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Saturday
Apr252015

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong Has Demoed Five New Songs, Says Producer 

Credit: Felisha TolentinoGreen Day made their triumphant return to the stage last week at the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio, and now it looks like a triumphant return to the studio is on the horizon as well. Longtime Green Day producer Rob Cavallo says that frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has written and demoed five new songs.

"Let me tell you, they were just fantastic," Cavallo tells Kerrang! of the new material. "[Armstrong] is absolutely at the top of his game. Fans can be sure that when they do return, the music will be amazing."

Cavallo has been working with Green Day since he produced their 1994 breakthrough album Dookie. Green Day's last release was 2012's ¡Tré!, which was also produced by Cavallo.

Green Day has had an eventful week -- last Saturday, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony, which included performances by Dave Grohl, Beck and Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O, will air on HBO May 30.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Apr252015

Report: Janet Jackson Turns Down Las Vegas Offer 

Image Courtesy Mary Ellen Matthews/UniversalFor many artists, landing a Las Vegas residency is a capper to their legendary careers, and it appeared that Janet Jackson was the next entertainer set to have her name appearing on a Sin City marquee, but a deal to bring the singer to The Strip reportedly has fallen through.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, there were plans for Jackson to announce a run of shows at the Venetian, however the negotiations have broken off, at least for the moment. The paper reports that the singer turned down what was labeled the venue's final financial offer.

Jackson would have joined a growing roster of artists with Vegas residencies, including Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men.

 


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Saturday
Apr252015

“Uptown Funk” Took Mark Ronson from “Cold” to “Too Hot…Hot Damn!” 

Florent Dechard“Uptown Funk” has, in a sense, turned Mark Ronson’s career upside down. It took him from a particularly low point straight to the top of the charts. In an interview with The Jewish Chronicle Online, the powerhouse producer speaks about his struggle to break out of a career slump.

"It was a lull," he says. "I was 'cold', in industry parlance. I could see the other producers getting the calls to work on certain projects, and it was like, 'Oh, OK, that's cool… I had a good run, right?'”

But it was this time of rejection that spurred him to create something great. He ended up making Uptown Special, featuring the smash hit with Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk." “I think when I buckled down to make this record, it wasn't like, 'I'll show them!' but more like a pragmatic feeling of, 'You'd better make the best record you've ever made or no one will give a s**t about you for the rest of your life,'" he says.

People certainly care, now. Earlier this month, “Uptown Funk” became Billboard's longest-running #1 single of the 2010s. While Mark is happy with the success, he’s also content with his behind-the-scenes producer role. "Listen, I'm 39, I'm not a pop star age,” he says. “I can still take the subway in New York and the tube [in London], it's not like a frenzy. I get recognized, but with a kind of nod. It's not like a selfie catastrophe every time I go out. It's cool. It is a bit of a thrill seeing your name on top of the charts as opposed to in parentheses, but those are superficial kicks."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr252015

The Who, Elton John, Chicago & More Featured on AXS Jazzfest TV Coverage

Ross Halfin/Universal Music GroupFans of Elton John and The Who unable to get to New Orleans for the popular New Orleans Heritage and Jazz Festival can get all of the action with AXS TV's live broadcast next weekend.

The network will be airing 21 hours of live and recorded performances from this year's fest, taking place May 1-3.  Besides Elton and The Who, the AXS broadcast also will feature Chicago, Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band, Steve Winwood, Lenny Kravitz, The O'Jays and more.

AXS' coverage begins at 4 p.m. daily during Jazzfst.  Viewers also will be able to access special festival-specific content on an special interactive website at Axs.tv/festival/JazzFest.


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Saturday
Apr252015

Sam Hunt Hoping to Live Some Life Off the Road Before Writing Next Album

Image Courtesy McClister/MCA NashvilleSam Hunt is happy to have a non-stop tour schedule these days, but he admits all that traveling is cutting into his time as a songwriter.

Sam tells Entertainment Tonight, "I have not been writing at all. I just haven't had any time to do that, but I'm excited to get back in the studio."

While he hopes to start writing new songs this fall, Sam knows he needs to get out of the bubble he's been in while living on a tour bus.

"There is a lot of life that I've experienced that will inspire writing," Sam says, "but I think I'm gonna have to find some time to do some living outside of the road to find some new experiences and new inspirations for new songs."

