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Thursday
May022013

Taylor Swift's Upcoming "New Girl" Guest Role: "She Came and Nailed It"

Credit: Sarah BarlowTaylor Swift is great at singing, songwriting and performing, and now it appears she's mastered the craft of acting as well.  The folks behind the hit Fox comedy New Girl say the singer "came and nailed" her upcoming cameo on the show's season finale, and rave that she was "very good."

As previously reported, on the May 14 finale, Taylor will play a woman named Elaine who's a guest at the wedding of Cece and Shivrang.  New Girl showrunner Liz Meriwether tells Entertainment Weekly, "I’m a huge fan of hers.  I was fully geeking out about meeting [Taylor].  I didn’t go to meet her right away because I kind of had to compose myself -- there’s a 14-year-old girl inside of me.”  The feeling is mutual: Meriwether says that Taylor was "quoting lines to us from the show" during the episode taping.

While New Girl star Jake Johnson describes Taylor's performance as "very good," he admits that it's a bit intimidating to see how easily the Grammy-winning superstar adapted to an unfamiliar environment.

"She came in and is really nice.  It’s not an easy scene.  There were probably 70 extras there...She had, like, a little monologue and delivered it perfectly," laughs Johnson.  "It was frustrating!”

Meriwether agrees that Taylor "kind of came and nailed it," adding, "She did a little bit of a riff on one of her songs.”  You'll be able to check it out for yourself when New Girl ends its season May 14.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May022013

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBrad Paisley will perform with Connie Britton and Charles Esten's characters at a fictional version of the CMA Awards on the May 22 season finale of ABC's Nashville, according to People.

Blake Shelton's Based on a True Story holds on to the #1 spot on Billboard's Country Albums chart this week.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May022013

Lil Wayne's Apology Letter Doesn't Convince Emmett Till's Family

Facebook.com/LilWayneMonths after Lil Wayne sparked a firestorm over sexually-charged lyrics referencing Emmett Till, the rapper has issued a formal letter to the family of the civil rights figure.  But it seems members of Till's family aren't convinced that the note serves as an apology, and they're not sure Wayne is sorry for using the slain teen's murder to describe rough sex on a version of Future's song "Karate Chop."

In the message, which was posted by the Los Angeles Times, Wayne writes: "It has come to my attention that lyrics from my contribution to a fellow artist's song has deeply offended your family.  As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure.  I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your hurt, as well as the letter you sent to me via your attorneys."

Wayne adds that he will no longer reference Emmett Till in his music, nor perform the rap mentioning the murdered youngster.

Responding to the letter, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, founding director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation, tells TMZ, "While it’s commendable that [Lil Wayne] has vowed to respect the legacy of Emmett Till and his memory to 'not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in his music,' this statement falls short of an apology, as none is mentioned."

For the record, Wayne never says he's sorry in the message to the family of Till.  Emmett was just 14 when he was tortured and shot to death by racists in Mississippi who were furious that he'd supposedly whistled at a white woman.  Till's mother released postmortem photos of his open casket funeral, which served to electrify the nascent Civil Rights movement.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May022013

Emeli Sande Breaks The Beatles' Record

EmeliSande.comEmeli Sande just made history, smashing The Beatles' record for the most consecutive weeks spent in the top 10 of the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart.  That's according to Britain's Official Charts Company.

Emeli's Our Version of Events debut album has been holding a spot high in the U.K. chart ever since its release in February 2012.  The set ranked at #1 on the Official Albums Chart for 10 weeks, and has stayed in the top 10 for 63 consecutive weeks.  That beats the previous record held by The Beatles for their 1962 debut album Please Please Me.

Still, Emeli tells the Official Charts Company, "The Beatles are the greatest band of all time and their legacy lives on and continues to inspire all of us that make music... I'm so happy that so many people have connected with the stories and the songs on the record, this really is our version of events now."

Emeli's Our Version of Events was the best-selling album of 2012 in the U.K., selling more than 1.82 million copies, according to the Official Albums Chart.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May022013

Jamie Foxx Negotiating Deal to Star in "Annie"

Facebook.com/JamieFoxxJamie Foxx is in talks to star in the film adaptation of Annie that Will Smith, Jada-Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z are helping produce.  If negotiations pan out, Jamie will play Benjamin Stacks, a revamped version of the earlier Daddy Warbucks character, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Willow Smith had long been expected to play Annie in the film, but her parents have both said in interviews that their daughter changed her mind, and instead just wants to chill out and be a kid.  The lead role now goes to Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhane Wallis.

Sony is behind the Annie project, along with two other films involving Jamie.  That includes The Amazing Spider-Man 2, in which Jamie plays bad guy Electro, and White House Down, which stars him as the president.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May022013

Tim McGraw Hits the Road Tonight on Two Lanes of Freedom Tour

Greenroom PRTim McGraw launches his Two Lanes of Freedom tour Thursday night in Birmingham, AL, and fans can expect to her plenty of new material on the set list, along with the hits.

Tim, who recently released his Two Lanes of Freedom album, tells ABC News Radio, "You know, any artist, I think, when you go out and play live, I think the most exciting stuff for us to play is new stuff. We always look forward to that moment in time in the night when we're playing something new."

Even so, Tim knows his fans came to hear his dozens of #1 country hits, and he'll be picking and choosing different chart-toppers to perform every night.

"We'll certainly try to get as much as we can that everybody wants to hear," Tim explains. "We don't have time to get everything, but we'll try to get as much as we can, and we'll move it around and switch it around a little bit."

Longtime fans of Tim's albums may get a surprise or two as well. He likes to go back to earlier albums and perform songs he loves that never made it to radio.

Says Tim, "Last couple of years we've started playing 'Everybody Hates Me,' which is an album cut from a few albums back. We're like, 'Why didn't we ever have this on the radio? This feels like a hit!'"

Tim also chose his opening acts, Brantley Gilbert and Love and Theft, to ensure fans have a great time from start to finish on this tour.  Tim says of Brantley, "His music has such a drive and excitement. I'm a big fan of his. I mean, reminds you of young Hank, Jr. in a lot of ways. And he's a good guy."

Tim adds that Love and Theft's music brings a cool vibe to the night, and he especially loves their recent single, "Runnin' Out of Air."

For a complete list of Tim's tour dates, go to TimMcGraw.com.

Of note, Tim will award 31 more mortgage-free homes to U.S. Veterans at each of his tour stops through the Homefront Program. He started the program last year with Chase and Operation Homefront as a way to give back to those who serve in the military.   

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

 

Thursday
May022013

Don Henley Goes Back Home for His New Solo Album

Elektra RecordsThe Eagles released their History of the Eagles documentary on home video on April 30, and now Don Henley is looking forward to releasing his first new solo album in thirteen years.

The CD is named Cass County after where he grew up in Texas.  Henley told the LondonFressPress.com, "The album was recorded mostly in Nashville, with some additional recording done in Texas and California. The material on it is a reflection of a part of my musical foundation -- songs I heard on the radio and on my parents’ record player in the ’50s and ’60s. It’s not exactly a ‘retro’ album, but neither does it reflect much of what’s going on in ‘modern’ music.”

Henley says the CD is not intended for a young audience. "It’s primarily a record for grown-ups -- people who’ve done some living," he says. "It explores the landscape of memory and experience.  There are a few cover songs on the album, but most of the content is new, original material.”

Henley will release Cass County in September when the Eagles will be performing a short North American tour. The new solo album, his fifth, follows 2000's Inside Job.  And he says he's happy with the shape the album has taken. "The new album is very candid, very honest, and covers a wide range of moods and topics, but above all, it’s musical," he says.  "It’s a stellar ensemble of artists and I’m proud and grateful to have all that talent on my record.  Everyone was very generous.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May022013

Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards Featured in New B.B. King Film

Facebook.com/BB-King-The-Life-of-Riley-MovieNumerous music stars including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Bono are featured in a new documentary about famed bluesman B.B. King.

The film B.B. King -- The Life of Riley which will have its North American premiere June 14 at the NXNE Film Festival in Toronto.  The documentary is narrated by Morgan Freeman. The list of artists appearing in the film also includes Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Slash, Dr. John, Leon Russell, Buddy Guy, Mick Hucknall of Simply Red, Bill Wyman and the late John Lennon.

King is now 87 years old and began his recording career in 1949.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May022013

Lajon Witherspoon Says Sevendust Preferred to Work Alone on "Black Out the Sun"; Hints at Solo Album

Asylum RecordsLajon Witherspoon is proud of the fact that Sevendust didn’t use a professional producer on their recently-released album, Black Out the Sun.  The singer says he hopes that the group will continue the trend and self-produce their future albums.

“It’s always fun to bring a producer in, but this time it was us by ourselves,” he tells ABC News Radio.  “We know what we like…and we work at a different pace than other people like to work at when they want to get paid.  We go in and we get the job done and that‘s the way we like to go.  If we gotta do it all night we gonna get it done so it was fun to do it that way.”

Witherspoon adds that the next time he hopes to be in the studio is when he’ll be recording his debut solo album.  “In the future I plan on doing something, I don’t know exactly what it is,” he reveals.  “Sevendust is my priority.  I feel like if I definitely step out I wanna show people that I have so much more in me and who knows what I’ll end up doing but…it’ll be after everything slows down with this.”

Sevendust is currently trekking across North America promoting Black Out the Sun.  In addition, the band will making appearances at a couple of music festivals this summer including Ohio’s Rock on the Range festival on May 19 and at Wisconsin’s Rock USA festival on July 19.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May012013

Kris Kross Rapper Chris Kelly Dead at 34

Michel Linssen/RedfernsChris Kelly, one-half of the 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, has died.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's office in Georgia tells ABC News Radio that Kelly, 34, was pronounced dead Wednesday afternoon at Atlanta Medical Center. The cause of death is under investigation.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday morning.

Kelly, a.k.a. "Mac Daddy," performed in Kris Kross with Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith. Their biggest hit, "Jump," was released in 1992. In addition to their music, the duo is remembered for wearing their clothes backwards.

Kris Kross released a total of three albums. In February, Kris Kross performed in Atlanta at an anniversary show for the label they were signed to in the early '90s, Jermaine Dupri's So So Def Records.

In a joint statement released with So So Def Records, Kelly's mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, said, “It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved Chris Kelly has passed away on May 1. To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trendsetting, backwards pants-wearing one-half of Kris Kross who loved making music. But to us, he was just Chris -- the kind, generous and fun-loving life of the party. Though he was only with us a short time, we feel blessed to have been able to share some incredible moments with him. His legacy will live on through his music, and we will forever love him.”

Yahoo! music writer Billy Johnson, Jr. says he interviewed Kelly in February: "Pictures had surfaced online of him with patches of hair missing, and I asked him about that, and he said he had a skin disease called alopecia. And he said that those rumors had been very hurtful because people thought he had cancer and it wasn't true."

Johnson says Kelly told him he was still working on music and recording. "He said he had several hundred songs that he had recorded and he had mentioned that during his time away from releasing music that he had actually gone back to school to learn how to be a studio engineer," Johnson recalls.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May012013

Fantasia's "Side Effects of You" Debuts at #2

RCAThe road to Fantasia's fourth studio album was a rocky one, but she was able to channel all her doubts, fears and struggles into her latest album Side Effects of You, and it's paid off.  The set debuts at #2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, with first-week sales of 91,000 copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

On Wednesday, Fantasia also got word that Side Effects of You comes in at #1 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.  "So blessed to have my Rock Soul Fam! Thx for the support...WE DID IT!" she tweeted about the good news.

Right now, Fantasia is getting the word out about the album's second single "Without Me," featuring Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott.  Her lead single "Lose to Win" has been riding high on the radio airplay charts.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May012013

Little Big Town and Trisha Yearwood Snag Daytime Emmy Awards Nominations

Sunshine SachsLittle Big Town and Trisha Yearwood are regulars at music awards shows, but now they each have a shot at taking home a Daytime Emmy Award. 

Little Big Town is up for Outstanding Original Song for "Good Afternoon," the theme song from ABC's Good Afternoon America. The group's Jimi Westbrook says, "What an unexpected honor to be nominated for an Emmy. This is something we never could have dreamed up as a band and we are beyond thrilled to say the least!"

Trisha Yearwood also got a nod in the Outstanding Culinary Program for Trisha's Southern Kitchen on the Food Network. The third season of Trisha's Southern Kitchen premieres Saturday, May 25.

The 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be handed out June 16 in Beverly Hills.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May012013

Bruce Springsteen Says He Thought Authorities Wouldn't Pull Plug on Sir Paul

Danny ClinchHaving their sound cut off at the end of a show is something most artists will face at some time in their career, but when it happens to two members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it is totally unexpected.

Bruce Springsteen says he was surprised when it happened to him when he was performing with Sir Paul McCartney last year at the Hard Rock Calling festival in London.  They were singing "Twist and Shout" and were ten minutes past the 10:30 pm.  Springsteen tells the London Evening Standard, “I wasn’t aware the plug had been pulled and people couldn’t hear what I was singing."  He continues, "Afterwards I said to Paul, ‘I can understand them pulling the plug on me, but you? Aren’t you a knight?’”

The Boss kicked off his European tour April 30 in Oslo, Norway. On June 30 he will return to the U.K. to headline the Hard Rock Calling festival again which has been moved from Hyde Park to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to avoid complaints about noise.  He says, "Maybe we should start the concert with 'Twist and Shout' and take it from there.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May012013

Pink Recalls Her "Worst" Day as a Parent (Hint: It Included an Ambulance)

Facebook.com/PinkNo matter how great a parent you are, sooner or later, something's going to happen to your kid that you can't prevent. That's what happened to Pink, who recalls that her "worst" day as mom to daughter Willow was the one when the toddler ended up with a concussion.

Speaking to Glamour magazine, Pink recalls that she and Willow, who was about a year old, were at a pool in Las Vegas. "I was taking her to nap time," the singer recalls. "She was walking just a foot in front of me. And she trips and falls and gets a concussion. She passed out. Cut to an ambulance and fire truck. And a CAT scan."

Pink tells the magazine, "That was the worst day of my life. And what do they say? 'Kids fall.' Welcome to parenthood. I thought, 'I can’t handle this. I’m fitting her for a bubble.'" 

In fact, Pink says she's still traumatized by the memory.  "Every time she bounces on the bed, I see stitches," Pink admits. "Being a parent is a Jedi mind f**k. It’s also the raddest thing ever."

Pink's hit duet with Nate Ruess, "Just Give Me a Reason," is #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a third week.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May012013

Sublime to Release Live CD/DVD set, "Three Ring Circus: Live at the Palace -- October 21, 1995", in June

Facebook.com/SublimeSublime has unveiled plans to release a live CD/DVD set which features a classic performance by the band’s original lineup, which includes late frontman Bradley Nowell. Three Ring Circus: Live at the Palace -- October 21, 1995 will arrive at all the usual outlets on June 18.

As the title suggests, the upcoming release documents a concert the band performed at the Palace in Hollywood, California on October 21, 1995. The collection boasts 27 tracks including performances of hits “Date Rape,” “Badfish,” and “40 Oz to Freedom,” as well as covers of Toots and the Maytals’ “54-46 Was My Number,” Bad Brains’ “House of Suffering,” and “Scarlet Begonias” by the Grateful Dead.

While Three Ring Circus: Live at the Palace – October 21, 1995 will be available separately on CD and DVD formats, a deluxe edition of the release will also be available. In addition to the CD and DVD, that package includes an exclusive poster, laminated backstage pass and an additional live concert video of Sublime performing at the Las Palmas Theater in Hollywood, California from February 17, 1995.

Here is the track list for Three Ring Circus: Live at the Palace – October 21, 1995:

“Great Stone”
"We’re Only Gonna Die for Our Arrogance”
“Don’t Push”
“Garden Grove”
“Don’t Push”
“Right Back”
“New Thrash”
“Saw Red”
“Badfish”     
“All You Need”
“Hope”
“Foolish Fool”
“Falling Idols”
“Caress Me Down”
“40 Oz to Freedom”
“Ebin”
“54-46 Was My Number”
“Date Rape”
“D.J.s”
“I Love My Dog”
“Pool Shark”
“Work That We Do”
“Greatest Hits”
“Smoke Two Joints”  
“Scarlet Begonias”
“Ring the Alarm”
“House of Suffering”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May012013

Five Finger Death Punch to Release Double Album in Separate Installments

Prospect ParkFive Finger Death Punch has a double album headed our way. The band announced that their fourth studio effort will be split into two volumes, which will be released at different times this year. The first installment arrives in stores on July 23, while the second will drop sometime in the fall.

"We came off the road after a couple of great years of touring and were really amped up to write the fourth record,” says guitarist Zoltan Bathory in a statement. “We had this massive amount of music that's very dear to us, possibly the best material this band has ever created. At that point there was no way to decide which songs to leave off the album. So we made the decision to release them all."

Five Finger Death Punch will premiere the upcoming release’s first single, "Lift Me Up," during their appearance at the fifth annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards ceremony on Thursday at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California. The studio version of the song will arrive at radio on May 13 and will be available for purchase at all the usual online retailers the next day.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May012013

Illness Forces Tom Hamilton to Leave Aerosmith Tour; Thanks Fans for Support

Twitter.com/THaerosmithAerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton has left the band's current Australian due to complications from a chest infection.

On Tuesday the bass player, who battled cancer in 2006, tweeted his thanks to fans who had expressed concern. 
"Had to leave the tour early due to a lung infection.  I'm under the best of care and I will provide more information within the next couple of days," the bass player wrote.  "Thanks again for all the love and support."

According to RTTNews.com, Hamilton  flew back to the United States to recuperate. David Hull, bass player for the Joe Perry Project, is filling in for him. He previously replaced Hamilton on tour in 2006 and again in 2009.

Aerosmith will perform May 4 in Melbourne followed by a concert May 8 in Manila, Philippines and May 11 in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Then the band will take a break before traveling to Japan for four shows in August.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May012013

Sara Evans to Open Riverfront Stage at CMA Music Festival

Sony Music NashvilleSara Evans has signed on to open the CMA Music Festival in Nashville with a performance at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage Thursday, June 6.  Shows at that stage are free and open to the public.  Other stars slated to perform there during the festival include Dustin Lynch, Love and Theft, David Nail, Jerrod Niemann, Sunny Sweeney, Greg Bates, Brett Eldredge, Gloriana, Casey James, Craig Morgan and newcomers Eric Paslay, Kristen Kelly and Tyler Farr.

The 40th Annual CMA Music Festival runs Thursday, June 6 through Sunday, June 9.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May012013

Rod Stewart Posts Full Video of LA Club Show

Penny LancasterRod Stewart performed a free, intimate concert for 300 lucky fans at Los Angeles' famous Troubadour club on April 25 and now all Stewart fans can see the 48-minute set because it's streaming in its entirety on Vevo and YouTube.

Stewart performed six new songs from his upcoming album Time, which is due May 7, as well as his classics "Forever Young," "Rhythm of My Heart," "You Wear It Well" and "Have I Told You Lately." 

Stewart has several television appearances scheduled to promote his new CD including Jimmy Kimmel Live on May 6, The Voice on May 8, Good Morning America on May 9 and Live With Kelly & Michael and Katie on May 11.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May012013

Sheryl Crow Receives Daytime Emmy Nomination

Facebook.com/SherylCrowWhile Sheryl Crow has done a bit of acting here and there, she's just received a Daytime Emmy Award for, of all things, her music.

Sheryl is nominated in the category of Outstanding Original Song for "This Day," the theme song she wrote for Katie Couric's talk show, Katie.  There's only one other nominee in the category -- country group Little Big Town, for the theme song they co-wrote for ABC's Good Afternoon America -- so Sheryl's got a good chance of winning.

The show Katie itself was also nominated, and Sheryl tweeted to her friend, "Yay Katie!! I am so happy for you and so proud to be a part of your show. You are undeniably the best! ."

The 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards will air live on HLN Sunday, June 16 at 8 p.m. ET.

 Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio