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Saturday
Jan202018

Jim Rodford, bassist for The Kinks, The Zombies and Argent, dead at 76 

Ollie Millington/RedfernsJim Rodford, who played bass for The Kinks, Argent and the most recent incarnation of The Zombies, has died. He was 76.  The news was announced by Rodford's cousin, Zombies and Argent member Rod Argent, on The Zombies' Facebook page.

"It is with deep sadness that I learned this morning that my dear cousin and lifelong friend, Jim Rodford, died this morning after a fall on the stairs. More details are not yet known about the exact cause of death," wrote Argent.

While Rodford, via Argent, was very involved with the Zombies' career in its early years, he wasn't actually a member of the band. In 1969, following the Zombies' breakup, Argent and and Rodford co-founded the band Argent, best known for the hit "Hold Your Head Up." 

Rodford then played bass with The Kinks from 1978 to their split in 1996.  During that time, The Kinks scored some of their biggest American hits, such as "Better Things," "Destroyer" and "Come Dancing."

Argent writes, "When [Zombies lead singer] Colin [Blunstone] and I put together our second [Zombies] incarnation in late 1999, our first phone call was to Jim. He gave us absolutely unflagging commitment, loyalty and unbelievable energy for eighteen years, and our gratitude is beyond measure."

He concludes, "Jim was a wonderful person, loved by everybody. When Colin and I, shocked and hardly able to talk, shared the news this morning, Colin said ''I've never heard anyone say a bad word about him...' He will be unbelievably missed. Goodnight and God Bless dear friend."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jan202018

Perfect: Ed Sheeran and girlfriend Cherry Seaborn are engaged 

ABC/Paula LoboIf someone wrote a song like "Perfect" about you, you'd say yes if they asked you to marry them, right?

Ed Sheeran announced on Instagram that he and his longtime girlfriend Cherry Seaborn are engaged.  He posted a photo of himself hugging and kissing Cherry, and wrote in the caption, "Got myself a fiancée just before new year. We are very happy and in love, and our cats are chuffed [pleased] as well xx."

Ed, who's 26, and Cherry, 24, have known each other since they were 11 years old, and went to high school together.  They reconnected and started dating in 2015 after he invited her to Taylor Swift's 4th of July party in Rhode Island.

Last year, Ed said he and Cherry had moved in together and acquired two cats, Calipo and Dorito. He told Ellen DeGeneres in December that Cherry had to take care of him like a baby after he injured himself in a bike accident.

"I couldn’t cut my food, wash, open doors, like I was really, really dependent on Cherry for like the whole thing...for at least a month," he said.

No word on when the wedding will take place: Ed's got a world stadium tour planned for this year.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose, his family reveals

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagicTom Petty's family has revealed that the rock legend died of an accidental drug overdose. A joint statement from Tom's widow Dana and daughter Adria posted on his official website and social media pages reports that the medical examiner informed them Friday morning that Petty's death was due to an overdose "as a result of taking a variety of medications."

The message explains, "Unfortunately Tom's body suffered from many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and most significantly a fractured hip. Despite this painful injury he insisted on keeping his commitment to his fans and he toured for 53 dates with a fractured hip and, as he did, it worsened to a more serious injury. On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication."

Dana and Adria also point out that, prior to being informed of the medical examiner's findings, the family was aware that Tom had been prescribed various pain medications -- including Fentanyl patches -- for his health issues, and they "feel confident" that his passing was indeed "an unfortunate accident."

The Petty family notes that Tom's cause of death likely will prompt "a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives."

Dana and Adria add, "On a positive note we now know for certain he went painlessly and beautifully exhausted after doing what he loved the most, for one last time, performing live with his unmatchable rock band for his loyal fans."

Petty died October 2, 2017, a week after he and The Heartbreakers finished their 40th anniversary tour.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Billy Joel adds stadium dates in Kansas City and Philadelphia; will receive honorary Phillies contract

Credit: Kevin MazurShortly after announcing his 100th career show at New York's Madison Square Garden, Billy Joel has now added two stadium dates to his tour schedule.

The Piano Man will perform at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri -- the first concert held at the home of the Kansas City Royals in 39 years. That show is scheduled for September 21; tickets go on sale Friday, January 26, at 10 a.m. CT at Royals.com/billyjoel.

Meanwhile, Joel will return July 27 to Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. With that show, Billy will hold the record for the most-ever live performances by any artist in the stadium's history -- seven -- and he'll be the first artist ever to perform there for five straight years.

As such, Joel will be honored with an honorary Phillies contract, something that only players and coaches have received in the past. He'll receive it from Phillies manager Gabe Kapler and the team's vice president and general manager, Matt Klenak, the day of the concert.

Tickets for the Philly show go on sale to the general public starting January 26 at 10 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster. Citi card members can buy tickets starting this Monday, January 22, at 10 a.m.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Megadeth's David Ellefson on "The Rise of L.A. Thrash Metal" doc & why Lars Ulrich is the "Steve Jobs of thrash metal"

MetalRock Films While California's Bay Area is considered to be the epicenter of thrash metal, bands including Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer actually got their start further down the coast in Los Angeles. That scene is documented in The Rise of L.A. Thrash Metal, which was released on DVD today.

Narrated by Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, The Rise of L.A. Thrash Metal explores the roots of the genre, which began as a rejection of the '80s glam metal scene.

"We were the first generation that owned punk rock and heavy metal records," Ellefson tells ABC Radio. "So what we did is we basically, without knowing it, kind of fused the speed, the politics and the aggression of punk rock into the more refined riffing and guitar solo[s] [and] really good drumming that encompassed heavy metal bands."

As The Rise of L.A. Thrash Metal documents, there were many diverse bands in the scene, but most of them had the same goal: to play faster and heavier. Ellefson says for his band mate Dave Mustaine, who was Metallica's original guitarist, the motivation came from a fan letter.

"It said, 'Dave, I can't wait to hear your new band, I hope your new s***'s faster than Metallica,'" Ellefson remembers. "And that one letter changed the course of Megadeth forever."

While The Rise of L.A. Thrash Metal doesn't concentrate so much on Metallica, who moved from L.A. to San Francisco in 1983, their shadow looms large over the scene. In fact, Ellefson calls Lars Ulrich the "Steve Jobs of thrash metal."

"He's the guy who really had the vision for so much of this genre," Ellefson says. "When he put Metallica together...they really single-handedly carved this huge, wide swath for all of us to be able to follow in." 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Kehlani receives GLAAD Media Award nomination

ABC/Image Group LAKehlani has been announced as one of the nominees for this year’s GLAAD Media Awards.

The awards recognize and celebrate the fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community in different forms of media. 

The "Honey" singer, who is nominated in the Outstanding Music Artist category, identifies as bisexual.  

Other artists who scored a nod in the same category include singer-songwriter Kelela, "Wrecking Ball" singer Miley Cyrus and "Bad at Love" singer-songwriter Halsey

GLAAD is also honoring JAY-Z's song and music video "Smile" with a special recognition award; the song is about how Jay's mother Gloria Carter came out as a lesbian.

The GLAAD Media Award ceremonies take place in Los Angeles on April 12 and in New York on May 5. 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Coming soon: Maren Morris is in "The Middle" of new single with pop stars Zedd and Grey

ABC/Image Group LA She's still riding the wave of her first solo #1 on the country chart, but Maren Morris now has new music coming. It won’t be from her own album though: It’s a collaboration with hitmaking deejay/producer Zedd and electronic duo Grey.

Both Maren and Zedd shared the news of their collaboration on social media, along with the artwork for the song, “The Middle,” which features an exploding flower. We’ll be able to hear the song for the first time on Tuesday.

Zedd, who’s made a name for himself as a record producer, has teamed up with Ariana GrandeHailee SteinfeldAlessia Cara, and Paramore's Hayley Williams in the past. This won’t be Maren’s first time coloring outside the country lines, either: She also duets with pop star Niall Horan on “Seeing Blind” from his Flicker album.

Across the board, there’s no shortage of genre-bending country/pop crossovers these days. "Cruise" hitmakers Florida Georgia Line currently have two:  “Meant to Be” with Bebe Rexha and “Let Me Go” with Hailee Steinfeld, Alesso, and watt.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Taylor Swift surprises fans with wedding flowers and note 

Mert & MarcusWhen two Swifties tie the knot, Taylor Swift knows just how to mark the occasion.

People magazine reports that on January 12, two huge Taylor fans named Alexas "Lexi" Gonzales and Brittany Lewis got married in Dickinson, Texas. The two had been together for nine years, and Taylor's 2008 hit "Love Story" was "their song."  In fact, Brittany even quoted the song's lyrics when she proposed in 2016.

Taylor learned of the impending nuptials and sent the happy couple flowers as well as a personalized note, which Lexi shared on Twitter.  It reads, "Lexi & Brittany, you have no idea how honored I am that ‘Love Story’ has been such a big part of your beautiful love story. I’m absolutely thrilled that Lexi said YES! Have the most magical wedding day and hopefully I can meet you both soon! Love, Taylor.”

Lexi wrote on Twitter, "Still In freaking shock that @taylorswift13 sent me and my amazing Hubby flowers on our wedding day!"

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Cranberries singer's cause of death won't be revealed until at least April; funeral set for Tuesday

Photo by Andy EarlIt appears that it'll be a while before the public learns the cause of Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan's death.

O'Riordan was found dead on Monday, January 15, in a hotel room in London. The 46-year-old singer was in town to record guest vocals for a cover of the Cranberries hit "Zombie" by the hard rock band Bad Wolves.

According to The Guardian, a postmortem examination has already been conducted, but coroner Shirley Radcliffe adjourned the inquest hearing until April 3, at which time it will be determined when to release the results of the autopsy.

However, Rolling Stone reports that there's a chance O’Riordan's family may be informed of the results before the April hearing, and that they would then have the option of releasing the findings to the public at an earlier date.

Meanwhile, O'Riordan will be buried in Ireland alongside her father at Caherelly Cemetery in County Limerick, on Tuesday, January 23, according to People magazine.

The BBC reports that the burial will be preceded that day by a private funeral at the Church of St. Ailbe in Ballybricken, County Limerick. A public service will be held Sunday at Saint Joseph's Church in the city of Limerick.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Zedd's in "The Middle" of a new collabo with country star Maren Morris

ABC/Heidi GutmanCollaborations between country stars and dance/pop hitmakers are all the range in 2018.

Following "Let Me Go," which teams Hailee Steinfeld and Alesso with Florida Georgia Line, and "Meant to Be," which teams Florida Georgia Line with Bebe Rexha, get ready for a collaboration featuring Zedd and chart-topping, Grammy-winning country star Maren Morris.

Both Maren and Zedd shared the news of their collaboration on social media, along with the artwork for the song, “The Middle,” which features an exploding flower. We’ll be able to hear the song for the first time on Tuesday.  The song also features Grey, the electronic duo who were part of Zedd's hit with Hailee, "Starving."

This isn't Maren's first foray into pop music: She's duets with Niall Horan on "Seeing Blind," a track from his #1 album Flicker, and she'll tour with him later in the year.

Zedd and Maren are both nominees at this year's Grammys, which air January 28. She's up for Best Country Solo Performance for her #1 hit "I Could Use a Love Song," while Zedd's up for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Stay," his collabo with Alessia Cara.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Eagles settle trademark-infringement lawsuit with Mexican inn called the Hotel California

Rhino EntertainmentThe Eagles have settled a trademark-infringement lawsuit they launched last year against a hotel in Todos Santos, Mexico, called the Hotel California, Billboard reports.  The hotel, of course shares its name with the band's chart-topping 1977 album and song. 

A joint dismissal of the suit, which had charged the hotel with falsely implying that it was associated with the Eagles, was filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. That same day, the hotel's request to permanently drop its bid for a trademark application was accepted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Attorneys for the band and the hotel both confirmed that the lawsuit had been dropped by mutual agreement. The hotel's lawyer tells Billboard, "The Hotel California and its affiliates will continue using the name, service mark and trademark 'Hotel California' in Mexico...The Hotel and its affiliates continue to own some 28 valid Mexican trademark registrations for the mark 'Hotel California' and variants."

The lawsuit, which was filed in May 2017, claimed that, using advertising geared to U.S. customers, the hotel falsely suggested that it was the inspiration for the classic Eagles song. The suit also noted that the hotel plays "Hotel California" and other Eagles tunes on its grounds, and sells T-shirts "that refer to the hotel as 'legendary,'" as well as a variety of other "Hotel California"-branded merchandise.

Reps for the hotel, which first opened in 1950 is located at the tip of Baja California, insisted that they weren't trying mislead tourists regarding an association with the band.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Keith Sweat wants to know "How Many Ways" he can show love on new single

Courtesy of RED MUSICIt looks like Keith Sweat is already prepared for Valentine's Day with the debut of his new single, "How Many Ways." 

The track, featuring K-Ci from legendary R&B group Jodeci, comes from Keith's forthcoming -- and currently untitled -- 13th studio album. 

Keith released his 12th studio album, Dress to Impress, last year, and also performed in Las Vegas for two runs of his "Keith Sweat: Last Forever" limited-engagement residency.  

You can stream or buy "How Many Ways" via the usual digital platforms now. 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

"My mama don't like you and she likes everyone:" Justin Bieber’s mom praises him after Selena Gomez’s mom expresses disapproval

Christopher Polk/Getty ImagesSelena Gomez’s mom may not be a fan of Justin Bieber, but Justin’s own mom is “so proud” of her son.

In an Instagram post, Patti Mallette heaped praise on Justin, writing, "I'm so proud of the amazing young man you are, and the young man you are becoming.”

She added that while “none of us are perfect,” she admires his “character and integrity” and the choices he’s been making daily.

“You are maturing beautifully and wise beyond your years,” she continued. “You are so funny that I find myself laughing out loud when I'm alone, remembering...something you said or did. And your heart is gold. I love you to the moon and back."

His mom concluded, "Ps. Did I mention I was proud of you?"

She included a photo of the two of them on a boat.

Her words come after Selena’s mom, Mandy Teefey, told Gossip Cop she’s “not happy” that her daughter is dating Justin again.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

AWOLNATION unveils video for new single "Handyman"

ABC/Randy HolmesAWOLNATION has unleashed another new treat off the band's upcoming album, Here Come the Runts. The newest piece of music comes in the form of a music video for the song "Handyman."

The video for the mid-tempo track features actors Monte Markham and Alex Esso, and was directed by Ravi Dhar. The clip is described in a press release as “a time-bending journey through the moments and memories of the characters’ lives, embracing the idea of what was and what could have been.

Frontman Aaron Bruno, who also stars in the video, says of the clip, "I wanted to finally tell a good ole fashion love story. We all have the opportunity to be the handyman (or woman) of the heart."

The new album, Here Come the Runts, arrives on February 2. Fans who pre-order the disc at awolnationmusic.com will be treated an instant download of four songs, including "Handyman."

AWOLNATION kicks off a North American tour with Nothing But Thieves on February 10 in Toronto. The jaunt runs through a March 16 gig in Los Angeles. Fans who order tickets will receive a copy of the new album.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

"Parallel Line": Keith Urban gets romantic in new Aussie single

ABC/Image Group LA “Take a little bit of my heart tonight,” Keith Urban invites listeners, in his new song “Parallel Line.”

The new tune is the second track the Aussie superstar has released from his forthcoming album Graffiti U, following “Female,” which is still scaling the U.S. chart. “Parallel Line” is Keith’s lead single in his native Australia.

“Maybe it’s time we put our hearts in a parallel line,” he sings in the romantic, percussion-driven number that’s laced with seductive harmonies. “Parallel Line” is available to stream or download now, or you can check it out via a new lyric video on YouTube.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Nipsey Hussle boogies with YG on new track, "Last Time That I Checc'd" 

Jorge PenicheNipsey Hussle and YG aren't playing games on Nipsey's new track, "Last Time That I Checc'd." 

The song is Nipsey's second single from his forthcoming debut album, Victory Lap.  

The music video for "Last Time That I Checc'd also dropped on Friday. The visual shows Nipsey cruising around his home city of Los Angeles in a luxury car, with YG content to show off his lyrical flow while posing in front of another vehicle. 

"Last Time That I Checc'd" is available to purchase via the usual digital platforms and Victory Lap is available to pre-order now. 

Both artists are set to appear at YG's first annual "The Boogie" All-Star weekend event on February 17 in Los Angeles.  

For more information, visit theboogiefestival.com.  

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

From "Budapest" to Barcelona: George Ezra returns with "Staying at Tamara's"

Courtesy Columbia Records"Budapest" singer George Ezra returns with his long-awaited sophomore album on March 23.

The disc, Staying at Tamara's, is now available for pre-order, and it's described as a collection of "songs about escapism, dreaming, anxieties and love."  As with his debut, Wanted On Voyage, the album was inspired by George's travels, this time to a variety of locations in the U.K., and to an Airbnb in Barcelona.  That place was owned by a woman named Tamara, hence the album title.

The British singer has also announced a tour in support of the new album, which arrives in North America April 20 in Toronto. That leg will wrap up May 13 at the Wiltern Theater in LA.

George has also released a new track from the album, called "Paradise."  It's the follow-up to the first track he shared, "It Don't Matter Now," which came out last year.

Here are George's tour dates:

4/20 -– Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto
4/21 -– Corona Theatre, Montreal
4/22 -– House of Blues, Boston
4/24 -- Terminal 5, New York
4/25 -- The Fillmore, Philadelphia
4/26 -- Lincoln Theatre, Washington
4/28 -- Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak
4/29 -- Riviera Theater, Chicago
4/20 -- First Avenue, Minneapolis
5/2 -- Ogden Theatre, Denver
5/3 -- The Depot, Salt Lake City
5/5 -- Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver
5/6 -- Roseland Theater, Portland
5/7 -- Showbox SoDo, Seattle
5/9 -- Fox Theater, Oakland
5/10 -- Observatory North Park, San Diego
5/12 -- The Marquee, Tempe
5/13 -- The Wiltern, LA

And here's Staying at Tamara's track list:

1.  "pretty shining people"
2.  "don’t matter now"
3.  "get away"
4.  "shotgun"
5.  "paradise"
6.  "all my love"
7.  "sugarcoat"
8.  "hold my girl"
9.  "saviour" (feat. first aid kit)
10.  "only a human"
11.  "the beautiful dream"

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Billy Joel adds stadium dates in Kansas City and Philadelphia; will receive honorary Phillies contract

Kevin MazurShortly after announcing his 100th career show at New York's Madison Square Garden, Billy Joel has now added two stadium dates to his tour schedule.

Billy will perform at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri -- the first concert held at the home of the Kansas City Royals in 39 years.  That show is scheduled for September 21; tickets go on sale January 26 at 10 a.m. CT at Royals.com/billyjoel.

Meanwhile, Billy will return July 27 to Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies.  With that show, Billy will hold the record for the most-ever live performances by any artist in the stadium's history -- seven -- and he'll be the first artist ever to perform there for five straight years.

As such, Billy will be honored with an honorary Phillies contract, something that only players and coaches have received in the past.  He'll receive it from Phillies manager Gabe Kapler and the team's VP and general manager, Matt Klenak, the day of the concert.

Tickets for the Philly show go on sale to the general public starting January 26 at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster. Citi Card members can buy tickets starting January 22 at 10 a.m.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan192018

Guitarist Alex Lifeson says Rush is "basically done"

Jason Merritt/Getty ImagesWhile the future of Rush has been in question for the past couple years, Alex Lifeson has pretty much put the proverbial final nail in the band's coffin. In a new column for Canada's The Globe and Mail newspaper, the guitarist writes that the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers are "basically done."

The beginning of the end for Rush came in 2015, when drummer Neil Peart stated he would no longer tour due to his chronic tendinitis. At the time, Peart told Drumhead magazine, "Like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game."

Now, in a new first-person piece for The Globe and Mail, Lifeson seems to confirm that the band is officially over.  He writes, "It's been a little over two years since Rush last toured. We have no plans to tour or record any more. We're basically done. After 41 years, we felt it was enough.”

But in the same article, Lifeson claims, "I've actually been busier lately than I have been in a while."

"I'm writing a lot. I'm writing on four or five different little projects," he reveals. "I get these requests to do guitar work with other people...I get to be as creative as I want to be and I can work a little outside of the box."

Lifeson also says he’s been writing a column for the Toronto newspaper West End Phoenix and recently filmed a small role in the new Canadian TV comedy Crawford.

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Friday
Jan192018

Bathroom break or baby? Adam Levine's big decision 

ABC/Randy HolmesAdam Levine's wife Behati Prinsloo is expecting their second child very soon, but let's hope the birth isn't quite as painful this time around...for Adam, we mean.

Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday night, Adam told a long and embarrassing story about what happened during the birth of their first child, his daughter Dusty Rose.  According to Adam, Carson Daly advised him to make sure and eat while Behati was in labor, so he wouldn't faint from hunger. 

Adam took his advice, but ended up stuffing himself silly while waiting for Behati's contractions to get serious.

"By the time we get to the hospital, I've put back, like, an unbelievable amount of food," he told Jimmy. "Like, I'm bursting at the seams, I'm gonna s*** my pants."

As the audience roared, Adam continued, "But also, my wife is in labor!  So it's the lamest thing to be, when your wife is having a baby, and you're like, 'I gotta take a s***.'"  That's not, like, in any way a viable complaint!"

Adam didn't want to answer the call of nature because he was afraid that if he did, the baby would arrive while he was gone.  "So, I waited, doubled over in pain and finally the baby came," Adam said.

He continued, "It was beautiful, and it was amazing, and then the second the coast was clear...I took one of the nurses aside and I was like, 'Look...you gotta find me a bathroom!'"

But when the nurse pointed to the bathroom at the foot of his wife's bed, Adam immediately rejected it...for obvious reasons.

(Video contains censored profanity)

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