Sam heads out with Lady Antebellum's Wheels Up tour starting Friday, May 1 in Lubbock, Texas.


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Friday
Apr242015

Miguel to Perform at Tobago Jazz Experience

Photo Credit: Timothy Saccenti/RCA RecordsMiguel is one of the performers at this year's Tobago Jazz Experience.  held at various venues across the Caribbean island. The crooner will be joined by Jennifer Hudson tonight, April 24 but he flew down early to take in the scenery, posting a photo of an island sunset to Instagram on Thursday. "...thankful beyond words," Miguel wrote in the caption.

The festival, which began last Saturday, April 18, will include closing performances from Jill Scott and Kool & the Gang on Sunday evening.


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Friday
Apr242015

Britney Spears' "Tom's Diner" Cover Leaks Online

Michelangelo Di Battista/RCA RecordsNow you can hear Britney Spears' cover of Suzanne Vega’s 1987 hit “Tom’s Diner.” The song, which is featured on Italian disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder’s upcoming album, has leaked online.

Instead of going a cappella like the original version, Britney and Giorgio recorded an electronic, futuristic-sounding interpretation of the song. SPIN has the leaked full version.

In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, Giorgio said the “Tom’s Diner” cover was Britney’s idea. "Britney came to my management company with the idea to do a particular song with me, which was interesting because usually it's the other way, with the producer offering a song," the 74-year-old producer said.

Britney’s not the first one to reinterpret the song. Fall Out Boy sampled the tune last year in their single, “Centuries.”

Giorgio’s album, Déjà Vu, is his first solo released in 30 years. It also features Sia and Charli XCX. It’s set for a June 16 release.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr242015

Charli XCX Says She’s “Always a Bit Unhappy”

Kaitlin Christy/Atlantic RecordsIf Taylor Swift is pop music’s eternal optimist, Charli XCX might just be the opposite. In a recent interview with Maxim magazine, Charli admits she’s “not very good at being happy all the time.” In fact, she says most of the time she’s really quite bored.

“I’m not going to lie and say everything’s amazing, because sometimes it’s really f**king tough,” she says. “I’m not good at being a picture-perfect pop star, happy all the time. If I’m having a bad day, I can’t pretend. I’m always a bit unhappy, but that’s just me. I like dwelling in my sadness.”

You’d never know it from her bouncy hits, like “Boom Clap,” and her crazy, colorful wardrobe. “Just because I might be bored doesn’t mean I have to look boring,” she says. “I’d rather look fabulous, like I’m having a great time. There’s nothing that says boss more than a belly chain and snakeskin trousers. My dad always used to encourage me to dress weird.”

And, she says, her parents used to drop her off at all-age raves in London, where she’d perform as a young teen. “I remember one time my mum came to pick me up at, like, 5 a.m., and some guy threw up all over her shoes,” she says. “But I loved it. I was like, ‘Mum, when I grow up I want to live in a warehouse.’”

Now, she lives in the next best thing: a house in the English countryside decked out like “Miami ‘70s porn pad.”

Between the house, her Grammy-nominated hit “Fancy” with Iggy Azalea and a stint opening for Katy Perry this year, Charli's doing pretty well for herself. But she has even bigger plans for the future. “I have a business mind, I have a real drive -- I want to have an empire,” she says. “I want to have more of a legacy, and I think just because I wear what I wear, and am a pop star, doesn’t mean I can’t have that.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr242015

Adam Lambert Will Tour "If People Like" His New Album 

Warner Bros. RecordsWill Adam Lambert be going on tour this year in support of his upcoming album, The Original High? "Yeah, if people like this record!" the singer tells Billboard.

The last time he did a full solo U.S. tour was in 2010 in support of his 2009 debut album, For Your Entertainment. He admits that his last album, 2012’s Trespassing, didn’t quite have the success to warrant a big tour.

"There was a couple of freestanding [American] dates," Lambert says, "but unfortunately… I mean, you know, it's common knowledge Trespassing wasn't quite the commercial success that we all had hoped it would be, which would have supported a tour.”

But, he adds, “I'm really, really thankful that the fans ate it up, and that we debuted at No. 1 on the [Billboard 200] chart. That was lovely. I stand by the album."

While he didn’t tour solo, he did hit the road with rock band Queen. He toured with them in 2014 and just wrapped the European leg of the tour on February 27. Queen’s guitarist, Brian May, is featured on Adam’s new album.

The Original High is due out June 16.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr242015

Def Leppard’s Phil Collen Announces New Project, Delta Deep, with STP’s Robert DeLeo

Image Courtesy Mad Ink PRDef Leppard lead guitarist Phil Collen is exploring his passion for blues in a new project, Delta Deep, whose self-titled debut is scheduled for release in June.

Delta Deep features Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo, with vocals from Debbi Blackwell-Cook and drummer Forrest Robinson. The album is peppered with guest stars galore, including Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliot, Whitesnake's David Coverdale, Sex Pistols/Manraze drummer Paul Cook, and Girl/Manraze bassist Simon Laffy.

The idea for project dates back to 2012, when Collen and Cook -- who's the godmother of Collen's wife, Helen -- got together to sing blues classics in the guitarist's home. Soon after, all three began to write original music, and recorded the tracks in Collen's home studio. Others joined the project in quick succession, and Robinson's suggestion to get DeLeo in the lineup was the fit the group needed.

"We really wanted Robert in this band," Collen says. "He had the added firepower of being the premiere pioneer and most "badass bass player" to come out of the alternative rock explosion."  He adds of Blackwell-Cook, "When I hear Debbi sing, I can hear the pain.  She’s an incredibly beautiful 62-year-old black woman who has been through things and she can sing through her pain. Not everyone can do that and not everyone sounds like Debbi.

Delta Deep will be out June 23.

 
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

The Replacements Are Planning New Music; Box Sets and Documentary to Be Released

Credit: Steven CohenThe Replacements are "back by unpopular demand," and in more ways than one. The band is currently on a North American trek dubbed the Back by Unpopular Demand tour, but they are also working on new music. Two recording sessions have resulted in seven or eight new songs, according to The Replacements' co-manager Darren Hill.

"It just a question of what the band wants to ultimately do with them," Hill tells Billboard.

The Replacements will be on tour through the beginning of June, which has slowed the recording process a bit.

"It's really difficult to shift modes," Hill says. "But the good news is that the band is really gelling, and that's got to translate when they go back in to the studio."

If you can't hardly wait for a new Replacements release, this summer the band will be reissuing their studio albums on vinyl in two box-set collections. There's also a biography on the horizon, entitled Trouble Boys, as well as a potential documentary with "Oscar-winning filmmakers."

The Replacements will be touring North America through May 9 in Philadelphia, followed by a trip to Europe.


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Friday
Apr242015

Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless Score Number Ones on "Billboard's" Rock Charts

Atlantic RecordsHalestorm and The Pretty Reckless are currently ruling the road on their joint tour, and they're ruling Billboard's rock charts, too. Halestrom's latest album, Into the Wild Life, has debuted at number one on Top Rock Albums, while The Pretty Reckless' single, "Follow Me Down," has reached number one at Mainstream Rock Songs.

Into the Wild Life, Halestorm's third album, also debuted at number five on the Billboard 200. The album sold 52,000 copies, more than doubling the 24,000 copies the band's last album, 2012's The Strange Case Of..., sold in its first week. The Strange Case Of... peaked at number seven on Top Rock Albums and 15 on the Billboard 200.

Meanwhile, "Follow Me Down" gives The Pretty Reckless three number-one hits on Mainstream Rock Songs, following "Messed Up World" and "Heaven Knows." The Pretty Reckless is only the second band to have their first three charted songs hit number one -- 3 Doors Down first achieved that feat between 2000 and 2001 with "Kryptonite," "Loser," and "Duck and Run."

Halestorm's tour with The Pretty Reckless wraps up June 3 in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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Friday
Apr242015

The Chemical Brothers Announce New Album, "Born in the Echoes," Featuring Beck

Credit: Hamish BrownThe Chemical Brothers have returned, and they've brought a Grammy Album of the Year winner with them. Beck will guest on the electronic duo's first studio album in five years, called Born in the Echoes, which will be released July 17.

Beck will lend his vocals to the album's closing track, "Wide Open."  The song will be the first new music featuring Beck to be released since his album Morning Phase unexpectedly won Album of the Year at this year's Grammy Awards.

Born in the Echoes will also feature contributions from St. Vincent, rapper Q-Tip, and singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon. You can listen to the first track from the album, called "Sometimes I Feel So Deserted," now on YouTube.

The Chemical Brothers' last studio album was 2010's Further. Since then, the duo has been busy with soundtrack work -- they scored the 2011 film Hanna, and they collaborated with Lorde on the track "This Is Not a Game," from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1 soundtrack.

Here's the track list for Born in the Echoes:

"Sometimes I Feel So Deserted"
"Go" (featuring Q-Tip)
"Under Neon Lights" (featuring St. Vincent)
"EML Ritual" (featuring Ali Love)
"I'll See You There"
"Just Bang"
"Reflexion"
"Taste of Honey"
"Born in the Echoes" (featuring Cate Le Bon)
"Radiate"
"Wide Open" (featuring Beck)


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Friday
Apr242015

Tim McGraw's Shotgun Rider Tour Might Be a Miracle Cure for Troubled Marriages

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsCan Tim McGraw's Shotgun Rider Tour actually save troubled marriages? That's the claim put forth in a hilarious new video on Tim's YouTube page.

In the clip, spoofing ads for drugs like Cialis, guys suffering from their wives' INS, or Intense Nag Syndrome, are looking for ways to make their wives happy. When they go about seeking a cure, their doctor prescribes tickets to Tim's Shotgun Rider tour.  The prescription seems to work, but the side effects may include pregnancy, hysteria, male dancing, unusually tight male jeans, fainting and air guitar playing.

Tim's Shotgun Rider tour kicks off June 5 in Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Friday
Apr242015

Stevie Wonder, Peter Cetera to Join David Foster at Foundation Miracle Gala & Concert

Image Courtesy of Eddie WolflStevie Wonder and Peter Cetera will perform at the David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala & Concert in Canada this fall.

Wonder and the former Chicago singer will join the Grammy-winning writer/producer onstage Sept. 26 at the Mattamay Athletic Centre in the Gardens, Toronto.

The David Foster Foundation supports the non-medical expenses of Canadian families with children undergoing life-saving pediatric organ transplants. Non-medical expenses include gas and groceries, mortgage payments, car payments, and travel. The average cost to support one family is $10,000 a year. Last year's gala in Calgary -- which featured Steven Tyler, Jennifer Hudson, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Jackie Evancho -- raised $8 million for the foundation.

Canadian dance-pop artist Kiesza will also join Wonder and Cetera during the show.

The announcement coincides with Canada's National Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness Week. Tables are available at  $20,000 and $30,000 and may be purchased through the Foundation's offices directly.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

Paul McCartney Announces Philly Show, Hints More North American Dates to Follow

Credit: MJ KimPaul McCartney is coming to the City of Brotherly Love.

The Beatles legend announced that he will perform at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center on June 21.  It will be Paul’s first appearance in Philadelphia since 2010.  The show is being billed as the first North American arena date of the rocker's Out There tour, with the implication of more to come.

Advance tickets will go on sale Monday for registered users of McCartney's website, with sales to the general public beginning  Friday, May 1 at noon Eastern.

Currently on tour in Japan and South Korea, McCartney is already confirmed for headline slots at the Firefly Music Festival on June 19 in Dover, Delaware, and Lollapalooza on July 31 in Chicago.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

Report: Grateful Dead Tour in the Works with John Mayer

J. Shearer/WireImageThe surviving core members of The Grateful Dead have insisted that the group's Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago and Santa Clarita, California, will be their last, but according to Billboard a tour could be in the works with pop guitarist John Mayer filling in for the late Jerry Garcia.

Although a rep for the Dead tells Billboard talk of a tour is "premature," the magazine cites unnamed sources as saying Mayer already has begun jamming informally with Dead guitarist/singer Bob Weir and other band members, and that an October kick-off is being eyed for a full-fledged tour.

As previously reported, The Grateful Dead's five Fare Thee Well shows will take place on June 26 and 27 in Santa Clarita, and July 4-6 in Chicago. Those shows will feature surviving members Weir, bassist Phil Lesh and drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart performing with Phish's Trey Anastasio, one-time Dead keyboardist Bruce Hornsby and Rat Dog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.

Billboard estimates ticket sales for those five shows will top $50 million, which may in part explain the attraction of taking the show on the road with Mayer.


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Friday
Apr242015

Taylor Swift: “I Just Don’t Place Much Priority on Looking Cool” 

Courtesy of Glamour UKThere are tons of young girls who think Taylor Swift is the coolest gal around. But in the new issue of Glamour’s U.K. edition, which Taylor guest-edits, the singer tells the mag that “looking cool” just isn’t high up on her list of things to do.

“I just don’t place much priority on looking cool, and I think at 25, I’m finally OK with feeling that,” she says. “I’ve said this before. I think there’s this priority on having this persona of being edgy or cool or bored. And those things are all sexy. All those things are chic, when you seem not to care about anything other than yourself. And I just don’t buy into it. I’m really excited by lots of things.”

Taylor adds, “I think enthusiasm is the best protection. It can protect you from anything. And I don’t feel bored by any of this, so I don’t strive to look bored by any of this.”

Taylor says she counts on her friends and family -- particularly her mom, Andrea, who was recently diagnosed with cancer -- to keep her grounded. “My mom is really good at putting things back into perspective for me," says Taylor. "And it’s really nice when she says, ‘I know there’s no way I could possibly understand what you’re going through, but here’s what I think.’ And sometimes it does feel unfair, but then I walk into my apartment that I can’t believe I could afford to buy and it doesn’t feel so unfair anymore.”

One of the injustices of being a mega-pop star, though, is having your love life on display for all to see. Taylor says she’s happy she got to explore life as a single woman, but feels she was forced into it. “It’s kind of a sad way I got there though, being shamed into it,” she says. “What else is it when you have two boyfriends in one year and everyone’s calling you boy crazy, making jokes about you at awards shows? That’s public humiliation. And I don’t think it’s fair.”

Luckily, Taylor’s songwriting is her therapy, but there are some topics that likely won’t make it on to her next album. “Every woman has different things that make them feel strong and powerful. For me, I don’t have any need or urge to write about overt sexuality,” she says. “It just never occurs to me. I appreciate girls who sing about whatever they want, because that’s what they want to sing about.”

And for Taylor, staying true to yourself is about as "cool" as it gets.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr242015

Big Sean's Lyrics on “Stay Down” Reportedly Caused Ariana Grande Split

ABC/Kelsey McNealBig Sean and Ariana Grande's eight-month-long relationship may have ended over a single song.  Reportedly, the lyrics in the rapper's “Stay Down” are a major reason why the pair broke up.

According to TMZ, sources from Grande’s camp say the singer was offended by Sean’s disrespectful lyrics. In the tune, the Detroit native raps: “I ain’t even gonna lie, I got a million-dollar chick/With a billion dollar p****y/Every time I c*m, I swear to God I feel like I be rich.” 

Sources add that Ariana felt humiliated, and that even her grandmother asked her about the explicit song.

TMZ reveals that the former pair also had a fallout over Sean's big House of Blues performance in February, which Grande skipped.  Although the rapper felt slighted, Ariana's camp says she was on doctor's order to rest her voice before her Grammy performance the following day.

“They both deeply care for each other and remain close friends,” Ariana's rep tells ABC Radio. “We kindly ask that the media respect their wish for privacy regarding this personal matter at this time."


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Friday
Apr242015

Blac Chyna Exposes Tyga’s Alleged Text Messages

Universal Music Group/Pamela LittkyBlac Chyna has seemingly exposed her ex-fiance Tyga on Instagram following whispers he's trying to get back with her while hanging with his rumored girlfriend, Kylie Jenner.

In the photo, we see a text exchange between Chyna and someone called "King's Father," in which Tyga seemingly expresses his desire to reconcile and raise their son King Cairo together. "I want to be a family again," Tyga allegedly wrote. "Want to start this friendship. Relationship."

If it is Tyga, Chyna apparently shared their conversation to prove that the rapper is stringing both ladies along.  But Tyga isn't having it. He quickly tweeted that he's moving forward and doesn't want to engage in any drama.

"I ain't here for the tea," he wrote. "Focus on what's real in life. And surround yourself with people that you really care about.its simple."

Black Chyna and Tyga called off their engagement last August due to infidelity allegations.

 


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