5 -- Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
3/9 -- Buffalo, NY, First Niagara Center
3/11 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
3/15 -- Montreal, QC, Bell Centre
3/17 -- Toronto, ON, Air Canada Centre
3/21 -- Ottawa, ON, Scotiabank Place
3/24 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Boardwalk Hall
3/28 -- Washington, DC, Verizon Center
3/30 -- Pittsburgh, PA, Consol Energy Center
4/1 -- Rosemont, IL, Allstate Arena
4/10 -- Fort Lauderdale, FL, BankAtlantic Center
4/12 -- Tampa, FL, St. Pete Times Forum
4/14 -- Orlando, FL, Amway Arena
4/16 -- Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Arena
4/19 -- Atlanta, GA, Philips Arena
4/21 -- Greensboro, NC, Greensboro Coliseum
4/25 -- Charlotte, NC, Time Warner Cable Arena
4/27 -- Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
5/1 --  Tulsa, OK, BOK Center
5/5 -- Tacoma, WA, Tacoma Dome
5/7 -- Vancouver, BC, Rogers Arena
5/9 -- Calgary, AB, Scotiabank Saddledome
5/11 -- Edmonton, AB, Rexall Place
5/17 -- Winnipeg, MB, MTS Centre
5/19 -- St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center
5/22 -- Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
5/24 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
5/27 -- Las Vegas, NV,MGM Grand Garden Arena
6/1 -- Los Angeles, CA, STAPLES Center
6/3 -- Oakland, CA, Oracle Arena
6/5 -- San Jose, CA, HP Pavilion
6/12 -- Anaheim, CA, Honda Center
6/14 -- San Diego, CA, Viejas Arena
6/16 -- Phoenix, AZ, US Airways Center
6/20 -- Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center
6/22 -- San Antonio, TX, AT&T Center
6/24 -- Houston, TX, Toyota Center
6/26 -- New Orleans, LA, New Orleans Arena

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep212011

'Twilight' Star Robert Pattinson Not Recording an Album

ABC/KAREN NEAL(LOS ANGELES) -- Robert Pattinson isn't about to become the next actor to dabble in music.

Us Weekly claims that Pattinson wants to record an album before he has to promote the next Twilight film, which is due out in November.

One of the magazine's sources says, "The album Rob will make will be guitar-based and drums, very organic-sounding, nothing pop."

But it seems Pattinson isn't making any kind of album at the moment.

His rep tells MTV News, "The report is untrue.  He is not working on an album right now."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr162011

Rebecca Black Prepping Full Album?

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Thirteen-year-old YouTube sensation Rebecca Black is back in the studio. Gossip website TMZ reports that Black has started working on a few new tracks with producer Charlton Pettus, but there’s no word yet on when the EP will be released… or if it’ll drop on a Friday.

Black gained notoriety with her 2011 debut single, “Friday,” produced by the small Los Angeles-based record label ARK Music Factory. The music video was uploaded to YouTube on Feb. 10, and received approximately 1,000 views in its first month. The video went viral on March 11, and simultaneously became the most talked about topic on Twitter. Still, as of April 12, the video had received more than 1.9 million “dislikes” compared to its nearly 250,000 “likes” on YouTube. Critics have called the song “the worst ever.”

It appears Black’s 15 minutes of fame won’t soon run out. She even has her own billboard. On Friday, a giant advertisement was unveiled in Los Angeles to commemorate Black’s single, which surpassed 100 million views on YouTube and beat out not only Justin Bieber's "Pray," but also Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." FOX’s hit show, Glee, will reportedly cover “Friday,” in an upcoming show.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Pia Toscano: Why Losing 'American Idol' Might Be Best

Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Winning isn't everything, and losing American Idol could turn out to be the best thing for Pia Toscano. Her surprising elimination Thursday has already resulted in tons of exposure and a platform for selling millions of records when she inks a deal.

"I was completely blown away," Toscano told ABC News Radio when asked about America's reaction. "I was kind of like in an American Idol bubble. When I was on stage and got eliminated I was thinking, 'It's over, I'm going and it's so soon.'"

"I did not expect to have the support that I have now. I'm just so blown away, thankful, and I hope to do my music and make everybody proud."

Contrary to reports that Toscano has already secured a record deal with Interscope, which is run by American Idol season 10 mentor Jimmy Iovine, the 22-year-old singer said nothing has been signed.

"There's been so many great opportunities. But I'm focusing right now on the tour. Possibly you'll hear something after the tour."

Toscano, who auditioned for Idol five times and only made it as far as the Hollywood round previously, said she's looking forward to performing on the tour without the pressures of being judged and being on live television, which she called "nerve wracking."

Her album will have to wait until the Idol winner releases his or her coronation single. But Toscano is already thinking she'd like to include a mix of "big ballads, because that's where my heart is" and "fun up-tempo" numbers."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐







ABC News Radio