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Thursday
May142015

Duff McKagan Says New Book, "How to Be a Man," Is "Just One Guy Writing to a Bunch of Other Guys"

Da Capo PressFormer Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan has just published his second memoir, How to Be a Man (and Other Illusions), which hit stores on Tuesday.  While the title of the book suggests that it's an advice or self-help book, the lauded rocker says he doesn't want to define it in those terms.

"I'm not a doctor," McKagan tells ABC Radio.  "It's just one guy writing to a bunch of other guys, [saying,] 'Check this out.  This is what I've learned.'"

In How to Be a Man, McKagan uses his own experiences as a guide to dispense suggestions on how he feels guys should handle various life situations, including relationships with spouses, love interests, children, friends and band mates; finances; fitness; and more.

Explaining what he tried to convey in the book, Duff says, "We can be really cool guys, in this day and age.  We can put down the Twitter and the Instagram and we can go out and kind of make eye contact with others, and open doors for ladies…It's not advice.  It's just things I've fallen upon through my own experiences or what I've learned from my friends and from my family."

McKagan tells ABC Radio that he was inspired to write the book around the time he was turning 50 and came to the realization that he was applying things he'd learned from mistakes he'd made when he was younger to help him reach the happier and healthier place he's in today.  How to Be a Man also features Duff's recollections of some of his recent adventures, including touring with his new band Walking Papers and the supergroup Kings of Chaos, playing bass at some shows with the current incarnation of Guns N' Roses, and hanging with friends like Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell and Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell.  In addition, he discusses his love of his hometown Seattle Seahawks and getting to witness the team's 2014 Super Bowl win in person, and shares lists of albums and books he considers essential.

McKagan is promoting the book with a variety of in-store appearances and Q&A events this month.  He also will be playing with Kings of Chaos this week at the band's first two U.S. concerts ever, on Friday in Hollywood, Florida, and Saturday in Mashantucket, Connecticut.  Book signings have been lined up to coincide with both of the concerts, as well.

The Kings of Chaos lineup for this week's gigs includes Cheap Trick's Robin Zander, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and ex-Deep Purple singer/bassist Glenn Hughes.

"It's really fun, really cool, really good for my bass playing," McKagan says of performing with the all-star band.  "I've learned a lot playing these gigs with these guys."  He adds that Gibbons gave him some pointers on how to play a Texas shuffle authentically, noting, "When Billy Gibbons talks, you listen."

Following Saturday's Kings of Chaos show, McKagan will travel to Seattle for a How to Be a Man interview event with Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic at The Neptune Theatre.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

Steven Tyler Explains How He Discovered His Debut Country Single, "Love Is Your Name"

Image Courtesy Dot RecordsSteven Tyler says he's has thought about doing a country album for years, but the pieces didn't come together until he visited Nashville's famed Bluebird Café a few years ago.  The Aerosmith frontman performed two of his band's songs that night, "Jaded" and the classic "Dream On," and he also heard the tune that would become his debut country single.

"After we were done, this beautiful young lady sat down and did a song called 'Love Is Your Name,'" Tyler recalls.  "Well, I fell in love with it that night."

The rock legend also met current American Idol mentor Scott Borchetta that evening, and eventually decided to sign with Borchetta's Big Machine Label Group to make the country project.

As for why he's decided to delve into the country format, Tyler explains, "Country music means so much to me because it's the first records I ever sang along with, and that would be The Everly Brothers, who first opened up my eyes to start singing way back at the age of nine."

"Love Is Your Name" now is available for download everywhere, and Tyler gave the tune it's live debut last night during the finale of American Idol's 14th season.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

U2's iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour Begins Tonight 

Credit: Olaf HeineU2's massive iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour will kick off tonight in Vancouver, British Columbia.  The tour will hit 20 cities, with at least two shows in each location.  The North American leg will wrap up with an eight-night stand at New York City's Madison Square Garden that runs from July 18 through July 31.  The Irish rockers then will launch a European leg in Turin, Italy, beginning September 4 and concluding with four shows in Paris on November 10, 11, 14 and 15.

iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE will be U2's first indoor arena tour in a decade, and the band has concocted a special stage setup for the occasion.  As the group revealed to The New York Times, there will be three stages: a large, rectangular stage that will light up as a capital I for "Innocence," a smaller round stage that will become a lower-case "e" for "experience," and a large walkway in between.

Each show will feature two sets, divided by -- for the first time on a U2 tour -- an intermission.  The first set will be fixed for the most part, while the second set will be much more varied from night to night.  The tour will not feature an opening band.

The iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE trek also will mark Bono's return to the stage after he injured himself in a cycling accident this past November.  He says that he is still unable to play guitar, though he jokes that his band mates "don't seem to mind."

Here are all of U2's iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour dates:

5/14 -- Vancouver, BC, Canada, Rogers Arena
5/15 -- Vancouver, BC, Canada, Rogers Arena
5/18 -- San Jose, CA, SAP Center at San Jose
5/19 -- San Jose, CA, SAP Center at San Jose
5/22 -- Phoenix, AZ, US Airways Center
5/23 -- Phoenix, AZ, US Airways Center
5/26 -- Inglewood, CA, The Forum
5/27 -- Inglewood, CA, The Forum
5/30 -- Inglewood, CA, The Forum
5/31 -- Inglewood, CA,  The Forum
6/3 -- Inglewood, CA,  The Forum
6/6 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
6/7 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
6/12 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Bell Centre
6/13 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Bell Centre
6/16 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Bell Centre
6/17 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Bell Centre
6/24 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
6/25 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
6/28 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
6/29 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
7/2 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
7/6  -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Centre
7/7  -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Centre
7/10 -- Boston, MA,TD Garden
7/11 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
7/14 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
7/15 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
7/18 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/19 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/22 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/23 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/26 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/27 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/30 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/31 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
9/4 -- Turin, Italy, Pala Alpitour
9/5 -- Turin, Italy, Pala Alpitour
9/8 -- Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Ziggo Dome
9/9 -- Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Ziggo Dome
9/12 -- Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Ziggo Dome
9/13 -- Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Ziggo Dome
9/16-- Stockholm, Sweden, Globe
9/17 -- Stockholm, Sweden, Globe
9/20 -- Stockholm, Sweden, Globe
9/21 -- Stockholm, Sweden, Globe
9/24 -- Berlin, Germany, O2 World
9/28 -- Berlin, Germany, O2 World
9/29 -- Berlin, Germany, O2 World
9/25 -- Berlin, Germany, O2 World
10/5 -- Barcelona, Spain, Palau Sant Jordi
10/6 -- Barcelona, Spain, Palau Sant Jordi
10/9 -- Barcelona, Spain, Palau Sant Jordi
10/10 -- Barcelona, Spain, Palau Sant Jordi
10/13 -- Antwerp, Belgium, Sportpaleis
10/14 -- Antwerp, Belgium, Sportpaleis
10/17 -- Koln, Germany, Lanxess Arena
10/18 -- Koln, Germany, Lanxess Arena
10/25 -- London, UK, O2
10/26 -- London, UK, O2
10/29 -- London, UK, O2
10/30 -- London, UK, O2
11/2 -- London, UK, O2
11/3 -- London, UK, O2
11/6 -- Glasgow, UK, The SSE Hydro
11/7 -- Glasgow, UK, The SSE Hydro
11/10 -- Paris, France, Bercy
11/11 -- Paris, France, Bercy
11/14 -- Paris, France, Bercy
11/15 -- Paris, France, Bercy


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

U2's iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour Begins Tonight

Credit: Olaf HeineU2's massive iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour will kick off tonight in Vancouver, British Columbia.  The tour will hit 20 cities, with at least two shows in each location.  The North American leg will wrap up with an eight-night stand at New York City's Madison Square Garden that runs from July 18 through July 31.  The Irish rockers then will launch a European leg in Turin, Italy, beginning September 4 and concluding with four shows in Paris on November 10, 11, 14 and 15.

iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE will be U2's first indoor arena tour in a decade, and the band has concocted a special stage setup for the occasion.  As the group revealed to The New York Times, there will be three stages: a large, rectangular stage that will light up as a capital I for "Innocence," a smaller round stage that will become a lower-case "e" for "experience," and a large walkway in between.

Each show will feature two sets, divided by -- for the first time on a U2 tour -- an intermission.  The first set will be fixed for the most part, while the second set will be much more varied from night to night.  The tour will not feature an opening band.

The iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE trek also will mark Bono's return to the stage after he injured himself in a cycling accident this past November.  He says that he is still unable to play guitar, though he jokes that his band mates "don't seem to mind."

Here are all of U2's iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour dates:

5/14 -- Vancouver, BC, Canada, Rogers Arena
5/15 -- Vancouver, BC, Canada, Rogers Arena
5/18 -- San Jose, CA, SAP Center at San Jose
5/19 -- San Jose, CA, SAP Center at San Jose
5/22 -- Phoenix, AZ, US Airways Center
5/23 -- Phoenix, AZ, US Airways Center
5/26 -- Inglewood, CA, The Forum
5/27 -- Inglewood, CA, The Forum
5/30 -- Inglewood, CA, The Forum
5/31 -- Inglewood, CA,  The Forum
6/3 -- Inglewood, CA,  The Forum
6/6 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
6/7 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
6/12 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Bell Centre
6/13 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Bell Centre
6/16 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Bell Centre
6/17 -- Montreal, QC, Canada, Bell Centre
6/24 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
6/25 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
6/28 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
6/29 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
7/2 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
7/6  -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Centre
7/7  -- Toronto, ON, Canada, Air Canada Centre
7/10 -- Boston, MA,TD Garden
7/11 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
7/14 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
7/15 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
7/18 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/19 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/22 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/23 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/26 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/27 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/30 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
7/31 -- New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
9/4 -- Turin, Italy, Pala Alpitour
9/5 -- Turin, Italy, Pala Alpitour
9/8 -- Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Ziggo Dome
9/9 -- Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Ziggo Dome
9/12 -- Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Ziggo Dome
9/13 -- Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Ziggo Dome
9/16-- Stockholm, Sweden, Globe
9/17 -- Stockholm, Sweden, Globe
9/20 -- Stockholm, Sweden, Globe
9/21 -- Stockholm, Sweden, Globe
9/24 -- Berlin, Germany, O2 World
9/28 -- Berlin, Germany, O2 World
9/29 -- Berlin, Germany, O2 World
9/25 -- Berlin, Germany, O2 World
10/5 -- Barcelona, Spain, Palau Sant Jordi
10/6 -- Barcelona, Spain, Palau Sant Jordi
10/9 -- Barcelona, Spain, Palau Sant Jordi
10/10 -- Barcelona, Spain, Palau Sant Jordi
10/13 -- Antwerp, Belgium, Sportpaleis
10/14 -- Antwerp, Belgium, Sportpaleis
10/17 -- Koln, Germany, Lanxess Arena
10/18 -- Koln, Germany, Lanxess Arena
10/25 -- London, UK, O2
10/26 -- London, UK, O2
10/29 -- London, UK, O2
10/30 -- London, UK, O2
11/2 -- London, UK, O2
11/3 -- London, UK, O2
11/6 -- Glasgow, UK, The SSE Hydro
11/7 -- Glasgow, UK, The SSE Hydro
11/10 -- Paris, France, Bercy
11/11 -- Paris, France, Bercy
11/14 -- Paris, France, Bercy
11/15 -- Paris, France, Bercy


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

Janelle Monae, Snoop Dogg & More Confirmed for BET Experience Events

Image Courtesy ANDREW ZAEH/Atlantic

Janelle Monae and Snoop Dogg will join two fun events during the BET Experience 2015, a three-day festival taking place June 25 through June 27 at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.

Organizers have announced that the rap legend will show off his skills during a Sprite-sponsored celebrity basketball game on Saturday afternoon, featuring Nick Cannon, French Montana, Omarion, Keri Hilson, Wale and Soulja Boy. Later in the evening, Janelle will take stage for a free concert, including an “L.A. to the BAY” set with performances by Too Short, Cypress Hill and Vince Staples.

As previously announced, concertgoers also will see various performances throughout the weekend, including Nicki Minaj, who is scheduled to headline at the Staples Center, as well as Ice CubeMiguel, TDE's Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, Bell Biv DevoeDoug E. Fresh, the Roots, Ne-Yo, Erykah Badu, ScHoolboy Q and Rae Sremmurd, among others.

Comedian Kevin Hart will also be on hand for the festival, which leads up to this year's BET Awards.

Tickets range from $59 to $169 for three-day passes, visit BETExperience.com for more information.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich female country star sang with Steven Tyler on the song "Can't Stop Loving You" from the 2012 Aerosmith album, Music from Another Dimension? ANSWER: Carrie Underwood.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

RaeLynn Debuts a New, Mature Look in "For a Boy" Video

Image Courtesy Joseph Llanes/BMLGRaeLynn debuts a mature, new look in her new video "For a Boy." It's a departure from the innocent style she had for her debut clip, "God Made Girls."

RaeLynn says of the new look, "My vision was a throwback to the Marilyn Monroe look with a modern feel. It was not only a blast to make but shows my fans, some of who have been growing up with me over the last few years, another side of who I am as I mature from a teen into a young woman."

On Wednesday, RaeLynn picked up a pair of CMT Music Awards nominations -- Female Video of the Year and Breakthrough Video of the Year -- for her "God Made Girls" clip. Voting is now open to the public at CMT.com, and the winner will be revealed on the 2015 CMT Music Awards Wednesday, June 10.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

Miley Cyrus Debuts New Song, Blazes Up at Adult Swim's Upfront Party 

Francis Specker/CBSEach year, it's common for cable and TV networks to invite big stars to perform at their so-called "upfront presentations," when new shows are unveiled for advertisers.  What's not common is for one of those stars to appear half naked and light up a joint while doing it.

Variety reports that for her appearance at Adult Swim's upfront part in New York City on Wednesday night, Miley Cyrus wore butterfly wings, a cape, sheer leggings with no underwear underneath, and nipple pasties.  While onstage, she said, "Where's my joint?  I'll grab a lighter." 

Joint in hand, she then added, "Are you guys drunk yet? Are you guys high yet? No?! You’re gonna be at a show where I’m dressed as a f**king butterfly and not be high? I’m down to share.”

Sure enough, Miley took a puff of her joint and then passed it into the crowd, warning, "You better pass that back."

That wasn't the only interesting thing that happened during the show, either.  She sang songs by Johnny Cash and Led Zeppelin, and debuted a new single from her next album, whose title she gave as "Tiger Dreams."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

Mariah Carey Cancels Las Vegas Performance Due to Illness

Denise Truscello/WireImageAfter performing only the first three shows of her Las Vegas residency, Mariah Carey canceled Wednesday night's show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

Mariah posted a note on her Instagram, declaring, "Hey guys.. I've been fighting bronchitis for the past few days.. almost better but on mandatory vocal rest per doctor's orders. I'm so sorry to cancel tonight's show but I promise to make it up to you!!! Love you always, MC."

A sign posted outside of the venue noted the show won't be rescheduled.

Mariah's #1 to Infinity show runs Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights through July 26, with 14 scheduled shows remaining.  Her next show is scheduled for this Saturday.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Thursday
May142015

"Nashville" Recap: "Before You Go Make Sure You Know"

ABCNashville wrapped up its third season with Deacon Claybourne's life hanging in the balance. He didn't actually tie the knot with his love, Rayna Jaymes, before he received a new liver, but they did recite wedding vows pledging to get married when he recovers from surgery.

Deacon had nightmares throughout the episode he wouldn't survive the transplant, and it looked like he was flat lining in the operating room. The doctor came out to tell Rayna he had some bad news about the surgery, but we won't find out what that news is until next season.

Juliette Barnes' post-partum depression continued as she lashed out at everyone in her path.  When her husband, Avery, called her out on ignoring her child in favor of the recording studio, things turned ugly. She ended up throwing a glass snow globe at Avery and the baby, but it missed them and broke against the wall.

Avery ended up leaving with the baby when it became clear Juliette was not going to take time off to get psychiatric help. Instead, she is signing up with Luke Wheeler's record label and tour in a manic effort to get her singing career back on course.

Closeted country star Will Lexington convinced his boyfriend, Kevin Bicks, to deny their relationship at a press conference. Intimate photographs of the couple hit the National Enquirer and threatened to derail Will's career. After seeing how sad Kevin was to deny their relationship, Will ended up coming out at the press conference. After that revelation, Will was able to tell Kevin he loved him for the first time.

On-again, off-again couple Scarlett and Gunnar are pursuing new relationships right now, but they came back together to write a song for Deacon. They ended up close to kissing after singing the song together, and that moment has been coming ever since the two of them sang "Longer" on stage together earlier this season. Sam Palladio, who plays Gunnar, thinks that performance served as a nod to the musical spark his character shared with Scarlett in season one.

Sam says, "It’s this sort of haunting, dark love song, that actually Gunnar springs on Scarlett in the midst of a show, which obviously throws her off the rails a little bit, and the repercussions afterward are quite exciting and dramatic. But that song was a particular favorite from this whole season, actually."

"Longer" is featured on The Music of Nashville Original Soundtrack Season 3, Volume 2, in stores and online this week. Nashville returns for a fourth season on ABC this fall.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockChris Stapleton's new album, Traveller, debuts at #2 on Billboard's Country Albums chart this week with more than 27,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen Music. That gives Traveller the best-selling first week of any country debut artist so far this year.

Eric Church has now sold out two shows July 30 and 31 to open Nashville's brand-new Ascend Amphitheater.

Zac Brown Band has teamed up with sandwich shop Jimmy John's to give the restaurant's patrons a free download of the song "Loving You Easy" from their latest album, Jekyll + Hyde.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

Duff McKagan Says New Book, "How to Be a Man," Is "Just One Guy Writing to a Bunch of Other Guys"

Da Capo PressFormer Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan has just published his second memoir, How to Be a Man (and Other Illusions), which hit stores on Tuesday.  While the title of the book suggests that it's an advice or self-help book, the lauded rocker says he doesn't want to define it in those terms.

"I'm not a doctor," McKagan tells ABC Radio.  "It's just one guy writing to a bunch of other guys, [saying,] 'Check this out.  This is what I've learned.'"

In How to Be a Man, McKagan uses his own experiences as a guide to dispense suggestions on how he feels guys should handle various life situations, including relationships with spouses, love interests, children, friends and band mates; finances; fitness; and more.

Explaining what he tried to convey in the book, Duff says, "We can be really cool guys, in this day and age.  We can put down the Twitter and the Instagram and we can go out and kind of make eye contact with others, and open doors for ladies…It's not advice.  It's just things I've fallen upon through my own experiences or what I've learned from my friends and from my family."

McKagan tells ABC Radio that he was inspired to write the book around the time he was turning 50 and came to the realization that he was applying things he'd learned from mistakes he'd made when he was younger to help him reach the happier and healthier place he's in today.  How to Be a Man also features Duff's recollections of some of his recent adventures, including touring with his new band Walking Papers and the supergroup Kings of Chaos, playing bass at some shows with the current incarnation of Guns N' Roses, and hanging with friends like Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell and Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell.  In addition, he discusses his love of his hometown Seattle Seahawks and getting to witness the team's 2014 Super Bowl win in person, and shares lists of albums and books he considers essential.

McKagan is promoting the book with a variety of in-store appearances and Q&A events this month.  He also will be playing with Kings of Chaos this week at the band's first two U.S. concerts ever, on Friday in Hollywood, Florida, and Saturday in Mashantucket, Connecticut.  Book signings have been lined up to coincide with both of the concerts, as well.

The Kings of Chaos lineup for this week's gigs includes Cheap Trick's Robin Zander, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and ex-Deep Purple singer/bassist Glenn Hughes.

"It's really fun, really cool, really good for my bass playing," McKagan says of performing with the all-star band.  "I've learned a lot playing these gigs with these guys."  He adds that Gibbons gave him some pointers on how to play a Texas shuffle authentically, noting, "When Billy Gibbons talks, you listen."

Following Saturday's Kings of Chaos show, McKagan will travel to Seattle for a How to Be a Man interview event with Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic at The Neptune Theatre.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

Steven Tyler Explains How He Discovered His Debut Country Single, "Love Is Your Name"

Image Courtesy Dot RecordsRocker Steven Tyler has thought about doing a country album for years, but the pieces didn't come together until he visited Nashville's famed Bluebird Café a few years ago. Steven performed two songs that night, including his Aerosmith classic, "Dream On." He also heard the song that would become his debut country single that night.

"After we were done, this beautiful young lady sat down and did a song called 'Love Is Your Name,'" Steven explains. "Well, I fell in love with it that night."

Steven also met American Idol mentor Scott Borchetta that night, and eventually decided to sign with Borchetta's Big Machine Label Group to make the country project.

As for why a rock legend is coming over to the country format, Steven explains, "Country music means so much to me because it's the first records I ever sang along with, and that would be the Everly Brothers, who first opened up my eyes to start singing way back at the age of nine."

"Love Is Your Name" is now available for download everywhere.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

Elton John Wants a Movie Version of "Billy Elliott: The Musical"

ABC/Randy HolmesElton John's long-running musical based on the movie Billy Elliott has just turned 10, and while marking the anniversary in London this week, the pop-rock legend said he'd like to see a film version of the stage production hit the big screen.

Speaking to the BBC, John said, "It would be lovely to do a film version.  There are other songs that we had had to leave out of the musical that would be great in the film."

He added, "You can only do so much on stage with the material you've got and the length of the show, so I think if one did a movie of this show it would be nice to change some things and maybe put something fresh in."  He joked that if the movie is made, he'd like to play the eccentric grandmother.

Billy Elliott: The Musical first opened in London on May 12, 2005, and has been seen by 10 million people worldwide, according to the BBC.  It was based on the Oscar-nominated 2000 movie starring Jamie Bell as an 11-year-old boy in 1980s England who becomes a ballet dancer.

Elton also told the BBC that he had "just written" a brand new musical, but didn't give any further details.  He did reveal that his two sons, Zachary and Elijah, have yet to see one of his other musicals, The Lion King.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May142015

Rae Sremmurd Says Working with Nicki Minaj Was "a Dream Come True"

Image Courtesy Interscope RecordsRae Sremmurd has found a hit in their latest single "Throw Some Mo," the latest single from their debut album, SremmLife.

Slim Jimmi, one half of the duo, tells ABC Radio what it was like working with Nicki Minaj on the banger. "It was a dream come true, you know, a literal dream come true. She was super cool.  She was fun, it was like a fun environment, you know," he says of recording with her in studio.

Swae Lee tells ABC Radio how the Mike Will Made-It-produced song came together. "Jeremih had brought us the track, it was produced by Soundz, and then we ended up recording our verses and then Nicki ended up hopping on the hook. We got Young Thug on the third verse at DJ Drama studios," Lee says. "It's crazy how that song came together, that song was like a car or something, like coming down an assembly line."

Their song currently sits at No. 8 on Billboard's Rap Songs chart, and the duo is gearing up to join Nicki for the upcoming U.S. run of her Pinkprint Tour, beginning July 17 in Dallas, Texas, and wrapping up August 19 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The outing also will include supporting acts Meek Mill, Tinashe and DeJ Loaf.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

Ciara Felt No Pressure for Latest Album, "Jackie"

Epic RecordsThis week saw the release of Ciara's highly anticipated Jackie, which spawned her personal ballad "I Bet." Although her lover-scorned anthem resonated with fans, her latest release has debuted just shy of the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart. However, prior to releasing her effort, the singer told ABC News that she felt no pressure about her sales start, rather she's just grateful for the ride.

"I'm at this point to where things will be what they're supposed to be. I'm at a very happy place in my life, I'm just truly grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts," Ci Ci says. "I'm just grateful for the time period, like, to have another opportunity again to share my music with the world."

The singer continues, "So I'm proud of that, I just have great faith that its going to be a very fun ride, with that being said there's no pressure in a sense. Things are going to be exactly what they're supposed to be."

Ciara's sixth album, which came in at #17 on the albums chart, includes appearances from Missy Elliott and Pitbull and contributions from Dr. Luke, Polow Da Don, Harmony Samuels, The Underdogs, Rock City, Ester Dean and Diane Warren.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May142015

Watch The Black Keys Discuss Their Origins

Credit: Danny ClinchHow did two kids from Akron, Ohio launch what would become one of the biggest rock bands in America? Random accidents.

That's how drummer Patrick Carney describes the rise of The Black Keys in The Big Come Up, the newest installment of Rolling Stone's "Mastering the Craft" documentary series. Carney and frontman Dan Auerbach met growing up mere doors from each other. They didn't know each other too well, but their brothers were good friends. Though they jammed together a few times, nothing really came of it, and eventually, they lost touch.

Then Auerbach, who had been playing covers in bar shows, wanted to record a demo. He contacted Carney again, since he had his own recording equipment. He intended to record with his own band, but then the first act of randomness struck.

"His band never showed up," Carney says. "So we decided we would just record some s**t."

That impromptu recording session became The Black Keys' first rehearsal, and resulted in the first Black Keys demo. They sent the demo to record labels with a note claiming that they have played all around Cleveland, even though they hadn't played a single show anywhere.

"Whatever," Auerbach laughs. "It was a white lie."

That white lie didn't hurt, but the actual demo did the heavy lifting. The recording impressed the people Alive Records, who signed The Black Keys to a record deal. The band was booked for their first show as an opening band by the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, and they released their debut album, 2002's The Big Come Up. They then developed a cult following around northeastern Ohio before blowing up into the rock stars they are today.

"It was our first attempts at ever writing music," Auerbach says of The Black Keys' first demo. "You get to witness a band from their inception, as like, musicians really."

You can hear the whole Black Keys origin story at RollingStone.com.


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Thursday
May142015

Cole Swindell Scores Dream Collaboration with Alan Jackson on "ACM Presents: Superstar Duets"

Image Courtesy Heather Wines/CBSCole Swindell teams up with his hero, Alan Jackson, to perform Alan's big hit "Chattahoochee" on the new ACM Presents: Superstar Duets special Friday night on CBS. The special was taped last month in Dallas prior to the ACM Awards, and Cole was thankful he actually got to meet Alan before they went on stage together. The two stars interviewed each other in a segment for the show.

Cole says of that experience, "That was a little uncomfortable at first for me just sitting there, and they're telling me, 'Look at him,' and I'm like, 'I'm scared to look. It's Alan Jackson.'"

Of all of Alan's country hits, "Chattahoochee" holds a special place in Cole's heart. He was just a kid when the song was a hit in the early '90s.

"I know I drove my mom crazy singing that song," Cole says. "All that practice paid off getting to do that."

The ACM Presents: Superstar Duets concert was taped over two nights at Globe Life Park near Dallas, but second show went late into the night due to severe storms in the area. The rain didn't dampen the audience's excitement about seeing Alan, though.

Cole says, "They went nuts when he walked out there. I'm just like, I should probably not even go out when he calls me. I just want to watch him sing."

Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Brett Eldredge, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Darius Rucker, Sam Hunt and Brantley Gilbert are among the other stars performing on ACM Presents: Superstar Duets, premiering Friday night at 9 ET on CBS.


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Thursday
May142015

Hozier Says He Was “Very Grateful” for Taylor Swift’s Early Support

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARASWant to take your music career to new heights? Just get Taylor Swift to endorse you on Twitter. Hozier knows that better than anyone. His pal Taylor supported him on social media early on in his career, and he credits her with helping him reach a wider audience.

"Taylor's support was great," Hozier tells The Irish Independent. "I really did see a crossover of fans from that moment on. She has more followers than God, and you will see them go where she says, you see it on Twitter. My phone went crazy the first time she tweeted a link to one of my songs. It's really something, and I was very grateful. Word of mouth is still very important."

Hozier just wrapped a string of U.S. tour dates, with more dates planned for the fall. He says that while he's managed to work on some new material while on the road, it doesn’t really fit with his current style. But rather than ditch the songs, he’s planning several side projects where he’ll release different types of music under different names.

"The longer you've been away from making music, [the more] you're bursting to make something new, to get some tracks down,” he says. “That's a great feeling, to know that you still might have something up your sleeve, that you haven't already used up your best ideas.”

But he’s also happy the popularity of his debut self-titled album hasn’t worn off yet. "That feeling doesn't get any less special," he says. "I love hearing people singing ‘Take Me to Church’ when I play it, but I'm more baffled when they know the words to other songs of mine.”

He’s working hard to keep that fan engagement alive. Hozier will be touring through most of the year, and it’ll likely be March of next year before he returns home to County Wicklow, Ireland for some much-needed rest. For now, the busy schedule suits him just fine.

"Part of me is eager to work on new music and find some open space, but this is the dream, really, and the album has taken off in a way that I could never have dreamed of,” he says. “It's still a big rush.”


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Thursday
May142015

Report: Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris Seen Having Dinner in Santa Monica

ABC/Lou RoccoTaylor Swift and Calvin Harris reportedly provided more evidence this week that they are dating.

People magazine reports the two had dinner at Giorgio Baldi restaurant in Santa Monica, California, on Tuesday evening, with an eyewitness saying, "They were very close together, leaning in to speak to each other and laughing a lot."

The source also notes that Taylor was "glowing, she seemed incredibly happy but also very at ease with Calvin."

After launching her 1989 World Tour in Tokyo last week, Taylor is scheduled to perform at the Rock in Rio USA festival in Las Vegas this Friday.


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