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Thursday
Apr272017

Be an extra in "A Star Is Born" with Lady Gaga at special L.A. event

Neal PrestonLady Gaga is inviting fans to join her in the cast of A Star Is Born.

On Wednesday the singer tweeted a call for fans to join Gaga and co-star and director Bradley Cooper at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles to be extras in concert scenes being shot for the movie.

Fans are advised that the scenes being shot "will portray a Country Western music concert," so "All you Monsters that can attend should get decked out in your most comfortable denim & boots, throw on a Stetson (leave those pink Joanne hats at home)...."

The shooting will take place Tuesday May 2 and Wednesday May 3, with shooting beginning at 7 p.m.  Gaga is actually selling tickets, so it will cost you $12 to be an extra. But the proceeds will go directly to her Born This Way Foundation.

The film, the forth time Hollywood has made A Star Is Born, stars Cooper as Jackson Maine, a fading country star who discovers Ally, a talented nobody played by Gaga.  The two start an affair, but when Jackson makes Ally a star, he can't handle the fact that her fame is surpassing his own.

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Thursday
Apr272017

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock On the heels of her #1 album, WildHorse, and her top-30 single, “Love Triangle,” Raelynn guests on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Thursday. You can watch for her performance starting at 12:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

Newcomer Ryan Hurd will join Florida Georgia Line for 14 dates on the Smooth Tour, starting June 15 in Wantagh, New York.

Monday night’s 18th annual Nashville Best Cellars dinner raised more than $225,000 for the T.J. Martell Foundation. Eric ChurchLittle Big Town’s Karen FairchildPhillip Sweet and Jimi WestbrookReba McEntireDustin LynchMartina McBride and Cole Swindell were just some of the stars who turned out to help raise money in the fight against leukemia, cancer and AIDS.

Keith Urban’s Ripcord album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in April.

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Thursday
Apr272017

"Love and War" and all the emotions in between: Brad Paisley previews country's first visual album at the Hall of Fame

Arista NashvilleWith his baseball cap on backwards, Brad Paisley took to stage of the CMA Theater in the Country Music Hall of Fame to preview the visual version of his new Love and War album Wednesday evening.  

The first of its kind in country music, the roughly 60-minute music film manages to squeeze in all of the considerable special guests on Brad’s eleventh album. Mick Jagger appears mainly in clips from Brad’s home studio in "Drive of Shame,” while the title track with John Fogerty gets a more elaborate treatment on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

Super-producer Timbaland dangles bottles of alcohol in front of Brad and his band on “Grey Goose Chase,” and shows up for a rap cameo on the animated “Solar Power Girl.” Brad manages to squeeze in both his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley and actor David Hasselhoff in the clip for his new single, “Last Time for Everything.”

The Grand Ole Opry performance of “Dying to See Her” with Bill Anderson is just one of several sentimental moments along the way. Brad stages “The Devil Is Alive and Well” on the steps of a burned out East Nashville church, while his #1 hit “Today” is a crowd-sourced collection of once-in-a-lifetime moments.

For his posthumous composition with the Man in Black, Brad travels to Cash Cabin where Johnny crafted his last recordings. “Gold All Over the Ground” is transformed into a tribute to June and Johnny Cash, with their home movies illustrating much of the clip.  

Never fear, Brad’s well-known sense of humor is on full display as well. The perennial jokester takes over the Sleep Number store in a local mall for “Go to Bed Early,” and lip-syncs “Contact High” while indoor sky-diving. Fan-submitted photos populate the hilarious “selfie#theinternetisforever,” while “One Beer Can” plays out the saga of a high school party gone wrong.  

As the collection begins to wind down, we see outtakes and flashbacks to the previous clips as Brad performs “Meaning Again.” Country’s first full-length video album starts as it begins, with the West Virginia native doing “Heaven South” on the square of his Franklin, Tennessee hometown.

You’ll be able to check out the visual version of Brad Paisley’s Love and War yourself this Friday, when it's available exclusively on Apple Music.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Apr272017

This Is Your Life: Little Big Town gets a surprise, as CMA honors music teachers

ABC/Image Group LA Without the investment of their music teachers, country music likely wouldn’t have superstars like Little Big Town and Kelsea Ballerini. That was the overwhelming sentiment Wednesday night, as the CMA Foundation hosted its second annual CMA Music Teachers of Excellence dinner at the Stadium Club at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium.

While Karen FairchildKimberly SchlapmanPhillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook were prepared to host the evening, the CMA Vocal Group of the Year didn’t know they were also in for a surprise. They were reunited with the four music teachers who nurtured their talents long before they formed Little Big Town.

In a pre-recorded segment, Kelsea Ballerini paid a return visit to Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, visiting with a pivotal figure in her life, teacher Beckye Thomas.

Brad PaisleyDarius RuckerCamCassadee Pope and Zac Brown Band all reflected on how music education had affected them in another video that wrapped up the night.

Funded by the money raised during CMA Music Festival, the CMA Foundation has given more than $17.5 million to music education in the past 17 years. It all started in 2000, when Kix Brooks spearheaded the effort to give $1 million worth of instruments to Metro Nashville Public Schools.

In all, 31 music educators were honored Wednesday night: 25 from Music City, and six more from across the U.S.

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Thursday
Apr272017

Celine Dion finally unloads Florida mansion, for a mere $38.5 million

Jason Merritt/Getty Images via ABCNearly four years after she first put it on the market for $72.5 million, Celine Dion has finally managed to sell her palatial estate on Florida's Jupiter Island...for just over half the original asking price.

Canada's National Post reports that the home, which features 13 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a guest house, a number of pools and its own water park, was purchased by an American who wants to use the property as a vacation home. It went for the bargain-basement price of around $38.5 million.

Celine and her late husband, René Angélil, built the estate in 2010. Over the four years it's been on the market, Celine lowered the price a number of times.  As for why she sold it, she spends most of her time in Las Vegas, so it just wasn't being used.

In February of 2016, Celine sold her mansion on a private island in Quebec, Canada for $25.5 million.

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Thursday
Apr272017

Demi Lovato, the Backstreet Boys and Jason Derulo want you to post the "Best.Cover.Ever." 

Courtesy YouTubeBy now, we all know that posting covers on YouTube is a legit way to get discovered.  That's why Demi Lovato, the Backstreet Boys, Jason Derulo and Ludacris are teaming up with the video platform to help make your dream of music stardom a reality.

All four acts are teaming with Ryan Seacrest Productions for a new YouTube series called Best.Cover.Ever It's sort of like American Idol: Fans submit a cover version of a song, and the singer with the best one gets to perform a duet with the artist whose song they covered, which will air exclusively on YouTube.

Now here's the fun part: the covers will be judged by the artists themselves. Demi, the Backstreet Boys and Jason are the artist for the first submission phase, which continues now through May 19.  You can submit your versions of Demi's "Confident," Jason's "Trumpets" and The Backstreet Boys' "As Long as You Love Me."  They'll pick the best ones, and the winners will get to perform with them in L.A.

Ludacris, meanwhile, will host Best.Cover.Ever, which will air on YouTube later this year.  More artists will be announced for the next phases of the competition in the coming weeks.

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Thursday
Apr272017

Cover Me: New book of Bruce Springsteen photos coming in November 

Simon & SchusterBruce Springsteen’s longtime photographer is preparing a new book of snapshots.

In November, Frank Stefanko will release Bruce Springsteen: Further Up the Road, chronicling forty years of his Boss-related shots. According to Rolling Stone, many of the photos in the new book are previously unreleased, and many are from two photo shoots with Springsteen: one in 2004 and another from this year.

Stefanko shot the cover photos for two Springsteen albums: Darkness on the Edge of Town and The River. He also took the cover shot for Bruce’s recent autobiography, Born to Run.

Springsteen himself wrote the introduction for Further Up the Road. The book's publisher, Wall of Sound Editions, plans to print just under two thousand copies, and Stefanko will sign each one. The first 350 will be available as a deluxe edition costing $630, with rest going for $380 apiece.

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Thursday
Apr272017

Life of Agony preps "ferocious," "melodic" new album, "A Place Where There's No More Pain"

Napalm RecordsLife of Agony returns this Friday with A Place Where There's No More Pain, the band's first album in 12 years. It's also the their first new album since lead vocalist Mina Caputo, formerly known as Keith Caputo, came out as transgender in 2011.

"I used to look at my old friend Keith kinda miserable on stage," bassist Alan Robert tells ABC Radio, to which Caputo adds, "'Cause I was."

"And now my friend Mina is so happy, and that energy comes across," Robert says.

While Caputo is certainly in a happier state, she characterizes happiness as a "fleeting emotion."

"Yeah I'm free, but I'm not 100 per cent free," she says. "I'm still a tortured soul, in a sense, but I have a tighter grip on my torture."

With a song like the album's title track, though, Caputo and Life of Agony look for 100% happiness and freedom, even if they're not sure they can find it.

"What I get from the song is, like, this place [that] I'm not sure really exists," Caputo says. "I'm not sure if nature intended it to exist."

But on the musical side of things, Life of Agony feels that they've at last found the sound they've always wanted with A Place Where There's No More Pain.

"Finally, after all these years, after all this life experience and making all the records that we have, together and separately, I feel like life experience allowed us to get the best, most ferocious, most melodic moments [on the album]," says Caputo. 

A Place Where There's No More Pain will be released this Friday, April 28.

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Thursday
Apr272017

Fall Out Boy revealing mysterious "Purple" project today

ABC/Phil McCartenIs Fall Out Boy about to announce a new album? The band will reveal the details of their mysterious Purple project today at 12 p.m. ET.

Over the weekend, Fall Out Boy Instragrammed a message directing people to movie theaters in Chicago for something coming from "Mania Entertainment Group." Fans then found a trailer featuring images of what appears to be a marriage proposal on the beach, people running down a pier, storm clouds and then crashing waves that take on a purple hue.

Now, Fall Out Boy promises all will be revealed at noon.

"This time we mean it, and you don't have to leave home," the band tweeted, along with a purple-colored clock.

Fall Out Boy's most recent album is 2015's American Beauty/American Psycho.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

 

Thursday
Apr272017

Patti LaBelle won't mix music with her cooking

Derek BlanksShould you ever find yourself invited to Patti LaBelle's home for some of her famous sweet potato pie, don't expect to hear the iconic vocalist sing as she serves you a slice.  

As Ms. Patti explains to ABC Radio, "I don't sing in the shower nor do I sing when I'm cooking. I just don't listen to music. If I were to choose a song, it would be 'California Love.' Tupac. Then I can cut up stuff. But no, I don't even play that." 

Nevertheless, the celebrity chef and music legend has a few favorite songs she likes to jam out to from time to time, including Peter Gabriel's 1982 track "Shock the Monkey," Chaka Khan's classic "Ain't Nobody" and 50 Cent's smash "In Da Club."  

In fact, she busted a move to Fiddy's hit when she appeared on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

Patti also loves Kanye West, and remembers the moment the "Heartless" rapper cautiously asked her to provide guest vocals on his 2005 song "Roses." 

She says, "I was in the studio with his mother. Just gone by to see him. And he says, 'Miss LaBelle. Please I hate to ask you, but would you mind singing this for my grandmother or something?' And I said, 'No, I don't mind honey. I love to sing.' So I did that with him, but I haven't performed with any other rappers."

Fans can pick up Patti's new cookbook, Desserts LaBelle, today, and her first studio album in more than eight years, Bel Hommage [belle oh-MAHJ], May 5. 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr262017

It's official: Katy Perry serving up "Bon Appetit" on Friday

Olivia BeeKaty Perry made it Instagram-official.  Her new single is called "Bon Appetit," and it's coming Friday.  Oh, and it features rap trio Migos of "Bad and Boujee" fame.

Katy posted artwork for the single to Instagram late Wednesday -- it features Katy's disembodied head superimposed on a plate of fruit while the hands of the members of Migos reach for the plate.

"Compliments of the chef: 4.28.17," wrote Katy.

"Bon Appetit" is the second single Katy's dropped in recent weeks from her forthcoming album, following "Chained to the Rhythm."

 Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr262017

Justin Timberlake on the late Jonathan Demme: "Master of humanity...genius of storytelling"

Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagicJustin Timberlake paused Wednesday afternoon to pay tribute to film director Jonathan Demme, who died Wednesday at 73.

Demme directed last year's tour documentary Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids.

"Words just aren't enough with heartache like this," Justin wrote on Instagram, posting a black-and-white photo of himself and Demme embracing.

"You, master of humanity. You, genius of storytelling. You, generous and warm man. You, special soul. You taught me so much about life and art and about standing up for what you believe. You made me better at my craft. And, the time I spent with you away from a camera and a stage made a better human out of me. You are truly irreplaceable. I will miss you so dearly, my sweet friend. I hope we meet again someday. I love you, JD. May you Rest In Peace. --Justin," he concluded.

Demme won a Best Director Oscar for 1991's Silence of the Lambs and was well-known for his concert films -- not only Justin's but the highly acclaimed Stop Making Sense, which chronicled a 1980s tour by new wave band Talking Heads, and several movies for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr262017

David Byrne remembers late 'Stop Making Sense' director Jonathan Demme

Nick Elgar/Corbis/VCG via Getty ImagesFormer Talking Heads leader David Byrne has penned a sweet memorial for director Jonathan Demme, who died Wednesday morning at age 73.

Demme directed Stop Making Sense, the acclaimed 1984 concert documentary shot during Talking Heads’ tour in support of their Speaking in Tongues album.

In a message on his website, Byrne says he’d enjoyed Demme’s earlier films and “could sense his love of ordinary people” and that Demme was “a huge music fan.”

Byrne explains, “We booked four nights at the Pantages Theatre in L.A. at the tail end of a tour for filming. Jonathan joined us on the road and became familiar with the band and the show."

He notes, "Jonathan’s skill was to see the show almost as a theatrical ensemble piece, in which the characters and their quirks would be introduced to the audience, and you’d get to know the band as people, each with their distinct personalities. They became your friends, in a sense.”

Byrne says Demme’s mentoring helped give him the confidence to try his hand at feature film directing himself, with 1986’s True Stories.  “Jonathan helped me as I was developing True Stories," he explains. "I wrote a song for his film Something Wild [and] a score for Married to the Mob.”

Byrne continues, “Jonathan went on to make a lot more features—some hugely successful, others not so much. He interspersed these with a number of documentaries and music films. The documentaries are pure labors of love. They tend to be celebrations of unsung heroes…He often turned what would be a genre film into a very personal expression. His view of the world was open, warm, animated and energetic.

Byrne ends his essay with a simple message: “Jonathan, we’ll miss you.”

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Wednesday
Apr262017

Haim returning to "Saturday Night Live" in May

Rick Kern/WireImageHaim will make their second Saturday Night Live appearance next month. The sister trio will be the musical guest on the sketch show's May 13 episode, hosted by actress Melissa McCarthy.

"We're playing SNL again holy s***," Haim tweeted in all caps.

Haim previously guested on SNL in 2013. For their second appearance, they'll likely be playing new songs from their forthcoming sophomore album, which is due out this year.

Saturday Night Live airs live coast-to-coast on NBC starting at 11:30 p.m. ET.

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Wednesday
Apr262017

Iggy Pop reminisces about Lou Reed with Lars Ulrich; reissuing first three solo albums 

ABC/Randy Holmes; ABC/Randy HolmesBoth Iggy Pop and Lars Ulrich were friends of Lou Reed, and in an interview with Metallica's So What! fan magazine, the two musicians talk about working with the late Velvet Underground frontman.

Eventually the conversation turns to Lulu, Metallica's critically-maligned collaborative album with Reed, which Pop says he "enjoyed." Ulrich revealed that Reed was "really saddened by the response" to Lulu.

"The roles changed at the end where I became almost more maternal to him, and had to like sort of comfort him through this very difficult month when the record came out and it just got f*****g slammed," Ulrich remembers.

You can read the entire, wide-ranging conversation, which took place during Pop's opening stint for Metallica's tour through Mexico last month, now via Metallica.com. A video clip of the discussion about Reed is streaming on RollingStone.com.

In other Iggy Pop news, the Godfather of Punk's first three solo albums, 1977's The Idiot and Lust for Life and 1978's TV Eye Live, are being reissued on colored vinyl. All three records will be available in a limited edition bundle on June 2.

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Wednesday
Apr262017

"Summer, summer summertime": Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff plan two-date European reunion 

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesTime to sit back and unwind this summer with Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff

The duo are reuniting in August for two shows: one in Croatia for MTV's Summerblast music festival and another in the U.K. for the Livewire Festival

Will broke the exciting news on Facebook with a video that includes a vintage scene between himself and Jeff.

It looks like their reunion might extend into future dates as well, because Will wrote in the caption under the video, "First two shows are locked!!!" In 2015, Will told fans that a 2017 tour with DJ Jeff was in the works

In 1989, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff, best known then as hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, earned the first-ever Grammy awarded in the category of Best Rap Performance, for their hit "Parents Just Don't Understand." They won a second Grammy in 1992 for their smash hit single "Summertime." 

Jeff also appeared in Smith's hit sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the 90s.  

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Wednesday
Apr262017

Did Mary J. Blige's protégée cause the breakup of her marriage?

ABC/ Ida Mae AstuteMary J. Blige's estranged husband Kendu Isaacs reportedly was the source of the drama that ended their marriage: a new report claims Isaacs had an affair with Blige's twenty-eight-year-old protégée.

According to Page Six, Isaacs cheated on Blige with Starshell, an up-and-coming artist signed to Mary's Matriarch Entertainment record label.

“Everyone knew. Mary was the last to know, but it’s like, how do you not know?” a source told the publication.  

“It’s really f***** up and low to have it done to her that way. Had it not been for Mary signing her, investing time and money...no one cared about her music.” 

In court documents obtained by TMZ, Blige claims that Isaacs spent over $420,000 on his "girlfriend," although Starshell was not specifically named.

“You’d see them out in the studio together, having dinner without Mary. And then Mary would be at events with her, and it was awkward because it was obvious they were sleeping together,” claimed the insider.

As previously reported, Isaacs' lawyer has refuted Blige's claims, saying in part, “Allegations that have been made about Kendu are false, unfair, mean-spirited and sad...He cares about Mary. He wants her to do well.” 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr262017

Katy Perry to perform on SNL season finale, turns fans into pie-baking maniacs 

Rony AlwinWe still don't know the details of Katy Perry's hotly anticipated new album, but she'll be performing music from it on the season finale of Saturday Night Live.

Katy will be the musical guest on the show for the third time when SNL closes out its season on May 20.  Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, star of the upcoming Baywatch movie, will host.

So far, we've heard "Chained to the Rhythm" from Katy's album, and she's been teasing a new song called "Bon Appetit," which may or may not come out tomorrow.  She first teased the song by embedding the lyrics in a recipe for cherry pie, and now she's challenged her fans to bake her cherry pies -- with the promise of a "surprise" for the best one.

Her Katycats have been baking like crazy ever since, and tweeting the singer pics of their creations.  One spelled out "Where's the album" with dough strips on their pie, while others have been spelling out "Bon Appetit" on their pies.

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Wednesday
Apr262017

Bruno Mars ties Justin Timberlake in "Billboard" Pop Songs chart toppers

Kai Z. FengJustin Timberlake had a seven-year head start, but Bruno Mars has just pulled up even with him on Billboard's Pop Songs chart.

Bruno has just scored his eighth #1 on the chart, which is based on radio airplay, with his latest single, "That's What I Like."  He and JT are now tied with eight #1s, the most of any male solo artist in the history of the chart.

As Billboard points out, Justin scored his first #1 all the way back in 2003 with "Rock Your Body."  Bruno only scored his first #1 in 2010, with "Nothin' on You."

Overall, Justin and Bruno are tied for fifth place among acts with the most #1s on the Pop Songs chart.  Katy Perry and Rihanna both have 11, followed by Pink and Maroon 5, who each have nine.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr262017

Stax Records plans big 60th anniversary celebration

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesLegendary Memphis soul label Stax Records has big plans for its 60th anniversary. Rolling Stone reports that on May 19, Stax, in collaboration with Rhino Entertainment and Concord Music Group, will launch a year-long release campaign dubbed Stax Classics.  It will feature new compilations from the likes of Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Sam and Dave, William Bell, Johnnie Taylor, Carla Thomas, Booker T. & the M.G.'s, The Dramatics and Albert King.

There will also be reissues of many classic Stax albums on vinyl, including Redding’s 1965 release, The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads, and a special 50th anniversary version of Redding and Thomas’ 1967 duet disc, King and Queen.

Additionally, Stax Classics plans a three-disc 60th anniversary box set and the fourth installment of its Complete Stax Singles collection. Rhino and Concord will also make numerous Stax albums available for online streaming for the first time in newly remastered editions.

 The label originally known as Satellite Records was founded by Jim Stewart in 1957, changing its name in 1960 to Stax (combining the first two letters of the last names of Stewart and his sister/business partner, Estelle Axton). Operating out of its own studio in Memphis, the label churned out hits with help from a stable of songwriters and its house band, Booker T. & the M.G.'s.

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