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Monday
Apr212014

Pharrell’s Star-Studded Coachella Set Features Jay Z, Pusha T, and Usher

Jay Z & Pharrell; Christopher Polk/Getty Images for CoachellaFrom our partners at Consequence of Sound.

Pharrell Williams returned to Indio, California, on Saturday night for another star-studded set at Coachella. After spending time on stage with Gwen Stefani, Tyler, the Creator, Snoop Dogg, and Diplo during his weekend-one performance, Pharrell rounded up an equally impressive set of guests for weekend two.

Over the course of the 20-song set, Pharrell was joined by the likes of Jay Z, Pusha T, Usher, Busta Rhymes, and T.I. The set began with a cover of Daft Punk’s “Lose Yourself to Dance” before he brought out T.I. for a rendition of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

Pusha appeared to perform his Clipse classic “Grindin’” while Usher crooned his way through “U Don’t Have to Call.”

Jay Z, meanwhile, joined Pharrell for “Frontin’,” “Excuse Me Miss,” “La-La-La (Excuse Me Miss Again),” and “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me).”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr212014

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Boxer Who Inspired Bob Dylan Song, Dead at 76

Getty ImagesRubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer who inspired a Bob Dylan song and a movie starring Denzel Washington, has died following a battle with prostate cancer.

Carter's friend, John Artis, says the boxer died in his sleep Sunday morning in Toronto, according to CTV News. He was 76.

Carter spent 19 years in prison on a murder conviction that was overturned after several appeals and a groundswell of support by civil rights groups and celebrities. He was released in 1985.

In 1975, Dylan released a song about Carter's case, titled "Hurricane." Washington portrayed Carter in the 1999 film The Hurricane, earning him an Oscar nomination.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr212014

Mariah Carey Shares Family Easter Pics with Fans

Image courtesy Mariah Carey via TwitterMariah Carey celebrated Easter with her husband Nick Cannon and their two-and-a-half-year-old twins, Monroe and Moroccan, on Sunday, and she shared a series of photos with fans on Twitter.

The first post featured Mariah, 43, posing with Cannon, 33, and the twins, along with the caption, "Happy Easter!!!!"

A little later, Mariah tweeted a picture of Monroe and her sporting matching bunny ears, with the message, "Easter bunny? Are you coming??? - Love, Ms. Monroe & Ms. Mariah."

Cannon also got in on the fun, posting a picture on Instagram showing some goodies left by the Easter Bunny, captioned, "Such a beautiful day! #happyeaster."

“The Easter Egg Hunt was going down!!” accompanies another picture of the twins hunting for more treats.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr212014

Justin Bieber's Deportation Request Rejected by White House

Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation DepartmentJustin Bieber will be staying here in the U.S., despite an online petition on the White House website, We the People, seeking to have him deported.

The White House responded to the request with, “Sorry to disappoint, but we won’t be commenting on this one.”

The statement went on to explain that, “to avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government in its response to a petition."

The White House added, "We'll leave it to others to comment on Mr. Bieber’s case.”

The petition, which was launched in January, claimed the troubled 20-year-old pop star is "a terrible influence on our nation's youth." It drew nearly 274 thousand signatures, well beyond the 100 thousand needed to generate an official response.

The petition came on the heels of several run-ins Bieber had with the law, including his DUI arrest in Miami Beach.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr212014

Chance the Rapper Cancels Coachella Appearance After Falling Ill

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CoachellaChance the Rapper cancelled his scheduled appearance at the Coachella music festival in Indio, California, at virtually the last minute on Sunday, after he was hospitalized with an unspecified illness.

Chance's reps made the announcement Sunday via his Twitter feed, writing, "Chance fell ill on Friday night & was admitted to the hospital today- Doctors & family are with him & he is expected to make a full recovery."

They did not elaborate on the nature of Chance's ailment. The 21-year-old rapper had mentioned two days earlier on Twitter that he was feeling ill.

Chance performed during the first weekend of the Coachella festival, inviting Justin Bieber on stage for a cameo.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr212014

"Nobody Knows" Singer Kevin Sharp Dead at 43

Courtesy KevinSharp.comKevin Sharp, who scored a hit in 1996 with "Nobody Knows," has died.

Sharp's website announced the singer died Saturday night of ongoing complications from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues. He was 43.

Sharp -- who survived a battle with a rare form of bone cancer after he was diagnosed while in high school -- earned a #1 country hit in 1996 with "Nobody Knows," a cover of a song by R&B artist Tony Rich. It was off his debut album, Measure of a Man, which also featured the singles "She's Sure Taking It Well" and "If You Love Somebody."

Sharp later released two more studio albums: 1998's Love Is and 2005's Make a Wish.

A memorial service is being planned in Nashville. More information will be announced on Sharp's website in the near future.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr212014

Reports: Gwen Stefani in Talks to Join "The Voice" 

Image Courtesy Gwen Stefani via InstagramLooks like Christina Aguilera's pregnancy has given Gwen Stefani a new opportunity: Both TMZ and The Hollywood Reporter say that the No Doubt frontwoman is likely to step in for Christina on the seventh season of The Voice.

While NBC hasn't confirmed anything, TMZ says that Gwen will be in the big red chair when season seven begins taping this June, alongside Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams, who's replacing the departing Cee Lo Green.  The website claims that Christina wanted to continue on the show throughout her pregnancy, but ultimately decided it would be too difficult and stepped aside.  Gwen's deal is for only one season, TMZ claims, as Christina is expected to be back for season eight.

Gwen knows all about putting things on hold due to pregnancy: she recently gave birth to her third child, son Apollo Bowie Flynn, with hubby Gavin Rossdale.

Meanwhile, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Gwen is "in talks" for the job.  The publication notes that earlier this month at Coachella, Pharrell brought Gwen out on stage with him for a version of "Hollaback Girl" and said big things would be coming for her.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, he may have been referring to their impending reunion on The Voice.

The current season's lineup of Voice judges includes Adam, Blake, Usher and Shakira.  The show's finale takes place May 20.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr212014

Ex-Beach Boy Al Jardine Shares Details About Upcoming Brian Wilson Album

Courtesy of Al JardineBrian Wilson has been working on a new studio album that's sure to interest Beach Boys lovers and rock fans in general.  The project features contributions by guitar legend Jeff Beck, as well as a number of Wilson's fellow Beach Boys alumni -- Al Jardine, David Marks and Blondie Chaplin.

Jardine recently chatted with ABC News Radio and revealed a few details about the upcoming record.

"I sang a couple of leads on it, and a few background parts, and that's pretty much all I know about it," he explained.

One tune featuring Jardine's lead vocals that he said he particularly liked is called "Run, James, Run."  The 71-year-old singer described the track as "a 21st century car song," adding that it's "a good up-tempo kind of nouveau Beach Boy kind of thing, which I kind of really enjoyed."

In addition, Al reported that his son Matt, who previously had served as Wilson's stand-in on some Beach Boys tours, also sings on Brian's upcoming album.

As for when the record might be released, Jardine admitted that he had no idea.  "It's in the hands of the producers," he said, "so we'll all find out together."

One byproduct of the recording sessions was a well-received 2013 co-headlining tour featuring Wilson and Beck, which also included Jardine and Marks as special guests.

Al told ABC News Radio that the trek helped make him aware of just how great a musician Beck is.  "[He's a] very, very talented guy," Jardine gushed.  "He's extraordinary.  [And he] has a real appreciation for Beach Boy music, which I didn't know."

Next up for Jardine is a May 10 performance at the Mayfest on Main event in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The free show also will feature Marks, Dean Torrence of Jan & Dean fame and Al's son Matt, among other performers.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr212014

The Kinks' Dave Davies Shares Health Advice with Ailing AC/DC Guitarist Malcolm Young

Cleopatra Records; Columbia RecordsOn Wednesday, AC/DC announced that founding guitarist Malcolm Young was "taking a break from the band due to ill health."  The news came on the heels of an unconfirmed Australian blog post that claimed Young had suffered a stroke.

While the nature of Malcolm's illness has yet to be officially revealed, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist who had a debilitating stroke back in 2004, The Kinks' Dave Davies, has offered some advice for the ailing musician.

Davies wrote a Facebook message directed at Young that reads, "[N]ever give up -- and remember all the important 'tricks' you learnt and keep going over and over them in your mind -- always [exercise] your hands and fingers -- picking coins from the floor -- picking up pins from a flat surface -- constantly touch the tips of your fingers with the thumb and try to do it faster and faster -- [imagine] playing your best solos ever in your mind before you go to sleep -- daily."

After suffering his stroke, it took a long time before Davies performed again, but he finally returned to the stage last year and has been playing shows fairly regularly ever since.

It's worth noting that the same blog post that reported Malcolm had had a stroke also claimed that AC/DC was set to announce its retirement, something the band refuted in its official statement.  The Australian rockers insisted in their message, "The band will continue to make music."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr212014

Report: Rihanna Drops Lawsuit Against Ex-Accountants

Photo Courtesy of Style Network

Rihanna has decided to drop a multimillion-dollar lawsuit she filed earlier this year, in which she claimed that her former accountants left her "effectively bankrupt" by the end of 2009.

The New York Post's Page Six reports she's reached a settlement with her ex-accountants  -- Peter Gounis, Michael Mitnick and the firm Berdon LLP -- after they filed a countersuit and accused the singer of "exorbitant" spending during her Last Girl on Earth tour.

"The tour did not make as much money as projected," lawyers for Gounis said, according to court docs. "The tour was what she wanted, just as the exorbitant amount of expensive clothing and other purchases she squandered her money on were…At the end of her two-year spending spree she had rooms of shoes, clothing and jewelry and fond, if not hazy, memories of extravagant parties, but little cash."

The settlement will prevent the case from going to trial, but lawyers for both sides refused to discuss terms of the agreement, the paper reports.

As previously reported, Rihanna accused her former accountants of mismanaging her fortune of $11 million and advising her to buy a $7 million Southern California home, which she later sold at a $2 million loss.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr202014

Pharrell's "Happy" Tops Four Million Mark, Outsells "Get Lucky" 

Columbia RecordsIn 2013, Pharrell Williams was responsible for one of the biggest, most unescapable hits of the year: "Get Lucky," his collaboration with Daft Punk.  Well, now Pharrell's managed to top himself, sales-wise, thanks to this year's most unescapable hit: "Happy."

Yahoo! Chart Watch reports that Pharrell's smash single "Happy" has just topped the four million mark in digital sales.  That means it's outsold "Get Lucky," which currently stands at 3.475 million copies.  "Happy" is also the first song to sell that many copies in 2014.

Unfortunately, Pharrell still has a ways to go if he wants to beat that other huge hit he had last year: "Blurred Lines."  So far, that tune has sold 6,995,000 downloads.

The Oscar-nominated "Happy" has spent eight weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.  That's the longest run at #1 for a male solo artist since 2005, when Mario's "Let Me Love You" was #1 for nine weeks.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr202014

Elton John Establishes Fund in Memory of Late Dance Music Pioneer, Will Play NYC Charity Event Soon

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAFYou may never have heard of Frankie Knuckles, but dance music as we know it today may not have existed without him.  The Grammy-winning deejay and record producer, known as "The Godfather of House Music," died on March 31, and now Elton John is paying tribute to him by establishing a charity fund in his name.

Through his Elton John AIDS Foundation, John has established The Frankie Knuckles Fund, to support HIV information, testing and treatment.  In a statement, Elton says, "Frankie was such a lovely man and a great talent and his legacy provides a powerful voice to reach out to people, particularly men of color, about their essential role in helping to create an AIDS-free future."

The fund will be aimed particularly at empowering and improving the health of the black community.  Black men are 40 percent more likely than white men to be diagnosed with HIV, and 46 percent of people in the U.S. living with HIV are black.

In other Elton-related charity news, the music legend will be performing April 28 at the Hot Pink Park Party, the annual New York City fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  He's played at the event since it first began in 2001, performing solo renditions of both his hits, and more obscure album cuts. Also on the fundraiser's lineup is Sara Bareilles, whose most recent live album featured a version of John's hit "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr202014

Paul Stanley's Autobiography Debuts at #2 on "New York Times" Best Seller List

Harper CollinsPaul Stanley has called his story "inspirational" -- and the telling of that story has apparently inspired legions to go buy the book in which the story is told.  Face the Music: A Life Exposed has debuted at #2 on The New York Times Best Seller list in the nonfiction hardcover category. 

The memoir opens with the KISS singer's childhood, a rough tale of being born with a physical deformity, a learning disability and a dysfunctional family -- and overcoming it all to become the frontman of one of the world's most successful rock bands.

Face the Music also debuted at #3 on Publishers Weekly's Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers list, #4 on the Wall Street Journal's Nonfiction Best Sellers list and #4 on the Toronto Star's Original Nonfiction Best Sellers list.

In typical KISS fashion, Stanley has been relentlessly plugging the book with coast-to-coast radio, TV, online and in-store appearances.  Amid the flurry of publicity, KISS also was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just over a week ago.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr202014

Keri Hilson Reconciles with NBA Boyfriend Serge Ibaka

Courtesy Serge Ibaka Via InstagramFollowing her split with NBA baller Serge Ibaka, Keri Hilson seemed to be making progress on her third album, the follow-up to 2010's No Boys Allowed. Just as fans began to anticipate sad love songs on her next project, the singer has seemingly reconciled with her beau.

Following his Oklahoma City Thunder game on Wednesday night, Ibaka confirmed their relationship status on Instagram by posting a picture of the two hugging on the basketball court. "Had to get my girl back!" he wrote in the accompanying caption.

Back in February, Keri confirmed that her "music" was her boyfriend and warned female fans to never "drop your standards for anyone."

In other Keri news, the singer recently logged studio time with producer Jim Jonsin, marking their first collaboration. Her upcoming disc also will include contributions from Rico Love, who co-wrote "Energy" lifted from Keri's debut album, In a Perfect World.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr202014

Elton John Establishes Fund in Memory of Late Dance Music Pioneer, Will Play NYC Charity Event with Sara Bareilles 

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAFYou may never have heard of Frankie Knuckles, but dance music as we know it today basically wouldn't exist without him.  The Grammy-winning deejay and record producer, known as "The Godfather of House Music," died on March 31, and now Elton John is paying tribute to him by establishing a charity fund in his name.

Through his Elton John AIDS Foundation, Elton has established The Frankie Knuckles Fund, to support HIV information, testing and treatment.  In a statement, Elton says, "Frankie was such a lovely man and a great talent and his legacy provides a powerful voice to reach out to people, particularly men of color, about their essential role in helping to create an AIDS-free future.”

The fund will be aimed particularly at empowering and improving the health of the black community.  Black men are 40 percent more likely than white men to be diagnosed with HIV, and 46 percent of people in the U.S. living with HIV are black.

In other Elton John charity news, the music legend will be performing April 28 at the Hot Pink Park Party, the annual New York City fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  He's played at the event since it first began in 2001, performing solo renditions of both his hits, and more obscure album cuts.  Sara Bareilles is also performing at the event; her most recent live album featured a version of Elton's hit "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," so let's keep our fingers crossed for a duet.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr202014

Jon Pardi Credits His Grandma's Karaoke Machine for Kickstarting His Love for Music

CMACountry newcomer Jon Pardi probably wouldn't have pursued a career in music if it wasn't for his grandmother's karaoke machine. She used to watch him sing for hours when he was a kid growing up in Dixon, CA.

Jon tells The Sacramento Bee, "She just loved to sing. We'd play Garth Brooks tracks or George Strait tracks, and we'd sing along. It was fun."

Jon eventually picked up the guitar and began writing songs before moving to Nashville a few years ago. Now, he's signed to the same record label as Strait, and the two got to hang out for a little bit earlier this month at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas.

"For five minutes I had a conversation with him, and he was so cool," Jon says of George. "Talk about a guy who’s conquered it all, but still so level-headed. I always looked up to him before that, but I look up to him even more now."

Jon recently shot the video for his latest single, "What I Can't Put Down." Look for that clip to premiere in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr192014

Prince Re-Signs with Warner Bros; Readies 30th Anniversary Edition of "Purple Rain" & New Album

Press Here PublicityPrince will now have full ownership and control over his master recordings after signing a new contract with his former label Warner Bros. Records.

The legendary singer has announced that fans will soon hear previously unreleased music as well as a digitally remastered, deluxe 30th anniversary edition of his 1984 soundtrack to Purple Rain.

"A brand-new studio album is on the way and both Warner Bros. Records and Eye are quite pleased with the results of the negotiations and look forward to a fruitful working relationship," says Prince in a statement.

"Everyone at Warner Bros. Records is delighted to be working with Prince once again: he is one of the world’s biggest stars and a truly unique talent. We are also very excited about the release of new and remastered music from one of his greatest masterpieces," adds Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Cameron Strang.

Just hours after the new deal was announced, Prince released a new single, "The Breakdown," which you can purchase on iTunes. The funk ballad begins with Prince introducing what he says "could be the saddest story" that's ever been told.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr192014

Miley Cyrus Postpones & Reschedules Remaining U.S. Bangerz Tour Dates

Image Courtesy Miley Cyrus via TwitterMiley Cyrus, still hospitalized after suffering a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics, has now been forced to postpone the remaining U.S. dates of her Bangerz tour, and she's not happy about it.

"Pi**ed off @ everything/everyone," Miley tweeted, bemoaning the fact that she wasn't able to perform at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena as scheduled on Friday.  "Sux seeing everyone havin fun in Nashville. My home town & the place I was looking the most forward to," she wrote.

Fans who currently hold tickets for the remaining dates will have their tickets honored for the rescheduled dates.  In addition, two brand new dates have been added in Pittsburgh and Chicago.  The European tour will proceed as originally scheduled.

Here are the rescheduled dates:

August 1 -- Uniondale, NY Nassau Coliseum
August 2 -- Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
August 4 -- Pittsburgh, PA Venue TBD
August 6 -- Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Arena
August 7 -- Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
August 9 -- Louisville, KY KFC YUM! Center
August 10 -- St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
August 12 -- Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
August 14  -- Chicago, IL United Center

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr192014

Papa Roach Working on New Material...in Garage?

Courtesy Papa Roach via TwitterPapa Roach is reverting to their roots as a garage band...sort of.

Frontman Jacoby Shaddix has added a post to the band's Facebook page showing the inside of a garage, with the caption, "Writing lyrics in my garage! Taking back to where it all started! Never forget where you came from!"

This follows a post two months ago in which Shaddix acknowledged the band's "1st day in the studio in Las Vegas with producer Kevin Churko!  So excited for this next phase of life...feeling inspired."

Churko has worked with Five Finger Death PunchSlash and Ozzy Osbourne, among others.

The new album will be Papa Roach's first since their 2011 album The Connection.

Following the release of The Connection, Shaddix was sidelined for a time with vocal problems, and last March he told ABC News Radio that he was considering putting the band on hiatus and working on some solo projects, which haven't yet materialized.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr192014

John Oates, The Zombies, Paul Rodgers Among Musicians Taking Part in Record Store Day Events

Juan Pitino; David LeveneThe seventh annual edition of Record Store Day is taking place Saturday and, in addition to the many cool limited-edition vinyl releases that will be available at independent music retailers, a bevy of artists will help celebrate the unofficial holiday by visiting select stores across North America.

Among the well-known musicians set to make special appearances are Hall & Oates singer John Oates, The Zombies, Paul Rodgers and R.E.M.'s Mike Mills.

Oates, a newly inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, will be at Grimey's New and Pre-Loved Music store in Nashville, where he'll be among of bevy of artists who'll perform for shoppers.  The singer's set is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. ET.

The Zombies will give an in-store performance of their own at Plan 9 Music in Charlottesville, Virginia, at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Rodgers will visit Sunrise Records in Toronto, Canada, where he'll sign vinyl and CD copies of his latest album, The Royal Sessions.  The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET.

As for Mills, the former R.E.M. bass player will visit the Bull Moose music store in Scarborough, Maine, where he'll sign up to two items for fans, including R.E.M.'s special four-LP Record Store Day release, Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions.  The promotion will start at 2 p.m. ET.

A full list of in-store events can be viewed at RecordStoreDay.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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