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Monday
Apr242017

Justin Bieber acknowledges troubled past: "Thank God I'm not where I used to be" 

Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images via ABCA few years ago, it seemed as though Justin Bieber was making headlines daily -- not for his music, but for his bad behavior and his run-ins with the law.  But things have now turned around for the Bieb, and he's making critically-acclaimed chart-topping music and keeping his nose clean.  He paused to reflect on how far he'd come on Sunday with an Instagram message to fans.

Justin posted a mug shot of himself from his 2014 Miami arrest for D.U.I. -- labeled "Then" -- next to a selfie of himself today, labeled "now."  

"I LOVE THIS because it reminds me IM NOT EXACTLY WHERE I WANT TO BE BUT THANK GOD IM NOT WHERE I USED TO BE!!" Justin captioned the image. "THE BEST IS YET TO COME DO YOU BELIEVE IT?"

While we're not sure when Justin will release the follow-up to his album Purpose, his remix of the Luis Fonsi/Daddy Yankee Spanish-language song "Despacito" is a massive global smash.

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Monday
Apr242017

Rob Thomas to perform at the Library of Congress

Ben WattsRob Thomas is heading to Washington, D.C. tomorrow to take part in a prestigious gig at an unusual location: the Library of Congress.

The Matchbox Twenty frontman is one of the performers at the ninth annual We Write the Songs Event, which is presented by the Library of Congress and The ASCAP Foundation.  It celebrates the fact that the Foundation, a division of the performers' rights organization ASCAP, is gifting the Library of Congress with manuscripts, lyric sheets, letters and photos from some of the country's greatest songwriters.

In addition to Rob, performers at the event include rock legend Peter Frampton and Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman of the band The Hooters.

Wednesday, the day after the concert, is "Stand with Songwriters Advocacy Day" on Capitol Hill.  Many of the performers at the event will meet with lawmakers and urge them to update federal regulations governing how songwriters license their work in the age of digital music.

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Monday
Apr242017

Bananarama to reunite after 29 years

Michael Putland/Getty ImagesWe've heard a rumor that 1980s pop trio Bananarama are reuniting! 

Nearly 30 years after "petty squabbles" forced Siobhan FaheyKeren Woodward and Sara Dalin ended a six-year run on the pop charts that included the hits, "Cruel Summer," "Venus" and "I Heard a Rumour," the group tells The Sun that they've burried the hatchet and are launching a U.K. tour kicking off in November.

“We first had a chat about it over Christmas and before we knew it the whole thing snowballed," says Keren. "I called Siobhan to chat about it and things went from there.”

Adds Fahey, “By the time I managed to come over to talk about it, somehow it had become a done deal, the dates had been scheduled and we had a photoshoot arranged."

Siobhan wasn't immediately on board with the idea, admitting that after 29 years she's "rusty to say the least."

“I didn’t say ‘yes’ immediately," she explains. "I was in complete shock but my heart felt a sense of absolute joy and I just felt it was the right time in my life.

“Emotionally it felt like something I needed to revisit, to go back to my roots and that time with my best friends, Fahey continues. “We’re going to go back and celebrate that extraordinary life we led together in our 20s.”

The British newspaper also indicates that the U.K. tour may only be just the beginning for the trio.

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Monday
Apr242017

John Mayer debuts at #2 with "The Search for Everything"

Columbia RecordsJohn Mayer's still got it. After telling USA Today earlier this month that he was ready to pass the torch to younger singer-songwriters, John's latest album, The Search for Everything, debuted this week at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

John's eighth top-10 album did 132,00 in sales and equivalent streams, most of those numbers coming from traditional sales, reports Billboard. It was kept out of the top slot by the big debut of rapper Kendrick Lamar's latest, DAMN., which had the best sales week of any debut album so far this year.

Earlier this month John said he was ready to pass the torch to Ed Sheeran.  "I would take Ed Sheeran's worst idea on any day and it would be my biggest song of the year. For me, Ed's the voice, and that's the way it's supposed to be, as I transition into writing stuff that's deeper for me on a musical, artistic level...at the expense of being popular," he told USA Today.

This week Ed's latest, ÷ (Divide), drops from number 3 to number 4.

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Monday
Apr242017

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockJosh Turner sits at the top of the country chart this week with "Hometown Girl," but the South Carolina native's most recent prior #1 came with this song from 2010. Can you name it? ANSWER:  "All over Me."

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Monday
Apr242017

"Red, Red Wine" at the "Bar at the End of the World": Kenny Chesney plays tourist

ABC/Image Group LAKenny Chesney isn’t just singing about a “Bar at the End of the World” these days, he’s looking for it as well.

The superstar from East Tennessee most recently engaged his wanderlust on an excursion to Europe.

“There’s a lot of places that I’m curious about,” Kenny says. “I love being a tourist. I went to Italy this past year and I loved it because I love to eat,” he laughs.

“I love red wine so it was a lot of fun. I grew up loving cheese, tomatoes,” the notorious fitness buff goes on. “All that’s in Italy. I love it and… I love being a tourist when I can be.”

Since he’s not mounting a full-fledged tour this summer, one of the rare chances to see Kenny this year comes this weekend at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California. 

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Monday
Apr242017

Listen to the original Chic mix of Diana Ross' "diana" album on vinyl for the first time

Motown/UMe/UMGI

Fans of Diana Ross' iconic 1980 album diana can now listen to the songs in a whole different way, thanks to a version of the record called diana -- the original CHIC mix that's available on vinyl for the first time.

The double-LP set is pressed on pink vinyl and includes original mixes of songs composed by Chic's Nile Rodgers and the late Bernard Edwards for Diana, such as the hits "Upside Down" and "I'm Coming Out." The latter tune became a gay anthem and, later, the basis for Puff Daddy's #1 hit "Mo' Money Mo' Problems."

The discs play at 45 rpm.

Here's the track list of diana -- the original CHIC mix:

Side One
"Upside Down"
"Tenderness"

Side Two
"Friend to Friend"
"I'm Coming Out"

Side Three
"Have Fun (Again)"
"My Old Piano"

Side Four
"Now That You're Gone"
"Give Up"

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Monday
Apr242017

New Beatles-themed Hot Wheels toys feature designs based on five of the band's albums

Courtesy of MattelLast June, Mattel partnered with The Beatles to introduce a collection of Hot Wheels cars inspired by their 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. Now the toy company has released a new series of Hot Wheels based on five of the band's classic albums.

The toys feature designs inspired by The Beatles' 1968 self-titled record, a.k.a. The White Album; Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; Rubber Soul; Magical Mystery Tour; and the U.S. version of the A Hard Day's Night soundtrack. Each car's packaging also includes a miniature replica of the album cover that corresponds to the vehicle's design.

The vehicle models are based on different types of Hot Wheels cars, with The White Album being a "Hiway Hauler"; Sgt. Pepper's, a "'67 Austin Mini Van"; Rubber Soul, a "Ford Transit Super Van"; Magical Mystery Tour, a "Haulin' Gas"; and A Hard Day's Night, a "Dairy Delivery."

The Beatles Hot Wheels are priced at $4.99 and can be found at stores across the U.S. For more info, visit HotWheels.Mattel.com.

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Monday
Apr242017

Royal Blood's new single "Lights Out" influenced by Daft Punk

Credit: Eliot Lee HazelRoyal Blood's new song "Lights Out," the lead single from their forthcoming sophomore album How Did We Get So Dark?, continues the band's style of heavy drums and distorted bass riffs, but the track was influenced by a group not really known for either: Daft Punk.

"We were going for a Daft Punk thing quite a lot and trying to f*** with the rock thing, I guess," frontman Mike Kerr tells NME. "What would Daft Punk do if they wrote a rock tune?"

Meanwhile, Kerr describes the album's closing track, called "Sleep," as a "Black Sabbath hip-hop tune."

Even with Daft Punk and hip-hop influences, Kerr feels How Did We Get So Dark? is still a meat-and-potatoes record that focuses on his bass and Ben Thatcher's drums.

"The songs we felt really excited about didn't involve having synths or guitars," Kerr says. "It's funny, the moment we added anything like that, our songs went from sounding huge to really not that cool and small. It made it ordinary."

"We're a pretty tight-knit team," he adds. "It's kind of like bringing your mate on a date. They're just going to kill the vibe."

How Did We Get So Dark? will be released June 16.

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Monday
Apr242017

Of Mice & Men's post-Austin Carlile era begins with new track, "Unbreakable"

Credit: Lindsey ByrnesThe new era of Of Mice & Men begins with "Unbreakable," the first new song from the band since frontman Austin Carlile left the group last December. You can listen to "Unbreakable," and watch its desert-set video, now on YouTube.

Carlile left Of Mice & Men due to his ongoing struggle with Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder. Bassist Aaron Pauley now handles all vocal duties in the band.

"We're incredibly excited for the world to hear our brand-new song, 'Unbreakable,' which is all about staring fear in the face, overcoming fear's ability to keep you stagnant, and telling it where it stands," says Pauley in a statement.

"Through this transitional time, we've felt the tremendous outpouring of love, encouragement, and support from our fans around the world, and we can't wait to see you all soon," he continues. "None of this would be possible without you, and we thank you all, endlessly."

Of Mice & Men will hit the rock festival circuit this spring with sets at Fort Rock, Carolina Rebellion and Rock on the Range, among others. They'll also play a one-off show with Rise Against in Los Angeles on July 13.

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Monday
Apr242017

Kings of Leon plan fall headlining tour 

Credit: Jimmy MarbleKings of Leon will kick off a spring and summer headlining tour at the end of this week, and they've already announced a new batch of dates for the fall.

The fall outing begins September 27 in Charlotte and will conclude October 28 in Tampa, Florida. Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning this Friday, April 28 via KingsofLeon.com.

Along with the fall dates, Kings of Leon have also added a show in Chicago to their summer tour, held August 12.

Kings of Leon will be touring in support of their new album, WALLS, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. WALLS features the singles "Waste a Moment" and "Reverend."

Here are Kings of Leon's fall tour dates:

9/27 -- Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion
9/29 -- Nashville, TN, First Tennessee Park
10/2 -- Morrison, CO, Red Rocks Amphitheatre
10/4 -- Oklahoma City, OK, Chesapeake Energy Arena
10/7 -- Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Bowl
10/11 -- Vancouver, BC, Rogers Arena
10/13 -- Edmonton, AB, Rogers Place
10/14 -- Calgary, AB, Scotiabank Saddledome
10/16 -- Winnipeg, MB, MTS Centre
10/18 -- St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center
10/20 -- Columbus, OH, Schottenstein Center
10/21 -- Louisville, KY, KFC Yum! Center
10/23 -- Tuscaloosa, AL, Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
10/25 -- Jacksonville, FL, Dailey’s Place Amphitheater
10/27 -- West Palm Beach, FL, Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre
10/28 -- Tampa, FL, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

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Monday
Apr242017

Kendrick Lamar announces The DAMN. Tour 

PRNewsfoto/Live Nation EntertainmentAfter topping the charts with his acclaimed album DAMN., Kendrick Lamar is ready to back up the disc with a tour of the same name.

He announced that this summer, he and special guests Travis Scott and D.R.A.M. will embark on a 17-city tour, kicking off  July 12 at Phoenix's Gila River Arena.

The tour will also hit Dallas, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and more before he wraps it up in his hometown of Los Angeles with an August 6 show at the Staples Center. 

Tickets go on sale to the general public starting Friday, April 28. Presale and other ticket info can be found at www.ticketmaster.com.

Kendrick Lamar's The DAMN. Tour dates: 

7/12 -- Phoenix, AZ, Gila River Arena
7/14 -- Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center
7/15 -- Houston, TX, Toyota Center
7/17 -- Duluth, GA, Infinite Energy Arena
7/19 -- Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
7/20 -- Brooklyn, NY, Barclays Center
7/21 -- Washington DC, Verizon Center
7/22 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
7/25 -- Toronto, ON, Air Canada Centre
7/26 -- Auburn Hills, MI, The Palace of Auburn Hills
7/27 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
7/29 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
8/1 -- Seattle, WA, Tacoma Dome
8/2 -- Vancouver, BC, Rogers Arena
8/4 -- Oakland, CA, Oracle Arena
8/5 -- Las Vegas, NV, T-Mobile Arena
8/6 -- Los Angeles, CA, STAPLES Center

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Monday
Apr242017

Justin Bieber jets to Toronto for hockey playoff game

Peter YangTurns out Justin Bieber wasn't quite a lucky charm for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Justin was in attendance at the Air Canada Centre Sunday to root on the Leafs in their NHL playoff game Sunday night against the Washington Capitals.

He Instagrammed his trip to Toronto in a series of pictures including shots of two personalized Leafs jerseys reading "Da Biebz" on the back on the seats of a private plane, presumably for the trip to Toronto.

He also shared a shot of himself in a luxury box, mouth agape, hands on his head, wearing a #1 Fan foam finger with his little brother in the foreground as the Leafs lost in overtime to the Capitals, sending the Leafs home and the Caps moving on in the playoffs.

"Btw favourite picture me and my little bro crushing life!" he wrote.

At least Justin got a consolation prize -- hanging out in the luxury box during the game with Cara Delevingne, who also was wearing a personalized Leafs jersey.

Wait until next year.

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Monday
Apr242017

Is new Queens of the Stone Age album finished?

Raphael Dias/Getty ImagesLooks like new Queens of the Stone Age music is coming sooner rather than later.

Arthur D. of Left Front Door Records posted to Instagram a photo of the band at Lurssen Mastering studio with the caption, "An album just got mixed...."

Earlier this month the band uploaded a mysterious post on social media that read, "Coming Twenty Five."

And Josh Homme told Australian website News.com.au, that a new single at least will be about in time for the band's Australian tour in July.

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Monday
Apr242017

Fall Out Boy teases mysterious project, "Purple"

ABC/Phil McCartenFall Out Boy has something coming, and apparently it's called Purple.

Over the weekend the band Instragrammed a message directing people to movie theaters in Chicago for something coming from "Mania Entertainment Group."

The band then reposted a fan-made video of a trailer that apparently ran at the movie theaters.  The video opens with the Mania Entertainment Group logo over a shot of an ocean and palm trees.  We see images of what appears to be a marriage proposal on the beach, people running down a pier, storm clouds and then crashing waves that take on a purple hue.

The words "Fall Out Boy" appear, then the date  "4.28.17," but Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz took to Twitter on Saturday to correct the date, writing, "PURPLE begins..." striking through the April 28 date and replacing it with April 27.

The band also posted a GIF of a purple crashing wave.

No word yet about the nature of this mysterious project.

Fall Out Boy's last album was American Beauty/American Psycho in 2015.

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Monday
Apr242017

Make Miley Marvel: Singer makes uncredited appearance in "Guardians of the Galaxy"

ABC/Randy HolmesShe's cosmic and she's already familiar with having a secret identity after playing both Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana for years, so it makes sense that Miley Cyrus is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It turns out that Miley has a uncredited appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the voice of the evolved technology Mainframe.

The news was first reported by blogger Sarah Ruhlman on Friday, after director James Gunn made the revelation during a press junket.

“I was watching The Voice and I [thought] she’s so likable and her voice is awesome, she’s got the best voice," he said. "And then I asked [Marvel Studios President] Kevin [Feige], 'What do you think about casting Miley Cyrus as the voice of Mainframe?' He was like, 'Well, if you think we can get her…' and I got her to do it.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens May 5.

Disney is the parent of Marvel and ABC News.

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Monday
Apr242017

Kendrick Lamar debuts at #1 with "DAMN.," his mom says the album is "bomb bomb bomb bomb!"

Top Dawg Entertainment/Aftermath Records/Interscope RecordsAs expected, Kendrick Lamar's DAMN. debuted this week at number 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.  Not only that, the album had the biggest-first week numbers of any album yet this year: with more than 600,000 in sales and equivalent streams, reports Billboard.

Good news for Kendrick: More than half of DAMN.'s total -- 353,000 -- came from traditional sales, the largest sales week for an album since December, and Lamar's best sales week ever.

It's Lamar's third straight number-one album, following To Pimp a Butterfly in 2015 and Untitled Unmastered in 2016.

And it's not only fans who are loving DAMN., Kendrick's number-one fan, his mom, apparently loves it too.  On Saturday, the rapper tweeted a screen shot of a text exchange he had with his mother.

"OMG. This cd is bombbbbb!" Kendrick's mom wrote in an emoji-filled text. "This is your best one to me, no bulls***," she added including the "100%" emoji, which she used several times in the text.

"Album is bomb bomb bomb bomb!  I missed the Coachella stream. They say you was floating in air??!! Your fans are some die hards. I love them," concluded Kendrick's apparently tech-saavy mom.

Responded the rapper, "You going emoji brazy. Who taught you '100%'? Lol."

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Monday
Apr242017

Sheryl Crow's new album takes on Twitter, politics and more: "There was just so much to write about" 

Warner Bros. RecordsSheryl Crow's new album Be Here marks a reunion with Jeff Trott, the same collaborator she worked with on many of her early albums.  What this new album has in common with those, she says, is, "You can tell when you listen to it exactly what was going on in my life."

As such, Be Here not only reflects our current political climate, but also the fact that Sheryl's a single mother of two young boys. 

"I felt inspired the second I walked in the door [to the studio]," she tells ABC Radio. "There was just so much to write about."

She adds, "I mean, if you're an artist or a singer-songwriter right now, how can you deny how ugly things [were] last year, and continue to be right now, among all of us, trying to figure out how to navigate our differences?" 

While those differences inspired songs like "Halfway There," other songs on Be Myself, like "Roller Skate" and "Woo Woo," are about the negative impact of modern technology.

"How could you not write about being a mom, and raising kids in the day of social media, and what they're contending with?" Sheryl tells ABC Radio. "It sounds like a really heavy record, but it was joyful to be able to open my mouth and have so much to say."

Be Myself was released on Friday, the one-year anniversary of Prince's death.  Sheryl, a friend and musical collaborator of Prince, recalled the late icon.

"He was such an inspiration...he was the most talented person I've ever known in my whole life," she tells ABC Radio. "I've never known anyone who was so divinely gifted, on so many instruments...you can tell he just loved making music."

"So, it was definitely a gift to have known him."

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Monday
Apr242017

Fifth Harmony's Normani says their new album is the "best body of work that we've put together"

Sasha SamsonovaFifth Harmony's Normani Kordei has been tearing up the ballroom on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, consistently earning high scores with her partner Val Chmerkovskiy.  But Normani's also been working on Fifth Harmony's next album, their first as a quartet, and she says it surpasses all their previous releases.

"It's the best album that we've created," she tells ABC Radio.  "[The] best body of work that we've put together."  "It's awesome," her partner Val adds. "I like it. I was not always a fan, I'll be honest, but now I'm the biggest fan!"

Normani says she doesn't know when the album will be out, but says they're just putting the "finishing touches" on the project. 

Meanwhile, Normani should feel very comfortable with tonight's Dancing with the Stars theme: Boy Bands vs. Girl Groups.  Not only will the couples dance to songs by the likes of Destiny's Child and 'N SYNC, but Backstreet Boy and former DWTS contestant Nick Carter will be a guest judge.

Normani and Val will dance a salsa to "When I Grow Up" by the Pussycat Dolls, and then Normani will do a team dance with fellow contestants Heather Morris, Nancy Kerrigan and Simone Biles to a medley of girl group songs, including Fifth Harmony's "Bo$$."

The fun begins tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Monday
Apr242017

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Lady Antebellum will play the 19th Annual Grammy Block Party, May 2 in Nashville’s Cumberland Park, with Miranda Lambert’s beau, Anderson East, set to take the stage as well. The Recording Academy throws the private event every year for its members in Music City.

Charlie Worsham’s sophomore recording, Beginning of Things, is available now. The video for the album’s first single, “Cut Your Groove,” premiered on CMT this weekend.

The new album from Statler Brothers’ tenor Jimmy Fortune is now available nationally at Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. Jimmy Fortune: Sings the Classics features a guest appearance by Ricky Skaggs.

The latest project from Eli Young Band, Fingerprints, will be released June 16. It features the band’s latest single, “Skin & Bones.”

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