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Wednesday
May272015

Brantley Gilbert Scores #1 Country Debut with "Just as I Am Platinum Edition"

Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert's Platinum Edition re-release of his album, Just as I Am, has landed the project at #1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart. The set also hits the top 10 on the overall Billboard 200 tally. The expanded version of the project includes the song "Just as I Am" as well as a remix of Brantley's hit single, "Bottoms Up," with rapper T.I.

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Wednesday
May272015

U2 Playing Intimate Concert at L.A.-Area Club on Thursday

Kevin Mazur/WireImageAlthough U2's longtime road manager, Dennis Sheehan, died suddenly at his hotel this morning, the band appears to be moving ahead with its recently launched iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE trek.  Tonight, the Irish rockers will play the second of five concerts they have scheduled at The Forum in Inglewood, California, and they now have announced a special surprise club gig that will take place Thursday at The Roxy club in West Hollywood, California.

No tickets are being sold for the Roxy show, but U2 is directing fans to its Instagram page, where clues on how to win tickets to the intimate performance will be revealed.

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Wednesday
May272015

Common, Azealia Banks Joining Musical Drama, It Doesn't Have to Rhyme

Def Jam RecordingsCommon is joining the cast of an an upcoming, inspirational musical drama.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the rapper will join Jill Scott and Azealia Banks in the upcoming film It Doesn’t Have to Rhyme, which is being directed by rapper-turned-director RZA.

The 8 Mile-inspired drama follows "a female rapper who enrolls in college and enters a poetry course. The class, however, doesn’t improve her lyrical skills like she hopes but rather unleashes a passion for slam poetry."

The production will begin shooting later this week in New York.

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Wednesday
May272015

Beyonce Releases New Dictionary-Inspired Sweatshirt

Columbia RecordsBeyonce seemingly has solidified herself as a style icon, so much so that her new sweatshirt has sold out shortly after she debuted the look via Instagram.

In the shot, Bey dons a $92 Queen Bee Dictionary sweatshirt from BAW London, which reveals that the definition of her moniker "Queen Bey" is "I call the shots."

The imaged racked up more than a million likes, and the sweatshirt is currently sold out due to high demand, but is available on back-order with an estimated ship date of four to six weeks.

Anoopreet Rehncy, co-founder & creative director of BAW London, told HuffPost U.K. Style how the the collection came together.

"I designed the Dictionary Collection with real-life influencers in mind as I wanted people to relate to the personality slogans and the quirky meanings that we have created," said Rehncy, "Beyoncé is 'Queen Bee’ because she exudes confidence and isn’t afraid of expressing who she is and what she stands for -- the essence of being black and white."  BAW stands for "black and white."

Bipan Ahuja, co-founder & CEO of BAW London added: "She has an incredibly talented styling team including Raquel Smith and Ty Hunter (who also wore our Sir Dictionary design). Team Beyoncé were immediately drawn to our black and white concept."

You can place your order via ABlackandWhiteStory.com now.

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A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Wednesday
May272015

The Weeknd Releases Video for "The Hills" 

Image courtesy Republic Records

The Weeknd has issued a dark visual for "The Hills," a track he recently performed at both the South by Southwest and and Coachella festivals.

In the clip,  posted on YouTube, a bloody Weeknd emerges from a car crash in a suburban neighborhood. He wanders up the street, somehow managing to ignore an angry female passenger and even the explosion of his car.  Eventually, he arrives as a mansion and walks up the stairs into a bedroom where he finds an older lady and two younger women sprawled on a bed.

"I only love it when you touch me, not feel me," he sings. "When I’m f**ked up, that’s the real me."

You can expect the follow-up to his 2013 album Kiss Land to arrive later this year.

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Wednesday
May272015

Jamie Foxx's "Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen" Debuts in Top 10

Image Courtesy RCA RecordsJamie Foxx's Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen has debuted at #9 this week on Billboard's Hot 200 albums chart.

According to the publication, Foxx's fifth studio album did 36,000 in sales and streams in its opening week. His prior effort, 2010's Best Night of My Life opened at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart.

"Thank u to those who picked it up, Foxx wrote via Instagram on the day of the album's release.  "No matter how u get it get it. Boot leg download, haha just want y'all to hear it. Let me know what u think."

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Wednesday
May272015

Omarion Added to Essence Music Festival Lineup

Image Courtesy Matthew Welch/Atlantic RecordsOmarion has joined the lineup for the Essence Music festival, taking place this summer at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Essence has announced the singer is now scheduled to play the 21st annual event, which runs July 2 through July 5. Omarion will perform at the Verizon's Now Playing Superlounge on the closing night.

During the event, concertgoers also will see main stage performers including Usher, Missy Elliot, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Common, India.Arie, Charlie Wilson, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly and Kem.

Comedian Kevin Hart will headlining the festival's opening Now Playing concert with Trey Songz. Other acts scheduled for the weekend include Jazmine Sullivan, Mystikal, Common, Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Floetry, jazz singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding, Kelly Price, Bilal, Nico & Vinz, Elle Varner, SZA, Raheem DeVaughn, Mali Music, Avery*Sunshine, Kindred the Family Soul, Goapele, Robert GlasperWale, Lalah Hathaway, among many others.

Tickets and additional information are available at EssenceFestival.com.

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Wednesday
May272015

Man Who Stole Elton John's Glasses from Memphis Museum Sentenced to Probation

Randy Holmes/ABCA man who stole a pair of heart-shaped glasses that once belonged to Elton John while they were on display at the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum last month has avoided jail time.  The Memphis Flyer reports that Matthew Colvin, a 26-year-old resident of Cordova, Tennessee, received a two-year suspended sentence with probation for his crime.

Colvin, who was sentenced Tuesday in a Memphis court after pleading guilty, had faced as much as four years in prison.  He was arrested in Southaven, Mississippi, on April 28, less than a week after the glasses went missing.  According to the Commercial Appeal, police officials said a crime-scene investigator was able to lift a fingerprint off the plexiglass display case at the museum, which led them to the suspect.  Colvin admitted to stealing the glasses while in custody.

The glasses, which are valued at more than $2,000, are on loan to Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum from Hard Rock Cafe International.

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Wednesday
May272015

Zayn Malik’s Fiancée Co-Wrote Britney & Iggy’s “Pretty Girls”

RCA RecordsZayn Malik had his time in the spotlight with One Direction. Now, it’s his fiancée’s turn. Perrie Edwards, a member of the British girl group Little Mix, had a hand in writing the Britney Spears/Iggy Azalea duet, “Pretty Girls.”

She and her band mates tell U.K.’s The Sun that they penned the tune for their own album, but ultimately decided it wasn’t a good fit. Britney, on the other hand, was eager to snap it up.

“We were in the studio when we found out, none of us could believe it,” Perrie says. “I cried!”

Little Mix was formed for the eighth season of the U.K.’s The X Factor in 2011 and became the first group to win the competition. They're releasing their third album later this year.

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Wednesday
May272015

Songs by Pearl Jam, Soundgarden & More Added to "Guitar Hero Live"

Credit: Danny ClinchThe Guitar Hero Live track list keeps expanding.  Pearl Jam's "Mind Your Manners" and Soundgarden's "Been Away Too Long" are among the newest additions to the next installment of the Guitar Hero video game franchise.

Also new to the Guitar Hero Live track list are songs by Tenacious D, Anthrax, Chevelle and Halestorm. The newly announced tunes join an already stacked track list that includes songs by The Rolling Stones, Judas Priest, Red Hot Chili Peppers,Green Day, Rage Against the Machine, Marilyn Manson, System of a Down and The Black Keys, among many others.

For all the songs announced for the Guitar Hero Live track list so far, visit GuitarHero.com. More tunes from the game will be revealed next Tuesday.

Guitar Hero Live will be released for consoles and mobile devices this fall.

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Wednesday
May272015

Green Day, Kings of Leon and Weezer to Play Inaugural NiFi Fest 

Credit: Felisha TolentinoGreen Day has scheduled their first non-secret, non-Rock and Roll Hall of Fame related show of 2015. The band will headline the inaugural NiFi Festival this August. Kings of Leon, Weezer, Spoon and Bleachers also are scheduled to play the Kentucky festival.

Last week, Green Day played a surprise show at San Francisco punk club 924 Gilman Street, and they also played the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio in April prior to their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The NiFi Festival will be held August 28-30 in Sparta, Kentucky. Visit NiFiFest.com for the full lineup and ticket info.

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Wednesday
May272015

Paul McCartney Was Once Offered a Cameo Role on "Friends"

Mary McCartney/MPL CommunicationsA few years back, Paul McCartney made a surprise appearance on an episode of 30 Rock, but the ex-Beatles star also was once offered a cameo role on another hit NBC sitcom, a little show called Friends

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Friends casting director Leslie Litt revealed that she'd wanted Sir Paul to portray Ross Geller's British father-in-law in the two-part finale for the series' fourth season in 1998.

"I went through his manager and gave him all the details," explained Litt recalled.  "One day, someone in the office brought me a faxed letter written to me by Paul himself!"

Unfortunately, McCartney declined Litt's offer.  "He thanked me for my interest and said how flattered he was, but it was a very busy time for him," she noted.

In the episodes, most of the Friends crew fly to London for Ross' wedding to Emily Waltham.  At the altar, Ross ends up saying the name of his ex-girlfriend, Rachel, but he and Emily still go through with the marriage.  The part of Emily's dad, Stephen Waltham, ended up going to veteran British actor Tom Conti.

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Wednesday
May272015

Petitioners Want Iggy Azalea's Top Rap Song "Billboard" Award Retracted

Jason Merritt/Getty Images via ABCIt seems Iggy Azalea just can’t catch a break. Thousands of people have signed a petition to have the Aussie rapper’s Billboard Music Award for Top Rap Song retracted.

The petition on Change.org claims Iggy’s song “Fancy” was ineligible to receive the prize. "Iggy Azalea's 2015 Billboard Award for Best Song has been proven invalid," the petition reads. "The eligibility time period for nominations is March 10th, 2014 through March 2015. 'Fancy' was released on February 17th, 2014, nearly a month before the eligibility start[ed]."

The petition goes on to say that Iggy’s win was unfair to the other nominees in the category, particularly Nicki Minaj, who likely would have won for “Anaconda.”

More than 17,500 supporters had signed the petition as of Wednesday morning.

But while the petition is correct about the song’s release date, it doesn’t have all of the facts straight. A rep for the Billboard Music Awards' production company, Dick Clark Productions, tells the International Business Times that the song was in fact eligible.

The spokesperson clarifies that the award is based on Nielsen sales data and chart performance Billboard tracks during that March-to-March period, and has nothing to do with the song’s release date. So even though “Fancy” was released a month before the reporting period began, the song still saw enough success in that time frame to warrant the award.

Iggy also took home the Billboard Music Awards for Top Rap Artist and Top Streaming Artist.

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Wednesday
May272015

Dierks Bentley Reveals the Origin of His Unique First Name

CMADierks Bentley's decade of success as a country star means most everyone knows how to pronounce his unique first name. That wasn't always the case, though.

"I’ve seen it spelled and pronounced wrong so many times," Dierks tells Glamour.

Though many suspect "Dierks Bentley" is a stage name, Dierks is actually the maiden name of the singer's great-grandmother. Not that anyone would know that when they criticize it, which they apparently do.

Says Dierks, "People tell me it’s a horrible name! Like maybe I should have gone by Buck Bentley?"

Dierks Bentley's Sounds of Summer tour kicks off June 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Wednesday
May272015

Taylor Swift Shoots to the Top with "Bad Blood"; "1989" Now First Album Since Adele's to Produce Three #1 Hits 

Big Machine RecordsThe Billboard Hot 100 has mad love for Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood."  T-Swift's new single, featuring Kendrick Lamar, has zoomed from #53 to #1.  In addition to its sales and airplay, the song was able to top the chart thanks to huge streaming numbers for its star-studded video.

"Bad Blood" is Taylor Swift's fourth #1 hit overall, and her third from 1989, though Kendrick doesn't appear on the album version.  Still, as Billboard notes, this makes 1989 the first album to produce three #1 hits since Adele's 21. This also marks Taylor's 18th top 10 hit.

As for Kendrick, this is the rapper's first #1 hit and his second top 10.  Appearing on the Ellen DeGenres Show on Wednesday, he spoke about how he ended up being the only male celebrity featured in the "Bad Blood" video.  "Man, she reached out. I've always been a fan of hers, and she was a fan of my music and she reached out and we got it done," he said.

Taylor is a big fan of Kendrick's -- in a recent issue of Rolling Stone, she cites his song "Backstreet Freestyle" as a tune that helped her adjust to life in New York City. 

"I was dealing with dozens of paparazzi outside my place every day. At first, I got really anxious every time I'd be about to open the car door," she told the magazine. "Then one day I put my iPhone on shuffle, and 'Backseat Freestyle' came on. Something about Kendrick's voice and the beat made me feel safe. It was pretty much all I listened to that summer."

Here are a few fun facts about Taylor's chart feat, courtesy of Billboard:

--"Bad Blood" is the second song by that title to hit #1: Neil Sedaka's song "Bad Blood" -- featuring Elton John on guest vocals -- topped the chart in 1975.

--The jump from #53 to #1 by "Bad Blood" is the biggest jump to the top since Taylor's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" went from #72 to #1 in 2012.  But the all time record is held by Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You," which jumped from #97 to #1 in 2009.

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Wednesday
May272015

Taylor Swift Tells Fan Not to Call Her "Mom"; Spotted with Calvin Harris in NYC

ABC/Lou RoccoNote to young fans: Taylor Swift is not your mom. While catching up with her fans on Tumblr this week, Taylor addressed one girl in particular who keeps calling her “mom.” She responded to a video from the girl’s actual mom, in which the woman asks her daughter to stop using the maternal term to refer to Taylor.

In case you’re not aware, teens use “mom” as a compliment to describe a super cool female whom they wish would be their second mom.

"Maddie," Taylor writes to the girl. "This is a passionate plea and I see her reasoning. Your mom birthed you. I was off playing in coffee houses. Your mom tended to you when you cried as a toddler. I drew lyrics on my arms and stomped around in cowboy boots while you cried in the night. Your mom taught you how to speak and read. I was like ‘come on! Let’s all have fun and jump around at this concert and paint our faces with glitter!’"

"So no, I have not earned the right to be referred to as your 'Mom,’" she continues. "I’m more like your crazy aunt. So you shall not call me 'Mom’. No, it’s Aunt Becky."  

In case you forgot, “Becky” refers to an Internet meme Taylor embraced last year.

Meanwhile, between social media posts, Taylor apparently spent Tuesday night out with her rumored beau, DJ-producer Calvin Harris. According to People, the two were spotted holding hands while leaving Taylor’s New York City apartment building.

Taylor and Calvin then reportedly headed to Manhattan’s Little Italy, where they enjoyed an Italian meal at L’asso restaurant. Taylor was dressed in a flirty, light blue crop-top and matching short skirt, while Calvin kept things casual in jeans and a black leather jacket.

The two still haven’t officially confirmed their relationship, but they appear to be slowly taking things public. They attended the Billboard Music Awards together on May 17, where they were photographed hugging and kissing in the front row while celebrating Taylor's wins.  A few days before, they were spotted having dinner in Santa Monica, California.

Taylor will return to her 1989 World Tour on Saturday in Detroit, Michigan.

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Wednesday
May272015

Chris Brown Wishes Daughter Royalty Happy Birthday

Image Courtesy Eliot Lee Hazel/RCA Records

It has only been two months since the world learned that  Chris Brown fathered a child with model Nia Guzman. However, the singer has shown that he's dedicated to co-parenting his daughter Royalty, who is celebrating her first birthday.

The singer took to Instagram on Wednesday to wish his child a happy birthday, posting a sweet photo of Royalty sticking out her tongue at the camera.

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY LIL LADY ROYALTY!!!! I Love u ," Brown wrote in the caption.

Prior to announcing Royalty's birthday, Brown shared that she wasn't feeling well on Tuesday. "Lil momma don't feel good! Missing my boo boo," he captioned a picture of a sad-faced Royalty.

It seems Brown is making good on his intention to be a part of his daughter's life. "I honestly never knew I could love someone as strong as I do," Brown declared via Instagram earlier this month. "I'm gonna give her the world."

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Wednesday
May272015

Tamar Braxton Launches New Single, "If I Don't Have You" 

Epic RecordsTamar Braxton has released a new song called "If I Don't Have You," the official lead single from her forthcoming album, Calling All Lovers.

Similar to her buzz track "Let Me Know," the singer aims to keep her relationship intact on her bouncy track, produced by Da Internz.

"You should know if I don’t have you/Rocks me to the core/I can’t love no more/If I don’t have you/Know I’m done for sure/Nobody worth fighting for," Tamar belts.

The singer also revealed she's in a good space for her fourth album, which will include contributions from her husband, Vincent Herbert, as well as songwriter and producer Antonio "L.A." Reid.

"This is the most creative, fun, and busiest time of my life, and I couldn't be happier" says Tamar in a statement, "The release of my new single 'If I Don't Have You' along with working closely with Vince and my longtime friend L.A. Reid on my new album, plus a packed television production schedule, an exciting new tour, and raising our two-year-old son Logan -- all keeps me going 24/7, just the way I like it!"

Calling All Lovers, the follow-up to 2013’s Love and War, arrives in stores July 31.  In the meantime, you can catch Tamar in the new season of Braxton Family Values, airing Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on WeTV.

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Wednesday
May272015

Beyonce Makes Forbes' List of America's 50 Richest Self-Made Women

Eric McCandless/CBSAnother day, another Forbes list.  Beyonce is on the publication's first-ever list of "America's 50 Richest Self-Made Women." 

According to Forbes, a minimum net worth of 250 million dollars was the criteria for making the list and Queen Bey just made the cut as one of the few entertainers mentioned. Thanks to her lucrative On the Run tour, Beyonce has tied with Judge Judy for the #49 spot with estimated fortunes of $250 million.

Elsewhere, Madonna ranks #28, with an estimated net worth of $520 million while TV mogul Oprah Winfrey ranks fifth, with $5 billion.

Other well-known names on the list include designers Tory Burch, Donna Karan, Vera Wang and Diane von Furstenberg; author Nora Roberts; Spanx founder Sarah Blakely; and Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg.  The richest woman on the list is Elizabeth Holmes, who founded a blood-testing firm. She's worth $4.5 billion, and at age 31, she's the world's youngest female billionaire.

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Wednesday
May272015

Paul McCartney Was Once Offered a Cameo Role on "Friends"

Mary McCartney/MPL CommunicationsA few years back, Paul McCartney made a surprise appearance on an episode of 30 Rock, but the ex-Beatles star also was once offered a cameo role on another hit NBC sitcom, a little show called Friends

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Friends casting director Leslie Litt revealed that she'd wanted Sir Paul to portray Ross Geller's British father-in-law in the two-part finale for the series' fourth season in 1998.

"I went through his manager and gave him all the details," explained Litt recalled.  "One day, someone in the office brought me a faxed letter written to me by Paul himself!"

Unfortunately, McCartney declined Litt's offer.  "He thanked me for my interest and said how flattered he was, but it was a very busy time for him," she noted.

In the episodes, most of the Friends crew fly to London for Ross' wedding to Emily Waltham.  At the altar, Ross ends up saying the name of his ex-girlfriend, Rachel, but he and Emily still go through with the marriage.  The part of Emily's dad, Stephen Waltham, ended up going to veteran British actor Tom Conti.

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