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Monday
Nov232015

Report: "The Theory of Everything" Screenwriter Hired to Pen Freddie Mercury Biopic's Script

Image Courtesy of Hollywood RecordsThe long-planned Freddie Mercury biopic apparently is set to move forward with a new screenwriter.  Deadline reports that GK Films, the company that's co-producing the movie, has hired Anthony McCarten, who wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay to the 2014 Steven Hawking biographical flick The Theory of Everything.

Ben Whishaw, who has played the character Q in the last two James Bond films, 2012's Skyfall and this year's Spectre, remains the front runner to portray the late Queen frontman, although he hasn't been confirmed for the role.  Sacha Baron Cohen previously had been hired to play Mercury, but by 2013 he was no longer connected to the project.

Queen guitarist Brian May posted a message on his official website, BrianMay.com, claiming that the Deadline article got some information correct, while missing the mark on other points.  May noted that Deadline's suggestion that Cohen exited the film over creative differences was inaccurate.

"It was our decision.  We simply realized that we wouldn't get the believable portrayal of Freddie Mercury we needed from Sacha, so we, as considerately and diplomatically as we could, moved on," May wrote.

He added, "Sacha is a great comedy character creator, but we need someone who will actually 'suspend disbelief' so that we believe we are really watching Freddie on screen."

Brian went on to explain that he and the other producers are hoping Whishaw "will turn out to be the man to bring Freddie to life."

As for McCarten, May says the screenwriter "is now doing some fantastic work, collaborating closely with us."

The guitar legend finishes by pointing out, "There are some radical new developments in ideas, and at this moment I'm more excited than I've ever been about the film's potential."  He adds that with regard to official confirmed details about the movie, "We'll make an announcement when we're ready.  It may be soon."

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Monday
Nov232015

Mariah Carey Says Marilyn Monroe Is Her Beauty Icon; Talks New MAC Collection

MAC CosmeticsWith a new holiday MAC lipstick and a full Beauty Icon cosmetics collection on the way, Mariah Carey can officially add makeup maven to her list of job titles. But who does she look to for beauty inspiration? The singer recently chatted to InStyle about her obsession with Marilyn Monroe.

"I think I was about 6 years old, and my mother was watching a memorial to Marilyn Monroe," she tells the mag. "That's when she became my beauty icon. I always loved the way she did her makeup, and her whole persona."

She even named her daughter, Monroe, after the iconic actress -- who inspired a MAC makeup line back in 2012. But when it came to designing an exclusive lip color for MAC, Mariah stayed away from Marilyn’s signature red and went with something a bit more neutral.

“I liked that we did the champagne frost, because you can pair it with other shimmery makeup," she says. "MAC was really supportive and collaborative -- we sat down and went through a whole bunch of colors and hues until we got exactly what we wanted, and it was a fantastic learning experience."

As for the full beauty collection, which comes out next year, Mariah couldn’t give too much away. "I thought it was amazing when they approached me to do the line, because there have only been maybe two other people who have done one," she says. "I can't get into the whole thing just yet, but it's exciting! It's gonna be something I'm really proud of, and can't wait to have in my own makeup room."

Her holiday lipstick, called “All I Want,” will be available next month.

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Monday
Nov232015

Adele: First Three Albums Represent “Poignant Growth Spurt” in Her Life

Dana Edelson/NBCHave you been crying to the Adele album all weekend? You're not alone. It's likely because the album, 25, touches on the emotional themes of getting older and longing for your past. For Adele, it represents the end of an era that began with her debut album, 19. She tells Yahoo! Music this record is the last in the trilogy of albums named after her age.

“I feel like it’s the most poignant growth spurt that I might have in my whole life, especially since I sort of photographed it with my albums,” she says. “So it does feel like something’s coming to an end, but also, without sounding cheesy, like a new beginning. Something old is ending and something new is starting.”

And as she’s spoken about before, the birth of her son contributed to the growth between her last album, 21, and this one. She says she had to rediscover herself with the making of 25.

“I lost myself massively when I became a mum, in a good way,” she says. “I was trying to find myself, and I couldn’t because I was so tired and so delirious. And then I realized that something much bigger than me had happened and it will be bigger than me forever, which was having a child.”

25 is already proving to be larger-than-life, too. Billboard reports that according to Nielsen Music, the album has already sold at least 2.3 million in pure album sales in the U.S. in its first three days of release. Industry insiders are predicting it could sell 2.9 million this week. That means it’ll surpass the previous single-week sales record-holder, ‘NSYNC’s No Strings Attached, which sold 2.4 copies in its debut week back in 2000.

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Monday
Nov232015

Who Is Fancy, Ariana Grande & Meghan Trainor Debut Animated Video for "Boys Like You"

Republic RecordsWho Is Fancy, Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor have all got it bad for the pool boy in the new animated music video for their collaboration, “Boys Like You.”

“Try, try, try to follow the rules/I break every one of them with boys like you,” the trio sings, as they each try to capture the pool boy's attention.

To celebrate the release of the new track, Ariana and Meghan will be joining Who Is Fancy -- birth name Jake Hagwood -- to perform the song live on Dancing with the Stars tonight.

Who Is Fancy entered the music scene earlier this year when his first single, “Goodbye,” went viral. At the time, Meghan expressed her love for the song on Instagram. Who Is Fancy later opened for Ariana on tour. His debut album is expected in December.

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Monday
Nov232015

Stone Sour Releases Cover of Iron Maiden's "Running Free" 

Credit: Travis ShinnStone Sour has unveiled their version of Iron Maiden's "Running Free," which will appear on the band's forthcoming covers EP, Straight Outta Burbank. You can listen to Stone Sour's rendition of "Running Free" now at MetalHammer.com.

"It's kick a**, it's driving, it's got the great Maiden guitar breaks that makes them such a special band," says frontman Corey Taylor of "Running Free." "So, once we settled on that song and really got into it, we were really stoked."

Along with Stone Sour's take on "Running Free," Straight Outta Burbank also features covers of Bad Brains' "Sailin' On," Motley Crue's "Too Fast for Love," Slayer's "Seasons in the Abyss," and The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," featuring contributing vocals from Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale.

Straight Outta Burbank will be released on Record Store Day Black Friday, November 27.

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Monday
Nov232015

Wolf Alice Has a Psychedelic Picnic in "Freazy" Video 

Credit: Emily ChengWolf Alice has shared the video for their song "Freazy." The colorful, psychedelic clip shows the British band having a picnic that looks like it was curated by Willy Wonka.

"Freazy" is a track from Wolf Alice's debut album, My Love Is Cool.

Wolf Alice will play a handful of U.S. shows in December before returning for a full-scale tour next April in support of My Love Is Cool.

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Monday
Nov232015

John Legend & Jamie Foxx Confirmed for Sinatra's 100th Birthday Celebration in Las Vegas

ABC/Randy Holmes

John Legend and Jamie Foxx will take part in a star-studded tribute to legendary vocalist Frank Sinatra next month to celebrate what would have been the late singer's 100th birthday. 

According to The Hollywood ReporterTina Sinatra, the youngest of Sinatra's three children, confirmed that Legend will perform "Young at Heart," and Foxx will sing "In the Wee Small Hours" on December 2 in Las Vegas, for a show that will later air as a two-hour concert special on CBS. The entertainers will be joined by Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga and Garth Brooks during the special.

"Without dad, Las Vegas' history would be very different," says Tina of her father's impact on the city. "He epitomized a lifestyle and an idea of glamour that made a genuine impact on Las Vegas in the 1950s and '60s."

Frank Sinatra was born December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey and died in May 1998.

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Monday
Nov232015

Alan Jackson Uses New Song to Help Build More than 300 Habitat for Humanity Homes

Schmidt Relations/Kristy BelcherAlan Jackson’s song “You Can Always Come Home” is the centerpiece of a new campaign to build more than 300 Habitat for Humanity homes around the U.S. The “Home for Good” project, sponsored by building products maker Ply Gem, kicks off today with a two-week online contest that will fly two winners home to be with their families during the holidays. Alan will also be a part of a Builders Blitz in the Nashville area next June during CMA Music Festival.  

The father of three wrote the song a year ago when his middle daughter, Ali, moved to California in the fall. “It reminded me of when I moved to Nashville and didn’t know anybody,” he told Parade. “I’d call my folks at home. My mama and daddy were supportive even though they were worried about me coming up here. My daddy said, ‘You can always come home. If it doesn’t work out, you can always come home.’ I’ve always remembered that.”

The lyric video for the track from his latest album, Angels & Alcohol, showcases photos of Alan and his family. You can check it out now on YouTube.

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Monday
Nov232015

Kirk Franklin Tops Charts Again with Latest Album, "Losing My Religion"

Fo Yo Soul Recordings / RCA Records

Kirk Franklin tops the chart with his eleventh studio album, Losing My Religion, his first in nearly five years.

The gospel star debuts at number one on Billboard’s Current Gospel chart and Billboard’s Christian/Gospel Albums chart.  The album also entered at number 10 on Billboard’s 200  cross-genre album Chart, according to Nielsen Soundscan. The chart-topper marks his eleventh consecutive number-one debut.

"It's been a week now and I can't thank yall enough for the love you've shown me with the new album #LOSINGMYRELIGION I still love music!" Kirk tweeted.

The album includes the lead single “Wanna Be Happy?" and guest features from Kim Burrell, Tasha Cobbs, Zacardi Cortez, Lalah Hathaway, Tamela Mann, Tasha Page-Lockhart and Sarah Reeves.

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Monday
Nov232015

Five Finger Death Punch Postpones Paris Show

Image Courtesy of Prospect ParkAfter postponing a show in Milan, Italy due to rumors of a terrorist attack, Five Finger Death Punch has now postponed their concert in Paris, France. The Paris show was scheduled for November 24.

"We are still on tour in Europe, and we are evaluating each show day by day," writes the band on Facebook. "A lot of work and analysis goes into each decision. Since the events in Paris last week, the situation is still very chaotic -- a lot of misinformation -- and a lot uncertainty in some places. But the most important factor is the safety of the fans which we are not willing to compromise."

Five Finger Death Punch postponed their show in Milan amid rumors that ISIS, the same terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the November 13 attacks in Paris, was planning on launching a similar attack on the concert.

While in Europe, FFDP has been joined on the tour by co-headliners Papa Roach. While Papa Roach wasn't on the bill for the Paris show, they were planning their own headlining concert in Berlin, Germany on November 24, which also has been postponed.

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Monday
Nov232015

After AMAs Smooch, Meghan Trainor & Charlie Puth Say They’re Just Friends

Image Group LA/ABCNew couple alert? Not so fast. Despite their intense makeout session on stage at the American Music Awards on Sunday, Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth insist they aren’t actually dating. 

Following their performance of "Marvin Gaye" -- which ended with a lengthy smooch -- Charlie was quick to shoot down any relationship rumors, tweeting, “Before it begins...we are just friends. so happy to perform with meghan tonight!! thank you for all the love everybody!”

Meghan, meanwhile, posted a picture of the kiss on Instagram, writing, “All about dat a** grab doe @charlieputh proud of you Charlie. #imsingle.”

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Monday
Nov232015

August Alsina Reveals Chris Brown Collaboration

Image Courtesy Def Jam

August Alsina is spilling on the collaborations he's lined for his sophomore album, This Thing Called Life, arriving next month.

The singer teamed with Chris Brown, who makes a guest appearance on the Knucklehead-produced “Been Around the World.”

“It’s the dopest record for Chris and I,” Alsina tells Rap-Up TV. “It’s a very, very fun record. Like I said, I been around the world and experienced a lot of whatever -- a lot of girls, a lot of situations, so to sum it up, that’s the song.”

Aug hints that he'd be open to making a joint album with Breezy. “You never know. It depends on where we at in life,” he said. “I’m so much of a lifestyle artist, it just depends on where we at. But I definitely think it would be a dope situation.”

This Thing Called Life also will include contributions from Jadakiss, Anthony Hamilton and the Lil Wayne-assisted “Why I Do It.” The set will be available on December 11.

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Monday
Nov232015

The Arcs Debut New Song from "Inventors" Album

Nonesuch RecordsThe Arcs have shared "Young," a song featured on the band's forthcoming six-song vinyl recording The Arcs vs. The Inventors Vol. 1. As with much of The Arcs' work, the track finds frontman Dan Auerbach digging deep into his psychedelic influences. You can listen to "Young," which was co-written by David Berman of the band Silver Jews, now at RecordStoreDay.com.

"We've been meeting at night, writing together for a few years," says Auerbach of his partnership with Berman. "This is the first time we’ve shared any of that. The Arcs have recorded more songs from the collaboration and we hope to release more of it very soon."

As the name suggests, The Arcs vs. The Inventors Vol. 1 is the first entry in the band's "Inventors" project, a series of new songs written by by Auerbach in collaboration with older artists. Vol. 1 includes contributions from blues, jazz and rock artist Dr. John and Los Lobos singer David Hidalgo.

The Arcs vs. The Inventors Vol. 1 will be released as a 10-inch vinyl record on Record Store Day Black Friday, November 27. The recording will be available digitally on December 11.

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Monday
Nov232015

Two-CD Joe Cocker "Ultimate Hits" Compilation Due Out in December

PRNewsFoto/Universal Music EnterprisesA new two-CD compilation celebrating the long career of the late Joe Cocker will be released on December 11.  The Life of a Man: The Ultimate Hits 1968-2013 features 36 tracks, including the soulful British rock singer's best-known studio and select live performances.

Among the memorable tunes featured on The Life of a Man are Cocker's classic covers of Traffic's "Feelin' Alright," Leon Russell's "Delta Lady," Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On" and The Beatles' "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" and "With a Little Help from My Friends."  The anthology also includes Cocker's chart-topping and Grammy-winning duet with Jennifer Warnes, "Up Where We Belong," from the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman, and his top five 1975 hit "You Are So Beautiful."

In addition, The Life of a Man features Cocker's hit 1970 live renditions of The Box Tops' "The Letter" and the 1950s jazz-blues ballad "Cry Me a River" recorded at the Fillmore East in New York City.  It also includes an in-concert performance of "You Are So Beautiful" recorded in February 2013 in Cologne, Germany.

In related news, two of Cocker's most recent albums, 2007's Hymn for My Soul and 2012's Fire It Up, Joe's final studio effort, have been reissued on CD in the U.S.  Hymn for My Soul was produced by recent Paul McCartney collaborator Ethan Johns and features Cocker's interpretations of George Harrison's "Beware of Darkness," Bob Dylan's "Ring Them Bells," John Fogerty's "Long as I Can See the Light" and Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothin'."  Fire It Up, which hadn't previously been released in the U.S., includes covers of tunes by Marc Cohn, Keith Urban and Joss Stone, and features three extra tracks that didn't appear on the 2012 version issued in Europe.

Cocker released 22 studio albums and 10 live records during his lifetime.  He died of lung cancer in December 2014 at the age of 70.

Here is the full track list of The Life of a Man: The Ultimate Hits 1968-2013:

Disc 1:
"Feelin' Alright"
"High Time We Went"
"Marjorine"
"She Came In Through the Bathroom Window"
"I Can Stand a Little Rain"
"Many Rivers to Cross"
"Shelter Me"
"You Can Leave Your Hat On"
"Can't Find My Way Home"
"Darling Be Home Soon"
"One"
"My Father's Son"
"Fire It Up"
"Unchain My Heart"
"Delta Lady"
"Cry Me a River" (Live at the Fillmore East)
"The Letter" (Live at the Fillmore East)
"With a Little Help from My Friends"
"You Are So Beautiful" (Live at the Lanxess Arena)

Disc 2:
"When the Night Comes"
"Come Together"
"First We Take Manhattan"
"Summer in the City"
"Up Where We Belong"
"Don't You Love Me Anymore"
"Unforgiven"
"Have a Little Faith in Me"
"You Are So Beautiful"
"Woman to Woman"
"The Simple Things"
"N'Oubliez Jamais"
"Tonight"
"Night Calls"
"Hard Knocks"
"I Come in Peace"
"Performance"

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Monday
Nov232015

Chris Young's "I'm Comin' Over" Tops "Billboard" Country Albums and Airplay Chart

RCA NashvilleSeven is Chris Young’s lucky number, so he made it a point to buy seven copies of his new album I’m Comin’ Over on the day of its release. His purchase in a Muncie, Indiana Walmart apparently paid off, as his fifth project debuts at number one on Billboard’s country album chart, selling 57,147 copies in its first week out. 

He also tallies an impressive fifth-place finish on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, with close to 65,000 equivalent album units, which figures in digital sales and streams. Only Justin Bieber, One Direction, rapper Logic and hip-hop artist Jeezy sold more albums than Chris this week-- and the good news just keeps on coming. His gold-certified title track, the seventh chart topper of his career, also spends its second week atop Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.

Chris takes a little time off for the Thanksgiving holiday, before resuming his tour December 3 at Duluth, Minnesota’s Amsoil Arena with Eric Paslay and Clare Dunn.

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Monday
Nov232015

Ed Sheeran Confirms Cameo in New "Bridget Jones" Movie 

ABC/Ida Mae AstuteIt’s official: Ed Sheeran has a role in Bridget Jones’s Baby.

The singer confirmed the news in an Instagram photo, where he's seen snapping an on-set selfie with Renee Zellweger in the background. “Spent the day being an actor in the new Bridget Jones movie,” he writes. “Loved it, you're gonna love it too.”

Over the summer, it was reported that producers shot scenes for the film at Ed’s Croke Park concert in Dublin. The scenes apparently featured Renee's body double sitting on a mystery man’s shoulders as they watched Ed perform.

Bridget Jones’s Baby -- the third film in the franchise -- is set to hit theaters September 16, 2016.

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Monday
Nov232015

Katy Perry's H&M Holiday Commercial Has Arrived

Courtesy of H&MKaty Perry’s magical holiday H&M commercial is ready for viewing. In the "Makers of Happy and Merry" ad, Katy stars as a “festive fairy” with rainbow-colored hair. She dances around with an array of costumed Christmas characters, including gingerbread men, nutcrackers and giant teddy bears.

The video also features “Every Day Is a Holiday,” a new song written by Katy especially for the campaign. The clip ends with Katy flying up to the camera and saying, “From all of us to all you, happy and merry holidays!”

“I had such a festive time shooting this larger-than-life holiday commercial with [director] Jonas Åkerlund, and all of the fun clothes, especially my favorite, the Elfie Selfie sweater,” Katy says in a statement.

The H&M holiday collection includes cozy sweaters, black mini-skirts, red wrap dresses, and tuxedo jackets.

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Monday
Nov232015

Andy Grammer Performing Livestream Concert Today

ABC/Randy HolmesAndy Grammer will be livestreaming a special performance Monday in celebration of the release of the deluxe version of his album, Magazines or Novels.

To watch his performance on the streaming site YOUNOW, just go to YouNow.com/AndyGrammer. He’ll be on live at 5:30 p.m. ET. Following his set, Andy will participate in a Q&A session and will even invite a few fans to guest broadcast with him.

The deluxe edition of Magazines or Novels and his new music video for “Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah)” were both released last week. On Tuesday, Andy returns to Dancing with the Stars for its season finale. And on Thursday, he’ll perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

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Monday
Nov232015

Guitarist Adam Jones Talks New Tool Album: "Things Are Really Flowing"

Credit: Tim CadienteTool has been typically cryptic when it's come to talking about their forthcoming new album, the band's first since 2006's 10,000 Days, but guitarist Adam Jones has revealed a few nuggets of info in a new interview with Rolling Stone.

"I'll tell you, it's wonderful," Jones says of the album's progress. "Things are really flowing and going really well, and I'm just blown away at the stuff that's coming together. I'm excited and can't wait for it to be done."

Jones adds that Tool has "20 potential song ideas," one of which is a possible 14-minute song currently called "Descending." Tool performed an abridged version of "Descending" during the Monster Mash Music Festival Halloween night.

"The song's amazing," says Jones. "It's one of those things, too, where we're playing this 'movie trailer' version of it and we just want to go into the main part of it. The main part's the best part, I think, but we just don't want to give that away yet. We're just doing a little taste test all the way through and put it together."

As for frontman Maynard James Keenan, who recently replied to a question about the new Tool album with "There's nothing to say," Jones says the singer has heard the new music and is writing lyrics.

"He's got other stuff he does, so we keep him in the loop, and he has written lyrics, but he's still working on that and he'll commit," Jones says. "The best thing for all of us is when the song is done. I don't write leads until the song is done. You want to get a vibe. And Maynard can work on lyrics, but until the song's done and he knows how the end is, he's still figuring out the flow."

Tool will be touring North America alongside Primus starting in January.

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Monday
Nov232015

Rihanna Releases First Video from Her ANTIdiaRy

ABC/Lou Rocco

Last week, Rihanna announced a new website as a part of her unprecedented $25 million deal with Samsung to sponsor her upcoming album and tour. Now, she's released the first video in her ANTIdiaRy, an immersive experience that takes fans on a journey through Rihanna’s life story.

In the first minute-long clip, titled “Bedroom,” Rihanna gazes out the window in all-white child's bedroom while reflecting on her younger days. The singer plays hid and seek with two children and follow them down a long hallway, where she picks up a key labeled “R8.”  At the end, there's another child wearing a gold crown like the on RiRi sports on cover art of her upcoming album, which was designed by Roy Nachum.

“Like Rihanna, Samsung is committed to re-imagining and reinventing what’s possible in technology and culture, pushing boundaries to deliver what’s next to our fans -- and hers,” reads a press release. “And just as Rihanna has served as a voice of disruption in art, music, fashion, and culture, Samsung has once again, disrupted what’s possible with its innovative ambitions and technologies.”

The newly formed website is the latest promotion strategy building up to the release of Rihanna's eighth album, ANTI.

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