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Tuesday
Dec062016

Niall Horan Planning to "Fall Off the Face of the Earth" After Christmas 

Elizabeth MirandaNiall Horan has scored success with his debut solo "This Town," and the One Direction member is in the middle of recording of his first solo album.  That's why he says he needs to drop out of sight for a while and make sure it's perfect.

In a handwritten letter to fans, Niall writes that he's planning to go back home to Ireland for the holidays, to spend some "quality time with family and friends."  But, he says,  "After Christmas I’m gonna fall off the face of the earth and do one of my disappearing acts. I want to come up with more song ideas and get back in the writing zone. So have a lovely Christmas and happy New Year and I’ll see ya in Feb.”

Earlier in the letter, Niall explains that he's "eight songs deep" into the recording process, and adds, “I want to take my time with no pressure and make sure I get it right. I’m quite the self critic, which I like about myself. So I’ll let you know when I’m done.”

Niall is working with legendary producer Don Was on the album, as well as Jaquire King, who's produced albums for James Bay and Kings of Leon. "I'm humbled that they wanna work with me," he says.

So far, there's no release date planned for Niall's album.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Tuesday
Dec062016

Prince, Kanye West and Beyoncé Among Yahoo's Top Music Artists of the Year

ABC/Image Group LADeath, controversy and Super Bowl appearances may be pretty good for a celebrity's search engine numbers.  

Yahoo has just released its 2016 Year in Review report, which includes the top searched-for music artists, and the late PrinceKanye West and Beyoncé all made the list.

Prince, whose death in April shocked the world, was Yahoo's third most searched-for music artist in 2016, ahead of Kanye West at #4.  

Kanye's wife, Kim Kardashian-West, was the fourth most searched-for celebrity.

Beyoncé ranked #10 among music acts. 

The remaining artists on Yahoo's 10 top Music Artists of 2016 list are Taylor Swift, iconic rock singer-songwriter David Bowie, who died this January, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and country music stars Tim McGraw and Randy Travis and American Idol winner season 15 winner Trent Harmon.   

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

Maxwell, DJ Khaled, Desiigner & More React to Grammy Nominations 

ABC/Randy HolmesA handful of veteran and up-and-coming artists nominated for the 59th annual Grammy Awards have already taken to Twitter to voice their shock, awe and surprise. Here are their reactions: 

Maxwell: "shout to the #grammys for taking a swim with me on my nomination much love to all the voters.." #lakebytheocean" 

Desiigner: "OHH S*** OHHH S***!! #GRAMMYNOMINATED #BLESSED #HUMBLED #YOUDiiG #GRAMMYS HARD WORK PAYS OFF..."  

Fantasia: "This feeling never gets old. Thank you @RecordingAcad for the nomination #GRAMMYs #SleepingWithTheOneILove"

D.R.A.M.: "I'm a Grammy nominated artist! Thank you Lord!!"   

Anderson .Paak: "I just woke up"    

DJ KhaledBJ the Chicago Kid and PARTYNEXTDOOR expressed their Grammy nomination reactions on Instagram with Khaled posting a video talking to his newly born son about the monumental accomplishment. 

"This morning I found out I've been nominated for a GRAMMY FOR BEST RAP ALBUM OF THE YEAR! First thing I said was THANK YOU GOD!," he wrote. 

BJ posted a video of his own featuring a studio jam session of the musicians who plays on his Grammy-nominated song, "In My Mind." "Man, 3 Grammy nods?!! = Speechless.. much love & appreciation to EVERYONE who believed in this 'lil engine that could," he wrote.

PARTYNEXTDOOR simply wrote, "Thankful for the opportunities '16." 

Soul artist Lalah Hathaway wrote several tweetsstating: "to be recognized again for singing a song -- that I've been singing almost all my life... and ya'll already know...the LIVE album was a labor of love inspired by my dad.. he would be... #GrammyNominations."

Los Angeles-based soul trio KING: "'We Are KING' is nominated for the 2017 GRAMMY for Best R&B Urban Contemporary Album! We are just blown away. Thx to everyone who listened!"

Meanwhile, Jill Scott gave some love to the island nation of Jamaica, while recognizing her Grammy nomination, tweeting, "funny. Every time I'm nominated or receive an award, my husband claims it for Jamaica. Soooo Shout out to Jamaica!!!"

There were also congratulations given from one artist to nominee, such as pop singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes, who wrote to Chance the Rapper on Twitter, "very cool man! Congrats on the Nom!!! You deserve it!" and neo-soul band The Internet to Anderson .Paaktweeting, "Congrats on the Grammy Noms!" 

The 2017 Grammys will take place February 12. 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

Are Kanye West's Troubles Causing a Rift in His Marriage?

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty ImagesJust a week from his hospital release, a source tells People that Kanye West's health issues have "caused strain" on his marriage with Kim Kardashian-West.  

"Kanye and Kim had a stressful few months. It's been a tense time. But Kim is happy he's getting help," the source revealed to the publication.   

Along with helping Kanye, following his onstage breakdown in Sacramento, California that prompted the performer's hospitalization last month, Kim is dealing with the distress felt since her Paris robbery in October.  

Still, Kim has continued to stick by her husband's side. 

"She is super focused on him," the source added.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

Megadeth's Dave Mustaine Offers His Take on Metallica's "Hardwired...to Self-Destruct" 

Blackened RecordingsDave Mustaine has offered his thoughts on Metallica's new album, Hardwired...to Self-Destruct. Overall, the Megadeth frontman is pretty high on the latest effort from his old band.

"I've always been able to appreciate the talent in Metallica," he writes for Team Rock. "Every band has its strengths and its weaknesses. Personally, from everything I've heard so far, I think the new album is a good one."

Mustaine, of course, was one of Metallica's original members, but he was famously fired from the band in 1983.

Elsewhere in his Hardwired review, Mustaine expresses his hope that the Big Four of thrash -- Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax -- could get together for another tour.

"To have all of the Big Four releasing great new records within 12 months or so, that's really cool," Mustaine says, referring to Hardwired, Megadeth's Dystopia, Slayer's Repentless and Anthrax's For All Kings. "Now the big question is whether or not the powers-that-be are gonna allow for the four of us to go and do some more Big Four dates."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

TV on the Radio to Headline Standing Rock Benefit Concert

GoldenvoiceTV on the Radio will headline the We Rock with Standing Rock benefit concert, held December 18 at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. The event, which was organized by TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone, will support those protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that the pipeline's construction would not be allowed to cross Lake Oahe. While Malone says the decision is a "win" and a "truly encouraging example of the power of people getting together," he adds that "there is still so much work to do."

"There are 500 legal charges still pending toward the water protectors," Malone says in a statement. "This means they will need continued support. Even without the threat of an oil pipeline poisoning the water, life on reservations are so often ones of deprivation, unconscionably low life expectancy, infant mortality, and adolescent suicide all pointing to the continued need for us to stand in support of First Nations people. We need to keep the light shining on this."

We Rock with Standing Rock will also include performances by Fiona Apple and Sky Ferreira, plus appearances by actresses Patricia Arquette and Riley Keough. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, December 9 via AXS.com.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

J. Cole's Record Label Unveils Tracklist for "4 Your Eyez Only" 

Taylor Hill/Getty Images for The MeadowsThe tracklist for J. Cole's forthcoming new album, 4 Your Eyez Only, has been unveiled.  

The studio project was announced, to the surprise of many, last week, along with its cover art, two new tracks -- "False Prophets" and "One Day Everybody Gotta Die" -- and a 40-minute documentary titled Eyez, which takes fans behind-the-scenes of Cole's recording process.  

4 Your Eyez Only will be available everywhere December 9. Here's the tracklist:   

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" 
"Immortal" 
"Deja Vu" 
"Ville Mentality" 
"She's Mine Pt. 1" 
"Change" 
"Neighbors" 
"Foldin Clothes" 
"She's Mine Pt. 2" 
"4 Your Eyez Only" 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Tuesday
Dec062016

Gwen Stefani, David Bowie, Taylor Swift Among Yahoo's Top Musicians & Celebs of the Year 

Jamie NelsonIn 2016, people wanted to know about dead rock legends, pop stars and country artists.  That's according to Yahoo's 2016 Year in Review, which tracks the most searched-for, and most-read stories on the online portal.

The top celebrity of 2016, according to Yahoo, was Gwen Stefani, who rebounded from her painful divorce with a new album, a tour and a new relationship with Blake Shelton.  Gwen also was the fourth-most searched term of the year on Yahoo, behind the 2016 Election, Donald Trump and the video game Roblox. 

Other musicians who made Yahoo's top-10 celebrities of 2016 list include Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, country star Miranda Lambert and Selena Gomez.

Strangely, Gwen didn't show up on Yahoo's Top Music Artists of the Year list.  That was topped by the late rock legend David Bowie, who died in January, two days before releasing a new album.  Second on the list was Taylor Swift, followed by another music legend who left us too soon: Prince.

The rest of the top 10 Music Artists of 2016, according to Yahoo, were Kanye West, country star Tim McGraw, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, country legend Randy Travis, American Idol winner Trent Harmon and, of course, Beyonce.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

Meghan Trainor Writes New Song for "Smurfs: The Lost Village" Soundtrack

PRNewsFoto/Sony Pictures AnimationMeghan Trainor has some Smurf-tastic news. The singer has written a new tune called “I’m a Lady” for the Smurfs: The Lost Village soundtrack.

"I love the Smurfs and was honored when they asked me to write a song for this new movie,” Meghan says in a statement. “I was especially excited -- I wrote the whole thing in one evening!"

The song will be released in the new year, before the film debuts in theaters on April 7.

This latest Smurfs film follows Smurfette and her pals on a journey through the Forbidden Forest to find a mysterious lost village before the villain Gargamel does. Demi Lovato voices Smurfette.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

William Michael Morgan's "Vinyl" Goes Vinyl as He Preps for National TV Debut

ABC/Image Group LAWilliam Michael Morgan will welcome 2017 by making his national TV debut on the Today show. He’s set to perform his breakthrough hit, “I Met a Girl,” during the fourth hour of the NBC morning show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, starting at 10 a.m. on January 4.

Both the Mississippi native’s first number-one and his current single “Missing” are from his debut album, Vinyl, which appropriately will be available as an LP for the first time on December 16. That same day, he'll play the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman, before signing copies of his record at the historic venue.

On February 24, William Michael will occupy a coveted spot on the yearly New Faces show during Country Radio Seminar in Nashville.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

Demi Lovato On Board for Celebrity Cruises Concert Series Kickoff 

Getty Images via ABCWith her first Grammy nomination under her belt, Demi Lovato is ready to celebrate with some lucky vacationers in paradise. The singer is teaming up with Celebrity Cruises for a special concert on the island of St. Maarten later this month.

In order to score tickets, you must be booked on one of four Caribbean cruises. Guests who buy tickets to the event will have access to a special venue on the island where Demi will perform some of her biggest hits.

The concert takes place on December 28. It will serve as the kick-off to Celebrity Cruises' first-ever concert series.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

Neil Diamond Says Still Having Enthusiastic Fans After 50 Years in Music Is "Heartening"

Andreas Terlaak/©2016 Neil Diamond ArchiveNeil Diamond will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his music career next year with a major tour that's mapped out from an April 7 in Fresno, California, through an August 12 show in Inglewood, California.

In a new Rolling Stone interview, the legendary singer/songwriter reveals that the new concerts are selling very well, while noting that he's very proud fans still are interested in coming to see him perform after a half century in the business.

"It's been very heartening to me," he tells the magazine. "I've been doing this 50 years and to have an audience that's out there and anxious and enthusiastic is exciting."

Diamond admits that when he started out, he never could have imagined that he'd still be a performing and recording artist five decades later.

"[W]hen I started having hit records you think your career might be one or two or three records. And that's it," he says. "You were finished when one bombed. That's all the chance you got. Next!"

The 75-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer says that the upcoming concerts will be packed with hits, of course, while noting that he also likes to include some lesser-known tunes in his sets.

"They have to work real good to get into that club," he maintains. "But we find a way to get them in."

Diamond tells Rolling Stone that he likely will include a few songs he didn't write in his shows, among them Joni Mitchell's "Chelsea Morning," and perhaps Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne," as a tribute to Cohen, who passed away last month at age 82.

Neil says he realizes he could have retired from the road a long time ago, but he feels "addicted" to all aspects of touring.

Check out all of Diamond's 2017 tour dates at NeilDiamond.com.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

Kelsea Ballerini Confesses She Has "Zero Percent Chill" About Best New Artist Nod

ABC/Image Group LAWith a coveted nomination in the much-watched Best New Artist category at the 59th Grammys, Kelsea Ballerini confesses she’s had her eye on the gramophone trophy for some time.

“I was 15 the first time I saw a Grammy. It was in a studio I was recording some of my first demos in. I remember asking if I could hold it, being its biggest fan, and knowing how important it was," she recalled on Instagram. "I wish I could go back and tell that 15-year-old starry-eyed girl that she’d be nominated a few years later.”

Kelsea also took time to tape a special thank you for her fans, admitting in a Twitter video she has “zero percent chill” about getting the prestigious nod and adding how proud she is to represent Nashville along with Maren Morris, who’s nominated as well. 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

 

Tuesday
Dec062016

Maren Morris Is "SHOOK" After Becoming the Most-Nominated Country Artist at This Year's Grammys

ABC/Image Group LAWith four nods -- for Best Country Solo Performance, Best Country Song, Best Country Album and in the prestigious all-genre Best New Artist category -- Maren Morris is the most-nominated singer in her genre at this year’s Grammys.

“I’ve grown up watching the Grammys, and they are such a pinnacle for an artist,” the reigning CMA New Artist of the Year said in a statement from her label. “I’m so honored to be nominated by my peers who I am so inspired by every day.”

On social media, the “80s Mercedes” hitmaker was a little less reserved, tweeting, “Four Grammy nominations?! I’M SHOOK,” then adding, “Between the Grammy nominations and playing [Saturday Night Live] this Saturday, I might pass out. I hope [John Cena] gives me a hug,” referencing the wrestler-turned-actor who’ll host this weekend.

If that weren’t enough for Maren to be overwhelmed, Billboard will give her its Breakthrough Artist honor Friday at this year’s Women in Music event.

Both Grammy nods for Solo Performance and Country Song are for Maren’s first single, “My Church,” while her debut project Hero is nominated in the Country Album category. The trophies are set to be handed out February 12 in L.A.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

Granger Smith Back Home in Texas After Serious Fall, Off the Road for Rest of 2016

ABC/Randy HolmesThough he’s cancelling his dates for the rest of the year, Granger Smith is back home in Texas recovering after a serious fall at his show in New Jersey this past Saturday. The “If the Boot Fits” hitmaker was standing on a speaker when it collapsed, causing him to break two ribs, which punctured one of his lungs and caused it to partially collapse.

By Tuesday morning, Granger had shared a photo of himself looking healthy, resting on a pillow, while giving a thumbs up. He added that he’s starting to be more mobile, before issuing a thank you to the staff of the New Brunswick, New Jersey hospital who took care of him.

“I truly appreciate all the doctors and nurses at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital,” he said in a statement. “Their resolve and professionalism were reassuring during a pretty rough few days for me.”

Though he’ll be off the road for several weeks, the man who recently scored his first number-one with “Backroad Song” is vowing to come back strong.

 “I’ve has so many emails and tweets. It’s pretty amazing that so many people have reached out from across the country," he reflected. "I feel so blessed to have more than just support for my music from fans and radio. It’s deeply humbling to have fans that personally care so much.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Tuesday
Dec062016

Ronnie James Dio, Lemmy, Randy Rhoads Among Inductees for First Hall of Heavy Metal History

Courtesy of Chipster PRThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been around for more than 30 years, but now a new hall of fame specifically celebrating those hard-rocking masters of heavy metal is set to launch in January. The first annual Hall of Heavy Metal History Induction Ceremony will take place January 18, 2017, at the Anaheim Expo Center, in Anaheim, California.

The inaugural class of inductees includes late Dio, Rainbow and Black Sabbath singer Ronnie James Dio, late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister, late Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads, ex-Ozzy Osbourne and Whitesnake bassist Rudy Sarzo, Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali, former Black Sabbath and Dio drummer Vinny Appice, and Deep Purple keyboardist Don Airey. Among the other honorees are longtime Dictators and Manowar guitarist Ross "The Boss" Friedman and Andy Zildjian, president and CEO of the Sabian Cymbals company.

Proceeds raised by the event will be donated to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, which was founded by the singer's widow, Wendy, after his death from stomach cancer in 2010.

"The Hall of Heavy Metal History is dedicated to preserving the legacy of those legendary metal musicians who are often forgotten," says the organization's President and CEO Pat Gesualdo. "This event is something the fans have been wanting for a long, long, time."

In addition to the inductions, the Hall of Heavy Metal History ceremony will feature a variety of performances.

General admission tickets to the event are priced at $25, while VIP passes cost $75. The latter pass will give fans access to a meet-and-greet event where they can take photos with and get autographs from some of the inductees, and  a gift bag, a limited-edition autographed poster, an official T-shirt and more.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

Weezer, Cage the Elephant to Play 2017 Forecastle Festival

Credit: Sean MurphyWeezer and Cage the Elephant will both play the 2017 Forecastle Festival, held July 14-16 in Louisville, Kentucky.

The lineup also includes LCD Soundsystem, X Ambassadors, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Judah and the Lion, PJ Harvey and COIN.

For the full lineup and ticket info, visit ForecastleFest.com.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

Nicki Minaj Slammed for Laughing at Allegedly Mentally Ill Woman

Image Group LA/ABCNicki Minaj is being criticized form one recent moment she may regret. The "Feeling Myself" rapper posted an Instagram video yesterday, which shows an unidentified woman on a sidewalk in Miami yelling at Nicki.  

"What you say? Miss! Come here!" responds Nicki off-camera before she begins to laugh. "Go away!" says the woman, to which Nicki asks, "What did I do?"  

Minaj continues to say, "Miss. You look nice. Can we talk? Miss. Come here!" as the woman continues to walk away from the situation.   

Several people, including those who claim to be local residents of the area in which the video was taken by Minaj, wrote comments next to the clip, saying that the woman featured in it is mentally ill. 

The Instagram video, which has more than one million views, caught the attention of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which issued a statement to TMZ saying, "Nobody would make fun of a cancer patient, and mental illness is an illness like any other." 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

Goo Goo Dolls Donate More Than $22K to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Bob MusselGoo Goo Dolls are getting into the spirit of giving this holiday season. The band recently donated a large chunk of change to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac presented the hospital with a check for $22,800 -- the proceeds from autographed guitars and drumheads sold during their Boxes tour this year.

"Visiting St. Jude was a real eye opener," Johnny says in a statement. "It's amazing that so much good can be done in one place by so many good people. We are grateful to our amazing fans for their generosity and enabling us to present this money to help St. Jude."

The money will go towards treatment, travel, housing or food for families of the patients.

This summer, Goo Goo Dolls began supporting Music Gives to St. Jude Kids, a program that enlists the music community to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec062016

Jhené Aiko Drops the Fur to Bare All for New PETA Campaign

Neel ParekhJhené Aiko would rather go naked than wear fur, and proves just that in her ad for PETA's new "Drop the Fur" campaign.

Named as one of the animal rights organization's sexiest vegan celebrities this year, the recording artist is featured posing in the buff in support of PETA's campaign against wearing real animal fur.

"Animals have feelings, they have souls, they have emotions, and the way that they are killed for fur is very inhumane," Aiko says in an exclusive video interview for the campaign.  

The "Eternal Sunshine" vocalist joins a long list of fellow celebrities, including PinkMya and TLC's Chilli, who have previously teamed up with PETA to encourage kindness to animals. 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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