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Monday
Jun222015

Alice Cooper on Paul McCartney: "Paul's a Rocker, Man"

MJ KimPaul McCartney  is just one of the stars Alice Cooper recruited for his forthcoming Hollywood Vampires album, and Cooper tells NME that even his fellow stars were in awe when the former Beatle sat down at the piano to work on a re-recording of "Come and Get It," the song McCartney wrote for Badfinger.

But, says Alice, "He was just one of the guys. He was just one of the guys in the band. So now when I see him, I go, 'Vampire.' And he goes, 'I'm a Vampire.'"

“If he wasn't in his band, he would be in a pub somewhere playing with a bunch of guys. He just loves to play. And even though, you look back and go, 'Jesus, the guy is a Beatle,.'” Cooper said. “ He wasn't just a Beatle; he was the Beatle… and wrote more songs than anybody and never has gone back on what he believes, what he does.”

As previously reported, the album is a star-studded tribute to the collective of fellow rock stars whom Cooper used to drink with known as the Hollywood Vampires, a group that included Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, Harry Nilsson, and most famously McCartney's Beatles mate John Lennon.  “John Lennon was one of our nightly guys; he was there every night,” Cooper tells NME.

In addition to McCartney, Cooper recruited Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and actor/musician Johnny Depp for the tribute to his late drinking buddies.

Hollywood Vampires are scheduled to perform at Rock in Rio this September.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun222015

Missy Elliott Feels Honored to Appear at 2015 Essence Festival 

Atlantic Records

Missy Elliott is extremely grateful for her upcoming performance at the 2015 Essence Festival, which is set to take place July 2-5 in New Orleans.

The rapper revealed that the event holds a special significance for her given that Essence is a publication geared toward black women.

"I’m honored to be performing at Essence this year," Missy Elliott tells HipHopDX. "I’ve always heard how live the crowd is and they always been known to have some of the best artists performing, so it’s an honor. I’m humbly grateful and I want to see my fans and we just gonna have a lot of fun."

During the event, concertgoers also will see main stage performers including Usher, 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 and Lalah Hathaway, among many others.

Tickets and additional information are available at EssenceFestival.com.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun222015

The Weeknd Debuts on Hot 100 Chart with "Can't Feel My Face"

Image courtesy Republic Records

As Wiz Khalifa's"See You Again," featuring Charlie Puth, remains atop the Billboard Hot 100 for a ninth week, The Weeknd is gaining steam with his new song, "Can't Feel My Face."

According to the publication, the banger, co-written by Max Martin, opens as the Hot Shot Debut at nunmber 24. The song debuts with more than 4.2 million U.S. streams and 93,000 downloads sold. The singer also has two other songs in the top 25 on the chart: "Earned It" at number 8 and "The Hills" at number 23.

Elsewhere, newcomer Jidenna's "Classic Man" featuring Roman GianArthur climbs from number 62 to number 60 on the Hot 100.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jun222015

James Taylor: My Music Might Rot Your Teeth

Timothy WhiteJames Taylor’s music may be classified as sweet and mellow, but even he admits it isn’t for everybody: even President Barack Obama.

Taylor -- who performed at the President’s second inauguration -- was asked by Billboard if the commander-in-chief was a fan of his songs, and he wasn’t so sure.

“A person of his age couldn’t avoid hearing a few songs of mine, really, but I don’t think it’s his favorite thing,” he said.

When informed that famed rock writer Lester Bangs had once written an essay -- "James Taylor Marked for Death" -- attacking the singer’s songs as being to “self involved,” Taylor was inclined to agree.

“My music is relentlessly self-referred, but that’s the human condition. The self is the causa sui. So, I understand,” he said. “Some people think my music is rotting their teeth out. I haven’t read that essay, and now I know I shouldn’t. But I might agree with it.”

Still, the 67-year old singer can’t help being soothing. After all, his songs are a way to comfort himself.

“I’m an opiate addict,” he said. “Mellow and smooth is fine for me.”

Taylor, who just released the album Before This World, also admitted that he is surprised some fans were shocked to hear him use the word, “poontang” in the new song, “Stretch of the Highway”.

“It’s a great word! I find out now that to some people, it means 'vagina.' But it didn’t to me,” said Taylor. “To me, it’s the same as saying 'sex.'”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jun212015

Report: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Dismisses Nominating Committee Members

Rock and Roll Hall of FameThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has reportedly dismissed a number of members of their nominating committee.  But what’s attracting the most attention about the move is exactly who was sent packing.

According to Billboard, nominating committee head Jon Landau on Thursday sent emails to as many as 16 of the 42 nominating committee members, showing them the door.  Those 16 people, Billboard says, include four of the seven members of the Hall of Fame’s Early Rock and R&B Influencers subcommittee.  Which, if true, means rock and roll’s early blues, R&B and other pioneers just lost more than half of their supporting voices, which could in turn lead to fewer of those early pioneers even being nominated, let alone inducted. 

Billboard doesn't say whether there is a plan for the dismissed committee members to be replaced.

While noting that turnover on the nominating committee isn’t unprecedented, Billboard quotes unspecified sources as saying this latest move is seen by some as a way for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to exclude older, not-so well-known artists in favor of more contemporary ones, who in turn resonate more with younger, mainstream music fans and are more financially lucrative for the Hall.  Billboard further quotes some insiders point to influential Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation member, and Rolling Stone publisher, Jann Wenner as being behind the move.  Wenner has been a frequent target of past criticism for allegedly playing favorites through the nominating process.

So far, no comment from Landau, Wenner or other involved parties, Billboard reports.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jun212015

Billy Joel Dedicates Song to Charleston at Record-Breaking MSG Performance

Myrna SuarezBilly Joel broke a record with his Saturday night performance at New York’s Madison Square Garden, but he wasn’t in the mood to pat himself on the back.

Joel’s show was his 65th at the venue, which now stands as the most performances there by any artist.  However, he told the audience that the milestone didn’t seem that important, given the situation in Charleston.  Joel then dedicated his song “Keeping the Faith” to the people of the South Carolina city.

Nine people, all African-American, were shot to death in the historic Emanuel AME Church Wednesday night during a prayer meeting.  Dylann Roof, 21, has been arrested for and has reportedly confessed to the murders, which are believed to be racially-motivated.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jun212015

Dave Grohl on Nirvana's Hall of Fame Reunion Performance: "I Hadn't Heard that Sound Since Kurt Died"

Universal Music Group - Anton CorbijnBefore becoming a rock n' roll hero who finishes shows even after falling off a stage and breaking a leg, as he did during a recent show in Sweden, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl was the drummer behind the rock hero of the 90's: Nirvana's Kurt Cobain. Two decades after Cobain died, Grohl, bassist Krist Novoselic and guitarist Pat Smear staged a mini Nirvana reunion when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year.

"I hadn't heard that sound since Kurt died," Grohl tells The Telegraph of the rehearsals leading up to the Hall of Fame performance. "When we played together, it sounded like Nirvana."

While he's one of the most famous rock stars on the planet today, Grohl felt that while he was in Nirvana, he never really felt any of the drama surrounding the band.

"I was just the drummer, I could walk in the front door of a Nirvana show and people wouldn’t really recognize me," he says. "So I kind of got to experience it all from the outside."

"I've seen a lot of my friends have a really hard time with fame," Grohl adds. "But when the world around you changes it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to change with it. I didn't go and buy a Lamborghini because I had a million dollars. I was excited that so many people liked the music. To walk into a bar and see some kid air drumming to a song I recorded on, I love that. That's the way I took it in. It doesn't make me any better than the kid. It's just kinda cool."

Grohl is currently recovering from said fall, which forced Foo Fighters to cancel the remainder of the European and U.K. tour. The band's North American tour, beginning July 4 in Washington, D.C., so far remains unaffected.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jun212015

Richie Sambora to Spend Father's Day with His "Extraordinary" Daughter

Taylor Hill/WireImageOne of the main reasons Richie Sambora has given for why he left Bon Jovi is that he felt that his daughter Ava, whose mom is Richie's ex, Heather Locklear, needed him, and he wasn't spending enough time with her.  But she seems to have turned out just fine, despite the fact that Richie's been on the road for 30 years.

"My daughter actually is very extraordinary," he told reporters at a red carpet event in New York City this week.  "It even freaked me out.  She ended up with a 4.3 grade average and [she got into] 11 schools, and she's coming to NYU. So I'll be in New York City a lot more!"

Richie will spend Father's Day Sunday with Ava and then on Monday, he'll be back in the studio recording new music.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jun212015

Why Ed Sheeran's Father Is His Hero 

ABC/Ida Mae AstuteEd Sheeran is spending Father's Day this year hosting the MuchMusic Video Awards in Canada, but that doesn't mean he won't be thinking about his dear old dad.  At a time when some kids have no respect for their elders, Ed calls his father John Sheeran his "hero."

"My dad’s my hero. I have a lot of musical heroes, but most of them were introduced to me through my dad buying me the CDs or taking me to the concerts," he tells ABC News.  And unlike most guys in their twenties, Ed loves spending time with his old man. 

"He loves whiskey so we’ll sit over a bottle of whiskey and just chat for hours and hours, or go on long drives and stuff," says the singer. "He’s definitely a really special individual."

Ed tells ABC News that his father has taught him some very valuable lessons about life and love.

"He comes from a heavily Irish-Catholic background where family is everything, so that’s kind of been instilled in me and my brother," notes Ed. "And he’s found the perfect woman in my mom. They’ve been together for 32 years now."

Ed adds, "He’s the best possible role model to have in my life and I discover that more and more every day. Like, every day there’s something surprising that I find out about my dad."

And when he does find out something surprising, Ed says that his father has no problem discussing it with him.

"He’s done stuff right in his life and done stuff wrong in his life and he can speak very candidly about everything," the Grammy-nominated star gushes. "And he’s honest and open and I hope he’s taught me to be the same." 

Judging from Ed's song lyrics, we'd say that his dad has taught him well.

As for the MuchMusic awards, Ed tells the Canadian paper The National Post that he likes the event because "you can have a drink or two," unlike "most American award shows."  Asked about his chances of winning, he jokes, "I know that, generally speaking, if they’re not in England I won’t win anything."

Ed has three nominations, including Best International Artist, Most Buzzworthy International Artist or Group and Fan Fave International Artist/Group of the Year.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jun212015

Rascal Flatts' Jay Demarcus Encouraging Son Dylan's Passion for Music

Big Machine RecordsRascal Flatts bass player Jay DeMarcus's son, Dylan, will turn three next month, but the boy is already "eaten alive with music." Dylan loves hanging out at Jay's home studio and is already playing drums and guitar. He's also a big Rascal Flatts fan.

Jay says, "The first thing he wants me to do when I get home [from the road] is sing 'Life Is a Highway' and 'Rewind' and 'Riot,' again, to him in the crib. And I'm thrilled to do it, because I can tell it's in his DNA, and he's just consumed with it."

Fostering Dylan's love for music is very important for Jay, who was also obsessed with music as a kid.

"I was consumed with music," Jay says, "and I wished my father would have taken a little more time to notice that I was so into it when I was that age."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun202015

Taylor Swift Helps Couple Announce Pregnancy, Then Disses Magazine for Way They Reported It

ABC/Lou RoccoTaylor Swift recently helped a couple announce they're expecting their first baby -- but then had to take a magazine that reported the news to task for the way they reported the story.

As E! Online notes, the couple saw Taylor in Kentucky and at a backstage meet and greet, they asked her if she'd help them announce the big news to their family.  They'd brought along their ultrasound photo, as well as a sign that said "Baby's First Concert," and Taylor was happy to pose with them and hold up the sign while they flashed the ultrasound pics.  She later followed up by sending them a handwritten note congratulating them on their happy news.

However, when the British version of OK! magazine reported the story, they tweeted a link with the headline, "Singer Taylor Swift has made a 'pregnancy announcement.'"  Then, in the actual story, they referred to her as "Harry Styles' ex-girlfriend" and "Calvin Harris' rumored girlfriend."

However, Taylor wasn't having any of this "identify me solely in relation to my boyfriends" nonsense, and tweeted them a harsh rebuke.

First, she posted a photo of a killer whale emerging from the sea with the caption, "I came out of the ocean because you need to stop."  Then, she wrote to the magazine, "This misleading headline and your choice of words in labeling me are why we need feminism in 2015."

Ariana Grande made a similar point last week when she posted a lengthy essay -- which some described as a "feminist rant" -- reading, in part, "Is that the only thing women [artists] are relevant for is their relationship with men?' No."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun202015

Is Mike Shinoda's Linkin Park Side Project Fort Minor Coming Back?

Credit: Brandon CoxDid you remember the name? Fort Minor, Linkin Park guitarist Mike Shinoda's hip-hop-based side project, looks like it might be making a comeback.

On their almost entirely dormant Facebook page, Fort Minor posted a photo Friday that simply says "Hello." Additionally, as Alternative Press points out, Fort Minor is scheduled to perform on Conan this Monday, June 22.

Shinoda released only one album as Fort Minor, 2005's The Rising Tied. The group has been on hiatus since 2006.

Meanwhile, Shinoda will be touring with Linkin Park throughout the summer, including an appearance at Summerfest and five shows in China.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun202015

Swizz Beatz Joins Children's Rights' Board of Directors

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images via ABCSwizz Beatz has joined the board of directors of national non-profit Children's Rights.

The advocacy group announced Friday that the entertainer is joining the board after being affiliated with and contributing to the organization for nearly four years in an effort to help raise awareness of issues relating to abused and neglected children.
 
"A decent childhood isn’t something kids should dream about -- it’s their right," Swizz said in a statement. "There is incredible value in using the power of the courts to protect kids in foster care. Children’s Rights positively impacts not one or two, but thousands of young people at once. I’m proud to join the board of directors of an organization that refuses to turn its back on the children who need us most."

His new role with the organization is just a continuation of his ongoing philanthropic work -- he currently serves as the global ambassador for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation; he adopted the Bronx Charter School for the Arts; and he works closely with wife Alicia Keys' Keep a Child Alive, which fights AIDS and poverty in Africa.

For more information visit ChildrensRights.org.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun202015

Journey's Orchestral Show Tonight at the Hollywood Bowl Will Be Filmed

Credit: Alex SolcaJourney will launch the Hollywood Bowl's summer season tonight with a full show and a 100 piece orchestra.

The concert -- which will be filmed and recorded -- will feature some special songs in the set.

"I've heard the arrangements so far and we're doing some older stuff as well as our hits," guitarist Neal Schon tells ABC Radio.  He adds that the lesser-known tunes Journey is planning to play include "'Opened the Door,' off of Infinity, [and] 'Winds of March,' that I wrote with my father and Robert Fleischman before Steve [Perry] was in the band."

The Los Angeles venue's opening-night concert will feature original Journey members Schon and bassist Ross Valory, as well as longtime keyboardist Jonathan Cain and singer Arnel Pineda.  Drummer Omar Hakim will sit in for troubled percussionist Deen Castronovo, who was arrested on assault and menacing charges on June 14.  The concert will be directed by Thomas Wilkins.

The band's performance with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra marks the first time Journey will appear with an orchestra.  Even so, Schon said the songs will hold up.

"They're very, very musical songs and well-orchestrated songs even without an orchestra," he says. 

Proceeds from the show will benefit the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its education and community programs.  The concert is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. PT.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun202015

Tamia Scores Her Highest-Charting Album Ever with "Love Life" 

Def Jam Recordings

After two decades in the industry, Tamia has earned her highest-charting album ever on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart as her latest project, Love Life, arrives this week in the number 2 slot.

According to the publication, the singer's new project also launches at number 1 on the R&B Albums chart after selling 16,000 copies in the week ending June 14. In addition, the album's second single, "Stuck with Me," climbs from number 26 to number 23 in its second week on the Adult R&B Songs chart while the album's lead single, "Sandwich and a Soda," peaked at number 20 on the airplay chart  -- marking her 14th trip to the top 20.

While we're sure Tamia is beaming over the good news, the singer recently told ABC Radio that her biggest goal for the album was to create a complete body of work.

"When I do a project, I want people to buy the entire project. I want them to listen to the entire album and love all of the songs," she said on the day of her album's release.  "I never want to do an album that, you know, is like one songs, two songs and then that's it."

Tamia also spoke on the positive feedback the project has garnered. "I think for me the biggest compliment is the fact that they like the album, they name like three, four, five songs," she says.  "I like the fact that they aren't saying 'On, I only like this song,' or everyone saying one particular song. They aren't doing that. They like the entire project." 

Love Life, which includes contributions from Pop & Oak, The-Dream and Tricky Stewart, is the follow-up to 2012's Beautiful Surprise.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun202015

The Script Ready to Rock 82,000 Fans This Saturday at Dublin's Croke Park, Pharrell to Open

Simon EmmettFor a New York City band, headlining Madison Square Garden is probably the ultimate.  But take the Garden and quadruple its capacity, and you get Ireland's Croke Park, the third-largest stadium in Europe, which holds more than 82,000 people.  That's the venue The Script is headlining this Saturday...thought they can't seem to agree on whether or not it's just another gig, or an epic, once-in-a-lifetime event.

Asked if they're nervous about doing such a massive show, drummer Glen Power tells ABC Radio, "Luckily, we’ve done so many shows that we’re well-prepared and well-versed now, as [far as] our set list and all that kind of stuff. So, you just get out there and you just treat it as a gig; you don’t build it up in your head. I’ve done that before and you end up ruining it for yourself."

"It isn't just a gig," protests singer Danny O'Donoghue. "This is Croke Park. This is 82,000 people!" "But essentially, it's a gig," responds Glen. "We're going on stage and we're playing a gig." "It's not a gig!" Danny insists.

Whether or not it's just a gig, it'll be a great show.  Danny says he's thrilled about their opening acts: one is none other than Pharrell Williams, and the other is a legendary reggae act whose iconic lead singer passed away in 1981.

"We have basically got two of our favorite, biggest acts to come on and be involved in the day," Danny tells ABC Radio. "Obviously Pharrell, but...you know the Wailers? You know, like, Bob Marley and the Wailers? Obviously we couldn’t get Bob, but the Wailers are coming...they’re playing the whole Legend album."

These three very different acts, says Danny, will make for a great show.  "For our fans and our audience, it’s just gonna be a great day for music, you know what I mean?" he gushes. "You obviously get somebody old for the older people and Pharrell for the younger kids and stuff and then...us for everybody!"

In fact, Danny says he's so pleased about the lineup that even if he dropped down dead after it, he'd die happy.  As he tells ABC Radio, "Man! You can take me after that show. I'll be fine!"

If you can't make it to Ireland to see the show in person, the band is streaming it live in select Irish pubs across the U.S.; check TheScriptMusic.com for details.  Because of the time difference, the show starts at 4 p.m. ET.

The show comes in support of The Script's current album, No Sound Without Silence.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jun202015

Craig Campbell's Stepfather Taught Him How to Be a Dad to His Two Little Girls

XPressive Images by JamieIf you caught Craig Campbell's performance at the Riverfront Stage at CMA Music Festival earlier this month in Nashville, then you no doubt saw his youngest daughter, Kinni Rose, clinging to his leg. Craig also brought his oldest daughter, Preslee, along with him to walk the red carpet at the CMT Music Awards.

Craig obviously takes his role as a father very seriously, and he credits his stepfather with showing him how to do the job. Craig's birth father died when he was a young boy, and his stepfather came into his life when he was just seven years old.

"Thank God he did," Craig says. "He raised me in church, to respect others and to always do the right thing. Everything I know about being a dad, I learned from him.”

On the music front, Craig's new single, "Tomorrow Tonight," has just been released to country radio.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun192015

Little Big Town Profiled on "Sunday Morning" This Weekend

Capitol Nashville Little Big Town is profiled on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood this Sunday, June 21. The band filmed the piece in 2014 and 2015 telling the story of their 16 years together. The feature includes footage of LBT's induction into the Grand Ole Opry. They also talk about the runaway success of their latest hit, "Girl Crush."

Check local listings for air time.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun192015

Lady Gaga Won’t Be Singing on "American Horror Story: Hotel" 

Monty Brinton/CBSIf you’re expecting to hear Lady Gaga sing when she appears on American Horror Story: Hotel this fall, don't hold your breath. Show creator Ryan Murphy tells Deadline this season won’t contain any musical numbers.

“The interesting thing is we cast a lot of singers this season but I like that singers, for the most part, are always great actors because they know how to sell a story through song, through a scene,” he says. “I’m excited about that and I think that’s why Gaga was excited about it; it’s not something that she’s ever done before. It’s a pure acting part. I think people expect that she’s going to be sitting in a bar in a white silk gown sort of singing songs -- she is not.”

He calls Gaga’s part “bananas good,” and says this season will be more of an ensemble effort in the absence of Jessica Lange’s lead character.

Ryan also adds that this season is more horror-based than previous seasons. “It’s about a theme and an idea that’s very close to my heart that I’ve always wanted to do that’s a little bloodier and grislier I think than anything that we’ve done before; it’s straight horror this year,” he says.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun192015

Ringo Starr to Celebrate July Birthday with Peace and Love

© Rob ShanahanRingo Starr will ring in his 75th birthday July 7, and the only gift he wants is more peace and love.

As he has in years past, the Beatles drummer is urging fans to flash the peace symbol and say the words "Peace and love" at noon wherever they happen to be in the world. You can even share online with the hashtag #PeaceandLove when the clock strikes noon in your time zone.

Starr began the practice in 2007, when he was asked what he'd like for his birthday, and his reply was "more peace and love.”

Ringo will kick off his birthday festivities with his family and friends at the famous Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood.

“It's amazing how this thing has grown from when I started seven years ago on the streets of New York, just asking people to say 'Peace and love,'" he told the Los Angeles Times last year.

Starr is having a banner birthday year. In March, he released Postcards from Paradise, his first record featuring members of his All Starr Band. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, and his book of photos and memorabilia, appropriately titled Photograph, will be published this September.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







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