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Richie Sambora "Still a Member of Bon Jovi," Says Jon

Credit: David BergmanEver since Richie Sambora mysteriously departed the Bon Jovi tour, there has been plenty of speculation as to what caused him to leave.  While Richie has tweeted that he's fine and hopes to see all the fans soon, Jon Bon Jovi has shot down rumors that a power struggle between them is what caused the guitarist to leave.  Jon has now attempted to set the record straight -- kinda -- on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday.

Asked by Ellen why the band has been together so long, Jon explained, "We like each other...we all had to have a lot of give and take.  You had to love each other, you had to go through some ups and downs but in the big picture, you had to really like each other to go to work."  Ellen replied, "It begs the question...Richie is not here so I would like to give you an opportunity to address that." 

An uncomfortable Jon said, "Okaaaay," and then added, "All I can say, honest to God, is that it's a personal matter but we love him very much and he's absolutely still a member of the band."  When Ellen responded, "He's still your guitarist?" Jon said, firmly, "Absolutely," as the audience applauded.

Richie has been replaced -- temporarily, it seems -- on the Bon Jovi tour by guitarist Phil X.  The band plays Arizona on Tuesday night.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Olly Murs Is at the "Right Place Right Time" for US Breakthrough

Columbia RecordsBritish singer Olly Murs first made inroads into the American music market last year when he was the opening act for One Direction's tour and his song "Heart Skips a Beat" was a medium-sized hit.  But now, things are really taking off for the U.K. X Factor runner up: his song "Troublemaker," featuring Flo Rida, is a smash, and his debut U.S. album Right Place Right Time has just been released, after being postponed from last year.

Olly says the album's title is fitting, since he feels that last year would have been the wrong time to put it out.  "For me, at that point, I'd have just gotten lost between all the big artists that you've got over here," he tells ABC News Radio. "I think it was better for me to release at this time of year where it's not as congested and I can get out and do press interviews and people can see me a little bit more." Olly adds that he's "really proud" to be here in the States, and proud that "everyone's liking my music...it makes me really happy."

Olly also says he likes the way his career is progressing here, because unlike back home in the U.K., he's not immediately identifiable as someone from a TV singing competition.  "Here, it's a bit daunting starting from scratch but I kinda liked it really, because in the U.K., I came from The X Factor and people knew me instantly and my personality and didn't identify me with my music," he explains. "Whereas now, over here, you guys are hearing my music first and then you're getting to know me and I think that's quite cool."

The singer says he can already see his fan base growing by leaps and bounds from last May, when he made his first trip across the pond.  "I've just noticed here in the last year, the more times I've come back, there's more fans waiting inside hotels and different places which is good," he tells ABC News Radio. "So, it means I'm doing something right, which is great, and I'm really pleased with that."

Also helping Olly win over fans: a headlining tour, which he kicked off late last week and is set to run through mid-May.  For fans who didn't get to see Olly when he opened for 1D, what's his live show like?  "I've got lots of high energy," he says. "I like to perform with lots of charisma and lots of fun.  I like people to walk away that they feel like they've gone for a bit of a workout!" 

He adds, "I like people to get really connected with me and feel like they're on stage with me...that's kind of how I like to perform." 

You'll get a chance to see what the live Olly Murs experience is like Tuesday night on ABC, when he performs on the Dancing with the Stars result show. Then he has shows this weekend in Chicago and Milwaukee.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Styx, REO Speedwagon, Ted Nugent Raffling Off Signed Guitars to Raise Money for Boston Bombing Victims

Facebook.com/StyxWorldIf delivering a tripleheader of unforgettable rock weren't enough, tour mates Styx, REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent are using their combined star power to raise money for some people who could really use the help.  The three acts are planning to raffle off a guitar autographed by Styx, REO and Nugent at each stop of their recently launched joint Midwest Rock 'n Roll Express trek and donate most of the proceeds to victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

The funds will be distributed via the Rock to the Rescue organization, with 75 percent going to a Boston charity set up to provide support to those affected by last week's horrific attack.  The remaining 25 percent of the money raised will go toward a local organization in each city the tour is visiting.

"Like all Americans, we have watched the events in Boston and wondered what we could do to help," says Styx in a statement.  "We know the fans of all three bands will once again rise with us to help our friends in Boston.  We are Boston!"

Adds REO Speedwagon, "We feel such sadness for those innocent people in Boston who have suffered so much and are still suffering now.  We think of those victims of senseless violence as we sign the guitar which is to be donated on their behalf each night.  In our small way, we do what we do."

Lastly, Nugent notes that his band and family "are surrounded by Americans who care deeply about each other and are dedicated to give all we got in times of need.  We again face a tragedy that we can all help with, and are proud of this charitable heart and soul effort."

Rock to the Rescue was founded in 2001 by Styx's Tommy Shaw and REO's Kevin Cronin in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy.  Currently overseen by Shaw's daughter, Hannah, the charity seeks to promote aid to local communities by supporting grassroots organizations across the U.S.

Here are all of the upcoming dates on the Midwest Rock 'n Roll Express tour:

4/23 -- Springfield, MA, MassMutual Center
4/24 -- Glens Falls, NY, Glens Falls Civic Center
4/26 -- East Rutherford, NJ, IZOD Center
4/27 -- Virginia Beach, VA, Farm Bureau Live
4/28 -- Roanoke, VA, Roanoke Civic Center
5/1 -- Estero, FL, Germain Arena
5/3 -- St. Augustine, FL, St. Augustine Amphitheatre
5/4 -- Tampa, FL, Live Nation Amphitheatre
5/5 -- Atlanta, GA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
5/7 -- Grand Prairie, TX, Verizon Theatre
5/8 -- Tulsa, OK, BOK Center
5/10 -- Kansas City, KS, Starlight Theatre
5/11 -- Lincoln, NE, Pinewood Bowl Theater
5/14 -- Grand Rapids, MI, Van Andel Arena
5/15 -- Evansville, IN, Ford Center
5/17 -- Green Bay, WI, Resch Center
5/18 -- St. Louis, MO, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
5/19 -- Burgettstown, PA, First Niagara Pavilion

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Kix Brooks, Faith Hill, Vince Gill Record Songs Written by Children's Hospital PatientsKix Brooks, Faith Hill, Vince Gill Record Songs Written by Children's Hospital Patients

All the Buzz MediaSome of Nashville's biggest stars are lending their voices to a new compilation CD featuring songs from some very special writers. Everybody Has a Story features stars like Kix Brooks, Faith Hill, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss and more performing songs penned by young patients at the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Music City.

The kids wrote the songs during their clinical music therapy sessions over the past six years, and the patients or the patient's families were invited to the studio to watch the artists bring their songs to life.

Vanderbilt music therapist Jenny Plume says, "For those patient songwriters who have passed on, this will be a legacy to celebrate their lives.

Proceeds from the album will go to the Julian T. Founce Music Therapy Fund at Vanderbilt. The album will be released May 14 through all digital outlets and music retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

For more information, go to EverybodyHasaStoryCD.com.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin & Rod Stewart Top Sales at Indie Stores in the U.K.

Jimmy KingWith the Record Store Day celebration of independent music retailers taking place this past week, the U.K.'s Official Charts Company paused to look at the 40 top-selling albums in that country's indie stores over the past year.  And it was a good year for classic rockers.

Records by David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart, and Neil Young & Crazy Horse all made the list.

Bowie's first new album in 10 years, The Next Day, made was the highest charter at #5.  Dylan's Tempest came in at #15 followed by Led Zeppelin's Celebration Day at #16.  Diamond's 2011 retrospective, The Very Best of Neil Diamond, made it to #20.  Stewart's holiday record, Merry Christmas, Baby, came in at #29 followed at #30 by Young's latest collaboration with Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Here's Your Chance to Become PSY's Personal Chef

ABC/Richard HarbaughDo you know how to cook "Gangnam Style?"  If so, you may be able to hit the road with PSY.  The South Korean rapper has launched a contest that will give one fan an opportunity to be his personal chef during his world tour for one month.

To enter the contest, all you have to do is create a video depicting your "bibi" skills -- "bibi" means "mixing" in Korean -- and upload it to the PSY Go, Bibigo Facebook page by May 11.

If you watch the submissions already posted on the page, you'll find that they include plenty of cooking, wacky dancing and techno pop, the latter two obviously reflecting PSY's influence.

The winner will receive 40 thousand dollars, five-star hotel accommodations and luxury transportation along with the gig.

The winner will be determined by PSY as well as an online poll, and will be announced June 3 by bibigo, a Korean restaurant and food product company that's sponsoring the contest.

PSY currently does not have any tour dates scheduled.

In other PSY news, YouTube announced Monday that he has set a record for the most views in a single day. His latest single, "Gentleman," received over 38 million views on April 14 -- the day after the video debuted -- snapping the previous record of 30 million set by the "KONY 2012" film. "Gentleman" has received 200 million views to date.

Of course, "Gangnam Style" is YouTube's most-viewed video ever, at 1.5 billion views and counting.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Taylor Swift & Bruno Mars Are Among Remaining Finalists for "Billboard" Milestone Award

ABC/ Lou RoccoAnd then there were three.  Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars, along with Justin Bieber, are the three remaining finalists for the Billboard Milestone Award, which will be presented at the Billboard Music Awards May 19 in Las Vegas.

There were initially six nominees for the fan-voted award, which recognizes an artist who has achieved a major chart milestone over the past year.   In addition to Taylor, Bruno and Justin Bieber, country-pop act The Band Perry, R&B star Miguel and rapper Pitbull were also in the running. 

A Billboard executive said in a statement, "All six finalists achieved admirable milestones in their own right over the past year, but the fans have spoken, and these final three innovative artists have captured the most votes to date."

Voting will continue from now right up until the end of the May 19 ABC telecast, when Cee Lo Green will present the trophy toward the end of the show, along with a lucky contest winner.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


R&B Stars Dropping in on "The Best Man Holiday"

Facebook.com/MarshaAmbrosiusAs you probably already know, filming is underway for the highly anticipated follow-up to 1999's The Best Man.  But here's a surprise: Anthony Hamilton and Marsha Ambrosius will be making a special appearance in the upcoming flick, titled The Best Man Holiday.

Director Malcolm Lee recently spilled the beans about the singers' cameo, revealing in a Facebook post that Anthony and Marsha "perform a classic song" in the film. 

As previously reported, The Best Man Holiday brings back all the original cast members, including Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chesnut and Sanaa Lathan.  The film is slated to arrive in theaters on November 15.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Sublime with Rome Announces Summer Headlining Tour with Pennywise

Facebook.com/SublimeWithRomeSublime with Rome is hitting the road this summer, and they’re taking Pennywise along for the ride. The band’s new lineup of singer/guitarist Rome, bassist Eric Wilson, and former A Perfect Circle drummer Josh Freese will kick off their North American trek on July 7 at Echo Beach in Toronto, Ontario. While Pennywise will be supporting Sublime with Rome on most of the dates, Descendents and Iration will open on select dates.

Pre-sale tickets for the newly-announce dates will go on sale on Wednesday. Remaining tickets will be available to the public on Saturday. Check out SublimewithRome.com for more information.

Here are the tour dates:

7/7 -- Toronto, ON, Echo Beach
7/8 -- Boston, MA, Bank of America Pavilion
7/11 -- Cincinnati, OH, Horseshoe Cincinnati -- The Plaza
7/13 -- Asbury Park, NJ, Stone Pony Summer Stage
7/14 -- Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater    
7/16 -- Philadelphia, PA, Festival Pier at Penn's Landing
7/17 -- Baltimore, MD, Pier Six Pavilion
7/18 -- Portsmouth, VA, NTELOS Wireless Pavilion    
7/20 -- St. Augustine, FL, St. Augustine Amphitheatre
7/26 -- Dallas, TX, Palladium Ballroom
7/28 -- Austin, TX, The Backyard at Bee Cave
8/2 -- Mesa, AZ, Mesa Amphitheatre
8/4 -- San Francisco, CA, America's Cup Pavilion
8/6 -- Redmond, WA, Marymoor Park Concerts
8/7 -- Garden City, ID, Revolution Center    
8/9 -- Sturgis, SD, Buffalo Chip Campground
8/10 -- Casper, WY, Casper Events Center
8/11 -- Denver, CO, Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Country Star Trivia 

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich country star appeared on last summer's ABC music competition series Duets alongside Kelly Clarkson? ANSWER: Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Justin Moore Threw His Plans Out the Window for Upcoming Third Album

ValoryWhile making his first two gold-selling albums, Justin Moore knew exactly what he wanted them to sound like before he ever stepped foot in the studio. For his self-titled debut, Justin went for a cross between southern rock and traditional country, and he changed the formula a bit for the follow-up.

Says Justin, "I feel like the newer album, the Outlaws Like Me album, was more traditional-country sounding than the previous record. Or at least that was our goal."

Justin recently finished working on his upcoming third album, featuring his latest hit, "Point at You," and he admits he took a different approach this time around.

"With this one, I had no idea what the heck I wanted to do with it, at all," Justin explains. "And I’m a fan of people who make a different album every time and not the same thing over and over and over. That just kind of came to me with the songs that we heard; the songs I wrote."

Look for Justin's new album to land in stores in the coming months.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Lynyrd Skynyrd Records New Theme Song for Hit TV Show "Pawn Stars"

Photo: Clay Patrick McBrideLynyrd Skynyrd has cooked up a new theme song for the hit History Channel series Pawn StarsEW.com reports that the Southern rock legends have put together a custom-made tune titled "Winning Isn't Everything" that will be heard during the opening of the program starting at 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, when a new run of shows is schedule to begin airing.

To celebrate the debut of the new theme, Skynyrd will perform for free at a special "Party Like the Pawn Stars" event that will be held this Friday at Pawn Stars' Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas.  The band is planning to play for more than an hour, with a set that will include "Winning Isn't Everything," as well as many of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group's classic hits.

The song will be made available for purchase as a digital download via iTunes starting on April 30, although a sample of the track can be heard online now at EW.com.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Will.i.am to Receive Honorary CLIO Award

ClioAwards.comWill.i.am is about to score another award for his mantel.  The producer, philanthropist and technology proponent will receive an honorary CLIO Award on May 15 at New York's American Museum of Natural History.  The CLIO advertising awards honor innovators of media, advertising, design and communications.

Will's award recognizes him for his work to inspire others to think differently and change the world.  The Black Eyed Peas frontman isn't limiting his vision to this world, though.  It was just last August that Will became the first artist to partner with NASA's Curiosity Mars Space Lab to have his music -- the song "Reach for the Stars (Mars Edition)" -- play on the red planet.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Michael Buble's New Album Is #1 in UK & Australia...Will US Be Next?

RepriseMichael Buble's new album To Be Loved is out in North America Tuesday, but it came out last week in the U.K. and in Australia...where it's already a rousing success.

In the U.K., where Michael will play a string of 10 sold-out concerts at London's O2 arena in June, To Be Loved arrived at #1 on the charts, and also grabbed the title of the fastest-selling album of the year in that country.  He also scored his best opening week ever in the U.K., with sales of 121,000, according to Britain's Official Charts Company.

Over in Australia, where Michael is insanely popular, To Be Loved also debuted at #1; it's his fifth #1 in that country.  He's had as many number ones Down Under as Celine Dion and Neil Diamond, both of whom have been around much longer than Michael.

A #1 debut in the U.S. is a good possibility for Michael as well, since he's scheduled quite the media blitz: after appearing on NBC's Today show on Tuesday, he'll visit Live with Kelly & Michael on April 25.  On April 26, it's back to Today to hang with Hoda and Kathie Lee in the 10 a.m. hour of the show.  Also during release week, he'll appear on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.  On May 1, Michael hits Chelsea Lately, and on May 3, he'll stop by The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Michael has said that since he's soon to become a dad, his priorities have shifted, and he no longer cares how many copies of To Be Loved he sells.  That being said, though, he's proud of the disc.  As he told U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "It's the best thing I've ever made before I made the baby!"

Michael says his plan when he went into the studio to make To Be Loved was to create a "Phil Spector Wall of Sound record...y'know, that great Motown, live-off-the-floor feeling, and sing it as best as a white guy could sing it."  He adds, "I just really walked in with the simple hope that I could string together a bunch of songs that I absolutely was in love with, and then write songs that people could fall in love with."

To Be Loved features four original songs from Michael, including a duet with Bryan Adams called "After All."  As for the covers, he sings with Reese Witherspoon on the Frank & Nancy Sinatra classic "Somethin' Stupid," and also takes on the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody," the Jackson Five's "Who's Loving You," Randy Newman's "You've Got a Friend in Me," and the standards "You Make Me Feel So Young" and "Young at Heart," among others.

 "This is the best record I've ever made.  It is.  It just simply is," Michael insists.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


A$AP Rocky Says Rihanna's Sexy, but They're Just Friends

PR NewswireEver since A$AP Rocky gave Rihanna's buns a squeeze at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, rumors have circulated that the two might be more than friends.  The gossip has only grown now that Rocky's on Rihanna's Diamonds world tour, and Rocky tells MTV that he's not surprised.

"I expected people to say that me and Rihanna was sleeping around. But, we're just cool," Rocky tells MTV, later adding that he has a girl.  She's reportedly model Chanel Iman, who's been popping up on Instagram alongside Rocky.

Now that he's attached, Rocky says, "I ain't tryin' to get in no trouble with no Rihanna rumors because I'm not f**kin' Rihanna.  That's somebody's else's," he says.   

A$AP Rocky says he's just thankful that she invited him on tour.  "That's really a friend.  She supports me, man.  She's bringing me out.  She ain't have to do that.  That girl came to my Coachella a year ago.  I got nothing but love for Rih Rih, that's the homie right there," he says.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Madonna Shows Off Iconic Costumes in "Fashion Evolution" Pop-Up Exhibit

PRNewsFoto/Iconix Brand Group, IncMadonna fans in California will get a rare chance to see some of her iconic costumes up close and personal.  On April 25, a one-day pop-up fashion exhibit, Madonna's Fashion Evolution, will launch at Macy's in Century City. 

Only available from 6 to 8 p.m., the exhibit will feature some of the Queen of Pop's most famous ensembles, like the Jean-Paul Gaultier cone bra from her Blonde Ambition Tour, a Christian Lacroix outfit from her Reinvention tour and the wedding dress she wore at the MTV Video Music Awards while performing "Like a Virgin."  Those costumes will be surrounded by pieces from Material Girl, the clothing line that Madonna and her daughter Lourdes created for Macy's.

Madonna personally selected the costumes for the exhibit, and this is the first time they've ever been displayed together publicly.  In a statement, the superstar said, "The pop-up exhibit at Macy's perfectly exemplifies the inspiration and spirit of the Material Girl line and will give my fans a great opportunity to see the evolution of my style over the years."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Fall Out Boy, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Expected to Make Top-10 Debuts on "Billboard" 200

Facebook.com/FallOutBoyFall Out Boy and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are both on track to make a big splash on the Billboard 200 album chart this week.

FOB’s Save Rock and Roll is up for the #1 spot on the tally, with projected sales putting it somewhere around 150,000 copies. If the predictions are true, this will be the band’s second #1 album on the list, following 2007's Infinity on High. Fall Out Boy’s previous album, 2008's Folie a Deux, debuted and peaked at #8, with 150,000 copies sold its first week out, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs is likely to get a spot in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 this week as well. The band’s fourth studio album, Mosquito, is expected to take the #6 position on the chart for racking up 30,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The new Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be released on Wednesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Backstreet Boys Receive Hollywood Star, Tell Fans: "Backstreet's Back, and We're Not Going Anywhere!"

Facebook.com/BackstreetBoysThe Backstreet Boys capped off their 20th anniversary celebration Monday by receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Their longtime producer, Max Martin, was on hand to introduce them, and though the group has had many career highlights in the past two decades, all five members got emotional over this particular honor.

"Aside from my wedding day and the birth of my daughter, this is hands-down the best day of my life," a choked-up A.J. McLean told the fans who'd gathered to witness the event.  Kevin Richardson, who reunited with the group last year after a few years away, was equally touched, saying, "What a beautiful day, what another beautiful way to celebrate 20 years together."

Brian Littrell capped off his remarks with a joke about having their name carved into a star on the Walk of Fame, telling the cheering fans, "I've worked my entire life to never be walked on, but I'm OK with this one!"

But it was Nick Carter who summed up the situation the best.  "I wanna thank everybody in general for sticking with us throughout the years, through the ups and the downs, and the roller-coaster ride we put you on," he told the fans. "I'm sorry about some of it!"

As the fans laughed, Nick referred to the fact that a new album is on the way when he added, "I encourage everyone here to let the world know, at this very moment, that Backstreet is back! And we aren't goin' anywhere!"

Backstreet celebrated their 20th anniversary on April 20: they consider April 20, 1993 to be the official day the group formed.

You can watch the archived Walk of Fame ceremony at Backstreet's Facebook page.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Brad Paisley Will Guest Star on "Nashville" Season Finale

Image credit: Jim SheaBrad Paisley will appear on the season finale of ABC's Nashville. TV's Extra reports he will play himself and perform with Connie Britton's Rayna and Charles Esten's Deacon.

Brad's wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, who has a recurring role on the show as Peggy Kenter, will also appear in the Nashville season finale, scheduled for May 22.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Pink Cancels UK Concert Due to Infection

Facebook.com/PinkPink was forced to cancel her scheduled Monday-night concert in Birmingham, England, due to illness.

She tweeted Monday to her fans, "With deepest regrets I had to cancel my first show of the tour tonight in Birmingham. I have an ear and respiratory infection. I am not a person that takes cancelations [sic] lightly- and I apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced by my illness. Thanks to all my genuine people out there sending love."

Pink is scheduled to perform in London on Wednesday. She kicked off the European leg of her tour a week and a half ago.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio