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Monday
Dec302013

Can Kelly Clarkson Beat "Duck Dynasty" Clan to a Christmas Chart Record?

RCA RecordsKelly Clarkson's first holiday album, Wrapped in Red, has been a top seller all season, but if it ends up being THE top Christmas album of the year, she'll have done something no other female singer has ever done before.

Yahoo! Chart Watch reports that Wrapped in Red is locked in a fierce sales battle with Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas, which features Duck Dynasty's Robertson clan performing Christmas songs with a little help from George Strait and Luke Bryan. Right now, Kelly's album has sold about 702,000 copies, while the Robertsons' disc has sold just a tad less: 700,000.  And if Kelly can hold onto that slim lead until the close of the final sales chart of the year, she'll be the first American female artist ever to have the year's best-selling Christmas album.

Amazingly, of the four women who've scored the year's top-selling Christmas album since 1991, when SoundScan began tracking album sales, none of them have been American.  The list includes Celine Dion and Sarah McLachlan, who are Canadian, and Susan Boyle and Charlotte Church, who are British.   So Kelly would be the first; we'll find out for sure on Thursday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Stevie Nicks Excited to Ring In the New Year on Stage with Fleetwood Mac

Photo: Neal PrestonFleetwood Mac will be ending 2013 with a bang, playing concerts in Las Vegas on the final two nights of the year.  Both shows will take place at the MGM Grand Arena, with Monday night's event open to the public and Tuesday's New Year's Eve bash an invite-only affair.

Stevie Nicks tells ABC News Radio that she's especially excited about the December 31 concert, because it will be a big communal celebration between the band and the audience.

"We get to get dressed up and go onstage and actually be at a really huge New Year's Eve party," the singer says.  "You don't even have to find the party.  It's found you at this point."

Nicks notes that playing on New Year's Eve is "always fun, because everybody is super excited."  She adds that that energy, in turn, "really rubs back off on the band."

Stevie reveals that Fleetwood Mac also has another private concert in Las Vegas scheduled for January 8.  These three shows are the first the band will play since they announced in October that bassist John McVie had been diagnosed with cancer, which forced the cancellation of a planned tour Australia and New Zealand.

Stevie suggests that the concerts will be "really good for John," because she feels it will help him "get back on the treadmill" after undergoing treatment for the disease.  Fleetwood Mac currently have no other performances on their schedule.  

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Vanessa Carlton Gets Married; Stevie Nicks Officiates

Image courtesy Vanessa Carlton via TwitterVanessa Carlton, best known for her hit "A Thousand Miles," married John McCauley of the band Deer Tick on Friday evening.  Carlton, who is 33, tweeted, "Married this gentleman two hours ago xo." She also posted a romantic photo of the happy couple on their wedding day.

Carlton also reveals that Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac officiated the wedding.  She tweeted Friday night, "Thanks Stevie for marrying us," along with a photo of Nicks standing between them as they exchanged their vows.

Two months ago, Carlton was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy, which means that the embryo was not developing in the uterus, as usual, but instead had settled in her fallopian tube.  In this situation, the pregnancy is considered non-viable, because the embryo doesn't have room to develop, and the mother is put at high risk for internal bleeding.  She had to undergo emergency surgery, which forced her to cancel part of her tour.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Rapper Doe B Shot and Killed at Alabama Club

Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BETDoe B, a rapper affiliated with T.I.'s Hustle Gang crew, was murdered in a Montgomery, Alabama, nightclub early Saturday morning, according to Billboard.  Doe B, whose birth name is Glenn Thomas, was killed during a shooting at the Centennial Hill Bar and Grill that also reportedly claimed the life of a 21-year-old woman. Thomas was 22.

Six others were injured during the shooting. No arrests have been made yet.

T.I. addressed the tragic news on his Instagram page, writing, "RIP to my lil brother Doe B. We gon miss u my n****. U’ll never be forgotten & U WILL NOT DIE IN VAIN. We Love U champ. Always. Just rest now my n****. WE GOT IT From here.”

Doe B's manager, DJ Frank White, expressed his anger at the club’s owners. He tweeted, "I will do everything i can to see the rose never open. How many people gotta be f****** killed. ??? Yall let guns in the club??" He wrote, "Security yall let guns in the club??? Again???! You need to be arrested. This blood is on your hands #therose #centineiel hill???"

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

The Fray's New Year's Resolutions Have Gone to the Dogs

Epic RecordsUsually, people make New Year's resolutions about themselves: they want to lose weight, stop smoking, stop cursing, find a relationship, things like that.  But Isaac Slade, lead singer of The Fray, says his resolution is all about puppy love -- as in, an actual puppy.

Isaac tells ABC News Radio that he has several resolutions, but one of them involves helping his dog become a happier, more adjusted pooch.  "She was a litter of one...they call it a singleton, like a single child, which basically means she does not play well with others," laughs Isaac. "So I'm gonna try to take her on more walks, introduce her to some dogs, maybe get a little dog training."

He adds, addressing the pooch, "Norma, if you're listening, get ready.  It's gonna get real around the Slade house!"

As for Isaac's longtime buddy and band mate, Fray guitarist Joe King, his resolution is pretty life-changing.  "I'm engaged, and so we're planning our wedding," he tells ABC News Radio. "And so I wanna finish the planning...we're gonna go food tasting soon.  [We're] getting married in New Orleans....so, yeah, [to] plan the wedding [is my resolution]."

The Fray has a new album coming on February 25 called Helios; they'll ring in 2014 on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, airing Tuesday night on ABC. 

"It's one of those shows that's just been around forever," Isaac says of playing the annual telecast, which has been airing for more than 40 years. "And when we heard that we got the gig...it was crazy.  'Cause, we do a lot of cool stuff, and sometimes it's things we've heard of, [but] usually, they're first-time things.  But for this, it's a perennial.  It's awesome!"

As for Joe, he says he's got plenty of childhood memories of watching Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve as a kid, but they weren't always fond memories.

"My family always had it on," he recalls. "When I was a little tyke, like, little Joey with his blankie, falling asleep on the couch, my older siblings were like, 'Joey!  You've got two more minutes!'  And my eyes would barely open, and I'd see Dick Clark.  And then there'd be, like, ten more seconds, and [they'd yell], 'Get up!'"

He jokes, "So that was my childhood.  Very traumatizing!"

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

J. Cole Tapped for New Year's Eve Live

Sony Music Entertainment/Roc Nation

Before J. Cole embarks on the North American leg of his What Dreams May Come Tour next year, the rapper will close out 2013 by performing during the special New Year's Eve Live, which will be broadcast on Fox.

The rapper will showcase his biggest hits in the heart of Las Vegas at the Light Nightclub inside the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. Hosted by Mario Lopez, the event will also include live footage of the world-famous New Year's Eve Ball in New York's Times Square to welcome in 2014.

As previously reported, Cole will begin his upcoming tour on January 14, 2014 in Vancouver, making stops in New York and Washington D.C. before wrapping February 1 in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

The Year in Country 2013 -- Marriages, Engagements, Babies & Breakups

Republic NashvilleWhen it came to country stars' personal lives, 2013 was quite a busy year.  Here's a roundup of the celebrity marriages, engagements, breakups and babies in the country music world in 2013:

Marriages & Engagements
Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry, of "If I Die Young" fame, got engaged to Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia September 30.

Gloriana's Tom Gossin married his fiancée, Jamie, in an October ceremony in Nashville. They've been together more than a decade.

Kelly Clarkson canceled plans for a big wedding to fiance Brandon Blackstock and instead quietly married him October 20, in a ceremony that was attended by just a few people -- not even her mom was invited. She later shared her wedding photos and video online.


Babies

In November, about a month after marrying Brandon Blackstock in a private ceremony and telling everyone that she couldn't wait to get pregnant, Kelly Clarkson tweeted the news that the couple was expecting their first child.  Despite struggling with morning sickness, Kelly kept up a heavy TV appearance schedule to promote her Christmas album, Wrapped in Red, and her NBC holiday special. In early December, Kelly told Ellen DeGeneres that she was 11 weeks pregnant, and went into graphic detail about her morning sickness, claiming that she vomited up to a dozen times a day.

In July, Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott and husband Chris Tyrell welcomed daughter Eisele [IZE-lee] Kaye Tyrell.

Dierks Bentley and wife Cassidy welcomed their first son, Knox, in October. The couple has two older daughters.

Love and Theft's Stephen Barker Liles and fiancée Jenna Kennedy welcomed their first child, a son named Jett, in Nashville in December. Stephen's duo partner, Eric Gunderson, and wife Emily welcomed a baby boy named Camden William in March.

Lee Brice and wife, Sara, welcomed their second son, Ryker Mobley Brice, in December. The couple tied the knot in April.


Breakups
Taylor Swift rang in 2013 by sharing a long, New Year's Eve kiss in New York's Times Square with then-boyfriend Harry Styles.  But just days later, the two split, reportedly after they had an argument in the British Virgin Islands. Taylor seemed to hint at a breakup around that time by tweeting her lyric "...til you put me down," from her song "I Knew You Were Trouble."  Of course, Taylor never publicly confirmed any of this.

Brantley Gilbert and Jana Kramer called off their engagement over the summer. She has since been linked to Clint Eastwood's son, Scott.

Jason Aldean filed for divorce from his wife, Jessica, in April. He was photographed getting close with a former American Idol contestant at a bar in Los Angeles in fall 2012.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Imagine Dragons Say It Was “Easy” to Agree to Grammy Performance with Kendrick Lamar

Interscope RecordsIf you’re excited to see Imagine Dragons team up with rapper Kendrick Lamar for a joint performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, there’s one person you should thank, and it’s not anyone from The Recording Academy. Guitarist Wayne Sermon says the idea for their upcoming collaboration was pitched to them by Lamar while both bands were attending the American Music Awards.

“It was an easy thing to say yes to," Sermon tells USA Today. "It's a chance to do something different and out of the box for us, too. We won't be too disappointed if we don't win a Grammy, just as long as our performance goes well. It's the only thing we've got control over, so we're focusing mostly on that."

Before Imagine Dragons hit the stage at the Grammys, the guys will be performing at the Allstate Fan Fest in New Orleans on January 1, the day before the Sugar Bowl. Sermon notes he’s excited to be associated with the event, mostly because it will help improve his standing with some of his family members.

"All my brothers are athletic, and I was always the sad, less talented kid," he explains. "So the fact that we're going to do something like the Sugar Bowl gives me cred with them. And that's really the most important thing, to look cool to my older brothers."

The guitarist adds that Imagine Dragons has already begun writing new material for their follow-up to 2012’s Night Visions, although he’s not quite sure when the band will hit the studio to record it. "We're always writing, that never stops," he says. "But we're not recording it yet. We're still creating, doing it at our own pace."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Joe Nichols Set to Ring in 2014 with His New "Money Single," "Yeah"

Red Bow RecordsJoe Nichols was back on the radio this year with a new #1 hit, "Sunny and 75," but he has even bigger plans for his next single, "Yeah." Joe is already calling the song the "money single" from his latest album, Crickets.

He tells ABC News Radio, "It has something special to it. I'm as excited about this as I've ever been from any song I've ever had, from 'Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off' to 'Sunny and 75,' and I think it's a bigger song than 'Sunny and 75.'"

Joe says "Yeah" is similar in feel to Jake Owen's monster hit, "Barefoot Blue Jean Night." As for his own vocal performance on the song, Joe says it ranks up there with some of his all-time best recorded performances.

"Nothing too extraordinary," Joe says. "Just kind of a laid-back, cool little vocal. The song is cleverly written and makes you feel good."

Listen for Joe's new single, "Yeah," to hit the airwaves in late January.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Pink Loses "Best-Selling Female Album of the Year" Crown to Beyonce; Rihanna Sets New Chart Milestone

Columbia RecordsSure, Pink had an amazing 2013, but she couldn't withstand the force of nature that is Beyonce.  Queen B's new self-titled album has just passed Pink's The Truth About Love to become the best-selling album by a woman in 2013.

According to Yahoo! Chart Watch, the Beyonce album has sold 991,000 copies so far, even though it's only been out about 10 days. Pink's album, by comparison, sold 920,000 copies in 2013, so it cedes the title.  Now, Pink's album had previously sold nearly a million copies last year, which is when it was released, but we're just counting album sales that took place in 2013.

If Beyonce's album reaches the one-million-mark this week, it'll end up as one of the top 10 best-selling albums of 2013.  And if it does, it'll be the sixth year overall that Blue Ivy's mom has managed to do that, counting her work with Destiny's Child.  Since SoundScan began tracking album sales in 1991, only three other acts have made the year-end top 10 in six different years: Garth Brooks, Mariah Carey and Eminem.

And speaking of Eminem, his duet with Rihanna, "The Monster," has allowed her to achieve a new chart milestone.  According to Yahoo! Chart Watch, the hit has now topped the charts for three weeks, which means that over her entire career, Rihanna has spent a total of 37 weeks at #1.  That puts her in a tie with Michael Jackson, who also spent 37 weeks on top of the chart in his career.  Only five other artists have spent more time on top: Elvis Presley, Mariah Carey, the Beatles, Boyz II Men and Usher.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Stevie Nicks Excited to Ring In the New Year on Stage with Fleetwood Mac

Photo: Neal PrestonFleetwood Mac will be ending 2013 with a bang, playing concerts in Las Vegas on the final two nights of the year.  Both shows will take place at the MGM Grand Arena, with Monday night's event open to the public and Tuesday's New Year's Eve bash an invite-only affair.

Stevie Nicks tells ABC News Radio that she's especially excited about the December 31 concert, because it will be a big communal celebration between the band and the audience.

"We get to get dressed up and go on stage and actually be at a really huge New Year's Eve party," the singer says.  "You don't even have to find the party.  It's found you at this point."

Nicks notes that playing on New Year's Eve is "always fun, because everybody is super excited."  She adds that that energy, in turn, "really rubs back off on the band."

Stevie reveals that Fleetwood Mac also has another private concert in Las Vegas scheduled for January 8.  These three shows are the first the band will play since they announced in October that bassist John McVie had been diagnosed with cancer, which forced the cancellation of a planned tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Nicks suggests that the concerts will be "really good for John," because she feels it will help him "get back on the treadmill" after undergoing treatment for the disease.  Fleetwood Mac currently has no other performances on its schedule.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Ariana Grande's Family to Have a "Heart Attack" Watching Her on "New Year's Rockin' Eve"

ABC/Randy HolmesFor years, Ariana Grande has spent New Year's Eve in New York City watching Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on TV, instead of actually going to Times Square to see it first-hand.  But this year, she'll enjoy the best of both worlds: she gets to participate in the show, without freezing her butt off.

Ariana is one of the performers on this year's installment of ABC's annual New Year's special, which has been airing for more than 40 years.  She'll be singing during the West Coast party portion of the show, which is hosted by Fergie.  "It's an honor [to do the show], because it's a family tradition," Ariana tells ABC News Radio, "Every year, my family and my best friend, Alexa, we go to New York and we watch it on the TV, because we're too chicken to actually go down in the freezing cold and watch it outside!"

"It's an honor to be a part [of it] finally, and all my family's at home having a heart attack right now," Ariana adds.

Other performers on the West Coast portion of the telecast, which officially gets underway Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET with host Ryan Seacrest, include Jason Derulo, Fall Out Boy, Enrique Iglesias, Robin Thicke, Jennifer Hudson, The Fray, Florida Georgia Line, and Capital Cities.

Like the rest of us, Ariana also is busy making her New Year's resolutions for 2014.  "I wanna read every night before bed.  I've been doing it the past month and it feels really good to just disconnect, like, for a while before I go to sleep," she tells ABC News Radio. "And I wanna make more time to come home and see my family."

"I work a lot," explains Ariana, who became one of the breakout stars of 2013 thanks to her hit "The Way," her #1 debut album, Yours Truly, and her American Music Awards Best New Artist win. "And while that's very important, so is my family, and I feel like I slaved really hard all year this year, and I barely even saw my family," she confesses. So I wanna make that more of a priority and go home more." 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Taylor Swift Named 2013's Tennessean of the Year

Photo Credit: Sarah BarlowTaylor Swift has taken her music all over the world in the past few years, but it's her devotion to her hometown of Nashville that earned her 2013's Tennessean of the Year honor from Music City newspaper The Tennessean.

On top of donating $100,000 to the Nashville Symphony on her 24th birthday earlier this month, Taylor also opened the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in October. The facility includes three classrooms and a learning lab. An interactive exhibit gallery is slated to open in 2014 as well.

With her concerts selling out stadiums and arenas in Australia, Europe and Asia, Taylor has come to represent Music City to the world at large. Her global influence was apparent when Nashville mayor Karl Dean visited China in December and met a woman who only knew of the city thanks to Taylor.

Taylor maintains residences in Rhode Island and Los Angeles, but no other city inspires her creativity like Nashville.

She says, "I would not be the same kind of person without Nashville. It has shaped me into who I am. I think everybody feels that. We don’t have an ocean, or mountains: People come here because of the feeling they get. It pulls you in and turns you into who you’re going to be.”

Taylor will represent Nashville at the Grammy Awards next month. Her latest project, Red, is up for Album of the Year. The Grammy Awards air January 26, 2014, live on CBS.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBrett Eldredge was on the road more than 280 days in 2013.

Zac Brown Band is set to perform with the Foo Fighters on February 1 at New York City's Pier 88 as part of the festivities leading up to Super Bowl Sunday on February 2.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Melanie Fiona Recalls Biggest Highlight of 2013

Universal Music GroupOf course opening for Beyoncé on The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour was a major accomplishment for Melanie Fiona in 2013, but the singer says the year had other big bright spots, both professionally and personally.

"I would say the highlight of 2013 has been a little bit of both, it was earning a Grammy nomination for 'Wrong Side [of Love]' and going to the Grammys this year," she says. "And then running the Nike Women's Marathon in October."

Melanie explained why participating in the race was a big milestone. "I just feel like that was such a really emotionally moving turning point for me just because to be surrounded by so many women and running for a cause was just fantastic."  The race benefited the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

"2013 has definitely been a highlight year for me all around," she adds, "but I'm definitely looking forward to taking what I've learned in 2013 into 2014."

The Canadian singer is currently working on her upcoming third album, which has yet to be titled. The disc will serve as the follow-up to her latest album, The MF Life.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Beyoncé Criticized for Sampling Shuttle Challenger Tragedy Audio on New Album

Photo by Cliff Watts for Parkwood EntertainmentBeyoncé is receiving criticism after sampling audio from the space shuttle Challenger disaster for a new love song, drawing the ire of some current and former NASA astronauts and families.

Challenger exploded 73 seconds after lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center on January 28, 1986.  All seven crew members aboard were killed.

"Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction," were the words spoken by now-retired NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt as the nation watched wreckage fall toward the ocean on live television.

Twenty-seven years later, Nesbitt’s voice is heard at the beginning of the video for Beyoncé’s new song “XO”, about a troubled relationship.  The singer has said that “XO” was written and produced by Ryan Tedder and The-Dream.

The audio clip is short, lasting just six seconds.  But former and current NASA astronauts, employees and Challenger family members argue that using it in a pop song mocks the crew’s sacrifice and opens fresh wounds.

June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger Space Shuttle Commander Dick Scobee and a founder of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, told ABC she is “disappointed” in the singer’s decision to include the clip.

“This choice of historic and solemn audio is inappropriate in the extreme,” said Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee who now runs the NASAWatch.com website. “The choice is little different than taking Walter Cronkite's words to viewers announcing the death of President Kennedy or 911 calls from the World Trade Center attack and using them for shock value in a pop tune.”

Cowing wants Beyoncé to remove the clip and apologize to families of the Challenger crew.

In an exclusive statement to ABC News Monday morning, Beyonce said, "My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster. The song 'XO' was recorded with the sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones and to remind us that unexpected things happen, so love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you."

The statement continues, "The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten."

NASA  issued a statement Monday, saying, "The Challenger accident is an important part of our history; a tragic reminder that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialized. NASA works every day to honor the legacy of our fallen astronauts as we carry out our mission to reach for new heights and explore the universe.”

Several current NASA astronauts, who are not authorized to speak publicly, privately express similar dismay at what they say is Beyoncé’s use of a tragedy to sell a pop song.

“Those words are very important to the NASA culture, to the people that live and breathe our space program,” retired NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson told ABC News. “For the words to be used in the video is simply insensitive, at the very least.”

But Anderson is giving Beyoncé and her team the benefit of the doubt.

“What we do in space just isn’t as important to young people today,” says Anderson.

Beyoncé was born in Houston, the same home as NASA’s astronaut training campus, the Johnson Space Center.  She’s worked with the space agency in the past, once recording a wake-up greeting for the orbiting crew of STS-135, the final space shuttle flight.

“You inspire all of us to dare to live our dreams, to know that we’re smart enough and strong enough to achieve them,” she told the Atlantis crew back in 2011.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

 

Monday
Dec302013

Carly Rae Jepsen to Make Her Broadway Debut in "Cinderella"

604/Schoolboy/Interscope RecordsCarly Rae Jepsen will make her Broadway debut in the musical Cinderella, beginning February 4 and lasting for 12 weeks, the show's producers announced Sunday.

The "Call Me Maybe" singer will step into the title role, replacing Laura Osnes, who will complete her year-long engagement in January.

Jepsen, who began performing in musical theater in high school, says, “Broadway has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I look forward to working with this incredibly talented cast to tell this classic tale." The Canadian-born singer adds, "These last few years have been a real fairy tale come to life for me, so I feel especially blessed to play this part and be reminded that you must never stop dreaming!”

The latest production of the classic musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein puts a contemporary spin on the story.

As previously announced, former Nanny star Fran Drescher will play Cinderella’s stepmother, Madame.

Cinderella on Broadway takes place at New York City's Broadway Theatre.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Justin Bieber's Retirement Talk Just "Frustration," Say Reps

Island RecordsJustin Bieber has twice suggested this month that he is retiring: first, in an interview with a Los Angeles radio station, and then later on Christmas Eve, in a tweet.

Obviously, the Bieb's not going anywhere. In fact, not long after talking retirement on Twitter, he wrote, "IM HERE FOREVER." To hear Scooter Braun Projects -- the entertainment company run by his manager, Scooter Braun -- explain it, Justin was just needling the media, out of "frustration."

Allison Kaye, the general manager of SBP, tells The Wall Street Journal in a statement that Justin felt his tweet was the "best way to respond to the latest in a long line of inaccurate or wildly exaggerated media reports about him. He chose to channel his frustration into playing along with this baseless rumor and even used 'beloved' to tip off his core fans that it wasn’t real."

Kaye says Justin quickly clarified that he was joking, once he realized his fans were confused by the speculation.

Kaye declares in the statement, "Justin is a hard-working 19 year old who would prefer that his recent fundraising work in the Philippines and the considerable amount raised for the cause be the media’s focus more than the recent reporting on him retiring."

The Wall Street Journal further cites the CEO of Open Road Films, the distributor of Justin's new documentary Believe, who indicates the tweet was not posted in order to drum up publicity for the movie. Believe underperformed at the weekend box office, earning just two million bucks. It is estimated to have made just 4.5 million since opening Christmas Day.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec302013

Bruce Springsteen's New Album Accidentally Released Early by Amazon

Columbia RecordsBruce Springsteen's new album, High Hopes, was apparently accidentally released early by Amazon on Saturday -- some two weeks before its scheduled January 14 release date.

According to Billboard, the New Jersey rocker's 18th studio album was available for purchase on Saturday as individual tracks in MP3 format.  However, Amazon eventually removed that option, presumably after realizing it made an error.  But it appears that the damage is done -- the album can already be found on file-sharing websites. 

Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello is featured on eight tracks on the new album, including his vocals on a new version of "The Ghost of Tom Joad."  Deceased E Street Band sax player Clarence Clemons and late organ and keyboards player Danny Federici also make appearances on High Hopes.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Dec292013

The Year in Music 2013 -- Black Sabbath's Lucky "13"

Vertigo/Republic Records2013 turned out to be quite an eventful year for Black Sabbath.  After plans for a major reunion tour in 2012 were shelved because of guitarist Tony Iommi's cancer diagnosis and treatment, the heavy metal legends hit the road in a big way this year, albeit without founding drummer Bill Ward, who opted out of the group's reunion plans early last year because of disagreements over the contract he was offered. 

Sabbath kicked things off with a late spring trek that took them to Australia, New Zealand and Japan.  But the really big news came in June, when the band released their highly anticipated album, 13, their first studio effort featuring founding singer Ozzy Osbourne since 1978's Never Say Die.  The Rick Rubin-produced collection not only received critical acclaim but was also an overwhelming commercial success.  It sold 155,000 copies in the U.S. during its debut week to become the first Black Sabbath album ever to top the Billboard 200 tally.  13 also jumped to #1 on the U.K. album chart, the band's first release to achieve that milestone since 1970's Paranoid.

Black Sabbath then mounted a U.S. tour that ran from late July until early September, followed by a Latin American leg in October and a European outing that began in late November and wound down with hometown concerts in Birmingham, England, on December 20 and 22.

Shortly before the band's European leg began, Osbourne, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler attended U.K. magazine Classic Rock's annual Roll of Honour Awards ceremony in London, where the group was presented with the prestigious Living Legend Award.  Black Sabbath also took home two other trophies at the event, as 13 nabbed the Album of the Year prize and the band picked up the Event of the Year trophy for hitting #1 on the charts after 43 years.

November also saw the release of the Live…Gathered in Their Masses DVD, Blu-ray and CD, which feature performances from a pair of concerts Sabbath played in Melbourne, Australia, during the spring trek.

Meanwhile, Sabbath found out in December that they'll will be competing for three honors at the 2014 Grammy Awards ceremony in January.  13 is nominated in the Best Rock Album category, while one of its tracks, "God Is Dead?," received nods for Best Rock Song and Best Metal performance.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio