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Monday
Jul102017

Omarion debuts new “Word for Word” mini-movie set in Japan

Prince Williams/Getty Images for MMGOmarion has unveiled his new “Word for Word” video, shot in Japan.

The former B2K lead singer co-directed the nearly nine-minute-long clip, which pays tribute to Asian culture, including the martial art of kendo.

"They have masters in kendo, called a dan, and the highest level is like a dan ten," he tells Complex.com. "But you can’t even really start to become a dan until you’re like 40 years old. And it teaches you about yourself. The strikes are personal; a strike is supposed to reflect who you are as a person. Some of that culture is in the video and it mirrors the lyrics of 'Word for Word.' "

In the clip, we see Omarion traveling through Japan, and he speaks in Japanese to a man as he seeks guidance. With sub-titles provided, he says, “I don’t know which way to go.” His adviser responds, “As you are a star, you are a red thread that may seem tangled or easily torn. But that thread never breaks. You have to hone your own soul. Best of luck on your journey. Believe and stay focused.”

Omarion calls “Word for Word” a song of "positivity, good vibes, and self-reflection." The tune is the third single from his upcoming Reasons CD, his fifth solo album.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul102017

How will Kings of Leon explain "Sex on Fire" to their kids? "It's 'Socks on Fire'"

ABC/Randy HolmesWhen you're known for a song called "Sex on Fire," it might be awkward explaining the meaning of your music to your children. Luckily, Kings of Leon have a clever workaround prepared for their kids.

"It's 'Socks on Fire,'" drummer Nathan Followill tells the U.K.'s Radio X. "Uncle Caleb's socks caught on fire one night when I was drying them out on the heater."

Meanwhile, Uncle Caleb, aka frontman Caleb Followill, isn't as concerned about "Sex on Fire" as he is about other Kings of Leon songs.

"I think that song is the least of our worries," says Caleb. "We have much bigger things to tackle than 'Sex On Fire.'"

"'They won't listen to 'Taper Jean Girl,'" adds Nathan, referring to the very explicit song from Kings of Leon's 2004 album Aha Shake Heartbreak. "Ever."

Kings of Leon kick off a North American tour in support of their new album WALLS July 26 in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul102017

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Nashville’s Charles Esten will stage the free “One Single Year Celebration Concert” Wednesday, July 19 at 6 p.m. CT at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s CMA Theater. The show commemorates the fact that Esten has released a new song #EverySingleFriday for the past 52 weeks.

Lindsay Ell’s new video for “Waiting on You” premiered this weekend on CMT. The newcomer is currently opening for Brad Paisley on his Weekend Warrior World Tour.

The debut single from EMI Nashville's Brandon Lay is "Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul102017

The little song that could: How "Yours If You Want It" hung in to become Rascal Flatts' latest hit 

BMLGIt seems very likely Rascal Flatts will soon notch another number one with the lead single from their Back to Us album.

Even though “Yours If You Want It” locked in an early spot on the record, it wasn’t always the main contender to be the lead single.

“It's funny because that song, we cut it and it kinda went away, because it was one of the first ones we cut,” lead singer Gary LeVox recalls.

“And then as we continued to keep going… A lot of times you put your ear to new stuff, and you're like 'That's it! That's it!' And you cut another one and you go, 'That's it!'” he adds, explaining why the song that would become Flatts’ current single seemed to fade into the background.

“'Yours If You Want It' just hung in there,” Gary continues, “and it was like, 'Man, I mean that's exactly what we want to say right at this time, and just a great way to kick off the album.' With… an uptempo with a great lyric -- and those are tough to find.”

The track is currently in the top five and climbing on the country chart.

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Monday
Jul102017

Chloe and Halle reflect on NFL Draft performance following "Essence" Festival set 

L-R: Halle, Chloe; ABC RadioSister-duo Chloe and Halle are fresh from their live set at this year's Essence Festival in New Orleans.  

But the Atlanta-born protégées of Beyoncé are still reeling from their well-received National Anthem performance at the NFL Draft this April. 

Chloe tells ABC Radio, "The NFL Draft, that was really fun. Singing the National Anthem has always been fun for us. We practiced every single day, so we didn't mess up."

"I got to see all the cool football players, that was fun. And, you know, we just had a really great time and looking out and seeing all of those faces out in Philly. That was breathtaking. A moment that we'll always keep near and dear to our hearts," explains the 19-year-old. 

But it's, of course, the pair's otherworldly voices and creative vision that have captivated their legion of fans, leaving them to wonder exactly how the two create their beautifully mature music at such young ages. 

17-year-old Halle says, "Sometimes it starts with a word or a sentence that we heard and it turns into this beautiful song. As for a project, it normally forms itself." 

"With certain songs, we realize we have a unity between the messages in the songs and we figure out what that cohesive message for the body of art would be and then we just build from that." 

Chloe adds, "You know, my sister and I, we are so grateful because we are just girls who like to sing and make music. And we're so happy to be given this platform to share our gift. Everyone has a certain gift."  

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul072017

Metallica's "Hardwired...to Self-Destruct" racks up sales of 1 million copies

Blackened Recordings Metallica's new album Hardwired...to Self-Destruct has surpassed sales of 1 million copies in the U.S. According to Billboard, the record, which was released in November, reached the milestone this week after selling 4,000 copies during the latest tracking frame.

While Hardwired just reached the 1 million sales mark, the album was actually certified platinum in April. That's because the Recording Industry Association of America announced last year that on-demand audio and video streaming, and not just sales, would be counted as part of its gold and platinum certification process.

Hardwired becomes the 12th Metallica release to sell at least 1 million copies since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991. The other 11 discs include the band's previous nine studio albums, their 1998 covers collection Garbage Inc. and the 1999 live album S&M.

Metallica is currently on a North American stadium tour in support of Hardwired...to Self-Destruct.

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Friday
Jul072017

Sammy Hagar announces plans for his 70th birthday bash at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Mexico

Photo: Guy Aroch/Design: Todd Gallopo at Meat and PotatoesSammy Hagar turns the big 7-0 on October 13, and to celebrate the milestone the Red Rocker is organizing a special edition of his annual birthday bash at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The 27th annual installment of the star-studded event will be held over the course of four nights, on October 9, 11, 13 and 14.

Tickets to the concerts, which cost $70, will be made available via a random lottery-style drawing for those who register at RedRocker.com or at Hagar's Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages. Registration will be open from Wednesday, July 12, at 10 a.m. PT through Tuesday, July 18, at 6 p.m. PT. Winners will be announced on July 21, and tickets will be limited to two per household per show.

Over the years, a jaw-dropping list of famous musicians has taken part in Hagar's birthday shows at the Cabo Wabo Cantina, including Van Halen, late Who bassist John Entwistle, Stevie Wonder, Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Joan Jett, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Slash, Duff McKagan, Dave Grohl, Jerry Cantrell, Chad Smith, Bob Weir, Iggy Pop, Tommy Lee, John Mayer and Adam Levine.

Meanwhile, a contest offering fans to win two tickets to Hagar's 70th birthday celebration has been launched by Mercury Insurance, sponsor of Sammy's AXS TV reality series Rock & Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar. You can enter the contest at MercuryInsurance.com/AXS through August 31.

The first of a new series of Rock & Roll Road Trip episodes premieres this Sunday, July 9, at 9 p.m. ET. To promote the show, Hagar and his pal Levine will take part in a Facebook Live Q&A event on Saturday, July 8, at 9 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul072017

A Perfect Circle, Korn to headline 2017 Knotfest Mexico 

Credit: Tim CadienteA Perfect Circle and Korn will headline the 2017 edition of Slipknot's Knotfest Mexico festival, taking place October 28 in Toluca, Mexico.

Slipknot themselves will not play the festival, but the lineup does include Corey Taylor's other band, Stone Sour. The bill also features Anthrax, Bullet for My Valentine, Taking Back Sunday, Hatebreed, Cannibal Corpse and Periphery, among others.

Knotfest Mexico first launched in 2015. A documentary about the festival, titled Day of the Gusano, will be screened in theaters for one night only on September 6.

Meanwhile, the details of the 2017 Ozzfest Meets Knotfest will be revealed on July 10.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul072017

Smells like Musical Theater: Grunge musical featuring songs from Nirvana and Soundgarden reportedly in the works

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, IncThe grunge era is getting the musical treatment. According to Variety, the Seattle Repertory Theatre is putting together a new musical set in the early '90s and featuring pre-existing songs from bands including Nirvana and Soundgarden.

Variety reports that the currently-untitled production will pick songs from record label BMG's publishing catalog, which includes Nirvana and Soundgarden, plus Alice in Chains and The Smashing Pumpkins. Nirvana's former manager, Janet Billig Rich, is among those on board for the project.

Before you say, "Wait a minute, Singles already exists," the musical will feature an original plot that will follow a "brilliant grunge musician and the rival who may have killed him," according to Variety. So, basically, an Amadeus for Gen X.

The musical is still in the early stages of development, and the list of included songs has not yet been determined.

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Friday
Jul072017

Watch Cage the Elephant's "Unpeeled" performance of "Sweetie Little Jean"

RCA RecordsCage the Elephant has shared a video of the band performing a stripped-down version of their song "Sweetie Little Jean," recorded live at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. You can watch the performance now on YouTube.

The "Sweetie Little Jean" performance was recorded during Cage the Elephant's Live & Unpeeled tour earlier this year for the band's upcoming live album, Unpeeled. The 21-track collection features 18 reworked tracks from Cage's four studio albums, as well as three covers. It will be released July 28.

The original "Sweetie Little Jean" appears on Cage the Elephant's latest studio album, 2015's Tell Me I'm Pretty.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul072017

Prince videos and performances now on Vevo for the first time

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesFor the first time ever, Prince fans can now enjoy some of his videos and concert performances on one of the most popular streaming platforms.

When he was alive, the Minneapolis icon kept his clips off the Internet, but now you can see classics “Let’s Go Crazy” and "When Doves Cry," including an extended version, on Vevo, Billboard reports. Live performances of “Baby I’m A Star” from 1984, “I Would Die 4 U,” also from 1984, and “Take Me With U” from 1985, are also available.

While Vevo is remembering the legacy of The Purple One,  a special tribute to Prince is taking place in Louisville, Kentucky, according to InsiderLouisville.com.

An artist named Rebekah Major has been creating Prince-inspired art every day for the past year. On Friday, she opens her exhibit, called “365 Days of Prince,”  at the Revelry Boutique Gallery. The exhibit runs through August 8.

I Would Die 4 U (Live from Landover, MD - November 20, 1984) (Live) by PRINCE on VEVO.

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Friday
Jul072017

Shania's one-of-a-kind Las Vegas motorcycle can be yours...but it'll cost you

Mercury NashvilleShania Twain is using her first new album in 15 years to raise some serious money for her foundation that helps underprivileged children.

If you’ve got $100,000 to donate, you can choose one of two pretty amazing "thank you" gifts: either the one-of-a-kind motorcycle Shania rode onstage during her Las Vegas residency, or dinner with the country/pop superstar and her husband Fred.

Don't have quite that much?  You can still pick up one of Shania’s Sin City stage outfits for $7,500, or buy yourself a $2,500 autographed guitar.

For those more interested in Shania’s new album, NOW, $350 will get you into an exclusive listening event in Nashville. A variety of merch packages featuring the new record, which comes out September 29, start at $40.

You can check out all the items at PledgeMusic.com. The Canadian superstar, who herself grew up in poverty in Timmins, Ontario, started the Shania Kids Can Foundation in 2010.

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Friday
Jul072017

Prodigy mural unveiled in New York City

Johnny Nunez/Getty ImagesTributes to the late Prodigy of Mobb Deep continue: a mural honoring his legacy was revealed Thursday in his neighborhood in New York City.

The painting is located in Queens, New York, on the side of the Urban Upbound public service organization building at 13th Street and 40th Avenue.  It's across the street from the Queensbridge Houses where the rapper grew up, DNAIinfo.com reports.

Artist Jeff Henriquez painted the portrait with Eli Lazare, who also created a mural of another rap icon from the same neighborhood: Nas.

"His deep and meaningful lyrics inspired and influenced many young rappers and followers," say Henriquez and Lazare of the Mobb Deep rapper. They are planning a candlelight vigil for Prodigy at the mural on July 13.

Prodigy passed away June 20, possibly due to complications from sickle cell anemia. He was 42.

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Friday
Jul072017

Sevyn Streeter celebrates birthday with debut CD

Dennis Leupold/Atlantic RecordsSevyn Streeter celebrated her 31st birthday Friday with the release of her debut CD, Girl Disrupted.

The 13-track album includes features with August Alsina, Dave East, Dej Loaf, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, and Cam Wallace.

"The premise of Girl Disrupted is centered on a message every young woman can relate to, the journey from a young naive girl to a grown woman," Streeter says. “This important time in each woman’s life forces them to take ownership of their past in order to become the most true version of themselves."

Beginning her career in 2013 with the release of her first EP, Call Me Crazy, But..., Streeter admits waiting so long to release her first full length CD caused her to suffer from depression. She also believes her race, and her sex, added to her obstacles.

"Being a young black woman can add so many different hurdles," she tells RollingStone.com. "It was almost like I had a muzzle over my mouth. Sometimes I would place it there myself; sometimes I would allow other people to place it there."

Streeter says her faith allowed her to overcome her career struggles.  

"If God is in control of everything, why would I be fearful to say what I want, do what I want, ask what I want?" she says. "Why are you afraid of going left when someone else wants you to go right? It really did cause me to learn how to say no, to learn how to put myself and my thoughts first."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Friday
Jul072017

Madonna to open Malawi pediatric surgery unit named after her daughter

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty ImagesFour of Madonna's children are from the African nation of Malawi, so helping that country's citizens are high on the Queen of Pop's "to-do" list.  The latest project from her Raising Malawi charity makes its debut next week.

On Tuesday, the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care will officially open at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. It's named after Madonna's daughter, Mercy James, and is described as, "the first unit of its kind in Malawi." 

In a statement, Madonna says, "When you look into the eyes of children in need, wherever they may be, a human being wants to do anything and everything they can to help, and on my first visit to Malawi, I made a commitment that I would do just that."

She adds, "Malawi has enriched my family more than I could have ever imagined. It's important for me to make sure all my children from the country maintain a strong connection to their birth nation, and equally important to show them that together, humans have the power to change the world for the better."

The unit will help the hospital double the number of surgeries performed on children each year, as well as increasing the chance of survival. In addition, the unit will train more local doctors to perform pediatric surgery: currently, there are only four in the entire country of Malawi, and 50% of the population is under the age of 15.

Other features of the unit include a playroom for kids, an outdoor play area, and murals curated by Madonna.

Madonna has a son, David, and three daughters from Malawi: Mercy James and twins Stella and Esther.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul072017

Sophie Turner says dating Joe Jonas is like "living in a fishbowl"

Raymond Hall/GC ImagesWhat's it like to date a JonasGame of Thrones actress Sophie Turner knows: she and DNCE frontman Joe Jonas have been together since last year and have even met each other's parents.  Overall, she says it's cool, but the media attention gets her down at times.

"I am very happy," she tells Marie Claire for the magazine's August cover story.  But, she adds, "You do feel like you’re living in a fishbowl… It’s frustrating [that] it’s the most mundane things that make the news – how boring! There are really no other headlines?"

Sophie also says that even though fans have been calling her and Joe "Jophie," she prefers "Mophie," the name that fans came up with for her and her best friend, fellow Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams.

You can see Sophie and Maisie -- also known as Sansa and Arya Stark -- when Game of Thrones starts up again July 16.  Ed Sheeran makes a cameo in one episode. 

The Marie Claire August issue is on newsstands today.

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Friday
Jul072017

Lorde clarifies her comments: She loves Taylor, doesn't like "squad" concept 

John Shearer/Getty Images via ABCBefore you start crying over the idea that Lorde and Taylor Swift are no longer BFF's, hold up.  Lorde took to Twitter on Friday to clarify a statement she made to the Australian TV show Sunrise, which many took to mean that she was no longer part of Taylor's "squad."

During the interview on Sunrise, Lorde talked about what it’s like to suddenly run in the same circles as your idols.  "The second you think too hard about it, you'll just go insane," she explained. Then, she added, "Also, I don't hang out with these people at all."

When the interviewer reminded her that she’s been identified as one of Taylor’s squad, Lorde said, "You know, you make friends in different places. But I think for the most part I'm not, like, calling my idols for advice necessarily."

Now, on Twitter, Lorde writes, "In the interview in question, I had just been talking about [David] Bowie and Patti Smith -- those were the 'idols' I was...saying I'm not friends with, not Taylor!"

She adds, "I've always found people's perception of this 'squad' idea frustrating in the past...forgive me for the mild eyeroll I popped when it was brought up as if we're all blood members of a secret cult."

Lorde notes that it was "really s***y" to see the headlines speculating on "whether or not you've jumped ship on someone you deeply respect...I want to say one more time that Taylor has been there for me in all my dark and light moments of these past five years....I feel truly terrible that it would ever seem like I wasn't faithfully her person."

"I f***d up an interview question," she concludes.  "Now go sip a beverage and head out on a walk."

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Friday
Jul072017

Toby Keith's daughter Krystal involved in horrific wreck with drunk driver on July 4

Courtesy Shock Ink/Photo credit: Kristin BarloweToby Keith’s daughter Krystal narrowly missed being killed by a drunk driver on Independence Day, the 31-year-old revealed Friday on social media.   

“Our 4th turned pretty horrific,” Krystal shared. “HensleyDrew and I were on the way to watch fireworks on the 4th. A drunk driver almost took the lives of my entire family. We all survived the wreck but it’s gonna take some time to heal.”

Drew is Krystal’s husband, while Hensley is their daughter, who’ll be two in October. Krystal also included a photo of her white Mercedes SUV, which appears to be totaled.

“Keep us in your prayers,” she added. “Hug your babies and spouses tight. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul072017

Meek Mill/Yo Gotti tour postponed

James DimmockIt looks like the odds were against Meek Mill and Yo Gotti for their "Against All Odds" tour.

The two rappers were scheduled to hit the road for a month through August 8, however Billboard.com reports the tour has been postponed for "unspecified reasons."

Several of the venues posted the news on Twitter, including House of Blues Boston, Michigan Lottery Amphitheater in Freedom Hill, WaMu Theater in Seattle, and Santander Area in Reading, PA. The messages read, "The Meek Mill & Yo Gotti Against All Odds tour has been postponed. New information will be shared as soon as possible."

On Ticketmaster.com, dates for the concerts are listed as "TBA," so it is unclear when and if the tour will resume.

Mill just dropped his four-song Meekend Music II project on July 4, the sequel to his Meekend Music EP released in May. On June 29, Gotti was honored with his own day in his hometown, Memphis, Tennessee, where he received the key to the city.

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Friday
Jul072017

Styx celebrates 40th anniversary of "The Grand Illusion" by releasing green vinyl version of album

Courtesy of StyxToday marks the 40th anniversary of The Grand Illusion, Styx's seventh album, which was released on July 7, 1977…or 7/7/77. The concept record featured two of the band's most enduring hits, "Come Sail Away" and "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)," and helped propel the group to superstardom.

To coincide with the milestone anniversary, Styx has released a special bundle featuring a limited-edition green vinyl version of The Grand Illusion and a CD copy of the band's brand-new concept album, The Mission. The package is available exclusively at StyxWorld.com and is priced at $37.77.

Speaking recently with ABC Radio, founding Styx guitarist James "JY" Young noted that The Grand Illusion was his band's "breakout album," and the first of four consecutive multiplatinum studio efforts issued by the group. Young described The Grand Illusion as a "magnificent album" filled with "phenomenal" songs. Reflecting on the album's sales history, as well as the changing nature of the music industry, Young pointed out that The Grand Illusion actually had sold more than one million copies on the now-defunct eight-track-tape format alone.

The Grand Illusion peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200, while "Come Sail Away" and "Fooling Yourself" reached #8 and #29, respectively, on the Hot 100 chart. The album has sold more than three million copies in the U.S. to date.

On Styx's current trek, the United We Rock Tour with REO Speedwagon and ex-Eagles guitarist Don Felder, the band has been playing four songs from The Grand Illusion. Styx's next concert is scheduled for July 18 in Tampa, Florida.

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