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Monday
Nov102014

Taylor Swift Says Creating Record-Breaking Album "1989" Was the "Most Exciting Experience of My Life"

ABC/Fred LeeThe artistic gamble that Taylor Swift took with 1989 -- making an album she billed as her first official "pop" record -- has paid off in spades, with record-breaking first-week sales.  And despite her early success on the country charts, Taylor says making that pop move was something she was "dying" to do.

"With making a pop album, it was something I decided to do on my own," she says. "My friends have always known that my music had a lot of crossover happening. I was always at the pop award shows and things like that. So I don't think it was really a big shock to anyone who knows me that, that I made this change."

"I think this was something I clearly have been dying to do for so long," she adds. "I've just been wanting to challenge myself as a writer and to kind of switch lanes. And getting to do that and have people just so embracing it, it's really cool."

Even though the sound is different, Taylor says she approached making 1989 the same way she made her other albums.  As soon as she's finished with her previous,  she starts writing songs for her next one.  At first, she says, all the songs come out sounding like outtakes from the previous album, so she just keeps on writing.

"I'll write and write and write and get all those songs out of my system until I then start trying all these crazy new things" she explains of her process. "And every once in a while you hit on something good."

"What ends up happening is you create a new sound for this record that stands completely on its own from everything else you've done," Taylor continues. "And in this case, I had to challenge myself even more than ever before, because I had chosen to switch genres and really explore how to craft those songs and what I would do differently."

"It was," she insists, "the most exciting experience of my life."

It was also one of the most profitable.  1989 sold 1.27 million albums in its first week, immediately becoming the second-best-selling album of the year.  1989 had the largest-selling week for any artist since 2002, and it's the only album released in 2014 that has sold a million or more albums.  According to her label, Taylor sold more than two copies of 1989 every second that first week.  She's now also the only artist ever to score three albums that each sold one million copies in their first weeks.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov102014

Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds to Mars Winners at MTV EMAs

James MinchinLinkin Park and Thirty Seconds to Mars were among the winners Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland, at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Linkin Park earned the award for best rock. Thirty Seconds to Mars received the prize for best alternative.

Ozzy Osbourne was on hand to accept the Global Icon award, presented by Slash.

The lineup of performers for the 20th-anniversary EMAs show included U2, who delivered a rendition of the Songs of Innocence track "Every Breaking Wave."

You can check out a full list of winners at TV.MTVEMA.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Nov102014

Ariana Grande, One Direction Among Big Winners at MTV EMAs

Republic RecordsAriana Grande had a great night Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland, at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Ariana won two awards during the EMAs telecast: best female, and best song, for "Problem." She opened the show with a performance of "Problem" and another one of her hits, "Break Free."

One Direction collected three awards -- best pop, best live and biggest fans -- but was not there to accept in person.

Katy Perry and 5 Seconds of Summer also earned multiple honors. They also did not attend the ceremony.

Aside from Ariana, the lineup of performers for the 20th-anniversary EMAs show included Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX, Alicia Keys, Enrique Iglesias, U2 and EMAs host Nicki Minaj.

Here are the winners:

Best Song
Ariana Grande -- "Problem" ft. Iggy Azalea

Best Pop
One Direction

Best Female
Ariana Grande

Best Male
Justin Bieber

Best Live
One Direction

Best New
5 Seconds of Summer

Best Video
Katy Perry -- "Dark Horse ft. Juicy J"

Best Rock
Linkin Park

Best Alternative
Thirty Seconds to Mars

Best Hip Hop
Nicki Minaj

Best Electronic
Calvin Harris

Biggest Fans
One Direction

Best Look
Katy Perry

Best Push
5 Seconds of Summer

Best Song with a Message

Beyoncé, "Pretty Hurts"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Nov102014

Katy Perry Wins Two Prizes at MTV EMAs

Christie Goodwin/Capitol RecordsKaty Perry was among the artists who won multiple honors Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland, at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Katy received the prizes for best video, for "Dark Horse," and best look. She did not attend the ceremony.

Boy-band One Direction collected three awards, while Ariana Grande and 5 Seconds of Summer each picked up two.

The lineup of performers for the 20th-anniversary EMAs show included Ariana, U2, Alicia Keys, Enrique Iglesias, Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX and EMAs host Nicki Minaj.

Here are the winners:

Best Song
Ariana Grande -- "Problem" ft. Iggy Azalea

Best Pop
One Direction

Best Female
Ariana Grande

Best Male
Justin Bieber

Best Live
One Direction

Best New
5 Seconds of Summer

Best Video
Katy Perry -- "Dark Horse ft. Juicy J"

Best Rock
Linkin Park

Best Alternative
Thirty Seconds to Mars

Best Hip Hop
Nicki Minaj

Best Electronic
Calvin Harris

Biggest Fans
One Direction

Best Look
Katy Perry

Best Push
5 Seconds of Summer

Best Song with a Message

Beyoncé, "Pretty Hurts"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Nov102014

Britney Shares Photo of Herself with New Boyfriend

Denise TruscelloBritney Spears confirmed in an interview with TV's Extra last week that she is dating producer and writer Charlie Ebersol. She provided photographic evidence on Instagram over the weekend.

Brit on Saturday posted a selfie featuring herself with Ebersol, the son of TV executive Dick Ebersol. Both of them are grinning.

The caption that accompanies the photo simply contains a heart symbol.

Britney told Extra that the relationship is "very new."

❤️

A photo posted by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Nov102014

Peter Gabriel Performs "Heroes" at Berlin Wall Anniversary Event

York TillyerPeter Gabriel was one of the performers Sunday evening at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate for a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Gabriel sang David Bowie's 1970s classic "Heroes," which was inspired by the Berlin Wall. He covered the song on his 2010 album, Scratch My Back.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Nov102014

Justin Bieber Shows Up to NFL Team's Bible Study

Ben WattsThe NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers had a special guest at their Bible study session over the weekend: Justin Bieber.

Steelers player Cam Heyward on Saturday tweeted a photo of a winter-cap-wearing Justin at the session, writing, "Didn't know he was a steelers fan, but welcome to steelernation @justinbieber."

Teammates Bruce Gradkowski and Arthur Moats also posted photos of the Bieb.

The team was in the New Jersey area over the weekend, where they played the New York Jets and lost.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Nov102014

Kelly Clarkson: I Want to Squeeze My Cute Daughter's Face Off

Jill Greenberg/RCA RecordsKelly Clarkson has an adorable baby, and she's not afraid to share that fact with the world.

On Friday, she tweeted a new photo of her daughter, River Rose, wearing a bib and a pink knitted cap with fuzzy animal ears on top.

Kelly wrote, "Seriously, I want to squeeze her little cute face off!"

Kelly and her husband, Brandon Blackstock, welcomed River Rose in June.

 

 


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Nov102014

Madonna's "Desperately Seeking Susan" Jacket Fetches $252K at Auction

Julien's AuctionsHundreds of thousands of dollars of Madonna memorabilia were sold during Julien's Auctions' Icons of Rock n’ Roll auction in Beverly Hills, held Friday and Saturday.

Among the big-ticket items: a jacket Madonna wore in the film Desperately Seeking Susan, which sold for 252 thousand dollars. An earring from the movie pulled in 34,375 dollars.

The wedding dress Madonna wore when she married Sean Penn fetched 81,250 dollars, and the gown and fur stole she donned for her "Material Girl" video brought in $73,125.

These items, plus others from throughout her career, represented the largest-ever collection of memorabilia from the singer to go under the hammer.

The auction also featured items related to Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Lady Gaga and other musicians.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Nov102014

Insurers Investigating Life, Death of Mick Jagger's Girlfriend

Slaven Vlasic/Getty ImagesWhen L'Wren Scott, the 49-year-old fashion designer girlfriend of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, was found dead by suicide on March 17, 2014, the band canceled their then-imminent Australia/New Zealand leg of their tour as Jagger dealt with his grief.  Now a federal court has granted some insurance underwriters permission to investigate Scott's mental state prior to her death, as part of their continuing effort not to pay the Stones for the tour cancellation.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the Stones had a $23.9 million insurance policy to cover the band in case the "sudden and unforeseen" deaths of each of the legendary band's members and their families led to the cancellation of a tour. However, a $12.7 million payout to the band to cover the lost shows never happened, prompting the Stones to sue the underwriters in U.K. court.  In preparing their defense, the Tribune reports the underwriters have now gotten court permission to seek evidence on Scott's mental state from her brother, Utah resident Randall Brambrough.

The underwriters were also seeking permission from authorities in New York City for similar evidence from Scott’s former assistant, as well as the executor of Scott's will, and from the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The insurers claim they didn't pay because the condition that led to Scott hanging herself was pre-exisiting, and therefore wasn't covered by the policy's "sudden and unforeseen" death clause. The underwriters also reportedly claimed Jagger's excuse for cancelling the shows wasn't properly documented. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, a physician declared the singer was suffering from, "acute traumatic stress disorder" as a result of Scott's suicide, and therefore had to take a break from performing. However, the underwriters reportedly claim Jagger wasn't physically examined, and that the physician who signed the letter wasn't a psychiatrist.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Nov102014

NOFX Fan Gets Payback After Being Decked by Lead Singer Fat Mike

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty ImagesThe overzealous NOFX fan who was on the receiving end of lead singer Fat Mike Burkett’s fist and foot after jumping on stage during a show in Sydney, Australia, last week got some payback Friday.  TMZ has obtained video of the fan meeting Fat Mike backstage.

In the video, the singer apologizes for treating the fan so harshly and offers him a beer. Fat Mike explains that he was suffering from neck pain at the time and invites the guy to kick him in the shin as payback.  

When Fat Mike and others in the room realize the fan is wearing heavy boots, they offer a soft slipper and suggest he wear that when he kicks Mike.  The fan dons the slipper and gives the punk rocker a swift kick.  Fat Mike obligingly screams in pain and the two shake hands afterward.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Nov102014

Pink Floyd's Nick Mason Says Creating The Endless River Was a "20-Year Journey"

Columbia RecordsToday, Pink Floyd releases its first new album in 20 years, The Endless River.  The project, which singer/guitarist David Gilmour has said will be the band's final studio effort, was built around instrumental recordings originally intended for an abandoned second disc that was to have been included with the 1994 album The Division Bell.

Eventually, the band's surviving members Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason decided to revisit the sessions, add some new music and assemble the tracks into a cohesive album that stood on its own.

"It's actually been a 20-year journey of it gradually being distilled and distilled," Mason explains to ABC News Radio, "getting rid of the things that didn't work and keeping the things that did, and then reworking some of those."

Mason says he "absolutely loved" getting the chance to go back and redo the old tracks.

"I tend to be quite critical of listening to any of our old records," he notes.  "So, actually, to revisit something that was done 20 years ago and go, 'Well, that's okay,' or 'I can improve on that,' or 'Actually, I'll just polish that bit up' is great."

The 70-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer estimates that about 50 percent of The Endless River comes from the sessions and 50 percent is newly added material.

"It's been a long and fairly technical exercise at times," he says with regard to the rerecorded sections and overdubs he and Gilmour added.  "And at other times, [it was] about listening to things and keeping them in a very pure form; i.e., as they were recorded on the day in that studio."

The Endless River is made up of four sections, or sides, and is entirely instrumental until the album-closing song, "Louder Than Words."  Mason admits that "the structure of this record felt very peculiar," and that he and Gilmour worried about how it might be received, but says they decided that they were "allowed to do what we want" creatively.

Meanwhile, fans listening to the record may notice some parts that remind them of classic songs from throughout Pink Floyd's career.

Mason says he's aware of these sonic references, and has thought about the validity of revisiting ideas from the group's past. "To some extent it's a matter of going, 'Well, is it legitimate to reuse this idea?'" he notes.  "And, after a while, you go, 'Well, do I like it?  Do I think other people will like it?  Yes.'"

Nick tells ABC News Radio that The Endless River also serves as a tribute to founding Pink Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright, who died in 2008 at age 65 after a battle with cancer.

"One of the elements that we discovered really when we started listening back to all this material was how much there was of Rick on it," says Mason. "And so it became clearer and clearer, really, that this was a really good opportunity to remind everyone of how much Rick had contributed over the years."

The Endless River is available in a variety of formats and configurations, including a standard CD, a two-LP vinyl set and a deluxe CD/DVD package offering bonus audio and video tracks, a hardback booklet and three collectible postcards.  For more details about the album, visit PinkFloyd.com/theendlessriver.  You also can watch a nine-minute documentary about the making of The Endless River at Pink Floyd's official YouTube channel.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov102014

Aretha Franklin Says She Hears Her "Influence" in Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson

RCA RecordsAretha Franklin is showing no signs of slowing down.  Last month, her latest album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, entered the Billboard 200 at #13 -- the highest debut on that chart since 1985.  The legendary singer explained to Billboard what inspired her latest project.

"I love these songs," Franklin says of the disc, which is devoted to cover versions of songs made famous by great female singers, everyone from Gladys Knight to Adele.  "I listened to them all, by the original artists, for my own enjoyment.  So making this record was a pleasure."'

Franklin also reveals that she has an appreciation for an artist like Alicia Keys, whose "No One" she covers on her new album and who she describes as "the girl of a thousand faces."

"Her appearance is always changing, so you never get used to what she looks like," notes the Queen of Soul.  "She's very stylized, but she has recorded some really great things."  She adds, "I especially like that old-school song she has, 'You Don't Know My Name,' and of course that New York song ['Empire State of Mind']!  I'm really glad she wrote that, because from time to time we need a new song for New York, for Detroit, for Chicago.  And there really hadn't been one since Liza Minnelli did 'New York, New York,' so that was very timely."

Asked about other young artists, Aretha says feels that many are inspired by her timeless music.  "I think they're doing a very good job -- Beyoncé, Alicia, Jennifer [Hudson].  I hear my influence sometimes; I know when my voice, when something I'm known for, has passed," she says, adding, "These young ladies, for the most part, are all very original."

Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics is available now.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov102014

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockKenny Chesney and Jason Aldean's two shows at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts sold out in just 12 minutes. More than 110,000 tickets were snatched up for the shows August 28 and 29, 2015.

Gretchen Wilson appears on ABC's The View Monday.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov102014

Taylor Hawkins Says "Sonic Highways" Is "as Perfect as We Can Be"

Image Courtesy of Roswell Records/RCA RecordsAfter a month of hype, including a week-long residency on The Late Show with David Letterman, a bevy of secret shows, and, of course, an HBO documentary series, the Foo Fighters' Sonic Highways album is finally here. The only question remains, is it any good? According to drummer Taylor Hawkins, the album is "as perfect as we can be."

"We kept [Sonic Highways] as humanly perfect as possible, but nothing more," he tells NME. "Not anything over humanly perfect."

While the album may be out, the whole Sonic Highways experience continues. The Sonic Highways documentary series airs its fifth episode, which is focused on Los Angeles, this Friday on November 14. There are three more episodes after that, which will take place in New Orleans, Seattle and New York.

You can watch the entire interview with Hawkins, along with Dave Grohl, guitarists Pat Smear and Chris Shiflett, and bassist Nate Mendel on NME.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov102014

Eric Church and Wife, Katherine, Preparing to Expand Their Family with the Arrival of Second Child

Image Courtesy John Peets/Captiol NashvilleEric Church and his wife, Katherine, are getting closer to welcoming a second child into their family. So, far Katherine's pregnancy seems to be going smoothly.

"We're approaching the third [trimester] now," Eric says. "The second one was great. You know, the third gets more interesting. I think she's getting close to ready to get it on over with and done."

Eric has Katherine and their son, Boone, on the road with him on The Outsiders World Tour.

Says Eric, "My son loves the road more than I do. It's fun to have 'em there, and having that balance, I think, is crucial to the success of any artist."

Spending downtime with his family is essential for Eric's well-being, too.

He says, "That's where I recharge. You can't go out there and slay dragons unless you have that place that you can plug back in."

Eric launches a run of shows in Canada starting Thursday night in London, Ontario.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov102014

Selena Gomez Sold Her Home to Iggy Azalea

ABC/Randy HolmesEarlier in the fall, it was reported that Selena Gomez had sold her home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Tarzana for 3.45 million dollars. The identity of the buyers were not disclosed at the time, but it turns out one of them is a fellow musician.

Variety reports Iggy Azalea and her boyfriend, NBA player Nick Young, were the ones who purchased the six-bedroom residence. It was purchased via blind trust, with Young’s mother named the trustee.

Young mentioned in a recent DuJour magazine interview that he and Iggy recently bought a home.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov102014

Teyana Taylor Says Mentor Kanye West Is "Just a Prime Example of Never Giving Up"

Def JamTeyana Taylor has finally released her long-awaited debut album, VII, despite being counted out by many of her industry friends. The singer credits her determination and relentlessness to following the advice of her mentor, Kanye West, who told her to aim for "perfection" on her Def Jam effort.

"I learn something new from him everyday, the way he moves, even to his little rants at his concerts," Teyana tells ABC News Radio. "Sometimes it might seem crazy to other people, but when you're a person that constantly feels like you get to the door and its slammed in their face or you feel like these people aren't giving you an opportunity, you definitely understand where he's coming from."

Taylor adds, "The fact that [kanye's] been turned down so much, you know, he came through all of that and now he's one of the greatest. So I think that he's just a prime example of never giving up."

In related news, Taylor’s first studio effort, on Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music label, is projected to have a modest sales start based on first-day forecasts. According to Hits Daily Double, industry insiders estimate first-week sales of 14,000 to 16,000 copies.

VII features contributions from Chris Brown, Pusha T, Yo Gotti and Fabolous, as well as producers like Bangladesh, Harmony, Boi-1da, Hit-Boy, and The Order.

The official sales tally will be released Wednesday.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov102014

Jordin Sparks and Gavin DeGraw to Co-Host AMAs Pre-Show

ABC NewsJordin Sparks and Gavin DeGraw have been named two of the hosts of the online pre-show for the American Music Awards, which will be held later this month in Los Angeles.

Jordin and Gavin will co-host the Coca-Cola Red Carpet LIVE! @ The 2014 AMAs pre-show with Lance Bass, reality star Kandi Burruss, Big Brother contestant and Ariana Grande’s half-brother Frankie Grande, and a few other celebs.

Jordin says in a statement, “I am so excited to be back to host the red carpet for the second year in a row. We have an incredible lineup of performances during this year’s pre-show. It will be a great warmup to what we know will be a wonderful evening of music and accolades.”

The pre-show, which will stream on Yahoo.com/Live beginning 5 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, November 23, will feature performances by Becky G, Ella Henderson and Mary Lambert, among others.

The American Music Awards will air on ABC beginning 8 p.m. Eastern time.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov102014

Ed Sheeran, One Direction Taking Part in New Band Aid Single?

Christie GoodwinEd Sheeran and One Direction may be lending their talents to a new incarnation of Band Aid, the all-star group that first released "Do They Know It's Christmas?" as a charity single 30 years ago.

An official announcement regarding a new Band Aid recording of the song is expected Monday, with organizers Bob Geldof and Midge Ure targeting One Direction, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, among other artists, according to BBC.

Britain's Mirror quotes Ed as saying he and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin have already agreed to do it. Ed reportedly said, "Chris came and sat with me at my O2 gig before Bob rang up. I was already on board before I was on board. Geldof knows everyone! I still haven't met him but he managed to get my number."

Emeli Sande told the newspaper that she's involved, too.

The BBC notes that the new single is expected to raise money for the fight against Ebola in West Africa.

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" originally was recorded in 1984 to raise money for famine relief efforts in Ethiopia. It was re-released in 1989 and again in 2004.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio