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Thursday
Jul212016

Elton John Encourages Youth to Help Fight Against AIDS 

ABC/Randy HolmesElton John took the stage with Prince Harry today at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. The two spoke on a panel about the needs of youth living with HIV and discussed ways to help prevent the disease among young people.

"Africa's youth has grown up in the shadow of AIDS," Elton said, addressing the young people in the audience. "It's time to see a new form of freedom."

He added, "People of my generation all over the world have engaged in big and small ways to help turn the tide of AIDS. Let it be remembered that you and young people here and around the world joined forces and became the generation that finally made AIDS history. You are the future, not just for AIDS, you’re the future of this planet and boy, do we need you."

Elton is the founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars to combat AIDS, and offers treatment and support to those affected by the disease.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Thursday
Jul212016

Justin Timberlake Recalls Writing "Can't Stop the Feeling!": "It Just Makes People Happy" 

Albert L. Ortega/Getty ImagesHe's starring in the animated movie Trolls, but Justin Timberlake is also the executive producer of the film's soundtrack. The first single, "Can't Stop the Feeling!" is a massive hit, and according to the director, that's because Justin specifically announced his intention to write one.

"It was his idea to make his song a hit song," Trolls co-director Mike Mitchell tells ABC Radio about "Can't Stop the Feeling!"  "We didn't ask for that. That was just something [he offered].  He was like, 'And you know what? I'll make it a hit! How's that?'  And we're like, 'Great! Thank you!'"

But the soundtrack is much more than "Can't Stop the Feeling!"  Speaking at San Diego's Comic-Con on Thursday, co-director Walt Dohrn tells ABC Radio, "We have four original songs written by Justin Timberlake," in addition to tracks from Ariana Grande and Gwen Stefani

Dohrn adds, "But we have classic songs as well, from the sixties and nineties, like, from all over the place, all different kind of of genres of music, but Justin really kind of weaved it all together into this cohesive whole."

"I never thought I'd ever have an opportunity to....[rework] Simon and Garfunkel and Earth, Wind and Fire and...Gorillaz," Justin told fans at the Trolls panel at Comic-Con Thursday. "It's been a lot of fun."

But Justin says he was surprised at the effect that crafting an upbeat song like "Can't Stop the Feeling!" had on him.

"I’ve never written a song like that under these type of circumstances," he told the panel. "But when I started to write the song, I was like, 'This actually makes me feel really good.' And  I think, to kinda go along with the theme of the movie, it’s nice to be a part of something that you can put out in the world and it just makes people happy." 

Trolls arrives in theaters in November.  The soundtrack's due in September.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Brandy and Her Record Label Trade Barbs

Kat MorganThe legal battle, and war of words, between Brandy and her label is continuing.

Back in March, Brandy sued the company for $1 million accusing Chameleon Entertainment and company President Breyon Prescott of refusing to pay for her to record or allow her to release new music.

On Wednesday a rep for Prescott slammed the singer to TMZ all but calling Brandy washed up.  The label took a risk in "signing an artist that hasn't had a chart single success since the early 2000," the rep told TMZ.

But a rep for Brandy returned fire saying that if the label thinks so little of Brandy's career prospects it should "release her from the contract."

Brandy's most recent release was the bluesy single "Beggin' & Pleadin'" in January.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Thursday
Jul212016

One Direction’s Liam Payne Signs Solo Deal with Capitol Records

ABC/Matt BrownLiam Payne is the latest One Direction member to strike out on his own. The singer has signed a solo record deal with Capitol Records U.K.

He announced the news on Twitter, writing, “Happy to have signed to Capitol. They have an amazing history of artists, I hope I can follow in their footsteps.”

Liam adds, “One Direction will always be my home and family but I'm very excited to see what this chapter brings.”

No word on what his solo deal will actually mean for the future of the band. Last year, Zayn Malik left the group to pursue a solo career and last month, it was reported that Harry Styles had signed a solo deal with Columbia Records.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Thursday
Jul212016

Florida Georgia Line Offers a Trippy Peek at the Dig Your Roots Tour 

BMLGYou can get a psychedelic peek at what’s it like on the road with Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots tour, in a trippy new video clip that recaps the duo’s recent dates in Raleigh, North Carolina; Bristow, Virginia; and Wantagh, New York.

Set to the new tune “Blame” by electronic duo Zeds Dead, producer Diplo and Swedish singer Elliphant, the clip shows off Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard’s bowling abilities, as well as a self-proclaimed “Hillbilly Long Hair Hippie Tap Dance” from Tyler.

Florida Georgia Line kicks off their dates this week Thursday night with two shows in Wisconsin, before making their way to Monticello, Iowa, on Saturday. Their new album, Dig Your Roots, comes out August 26.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Thursday
Jul212016

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Have the Top-Grossing Tour of 2016, So Far

Credit: Danny Clinch

Concertgoers have been flowing in droves to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's 2016 The River Tour, as Billboard has announced that the trek was the top-grossing tour in the world during the first half of the year. Bruce's ongoing jaunt, which is supporting his 2015 archival box set The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, brought in more than $135 million, while 1.1 million tickets were sold for its 45 concert dates.

Madonna's Rebel Heart tour was second on Billboard's mid-year report, raking in almost $124 million and selling about 741,000 tickets for its 58 shows. Other veteran artists with tours in the top 10 of the list include The Rolling Stones at #4 and ex-Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour at #7. The Stones' América Latina Olé tour only featured 13 concerts, but grossed nearly $84 million and sold 729,000 tickets. Gilmour's trek promoting his solo album Rattle That Lock earned $42.3 million, while selling close to 399,000 tickets for its 17 gigs.

Springsteen and the E Street Band also had Billboard's #1 Boxscore -- that is, the highest-grossing single-venue engagement -- for the first half of 2016. The Boss and company's May 27 and May 29 stand at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland, grossed $19.2 million.

The Rolling Stones, meanwhile, had the second, fourth and fifth best Boxscores, for multiple-nights stands in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, that grossed, respectively, $17.6 million, $13.2 million and $12.3 million.

Paul McCartney, meanwhile, had the #6 best-grossing Boxscore, as his May 17 and 19 performances in Buenos Aires brought in $11.8 million.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Nope, Still Dead: My Chemical Romance Is Not Reuniting 

Kevin Mazur/WireImageOn Wednesday, My Chemical Romance shared a cryptic teaser video featuring the opening keys of their song "Welcome to the Black Parade" that promised that something was happening with the band this September. This then caused an internet frenzy, as many took the clip as a hint that Gerard Way and company would be reuniting. However, as the band has now clarified, that is not the case.

"We've been really touched and blown away by the response to the teaser trailer," MCR writes in a statement posted to Twitter. "We are not touring and there is no reunion planned."

Instead, the trailer was meant to simply tease a reissue of My Chemical Romance's 2006 album The Black Parade, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

"Thanks so much for continuing to keep MCR in your minds and in your hearts," the band's statement continues.

Since The Black Parade debuted 10 years ago, My Chemical Romance released one more album, 2010's Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, before calling it quits in 2013. Frontman Gerard Way released his debut solo album, called Hesitant Alien, in 2014.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Stuntin' Like Her Mommy: Solange Posts Mini Photo Shoot of Blue Ivy

Johnny Nunez/Getty ImagesSolange Knowles is a proud auntie and she wants the world to know it. The singer shared some cute candids of her niece, Blue Ivy in a mini photo shoot posted on Instagram.

Knowles decided to show off Beyonce's daughter by having her pose in a pink ensemble accompanied by a decorative blue flower necklace. The caption to one shot reads, "Gucci campaigns can't even touch her w a pinky toe...#proudauntie."

The singer followed up the first photo with a second one that shows Blue lowering her shades as she looks at the camera. "(Ps: She does her OWN photo edits/selections...as she should) #proudauntie," Solange writes.

Solange also is a proud momma as the singer celebrated the graduation of her son, Juelz, in May. 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Are A$AP Rocky and Kendall Jenner an Item?

Dexter NavyThe magazine quotes an unnamed source close to Jenner as saying that A$AP and Kendall's romance is just casual. "It's a fling. It's not serious," says the source.

The rapper and Jenner started off as friends, then rumors of something more between the two began last month. The pair was spotted on a dinner date, followed by a night of clubbing in Paris during Menswear Fashion Week in June.  

Still, Jenner's other rumored beau, Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Jordan Clarkson, remains in the picture. The Daily Mail writes that Clarkson and Jenner "have been partying in West Hollywood recently." 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Thursday
Jul212016

YG Releases Donald Trump Diss Remix Track

Ro.LexxTell us how you really feel, YG! The outspoken rapper has released a new song titled "FDT", which stands for "F*** Donald Trump." 

The remix track, which also features G-Eazy and Macklemore, is a rowdy declaration on the many reasons why all three recording artists will not vote for the Republican presidential nominee this year.  

"This man's not peaceful, racism's evil," G-Eazy exclaims on the no-holds barred single, while Macklemore raps, "I ain't gonna let you f*** up four years." Towards the end of the single, YG sums up all of the artists featured on the song in one simple verse. "Thought I was making songs just to ride you. But come to find out your own kind don't even like you. Macklemore don't like you, G-Eazy don't like you. The rest weenies, they scared to say it, but they don't like you," he raps. 

You can listen to "FDT" now on SoundCloud.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Billy Joel Helps Tony Bennett Celebrate Upcoming 90th Birthday at His Latest NYC Show

Myrna M. Suarez/WireImageAt the latest edition of Billy Joel's ongoing monthly residency at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, the Piano Man invited another legendary New York singer, Tony Bennett, on stage to duet with him on a rendition of his classic "New York State of Mind." Joel then got the sell-out crowd to sing "Happy Birthday to You" to Bennett, who will celebrate his 90th birthday on August 3.

In addition, Billy surprised Tony backstage with a special birthday cake that featured a picture of the beloved crooner as well as a replica of an old-school microphone.

On Friday, Bennett sent Joel a Twitter message that read, "Thanks for the early birthday cake @billyjoel! It was such a thrill to perform with you last night."

You can check out fan-filmed video of the "New York State of Mind" duet and of Joel singing "Happy Birthday" to Bennett on YouTube.

Joel's next concert is scheduled for Saturday, July 30, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. He returns to Madison Square Garden on August 9.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Phantogram Takes a Lonely Trip to the Beach in "You Don't Get Me High Anymore" Video

ABC/Randy HolmesPhantogram has premiered the video for their new single "You Don't Get Me High Anymore." The frenetic visual features a variety of evocative images, including frontwoman Sarah Barthel walking in slow-motion as a giant wave crests behind her. You can watch the "You Don't Get Me High Anymore" video now on YouTube.

Directed by Grant Singer, the video was filmed at California's Bombay Beach on the coast of the Salton Sea, which has been significantly damaged as a result of the California drought.

"'You Don't Get Me High Anymore' is about the loneliness in superficial relationships and that feeling of not being able to find happiness in places that were once so easy to come across," Phantogram's Josh Carter tells The Fader. "The desolation in Bombay Beach represents that feeling really well. The area was once a promising vacation spot before the droughts and now it's a ghost town."

"You Don't Get Me High Anymore" is the lead single from Phantogram's forthcoming third studio album, Three, which will be released September 16. The band will be touring in support of Three this fall starting September 29 in Las Vegas.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Black Stone Cherry Premieres "The Rambler" Video Starring Billy Ray Cyrus

Credit: Rob FennBlack Stone Cherry has debuted the video for their song "The Rambler." The visual stars country singer Billy Ray Cyrus as he attempts to talk to his long-lost daughter, who is not played by his real life daughter, pop star Miley Cyrus. You can watch "The Rambler" video now on YouTube.

"If you are ready to hear a great band with an incredible song, hit play," says the father Cyrus in "The Rambler" video's description. "I was honored when they asked me to bring 'The Rambler' to life. Make something real? Hell yea. I'm in!"

"The Rambler" appears on Black Stone Cherry's latest album, Kentucky. The band is currently on tour with Shinedown and Halestorm.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Fab Reunion? Ringo Starr Says He'd "Tour with Paul McCartney Tomorrow"

Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of FameSurviving Beatles members Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney have performed together only sporadically since their famous group broke up in 1970, but Starr says he now would love to hit the road with his former band mate. At a recent event in Los Angeles celebrating his 76th birthday, the drummer told Closer Weekly, "I would tour with Paul McCartney tomorrow!"

Having said that Ringo noted, "I'm doing my own tours right now so we'd have to work it out."

As for how he felt about reaching the ripe old age of 76, Starr quipped, "It would be nice to be 70 again! But you get up in the morning and you try to have the best day you can. And be in the best spirit that you can be!"

Speaking about good spirits, the rock legend is known for encouraging people to spread the message of peace and love around the world, as he did at his public birthday celebration in L.A.

At the event, he told Closer Weekly, "I think it is important with all the violence that there is peace and love! And maybe we can have more as the years go on!"

Starr recently posted a video recap of the celebration, which took place in front of the Capitol Records Tower and featured a variety of celebrity guests, on his official YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, Ringo is scheduled to hit the road with his All Starr Band for a brief tour of the western U.S. in October. The group also will visit Japan and South Korea in the fall.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Kid Cudi Joining the Cast of "Empire"

Neil Jacobs/CBSKid Cudi has been added to the growing list of celebrity artists for season 3 of Empire.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the actor/rapper will recur as another artist named Gram who will be a rival to Bryshere Gray's Hakeem. In addition to contending with their musical careers, the artists will compete for the attention of Tiana, Hakeem's ex and Gram's new love interest.

Cudi recently confirmed the casting news on his Twitter account. "Already wrapped my first episode of Empire and cant be more geeked for everyone to see," he writes. "Such a huge honor to be joining the @EmpireFOX family," Cudi continues in another post. 

Cudi will join French Montana and Taye Diggs, who recently were added to the third season. 

The new season of Empire premieres on September 21st at 9 pm on Fox. 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

The Opry Takes a Summer Vacation to New York City 

BBR Music GroupFor the next three Tuesdays, the Grand Ole Opry and Southwest Airlines are teaming up to bring country music to New York City. This summer, they’re sponsoring a handful of free acoustic shows in Manhattan’s Bryant Park.

Parmalee plays the first concert on July 26, with Lindsay Ell and Thompson Square following on August 2 and 9, respectively. They’re calling the shows “Circle in the City,” because each performance will feature the Opry’s signature mic stand, as well as a replica of the iconic circle of wood carved from the Opry’s longtime home at the Ryman Auditorium.

You can watch each set live at 8:30 p.m. ET on the Opry’s Facebook page.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Get Sia’s Signature Look with New Snapchat Filter

ABC/Fred LeeHow do you know when you’ve really made it? When you get your own Snapchat filter, of course. Today, Sia received that honor.

If you go on the Snapchat app, you can now see how you’d look with the singer’s signature black-and-white face-covering wig. It also gives you red lipstick. As you try out the new look, her latest hit, “Cheap Thrills,” plays in the background.

Use it while you can, though. Snapchat rotates its filters every day, so this one might be gone by tomorrow.

Sia’s performing live from New York's Central Park tomorrow as part of  ABC's Good Morning America's summer concert series.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Thursday
Jul212016

Nick Says Demi "Likes Drama," Wants Him to "Tell Me Everything" About His Love Life

Photographed by Austin Hargrave exclusively for Billboard MagazineNick Jonas and Demi Lovato aren't just tour mates; they're best buds who are always there for each other.  Case in point: Demi's the one with whom Nick shares all his romantic drama.

"I'm in a bizarre time in my life where I'm single, but that has been tricky," Nick tells Billboard for the publication's newest cover story. "And she likes drama, so I'm able to talk about my dating s*** without feeling bad."

"I'm like, 'Soooo, what's the ­gossip? Who is it? Tell me everything!'" Demi laughs.

When Billboard asks Nick what he means by "tricky," Demi clarifies: "He's a guy in his 20s and he's famous and he likes to have a lot of fun. Listen, even when he was in a relationship, I was like, 'Get out of that. You could f*** anybody that you want right now, so have fun and do that.'"

But Nick adds, "The tricky thing is, from what I've heard, I'm a bit emotionally unavailable" -- which we could've figured out by listening to his hit "Close," but whatever.

Demi admits to Billboard that when Nick and his ex Olivia Culpo split, she told him, "Honestly, I didn't like her anyway."

"It's not because she's mean or anything, but he has such a great sense of humor," she explains. "And I want him to be with someone that makes him laugh."

OK, so what about Demi's love life? She recently split with Wilmer Valderrama after years together.

"It's not on my mind, but I welcome anything. I'll have fun," she says of romance. "But a ­relationship ... I won't want that for a long time."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/Thinkstock Besides his signature smash "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," Charlie Daniels has scored two top-ten hits on the country chart.  Can you name them? ANSWER:  1986's "Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye" and 1988's "Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Why Miranda Lambert's "Vice" Just May Be Work

Image credit: Becky FlukeWith a new single titled “Vice,” an ongoing gig on Kenny Chesney’s Spread the Love trek, as well as her own headlining tour, and finishing her sixth studio album that's on the way -- if Miranda Lambert does have a bad habit, it sounds like it might be work.

But the six-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year says all her multitasking is actually just a way to up her game.

“It's a little different, just going from writing and then going in the studio and then getting ready for the tour and then starting the tour, but it wasn't really our tour that we started, it was the Kenny tour,” Miranda laughs. “It really keeps it interesting. We love Kenny and their whole organization. It's not all on us, you know. I get to watch him and learn, and every single night I'm done by 9:15 and I'm learning, you know. He's a pro!”

Every time she does a show with Kenny, Miranda says she tries to find something she can take back to her Keeper of the Flame dates to up the ante.  This Saturday night, she plays Seattle with Kenny, Sam Hunt and Old Dominion, before reuniting with Kip Moore and Brothers Osborne for her own show next Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







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