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Pharrell Williams to Curate "NBA 2K15" Video Game Soundtrack 

Columbia RecordsPharrell Williams was just named as curator of the soundtrack for NBA 2K15, the latest installment of the basketball video game, which is due out October 7.  The singer couldn't be more humble about being tapped to work on it.

"It was something that I accepted, but I couldn't believe my name got tossed in the hat for it, I'm honored," Pharrell told reporters during a press conference in New York City.

Pharrell says he took a new approach when trying to decide what songs and artists to put in the soundtrack for the game: he gathered all the women from his staff and had them weigh in.  Turns out he felt insecure about following in the footsteps of stars like LeBron James and Jay Z, who curated the game's soundtracks in the past.

"They know so much more about the sport than I do," he admitted. "I'm not screaming...'Touchdown!' but after free throw, lay up and couple dunks...I know what a crossover is, but don't know how to do one."

So why bring in the women? He explained, "These are girls that play the game and...their boyfriends play or their friends play, I thought it would be such an interesting twist to have the girls weigh in on the song list, they listen to it just as much, I tried to pick an alternative approach... How do you follow up LeBron and Jay? I gotta take a different route. I don't know. I just thought it'd be cool."

Pharrell also said that these days, his son Rocket, who's six, is the one who shows him how to use the latest video games and gadgets.  "My son teaches me, it's crazy, he teaches me [about games]," he said, adding that Rocket also shows him tricks on the iPad.

So, does Pharrell plan to do more with 2K and more with video games?  "Looks like there should be more things," he said. "I was just talking to them [representatives from 2K] off camera about an idea ...I've always wanted to do something in the Sims world, too."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Drake Announces Title of Fourth Album, "Views from the 6"

Image Courtesy Eric McCandless/CBSFollowing the release of his buzz track "0 to 100," Drake has announced the title of an album he's yet to start recording. The rapper revealed to Billboard that his fourth studio effort will be called Views from the 6.

Although Drake didn't explain the title's meaning, many believe the disc will serve as a nod to his hometown of Toronto, similar to Jennifer Lopez’s 1999 album, On the 6, which represented her Bronx roots.

The album title announcement comes just before Drake gears up for several major events. After he hosts The ESPYs on ESPN Wednesday, July 16, his OVO Sound record label will release its first two projects -- Majid Jordan’s EP Place Like This, and PARTYNEXTDOOR’s sophomore effort, PARTYNEXTDOOR TWO, both of which arrives July 29.

Before summer ends, you'll also get to see Drake live in concert.  The rapper will kick off his annual OVOFest at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in Toronto, which runs from August 3 to August 4.  Soon after, he'll join Lil Wayne for their 31-city co-headlining tour, beginning August 8 at New York’s Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Billy Currington Feels Pressure To Be More Social

Mercury NashvilleIf you've noticed that Billy Currington's not quite as active on social media as some other country stars, he says it's no accident, partly due to his private nature.  "I like [to keep] a little more to myself sometimes. More than others, I'm sure, but that's just me," he laughs.

Billy says he does enjoy Facebook, Twitter and Instagram -- just not as much as his manager wants him to. "I know people that I’m working with wish I was on it more. I hear that quite a bit, and that makes me not want to be a part of it sometimes," he confesses. "I like it, when I want to use it, I'll use it, and when I don't, I don't. "

This Saturday night, Billy plays Stockdale, Texas -- though he won't necessarily be tweeting about it.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Karrueche Tran Says She Wasn't Prepared for Public Relationship with Chris Brown

Image Courtesy RCA RecordsKarrueche Tran is opening up about her tumultuous off-again, on-again love affair with Chris Brown.

In a teaser clip for an episode of BET's Just Keke set to air Wednesday, Tran says she wasn't prepared for a relationship in the public eye. "I’ve never dated a celebrity before so it was very new to me -- paparazzi and all that,” she says.

She also wasn't prepared for a relationship in the shadow of Chris' previous one, which was, of course, also very public. 

"The situation with Rihanna, you know, the reason why people tuned into this so much was because it's relatable: I have girlfriends, I have family who's gone through the same situation.  It's the case of the ex."  But this ex IS different, Tran admits.

"In this case, my boyfriend is a celebrity whose ex-girlfriend is an even bigger [celebrity]....so, not only am I fighting a battle with her, I’m fighting a battle with her 14 million fans."

Tran also admits that the hardest part of her relationship with Brown was "the heartache....it was a real-life situation."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Eddie Money Working on a New Album that He Describes as "Very Hard Rock 'n' Roll"

Rob Kim/Getty ImagesBy his count, Eddie Money says he has "about five or six really good songs" already written for his upcoming album, which he's planning to call Shake That Thing.

"It's very hard rock 'n' roll," Money tells Billboard.  "It should probably be out within the next six months."

Recording has commenced in California, and the new songs include "I Ain't No Good," "Missing You Blues" and "I Ain't No Wishing Well."

The singer is also looking to revive his autobiographical stage musical Two Tickets to Paradise, which premiered five years ago in New York on Long Island, where he grew up.

"It's a great play, and it's wonderful tunes and I've got a bunch of Broadway-type songs in it," says Money, who says he has no interest in it becoming a movie.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat was Billy Currington's first top ten hit? ANSWER: "Walk A Little Straighter," in 2003.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Fun.'s Jack Antonoff Goes Solo with Side Project Bleachers

RCA RecordsFun. guitarist Jack Antonoff steps out on his own Tuesday with Strange Desire, a solo album which he's releasing under the name Bleachers. While he's technically the only member of Bleachers, Jack made the album with a variety of collaborators, including one who's quite unexpected: Yoko Ono, the 81-year-old widow of late Beatles legend John Lennon.

In addition to being Lennon's widow, Ono is also a recording artist and a fine artist in her own right, and has a reputation for being pretty avant-garde, which is exactly how Jack says she acted when she showed up to record her part on the album.

"I get freaked out when people aren't what you imagine them to be, and Yoko is very much what I imagined, in the sense that she's wild," Jack tells ABC News Radio. "You know, she came in, there were all these cookies on the desk, she ate a bunch of cookies, she listened to the track, she stopped it halfway through, she was like, 'I'm going in.'" 

"She goes into the booth, first thing she does is screams so loud into the mike that the engineers in the studio were like, freaking out, turning the compressors down," Jack laughs. "And she proceeded to do, like, primal noises, singing, spoken word...and I spent 10 hours in bed that night going through everything she did."

Another off-kilter aspect of Bleachers is the way that Jack chose to reveal the album's title and release date: instead of jumping on Twitter or Instagram, he did it via an ad on Craigslist, of all things.

"I think that everyone is obsessed with how social media works.  And I think that we're at a time when it's actually cool to take a step backwards," he says, explaining why he went so low-fi and old-school. "I also have a hotline where I debut new music. I just think it's just more exciting to have to wait for stuff...I'm not gonna do the whole, like, 'Big announcement Thursday on Twitter,' and then, like, blast it out that way.  I just wanna put it in places where people can find it, and be excited."

Now that the Bleachers album is out, Jack is ready to hit the road: he'll be performing at a slew of festivals in the coming months.  But even though he won't have the guys in fun. backing him up, he's not exactly stepping onstage alone with just a guitar.

"There's two drummers and then there's two other guys playing, like, worlds of synths and guitars," he tells ABC News Radio about his live show. "It's a big production.  I didn't think about live when I made the album, and so there's a lot to tackle."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Travis Barker to Re-Ink Tattoo Area Burned Off in 2008 Plane Crash

Image Courtesy Universal Music Group DistributionBlink-182 drummer Travis Barker -- who was severely burned when he survived a plane crash in 2008 -- is going under the ink gun to cover up some of the scarring.

When accosted by a TMZ reporter outside a skate park in L.A. and asked about his tattoos, Barker said that he got his first tattoo at the age of 16 on his leg. It featured the word "Bones," his nickname because he was so skinny. When the reporter asked to see it, Barker said, "It's gone, man, I actually lost it in my plane crash...but I'm gonna do my legs over again. I've got a second chance at my legs."

That "second chance" description is spot-on: Barker was one of only two survivors of the plane crash, which took place after a show on September 19, 2008. He sustained serious burns and underwent 16 surgeries in his recovery. Since the crash, when asked "How are you," Barker's standard response is, "Blessed."

Barker's most recent musical composition is a track called "Live Forever" on the 22 Jump Street soundtrack.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi Says He's Open to Collaborating with Tom Jones

Image Courtesy Marco GrobAs the only guitarist in the pioneering heavy-metal band Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi has played with his share of singers, among them Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillan.

The idea of Iommi adding solo star Tom Jones to his list of notable voices, might seem strange on paper, but it's really not as far-fetched as it seems.

The genesis for this potential collaboration can actually be traced to a Kerrang! magazine item published in the late 1980s hinting that Jones was on the verge of joining Sabbath for a concept album and tour.  It turned out to be a joke -- but today, Iommi appears to be dead serious about possibly working with Jones.

Iommi recently told Classic Rock magazine, "I've met Tom a few times, and we were talking one day, and he said, 'Did you ever see that thing in the press about me joining you guys?'"

Iommi said he had, and that prompted Jones to ask him, "It's not a bad idea, is it?"

According to Iommi, it's a good idea.  "I'd actually like to do something with him," he tells Classic Rock.  "It could work."

Jones is no stranger to collaborating with big names, both onstage and in the studio.  On his TV variety show, This Is Tom Jones, which aired from 1969 to 1971, he sang with guests Wilson Pickett, Ray Charles and Janis Joplin, among others.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Track List Revealed for Wiz Khalifa's "Blacc Hollywood"

Atlantic Records/Darren AnkenmanThe track list for Wiz Khalifa's upcoming album, Blacc Hollywood, has been revealed.

Amazon U.K posted the full track list for the follow-up to 2012's O.N.I.F.C.  It's slated for release August 19 and features Ty Dolla $ign, Project Pat, Juicy J, Curren$y, Ghost Loft and Chevy Woods.

Here's the track list:

"Hope" f. Ty Dolla $ign
"We Dem Boyz"
"Kk" feat. Project Pat & Juicy J
"House in the Hills" feat. Curren$y
"Ass Drop"
"Stayin Out All Night"
"The Sleaze"
"So High" f. Ghost Loft
"Still Down" f. Chevy Woods & Ty Dolla $ign
"No Gain"
"True Colors"

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Members of Sammy Hagar's Latest Band Recall Offstage Encounters Involving Led Zeppelin's John Bonham

Frontiers Records/UniversalSammy Hagar's upcoming tour is dubbed A Journey Through the History of Rock, and with drummer Jason Bonham keeping the beat every night, chances are the shows will feature some Led Zeppelin material.

A recent rehearsal witnessed by USA Today featured some Zeppelin songs as well as a few stories from Hagar's current backing musicians about that band's legendary drummer, John Bonham.

Early in Van Halen's career, bassist Michael Anthony said Bonham "took a swing" at Alex Van Halen when they met him at a Los Angeles club.  Upon hearing this, Jason Bonham recalled a time when, with his father present, Alex refused to shake his hand.  "I bet that's why," Jason concluded.

Jason also remembered going to a Police concert with his father, and backstage, the elder Bonham stepped on Sting's blue suede shoes.

"He told my Dad, 'Don't step on my blue suede shoes,' " Jason said with a laugh.  "Dad got up in his face pretty fast."

Hagar's A Journey Through the History of Rock tour, featuring Anthony, Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson, begins Thursday in Cadott, Wisconsin.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Garth Brooks Reveals World Tour Opening Date Details

Mark TuckerOn Monday, Garth Brooks revealed that he'll be kicking off his world tour in Chicago.  Now, he's revealed details of that show.

Garth will perform at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL on September 4.  It'll mark the first time he's played the Chicago area in 17 years.  Tickets go on sale next Friday, July 25 at 10 a.m. CST via Ticketmaster; there's a six-ticket limit.  With tax and service charges, tickets will set you back $65.50 apiece, which isn't bad, considering the fact that Garth hasn't done an extensive tour in 13 years.

Speaking about why he's chosen the Chicago area to begin the trek, Garth said in a statement, "As an entertainer, you get asked a lot ‘what are the best cities to play?’  Without hesitation, I rattle five or six of the best places to play and that list ALWAYS includes Chicago.  It is the PERFECT city to launch the World Tour!”

Joining Garth on the bill for the show will be his wife, fellow Grammy-winner Trisha Yearwood.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 


Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDwight Yoakam's latest single is a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's hit "Who'll Stop the Rain."

Ashley Monroe is back home after being hospitalized over the weekend for a severe kidney infection.

Comedy Central's latest edition of Drunk History features the story of how Kris Kristofferson got Johnny Cash to record "Sunday Morning Coming Down." You can catch the show Tuesday night at 10 ET.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Bright Eyes Singer Conor Oberst Rape Accuser Admits She Lied

Team Love RecordsThe woman who accused Bright Eyes singer Conor Oberst of rape has admitted that she lied "to get attention." That according to a statement from the accuser, published by Buzzfeed.

Joanie Faircloth alleged that Oberst was hitting on her backstage after a North Carolina concert in 2003 and then forced himself on her after she told him she was a virgin.  She would have been 16 years old at the time of the alleged incident.

Faircloth now admits in a notarized statement, "The statements I made and repeated online and elsewhere over the past six months accusing Conor Oberst of raping me are 100% false. I made up those lies about him to get attention while I was going through a difficult period in my life and trying to cope with my son’s illness."

The statement continues, "I publicly retract my statements about Conor Oberst, and sincerely apologize to him, his family, and his fans for writing such awful things about him. I realize that my actions were wrong and could undermine the claims of actual sexual assault victims and for that I also apologize. I’m truly sorry for all the pain that I caused.”

The negative publicity Faircloth created with her fake story may have cost Oberst real money.  He claims his publishing company did not pick up a $200,000 option after Faircloth came forward with her rape allegation.  Conor filed a $1.2 million lawsuit against Faircloth in February.  There's no public word yet how Faircloth's apology and retraction might affect Oberst's suit.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 


Justin Moore and Wife Welcome Third Daughter

Kristin BarloweJustin Moore and his wife Kate welcomed their third daughter on Monday.

The couple tells People magazine in a statement they are "very excited to welcome Rebecca Klein Moore into the world. Both Mom and Klein are healthy.”

The baby's named after her paternal great-grandmother, but will go by her middle name.

Klein joins big sisters Kennedy Faye, 2 1/2, and Ella Kole, 4.

Justin and his wife say, “Her two older sisters helped with her first bath and are thrilled to have a little sister! We are blessed.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 


Rosalind Nyman Joel, Mother of Billy Joel, Dead at 92

Columbia RecordsBilly Joel's mother, Rosalind Nyman Joel, died Sunday, Billy's official Facebook page and website noted Monday. She was 92.

Mrs. Joel, whom Billy famously credited with "forcing" him to take piano lessons in his youth, died in hospice care on Long Island, New York, surrounded by her friends and family, according to Newsday.

Rosalind Nyman Joel was born on February 15, 1922, in Brooklyn, and met Billy's father Howard Joel in 1942 during a student musical production at City College of New York. She gave birth to Billy in May of 1949, and the couple later adopted Judy, the daughter of Billy's late aunt.

The couple divorced in 1957, and Mrs. Joel raised the children on Long Island as a single mother, taking on clerical work from local businesses to help pay the bills.

"Progressing from her strong support in assuring his musical education, the son who would reach world renown as singer-songwriter Billy Joel used his grounding in classical music to help create one of pop music's most enduring bodies of work," the website notes.

In addition to musical tributes to his mother in songs like "Rosalinda's Eyes," which was featured on the 1978 album 52nd Street, Billy paid tribute to his mother in 1986 by founding the Rosalind Joel Scholarship for the Performing Arts at the City College, where his parents met. 

Mrs. Joel is also survived by daughter Judy Molinari; her sister Bertha Miller; and her two granddaughters, Alexa Ray Joel and Rebecca Molinari Gehrkin, the site notes.

In lieu of flowers the family requests a donation to the animal shelter The Little Shelter in her name.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 


Miranda Lambert Goes "Psycho" To Get Dogs Adopted

Image Courtesy PedigreeIt's no secret Miranda Lambert's other great passion besides music is her love for animals. Not only has she rescued and fostered close to 30 dogs herself, she's also helped revamp the local shelter in her hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma.

And when it comes time to get her rescue dogs adopted, she confesses she gets a little "psycho about it." Not long ago, she dropped by an adoption event for about 30 puppies, and ended up staying five hours.

"I couldn't stop.  I was like, standing outside the door of the Walmart, you know, holding black labs, like, 'Come on! You know you need a dog!' I have no pride, no shame.  I will hawk a dog all day long," she laughs.

Miranda was particularly motivated to help two labs who'd been at the shelter for a whole year.

"Hansel and Gretel… had been there the year before at the same event as puppies… and they were sister and brother, so they couldn't be separated, and it's hard to get rid of two huge, black dogs. Nobody wants two."

So when a man with a little boy showed some interest in the two, Miranda was determined to help them put their best foot forward. "I kept trying to walk 'em around. I kept telling 'em, 'Get down! Act calm! You're gonna get adopted! Be calm!' You know, 'cause they were jumping around."

In the end, Miranda's long day in the Walmart parking lot paid off.

"He didn't even say, 'I'm taking 'em home,'  or anything. He just pulls out the money and hands it to us. And we just start cheering and bawling. I look over and my dad's bawling. I'm like, 'This is a huge moment!'  That's so rewarding when a match is made like that, and those babies went home. "

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Adam Levine: "I Wish Somebody Would Believe I Could Play a Non-Musician"

Courtesy: The Weinstein CompanyAdam Levine has garnered generally positive reviews for his movie debut in the film Begin Again, where he plays -- big stretch -- a rock star.  He wants to do more acting, but he says he's somehow got to convince people that he can actually play other roles as well.

“I just wish somebody would believe I could play a non-musician," he complains to the New Yorker magazine.  Asked if taking acting classes might help him, Adam replies, "Acting lessons are like a fire extinguisher in a glass case, and I don’t think I’ll ever need to get myself into an uncomfortable enough place to break the glass."  Apparently, Adam thinks he's terrific without any formal training at all.

"There’s natural qualities that I possess -- being at ease in front of a camera, and very moldable -- that I don’t want to squash just yet," he says, explaining why he doesn't want to study acting. "I didn’t learn my lines for the movie till the night before, or the morning of, and I did great.”

If Adam sounds overly confident about his acting abilities, well, he's overly confident about everything in his life.

"In real life, I’m unapologetic. I am a confident person -- I don’t think that’s a crime," he tells the New Yorker. "It’d be arrogant to believe you’re actually the sexiest man alive, but I do think my comfort with myself can come off as -- dare I f***ing say this? -- sexy.”

It's pronouncements like that that lead many to dislike the Maroon 5 frontman, but he says at this point in his career, he has no problem with people thinking he's a jerk.

"Before [The Voice], people who didn’t know me thought I was a bimbo, that all I could do was sing and date models," he says. "Now they actually know me, so when they say, ‘You’re an a**hole!,’ I’m, like, ‘O.K., cool!’”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


A Great Big World to Come Full Circle with "So You Think You Can Dance" Performance 

Joseoph Llanes/Epic RecordsLast year, after A Great Big World's "Say Something" was featured on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance, people sat up and took notice of the heartfelt ballad, including Christina Aguilera, who contacted the duo about recorded a duet version.  The success of that single pretty much made the duo's career -- so this week, they'll be coming full circle by actually performing on the Fox show.

A Great Big World will take the stage on So You Think You Can Dance on Wednesday, July 16 to perform "Say Something."  Recalling how important the show was in making "Say Something" a hit, the duo's Ian Axel tells ABC News Radio, "After So You Think You Can Dance, it went up on the charts on iTunes right away and we're like, 'Whoa, this is not what we were expecting at all!'" 

"We were just so happy that the people that were watching the show got to hear the song and the dance was so beautiful," he adds. "And we actually threw a [viewing] party for that and it was a really big moment for us."

And there's more good news for A Great Big World: the video for "Say Something" has just been VEVO certified for more than 100 million views.  Pretty good for a song that the duo initially had no interest in releasing as a single in the first place.

"At first when Epic Records wanted to release it as a single, we resisted. We said, 'Whaddya mean? This is not a single for radio!'" the duo's Chad Vaccarino tells ABC News Radio. "[We said], 'It's a ballad, it would never work!' [But] they saw something we didn't see." 

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Gavin Rossdale to Advise Wife Gwen Stefani's Team on "The Voice" 

Trae Patton/NBCGavin Rossdale has a new job.  In addition to being the frontman of Bush, and dad to his three boys with wife Gwen Stefani, he's also the new adviser for her team on the upcoming season of The Voice.

In an interview with Access Hollywood, Rossdale says, "I don't know how it came about, but it was just one of those things [where] the idea was mentioned – I wasn't even sure who was mentioning it – and then it came around to, 'So, next week you ready? You are gonna come and do this?'" 

Rossdale says he'll definitely be less of a focal point on the show than his wife, and that's the point.

"The main thing from my perspective," he says, "is just to make sure that Gwen is so good and excellent like all the other judges on the show, [and] to not interrupt and to normally let her speak, let her do her thing and I'm just like a side thing."

Stefani says her husband -- with whom she's never partnered professionally outside of music -- is a good choice for adviser because "He is super articulate and he has a really good opinion and he is smart. He's been doing a really good job."

"We both have...a lot of experience in the sense that when you look back at all the shows and all the things we've done...I mean, we met touring together and doing hundreds of shows," she adds.

Gwen makes her debut as a coach on season 7 of The Voice, which begins September 22 on NBC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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