Entries in Music (6)


Olympian Shaun White's Band Begins Tour

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Twenty-six-year-old Shaun White is world famous for his snowboarding and skateboarding feats — winning two Olympic gold medals and more X-Games medals than anybody else. But did you know that he also has a band? The modern-day Renaissance man plays lead guitar for the rock band Bad Things. And he’s pretty good at it.

Bad Things musicians are Davis LeDuke (singer), Jared Palomar (bass), Anthony Sanudo (guitar), Lena Zawaideh (drums) and Shaun White (guitar).  The group landed a record deal with Warner Brothers and expect to release their debut album later this year. Rob Schnapf, known for working with Beck, Elliot Smith and The Vines, will produce the album.

The band is currently touring and drumming up hype for the album release.  Bad Things played their first New York City show on July 11, 2013, at Santo’s Party House, sharing the bill with X Ambassadors and We Are Scientists.

Though known for his animated personality, Shaun White blends in with the band members on stage. Sporting his shorter haircut, White was positioned at the side of the stage with his guitar, belting out back-up vocals here and there. Frontman Davis LeDuke was the one commanding the audience’s attention, dancing emphatically around the stage, banging on a lone drum to emphasise the beat and jumping into the crowd during a self-proclaimed “dance song.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Fourth of July Music on TV: Mariah Carey and Much More

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you're planning to avoid sunburn and mosquito bites and spend your Fourth of July inside this year, TV will provide you with a great soundtrack to your celebrations. Here's a rundown of who will be performing on what channel this Independence Day:

Mariah Carey, Selena Gomez, Pitbull, Taylor Swift and ageless icon Cher will all perform on the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, airing on NBC from 8 to 10 p.m. ET, with an encore one-hour fireworks special airing at 10 p.m. Usher is curating the overall design of the show, whose theme is "It Begins with a Spark." It's not clear if he'll be performing as well.

John Mayer and Demi Lovato will be performing on the third annual Philly 4th of July Jam, which airs on VH1 and Palladia on Thursday from 8 to 11 p.m. ET. It's the perfect place for Demi to bust out her new single, "Made in the U.S.A.," and for John to give fans a preview of his summer tour, which kicks off a few days later. Kevin Hart hosts the event, The Roots will be the musical curators, and other performers include Grace Potter, Jill Scott and J. Cole. Viewers will also see a fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Over on PBS, the annual special A Capitol Fourth will feature American Idol season 12 winner Candice Glover, ex-Idol champ Scotty McCreery, Glee star Darren Criss, young classical singer Jackie Evancho, Smash star Megan Hilty, the cast of Motown: The Musical, and legendary crooners Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond. Tom Bergeron hosts the festivities, which air live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. at 8 p.m. ET. Fireworks are included, and so is live cannon fire, provided by the U.S. Army Presidential Salute Battery.

Bergeron says the show is a sight to behold in person: "It's louder. Much louder. But it's amazing. It really is. It's a big finish to a big party."

Most unusually, MTV and VH1 have announced that on the Fourth of July, they plan to "let music ring" by -- gasp -- bringing back music videos.  From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET/PT, both networks, as well as CMT, will provide "the ultimate party playlist" by spinning music videos in a variety of musical genres.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Paisley, LL Cool J Stand by ‘Accidental Racist’

Jerod Harris/ACMA2013/Getty Images for ACM(NEW YORK) -- It only took a few hours for a six-minute song about race to spark a backlash after its release Monday.

The song, recorded by the unlikely duo of Brad Paisley and LL Cool J and titled “Accidental Racist,” was slammed by music critics and fans alike for its attempt at a dialogue on race between two men from starkly different backgrounds. The song features lyrics including “If you don’t judge my do-rag … I won’t judge your red flag” and “If you don’t judge my gold chains … I’ll forget the iron chains.”

The country singer, 40, and his rapper counterpart, 45, say the national debate sparked by their song, released on Paisley’s new album, Wheelhouse, is exactly what they wanted to happen.

“I’m not really sure we’re going to find any answers but it was the idea that we were asking the question,” Paisley said in an exclusive interview with his duet partner that aired Wednesday on ABC's Good Morning America.

“Martin Luther King says that darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can,” LL Cool J said. “Hate can’t drive out hate, only love can. So what we’re talking about is compassion.”

“Accidental Racist” focuses specifically on how northerners like LL Cool J, who grew up in New York City, view southerners, like Paisley, a native of West Virginia, and vice versa.

“I’m not advising anyone to truly forget slavery, but what I’m saying is forget the slavery mentality,” LL Cool J said. “Forget the bitterness. Don’t get bitter, get better.”

Critics have been especially harsh on specific lines in the song, like LL Cool J singing “let bygones be bygones,” and Paisley singing that white Americans are “still paying for mistakes that a bunch of folks made before we came.”

“Some people take exception to some of the lyrics [and] I respect that,” LL Cool J said. “I’m sensitive to that.”

Paisley, for one, found out about the controversy from LL Cool J, who alerted him to the backlash after the video, in which LL Cool J plays a barista, was released on YouTube Monday.

“I got a call from this guy saying, ‘Have you seen anything?’” Paisley said, adding that LL Cool J went on to tell him to look at Twitter.  “I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to look at it.’”

Despite the backlash, the two stars, who will sing together again on LL Cool J’s next album, to be released later this month, say they are proud of the song and the discussion it is creating.

“Let’s not be victims of things that happened so long ago,” Paisley said.  “In the end, I felt like what we had on tape was something that people needed to hear.”

LL Cool J said, “At the same time, let’s respect it. But then after we respect it, let’s also open our hearts up so we can move forward.”


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Legendary Music Producer Phil Ramone Dead at 79 YORK) -- Acclaimed music producer Phil Ramone has died, about a month after being hospitalized with an aortic aneurysm.  

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ramone died Saturday morning at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He was 79-years-old.

Over his long and successful career, Ramone received a total of 33 Grammy nominations and won 14 awards, including a trophy for Producer of the Year in 1981. Among the many well-known albums he's produced are Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years; Billy Joel's The Stranger, 52nd Street and Glass Houses; Frank Sinatra's Duets; Paul & Linda McCartney's Ram; Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks and Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company.

Ramone also recorded Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of "Happy Birthday" that she sang to President John F. Kennedy in 1962.  In 1973, he won an Emmy Award for producing Liza Minnelli's Liza with a Z special.

In the last few years, Phil had worked on such recordings as Simon's So Beautiful or So What, Tony Bennett's Duets albums and Dionne Warwick's Now.

In 2010, Ramone was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. At the event, Billy Joel talked about what made Ramone such a great producer. "He knows his stuff. He knows music. He's worked in so many genres," explained Joel. "He loves music himself. He's a fan of music. He's just a good human being and he keeps you interested. He keeps you in the studio when sometimes you're ready to give up."

In an interview with Music Radar in November, Ramone explained his approach to producing, saying, "You have to be able to run as fast as the artist, capture the magic early on. After a few takes, people start intellectualizing what they’re doing, and it loses something. What’s special happens right away -- so you have to be ready for it.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


America’s Olympic Athletes Rock to Pop, Hip-Hop to Prep for Games

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Olympic athletes must be focused and determined at all times as they perform under the intense pressure of the world’s eyes. So what kind of music helps motivate them?

From R&B and rap, to rock and pop, it’s different strokes for different folks. Rapper Jay-Z is the choice for basketball players, while runners seem to like Beyonce.

Gymnast Danell Layva has Drake and Lil Wayne, both rappers, on his playlist.  He told ABC News that the music helps calm him.

For many Olympians, blasting their favorite tunes is as much a part of the pre-game ritual as is slipping on their uniforms. Silver medalist diver Abby Johnson listens to Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville,” while shooter Amanda Furrer likes Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” Track champion Lolo Jones likes headbanger rock.

For one member of the U.S. rowing team, something a little different is in order. “It’s the Olympics. My playlist was leaning a little bit toward the USA,” said coxswain Zach Vlahos. His choice? Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gavin DeGraw Hospitalized Following Attack in NYC 

RCA Music Group(NEW YORK) -- Singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw was attacked in New York City over the weekend, and was hospitalized with injuries. 

The singer's rep confirmed the report to ABC News Radio, saying "Gavin DeGraw was assaulted late Sunday night and was taken to the emergency room at Bellevue Hospital by ambulance.  He is currently under observation.  We have no additional information at this time."

The New York Post quotes police sources as saying the 34-year-old singer had been drinking and had just left a group of friends when he was attacked by a number of people sometime between 3:50 a.m. and 4:20 a.m., suffering a broken nose and cuts to his face.

The sources tell the newspaper the dazed singer kept walking after the attack and wound up being hit by a taxi, although he wasn't seriously injured in the collision.  The sources also tell the Post the initial attack did not appear to be a robbery.

DeGraw is currently touring with Maroon 5 and Train. Their next concert is scheduled for Tuesday in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio