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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Thursday
Oct102013

Death Cab for Cutie Begins Work on Next Studio Album

Danny ClinchDeath Cab for Cutie has revealed they’re back in the studio working on their next studio album. The band announced the good news via Instagram on Thursday afternoon, posting a photo of a rack of guitars along with the caption “Paintbrushes. #inthestudio #deathcab."

The group’s previous release, 2011's Codes and Keys, debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, selling 102,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age Announce 2014 Co-Headlining Tour of Australia, New Zealand

NIN.comNine Inch Nails has teamed up with Queens of the Stone Age for a co-headlining tour in 2014 Down Under.

The bands have just scheduled a string of eight dates in Australia and New Zealand, which kick off on March 6 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. If you’re wondering who’ll take the stage first, it will be left up to chance: the groups say they’ll flip a coin each night to decide which of them will get to perform first.

Pre-sale tickets for the upcoming shows will go on sale on Wednesday at 2 p.m. local venue time. Remaining tickets will be available on October 24. Visit Tour.NIN.com or QOTSA.com for the full itinerary.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Paul McCartney Gives Surprise Performance in New York City's Times Square

MPL/Mary McCartneyPaul McCartney thrilled a lunchtime crowd in the heart of New York City on Thursday afternoon when he played a surprise mini concert in Times Square.  The former Beatle delivered an energetic four-song set that featured only tunes from his about-to-be-released album, NEW.

Playing on a makeshift stage set up in a converted trailer, Sir Paul and his longtime backing band performed rousing renditions of NEW's title track, lead song "Save Us," "Everybody Out There" and the particularly Beatles-like "Queenie Eye."  Before kicking into the final tune, McCartney thanked the crowd for being a lovely audience and then revealed apologetically that that he'd only been given 15 minutes to perform.

The fans who caught the performance ranged from children to senior citizens, and while some seemed disappointed that McCartney didn't play any of his classic Beatles songs, there was a general feeling of excitement about the rock legend playing an impromptu set in the middle of the Big Apple.

Jere Hester, a Fab Four aficionado who recently published a book titled Raising a Beatle Baby, tells ABC News Radio that he was excited to see McCartney close up.

"He's still a incredible performer," says Hester.  "But the more amazing thing was to see the multiple generations of people here.…It goes to the whole intergenerational appeal of The Beatles and the endurance of the music."

Alex, a British-born woman who works for MTV, notes, "It's amazing to see an icon perform in such a public space, and I think it's quite a rare opportunity to access someone like Paul McCartney.  What I really like is that he kind of brought it down to a level where hundreds of people could just see him perform."

In addition, a young Minnesota woman named Kayla making her first-ever visit to New York City tells ABC News Radio that she arrived in Times Square just in time to catch the tail end of the concert.

"This was super exciting to see, since we just got here," she declares.  "It almost feels like this is supposed to happen every time you go to New York."

The show comes just a day after Macca and his group took part in another surprise New York City event, a 90-minute Q&A session and concert at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens.  That event will be streamed Monday on Yahoo.com at 9 p.m. ET.  NEW will be released on Tuesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Timbaland Debuts New Collabo with Jay-Z & Drake at Performance in England

Facebook.com/TimbalandTimbaland has contributed numerous beats for Jay-Z's albums, including this year's Magna Carta... Holy Grail, and he also crafted the closing track on Drake's Thank Me Later.  Now, the rappers have returned the favor by appearing on the hitmaker's new song, which he debuted during Jay’s Magna Carter World Tour.  

In front of a packed crowd in Birmingham, England, Timbaland showcased the new tune and rapped on the hook, "What you know about me? / Not a motherf***ing thing."  An audience video of the performance was posted to YouTube.

While there’s no word on where Timbo's new offering will end up, the up-tempo track marks the third time from Drake and Jay-Z have collaborated, including their most recent song "Pound Cake" lifted from Drizzy's Nothing Was the Same.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Nipsey Hussle Reacts to Jay-Z Purchasing 100 Copies of His Crenshaw Album

Facebook.com/NipseyHussle; Facebook.com/JayZEarlier this week, Nipsey Hussle became $10,000 richer after Jay-Z purchased 100 copies of his new Crenshaw mixtape, at $100 each.

The Los Angeles rapper, who initially released the project as a free download and then gave fans the option to buy a $100 physical copy, explained to MTV News that he's "humbled" by the rap mogul's unexpected gesture.

"They sent us $10,000, we sent out 100 CDs," Nipsey recalled.  "I ain’t get the chance to holler at Jay, but through his people he made it clear that he respected everything, so I was just humbled by it.  It felt like it was a good risk.  It ended up working out."

In addition to Hov's contribution, Nipsey sold 1,000 physical copies within 24 hours, which adds up to an impressive $100,000 in sales.

Fans can still download Crenshaw, which includes guest spots from Rick Ross and Slim Thug, or fork over a Benjamin for the physical copy via IAmProud2Pay.com.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

New Albums by Korn, Alter Bridge Expected to Score Top-10 Spots on "Billboard" 200

Roadrunner RecordsKorn and Alter Bridge are expected to make big debuts on the Billboard 200 album chart next week.

According to the industry website Hits Daily Double, Korn’s The Paradigm Shift is looking to snag the #5 spot on Billboard 200, with projections putting its sales somewhere around 40,000 to 45,000 copies. The Paradigm Shift is the band’s first release to feature co-founding guitarist Brian "Head" Welch since 2003’s Take a Look in the Mirror.

Alter Bridge’s Fortress will likely grab the #6 spot on the list, with projected sales putting it around 30,000 to 35,000 copies.  If the predictions are true, Fortress will mark Alter Bridge’s second-highest debut on the tally since their first album, 2004's One Day Remains, which took the #5 slot on the chart its first week out.

Other bands expected to claim top spots on the Billboard 200 include Cage the Elephant and Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington. Cage the Elephant’s Melophobia will likely come in at #9 with 17,000 to 20,000 copies sold, while Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington’s debut EP, High Rise, is looking to secure the #11 slot, selling 13,000 to 15,000 copies.

The Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be released on Wednesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

New Albums by Panic! at the Disco, Korn, Alter Bridge Expected to Score Top-10 Spots on "Billboard" 200

Fueled By RamenPanic! at the Disco, Korn and Alter Bridge are all expected to make big debuts on the Billboard 200 album chart next week.

According to the industry website Hits Daily Double, Panic! at the Disco’s fourth studio album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!, is headed for the #2 spot on the tally, with projected sales putting it somewhere around 90,000 to 100,000 copies. If the predictions are true, the album’s first-week sales will best the debut of Panic's previous release, 2011’s Vices & Virtues, which debuted at #7 on the chart and sold 56,000 copies its first week out, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Korn’s The Paradigm Shift is looking to snag the #5 spot on Billboard 200, with projections putting its sales somewhere around 40,000 to 45,000 copies. The Paradigm Shift is the band’s first release to feature co-founding guitarist Brian "Head" Welch since 2003’s Take a Look in the Mirror.

Alter Bridge’s Fortress will likely grab the #6 spot on the list, with projected sales putting it around 30,000 to 35,000 copies.  If the predictions are true, Fortress will mark Alter Bridge’s second-highest debut on the tally since their first album, 2004's One Day Remains, which took the #5 slot on the chart its first week out.

Other bands expected to claim top spots on the Billboard 200 include Cage the Elephant and Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington. Cage the Elephant’s Melophobia will likely come in at #9 with 17,000 to 20,000 copies sold, while Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington’s debut EP, High Rise, is looking to secure the #11 slot, selling 13,000 to 15,000 copies.

The Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be released on Wednesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Pusha T's "My Name Is My Name" Earns Big First-Week Sales Projections

Facebook.com/PushaTBefore Pusha T released his second solo album, My Name Is My Name, the rapper proclaimed on social media to have the "hip-hop album of the year." And now, it seems the Def Jam rapper may indeed be looking at the biggest sales week of his solo career.

According to industry forecasts, Push is on pace to sell between 75,000 to 80,000 copies of My Name Is My Name its first week in stores. The projections fall in line with recent first-week figures from his Def Jam label mates, including Big Sean's Hall of Fame, which sold 72,000 copies, and 2 Chainz's B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, which moved 63,000 units.

For Pusha, the early sales estimates mark an impressive increase from his 2011 major label debut, Fear of God II: Let Us Pray, which debuted at number 66 on the Billboard 200 with 8,900 copies sold.

In other news, Pusha T recently issued the video for his Chris Brown-assisted song, "Sweet Serenade."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Diddy, Cassie Get Intimate on Instagram

Courtesy of Cassie's InstagramDiddy and Cassie have maintained a private relationship for years, but the pair has now opted to give their fans a glimpse into their bedroom by posting intimate moments on Instagram.

On Thursday, the "Me & U" singer posted a black-and-white image of her and Diddy lying in bed together. She captioned the image: "@iamdiddy can be pretty heavy sometimes... ?? This picture is cute to me because I normally sleep on top of him... He really fell asleep like this ??"

The Bad Boy mogul then shared a picture, in which Cassie is giving him a foot massage. "@casandrae was talkin sh** on IG earlier! But now dis is later . My Baby and she gives mean foot massage . Lol." Diddy wrote.

The pair have never officially announced when they began dating, but rumors began to spread soon after Cassie broke off her three-year relationship with Ryan Leslie in 2007.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Tamar Braxton Among Performers for Soul Train Awards 

Facebook.com/TamarBraxtonHer

Tamar Braxton and Jennifer Hudson have been tapped to perform for the 2013 Soul Train Awards, which is being taped on November 8 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

The singers join acts Smokey Robinson, K. Michelle, Wale, Kem, Chrisette Michelle, Eric Benét, Ronald Isley, Bobby Caldwell, Joss Stone and American Idol season 12 winner Candice Glover for the fifth annual show. 

Kendrick Lamar leads all nominees with six nominations, including Best New Artist, Album of the Year and Song of the Year. Tied with five nominations each are Tamar, Miguel, Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Chris Brown, and Janelle Monae.

Hosted by comedian Anthony Anderson, the 2013 Soul Train Awards will premiere on Centric and BET on December 1 at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Kelly Clarkson: I Never Said "Pitchy Strippers" Diss Was About Miley

KellyClarkson.comDuring the MTV Video Music Awards in August, Kelly Clarkson made headlines when she tweeted, "Just saw a couple performances from the VMA's last night. 2 words....

"People always say, 'How did you make it ten years?' My whole focus has always been the talent. I don't want to distract from that," she told ET. "There's cool ways to complement it. You could be sexy sometimes; you could be fun and playful; you can be whatever the song calls for."

Kelly added, "My fear for a lot of people...in the industry is [they are] clouding [their] actual talent. ... People aren't going to ever want to see you because you're talented; they're going to want to see what kind of big circus is going to happen with it."

Kelly has gone out of her way to praise singers she feels let their talent do the talking: Selena Gomez is one of them; Ariana Grande is another.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Kelly Clarkson: I Never Said "Pitchy Strippers" Diss Was About Miley

During the MTV Video Music Awards in August, Kelly Clarkson made headlines when she tweeted, "Just saw a couple performances from the VMA's last night. 2 words....

"People always say, 'How did you make it ten years?' My whole focus has always been the talent. I don't want to distract from that," she told ET. "There's cool ways to complement it. You could be sexy sometimes; you could be fun and playful; you can be whatever the song calls for."

Kelly added, "My fear for a lot of people...in the industry is [they are] clouding [their] actual talent. ... People aren't going to ever want to see you because you're talented; they're going to want to see what kind of big circus is going to happen with it."

Kelly has gone out of her way to praise singers she feels let their talent do the talking: Selena Gomez is one of them; Ariana Grande is another.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Will.i.am Talks "Fine-Tuning" Britney's Album, BEP Break & Mommy Fergie

Facebook.com/BritneySpearsWill.i.am is currently working on Britney Spears' still-untitled new album, which is due in December.  The project has previously been described as Britney's most "personal" disc yet, and Will says that he, Britney and their team are working to make sure it turns out that way.

At the American Music Awards press conference in New York City on Thursday, Will was asked if the album really is "personal. "Right now, yeah," he told reporters, adding, "We're fine-tuning things, and people inside the circle feel that way. And translating that to where everyone feels that way is what we're working on now."

Will went on to explain, "You know, a mix [of a song] can change everything.  A video, the next follow-up video to 'Work B***h," could change everything.  So, listening to Britney's concerns about mixes and vocals and song structure is what we're doing now."

As for as his own musical plans, he and the Black Eyed Peas are currently on hiatus, and Fergie, of course, just became a first-time mom to baby Axl Jack.  Will says the group is in no hurry to get back to work.

"We're just still inhaling and exhaling, you know, just taking out time and you know, enjoying the time away," he told reporters. "We were, with Fergie, we've been touring since 2003, so I think we deserved a little time away from each other!"

And what kind of mom does he think Fergie will be to baby Axl?  "Fergie's gonna be a rock and roll mom. S he's gonna be amazing mom," he predicted.

Will helped read the nominations for the American Music Awards at the press conference, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are the lead nominees with six nods.  Asked what he thinks the duo has brought to the hip-hop genre in the past year, Will told reporters, "I think they've added to hip-hop. They've added wonderful things to it.  Lyrically, it's fresh.  Production-wise, it's amazing."

Referring to the fact that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' album The Heist was independently produced, recorded and released by the duo themselves, Will added, "Aesthetically, as entrepreneurs, and paving the way for young businessmen, creators, that's amazing. I think they've paved the way for a lot of young people to say, 'Hey, we can do it that way too.'"

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Thomas Rhett Learned the Country Music Business Early in Life

Valory Music Co.Thomas Rhett has scored his first hit as an artist with "It Goes Like This," but the demanding schedule of a budding country star is no surprise to him. Thomas's father, Rhett Akins, had several hits in the mid-'90s, including "That Ain't My Truck," so Thomas knows the sacrifices necessary to launch and maintain a country career.

He tells Billboard, "I watched my dad be gone a lot. I watched my parents get divorced when I was nine. I learned a lot about the road, and a lot of the business side of it, and a lot of about how it can affect your personal life."

Thomas has used those early life lessons to make sure his young marriage to his high school sweetheart, Lauren, stays on track. As difficult as his very musical childhood may sound, Thomas is thankful for it.  He says, "My upbringing was fantastic, and I wouldn't trade it for anything."

"It Goes Like This" is the title track on Thomas's debut album, due out October 29.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Peter Frampton Joining Bluegrass Star Ricky Skaggs Next Month for Country Music Hall of Fame Concert

Photo: Gregg RothPeter Frampton has signed on to appear as a guest performer during a two-night series of concerts presented by bluegrass great Ricky Skaggs at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on November 18 and 19.  Frampton is slated to join Skaggs for a country-themed show November 18. along with Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley and others.

The November 19 event, meanwhile, will feature a bluegrass theme and will include performances by Bruce Hornsby, Alison Krauss and Del McCoury.

Skaggs is organizing the concerts as part of his service as the Country Music Hall of Fame's 2013 Artist-in-Residence.  These shows will be the first public events held in the Hall's brand-new CMA Theater.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Imagine Dragons Leads Rock Nominees for American Music Awards

Facebook.com/AMAsSo far, the American Music Awards are shaping up to be a good night for Imagine Dragons.  The group scored the most nominations of any rock act at the upcoming event, which will take place on November 24 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.

Imagine Dragons snagged a total of three nods: New Artist of the Year, Favorite Band, Duo or Group -- Pop/Rock, and Favorite Artist -- Alternative Rock.  The band will compete in the latter category against The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons. Imagine Dragons will also perform at the event.

The American Music Awards recognize artists in all major musical genres. The trophies will be handed out Sunday, November 24 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.  As always, the American Music Awards are fan-voted.  You can vote now at AMAvote.com.  For the first time ever, fans this year can also vote via Twitter.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Bryan Cranston Responds to Britney Spears' Criticism of "Breaking Bad" Finale

Image Courtesy Britney Spears via Twitter(SPOILER ALERT) Most fans and critics agreed that the Breaking Bad finale was a winner, but one vocal critic was Britney Spears, who reportedly complained about the ending in an interview.  Now, the show's star, Bryan Cranston, has reached out to Britney on Twitter.

Britney apparently said she was disappointed in the ending because Cranston's character, chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord Walter White, died.  Cranston tweeted to what he thought was Britney -- but he got her Twitter handle wrong -- "Not happy with the Breaking Bad finale? Or just sad that Walt died? Glad you felt for him. RIP W.W. maybe I'm still here."

Fans immediately criticized Cranston for not only getting Britney's handle wrong, but for posting such a huge spoiler about the ending of the series.  When other fans attacked those fans for being upset about the ending being revealed ten days after the show aired, the fans then flamed those fans for attempting to dictate when they should watch TV.  And one smart-aleck simply tweeted of Britney, "Did she lip synch her critique?"

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

 

Thursday
Oct102013

"Glee" Memorializes Finn Hudson in Song in "The Quarterback" Episode

FOXGlee says goodbye to one of its own Thursday night with "The Quarterback," the episode that pays tribute to the late Cory Monteith.  Monteith, who played Finn Hudson on the Fox show and dated co-star Lea Michele in real life, died of a drug overdose in July.

The episode reportedly begins with news of Finn's death, but we won't learn exactly how he died.  Instead, the former members of New Directions all return to McKinley High to honor their fellow student and glee club member, while Mr. Schue encourages them all to "memorialize him the way we do everything: by singing about it."

Kurt, Finn's brother by marriage, joins his dad and Finn's mom -- his stepmom -- in sorting through Finn's belongings.  Will's wife Emma is worried that the teacher isn't giving himself time to grieve, while Santana hides her sorrow behind her tough-girl image.  Meanwhile, Puck decides to honor Finn's memory by making what Fox describes as "a life-changing decision" about his future.  If rumors are to be believed, he's going to enlist in the Army.  You may recall that that's what Finn did when he graduated from high school, but he was discharged early after being injured.

As for Rachel, rumor has it that she doesn't appear until the end of the episode, where she then sings a moving version of "Make You Feel My Love," written by Bob Dylan and later covered by Adele, Billy Joel, Garth Brooks and many other singers.

Romy Rosemont, the actress who plays Finn's mom, says "The Quarterback" is a "beautiful episode" that will allow viewers "the opportunity to turn a page and kind of mourn the character."

Rosemont watched the episode on Tuesday, and she says it made her cry because it's a fitting tribute to her late co-star. She says, "Cory was an incredible person. He was a beautiful, sweet soul. The episode is entitled 'The Quarterback.' And I think the quarterback represents a lot of things, that title. And that's who he was." 

As previously reported, all proceeds from downloads of songs from the episode -- which include James Taylor's "Fire and Rain," The Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You," "Seasons of Love" from the show Rent, Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender," and The Band Perry's "If I Die Young" -- will go to Project Limelight, a free theater program that allows kids to explore their hidden talents, develop confidence and form lasting friendships.  Monteith was a huge supporter of the program during his lifetime.

"The Quarterback" episode of Glee will air Thursday night on Fox at 9 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Miley Cyrus On Track for #1 Debut with "Bangerz" 

RCA RecordsAt this point, if Miley Cyrus' new album Bangerz doesn't top the charts, something's seriously wrong.  After all, she's just about the most talked-about woman in the world right now, and the album has already produced two smash hits.  But according to Billboard, there's no need to worry: the album will indeed enter the album chart at #1 next week, sales reports show.

Sources tell Billboard that Bangerz is on track to sell about 250,000 copies by the end of the week.  If it happens, that'll be more than twice what her last album, Can't Be Tamed, sold in its first week back in 2010.  If Bangerz comes in at #1, it'll be Miley's fifth chart-topper, counting her Hannah Montana soundtrack albums.

Comparing projected sales of Bangerz to recent releases by other top female pop stars, Miley stacks up just fine.  Last year, for example, Rihanna's Unapologetic sold 238,000 in its first week, while Pink's The Truth About Love moved 280,000 copies in its first week.  Back in 2011, Miley's idol Britney Spears sold 276,000 copies of her most recent album, Femme Fatale, in its first week.

Of course, if between next week and now, Miley decides to publicly take her clothes off again, the sales could go even higher.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct102013

Kenny Rogers Reflects on Friendship and Explores Different Sounds on "You Can't Make Old Friends"

Warner Bros. RecordsKenny Rogers' new album, You Can't Make Old Friends, is now in stores featuring a duet with Dolly Parton on the title track.  The song celebrates the two country stars' decades-long friendship that began with their 1983 hit "Islands in the Stream."

Rogers tells ABC News Radio, "I love the fact that we had the chance to document our relationship."

Kenny says that having Parton sing with him on "You Can't Make Old Friends" made him step up his game in the vocal department, too.

"I've always been convinced that duets are better than singles because you sing a song as best you think it can, and then someone comes in and sings it better, and you go, 'Oops, I need to change my part,'" he explains.  "So, she just killed it.  So, I went back and kind of did some things on mine."

Beyond the title cut, Rogers explores country, pop and even Cajun-influenced zydeco sounds on the new album.  Tackling those different musical styles was a creative challenge for him, but it also made appealed to him from a business perspective too.

"There's only two ways I can compete in this business," Kenny maintains.  "I can do what everybody else is doing and do it better, and I don't like my chances of doing that.  Or I can do something no else is doing, and you don't invite comparison.  So, that's where I chose to go."

Look for Rogers to promote You Can't Make Old Friends with an appearance on The Rachael Ray Show this Friday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio