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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Thursday
Jul252013

Selena Gomez on Track for First #1 Album

Image courtesy Selena Gomez via TwitterSelena Gomez turned 21 this week, but next week, she'll likely be receiving an awesome present: her first #1 album.

Billboard reports that Selena's new album Stars Dance is on track to debut at the top of the Billboard chart next week, with projected sales of 95,000 copies.  She'll also have the distinction of knocking Jay Z's new album Magna Carta...Holy Grail out of the top spot, which it's hogged for the past two weeks.

Stars Dance is Selena's fourth studio album, but it's her first to produce a top 10 hit, "Come & Get It," which is what's helping drive sales.  The highest Selena had previously gone on the album chart was #3, with her 2011 disc When the Sun Goes Down.  In fact, all her previous albums, which she recorded with her band The Scene, have made the top 10 and gone gold.

Selena should also get a sales bump over the weekend, since she'll be performing on both ABC's Good Morning America and Live with Kelly and Michael on Friday morning.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Meek Mill Teases with "Levels" Trailer

Warner Bros. Records

Meek Mill is letting fans take a glimpse into the video for his hit single, "Levels."

The MMG rapper has unleashed a minute-long trailer for the track, which was directed by Hype Williams. In the slow-motion preview, Meek shows us his fancy lifestyle complete with a sprawling mansion, expensive cars and fine jewelry.

The grandiose clip seems to match his flashy lyrics, "Little ni**a, we don’t rock the same clothes, f**k the same hos, ’cause there’s levels to this sh**.”

The visual, which includes a cameo from Rick Ross, is expected to premiere soon.  Just before the trailer ends, fans are reminded that Maybach Music Group’s Self Made 3 compilation will be available on September 17.

In other news, Meek has submitted guest verses to Trina's newly released single, "Ass Fat," the first from her upcoming sixth studio album, due out later this year.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Thompson Square Get Frisky in '50s-Set "Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About" Video

Stoney Creek RecordsThompson Square scandalizes their straight-laced neighbors in the new video for "Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About." The married duo's Keifer and Shawna Thompson portray a young, suburban couple in the 1950s who just can't get enough of each other. The guy living next door to them can't get enough of Shawna's pinup-girl looks, and that guy's wife isn't too happy about it.

Thompson Square shot the video at Patsy Cline's former home in North Nashville. You can see it now on CMT and at CMT.com.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Arcade Fire, Bon Iver & David Byrne Featured on Upcoming Album of Peter Gabriel Covers

Real World RecordsArcade Fire, Bon Iver and David Byrne are just some of the stars who have recorded their own versions of Peter Gabriel songs for a new album titled And I'll Scratch Yours, which is due out September 23.  The 12-track collection is a companion piece to Gabriel's 2010 studio effort, Scratch My Back, which features the legendary musician's renditions of tunes by most of the same artists who contributed tracks to And I'll Scratch Yours.

And I'll Scratch Yours will be available as a single standalone CD, and as part of a two-disc set packaged with Scratch My Back.  Digital versions of both releases also will be sold.

Explaining the concept behind the project, Gabriel notes, "Rather than make a traditional covers record, I thought it would be much more fun to create a new type of project in which artists communicated with each other and swapped a song for a song, [that is,] you do one of mine and I'll do one of yours, hence the title -- Scratch My Back - And I'll Scratch Yours."

Among the songs on the new record are Arcade Fire's take on "Games Without Frontiers," Bon Iver's reimagining of "Come Talk to Me" and Byrne's funky and quirky rendition of "I Don't Remember." Other artists who appear on And I'll Scratch Yours include Feist, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, and Brian Eno.

And I'll Scratch Yours and Scratch My Back - And I'll Scratch Yours can be pre-ordered now at RealWorldRecords.com.

Here is the full track list for And I'll Scratch Yours:

"I Don't Remember" -- David Byrne
"Come Talk to Me" -- Bon Iver
"Blood of Eden" -- Regina Spektor
"Not One of Us" -- Stephin Merritt
"Shock the Monkey" -- Joseph Arthur
"Big Time" -- Randy Newman
"Games Without Frontiers" -- Arcade Fire
"Mercy Street" -- Elbow
"Mother of Violence" -- Brian Eno
"Don't Give Up" -- Feist featuring Timber Timbre
"Solsbury Hill" -- Lou Reed
"Biko" -- Paul Simon

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Mateo to Release New "We've Met Before" EP Next Month

Photo by Jonathan BeckermanNext month will see the release of Mateo's newly EP, We've Met Before.

Following the buzz from his Suite 823 mixtape, the Cincinnati native teamed with producer Kerry “Krucial” Brothers and Zeke MacUmber for the new project. The set is described as "a warm blend of R&B/alternative music."

"I'm in a better place than I have ever been musically," Mateo said in a statement. "With this EP, I want to show fans how I've evolved. They may have met me before, but I have so much more to give them."

Led by the single "How Good Is Your Love," We've Met Before will be issued digitally on August 13.

The news comes on the heels of Mateo concluding Keyshia Cole's 18-city Woman to Woman Tour, alongside Chrisette Michele.  Mateo's also also working on his forthcoming full length album, due next year, and should announce fall tour dates soon.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Cage the Elephant Putting Finishing Touches on Third Album; Announces Tour Dates with Muse

Colin LaneCage the Elephant is currently in the studio finishing up work on their follow-up to 2011's Thank You Happy Birthday. Frontman Matt Shultz says that the upcoming release will feature a fair amount of musical experimentation.

"When we set out to make this record we had a few different vague ideas for what direction we wanted to move in musically, but as usual the end result turned out nothing like what we had originally envisioned," he notes in a statement. "There was an element of playfulness and swagger absent on our last record that unexpectedly began to surface. At the same time the songs had a more inner-directed and reflective sound.”

While a title and release date for the album has yet to be released, the band is expected to unveil more information about the record in the coming weeks.

In other Cage the Elephant news, the band has signed on to support Muse on a batch of dates for their upcoming fall tour. That outing begins on September 3 at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC, and will make stops in Nashville, Philadelphia and Denver, among other cities.

Here are the tour dates:

9/3 -- Charlotte, NC, Time Warner Cable Arena
9/4 -- Duluth, GA, The Arena at Gwinnett Center
9/6 -- Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
9/8 -- Pittsburgh, PA, Consol Energy Center
9/9 -- Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
9/11 -- Washington, D.C., Verizon Center
9/17 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
9/19 -- Salt Lake City, UT, EnergySolutions Arena

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Gary Allan Returning to the Stage Friday Following Knee Surgery on Monday

MCA NashvilleGary Allan isn't letting a little knee surgery keep him off the stage. The singer went under the knife Monday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, and doctors are pleased with the results. Gary is feeling great and thanks fans for their well wishes.

He says, "I may be in a knee brace the next time you see me on the stage, but I'm looking forward to rocking Mississippi on Friday night!"

Gary is referring to his Friday night show at the Horseshoe Casino in Robinsonville, MI.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

New Compilation Featuring Rod Stewart Rarities to Hit Stores in September

Mercury/UMeA new compilation featuring rare songs from the early part of Rod Stewart's career will be released on September 3.  Rarities is a two-CD set boasting 24 tracks that the legendary singer recorded during his years on the Mercury label, which span from 1969 to 1974.

The collection includes alternate takes of songs, outtakes, singles that didn't appear on his studio albums, B-sides and live BBC Radio performances.  Among the tunes featured on Rarities are covers of The Who's "Pinball Wizard," Bob Dylan's "Girl from the North Country" and Jimi Hendrix's "Angel," as well as the Gerry Goffin/Carole King composition "Oh! No Not My Baby."

The album also offers an early Stewart foray into the "Great American Songbook" -- a rendition of Cole Porter's "Every Time We Say Goodbye."  In addition, Rarities contains two versions of Rod's chart-topping classic "Maggie May," one of them an early take that features unfinished lyrics and the other an unreleased September '71 live performance recorded for BBC Radio.  Another live BBC Radio recording included on album features Stewart and all of his Faces band mates playing Elton John's "Country Comfort."

As respected music journalist Scott Schinder points out in the retrospective's liner notes, "For many serious fans, Stewart's Mercury years represent his creative peak, and the music that he made during that period retains a special place in the hearts of his admirers."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Pixies Unveil Artistic Second Video for “Bagboy”; Schedule Tour Dates in LA & NYC

Facebook.com/PixiesOfficialWhile the Pixies’ first video for “Bagboy” followed the exploits of a teenage boy as he goes shopping and comes home to trash his house, the latest video for the single is considerably less destructive. The new “Bagboy” video, which is currently streaming on RollingStone.com, features a variety of 3D sketches and cartoons inspired by an art piece by Vaughan Oliver titled Bagboy.

Frontman Black Francis says that when the band was presented with two videos for the single, they couldn't decide which one to release. "We didn't set out to have two music videos for 'Bagboy,' but once we saw both of these, we knew we didn't want to use just one," he tells the magazine. "They're so good, so creative, and each in its own way, and both made by up-and-coming filmmakers."

In other Pixies news, the band has added a small batch of North American tour dates to their calendar. The group will be performing a total of eight shows this fall: four concerts in New York and four in Los Angeles. That outing begins  with a three-night residency at the El Rey Theatre in L.A. starting September 9. Meg Myers, Parquet Courts and Reignwolf will support the band on select dates.

Here are the tour dates:

9/9 -- Los Angeles, CA, El Rey Theatre
9/10 -- Los Angeles, CA, El Rey Theatre
9/11 -- Los Angeles, CA, El Rey Theatre  
9/12 -- Los Angeles, CA, Mayan Theatre
9/17 -- New York, NY, Bowery Ballroom
9/18 -- New York, NY, Bowery Ballroom  
9/19 -- Brooklyn, NY, Music Hall of Williamsburg
9/20 -- New York, NY, Bowery Ballroom 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Ryan Leslie Ready to Release Black Mozart Film, Album Still Under Lock and Key 

Facebook.com/RyanLeslie

Fans have yet to hear a single from Ryan Leslie's forthcoming album, Black Mozart, especially after the R&B singer lost his laptop last year; a move that would cost him $1 million. Still, fans will be able to see how Ryan recorded his fourth studio album in Vienna, Austria, when he debuts a feature film, Black Mozart Experience: Short Film Premiere in New York City on Thursday.

Ryan will debut the film during his July 25 concert at New York City's Webster Hall. "Instead of an opening act for the concert, we'll actually have the screen come down and for 25 minutes you'll see a window into the recording process of Black Mozart," he explained to ABC News Radio earlier this year.

The film will show behind-the-scenes footage of how he recorded the album, including how he took over a floor at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna for a week, and how he even flew out young producers, such as Cardiak from New Jersey.

"I went and recorded the album where Mozart developed his talent," Ryan said. "...And not only did I go to Vienna, Austria, I think it's important to pave the way for other young people to see a side of life and a culture that maybe they...have [not] had the experience to see."

As for any collaborations on the album, Ryan would only share one name: Fabolous, whom he's worked with in the past to produce such hits as "Addiction."

"Not even three hours later, right there in his studio, he put a verse on a record called 'Green,'" Ryan shared of their studio session for the album.

Ryan felt like he had to create an "incredible" album for his fans, especially since he canceled tour dates after he was sued for reneging on a reward of $1 million when his laptop was stolen last year in Cologne, Germany, during his European tour.

"I've always lived my life and felt totally invincible because I believed that anything that I created had substance and value and is a real culture contribution that's going to outlast and outlive any headline, and outlast and outlive any trial or tribulation that I go through," RLes told ABC News Radio. "So I felt...like it was my responsibility to -- in light of those circumstances -- create something that was going to be incredible."

"Aside from that man, this is just like my other offerings. It's really my artistic expression. It's really what I want to say," he added.

The Black Mozart Experience: Short Film Premiere premieres in New York City tonight. There's still no release date on the actual album.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" Video Surpasses 100 Million Views

Facebook.com/RobinThickeThe visual to Robin Thicke's summer smash "Blurred Lines" seems to be more popular than the song itself.

The singer recently tweeted his amazement that the clean version of his video has reached over 100 million views on Vevo, making it his first clip to accomplish such a feat. "Wow #grateful," he wrote. "Can these sexy ladies win some moon men at the 's?" He also attached the link for fans to vote for the Video of the Year category for MTV's annual ceremony.

The singer previously released two versions of the Diane Martel-directed clip. To date, the not-safe-for-work version, which was banned from YouTube and featured models strutting around topless alongside featured guests T.I. and Pharrell, attracted 3.2 million views.

The singer's highest-ranking video prior to releasing "Blurred Lines" was the visual for his 2006's "Lost Without U," which garnered 21 million views and starred his wife, Paula Patton, as his love interest.

As previously reported, "Blurred Lines" remains atop the Billboard Hot 100 for a seventh week, making it the longest-running #1 single of the year.  Total sales of the track now top 3.6 million.  Robin's album, also called Blurred Lines, is due Tuesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Fergie Reportedly Holding Baby Shower This Weekend; "Push Present" On the Way

Thomas Niedermueller/Life Ball 2013/Getty ImagesFergie will have co-ed baby shower this weekend, and it's got quite the star-studded guest list, reports The New York Post.

The paper reports that the singer and her hubby Josh Duhamel, who are expecting a boy, have invited Neil Patrick Harris, Kelly Osbourne, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Julianne Hough, Glee creator Ryan Murphy and designer Marc Jacobs, among others, to the bash, which is being thrown for by her agent and by fashion designers Dean and Dan Caten.

Meanwhile, the expectant mom can look forward to another gift when the baby arrives.  Josh tells People magazine that he plans to bow to the current trend and present Fergie with a "push present" -- a reward of sorts for enduring labor and delivery.

"Yes, I will be getting her a push present. I just don’t know quite what yet,” Josh tells People, grousing jokingly, "You got Christmas, you got birthdays, you got Valentine’s, you got Mother’s Day, you got every other thing in between…I don’t know who came up with this push present idea, but I think it’s probably a female."

But Fergie has more to celebrate than just her own pregnancy: she also just revealed on Twitter that her sister is going to be a mother as well. 

"I am BEYOND excited my lil sis is pregs!!!!!," she wrote, and retweeted a post from her sister Dana, along with a shot of Dana's sonogram.  Dana is 13 weeks along.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

TLC to Release New Material; Watch Biopic Trailer Now

Facebook.com/TheOfficialTLC

TLC is gearing up for a major comeback, 11 years after their last album.  The best-selling R&B girl group in history has new material, a reunion concert performance and TV biopic in the works.

The new material will appear on a just-announced greatest hits package which will feature four new tracks, including "Meant to Be," which was penned by Ne-Yo.  TLC also tapped Dallas Austin and Lady Gaga for songwriting and production on the set.  The collection is due for release on October 15.  The set reunites the group with mentor L.A. Reid.

Meanwhile, VH1 has posted a two-minute preview of the biopic, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.  The preview shows Lil Mama as Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Keke Palmer as Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and Drew Sidora as Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins reprising some of the performances from TLC's most famous music videos. The movie is slated to premiere on VH1 on October 21.

Finally, fans can catch T-Boz and Chilli performing live during the group's reunion performance at this year's Mixtape Festival, with Lil Mama as their special guest filling the shoes of the late Lopes who died in a 2003 car crash. The event takes place on July 27 at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey Park, PA.

"For ten years we have been mourning the death of our sister Lisa, and although we have discussed the option of bringing in someone to perform with us, it never felt right at the time," Chilli said in a statement. "Watching Lil Mama on the set of our movie CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story reminded us of Lisa's spirit, and, for the first time since her passing, we felt everything come together in an organic way."

T-Boz adds, "By bringing [Lil Mama] in, we will continue to keep TLC's music alive for a new generation of fans. We are thrilled to be writing this new chapter in the TLC story."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Killswitch Engage Drummer Justin Foley Breaks Collarbone, Drops Out of Upcoming Asian & European Tour

Joey Foley/Getty ImagesBad news for Killswitch Engage fans in Asia and Europe.  Drummer Justin Foley announced on Thursday that he won’t be taking part in the band’s upcoming tour because he broke his collarbone in a recent bicycle accident.

"I've never missed a show, and I'm devastated that I have to miss this tour,” writes Foley in a statement on the group’s Facebook page. “I'd like to apologize to the fans and everyone involved with KsE for the inconvenience I've caused. I will do everything in my power to heal and return at full strength and as quickly as possible.”

Killswitch Engage adds that As I Lay Dying drummer Jordan Mancino will fill-in for Foley on their Asian/European trek, which kicks off on Saturday with an appearance at the Fuji Rock Festival in Niigata, Japan.

"I'm stoked to have this opportunity to help out Justin and my brothers in KsE,” said Jordan in a statement. “A few years back, Justin filled in for me on tour while I was dealing with the passing of my father. I'm now able to return the favor with a hope that Justin will heal from his injury quickly and effectively so he can get back out here and shred as he always does for the KsE fans!"

Foley is expected to return to his place behind the drum kit for the Killswitch Engage’s co-headlining North American tour with Lamb of God, which begins on October 22 at Kool Haus in Toronto, ON.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Justin Moore Reveals Off the Beaten Path Tour Dates with Randy Houser and Josh Thompson

Photo Credit: Kristin BarloweJustin Moore's new album, Off the Beaten Path, comes out September 17, and he'll follow it with a tour of the same name launching November 1 in Springfield, MO. Randy Houser and Josh Thompson are also on the bill for the 57-date trek. Justin promises fans who caught his Outlaws Like Me tour that this show will step things up a notch or two.

He says, "From the production to venue size to Randy and Josh, we're taking it to another level."

Justin chose Randy and Josh as his opening acts because they are two of his best friends in town. He also loves their singing and songwriting.

"We are thrilled to welcome them to our second headlining tour and know that they will help us tremendously," Justin says. "As a fan, I can't wait to watch them play … It's gonna be a party every night!”

Randy returns the compliment saying, "Over the last few years some of my favorite shows have been with Justin and Josh, so making a tour out of it is going to be special.  I can't wait for fans to join the party!"

Justin Moore's Off the Beaten Path will wrap up April 26 with a show in his home state of Arkansas.

Off the Beaten Path Tour Dates:

11/1 -- Springfield, MO, Shrine Mosque
11/2 -- Enid, OK, Enid Event Center
11/3 -- Fort Smith, AR, Forth Smith Convention Center
11/8 -- Tupelo, MS, Bancorp South Arena
11/9 -- Columbus, GA, Columbus Civic Center
11/10 -- St. Petersburg, FL, Vinoy Park
11/14 -- Saginaw, MI, The Dow Event Center
11/15 -- Highland Heights, KY, The Bank of Kentucky Center
11/16 -- Youngstown, OH, Covelli Centre
11/20 -- Topeka, KS, Kansas Expocentre
11/21 -- Lincoln, NE, Pershing Center
11/22 -- Mankato, MN, Verizon Wireless Center
11/23 -- Fargo, ND, Scheels Arena
11/30 -- Chicago, IL, Rosemont Theatre
1/23 -- Greensboro, NC, Greensboro Coliseum
1/24 -- Knoxville, TN, Knoxville Civic Auditorium
1/25 -- South Haven, MS, Landers Center
1/30 -- Lacrosse, WI, LaCrosse Center
1/31 -- Springfield, IL, Prairie Capitol Convention Center
2/1 -- Duluth, MN, Amsoil Arena
2/6 -- Fairfax, VA, Patriot Center
2/7 -- California, PA, Cal U Convocation Center
2/8 -- Huntington, WV, Big Sandy Superstore Arena
2/13 -- Clovis, NM, Curry Events Center
2/14 -- Cedar Park, TX, Cedar Park Center
2/15 -- Allen, TX, Allen Event Center
2/16 -- Wichita Falls, TX, Kay Yeager Center
2/26 -- Springfield, MA, MassMutual Center
2/27 -- Indiana, PA, Kovalchick Complex
2/28 -- Kingston, RI, The Ryan Center
3/1 -- Salisbury, MD, Wicomico Civic Center
3/6 -- Lowell, MA, Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell
3/7 -- Bangor, ME, Cross Insurance Center
3/8 -- Portland, ME, Cumberland County Civic Center
3/14 -- Kalamazoo, MI, Wings Stadium
3/15 -- Ypsilanti, MI, EMU Convocation Center
3/20 -- Park City, KS, Hartman Arena
3/27 -- St. Louis, MO, Chaifetz Arena
3/28 -- Cedar Rapids, IA, US Cellular Center
3/29 -- Rockford, IL, BMO Harris Bank Arena
4/10 -- Norfolk, VA, Ted Constant Convention Center
4/11 -- Salem, VA, Salem Civic Center
4/18 -- Reading, PA, Sovereign Center
4/26 -- Jonesboro, AR, ASU Convocation Center

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Elton John Thanks Fans for Well Wishes After Appendicitis Attack

Universal MusicElton John was recently forced to cancel two months' worth of European concert dates and festival appearances after suffering an appendicitis attack, but his fans don't seem to mind, based on a note Elton just posted on his website.

"I would like to thank the literally thousands of people who have sent me get well cards and messages over the past two weeks. Your well wishes have touched me deeply and will play a big part in my recovery," Elton writes. 

He adds, "I cannot wait to see you all and thank you in person when I resume my concert schedule later this year. In the meantime, please know that I consider myself a very blessed man to have such caring and considerate fans."  He signed the note, "With all my love, Elton."

The music legend will resume his schedule September 2, when he'll tape a British TV special that will see him receiving the first ever Brits ICON Award.  He also has a slew of dates at the Colosseum in Las Vegas lined up, and, of course, his new album The Diving Board is also arriving in September.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Frank Ocean Reveals Lyrics to “Versace”; Takes Shots at Chris Brown?

Facebook.com/TheFrankOcean; Facebook.com/ChrisBrownFrank Ocean wants you to pay attention to the lyrics of his new "remix" of Migos' hit single, "Versace."  He posted the lyrics only, no audio, to his Tumblr account, and in them the Odd Future member throws what appears to be a lyrical jab at rival Chris Brown, with whom he had a physical altercation earlier this year.

Frank writes, "Versace, Versace, I'll play piano, I'm not Liberace/ You could stay seated I’m taking that Grammy, your music is sloppy."

The diss seemingly refers to the standing ovation Frank received for his win in the Best Urban Contemporary Album category at this year’s Grammy Awards, beating out Brown's Fortune which also was nominated.

He goes on to add, "Ni**as is heated, they keep on repeating the evening/ In slow mo/ I sold enough records, I'm selling out cities/ I don't do no promo."

In the lyrics, Frank also tells fans that he's in no rush to release a new single and reveals that a conversation with Madonna, Beyoncé, Donatella Versace and Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Met Ball inspired him to delete his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

No word on when, or if, we'll ever hear the remix itself.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Taylor Swift Leaves $500 Tip at Philadelphia Restaurant

Facebook.com/RalphsItalianRestaurantSay what you want about Taylor Swift, but one thing she isn't is stingy.  During a meal after a concert stop in Philadelphia not long ago, the singer left a whopping $500 tip.

E! Online reports that when Taylor and her tourmates Ed Sheeran and Austin Mahone visited Ralph's Italian Restaurant last week, she was not only kind enough to take photos with the head chef, but she also gave him free tickets to her concert the following night.  "It was so kind-hearted of her," the chef told E!.

A local Philadelphia food website called FooBooz further reports that Taylor enjoyed chicken Parmesan at the eatery, and when the $800 check for her party arrived, she tipped 500 bucks, which is 62.5%.

The restaurant posted a photo of Taylor posing with staffers on its Facebook page, and wrote, "From her graciousness upon arrival for us staying open, to the extremely generous tip before leaving, she was a pleasure to have dine with us!"

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Mary J. Blige Set to Release Her First Christmas Album

PRNewsFoto/Interscope RecordsMary J. Blige has announced plans to release her first-ever holiday album.

The Grammy-winning singer will include "soulful interpretations" of holiday classics on the new project, cleverly titled A Mary Christmas, according to Interscope Records.

The forthcoming set will serve as a collaboration between Blige and  legendary producer David Foster, who's already produced multi-platinum holiday albums for Michael Bublé, Rod Stewart, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and Celine Dion.

Mary's eleventh studio effort will be available in October, marking her first since 2011's My Life II...The Journey Continues (Act 1).

In addition to her holiday project, the singer recently completed shooting scenes in the upcoming film Black Nativity, which stars Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Tyrese Gibson, Jennifer Hudson and Nasir Jones. The flick is slated to hit theaters just in time for the holidays, on November 27.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul252013

Corey Taylor Says Slipknot Will Begin Working on Next Album in 2014

Kevin Nixon/Metal Hammer Magazine via Getty ImagesFor months now, members of Slipknot have expressed different opinions about when the band expects to begin recording their first album without late bassist Paul Gray, who died in 2010. Now, frontman Corey Taylor has revealed that the guys have some tentative plans to begin working on new material in 2014.

"The only thing we've talked about is the beginning of next year, getting together and seeing where each other are at, musically," Taylor tells Billboard. "I know I've got some music that I've been working on. [Drummer] Joey [Jordison's] got a bunch of stuff. [Guitarist] Jim [Root’s] got some stuff. [Shawn] "Clown" [Crahan’s] always got a lot of really interesting musical ideas. So it'll be really cool to see what happens.”

Taylor adds that the band doesn’t have a specific timetable in mind for the group’s follow-up to 2008’s All Hope Is Gone, and they don’t want anyone to dictate a deadline to them.

“It's going to be a daunting task going into the studio without Paul Gray, so I don't need a bunch of suits rushing me through something that is going to be pretty emotional,” he explains. “Right now the plan is to just go into the studio and see what happens."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio