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Sunday
Feb162014

Taylor Swift's Valentine's Day: Roses, Cupcakes and Champagne...in the Studio

Image Courtesy Taylor Swift via TwitterWho needs romance when there's new music to be made?  Taylor Swift spent Valentine's Day this past Friday with two very important men in her life: her producers Max Martin and Shellback.

On Twitter, Taylor posted a black-and-white photo of herself standing with the two super-producers, both of whom worked with Taylor on her album Red.  She's working with them again on her forthcoming album, and she captioned the photo, "It was a studio Valentines Day with Max and Johan!"

But it wasn't all work and no Valentine's Day treats for the trio.  In the photo, Taylor, Martin and Shellback, who Taylor calls by his birth name, Johan, are pictured holding glasses of Champagne.  Shellback is holding a rose; Taylor, who has a surprised look on her face, is holding a cupcake, and there are trays of cupcakes and cookies with heart-shaped decorations on the table in front of them. 

Taylor's new short haircut is on display in the photo, while Martin is sporting a sweater that says "Genius."  That's probably accurate, considering that a very short list of hit songs he's either co-written, produced or both include Taylor's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble," Katy Perry's "Roar" and "Teenage Dream," Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" and "Since U Been Gone," Maroon 5's "One More Night," Pink's "Raise Your Glass," and Britney Spears'  "...Baby One More Time" and "Oops!...I Did It Again."

Now that Taylor's RED tour is done for the time being -- it won't resume again until June -- she's got plenty of time to focus on the new album, which will likely be out later this year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb162014

Guns N' Roses Guitarist Says Pubic Reports of Las Vegas Police Investigation Full of "False Information"

Image courtesy DJ Ashba via InstagramGuns N' Roses guitarist DJ Ashba says there's been "a lot of false information" put forth about his Las Vegas police helicopter tour last August -- during which he proposed to his girlfriend.

A Las Vegas police captain has retired -- the Las Vegas Review-Journal  quoted a source as saying, “He was basically forced out” -- in the wake of an internal investigation after he arranged the private tour for Ashba.

In an interview with KVVU-TV in Las Vegas, Ashba says, "there's a lot of false information that was fed to the public. We followed protocol. It was an approved ride." The station reported that there are more details to the incident that "Ashba isn't ready to share just yet."

Ashba took the helicopter tour in August as part of his proposal to his girlfriend, who said yes. He posted photos of the tour on Instagram, thanking the police captain who retired and writing, “That was the most incredible day of our life!!”

After an internal investigation, the police captain retired rather than face demotion and according to KVVU, "the pilot was transferred out of the air support detail."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb162014

Peter Frampton Schedules Summer Tour Dates with Doobie Brothers, Buddy Guy

Photo: Gregg RothPeter Frampton was last seen in the backing band featured on the star-studded CBS special The Beatles: The Night That Changed America, but fans will be able to catch him on the road this summer with some other well-known artists.  The veteran British rocker has scheduled a trio of concerts with The Doobie Brothers in June and July, and he's also teaming up with blues legend Buddy Guy for what appears to be a one-off edition of his Guitar Circus tour in Los Angeles in August.

Frampton's shows with The Doobies are scheduled for June 26 in the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey; July 12 at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, New York; and July 13 at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York.  His concert with Guy will take place on August 27 at the famed Hollywood Bowl.

Last year, Frampton's Guitar Circus tour visited dozens of cities, and included guest appearances by such stars as B.B. King, Rick Derringer, Roger McGuinn, Don Felder, Leslie West, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, Toto's Steve Lukather, Los Lobos' David Hidaldo and Pearl Jam's Mike McCready.  No word yet if Peter's planning a full-fledged 2014 version of the trek.

In other news, Frampton recently revealed via his Facebook page and Twitter account that he was mixing music that he composed for his April 2013 collaboration with the Cincinnati Ballet.  He reports that he'll probably make the tracks available exclusively as a digital download, although he hasn't finalized release plans.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb162014

Frankie Ballard Drives Through a Snowstorm to Play Hometown Show in Detroit

Sweet Talk PRFrankie Ballard didn't let a major snowstorm keep him from playing for a hometown crowd in Detroit Thursday night. Frankie had just wrapped up a day full of interviews in New York City to promote his new album, Sunshine and Whiskey, when his flight to Detroit was cancelled. Instead of cancelling the concert at Coyote Joe's, Frankie rented a car and drove through the snow himself.

Frankie continues promoting his new project with a show in Nashville Tuesday night.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb162014

Pharrell Williams Invites Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Nelly & Busta Rhymes to NBA All-Star Performance

Cliff Lipson/CBSLast week, The NBA announced a star-studded list of entertainers scheduled to appear during this weekend's All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, including Pharrell Williams. Now, a slew of special guests are expected to join his player introductions performance.

According to Billboard, Williams will be joined by DiddySnoop DoggNelly and Busta Rhymes at the event, which will be held inside the New Orleans arena. The special will air live on Sunday beginning at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.

As previously reported, Janelle Monae will take stage for the NBA All-Star Game halftime show. Backed by Trombone Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue, the funky singer will perform alongside Earth, Wind & Fire and Gary Clark Jr.  Kendrick Lamar is scheduled to perform on Saturday, February 15,  before the Sprite Slam Dunk contest.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Saturday
Feb152014

Mariah Carey Producer Says New Album Has Been in the Works Since 2010

Image Courtesy Mariah Carey via InstagramIf you feel like you've been waiting forever for a new Mariah Carey album, imagine how she must feel.  Her producer tells Billboard magazine that the diva literally has been working on her forthcoming disc since 2010.

Producer Bryan-Michael Cox tells the publication, "We started on this before Mariah got pregnant," before the summer of 2010.  But Mariah's difficult pregnancy, and the arrival of twins Monroe and Moroccan in April of 2011 forced her to delay work on the project.  It was further delayed, Cox says, by the singer's stint as a judge on American Idol.  When that was over, Mariah's shoulder injury, which she suffered last July while filming a video, put a stop to things once again. 

However, Cox says that all these delays have helped the album develop naturally. "Life happens, and that added to the organic process of making this album," he explains. "Over the past couple of years we've added songs, scratched songs, slow-baking this record like a honey-baked ham. And when you take a bite of that ham -- people will be extremely and pleasantly surprised."

The album, which is apparently no longer called The Art of Letting Go, is now due May 6.  What does it sound like? Cox says it's a "mashup of what's new, a mélange of R&B, hip-hop and pop plus the classic melodies and lyrics we know her for." 

Billboard reports that Mariah and her label are hoping for a substantial hit with her new single "You're Mine (Eternal)."  Since her last album, 2009's Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, she's released five songs, but none of them have charted higher than #15 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Feb152014

Alicia Keys to Officially Open US Toy Fair

AliciaKeys.com

Alicia Keys, who is the co-creator of interactive children's app The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee, has been selected to cut the ribbon at this weekend's U.S. Toy Fair opening ceremony.

According to ToyNews-Online.biz, the singer will help kick off the festivities at the largest toy show ever held in North America.  More than 30,000 attendees from 100 countries are expected at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

The singer will also hold a press conference about the app alongside an executive from the Toy Industry Association.

The event will begin on Sunday, February 16 at 10 a.m. ET and runs through February 19.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Feb152014

Graham Nash Schedules Two Solo Concerts in April at New California Venue

GrahamNash.comGraham Nash has announced his first two solo concerts of 2014.  The folk-rock legend will perform on April 29 and 30 at a new City Winery franchise that's scheduled to open earlier that month in Napa, California.

The 72-year-old singer/songwriter will be accompanied at the shows by guitarist Shane Fontayne and keyboardist James Raymond, who are both members of Crosby Stills & Nash's touring band and who both played with Graham on the two solo tour legs he mounted this past fall.  Among those gigs were several performances at the City Winery venue in New York City.

"Having played the City Winery in New York, the experience of sharing music and stories with an attentive audience was wonderful," says Nash in a statement.  "I look forward to playing the new City Winery in Napa this April."

Tickets for the upcoming concerts will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, and can be purchased at CityWinery.com/Napa.

Meanwhile, Nash also is continuing to promote his 2013 memoir, Wild Tales.  He has scheduled a handful of book-signing events this month and in March, including an appearance this Thursday at the 26th International Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.  Graham also will deliver a keynote address at the event.

Three of his book-signing appearances will coincide with stops on Crosby, Stills & Nash's previously announced 2014 U.S. trek, which runs from a March 4 concert in Richmond, Virginia, through a March 24 show in Durham, North Carolina.  You can check out CSN's complete itinerary at GrahamNash.com and CrosbyStillsNash.com.

Here's a full list of Nash's book-signing appearances; all times are local:

2/20 -- Kansas City, MO, Folk Alliance Conference (11:30 a.m.)
2/20 -- Kansas City, MO, Rainy Day Books (6 p.m.)
3/10 -- Des Moines, IA, Barnes and Noble (6 p.m.)
3/21 -- Nashville, TN, Parnassus Books (12 p.m.)
3/24 -- Durham, NC, Regulator Bookshop (12 p.m.)

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Feb152014

Paul Stanley of KISS Slams Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Calls Institution "Elitist"

Brian LoweDon't expect Paul Stanley and his band mates to KISS up to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now that they're set to be inducted into the institution. The singer tells the U.K.'s Classic Rock that he doesn't feel honored to be included in the Hall.

"Their attitude is elitist and it doesn't reflect the public," Stanley says.  He adds that the Hall's vote to induct KISS -- more than 15 years after the band first became eligible for induction -- "was done begrudgingly and because it had become absolutely ludicrous that they were choosing to ignore us."

Stanley's attitude doesn't mean that he'll boycott the ceremony or throw a tantrum when he gets on stage, though. "It means a lot to the fans and I understand it because it’s validation for them," he said. "So for that reason I accept graciously and accept on their behalf."

KISS fans hoping for an onstage jam with Stanley, Gene Simmons and original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss might be disappointed. Though Stanley says he thinks that the two estranged members "deserve and belong up there," he says that when it comes to actually plugging in and playing, "I have no plans at the moment...and that includes playing with Ace and Peter or anyone else. My plan at the moment is to go and accept the award. Anything else, we’ll see how it unfolds."

This year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Feb152014

George Strait, Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift and More Help Choose Country's 40 Most Influential Artists

EB Media PRNo one knows country music better than the format's own stars, so CMT surveyed superstars like George StraitLuke Bryan, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift and Blake Shelton to determine the top 40 most influential artists in country music's history. The results will be aired in a new feature, CMT All-Time Top 40: Artist's Choice, premiering this Saturday at 11 a.m. ET on CMT Hot 20 Countdown.

The results will be revealed one-by-one each week through December. Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, The Band Perry, Florida Georgia Line, Eric Church, Hunter Hayes, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Jake Owen are among the other stars who voted in the countdown.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb142014

Christina Aguilera Engaged to Boyfriend Matt Rutler

Image Courtesy Christina Aguilera via TwitterIt was a Valentine's Day to remember for Christina Aguilera: she got engaged.

The singer tweeted on Friday, February 14, "He asked and I said...." along with a photo of her hand grasping the hand of her boyfriend, film producer Matt Rutler.  A huge diamond ring is visible on her ring finger.

This will be Christina's second marriage: she and her first husband Jordan Bratman, the father of her six-year-old son Max, split in October of 2010.  As US Weekly points out, the two finalized their divorce on Valentine's Day 2011.  Christina met Rutler on the set of her 2010 film Burlesque and they've been together ever since.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb142014

Shakira Unveils Cover for New Self-Titled Album 

RCA RecordsShakira's definitely gotten her body back after baby and she's showing it off on the cover of her forthcoming album.

The singer and mother of one-year-old Milan unveiled the cover artwork for the self-titled disc on Friday.  It shows her standing in the corner of a room with white walls, holding a guitar on her lap. She's wearing a shawl, a black bandeau top and some sort of black skirt or pants with a zip up the front.  Plenty of bare midriff can be seen, and her long blonde hair cascades over her shoulders. 

The disc, Shakira's first studio album since 2010, features the hit duet with Rihanna, "Can't Remember to Forget You."  It'll be out March 25.  Shakira returns to The Voice as a coach alongside Usher, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton on February 24.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb142014

K. Michelle Issues 26-Song Mixtape on Valentine's Day

Image Courtesy K. Michelle via InstagramAs promised, K. Michelle has delivered her free mixtape Still No F**ks Given. Although the project arrived on Valentine’s Day, the set includes explicit lyrics and lethal verses aimed at her nemesis, Tamar Braxton.

"The wait is over! The only I filter I use is on Instagram.  Download my new mixtape NOW!" she tweeted on Friday. "I don't do it for the charts, I do it for the hearts."

The 26-song project includes a reworked version of Braxton's "She Can Have You," which was initially K. Michelle's song before it was ultimately placed on Tamar's Winter Loversland.

"[Tamar] started it and I did that f**kin song three years ago," she says during the outro, "So where's the real shade?"

Hosted by DJ Sense, the sequel to 2012′s 0 Fucks Given can be downloaded via DatPiff.com now.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb142014

Omarion Expecting First Child with Girlfriend

1Omarion.comCongratulations are in order for Omarion. On Valentine's Day, the R&B crooner announced that he and his girlfriend, Apryl Jones, are expecting their first child together.

The 29-year-old singer revealed the news by sharing an Instagram video of the ultrasound. "Say hi :) #comingsoon #thelegacybegins @aprylsjones is my heart, what a great gift! #ecstatic," wrote Omarion. "I really appreciate all this love! At some point in time in your life you will create something that is a direct reflection U I’am so happy!"

So what are the happy couple having? The mom-to-be hinted that she is pregnant with a boy. "Hi daddy @1omarion another king is born. #greatestdad #NewMom," she wrote on her Instagram page.

Aside from preparing himself for fatherhood, Omarion plans to deliver his new album, Sex Playlist, later this summer.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb142014

Boy George Hopes "Gorgeous Young Man" Justin Bieber "Makes It Through"

Dean Stockings/Justin Bieber via InstagramFormer Culture Club frontman Boy George knows what it's like to have your personal troubles splashed on the front pages: In his career, he's been arrested, sentenced to community service and struggled with a drug habit.  That's why he has nothing but sympathy for troubled teen star Justin Bieber.

Speaking to E! Online, George, who shot to fame with Culture Club when he was in his early twenties, says, "Unfortunately when you're at that age, you won't listen to anyone.  I did the same thing.  People told me time and time again -- not just at 22 but it happened up until 10 years ago -- to sort of grow up a bit." 

He says Justin's problems -- which include being arrested for DUI and assault, and suspected of felony vandalism -- are due to "immaturity," adding, "It's being played out in the spotlight and I'm quite sure there will be an interview in the future where he says, 'I can't believe I did that.'  Or not.  I hope he makes it through.  I think he's a gorgeous young man.  He's obviously talented, but he's sort of lost in the show biz antics of it all."

The "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" singer noted that very few young stars are "ready" for stardom, saying, "There's no school.  It's fumbling in the dark.  My attitude to life is we're all kind of clinging to a rock, basically.  Some of do it better than others."

Boy George recently announced an eight-day U.S. tour in support of his upcoming album, This Is What I Do, out March 25.  The trek will kick off April 18 in Philadelphia, and run through April 29, wrapping up in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb142014

Paul Stanley of KISS Slams Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Calls Institution "Elitist"

Brian Lowe/KISS Catalog Ltd.Don't expect Paul Stanley to "KISS" up to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now that he and his band mates are set to be inducted into the institution.  The singer tells the U.K.'s Classic Rock that he doesn't feel honored to be included in the Hall.

"Their attitude is elitist and it doesn't reflect the public," Stanley says.  He adds that the Rock Hall's vote to induct KISS -- more than 15 years after the band first became eligible for the honor -- "was done begrudgingly and because it had become absolutely ludicrous that they were choosing to ignore us."

Stanley's attitude doesn't mean that he'll boycott the ceremony or throw a tantrum when he gets on stage, though.  "It means a lot to the fans and I understand it because it's validation for them," he maintains.  "So for that reason I accept graciously and accept on their behalf."

KISS fans hoping for an onstage jam with Stanley, Gene Simmons and original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss might be disappointed.  Though Stanley says he thinks that the two estranged members "deserve and belong up there," he adds that when it comes to actually plugging in and playing, "I have no plans at the moment...and that includes playing with Ace and Peter or anyone else.  My plan at the moment is to go and accept the award.  Anything else, we'll see how it unfolds."

This year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb142014

Avicii's Provocative New Video Features a Lesbian Bonnie & Clyde

Island RecordsThere was nothing controversial about Avicii's videos for the hits "Wake Me Up" and "Hey Brother," but the Swedish DJ’s new video, for the single "Addicted to You," should certainly raise some eyebrows. It features same-sex kisses, bare butts and a suicide bombing.

Set in the 1930s, the clip is a spin on Bonnie & Clyde, featuring a pair of outlaw lovers who start their crime spree by robbing a restaurant at gunpoint.  These lovers, however, are both women, and after they pull off a second job, we see them cuddling together in bed in lacy lingerie, staring into each others' eyes while being watched by nude men; we see their bare bottoms.

When the pair rob a bank, however, things go very wrong.  They show up, make everyone get on the floor and attach a bomb to the bank's safe.  They celebrate by smooching each other while standing on one of the banks' desks, but then, the cops show up.  A sniper shoots one of the women in the back, and she dies in her partner's arms.

Wiping away her tears, the surviving robber emerges from the bank, which the cops have surrounded, carrying a leather satchel.  Suddenly, she starts running towards them, and we realize she's taken the bomb off the safe and placed it in the satchel.  She blows up herself, the cops and the bank, all in one fell swoop.

"Addicted to You" appears on Avicii's album True.  It features vocals by Audra Mae, a singer who happens to be the great-great-niece of the late Judy Garland.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb142014

Guns N' Roses, System of a Down Members Added to Lineup of Rocking Las Vegas Charity Event

Motley Records/Robert John/Courtesy System of a Down via FacebookThe lineup has been finalized for a star-studded Las Vegas benefit event that will take place February 27 and will raise awareness about the neurological disorder MSA, or multiple system atrophy.  Ex-Guns N' Roses members Slash and Matt Sorum, along with System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan former INXS singer J.D. Fortune, Lisa Loeb and others have been added to the fundraiser's bill, which also features previous announced performers Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar and Mötley Crüe's Vince Neil.

The various musicians will be backed by house band The Sin City Sinners, and are expected to perform some of their own hits as well as jam with other artists on the lineup.

The event, dubbed Kerry Simon Says Fight MSA, is being held in conjunction with the Keep Memory Alive organization.  The benefit was organized and will be hosted by Simon, a celebrity chef who was diagnosed with the disease in December, and also will include a cocktail party with gourmet dishes prepared by him and a variety of other well-known chefs.  Bill Murray will serve as one of the bash's emcees.

The fundraiser, which will be held at the Keep Memory Alive Center, also will feature a silent auction and a live auction.

Tickets can be purchased now at KeepMemoryAlive.org, and cost $500 for general admission and $1,000 for a VIP package that includes a pre-party reception offering celebrity meet-and-greet opportunities, as well as admission to an after-party at the Simon Restaurant & Lounge at the Palms Casino Resort.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb142014

Kid Ink Announces Dates for My Own Lane Tour

RCA RecordsKid Ink has revealed the dates for his My Own Lane tour, which is presented by Live Nation's "Ones to Watch" concert series with Skype.

The rapper will begin his 21-date North American tour on April 1 in Vancouver and conclude on May 31 in Cincinnati. The tour will include two supporting acts: Baltimore rapper King Los and Miami native Bizzy Crook.

"I live on the road, so once again I can't wait to get out there and perform all my new records and see how the fans respond," Ink says in a statement.  "Bringing along friend and collaborator King Los is also going to be great. I know he's going to add some excitement to the bill as well as Bizzy Crook, whom I hear lots of great things about."

Tickets are on sale to the general public now.

The outing will support his Ink's latest album, My Own Lane, which spawned his single "Show Me," featuring Chris Brown, which is currently getting a lot of airplay.

Here are the dates for the My Own Lane tour:

4/1 -- Vancouver, BC, Commodore Ballroom
4/2 -- Seattle, WA, Neptune
4/4 -- San Francisco, CA, The Fillmore
4/6 -- Hollywood, CA, House of Blues Sunset
4/7 -- San Diego, CA, House of Blues  
4/8 -- Riverside, CA, Riverside Municipal Auditorium
4/13 -- New Orleans, LA, House of Blues New Orleans
4/16 -- Charlotte, NC, The Fillmore
4/18 -- Silver Spring, MD, The Fillmore Silver Spring
4/19 -- Boston, MA, House of Blues Boston
4/20 -- New York, NY, Irving Plaza
4/22 -- Philadelphia, PA, TLA
4/23 -- Cleveland, OH, House of Blues Cleveland
4/25 -- Detroit, MI, St. Andrews Hall            
4/27 -- Indianapolis, IN, Deluxe at Old National Center
4/30 --  Grand Rapids, MI, Intersection
5/1 -- Toronto, Canada, The Phoenix
5/2 -- Chicago, IL, House of Blues Chicago
5/24 -- Dallas, TX, House of Blues
5/25 -- Houston, TX, House of Blues
5/31 -- Cincinnati, OH, Bogart's

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb142014

Lil Wayne’s "Tha Carter V" Almost Finished

Young MoneyLil Wayne has nearly completed recording his long-awaited album Tha Carter V, according to Cash Money Records Vice President of Promotion Mel Smith.

In an interview with Canisius College's student newspaper The Griffin, Smith said Wayne is looking to surprise fans Beyonce-style with an unexpected release.

"We’re very close to dropping the album," Smith told The Griffin. "It’s going to be a huge surprise to everyone, it’s an incredible album."

He goes on to add, "I can’t release the date because he wants to surprise people, [Lil' Wayne] wants his true fan base to get excited but he’s worked extremely hard on it and you won’t be disappointed."

Smith notes that a selected few have already previewed the disc and it seems Wayne is picking up where he left off with 2011’s Tha Carter IV, which sold 964,000 copies in its first week.

"Everybody who’s heard it feels the same way, the general excitement of something big coming," he said. "You’re just generally excited for when the world hears it."

The newest installment in Tha Carter series will serve as the follow-up to last year's I Am Not a Human Being II.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio