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Wednesday
Aug192015

More Details Revealed About Ann Wilson Solo EP

Credit: Norman SeeffMore details have emerged about Ann Wilson's first solo EP, which we first reported on last month. The Ann Wilson Thing will arrive digitally on September 18 and physically on October 9 courtesy of Rounder Records. Songs on the EP include the bluesy original "Fool No More" as well as "For What It's Worth," which Wilson describes as "a melding of some timeless lyrics with meat, hair and teeth."

As previously reported, Wilson will kick off a brief series of tour dates September 21 in Solana Beach, California. Her repertoire will include a mix of solo material from the EP, some covers and perhaps a few Heart classics. Wilson has announced a new date on October 6 in Hartford, Connecticut; that show, at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, will be filmed by Connecticut PBS and will air next winter as part of their Kate Hepburn Theater Series.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Melanie Fiona Readies Video for New Single, "Bite the Bullet" 

Universal Music Group

Back in May, Melanie Fiona debuted a reggae-inspired number called "Bite the Bullet," the newest offering from her forthcoming independent album, Awake. Now, she's revealed when fans can expect the see the accompanying visual.

The singer announced via Instagram that the video will debut on August 19 on Revolt TV at 7 p.m. ET. To get fans excited, she also released a 15-second teaser of the video, in which she sits in a bathtub holding a gun.

"I wish I can break down your walls/ be the one you call/catch you when you fall," she belts on the Caribbean-flavored tune.

Awake is due out later this year via Title 9 Productions/Primary Wave Music/BMG.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Fetty Wap to Play Free Concert for New Jersey High School Students

ABC/Randy HolmesFetty Wap's career is taking off, but the rapper has found time in his busy scheduled to give back. The rapper will to play a free concert for 1,200 high school students in his hometown of Paterson, New Jersey, according to NJ.com.

The rapper will likely perform his top 10 Hot 100 singles "My Way" and "Trap Queen" when the event takes place on will August 27 at Bauerle Field. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to Paterson public high school students, beginning August 24 at Pennington Park.

Prior to his hometown showcase, Fetty will perform at Billboard's Hot 100 Music Festival, which will run from August 22 through 23 at Jones Beach in New York.

Fetty's debut album is due out on September 25 from 300 Entertainment.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato Headlining MTV's Lifebeat Benefit Concert

Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABC; ABC/Ida Mae AstuteFrequent collaborators Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato are teaming up once again. The record label partners will headline the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards concert to benefit Lifebeat -- a national nonprofit aimed at educating America’s youth about HIV/AIDS prevention.

The annual VMA/Lifebeat Benefit Concert will take place in Los Angeles on Friday, August 28, as a lead-up to the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, August 30. Time Warner Cable will be holding a ticket giveaway for its Southern California customers on Monday, August 24. Customers will be able to pick up two tickets at the Time Warner Cable store in the Beverly Connection Mall between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

In addition to the benefit concert, Nick will be playing the VMA pre-show on August 30, where he’ll deliver the first-ever televised performance of his new song, “Levels.” He’s also up for the Best Male Video award at the ceremony for his song "Chains." Demi's "Cool for the Summer" is competing for the Song of the Summer award.

Last year, Iggy Azalea and Sam Smith headlined the Lifebeat concert.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Fall Out Boy Goes "Back to Earth" in New Steve Aoki Video

Credit: Pamela LittkyBefore Fall Out Boy embraced sampling for their album American Beauty/American Psycho, the band played on "Back to Earth," a single from EDM star Steve Aoki's 2014 album Neon Future I. Now you can watch Fall Out Boy dance their way through the electronic track in the newly released "Back to Earth" video on Billboard.com.

The "Back to Earth" features Fall Out Boy rocking out to the song in a dark room with flashing lights, all the while a young girl tries to escape futuristic, masked soldiers.

"It was an absolute honor working with my close friends Fall Out Boy on this song and video," Aoki tells Billboard. "This was such an action packed video and an integral piece to Neon Future."

Fall Out Boy has been experimenting with a few different genres recently -- in addition to the sampling on American Beauty/American Psycho and the collaboration with Aoki, the band just completed a summer tour alongside rapper Wiz Khalifa.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Sting to Play Carnegie Hall Benefit in December; Fan Club Pre-Sale Begins Thursday

Credit: Frank OckenfelsSting will join the Orchestra of St. Luke's for a special benefit show at Carnegie Hall in New York City this December featuring the singer reworking many of his biggest hits in orchestral arrangements.

The concert -- dubbed "An Evening with Sting: Symphonicities," in a nod to the title of the final Police album -- is slated for December 14. Sting and the orchestra also will be joined by a quintet of singer Jo Lawry, guitarist Dominic Miller, keyboardist Mike Ricchiuti, bassist Ira Coleman and percussionist Joe Bonadio.  Proceeds from the show will benefit Carnegie Hall's artistic and music education programs. This will be the first time the former Police-man has headlined the legendary venue.

A limited number of tickets will go on sale Thursday at 8 a.m. ET exclusively to fan club members at Sting.com. The fan club pre-sale will end 26 hours later.

MasterCard members are next in line to purchase tickets after the website pre-sale, starting Friday at 11 a.m. ET. Tickets will then go on sale to the general public Monday at 8 a.m. ET. For you high rollers, there are a couple of other options too. A limited number of gala benefit tickets are available for a thousand bucks apiece and will get you prime concert seating and a pre-show cocktail reception at Carnegie Hall's Rohatyn Room. You can also add a post-show dinner at The Plaza, but tickets for that start at $2,500 a head. For more information, go to CarnegieHall.org/Sting.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Melissa Etheridge to Deliver Keynote Address at Marijuana Business Convention

PRNewsFoto/Cannabis World Congress...Melissa Etheridge thinks it’s high time more people start acknowledging the medical benefits of marijuana. The singer will be a keynote speaker during the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition in Los Angeles this September.

The expo, which is the leading event for the legalized and medical marijuana industries, will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from September 16 to September 18. Melissa will deliver her keynote address on Thursday, September 17 at 2 p.m. PT.

"I was extremely honored to be asked to speak at the CWCBExpo because as a cancer survivor, who discovered the unparalleled medical benefits of cannabis during my recovery, I feel very passionate about helping to remove the negative stigma and educating people about its real medicinal value," she said in a statement.

Melissa battled breast cancer in 2004 and has long been outspoken about her use of medical marijuana. She’s even launching her own line of canna-products including a marijuana-infused wine. California residents with a valid cannabis ID can currently reserve a bottle.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Paul Simon Exhibit to Leave R&R Hall of Fame for Nationwide Tour

PRNewsFoto/Live Nation/Mark SeligerThe Paul Simon exhibit "Paul Simon: Words and Music," which opened at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last October, will close on September 7. That won't be the end of the story, however.  After it ends its run at the Hall of Fame, the exhibit will hit the road for a national tour. The first stop will be the Jewish Museum of Maryland, where it will run through January 18.

"Paul Simon: Words and Music" marks the first time that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has incorporated first-person narration by the artist into one of its exhibits. Karen L. Herman -- the Hall's vice president of Collections and Curatorial Affairs -- says, "We gave Paul Simon the opportunity to tell his own story... He walks visitors through his life story and his creative process and provides context to the touchstones where his music intersected with our culture -- from Simon & Garfunkel to Saturday Night Live." Simon has twice been inducted into the Hall of Fame -- once as a member of Simon & Garfunkel and once as a solo artist.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the name of A Thousand Horses' lead singer? ANSWER: Michael Hobby.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

A Thousand Horses' Zach Brown Reveals His Former Life in the Lawn Care Business

BMLGA Thousand Horses band member Zach Brown could always go back to his old gig in the lawn care business if his country career ever fizzles out.

He says, "I used to have a business in middle school and high school called, ‘Grasshopper Landscaping Lawn Maintenance’, our motto was, ‘Because we know you don’t wanna do it’.”

Looking back, Zach marvels at the marketing genius he displayed at such a young age.

He says, "Because we know you don’t wanna do it. You can’t argue with that.”

In all seriousness, Zach recently purchased a new lawn mower and says he's really into cutting his grass these days. A Thousand Horses' crazy tour schedule doesn't leave Zach to work int the yard, though. The guys are headed to Ohio for another show on Thursday night.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Maddie & Tae Celebrate "Start Here" Album Release with Acoustic Concert in Nashville

Getty Images for Dot RecordsMaddie & Tae debuted their new album, Start Here, with an acoustic concert in Nashville Tuesday night. The invitation-only affair was held at The Cordelle home in downtown Nashville, and the chubby, overall-wearing star of the duo's "Girl in a Country Song" video greeted guests at the front door.

Maddie & Tae's Tae Dye says of the debut project, "We have been writing this album since we were fifteen years old so you will hear our stories and about our lives from the past five years.”

During their Tuesday night performance, Maddie & Tae welcomed their hero, Lee Ann Womack, to the stage for a collaboration on her 1998 hit, "A Little Past Little Rock." Maddie & Tae's record label then surprised them at the end of their set with a platinum plaque for their debut hit, "Girl in a Country Song."

Start Here goes on sale August 28 featuring "Girl in a Country Song" as well as Maddie & Tae's latest hit, "Fly."

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Garth Brooks Taking World Tour to Milwaukee Next Month

Pearl RecordsGarth Brooks is taking his World Tour to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He'll play the city's BMO Harris Bradley center September 25 and 26. Tickets go on sale August 28 through Ticketmaster.com.

These concerts mark the first time Garth has played Milwaukee in 19 years.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Brad Paisley Playing Free College Shows Starting September 6

Arista NashvilleIf you've heard Brad Paisley's "My Country Nation" or seen the video, you know its filled with shout-outs to colleges and college sports mascots.  Brad's taking that love for college sports a step further with his just-announced Country Nation College Tour presented by Zaxby’s.

The shows kick off September 6, the first weekend of college football, at Virginia Tech, with Eric Paslay as special guest.  Brad then plays the University of Texas September 10, Baylor September 11, and the University of Arkansas September 12.  More dates and details will be revealed in the coming weeks.  Best of all, the shows are free for the campus community.

Not coincidentally, Brad's "My Country Nation" single from his Moonshine in the Trunk album ships to country radio August 31.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Kelly Clarkson Sings Tinder Profiles on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

ABC/Ida Mae AstuteOn Tuesday night's Jimmy Kimmel Live! Kelly Clarkson performed songs from her latest album, Piece by Piece, but before that, she rocked out to people's actual Tinder profiles. 

The three-time Grammy award winner was game, belting out ditties like, "I just need someone to take me to a Celine Dion concert. I'm 5'9." Another included the lyrics, "I got a foot fetish/I'm willing to pay for a mani-pedi and worship your feet!"

A 30-year-old user named Bobby really turned on the charm with his offering, "I'm going to China for a month. I'm looking to slip it into something before I leave...Swipe right." Believe it or not, Clarkson's pipes classed it up.

Later on, Kelly closed out the show with "Invincible" and "Heartbeat Song."

Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Josh Groban sang Donald Trump tweets.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Dustin Lynch Got the Go-Ahead from a Higher Power to Cuss on His Latest Hit, "Hell of a Night"

CMADustin Lynch is the grandson of a preacher, so you might wonder how he got away with writing and recording his latest hit, "Hell of a Night." It turns out Dustin never really considered "hell" to be a cuss word.

He tells ABC Radio, "I thought it was a place. I grew up thinking it was a place."

Regardless of where you fall on the word "hell" being a profanity, Dustin is resting easy knowing he's not going to get in trouble with his family for using that word.

He says with a laugh, "My grandad's a preacher. [His wife], my grandmom said, 'Hell of a night.' I was like, 'Well, if she can say it it's all right. We're alright."

Dustin adds that "Hell of a Night" is doing exactly what he intended for it to do when he added it to his live show.

"It's that high-octane, rocking thing. We're on the road non-stop playing big festivals, and with Luke [Bryan], these big stadiums and then fairs and clubs. Everybody's there to party and have fun. So, this is that type of song that gets everybody up and ready to rock."

Dustin is currently in the studio starting work on his third album. He's looking for even more songs like "Hell of a Night" to help keep his concerts rocking and fun for the audience.

Says Dustin, "It takes a certain type of song to get people up and moving, and Luke's got 80 minutes of those, and we've got a couple of songs under our belt now that'll do that."

Dustin will kick off his own Hell of a Night tour November 14 in Richmond, Virginia.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Tori Kelly on Her Reality Singing Competition Past: "It Was Good for Me, for Sure" 

ABC/Randy HolmesTori Kelly established her fan base by posting videos on YouTube, but many more people saw her when she auditioned for the ninth season of American Idol.  She made it to Hollywood Week, but failed to make the Top 24.  While she could've returned the following season and re-auditioned, as many other contestants have done, Tori says she lost interest in the process once she started making her own music.

"I had just started writing at that point and once I got cut from the show, I had this fire under me to just keep writing and I had new things to say now," Tori tells ABC Radio, explaining why she had no desire to try out for American Idol again.

"And that’s right when I started posting videos, too, on YouTube," she adds. "So everything surrounding that Idol experience was really good, ‘cause I just had this fire. I was a little bit frustrated. I was, you know, just like ready to put music out. So it was good for me, for sure."

In fact, American Idol wasn't the only singing competition that Tori participated in: she was also on Star Search, and competed on and won America's Most Talented Kids.  Tori says ultimately, she's glad she took that route, because it gave her a lot of valuable experience at a young age.

"I gained a lot of confidence, for sure. Just, like, having a camera in front of your face twenty-four-seven was good, even though it was awkward for me in the moment," she laughs to ABC Radio.  "But just being around that environment, I think I just naturally learned a lot how I wanted to present myself, how I wanted to handle things, what to say, what not to say."  

All those lessons have come in handy as Tori brings her career to the next level.  Her debut album Unbreakable Smile has produced two hits -- "Nobody Love" and "Should've Been Us" -- and she's nominated for two VH1 Streamy Awards.  This weekend, she'll perform at the inaugural Billboard Hot 100 Festival in Long Island, New York.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Beatles First Recording Contract to Go on the Block Next Month

Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty ImagesThe very first recording contract signed by The Beatles is expected to fetch 150 thousand dollars when it goes on the auction block on September 19.

This 1962 contract led to the session where The Beatles recorded "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" -- which in turn led to their being discovered by manager Brian Epstein.  Of the contract, Dean Harmeyer of Heritage Auctions says, "This is perhaps the most historically important Beatles document to ever appear at an auction. Without this contract… The Beatles may have never been able to achieve their later success as a recording group. And at the time, it was a momentous career milestone."

Other items going on the block in this auction range from an autographed copy of the 1962 "Love Me Do" single to a vintage photo of 17-year-old George Harrison taken shortly before he was deported from Germany for being underage.

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Sevyn Streeter, B.o.B. & More Perform at 12th Annual McDonald's 365Black Awards

Image Courtesy Atlantic Records

Sevyn Streeter and B.o.B. are among the entertainers scheduled to perform during the 12th Annual McDonald's 365Black Awards, an event to salute outstanding achievements of people committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American diaspora.

Organizers have announced the all-star lineup includes showcases from Smokie Norful, Avery*Sunshine, Jonathan McReynolds, Amber Riley, Shanice Wilson, Assassin, and newcomer Andra Day.

Presenters for the upcoming event includes Yolanda Adams, Common, actress Wendy Raquel Robinson, and actor/photographer Lance Gross, among others.

Hosted by KeKe Palmer and Terrence J, the ceremony airs Sunday, August 23 at 9:00 p.m. EDT/8:00 p.m. ET on BET.

"I was honored to host the McDonald's 365Black Awards for the second year alongside KeKe," says Terrence J in a statement. "Any opportunity to shine a positive light on the achievements of our people, I fully support."

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Dee Barnes on Dr. Dre Attack: "That Event Isn’t Depicted in 'Straight Outta Compton'" 

UniversalThere seems to be missing elements in the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, including the story of Dr. Dre's 1991 physical altercation with TV host Dee Barnes.  The Los Angeles Times reported that Dre pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery at the time.  He also settled a civil suit brought by Barnes, and the hitmaker recently told Rolling Stone he'd made "horrible mistakes" in his his life.  Still, Barnes isn't letting him off the hook.

The former hip-hop journalist details for Gawker the night during which she says she was "mercilessly" attacked her on the floor of the women’s restroom at the Po Na Na Souk nightclub. "That event isn’t depicted in Straight Outta Compton, but I don’t think it should have been, either. The truth is too ugly for a general audience," she says.

Barnes questions why the film did not mention Dre's former girlfriend, singer Michel’le, who has accused Dre of abuse. In Rolling Stone Dre said of the allegations, "I would say all the allegations aren't true -- some of them are."

"Michel’le and Dr. Dre developed a personal and professional association and he went on to produce her two best-known hits, 'No More Lies' and 'Something in My Heart.' Both songs reflected their volatile relationship," Barnes adds.

Barnes claims that she's been blacklisted from the industry ever since the incident. "People have accused me of holding onto the past; I’m not holding onto the past. I have a souvenir that I never wanted. The past holds onto me," she says, adding that she didn't get rich from a settlement in a civil suit she filed against Dre.  "There’s a myth that I was paid so well by the settlement I received from Dre that I’d never have to work again. People think I was paid millions, when in reality, I didn’t even get a million, and it wasn’t until September of 1993."

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Watch Jimi Hendrix Blaze Through "Purple Haze" in Preview of New Documentary

Courtesy of SHOWTIMEIf you just can't wait until next month to catch the new Jimi Hendrix documentary Electric Church, you're in luck. Rolling Stone is offering an exclusive preview of what's in store.

The clip -- which was filmed July 4, 1970 at the Atlanta Pop Festival -- finds Hendrix, bassist Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell blazing through "Purple Haze." The Atlanta Pop Festival performance wasn't just another gig for Hendrix; it was the biggest U.S. show of his career, with an estimated attendance of 300 thousand people.

"Jimi was at the peak of his creative and commercial powers that summer," says John McDermott, who directed the documentary. "There are so few examples of Jimi performing on film that this footage of him performing before the largest U.S. audience of his career is significant. Younger fans should take note that Jimi didn't need set lists, dance steps, stage backdrops and lighting cues to connect with his audience." 

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church will air September 4 at 9:00 p.m. ET on Showtime. The performance will also be released on CD as Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival on August 28.

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