Facebook

Twitter

iTunes

RSS

HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Monday
Dec022013

Miley Cyrus, Kanye West Among Barbara Walters' Most Fascinating People of 2013

RCA RecordsConsidering the headlines they grabbed this year, it's no surprise that Miley Cyrus and Kanye West have made Barbara Walters' annual list of the Most Fascinating People of 2013.

Miley and Kanye, who's included on the list with his fiancee Kim Kardashian, will be featured on Walters' annual ABC special, which airs December 18 at 9:30 p.m. ET.  Others who Walters will be chatting with or highlighting on the special include Jennifer Lawrence, Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, the cast of Duck Dynasty, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Pope Francis, swimmer Diana Nyad and George, the infant son of Prince William and wife Kate Middleton.  The #1 most fascinating person will be revealed during the show.

This will be Walters' final Most Fascinating special, since the legendary ABC newswoman has announced plans to retire next year.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Gary Allan Tackles Alcoholism and Lost Love on New Single, "It Ain't the Whiskey"

MCA NashvilleGary Allan is known for his moody ballads about lost-love, and his latest single, "It Ain't the Whiskey," follows in that vein. The lyrics tell the story of a guy attending an AA meeting to talk about the woman who broke his heart instead of his increasing dependence on the bottle.

Says Gary, "I  love, like heart-wrenching songs and songs that really make you think, and they're my favorites. It's a 12-step song, but it's so poignant."

"It Ain't the Whiskey" was a staple of Allan's concert sets long before he put it on his latest album, Set You Free.

"I've been playing that one live by myself," Gary explains, "and we take a break and I just play that acoustically, and we've been doing it forever, way before we cut it. Just a great song. I wish I wrote that one."

Gary Allan's new video for "It Ain't the Whiskey" is now airing on Vevo.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

 

Monday
Dec022013

Lauren Alaina Releasing "Grown Up Christmas List" to Benefit Special Olympics

Mercury NashvilleLauren Alaina is set to release her version of "Grown Up Christmas List" on iTunes December 10 in conjunction with the Special Olympics' A Very Special Christmas series. Lauren has been involved with the Special Olympics since she started her own hometown chapter in Georgia when she was just 11 years old. She now serves as an ambassador for the Special Olympics and spent a week in South Korea last year for the Special Olympics Winter Games.

Lauren says, "Growing up, I was very close with a cousin who had an intellectual disability, and it upset me when people all around me treated him differently. I feel blessed that I’m able to be so involved with a cause dear to my heart."

Look for Lauren to perform "Grown Up Christmas List" along with a few other holiday classics on her Live @ CMT series performance, premiering Monday, December 2 on CMT.com. She'll also perform the song on the 7 p.m. ET hour of NBC's Christmas in Rockefeller Center, airing in select markets on Wednesday, December 4.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Sara Bareilles Covers Michael McDonald on Legendary Bass Player's Album

Image Courtesy Sara Bareilles via InstagramWhile she's been busy promoting her own album, The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles also found time to contribute vocals to another artist's disc.  In fact, she was thrilled about it.

"I got to do something awesome. I got to sing a Michael McDonald song on a Nathan East record," Sara tweeted recently.  Nathan East is a legendary bassist who's played on some of your favorite songs, from Michael Jackson's "Bad" and Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven," to Phil Collins' "Easy Lover" and Whitney Houston's "Greatest Love of All."  He's releasing his first-ever solo album, Nathan East, on March 25, and Sara's one of several guests on the disc.

The song that Sara recorded is "I Can Let Go Now," from Michael McDonald's 1982 album If That's What It Takes -- that's the one with "I Keep Forgettin'" on it.  Coincidentally, Michael McDonald himself is also on the record, but he sings on a different tune.

And speaking of Sara Bareilles and cover songs, she's releasing her live version of Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" as a single. It's taken from her new live CD/DVD, Brave Enough: Live at the Variety.

In other Sara news, her hit single "Brave" has gone platinum.  She reacted by tweeting, "I think I'll wear my rubies tonight. I don't have any rubies. So maybe I'll wear jeans."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Ryan Tedder Dreams of Justin Timberlake Collaboration 

ABC/Donna SvennevikIn addition to being the frontman of OneRepublic, Ryan Tedder is also Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer who's crafted mega-smashes for Kelly Clarkson, Adele and Beyonce, just to name a few.  But Ryan says one of his dream collaborations is a guy he's been wanting to work with for years, but hasn't been able to make it happen: Justin Timberlake.

Speaking to Billboard, Ryan says, "Hopefully at some point, another guy we've talked about for years and timing is Timberlake. I'm going to attempt to catch him on tour before he goes in to do another album. I think he and I could do something really, really cool. We've been friends about 10 or 11 years." 

In addition, Ryan says he's talking to both Ed Sheeran and The Script about working together, as well as Ellie Goulding, Florence Welch of Florence & the Machine and, of course, Adele. "When I'm home I've been focused on Adele big time. She's just chilling for the moment, as she deserves to chill, but I'd love to do a song with [her collaborator] [Paul] Epworth and [her]," he says.

Ryan is also working on Beyonce's album, the details of which remain a mystery.  "I've got something on the next Beyonce [disc] that could be the biggest song I've been a part of in recent memory," he gushes, but adds, "I can't talk about it."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Elton John Says He'd Like to "Assassinate" Reality Stars, Reveals Truth About His Glasses

Universal MusicOver the years, Elton John certainly has made his share of appearances on reality competition shows, but that doesn't mean he's a fan of the genre.  In fact, the legendary star, who is not known for mincing words, believes certain reality TV stars are "nightmares" who deserve to be "assassinated."

In an interview with BBC Radio 2 conducted several months ago but which is only now coming to light, John discusses the title track of his current album, The Diving Board, which is about the pitfalls of fame, especially for young stars.  Elton explains, "It's about someone who's attracted to fame no matter what, and they want fame no matter what the consequences, and they'll do anything to get there."

He then cites Lindsay Lohan as an example, noting that she "had a great career as an actress and as a recording artist, she had a hit album, and suddenly everything fell to bits because of the drugs.  Her parents were a nightmare."  John adds, "She's become a victim of success, and she wants success no matter how much.  And with reality television, you get all these nightmare people wanting to be successful, when you really want them to be assassinated."

In the wide-ranging interview, which featured Elton answering questions from fans, he revealed that he owns 5,000 pairs of eyeglasses, and brings about 100 pairs with him on the road.  Then he made the surprising revelation that, in fact, he doesn't actually need glasses at all.

"I have 20/20 vision.  I don't have to wear glasses.  I had an operation to improve my eyesight," Elton confided. "So I can see every album cover [fans are holding up] in the audience, every sign -- but I still like to wear glasses.  So these are completely clear lenses.  They don't have any prescription."  So why bother wearing them?  "They're just a part of me," he shrugged.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Prince Announces Three-Night Stint at Connecticut Casino

Vince Bucci/STARTRAKS PHOTO via ABCOn the heels of treating fans to two new singles, "Breakfast Can Wait" and "Da Bourgeoisie," Prince has announced that he will bring his electric live show to the East Coast for a trio of performances at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is scheduled to begin his much-anticipated run on Friday, December 27, followed with a Saturday, December 28, performance and finishing on Sunday, December 29.

Tickets for all three shows go on sale on Friday, December 6, at 10 a.m. ET through Ticketmaster.

In other news, Prince currently is working on new music with his rock band 3rdEyeGirl and his 21-piece super group The New Power Generation for a new album that is tentatively due out early 2014.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Signed Collectibles from Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Natalie Cole Part of Grammy Charity Black Friday Auction

Grammy.orgLooking for that perfect holiday gift for the music lover in your life?  Some sweet deals are up for bid over at eBay in an auction that got under way on Black Friday to benefit the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares.

The Fifth Annual Grammy Charity Black Friday Online Auction features a variety of autographed pieces of memorabilia from Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Foreigner's Mick Jones, Natalie Cole, David Cassidy and many other well-known musicians.  Among the items up for grabs: signed vinyl copies of Young's Freedom and Browne's World in Motion albums, an electric guitar autographed by Jones, a 50th Annual Grammy Awards program signed by Cole and a framed copy of Rolling Stone magazine autographed by Cassidy.

VIP passes to the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute to singer/songwriter Carole King also are part of the auction.  The event, which is scheduled for January 24, will feature performances by James Taylor, Bette Midler, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and many other stars.

The Grammy Charity Black Friday sale runs through December 9 at eBay.com/Grammy.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Signed Collectibles from Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Slash Part of Grammy Charity Black Friday Auction

Grammy.orgLooking for that perfect holiday gift for the music lover in your life?  Some sweet deals are up for bid over at eBay in an auction that got under way on Black Friday to benefit the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares.

The Fifth Annual Grammy Charity Black Friday Online Auction features a variety of autographed pieces of memorabilia from Neil Young, Jackson Browne, ex-Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, Foreigner's Mick Jones, Billy Idol and many other well-known musicians.  Among the items up for grabs: signed vinyl copies of Young's Freedom and Browne's World in Motion albums, electric guitars autographed by Jones and Idol, and a studded guitar strap signed by Slash.

VIP passes to the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute to singer/songwriter Carole King also are part of the auction.  The event, which is scheduled for January 24, will feature performances by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, James Taylor, Bette Midler and many other stars.

The Grammy Charity Black Friday sale runs through December 9 at eBay.com/Grammy.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Mary J. Blige Enjoys Sales Increase with First Holiday Album, "A Mary Christmas"

PRNewsFoto/Interscope Records

Mary J Blige's first holiday album, A Mary Christmas, is gaining steam. Last week, the singer's set rose on the Billboard 200 albums chart to its highest position yet.

According to the publication, the singer's project has climbed from #22 to #12 on the chart,  partly due to Starbucks' recent move to carry the album nationwide, as well as due to her recent performance on HSN, which aired on November 17. The disc experienced an 110-percent increase in sales, moving more than 31,000 copies last week,  its best sales week since being released in October.

The album, which boasts collaborations with Barbra Streisand, Jessie J and Marc Anthony, initially opened at number 23 on the Billboard 200 and at number five on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, selling 12,000 copies in its first week.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

The Black Keys, The Killers, Slash & More Offer Items for Grammy Charity Black Friday Sale

Danny ClinchLooking for that perfect holiday gift for the music lover in your life?  The Grammy Foundation and MusiCares are offering some sweet deals over at eBay in an auction that got under way on Black Friday.

The Fifth Annual Grammy Charity Black Friday Online Auction features autographed memorabilia from the likes of The Black Keys, The Killers, Slash and Mumford & Sons. Among the items up for grabs: guitars, CD box sets, Grammy memorabilia and skateboard decks.

A 56th Grammy Awards VIP Experience and VIP passes to the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute to singer/songwriter Carole King are also part of the auction, and prices start as low as 99 cents.  The Grammy Charity Black Friday sale runs through December 9 at eBay.com/Grammy.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

The Standells Member Dick Dodd Dead at 68

Image Courtesy Dick Dodd via TwitterDick Dodd, a drummer and vocalist for the 1960s garage rock band The Standells, died Friday in a hospital in Fountain Valley, California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Dodd, who reportedly announced earlier this year that he was battling stage 4 cancer, was 68.

The Standells scored a hit in 1966 with "Dirty Water," which is known to Boston sports fans today as an anthem for its local teams.

Prior to his run with The Standells, Dodd was a Disney Mouseketeer and a member of the bands the Bel-Airs and Eddie and the Showmen.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Bob Dylan Sued by Croatian Group Accusing Him of Making Racist Remark

Columbia RecordsBob Dylan reportedly has been sued by a Croatian group for making what it claims was a racist remark.

The lawsuit stems from an interview Bob gave to Rolling Stone last year. In the story, the legendary musician discussed the Civil War and slavery and was asked if he sees any parallels between the 1860s and present-day America. Bob replied, "This country is just too f***ed up about color. It's a distraction. People at each other's throats just because they are of a different color. It's the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back -- or any neighborhood back. Or any anything back."

He continued, "If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood."

The Council of Croats in France objects to the Serb-Croatian comment, and is suing Bob and the French edition of Rolling Stone as a result. A member of the Croatian World Congress is quoted by the International Business Times as saying, "It is an incitement to hatred. You cannot compare Croatian criminals to all Croats. But we have nothing against Rolling Stone magazine or Bob Dylan as a singer."

Bob, who received France's highest public award, the Legion of Honor, last month, could face a fine if the lawsuit is successful. France's free speech laws are more strict than those of the U.S.

Croats and Serbs have had a long history of conflict, which came to a head in the 1990s when Croatia broke away from Yugoslavia.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

The Pixies Bassist Says She's No Longer with the Band

PixiesMusic.comThe Pixies are in the market for a new bassist again.

Earlier this year, the Pixies replaced founding bassist Kim Deal, who quit the group, with Kim Shattuck. Shattuck -- who had played bass for The Pandoras and is the frontwoman for The Muffs -- announced Friday she is no longer a member of the Pixies.

Shattuck wrote on her Facebook page, "Super disappointed to learn that my time with the Pixies ended today. Amazing experience. Looking forward to focusing my attention back on the Muffs and our upcoming new album. All the best to everyone." She didn't specify the reason for her departure.

The Pixies are scheduled to tour North America early next year, beginning with a January 15 show in Toronto.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Ed Sheeran Celebrates Thanksgiving with Jennifer Aniston

Dan CurwinWhat was Ed Sheeran up to during the Thanksgiving holiday? Oh, not much -- just hanging out with Jennifer Aniston.

On Thursday, the actress' manager, Aleen Keshishian, posted onto Instagram a photo of the three of them together. She wrote, "#happythanksgiving #jenniferaniston @aleenkeshishian #edsheeran."

Ed apparently is a fan of Aniston's old TV show Friends, because he's also buddies with her co-star Courteney Cox. He recently posted a photo of the two of them on Instagram, and wrote, "My friend Courteney is nominated for a People Choice Award for favourite cable tv actress. She's never won one before and she lets me live in her beach house, so how's about we all vote for her and win her the damn thang eh?"

There's quite the age gap between Ed and his two friends. He's 22, Aniston's 44, and Cox is 49.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Justin Bieber Causes Drama in Australia

Image Courtesy Justin Bieber via InstagramJustin Bieber knows how to make headlines, even during a holiday weekend.

Let's go to Australia, where Justin's on tour and his graffiti-painting ways have followed him. He recently added his own unique brand of art to a wall at the QT Hotel in Gold Coast, to the dismay of the local city council. The council is calling on the hotel to paint over the art, which is basically odd-shaped cartoon characters, since it's in public view, according to the Brisbane Times.

The local mayor has even suggested that Justin perform for free at an upcoming Christmas event as an apology.

However, the QT Hotel is standing by Justin. On its Facebook page, it has posted a photo of Justin next to his artwork, along with the message, "He asked, and we said YES."

Australian actor Russell Crowe threw his support behind Justin, too, writing on Twitter, "I like Beibers [sic] tagging. Tag on little brother. Tag the world."

Of course, there were reports last month that Justin was in trouble in Brazil for spraying the side of a hotel there.

Elsewhere in the Land Down Under, a surfer tells TMZ that he had an encounter with one of Justin's bodyguards in Byron Bay last Wednesday. The surfer, Kes Weartherm, claims the bodyguard snatched a phone from his hand after Kes took a picture of Justin surfing. The bodyguard eventually returned the phone -- after other beachgoers came to Kes' aid -- but Kes deleted the photo in question.

TMZ has also posted video of a separate incident, in Sydney, in which a paparazzo claims a Justin bodyguard -- reportedly the same one who tangled with the surfer -- kicked his car and knifed his tires.

The drama doesn't end there. According to News.com.au, there have been complaints that Justin has started concerts in Sydney and Brisbane late.

Amid all this, Justin on Saturday got a new tattoo on his left arm, depicting an eagle flying over a cloud.

Justin has concerts scheduled in Melbourne Monday and Tuesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Lady Gaga's Thanksgiving Special Falls Flat in Ratings

ABC/Rick RowellLady Gaga plus The Muppets does not equal a Thanksgiving-night hit.

Mother Monster's ABC special, Lady Gaga & The Muppets Holiday Spectacular, was only seen by 3.6 million viewers, according to Entertainment Weekly. To put that number into perspective, the network's airing of the classic holiday special A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving earlier in the night drew a million and a half additional viewers.

Gaga's Muppets collaboration -- which featured guest stars such as Elton John, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kristen Bell -- also fell short of her 2011 ABC holiday program, A Very Gaga Thanksgiving, which pulled in an audience of 5.4 million viewers.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

For "Giving Tuesday," Fergie Wants Your Shoes -- and She'll Give You Some, Too

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagicA fabulous pair of shoes may be something you'd like to get this year for Christmas, but on Tuesday, Fergie wants you to think about giving shoes to someone who really needs it.

As part of the second annual Giving Tuesday -- a national day of charity that takes place after Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- Fergie is teaming with Dress for Success to create "Giving Shoes-Day."  She and the organization, which provides disadvantaged women with appropriate clothing for job interviews and the workplace, are asking people to donate their unwanted professional shoes to one of over 50 locations across the U.S.  Visit dressforsuccess.org/affiliates to find the closest location near you. The top 10 shoe donors across the country will receive a very special gift: a pair of limited-edition shoes designed by Fergie for her company, Fergie Footwear.

"I've always wanted to do this," Fergie tells ABC News Radio. "I've had this dream of creating this limited-edition shoe, and we made it happen finally this year, and 40 percent of the profits are going for Dress for Success, with a minimum of us donating $40,000."  The limited-edition shoe is called the Palace Heel; it's fire-engine red and super-sexy.

Fergie says she's happy to team with Dress for Success because she really believes in its mission.  "It's about empowering women and dressing them for job interviews," she tells ABC News Radio. "And disadvantaged women, a lot of times they don't have the clothes to go on these job interviews to look appropriate or to attend work in. So this really helps them out."

"I'm all about empowering women, helping them to become financially independent and it's really just a great cause for the holidays. I really took to it and it's perfect," she adds.  And the singer adds that she herself gives away many of her own shoes, of which, she says, she has "a lot."   "My family and friends have gotten a lot of shoes that they would have never bought for themselves, so that makes me happy, and [I] also donated to our church," she says.

Of course, being a new mom to baby Axl Jack has forced Fergie to change her footwear choices as of late.  "Now I'm getting more into the flats section because I have a kid," she laughs. "So pregnancy and becoming a mom have really lowered my heels!"

In addition to her shoe line, Fergie has a mini-empire that includes wine, makeup, nail polish, fragrance and other products.  And she says she's just grateful that while her group The Black Eyed Peas are on hiatus, she can run that empire from home, and still be there for Axl 24/7. "I've been so blessed to be able to work from home," she gushes. "I mean, I can't tell you how many times I'm sitting there in a meeting or a conference call or doing approvals online, and I don't have to get dressed...I can feed my son.  It's wonderful!" 

Fergie also says that she is planning a follow-up to her one and only solo album, The Dutchess, and while there's no firm release date, she says we're likely to see it before the release of a new Black Eyed Peas album.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockFlorida Georgia Line is set to perform on ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest December 31.

Rascal Flatts bassist Jay DeMarcus recently filmed a guest spot on ABC's Nashville expected to air in 2014.

Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas spends a fourth consecutive week at #1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec022013

Eric Church Still Sings for the Underdog Despite His Own Mainstream Success

EMI NashvilleIt may seem a bit odd that Eric Church's new single and upcoming album are both called "The Outsiders" since he found mainstream country success with his last album, Chief. In spite of his platinum-selling status, Eric still feels in touch with those who don't color inside the lines.

He tells Billboard, "This song's for a 13- or 14-year-old kid who doesn't quite have it all together yet, and he's the outcast. It's a gladiator song. It's a locker-room song. It fires you up."

"The Outsiders" definitely pushes the boundaries of modern country radio with its aggressive rock sound, but that's exactly what Eric set out to do.

"It's important for the health of the format that we all don't follow the leader, that we branch out and we find our own path."

Eric's new album, The Outsiders, is due out February 11.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio