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Monday
Jun302014

Bruce Springsteen, Eagles, Paul McCartney Land on "Forbes" Magazine's 2014 "Celebrity 100" List

Danny Clinch/Shore Fire MediaForbes magazine has just released its 15th annual "Celebrity 100" list and Bruce Springsteen is the among the highest-ranking veteran music acts on the tally.

The Boss landed 25th on the list, which ranks the world's most powerful celebrities based on such factors as estimated earnings, marketability, and media presence.  The New Jersey rocker earned an estimated $81 million over the past 12 months, which saw Springsteen and his E Street Band tour the world in support of his latest album, High Hopes.

Other legendary rock artists appearing on the tally include the Eagles and Paul McCartney.  The Eagles ranked 26th after earning a whopping $100 million, while Sir Paul, who brought in $71 million, landed at #29.

Topping Forbes' latest "Celebrity 100" list is pop/R&B superstar Beyonce, who not only earned $115 million over the past year, but is among the most talked-about stars in the business.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Bon Jovi Is the Highest-Ranking Rock Act on "Forbes" Magazine's 2014 "Celebrity 100" List

AEG LiveForbes magazine has just released its 15th annual "Celebrity 100" list and, once again, Bon Jovi is the highest-ranking rock act on the tally.

Bon Jovi landed 13th on the list, which ranks the world's most powerful celebrities based on such factors as estimated earnings, marketability and media presence.  The New Jersey rockers earned an estimated $82 million over the past 12 months.  Despite guitarist Richie Sambora taking a hiatus to focus on personal matters and drummer Tico Torres being temporarily sidelined to undergo a gall bladder operation, the band continues to be a hugely successful touring act thanks to its trek in support of its latest album, What About Now.  The group ranked seventh on last year's edition of the list.

Other veteran rockers appearing on the tally include Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles and Paul McCartney.  The Boss was 25th on the list after bringing in $81 million, the Eagles ranked 26th with a whopping $100 million in earnings and Sir Paul landed at #29 with $71 million.

Topping Forbes' latest "Celebrity 100" list is pop/R&B superstar Beyonce, who not only earned $115 million over the past year, but is among the most talked-about stars in the business.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Beatles Manager Brian Epstein Honored with Commemorative Plaque in London

Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesLate Beatles manager Brian Epstein was honored with a commemorative plaque in London on Sunday.

The historical marker -- a "Blue Plaque" awarded by the English Heritage Foundation -- is located on the site of Epstein's NEMS Enterprises at 5/6 Argyll Street, next door to the London Palladium.  Epstein's offices were on the fifth floor of the building from 1964 until shortly after his death at the age of 32 in 1967, Billboard reports.  Epstein would have turned 80 this year.

"I know Brian would have been very proud to think that he had earned a Blue Plaque in the West End of London," said Paul McCartney in a message of goodwill sent to the ceremony.  "He played a very important role in guiding the career of us Beatles and more than that he was a lovely man whose friendship we all valued and who I will always remember with great fondness.  Congratulations Brian.  Love from Paul McCartney."

Among the luminaries present at the unveiling was '80s pop star Adam Ant, whose mother was McCartney's cleaning woman in the 1960s. Also on hand was actor Andrew Lancel, who will play Epstein in an upcoming production of a new play called Brian Epstein: The Man Who Made the Beatles that will open August 5 in London's Leicester Square Theatre.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Michigan Native Madonna Funding Projects in Detroit to Help Revitalize City 

Cliff Lipson/CBSMadonna, a former resident of Bay City and Rochester, Michigan, has announced her long-term commitment to help revitalize the city of Detroit.

Madonna's plan involves providing funding for three local organizations that are bringing hope to the financially strapped city, where 60 percent of children live in poverty.  First, she'll fund a new facility for the city's Downtown Youth Boxing Gym, which provides free after-school boxing and educational mentoring to kids in Detroit's Eastside area. 

Madonna also will provide the Detroit Achievement Academy with new equipment, art and music supplies, including iPads and Smart Boards for each classroom.  Finally, she'll provide support for The Empowerment Plan, a non-profit organization that hires and trains homeless women to sew garments for other homeless individuals, both in Detroit and throughout the country.

"I was deeply inspired by the efforts of so many people who I met who have dedicated themselves to helping the kids and adults in Detroit elevate themselves from the cycle of poverty," Madonna said in a statement.  "I have seen the results their commitment and hard work have already accomplished...it was obvious to me that I had to get involved and be part of the solution to help Detroit recover."

She added, "A piece of my heart will always be in Detroit and I'm humbled to be able to give back to my community."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Bruno Mars Serenades Injured Fan Whose Doctors Credit His Music for Her Recovery

John Paul Filo/CBSMany fans will tell their favorite singers that their music helped save their lives. But over the weekend, Bruno Mars had a chance to meet a very special fan for whom that claim wasn't an exaggeration.

Last year, 11-year-old Zumyah Thorpe was in a car crash that killed her mother and two sisters.  She survived, but suffered a severe head injury, of a type that only has a 30 percent survival rate.  She's made a remarkable recovery though, thanks to steady doses of Bruno's music, which the nurses at the hospital played for her every night.  Doctors credit the constant repetition of songs like "Just the Way You Are" with helping Zumyah learn how to walk and talk again.

According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, at Bruno's concert in Cleveland on Saturday night, the singer came face-to-face with little Zumyah, and sang "Just the Way You Are" with her cradled in his arms. 

Afterwards, he posted a photo of himself with Zumyah on Instagram, writing, "Tonight's show was dedicated to this amazing young woman. I love you Zumyah."  He added, "Tonight you gave my band and I something we've never felt before. you're an inspiration to the world!" and included the hashtag #WeLoveYouZumyah.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Ariana Grande Reveals Details of New Album "My Everything"

Republic RecordsAriana Grande has now released details of her eagerly awaited second album.  It's called My Everything, and it's due August 25.  If you pre-order the disc now, you'll get access to exclusive merchandise and video content.

In addition to features from Iggy Azalea and Big Sean, who you can hear on "Problem," Ariana's album features collaborations with The Weeknd, Childish Gambino, A$SA Ferg and ZeddHarry Styles of One Direction wrote one of the tracks, "A Little Bit of Your Heart," just for Ariana, and another track, "Why Try," was co-written by Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic.  The deluxe edition of the album features three bonus tracks, including one described as a "surprise epic team-up."

As previously reported, Ariana will be featured on Total Ariana Live, an MTV special, on July 2.  She'll debut her new single, "Break Free," during that special.  On Friday, you can see her on Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular and on the special VH1 Presents Philly Fourth of July Jam with The Roots.

Here is the standard track listing for My Everything:

"Intro"
"Problem"  (feat. Iggy Azalea)
"One Last Time"
"Why Try"
"Break Free"  (feat. Zedd)
"Best Mistake"  (feat. Big Sean)
"Be My Baby"  (feat. Cashmere Cat)
"Break Your Heart Right Back"  (feat. Childish Gambino)
"Love Me Harder"  (Ariana Grande & The Weeknd)
"A Little Bit of Your Heart"
"Hands on Me"  (feat. A$AP Ferg)
"My Everything"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio  

Monday
Jun302014

Zac Brown Band Joins Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular Lineup

Image Courtesy Southern GroundZac Brown Band has joined the lineup for the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC this Friday night. Hunter Hayes and Miranda Lambert are among the previously announced performers along with Enrique Iglesias, Lionel Richie and Ariana Grande.

Nick Cannon hosts the two-hour 4th of July special at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The show broadcasts live from the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Taylor Swift Keeping Elite Company on "Forbes" Celebrity 100 List

Image Courtesy Sarah BarlowTaylor Swift is keeping pretty elite company on Forbes' Annual Celebrity 100 list. She comes in at #18 on the countdown of the world's most powerful famous people. Toby Keith is ranked at #51 thanks to his touring schedule and multiple business ventures, while Kenny Chesney is ranked at #71.  Beyoncé tops the list, which is based on income, influence and power.

Here are Forbes' top 10 Most Powerful Celebrities.  To see the full rankings, go to Forbes.com.

1. Beyoncé Knowles, $115 million
2. LeBron James, $72 million
3. Dr. Dre, $620 million
4. Oprah Winfrey, $82 million
5. Ellen DeGeneres, $70 million
6. Jay Z, $60 million
7. Floyd Mayweather, $105 million
8. Rihanna, $48 million
9. Katy Perry, $40 million
10. Robert Downey Jr., $75 million


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Ed Sheeran's X Is Britain's Fastest-Selling Album of 2014 

Atlantic RecordsWe'll find out later this week how Ed Sheeran's new album, X, pronounced "multiply," did on the Billboard album chart.  But back home in the U.K., he's a smash.

Britain's Official Charts Company reports that Ed's new album has become the U.K.'s fastest-selling of 2014 to date, moving over 182,000 copies its first week on sale.  The previous record for the fastest-selling album of the year was held by Coldplay's Ghost Stories, but Ed surpassed that album's first-week sales by 14,000 copies.

Ed reacted to his accomplishment by tweeting, "'I'm on cloud 9 and keep laughing at everything. love you all x."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Wiz Khalifa Eyes August Release for "Blacc Hollywood"; Readies Under the Influence Tour

Image Courtesy Miko Lim/Atlantic Records

Wiz Khalifa has a big summer ahead. The rapper has announced that his third studio album, Blacc Hollywood, will arrive on August 19. The follow-up to 2012's O.N.I.F.C. will include his hit single "We Dem Boyz."

With less than two months to go, Wiz has already put the finishing touches on the project. "I'm completed, finished, done, wrapped up. We just need to put it out to the people," the rapper told ABC News Radio during the Billboard Music Awards back in May.

Before the rapper releases his long-awaited set, he will embark on his upcoming trek, officially dubbed the Under the Influence of Music Tour. The outing begins July 24 at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and its scheduled to close on August 24 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, California.

So what can people anticipate from his tour?

"They can expect to get really stoned, not only off of the highest grade marijuana in their town, but really just good music. It's going to be a really fun experience," he says.

Wiz explained the reasoning for handpicking his supporting acts including Tyga, Ty Dolla $ign, Rich Homie Quan, DJ Drama, Iamsu, Mack Wilds and Sage the Gemini.

"I just respect the fact that they're young, they got a lot of energy, they bring positivity to the game and that's what I'm all about; so that's why we're doing this thing," Wiz says.

Tickets for his third annual trek are still available via Live Nation.

Here are  the dates for the Under the Influence of Music Tour:

7/24 -- Scranton, PA, The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
7/25 -- Camden, NJ, Susquehanna Bank Cente
7/26 -- Virginia Beach, VA, Farm Bureau Live
7/27 -- Bristow, VA, Jiffy Lube Live
7/29 -- Toronto, ON, Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
7/31 -- Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
8/1 -- Burgettstown, PA, First Niagara Pavilion
8/2 -- Mansfield, MA, Xfinity Center
8/3 -- Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
8/5 -- Tinley Park, IL, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
8/6 -- Noblesville, IN, Klipsch Music Center,
8/8 -- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Blossom Music Center
8/9 -- Elkhorn, WI, Alpine Valley Music Theatre
8/10 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
8/12 -- Maryland Heights, MO, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
8/14 -- Dallas, TX, Gexa Energy Pavilion
8/15 -- ,Woodlands, TX, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
8/17 -- Albuquerque, NM, Isleta Amphitheater
8/19 -- Morrison, CO, Red Rocks Amphitheatre
8/22 -- Mountain View, CA, Shoreline Amphitheatre
8/23 -- Chula Vista, CA, Sleep Train Amphitheatre
8/24 -- Irvine, CA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Michigan Native Madonna Funding Projects in Detroit to Help Revitalize City 

Cliff Lipson/CBSMadonna, a former resident of Bay City and Rochester, Michigan, has announced her long-term commitment to help revitalize the city of Detroit.

Madonna's plan involves providing funding for three local organizations that are bringing hope to the financially-strapped city, where 60% of children live in poverty.  First, she'll fund a new facility for the city's Downtown Youth Boxing Gym, which provides free after-school boxing and educational mentoring to kids in Detroit's Eastside area. 

Madonna will also provide the Detroit Achievement Academy with new equipment, art and music supplies, including iPads and Smart Boards for each classroom.  Finally, she'll provide support for The Empowerment Plan, a non-profit organization that hires and trains homeless women to sew garments for other homeless individuals, both in Detroit and throughout the country.

"I was deeply inspired by the efforts of so many people who I met who have dedicated themselves to helping the kids and adults in Detroit elevate themselves from the cycle of poverty," Madonna said in a statement.  "I have seen the results their commitment and hard work have already accomplished...it was obvious to me that I had to get involved and be part of the solution to help Detroit recover."

"A piece of my heart will always be in Detroit and I’m humbled to be able to give back to my community,” she added.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Is Rihanna's Eighth Studio Album to Be Titled "R8"?

Image Courtesy Eric McCandless/CBSRihanna has alerted her 36 million Twitter followers that she's working on her eighth studio album.

Over the weekend, Rih posted a photo of a mixing board and captioned it "#R8," perhaps announcing the project's title.

Although the singer has not confirmed the title, her Navy fans are already expressing their excitement. One tweeted, "Have a feeling Rihanna's album R8 is gonna be amazing !!" Another added, " i'm excited for . We miss you and your music. It's not the same without you."

The album will serve as the follow-up to 2012′s Unapologetic, which spawned hits including "Diamonds," "Stay" and "Pour It Up."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

What Can't Kelly Clarkson Can't Wait for Her Baby to Do? 

Justin Lubin/NBCWhen a new baby arrives, most parents start looking forward to the day he or she sleeps through the night, or is toilet trained, or old enough to say "Mommy."  Kelly Clarkson, however, is looking forward to something much simpler from her new baby daughter, River Rose.

"Is it weird that I wait every day to hear my little baby laugh?" she tweeted. "I just really want to hear her giggle and all I get are quirky smiles :)"

River Rose, the first child for Kelly and her husband, Brandon Blackstock, arrived June 12.   Kelly shared a photo of the baby on Twitter on June 20, calling her, "the greatest thing on the planet."  Brandon has two children from a previous marriage.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Coheed and Cambria Helps Keep Roof Over Fan's Head

Image Courtesy Universal Music Group DistributionCoheed and Cambria has come to the aid of a fan who was at risk of losing her home. C&C "superfan" Cyndi Crouch, who helps run the band's website, Cobalt & Calcium, began aGoFundMe page when she and her husband were days away from being legally removed from the house after falling behind on the mortgage. The couple, their three children and a fourth child a month away from birth were "completely out of options and desperate," according to Crouch's GoFundMe post. They asked for help raising $3,500 to cover the arrears and other bills. 

The band heard of Crouch's situation and pledged $3,000, in a donation notated with "Cyndi, You have been there for us for so long, we deeply appreciate your neverending support. You will get through this! Sincerely, Coheed and Cambria". 

Crouch has posted a lengthy thank-you to C&C pledging, in part, "If I live for another hundred years, I will spend them doing exactly what I have been, telling everyone about this band, this community, showing my support in everything they do not only as a band, but as individuals as well."

It could be that at least one member of Coheed and Cambria is particularly sensitive to the needs of a family these days: frontman Claudio Sanchez and his wife celebrated the birth of their first child earlier this month.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Mick Jagger Pokes Fun at Himself and the Stones in Promo Video for Monty Python's London Performances

Eagle Rock EntertainmentMick Jagger stars in a hilarious new video that was used to introduce Monty Python at a news conference held Monday in London to promote the famed comedy troupe's run of 10 sold-out shows at the city's O2 Arena, which kicks off on Tuesday.

In the clip, the Rolling Stones singer is shown sharing a couch with drummer Charlie Watts in a hotel room as they watch a soccer match.  An assistant for the band then enters the room and mentions that Jagger had wanted to look over the set list for an upcoming concert, while the singer points out that a newspaper review of a previous gig had complained that the lighting had been too dark.  Mick proceeds to ask where The Stones' lighting director Patrick is, and the assistant informs him that he's in London to work on Monty Python's O2 shows.

Jagger then delivers a stream of critical comments about the troupe that comically echo complaints that have been leveled at the Rolling Stones in recent years.

"Monty Python?  Are they still going?" Mick asks, sounding surprised.  When his assistant informs Jagger that the comics have scheduled 10 performances, the singer responds by declaring, "Ten shows!  Wow, that's pretty amazing!" then adds that the events "must be pretty expensive."

Jagger continues his digs at the Python crew, saying, "I mean, who wants…to see that again.  It was really funny in the '60s."

After the assistant comments that the first Monty show sold out in just 40 seconds, Mick answers back, "Still, it's a bunch of wrinkly old men trying to relive their youth and make a load of money.  I mean the best one died years ago [referring to Graham Chapman].  Maybe back in the '70s it was fantastic, I mean it was the funniest thing [but] you've seen it all before…I mean they put it all up on YouTube."

His rant complete, Jagger finally gets around to the songs he wants the Rolling Stones to play at their next concert.  "Well, we'll start with something everyone knows like 'Let's Spend the Night Together' and then we can move onto 'Get Off of My Cloud' and then should hit 'Satisfaction,' I think then," he says, mentioning tunes that all date back well into the 1960s.

Lastly, the assistant suggests, "'Dead Parrot Sketch?'" which, of course, is one of Monty Python's most famous comedy routines.  Jagger answers, with a straight face, "Yeah, 'Dead Parrot Sketch.'"

The Monty Python Live (mostly) shows, which are the troupe's first live performances since 1980 and are expected to be their last ever, are scheduled through a July 20 event that will be broadcast live in movie theaters in more than 100 countries across the globe.  Meanwhile, the Rolling Stones' next concert is scheduled for Tuesday in Stockholm, Sweden.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Kenny Chesney Takes a Step Forward with New Album, "The Big Revival," Due Out September 23

Image Courtesy Sony Music/Blue ChairKenny Chesney's new album, The Big Revival, is due out September 23 featuring his latest single, "American Kids." His pal Grace Potter makes a guest appearance on the project along with Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski. Kenny took the summer off the road to make sure he got the new album right, and the title, The Big Revival, points to the renewed passion Kenny feels for his music.

He says, "After all this time, if I can’t push myself and give the fans something that inspires them, that gets them pumped up, there’s no reason to just make a record to make a record.”

While Kenny kept an eye on country radio while making The Big Revival, he made sure his new songs would relate to his fans' everyday lives.

“There’s so much more to country than trucks, creek beds and cut-offs,” Kenny says with a laugh. “That stuff is fun, but when you look at how people really dig in and work, the things they face every day, you wanna remind ’em how hardcore they really are, show ’em that and also show ’em that you know there’s more to ’em than people might think.”

The music video for "American Kids" is now posted on Vevo.

 
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

The Who to Launch 50th Anniversary UK Tour in the Fall; May Record Some New Music First

Ross Halfin/Universal Music GroupThe Who has revealed the first dates of their planned 50th anniversary tour, a run of late-fall concerts that will see the band performing in their home country, the U.K., as well as in Ireland.  The Who Hits 50! British Tour 2014 will get underway on November 26 in Dublin, Ireland, and currently is scheduled through December 17 in London.

The group is planning to play a set that touches on all eras of their long career, from their early days when they were called The High Numbers, to the present.  Who guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend describes the show that the band will play on the trek as "Hits, Picks, Mixes and Misses," combining the group's classic material with a few some more obscure gems.

The set could even include some brand-new songs.  The BBC reports that at a press conference held Monday at London's famed Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club that Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey attended, Pete revealed he'd recently given Roger demos of three new tunes that Daltrey approved of, "so we are now considering trying to get into the studio this summer."

Townshend described the music he's currently writing as "pretty complicated -- it's more prog rock than pub rock".  He also said The Who may record the new material in a "more basic way" than usual, taking a cue from Daltrey's recent collaborative album with ex-Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson.

Townshend and Daltrey also gave a brief acoustic performance as part of the press event.

Meanwhile, in a statement released in conjunction with the tour announcement, Daltrey says the UK trek "is the beginning of the long goodbye."  Townshend adds about the 50th anniversary outing, "We are what we are, and extremely good at it, but we're lucky to be alive and still touring.  If I had enough hairs to split I would say that for thirteen years since 1964 The Who didn't really exist, so we are really only thirty-seven."

Who fan club members can purchase pre-sale tickets for the concerts now.  Here are all of the confirmed dates for The Who Hits 50! British Tour:

11/26 -- Dublin, Ireland, The O2
11/28 -- Belfast, UK, Odyssey Arena
11/30 -- Glasgow, UK, SSE Hyrdo
12/2 -- Leeds, UK, First Direct Arena
12/5 -- Nottingham, UK, Capital FM Arena
12/7 -- Birmingham, UK, NIA
12/9 -- Newcastle, UK, Metro Radio Arena
12/11 -- Liverpool, UK, Echo Arena
12/13 -- Manchester, UK, Phones 4U Arena
12/15 -- Cardiff, UK, Motorpoint Arena
12/17 -- London, UK, The O2


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun302014

Elton John Claims Jesus Would Support Gay Marriage; Plans "Quiet" Wedding for Next Year

Joseph Guay. T/Capitol RecordsElton John has weddings on his mind.  Since gay marriage became legal in the U.K., he and his partner, David Furnish, plan to tie the knot at some point next year.  Elton also believes that if Jesus Christ were alive today, he would be in favor of gay marriage.

When asked by Sky News if the Church of England -- which allows its clergy to marry -- should also allow its gay clergy to marry, Elton answered, "Of course," and also said he didn't understand why Catholic priests have to be celibate, either. 

"These are old and stupid things," he said.  "If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen. He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that's what the Church should be about."

Elton also said that the Church of England, which is Protestant, could learn a few things from Pope Francis, the current Catholic Pontiff, when it comes to tolerance.  "The new Pope has been wonderful, he's excited me so much," said the rock legend. "He's stripped [the Church] down to the bare bones and said it's all basically about love and taking everybody in: inclusiveness." 

As for his own marriage, Elton told Sky News, "I don't think we can get married until next year.  However, when we do do, it will be very quiet and off-the-cuff -- we had our big shebang when we had our civil union.  But we will."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Jun302014

American Authors Having the Best Days of Their Lives Playing Their Hit in Concert

Andrew Zaeh/Island Def JamAmerican Authors are currently out on a big summer tour opening for OneRepublic, and of course, a highlight of the set every night is the band's hit "Best Day of My Life."  One reason, says singer Zac Barnett, is that there's so much crowd participation that he gets to take a bit of a break.

"It's awesome because I get to relax," Zac tells ABC News Radio about performing the song live. "I'm like, 'Alright, you guys sing it for me. Here we go.'  It's a lot of fun." 

He adds, "It's cool though, because yeah, people are definitely singing along to 'Best Day of My Life,' which is absolutely amazing, but it's really great to see people singing along to our other songs too that are on the album, and that we've been touring with for a little bit now."

As the song has gotten more and more popular, the band has found themselves playing to larger crowds, and Zac says it makes their live shows even better.  "We thrive off the energy that's given from the crowd so it's always fun to play off that," he tells ABC News Radio. "And, y'know, seeing the rooms get bigger and bigger, and more people come out, it's just a dream come true."

One thing that makes "Best Day of My Life" a great singalong for fans are the "whooh-oohs" and the "whoa-oh-ohs" that are such an integral part of the song.  Zac says that the song wasn't planned as a hit single, though: it was actually cobbled together from many different songs the band had lying around, and they just decided to throw in a little bit of everything.

"We didn't go into it thinking any which way because it was a bunch of different pieces of songs all put together," he explains. "And when you go into a writing process, ready to do that, you're just having fun because you're just all sitting in a room together, a big group of you, and you're going, 'Well, hey! I have this piece. Let's put that in there. Well, where should we go from there? Oh, I don't know.'"

He adds, "It really was a lot of fun, and adding in the 'whoas' and the 'whoohs' and all that stuff was just us having a good time in the studio." 

The band is touring with OneRepublic through the middle of August, with a few individual appearances at festivals scattered throughout.  Then, they head to Europe for more shows.  This fall, they'll be headlining a leg of the annual Honda Civic Tour.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Jun302014

Afrojack Feels "Ten Feet Tall" Thanks to Debut Album, Sting Duet 

ABC/Fred LeeHe was featured on Pitbull and Ne-Yo's #1 smash "Give Me Everything," he co-wrote Beyonce's "Run the World" and he's collaborated with everyone from David Guetta and will.i.am to Nick Cannon and Chris Brown.  Now Afrojack, one of the top deejays and producers in the world, is finally out with his debut album, Forget the World and a hit single, "Ten Feet Tall."  The Dutch deejay tells ABC News Radio, "It's an amazing feeling."

"It's sort of a statement for me, and all my fans that I've seen all over the road over the last couple of years," Afrojack told ABC News Radio about Forget the World. "I've been touring for the past five years around the world, doing like five, six thousand people shows, sometimes ten, twenty.  And, for me, now to show the world basically what we do on one album, it's an amazing feeling." 

Forget the World features collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees and even music legend Sting, who joined Afrojack Friday on ABC's Good Morning America as he became the first-ever EDM artist to perform on the show's Summer Concert Series.  So how did Afrojack, born Nick van de Wall, get Sting to sing on his album?  Even he couldn't believe the rock icon agreed to do it.

"The song was so amazing and different, that we said, like, 'Who could sing this?'" says Afrojack of the song, called "Catch Tomorrow."   "And then someone said, 'Sting.'  And I said, 'Yeah, sure, let me call him right now!  Also I just spoke to Obama on the phone and Oprah, and they also want to do a verse.' Like, it's Sting! You don't call Sting!" 

Luckily, Afrojack's friend Martin, a big-time music executive, knew Sting and played the track for him.  The former Police singer liked what he heard, and agreed to the collaboration.

"Sting always wants to do something new.  That's why I like working with him, because he likes new stuff.  Martin showed him some of my videos and some of my live stuff and the message behind my music and he loved it," Afrojack tells ABC News Radio.

Afrojack and Sting drew a crowd of 3,000 on Friday, turning New York City's Central Park into a huge party.  But the deejay says whether he's doing that, or a festival, or spinning at a mega-club in Vegas or Ibiza, the connection with his fans is the most important thing.

"I recently played for seventy thousand people.  I played Ibiza last year in a couple of clubs for two thousand people, but I also like doing a thing like Good Morning America, or something -- you're with two, three thousand people, and you get to talk in between, and you get to actually talk to your fans, so I also love that," he says. "So for me, it doesn't really matter, as long as we have a place where we can get together."

Afrojack also likes the fact that he can now include his own music, from his own album in his deejay sets.  In fact, his current hit "Ten Feet Tall" is becoming quite the floor filler. 

Asked to name the one song that's guaranteed to get a party going, Afrojack tells ABC News Radio, "Up 'til a couple of weeks ago, it was always "Sweet Nothing" by Calvin Harris, and now, I'm really happy to say, it's always 'Ten Feet Tall!'  Like, if I'm playing...and the party's going and I'll take it to the next level, [I put on] 'Ten Feet Tall,'  and they'll be like, 'Yaaaaay!!!'  So it's amazing." 


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio