Usher Wanted the "High" from Touring Before Returning to the Studio

Image Courtesy RCA Records

Usher had good reason to delay his next album, UR, which was initially expected to arrive later this year. In an interview with U.K.'s The Guardian, the singer revealed that he wanted to carry the inspiration from his current UR Experience tour with August Alsina into the recording process.

“I thought there would be nothing greater than to come off the high of being on tour than to go back into the studio,” he says of work on the album, which has spawned two singles: "Good Kisser" and the Nicki Minaj-assisted "She Came to Give It to You."

Of his tour, Usher says, “I wanted to encapsulate what the past 20 years have been for me. I wanted the audience to reminisce.”

Usher also tells the paper he sees himself as following in the footsteps of the R&B greats that came before him. “It’s part of what makes me great, being able to follow Michael Jackson, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, great artists who were also incredible songwriters,” he says.

The crooner's North America trek will travel to Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, Toronto, Philadelphia, Boston and Las Vegas before concluding on December 24 in Tampa. He will then begin the European leg on February 13 in France and wrap up March 26 in London, England.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Chris Cornell Says Soundgarden Will Continue "As Long as All Four of Us Are Alive"

Image Courtesy of Mike LavineNext week, Soundgarden is releasing a a three-disc collection of demos, covers, b-sides and other oddities entitled Echoes of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path. However, if you think that a rarities compilation means the band is winding down their four-year-old reunion, frontman Chris Cornell says think again.

"We're already talking about working on new material," he tells ABC News Radio. "There's already ideas, and I don't see that ever stopping."

Soundgarden broke up in 1997 before reuniting in 2010. Cornell's says that the break-up experience has influenced the way he and band members Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd will handle the future of the group now.

"If there's one thing we did wrong [when Soundgarden broke up in 1997], I suppose it was that we felt that it was important to sort of disband publicly," he says.

This time around, however, Cornell and the band are doing things differently.

"As soon as we took a clock off of the notion of tour cycles and release cycles, it seemed possible to continue as long as all four of us are alive," he says. "So as long as nobody gets hit by a bus or has a stroke or anything, I think we're good to continue." 

Echoes of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path will be released on November 24.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Lionel Richie Says His Future Museum Will Include Everything Except "God-Awful" "Hello" Bust

Mark Davis/NBCLionel Richie's career has spanned decades, so when he finally decides to open a museum documenting his life in music, he'll have plenty of things to put in it.  One thing missing, though, will be a key, yet much-hated, prop from his most famous video.

Speaking to Billboard, Lionel says he still owns the green sweater he wore on the cover of his first solo album, the sweater he wore in the video for "Hello," the outfits he wore in the video for "Dancing on the Ceiling" and the clothes he wore at the 1984 Olympics.  "Ultimately, it'll be in a Lionel Richie museum somewhere. I held on to as much of it as I could," he says.

But referring to the infamous sculpture of himself from the "Hello" video he adds, "The only thing we didn't think about was the 'Hello' bust -- it was so god-awful, I wanted to get as far away from that thing as I could." 

Despite Lionel's hatred of it, the sculpture -- created in the video by a woman who was supposed to be blind -- has become quite the icon over the past 30 years.  It even has its own Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Lionel's future museum will also include a few, but not many, outfits from his days with the Commodores, however.  "When you're leaving a band, you don't have the presence of mind to say, 'Can I have my uniform?' You just try to get out of the room. It's like divorce," he explains, "You walk into your wife's house and say, 'Can I have that lamp? Oh, I didn't think so. OK.'"

Lionel will receive the Billboard Legend of Live award at the publication's annual Touring Awards. "The essence of who you are is onstage," he tells Billboard. "The performance is the cherry on the cake for all the work you did in the studio."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



Jack White, Robert Plant, Smashing Pumpkins Announced for South American Lollapalooza Festivals

LollapaloozaThe lineups for the South American editions of the Lollapalooza festival for 2015 have been announced.

Jack White, Kings of Leon, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, The Smashing Pumpkins and Foster the People are some of the acts that will take part in Santiago's Lollapalooza Chile on March 14 and 15.

Those same acts, minus Kings of Leon, will also appear at Lollapalooza Argentina in Buenos Aires on March 21 and 22, as well as Lollapalooza Brasil in Sao Paulo on March 28 and 29.

For complete information, log on to for the Chile event, for the Argentina event, and for the Brazil event.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 


New Version of Band Aid Charity Single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Debuts

VirginThe new edition of the Band Aid charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” premiered Sunday on Britain TV, during an episode of the singing competition The X Factor.

A three-and-a-half-minute video available online now shows the participants -- which include One Direction, U2's Bono, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Seal, and Sinead O'Connor -- recording the single in a West London studio on Saturday.

The lyrics to the song, which was originally recorded in 1984 to raise money for famine relief efforts in Ethiopia, have been revised to include references to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. The new single will support the fight against the deadly illness.

The new version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” -- which was again spearheaded by Band Aid founder Bob Geldof -- is available for purchase digitally now.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 


Solange Knowles Weds in New Orleans

Josh Brastead/WireImageSolange Knowles is officially off the market.

Beyoncé's 28-year-old sister tied the knot with video director Alan Ferguson in New Orleans before approximately 200 friends and family members Sunday, according to People magazine.

"Beaming. Calm. They looked pretty calm, relaxed on their wedding day," an onlooker tells the magazine, adding the couple was "definitely happy."

The wedding attendees included Beyoncé, her husband Jay Z and their daughter, Blue Ivy.

Ferguson, 51, has directed videos for Beyoncé, Katy Perry and John Legend.

This is the second marriage for Solange. She was previously married to Daniel Smith, with whom she has one child.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 


Report: Former Goo Goo Dolls Drummer Sues Band

Mike Malinin, right; Chapman BaehlerThe ex-drummer for the Goo Goo Dolls claims he got canned from the band for taking paternity leave after the birth of his twins, according to TMZ.

Michael Malinin reportedly filed a lawsuit against former bandmates Johnny Rzeznik and Robert Takac over his firing from the group in December 2013. The Dolls were on tour at the time, the suit claims, though Malinin says his paternity leave was discussed in advance and it was common knowledge among the group that he would take a few weeks off around the time of the birth. But Malinin says that when the time came, the band manager informed him that he was being sacked.

The suit claims Malinin was told specifically that Rzeznik wanted him gone. It also says he did not receive a severance package for his 19 years of service to the band. He was getting a third of the band’s profits, so he’s suing to reclaim some of that cash.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 


Diplo Takes a Dig at Lorde

James K. LoweThe feud continues. DJ Diplo shot back at Lorde on Twitter this weekend after the 18-year-old singer dissed his “tiny” manhood last week.

Lorde was just defending her pal Taylor Swift after Diplo tweeted that "someone should make a kickstarter to get taylor swift a booty." Lorde tweeted  back, “should we do something about your tiny penis while we’re at it hm.” Diplo, 36, retweeted Lorde’s comment Saturday, adding, “the moment u realize she’s a high school student.”  Lorde turned 18 earlier this month.

The bad blood apparently runs deep. It was believed to have been sparked by Swift’s song, the appropriately titled “Bad Blood.” The song was reportedly written about Katy Perry, Diplo’s current girlfriend.

In other Diplo news, the DJ welcomed his second son with ex Kathryn Lockhart, Us Weekly confirmed. The boy’s name is Lazer Lee Louis Pentz. Diplo, whose birth name is Thomas Wesley Pentz, and Lockhart are already parents to 4-year-old son Lockett.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 


Pink Floyd Scores First Number-One Album in 19 Years

Columbia RecordsIt’s been a while, but Pink Floyd is back on top.

The band achieved their first number-one album in the U.K. in 19 years with The Endless River. Over 139,000 copies were sold last week, making it the third-fastest-selling artist album of the year, behind Coldplay’s Ghost Stories and Ed Sheeran’s X.

The album is based on unreleased material which was written, recorded and produced during sessions for 1994’s The Division Bell. It’s the group's first release since the death of keyboardist and founding member Richard Wright, whose work also appears on the record.

“Pink Floyd is both thrilled and surprised at the level of international interest in this, their final album,” a spokesperson for the band told “They want to thank the fans for their support and hope that in some small way, The Endless River has reminded them of the old fashioned joy of listening to an album in its entirety.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 


Why Adele Isn't on the New Band Aid Single: "Some People Just Don't Want to Do It" 

Lauren Dukoff/Columbia RecordsHeading into the weekend, it had been reported that Adele was one of the top British artists taking part in a re-recording of the 1984 charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas" to help with the Ebola crisis in Africa.  But when the recording session took place, Adele was nowhere to be found.  What happened?  Organizer Bob Geldof says, "She doesn't want to be bothered by anyone."

A source told the British paper The Sun, “We made 100 phone calls to Adele because Bob...was desperate for her to take part. But it was complete radio silence back. She didn’t even bother to say she couldn’t do it.”  And Irish rocker Geldof, who organized the first Band Aid single as well, told The Sun himself, "Adele is doing nothing. She’s not answering the phone. She’s not writing. She’s not recording. She doesn’t want to be bothered by anyone. She won’t even pick up the phone to her manager. She’s bringing up a family, you know. Some people just don’t want to do it."

He further told the paper The Mirror, "I got through to someone, not her, but she’s not doing anything at all at the moment. It’s fine, I understand it’s not for everybody and other people support in different ways.  I put the call in. I didn't speak to her. I spoke to Jonathan, [her manager], and he says, 'I can't speak to her. I try but she won’t pick up the phone.'"

Geldof said Adele's non-participation was okay with him, though, adding to The Sun, “There are voices here that are at least parallel to Adele. Sam Smith is her male equivalent.” 

Sam himself, meanwhile, told The Sun, "I met Adele recently at a Katy Perry concert and I’m disappointed she’s not doing it. But I’m sure she is doing a lot for the charity already.”

Indeed, a spokesperson for Adele told The Sun, "Bob and the organizers spoke directly with her management but at no point was she confirmed. Adele is supporting [the British charity] Oxfam’s Ebola Appeal with a donation.”

The artists who do appear on the new single include One Direction, U2's Bono, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Seal, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Queen's Roger Taylor, Bastille and Emeli Sande.  The charity single is available now.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


New Archival Live Video and Album Packages Feature Footage from Jack Bruce's 50th Birthday Concerts

MVD Entertainment GroupThe music world lost one of its greatest singers and bassists when Cream's Jack Bruce died last month at the age of 71.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's talents are on full display in a new concert video and album package featuring highlights from a pair of 1993 performances celebrating Bruce's 50th birthday that will be released on December 2.

Rockpalast: The 50th Birthday Concerts captures Bruce and some famous musical friends, including Cream drummer Ginger Baker and ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore, performing at the E-Werk in Cologne, Germany, on November 2 and 3 of 1993.  Among the songs played at the shows were memorable Cream tunes like "White Room," "Sunshine of Your Love" and "Politician," covers of the blues classics "Born Under a Bad Sign" and "Spoonful," and plenty of material from Jack's solo career, including "Theme from an Imaginary Western."

Other guest musicians appearing at the concerts included keyboardists Bernie Worrell and Gary Husband, guitarist Clem Clempson, sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith and drummer Simon Phillips.  In addition, Bruce's sons Malcolm and Jonas were on hand to perform with their dad.  The shows originally were filmed for an episode of the German TV show Rockpalast.

A video of Bruce playing "Sunshine of Your Love" with his sons, as well as Baker and Worrell, can be viewed now at, while another clip from the DVDs has been posted at the MVD Entertainment Group's YouTube channel.

Rockpalast: The 50th Birthday Concerts are available in a number of configurations, including a special edition three-DVD/one-CD set, a one-CD/two-DVD Digipack, a double-DVD collection and multiple digital formats.  The special edition features a bonus DVD offering interviews and a documentary.  The CD contains previously unreleased "lost tracks" from the concerts.

Here is the track list of the performance DVDs featured in all versions of Rockpalast: The 50th Birthday Concerts:

Disc 1
"Improvisation on Minuet No. 1"
"Can You Follow"
"Running Thro' Our Hands"
"The Tube"
"Over the Cliff"
"First Time I Met the Blues"
"Smiles and Grins"
"Bird Alone"
"Neighbor, Neighbor"
"Born Under a Bad Sign"
"Boston Ball Game 1967"
"Ships in the Night"
"Never Tell Your Mother She's Out of Tune"
"Theme from an Imaginary Western"
"Golden Days"

Disc 2
"As You Said"
"Rope Ladder to the Moon"
"Life on Earth"
Simon Phillips Drum Solo
"Sitting on the Top of the World"
"White Room"
"Sunshine of Your Love"
"Blues You Can't Lose"
"Life on Earth"
"Sitting on the Top of the World"
"White Room"

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Simon LeBon Says He Was "Flattered and Honored" to Be Chosen to Sing on "The Hunger Games -- Mockingjay: Part 1" Soundtrack

Image Courtesy of Press Here PublicityMonday sees the release of the soundtrack to the new movie The Hunger Games -- Mockingjay: Part 1.  The album features an eclectic mix of artists, including such '80s icons as Duran Duran's Simon LeBon and model/actress Grace Jones, as well as newer stars like Kanye West, Ariana Grande and Miguel.  In an unusual move, all the artists who appear on the disc were chosen by one person: 18-year-old pop sensation Lorde.

LeBon says he felt "extremely flattered and honored" to be picked by the "Royals" singer to take part in the project. 

"I'm really over the moon about it," he tells ABC News Radio.  On the soundtrack, the Duran Duran frontman is featured on a song called "Kingdom" with 20-year-old British singer Charli XCX, who scored a recent top 10 hit with the song "Boom Clap."  He says he was familiar with Charli because his bandmate Nick Rhodes had photographed her for a magazine.  "He hasn't stopped talking about her ever since," laughs Simon.  "He says she's brilliant, fantastic, so I had checked out her music."

Simon admits that before the Hunger Games project, he "wouldn't say I was a fan" of Lorde's.  "I was aware of her and I thought, 'I've got a lot of respect for her,'" he explains.  Now, of course, he is a fan, and he appreciates the opportunity that being part of the soundtrack offers a band like Duran Duran.  "You get a whole bunch of people who really maybe don't even know who Duran Duran are, to listen to you singing and maybe some of 'em will get turned on to our music," he explains.  

Of course, Duran Duran has appeared on soundtracks before, most famously recording the #1 James Bond theme "A View to a Kill."

The movie itself, which opens Friday, stars Jennifer Lawrence.  LeBon says the Oscar-winning actress is the main reason he was even aware of the Hunger Games movies in the first place.  "I'm a massive fan of Jennifer Lawrence.  I think she's fantastic," he raves.  "So I'm kind of a fan of everything she does."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCarrie Underwood has released a behind-the-scenes clip from her "Something in the Water" video shoot to

Scotty McCreery has picked up platinum certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America for three of his songs --  "See You Tonight, "I Love You This Big" and "The Trouble with Girls."

Fifteen shows on Sam Hunt's Lipstick Graffiti tour sold out within minutes after going on sale last week. He is now considering moving some of those shows to larger venues or adding additional dates in those markets.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Cole Swindell Releasing Five New Songs on "Down Home Sessions EP"

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell's debut album just came out in February, but his fans will be happy to know he's got a brand-new, five-song EP coming out this week. It's called the Down Home Sessions, and Cole says his fans have been waiting for some of these songs for a while now.

He explains, "There were a couple [songs] that I saw fans, that they'd heard me play live, and just wondering, you know, 'Why didn't that make the album?'  Hey, you can only pick so many."

The Down Home Sessions EP coincides with Cole's just-launched Down Home club tour, which is a far cry from the stadiums and arenas he's played on Luke Bryan's That's My Kind of Night tour all year long.  Cole hopes the Down Home EP and tour will become a longstanding tradition.

He says, "I just want to hopefully be able to do that every year -- give the fans new music and then go out and play the clubs, which I started playing in."

Here's the Down Home Sessions EP track listing:

"The Way You're Lovin' Me Now"
"Workin' on Me"

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Trisha Yearwood Feeling Like a Champion with New Album, "PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit"

Image Courtesy Sony/Gwendolyn RecordsTrisha Yearwood's new album, PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit, is out this week, and she recruited her friend, Kelly Clarkson, to sing on the title track. Trisha sang on Kelly's Christmas album, Wrapped in Red, last year, and they were eager to get back in the studio together.

"We're both like, 'Oh, my God! I'm singing with Kelly Clarkson!" She's like, 'Oh, my God! I'm singing with Trisha Yearwood!'" Trisha tells ABC News Radio. "You should just slap us because we're just ridiculous. We really do both genuinely admire each other, and so we have so much fun."

For the album cover photo, Trisha put on boxing gloves and a form-fitting white dress to strike a victorious pose. It's a departure from the normal headshots she usually puts on album covers, but Trisha felt the PrizeFighter title called for a bold photograph.

She says, "Usually I do a photo shoot, and I don't know what the album title's gonna be. I'm just trying to look pretty. This time knowing it, it's like, let's go be fierce and own it. Let's go do something really strong that matches the strength of the song."

Another standout song on PrizeFighter is "I Remember You," which serves as a tribute to her late mother, Gwen. As a surprise for Trisha's 50th birthday, her husband, Garth Brooks, secretly flew her sister, Beth, up to Nashville to record a harmony part on the song. Since Beth only sings in the church choir back home in Georgia, Trisha was stunned when she heard her sister singing on the track.

"When I go into listen to the mix, I'm like, I immediately know it's her, but it can't be her," Trisha says. "Like, how is that possible? And the song's emotional for her, too. The most amazing gift my husband could have ever given me, and it takes the song to yet another level 'cause she has a really angelic voice."

PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit features six brand-new songs plus Trisha's greatest hits, including "How Do I Live," "She's in Love with the Boy" and "Walkaway Joe."  Look for Trisha to perform on ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Bono Injured in NYC Cycling Accident; U2 "Tonight Show" Residency Cancelled

A.M.P.A.S./Michael YadaU2's week-long residency at the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that was to begin Monday has been cancelled because Bono injured his arm while bicycling in New York City.

The Edge, Larry Mullins, and Adam Clayton made the announcement on the band's site Sunday. 

"[W]e're one man down. Bono has injured his arm in a cycling spill in Central Park and requires some surgery to repair it." The band continued, "We're sure he'll make a full recovery soon, so we'll be back! Much thanks to Jimmy Fallon and everyone at the show for their understanding."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Dropkick Murphys Tour Bus Involved in Fatal Accident

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty ImagesDropkick Murphys cancelled a concert scheduled for Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sunday night after they said their tour bus struck and killed a pedestrian near Austin, Texas.

The band had performed in San Antonio on Saturday night and was headed to a Dallas airport to drop off a band member, before moving on to Tulsa.

The Dropkick Murphys wrote on their website that "just north of Austin we were involved in a tragic and fatal accident when a pedestrian suddenly ran onto the highway in front of our tour bus. Police suspect a suicide."

The group continued, "We were left with a driver that has been severely shaken up by the accident and a bus too damaged to continue onto Tulsa."

The Dropkick Murphys are scheduled to resume their tour in Mexico City on Wednesday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 


Bono Injured in NYC Cycling Accident; U2 "Tonight Show" Residency Canceled

ABC/Adam Taylor; Neal PrestonU2's week-long residency on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that was to begin Monday has been canceled because Bono injured his arm while bicycling in New York City.

The Edge, Larry Mullins, and Adam Clayton made the annoucement on the band's site on Sunday. 

"[W]e're one man down. Bono has injured his arm in a cycling spill in Central Park and requires some surgery to repair it," reads the message.  The band continued, "We're sure he'll make a full recovery soon, so we'll be back! Much thanks to Jimmy Fallon and everyone at the show for their understanding."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, Miley, Macklemore, Lorde & More Parodied in SNL Commercial "Young Tarts & Old Farts" 

Dana Edelson/NBCThe success of Cheek to Cheek, the duets album featuring Lady Gaga singing with 80-something legend Tony Bennett, has inspired a Saturday Night Live parody that imagines more duets featuring today's pop stars and older stars of yesteryear.

This past weekend, the show aired a fake commercial for an album called Young Tarts & Old Farts.  Among the improbable and ill-conceived team-ups shown: a very loud Ariana Grande singing "Endless Love" with Lionel Richie; Barry Manilow singing "Copacabana" with this week's musical guest, Kendrick Lamar, and Macklemore rapping "Same Love" with legendary diva Diana Ross, who claims to have "invented gay people."

We also see Meghan Trainor singing "All About that Bass" with blues guitarist B.B. King;  Elton John singing the standard "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" with Beyonce's toddler daughter Blue Ivy; Aretha Franklin with Swedish pop star Robyn; David Crosby and Stephen Stills with "Gangnam Style" rapper PSY, and James Taylor with both Sam Smith and rapper 2 Chainz.  In most cases, the older stars shake their heads over the younger stars' sound and affectations.

There's also a duet featuring 22-year-old Miley Cyrus and 18-year-old Lorde.  Miley, played by Vanessa Bayer, doesn't sing, she just says, "Oh. My. God. I am totally like the older person in this duet!"

Young Tarts & Old Farts - SNL 11-15-14 by IdolxMuzic

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



Original Alice Cooper Drummer Neal Smith Releases New Concept Album

Kachina RecordsNeal Smith, founding drummer of the Alice Cooper band, has released a new heavy metal concept album titled KillSmith and the GreenFire Empire.  The record, the third in the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's KillSmith series, tells the story of a boy from the jungles of South America who grows up to be a ruthless and powerful drug lord.

As the sinister tale unfolds, the main character discovers an ancient sacrificial drug known as "GreenFire."  He soon is able to amass a fortune as the highly addictive substance begins to make its way across the globe.  The destructive effects of the drug eventually evoke the wrath of Killsmith, a special-ops military hero.

The previous two albums in Smith's Killsmith saga, Killsmith/Sexual Saviour and Killsmith Two, were released in 2008 and 2011, respectively.

Autographed copies of KillSmith and the GreenFire Empire, as well as Smith's solo albums, are available at the drummer's official website,  In addition, Smith is selling signed DVD and Blu-ray editions of the Super Duper Alice Cooper documentary.

Here is the track list for KillSmith and the GreenFire Empire:

"Blessings and Curses"
"Good Morning Blue Soul Land"
"Screaming Bloody Murder"
"The Killsmith Overture"
"Palacio de Esmeraldas"
"Greenfire – Born of Poison"
"I Want Money"
"I Remember Blue Soul Land"
"Death to the King"
"Noelle No Wonder"

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio