Reba Almost Finished with a Brand-New Album, Due Out Next Year

Image Courtesy CMAReba is on the home stretch of recording a brand-new album, expected to come out in 2015. She announced plans for the project Tuesday morning in Nashville, saying fans can expect to hear her interpreting songs from Nashville's best songwriters on the new project.

"It's just a huge thrill for me to have this outlet to get these songwriters' stories out to the public," Reba says. "I’m always kind of like the water hose. I'm the conduit from the songwriters' heart and soul, what they write and conceive, and then to get it out to the fans. I love that part."

Though any songwriter would tailor-make a song for Reba, she took some chances on recording a few songs written from a male perspective. She pulled that off on her 1995 covers album, Starting Over, taking on material originally recorded by Glen Campbell, Ray Price, and Michael McDonald, among others. Still, Reba's husband and manager, Narvel Blackstock, was hesitant about some of the new songs at first.

Reba explains, "I'd play him this demo, and I'd say, 'What do you think?' He'd say, 'Uh huh. That's a guy song. I don't know how it's going to sound with you singing it.' I get in the studio, and he said, "OK. You made it your own.'"

The new album will feature a variety of moods and sounds, though. Says Reba, "We've got happy, sad, slow, fast. Got a drinking song in there. And for the first time in a long time, I've got a love song. A true, to the heart and soul love song."

The best part of this new project for Reba is giving her fans her first new album since 2010's All the Women I Am.

"They're gonna be very excited to have new music coming out," Reba explains. "They've been with me through thick and thin, Broadway, television, movies, back to music. They're my team. Glad to be a part of theirs."

We'll keep you posted when Reba announces more details about the new album release.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Brantley Gilbert Engaged to Old Love Who Inspired Some of His Biggest Hits

Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert is engaged to his old love who inspired his hit songs "More Than Miles" and "You Don't Know Her Like I Do." The couple parted ways a few years ago, but it looks like their love story will have a happy ending. Brantley hasn't revealed his fiancee's name, though.

Brantley recently moved back home to Georgia. He was engaged to fellow country star Jana Kramer, but they called it off in August 2013.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


2014 CMT Artists of the Year Honorees Announced; Ceremony Broadcasting Live December 2

Image Courtesy CMTJason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban will be honored as the 2014 CMT Artists of the Year. They'll be saluted on a live broadcast from Nashville coming up Tuesday, December 2 at 8 p.m. ET.

This is Keith's first time getting the CMT Artists of the Year honor. The other four acts are previous honorees. The artists are selected based on the impact they've had in country music throughout the year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


The Band Perry Taking Their Time Making Upcoming Third Album

Image Courtesy CMAFans of The Band Perry can expect a new album from the trio in 2015, but they can't tell you exactly when they'll release the album next year.

Lead singer Kimberly Perry tells ABC News Radio, "We've actually taken timeline pressures away just to make sure we are creating with the pure sensibilities. So, that's an exciting thing."

The Band Perry didn't have the luxury of unlimited time while making their sophomore album, Pioneer, but it worked out nicely for them. The lead single from that project, "Better Dig Two," was just certified double platinum, recognizing two million streams and downloads of the song.

In the meantime, The Band Perry is now climbing the country chart with their cover of Glen Campbell's "Gentle on My Mind." It's featured in the new Glen Campbell documentary, I'll Be Me, in theaters Friday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the profession of Kimberly Perry's husband, J.P. Arencibia? ANSWER: Professional baseball player.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley Shows Off His New "Jagdeer" Tattoo on Instagram

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsFlorida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley got a rather interesting piece of body art on his right forearm this week. It's a drawing of a jaguar with deer antlers, or as Brian calls it a "jagdeer."


Thanks @adamthekid for this new addition on my right forearm 👌 #jagdeer @bcole429 @tribekelley

A photo posted by playbkplay (@playbkplay) on Oct 10, 2014 at 3:16pm PDT


The tattoo was done by Adam "The Kid" Wakitsch at Kustom Thrills in Nashville. Fans can check out Brian's new tattoo on his Instagram account, @playbkplay.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


The Smashing Pumpkins Release New Song, "Being Beige"

Credit: Martha's MusicThe Smashing Pumpkins' new song, "Being Beige," might not have the most exciting title, but Billy Corgan makes up for that with a big, evocative chorus.

The track is the first to appear from The Pumpkins' upcoming album, Monuments to an Elegy.  It starts with a minimalist approach before Corgan launches into the chorus accompanied by the full band -- featuring Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee -- as he sings the line, "The world's on fire" over and over again.

"People always ask me to explain songs, and honestly I can't," Corgan tells Rolling Stone of "Being Beige."  "But if there's honesty in this lyric, it's that there's something amiss in our cosmos. Yet still, we must love."

Monuments to an Elegy will be released on December 9.  It is the first of two planned upcoming albums from The Smashing Pumpkins, the other being Day for Night, which is due out in 2015.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



Two R&B Legends -- Aretha Franklin and Earth, Wind & Fire -- Release New Music Today 

RCA RecordsR&B legends Aretha Franklin and Earth, Wind & Fire are releasing new music Tuesday.

Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics finds the Queen of Soul performing ten cover versions of songs made famous by other great female singers while Earth, Wind & Fire is out with its first Christmas album,  Holiday. 

The Great Diva Classics contains Aretha's version of Adele's “Rolling in the Deep” as the album's first sing which recently garnered Aretha her     100th appearance on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hio-Hop Songs chart, a record for a female artist. The album also includes Franklin’s versions of “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight and The Pips, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan and "No One" by Alicia Keys.  

Clive Davis developed the album concept and served as executive  producer, and studio producers include Babyface and Andre 3000 from Outkast

Meanwhile, for Holiday, Earth, Wind & Fire when beyond just traditional tunes. Sure, there are seasonal standards including "Winter Wonderland," "The Little Drummer Boy," "Sleigh Ride," and "Jingle Bell Rock." But EW&F also recorded a traditional Japanese winter song, "Snow," and two original tunes, "Happy Seasons" inspired by their own "Happy Feelin',” and "December" inspired by "September" andfeaturing vocals from Maurice White.

 "The Holiday album was a joy to record, it is a celebration of tradition, love and spirituality, some of the elements of Earth, Wind & Fire,” says bass player and group co-founder Verdine White.

Here's the track list for Aretha Franklin Sings the Diva Classics with the name of the artist original associated with the song:

"At Last (Etta James)
"Rolling in the Deep" (Adele)
"Midnight Train to Georgia" (Gladys Knight and the Pips)
"I Will Survive" (Gloria Gaynor)
"People" (Barbra Streisand)
"No One" (Alicia Keys)
"I’m Every Woman" (Chaka Khan) / "Respect"
"Teach Me Tonight" (Dinah Washington)
"You Keep Me Hangin’ On" (The Supremes)
"Nothing Compares 2 U" (Sinéad O’Connor)

Here's Earth, Wind & Fire's Holiday track listing:

"Joy to the World"
"Happy Seasons"
"Oh Come All Ye Faithful"
"Winter Wonderland"
"What Child Is This?"
"Away in a Manger"
"The Little Drummer Boy"
"Every Day Is Like Christmas"
"The First Noël"
"Sleigh Ride"
"Jingle Bell Rock"

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Alt-J's Thom Green Says Miley Cyrus Sample "Just Sounded Good" 

Credit: Gabriel GreenAlt-J's newest album, This Is All Yours, has had a lot of buzz for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the Miley Cyrus sample used on the song "Hunger of the Pine." Drummer Thom Green has one simple answer as to why the band decided to include a sample of Cyrus' "4x4" on their song.

"It just sounded good," he tells New Zealand's Under the Radar.

"We didn’t do it to throw people off although we were aware it was probably going to happen," Green continues. "In the end we went with it because it sounded nice."

This Is All Yours, Alt-J's second album, was released last month and debuted at number four on the Billboard 200. The band is currently touring North America through a December 16 stop in Portland, Oregon. Alt-J will return to the USA on March 30 for a show at New York City's Madison Square Garden.


Jamie Foxx Joins Quincy Jones in Raising Money to Fight Down Syndrome 

RCA RecordsJamie Foxx and Quincy Jones are continuing their fight against Down syndrome by participating in a celebrity fundraiser October 25 in Denver, CO. Jones is the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s international spokesperson, and Foxx is one of the recipients of the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award for his commitment to the organization.

Foxx will be among the stars escorting seventeen models who suffer from the disease at the Be Beautiful Be Yourself fashion show at the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel, Proceeds will fund research and medical care for Down syndrome and also Alzheimer’s disease.

Supermodel Beverly Johnson will also attend, along with Alex Baldwin and players from the Denver Nuggets and Denver Broncos.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Chad Smith Advises Katy Perry to "Plug In" for Super Bowl Halftime Show 

Clara Balzary/Warner Bros. RecordsRed Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith knows a thing or two about playing at the Super Bowl halftime show. Rather, he knows a thing or two about miming at the Super Bowl halftime show. That's why his advice for pop star Katy Perry, who has hinted that she will be this year's halftime performer, is pretty simple.

"Plug in and play," Smith tells TMZ.

Smith and RHCP infamously mimed their performance of "Give It Away" with Bruno Mars at last year's halftime show. Flea revealed that all the instrumentation was prerecorded -- the vocals were live -- after photos circulated of the bassist playing while not plugged into an anything.

As Flea wrote in an open letter after the performance that the NFL decided that the drums, guitar and bass would need to be prerecorded.

"[Guitarist] Josh [Klinghoffer], Chad, and I were playing along with the prerecorded track so there was no need to plug in our guitars, so we did not," he wrote.

Katy Perry doesn't really share the same instrumentation as RHCP, but Smith says she's looking forward to seeing her show.

"She's a good performer," he says.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Hall & Oates' Halloween Concert to Stream Live Online from New Site of Live from Daryl's House TV Series

Credit: Kathy PhillipsOn Halloween night, October 31, Daryl Hall & John Oates will play a special concert that will stream live online on the Live Nation channel on the Screen Yahoo! website starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. 

The sold-out show, dubbed "Hall-O-Ween & Oates," will be the first public event held at Daryl's House, the new home of Hall's popular television series Live from Daryl's House. It's a concert venue in Pawling, New York, that was formerly known as the Towne Crier Cafe.

The concert can be viewed via various mobile devices, desktop computers and such Smart TV platforms as Apple TV, Roku and Xbox 360.

According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, six episodes of the upcoming season of Live from Daryl's House will be taped at the new venue, which Hall renovated and is leasing.  The new season premieres in March 2015, and will air on the Palladia high-def network, as well as at LiveFromDarylsHouse.com.

The Daryl's House venue is also a restaurant, and will host concerts other than the performances that will air as episodes of Hall's TV show.

Live from Daryl's House originally was taped at the singer/songwriter's home in Millerton, New York, but Hall sold that residence in 2013 and moved to nearby Sherman, Connecticut.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Gotye Not Sure He'll Ever Release Music Under that Name Again 

Credit: Cybele MalinowksiGotye -- the stage name of Australian artist Wally De Backer -- hasn't released any new music under that name since he won three Grammys for his hit "Somebody That I Used to Know" and his album Making Mirrors.  And now, he says he never will again...possibly.

In an oddly-worded online posting, Gotye writes, "NEW GOTYE MUSIC. There will be no new Gotye music.  Wait, maybe there will be. I’m not entirely sure right now. There are many contingencies."

He then muses about the fact that the world getting noisier and people are getting deafer, then asks rhetorically, if he did make a new Gotye album, "Will anybody hear this work?"  He adds, " I don’t know. But I think about these things.   One thing you can count on: I will do my best to make it enjoyable for both of us."

He then announces that he's started a new record label called Spirit Level, and that he's making new music with his old band The Basics, who he went back to recording and touring with after "Somebody That I Used to Know" became a worldwide smash.

If Gotye doesn't record any new music under that name, he'll be that rare artist who managed to win one of the most prestigious awards at the Grammys -- Record of the Year -- and then never be heard from again.  Nearly every artist who ever won that category is a household name, except perhaps Domenico Modugno, who won it in 1959, the very first year it was given out.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



Charli XCX & Duran Duran's Simon LeBon Team for "Mockingjay" Track; Kanye West Remix Also Featured 

Republic RecordsDetails of the Lorde-curated soundtrack for the new Hunger Games movie Mockingjay -- Part 1 have now been revealed.  Following the premiere of the song "This Is Not a Game" on Tuesday, we now know that Charli XCX has also done a song for the project, teaming with an '80s music icon.

"Angels! I’ve recorded a song with 4 the called ‘Kingdom,’" Charli tweeted.  She's referring to Simon LeBon, the lead singer of 80's megastars Duran Duran.  This squares with a previous report that stated Lorde had reached out to LeBon to contribute to the soundtrack.

Charli also provided a link to the album on iTunes, which reveals other artists on the soundtrack include Tove Lo; British singer/songwriter Natasha Khan, who records under the name Bat for Lashes; one of Lorde's personal fashion icons, model, singer and actress Grace Jones; R&B singer Tinashe; Scottish electronic band CHVRCHES; and Belgian electronic musician Stromae

There's also another Lorde song on the soundtrack, titled "Ladder," and a reworking of her new single "Yellow Flicker Beat" that's been retitled "Flicker" and remixed by Kanye West.  Lorde's a huge fan of Kanye's and covers his songs in concert regularly.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1 soundtrack comes out November 17.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Cool Kids? Echosmith Talk Pros & Cons of Touring with Your Siblings

Jonathan Weiner/Warner Bros. RecordsSharing a house or a room with your brothers and sisters is bad enough, but imagine if you had to tour the world with them, too, spending every waking moment together.  That's exactly what Echosmith, the band behind the smash hit "Cool Kids" is going through right now.  Echosmith is made up of four siblings -- three brothers and a sister -- and as you might imagine, there are pros and cons to living in each others' pockets day in and day out.

"[The] best part is that we know each other so well. Worst part is that we know each other so well," laughs Echosmith singer and keyboard player Sydney Sierota. "After being in a band for so long, you learn to just make yourselves get along, and like, overlook trying to bug each other, because we know we're just going to get it back. Because they know exactly my buttons to push!"

"It's been a process of learning how to be with each other every single second and now we're really good at it," she says of being on the road with her brothers Jamie, Noah and Graham. "It's funny because, I mean, I can't even imagine doing this with three random dudes, even if we were best friends or something -- something about it would just feel weird....I mean, we know each other so well. We know what we like and what we don't like."

In fact, they've been at it for such a long time now, Sydney says, that they know exactly what to do to avoid arguments.

"We just sleep or eat when we get grouchy and fight, because that's usually what it's based around," she tells ABC New Radio. "So, I mean, it actually is a lot of fun for us. Obviously we have our moments. Everybody does. But I think we get along better than most bands."

Because the members of Echosmith are so young, their father is on the road with them as well, and Sydney tells ABC News Radio that it's nice to have her three brothers and her dad on hand to ward off any creepy dudes who try to hit on her.

"It's nice when you're with your brothers and you get in a weird situation where some guy is really trying to, like, be weird," she says. "And you're like, 'Oh yeah, this is my brother, by the way.' And they're like, 'Oh.' Some people ignore the fact...[then I say] 'Hey, my dad's back there. You wanna come say hi? I'll introduce you!'" 

Echosmith will perform at the Life Is Beautiful festival on Friday, and then play a variety of headlining shows and special events through mid-December.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Brand-New Five for Fighting Song to Feature in 100th Episode of "Hawaii Five-0"

Bryan SpicerThe 100th episode of CBS' Hawaii Five-0 will air November 7, and it comes with a special musical treat: a brand-new song by Five for Fighting.

The song is called "All for One," and it'll be available on iTunes on November 7, the same day the episode airs.  Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik was specially commissioned by CBS to create the tune, and was asked to custom-tailor it to fit the show; specifically, to sum up the past five years.  A snippet of the song is currently streaming on The Hollywood Reporter's website.

"A good friend of mine...who works for CBS, an executive over there, brought me to see Peter Lenkov, who's the executive producer of Hawaii Five-O. And Peter is a fan," John tells ABC News Radio about how he got tapped for the project. "And they were looking for something special for their 100th episode and they wanted an original song. And they pitched me on the concept, which was 'ohana,' as they would say -- [a] family bonding song, that kind of reflected the characters' journey the last five years, and I was intrigued by it."

John has created music for movies in the past, and seen Five for Fighting songs featured in both films and on TV.  But he says this project was challenging because the first time anyone will hear the song is when the 100th episode airs.  As a result, he says, he knew he had to make it compelling enough that viewers would enjoy it, even though they weren't familiar with it.

"That for me were the two components that I really wanted to focus on: make a very clear lyric and have a production that can keep people intrigued and engaged for three minutes, which is a long time for a song no one's ever heard," he tells ABC News Radio. "So that was the dynamic."

While John didn't get to actually see the episode before he wrote the song -- it wasn't completed yet -- they did show him the script.  In addition, he says, "I went back and watched the pilot [episode] and kind of reacquainted myself with the characters, where this whole thing started. So that's what was fun for me, it was a little different than my typical film project."  

You'll be able to hear the song on iTunes and see it featured in the November 7 episode.  Hawaii Five-0 airs Fridays at 9 p.m. Eastern time on CBS.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Taylor Swift Calls the Late Oscar de la Renta Her "All-Time Favorite Designer"

ABC/Richard HarbaughTaylor Swift has commented on the death of renowned fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who died Monday at the age of 82.

Not long after his death was announced, Taylor posted onto Instagram a photo of herself wearing a de la Renta gown at a public event.

She wrote, "My all-time favorite designer has passed away. Oscar, it was an honor to wear your creations and to know you. In loving memory."

De la Renta was diagnosed with cancer in 2006.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Ringo Starr Named Spokesperson for Skechers

Image Courtesy of Rob ShanahanRingo Starr has been named the latest spokesperson for Skechers.

The legendary drummer will endorse Skechers Relaxed Fit footwear in a campaign that will launch next spring with a new TV commercial.  

Skechers notes that until now, the Relaxed Fit footwear ads have focused on pro athletes. It says, "[W]e can’t wait for everyone to see how Ringo’s charm and cool charisma makes him the perfect ambassador for Relaxed Fit."



Pizza Chain Posts Birthday Message for Katy Perry -- At Her Request

ABC/Richard HarbaughOne of Katy Perry's birthday wishes has been granted by Shakey's Pizza Parlor in Los Angeles.

On Sunday night, the soon-to-be birthday girl tweeted, "All I want for my birthday is my name on the Shakey's Pizza marquee on Santa Monica Blvd. Please."

Sure enough, Shakey's marquee now reads, "Happy Birthday Katy Perry." The singer posted a photo of the sign on her Instagram page, writing, "KICKING OFF BIRTHDAY WEEK RIGHT! This signage is a bucket list dream come true!!! SHOUT OUT TO ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS FOR KILLING THE GIFT GAME."

That may not be the only gift from Shakey's. The chain extended to Katy an offer on Twitter to throw her a birthday bash.

Furthermore, a Shakey's rep tells TMZ it will post a birthday message for Katy at all of their locations in California.

Katy, who turns 30 on Saturday, has also reached out to Betty Crocker on Twitter, hinting that she wants it to bring back its discontinued rainbow chip frosting. We'll see if Betty Crocker comes through for her in time for her big day.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


"The Voice" Recap: Adam Steals Two Artists as Battle Rounds Continue

Trae Patton/NBCThe second week of Battle Rounds on The Voice began Monday night on NBC. The highlight of the night was Adam Levine stealing two artists: Blessing Offor and Toia Jones.

The guest mentors were back to instruct the artists during rehearsals. Alicia Keys joined Team Pharrell Williams; Stevie Nicks assisted Team Adam; Gwen Stefani's husband, Gavin Rossdale, helped her team; and Little Big Town tutored Team Blake Shelton.

Team Adam's Damien and Kelli Douglas were the first two artists to battle it out on Monday night. Adam assigned them "Knock on Wood," by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas, among other musicians. Stevie lamented the fact that one of them would have to leave Adam's team, and jokingly vowed to personally steal the loser of the battle.

Following Damien and Kelli's performance, Blake said Adam's decision would simply come down to a matter of taste. Gwen quipped that she was too distracted by Kelli's body to focus on her singing. Adam named Damien the winner, later explaining to the cameras that the contestant had immersed himself in the song. Kelli was dismissed.

Jessie Pitts and Ryan Sill of Team Gwen were next up. They covered "I Need Your Love," by Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding. Gavin detected a boy-band-singer-type quality in Ryan during rehearsals.

Blake felt Jessie had won the battle because the song had been more of a challenge for her. Pharrell thought it better suited Ryan, but Adam disagreed. Gwen picked Ryan, while Blake used the second of his two allotted steals on Jessie.

Blind singer Blessing Offor and teenager Katriz Trinidad went head-to-head for Team Pharrell. They were given Stevie Wonder's "Do I Do." In rehearsals, Alicia taught Katriz how to move her body to the song.

Adam and Blake both felt Katriz rose to the challenge, since Blessing is the more accomplished singer. Pharrell selected Katriz as the winner. Adam then swooped in and tried to steal Blessing. The Maroon 5 singer explained that his wife Behati Prinsloo's first name means "blessing" in Swahili, so he was meant to coach Blessing. Gwen made an attempt to steal Blessing, too, but he joined Team Adam.

Ethan Butler and Matt McAndrew were paired up for Team Adam. They tackled Coldplay's first hit, "Yellow." Stevie encouraged them not to be too loud with their vocals, because they were also trying to "break hearts" with the lyrics.

Pharrell said the song was in Matt's wheelhouse, but Ethan surprised him. Gwen said she enjoyed every bit of the performance. Adam went with Matt. Ethan was not saved.

The first and only Team Blake battle of the night pit Bree Fondacaro against Taylor Brashears. They sang Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good." Little Big Town noted Taylor's purity and power in contrast to Bree's texture.

Adam commented it was as if Bree was singing alone in her bedroom during the battle, while Taylor was connecting with the lyrics. Blake added that Bree gets lost in herself during a performance, and Taylor gets lost in the song. Taylor advanced, and Bree is eliminated.

In the final battle of the night, Team Pharrell's DaNica Shirey and Toia Jones belted out Beyoncé's "Halo."

Adam said performing a Beyoncé song is like slaying a dragon, but both artists slayed the dragon. Pharrell complimented both for recognizing the need to sing with conviction. He named DaNica the winner. Adam and Gwen both tried to steal Toia; she settled on Adam.

The two-hour episode also featured a sneak peek at Gwen's colorful video for her just-released single, "Baby Don't Lie." The full version premieres Tuesday on Vevo.

The final night of Battle Rounds will take place Tuesday night on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio