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Friday
Jul222016

Rob Thomas & Counting Crows Kick Off First-Ever Joint Tour Tonight

Live NationRob Thomas and Counting Crows kick off their first joint summer tour tonight in West Palm Beach, Florida. Rob says he can't still believe that after decades of friendship, he and Counting Crows, led by his pal Adam Duritz, have never teamed up before.

"I’ve known Adam for 20 years," Rob tells ABC Radio. "We’ve gotten drunk together all over the world, and somehow we’ve still never done a tour together!" 

He adds, "We share some of our closest friends...some of my best friends are some of his best friends. So it just feels like a natural thing. Like, 'Let’s go out and find a reason that we can hang out and catch up over the summer,' y'know? And then while we’re doing it, we get to play music!"

Rob is promoting his latest solo album, The Great Unknown, on this tour. So, can we expect to see the two frontmen team up to sing together during the tour?  "Yeah, of course we will," Rob tells ABC Radio. "I think that’s in both of our blood. It’s kind of the way we both roll, so I expect that to happen." 

Next week, the tour arrives in North Carolina for a show that Rob and Adam initially considered canceling because of that state's controversial "bathroom bill," which some believe is discriminatory towards the LGBT community.  But ultimately, Rob tells the Charlotte Observer that they decided to go on with the show, and instead donate money to LGBTQ causes.

"You’re talking about civil rights issues," Rob tells the paper. "People having a problem with the way someone was born...We’re in a world where gay marriage is a legal mandate. And we’re still talking about where somebody goes to the bathroom?”

The joint tour will wrap up at the end of September in Nashville.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul222016

Twenty One Pilots' Tyler Joseph Is "Really Intense, but Also Hilarious," Says Producer

ABC/Randy HolmesTwenty One Pilots frontman Tyler Joseph clearly pours a lot of emotion into his music. Producer Ricky Reed saw that when he met Joseph for the first time.

"My first thought was like, 'This guy is really intense, but also hilarious,'" Reed tells ABC Radio.

Joseph expresses a lot of that intensity through Twenty One Pilots' live show, during which the musician smothers himself with black makeup on his neck and arms. When asked if Joseph was wearing the makeup when he met him, Reed laughs, "No, no, no...Tyler...dresses in all black, but is a sunny guy outside of that." He cracks, "[Boy], he’s gonna love that I called him a 'sunny guy!'"

Reed worked with Twenty One Pilots on several tracks that appear on the band's latest album, Blurryface, including the current single "Ride," which spent seven non-consecutive weeks atop Billboard's Alternative Songs chart this year. They started recording the track together after the band flew Reed out to Columbus, Ohio, their hometown.

"It was really the sort of first song that we bonded over," he adds of "Ride." "We finished it back in L.A. using a lot of traditional elements of roots reggae...it's a great song."

Though they've been around since 2009, Twenty One Pilots really broke through to the mainstream this past year with singles like "Ride" and "Stressed Out." As Reed sees it, Twenty One Pilots fever won't cool down anytime soon.

"Their fans have known for years the magic of the band, between the live show and how good they are to their fans and how emotionally effective their songs are," says Reed. "But I think...finally...the general public, just got a peek into their world. And the further people get inside of it...they're just gonna get bigger and bigger and bigger."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul222016

George Harrison's Twitter Labels Trump Use of Beatles Song "Offensive"

Fox Phots/Getty ImagesThe official Twitter feed for the Estate of George Harrison protested the use of Harrison’s 1969 song "Here Comes the Sun" during the Republican National Convention Thursday night as "offensive.”

The hit song, which appeared on The Beatles' penultimate album Abbey Road, was played as Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka took the stage in Cleveland to introduce her father before he officially accepted the Republican presidential nomination. 

The tweet, posted at 8:25 p.m., stated, "The unauthorized use of Here Comes the Sun at the #RNCinCLE is offensive and against the wishes of the George Harrison estate.”

Minutes later, another tweet appeared, stating, “If it had been Beware of Darkness, then we MAY have approved it! #TrumpYourself.”

"Beware of Darkness" is a 1970 Harrison song that was released on his solo triple album All Things Must Pass.

This is not the first time the Trump campaign has drawn the ire of rock stars. The Rolling Stones asked the Republican candidate's campaign to stop playing its music in May. In spite of this, the campaign used "You Can't Always Get What You Want" after Trump's acceptance speech Thursday evening.

Earlier this week, after "We Are the Champions" played during the first day of the RNC, the rock band Queen tweeted, "An unauthorized use at the Republican Convention against our wishes – Queen."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Hip-Hop Hall of Fame Awards Come Back to New York City for 20th Anniversary 

Dove Entertainment LLCThe 20th anniversary of the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame Awards television show happens on November 11 and is slated to return to New York City during Hip-Hop History Month. Iconic MC Roxanne Shante will co-host the event, which will be taped live at the United Palace Theater in New York City, to be broadcast on television for American audiences at a later date.  

"This will be the 20th anniversary of the first HHHOF Awards show that was broadcast in syndication television and on the BET Cable Network in 1996," says co-producer Kenny 'DJ Lord Yoda X.' "That show inducted the Legendary Run DMC & the late Jam Master Jay, DJ Red AlertGrandmaster Flash, the Zulu NationEazy E, as we watched history in the making," he says. This year's Hip-Hop Hall of Fame inductees will be revealed during the Harlem Week Celebration at the famed Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem. 

You can pre-order tickets for the ceremony on Friday, July 22. A limited amount of VIP tickets also will be available.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Have the Top-Grossing Tour of 2016, So Far

Credit: Danny ClinchConcertgoers have been flowing in droves to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's 2016 The River Tour, as Billboard has announced that the trek was the top-grossing tour in the world during the first half of the year. Bruce's ongoing jaunt, which is supporting his 2015 archival box set The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, brought in more than $135 million, while 1.1 million tickets were sold for its 45 concert dates.

Other rock artists with tours in the top 10 of the list include The Rolling Stones at #4, ex-Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour at #7 and heavy-metal veterans Iron Maiden at #8.

The Stones' América Latina Olé tour only featured 13 concerts, but grossed nearly $84 million and sold 729,000 tickets. Gilmour's tour in support of his latest solo album Rattle That Lock brought in $42.3 million, with close to 399,000 tickets sold for its 17 dates. Iron Maiden made about $30.1 million after selling almost 539,000 tickets to its 34 concerts.

Springsteen and the E Street Band also had Billboard's #1 Boxscore -- that is, the highest-grossing single-venue engagement -- for the first half of 2016. The Boss and company's May 27 and May 29 stand at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland, grossed $19.2 million.

The Rolling Stones, meanwhile, had the second, fourth and fifth best Boxscores, for multiple-nights stands in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, that grossed, respectively, $17.6 million, $13.2 million and $12.3 million.

Paul McCartney, meanwhile, had the #6 best-grossing Boxscore, as his May 17 and 19 performances in Buenos Aires brought in $11.8 million.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Desiigner Releases New Track, "Tiimmy Turner"

Universal MusicDesiigner's new single is here, and it's quite the Auto-Tuned head banger. Called "Tiimmy Turner," the track exudes a sinister sound that would be right at home on a horror movie's soundtrack. The song, which was originally a freestyle rap performed for XXL Magazine's 2016 Freshman Class issue this year, debuted on Thursday.  

The new track also follows the recent release of Desiigner's debut mixtape, New English.Desiigner turned heads in the music industry after his debut single, "Panda," rose to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in May and his electrifying performance at the BET Awards.

"Tiimmy Turner" is now available to stream and download from the usual digital platforms.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

2 Chainz Teams with Hpnotiq, Releases New Music Video for the Liqueur Brand 

Island Records2 Chainz released a music video on Wednesday to announce his new partnership with the luxury liqueur brand, Hpnotiq.

The video is titled "Not Invited" and you can view it on Hpnotiq's Instagram account in three separate parts. All three video clips feature Chainz's French bulldog, Trappy, as both weave their way through a heady house party. 

Hpnotiq has collaborated with other rappers in the past, including Cam'ron and Yung Jake. Their partnership with 2 Chainz is part of their #SINCE2001 campaign, according to Brittany Capito, senior brand manager. "We're excited to continue building upon the success of #SINCE2001 with this digital campaign," she says. "The most iconic hip-hop songs and videos of the 2000s featured Hpnotiq, and we are proud to collaborate with one of the most celebrated artists of 2016, as we usher Hpnotiq into the future."  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Thursday
Jul212016

Chester Bennington Thinks Linkin Park "Kept Metal Alive"

ABC/Randy HolmesLinkin Park has encountered  a fair share of detractors over their career, especially when the band first burst on the scene with their giant debut album Hybrid Theory in 2000. Some people felt that Linkin Park's brand of metal wasn't "authentic" enough, which is a notion frontman Chester Bennington dismisses.

"I think that's really funny -- just those words, 'the integrity of metal,'" Bennington tells the U.K.'s Metal Hammer. "In my opinion we actually kept metal alive."

"I met a kid a few days ago who said, 'You were the first rock band I ever listened to,'" the singer adds. "I hear that all the time."

Bennington not only hears that from fans, but from young bands, too.

"We played a surprise Vans Warped Tour show in California in 2014 and had a whole bunch of singers from other bands come up and sing with us," he remembers. "Every one of them was either, 'Your band was my first record,' or, 'Your band is the reason I'm playing music.' It was maybe the first time where I felt like we were the band that people looked at in the way that I look at Deftones, Metallica and Stone Temple Pilots."

Linkin Park is currently working on their seventh studio album.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Elton John Encourages Youth to Help Fight Against AIDS 

ABC/Randy HolmesElton John took the stage with Prince Harry today at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. The two spoke on a panel about the needs of youth living with HIV and discussed ways to help prevent the disease among young people.

"Africa's youth has grown up in the shadow of AIDS," Elton said, addressing the young people in the audience. "It's time to see a new form of freedom."

He added, "People of my generation all over the world have engaged in big and small ways to help turn the tide of AIDS. Let it be remembered that you and young people here and around the world joined forces and became the generation that finally made AIDS history. You are the future, not just for AIDS, you’re the future of this planet and boy, do we need you."

Elton is the founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars to combat AIDS, and offers treatment and support to those affected by the disease.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Thursday
Jul212016

Justin Timberlake Recalls Writing "Can't Stop the Feeling!": "It Just Makes People Happy" 

Albert L. Ortega/Getty ImagesHe's starring in the animated movie Trolls, but Justin Timberlake is also the executive producer of the film's soundtrack. The first single, "Can't Stop the Feeling!" is a massive hit, and according to the director, that's because Justin specifically announced his intention to write one.

"It was his idea to make his song a hit song," Trolls co-director Mike Mitchell tells ABC Radio about "Can't Stop the Feeling!"  "We didn't ask for that. That was just something [he offered].  He was like, 'And you know what? I'll make it a hit! How's that?'  And we're like, 'Great! Thank you!'"

But the soundtrack is much more than "Can't Stop the Feeling!"  Speaking at San Diego's Comic-Con on Thursday, co-director Walt Dohrn tells ABC Radio, "We have four original songs written by Justin Timberlake," in addition to tracks from Ariana Grande and Gwen Stefani

Dohrn adds, "But we have classic songs as well, from the sixties and nineties, like, from all over the place, all different kind of of genres of music, but Justin really kind of weaved it all together into this cohesive whole."

"I never thought I'd ever have an opportunity to....[rework] Simon and Garfunkel and Earth, Wind and Fire and...Gorillaz," Justin told fans at the Trolls panel at Comic-Con Thursday. "It's been a lot of fun."

But Justin says he was surprised at the effect that crafting an upbeat song like "Can't Stop the Feeling!" had on him.

"I’ve never written a song like that under these type of circumstances," he told the panel. "But when I started to write the song, I was like, 'This actually makes me feel really good.' And  I think, to kinda go along with the theme of the movie, it’s nice to be a part of something that you can put out in the world and it just makes people happy." 

Trolls arrives in theaters in November.  The soundtrack's due in September.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Brandy and Her Record Label Trade Barbs

Kat MorganThe legal battle, and war of words, between Brandy and her label is continuing.

Back in March, Brandy sued the company for $1 million accusing Chameleon Entertainment and company President Breyon Prescott of refusing to pay for her to record or allow her to release new music.

On Wednesday a rep for Prescott slammed the singer to TMZ all but calling Brandy washed up.  The label took a risk in "signing an artist that hasn't had a chart single success since the early 2000," the rep told TMZ.

But a rep for Brandy returned fire saying that if the label thinks so little of Brandy's career prospects it should "release her from the contract."

Brandy's most recent release was the bluesy single "Beggin' & Pleadin'" in January.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Thursday
Jul212016

One Direction’s Liam Payne Signs Solo Deal with Capitol Records

ABC/Matt BrownLiam Payne is the latest One Direction member to strike out on his own. The singer has signed a solo record deal with Capitol Records U.K.

He announced the news on Twitter, writing, “Happy to have signed to Capitol. They have an amazing history of artists, I hope I can follow in their footsteps.”

Liam adds, “One Direction will always be my home and family but I'm very excited to see what this chapter brings.”

No word on what his solo deal will actually mean for the future of the band. Last year, Zayn Malik left the group to pursue a solo career and last month, it was reported that Harry Styles had signed a solo deal with Columbia Records.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Thursday
Jul212016

Florida Georgia Line Offers a Trippy Peek at the Dig Your Roots Tour 

BMLGYou can get a psychedelic peek at what’s it like on the road with Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots tour, in a trippy new video clip that recaps the duo’s recent dates in Raleigh, North Carolina; Bristow, Virginia; and Wantagh, New York.

Set to the new tune “Blame” by electronic duo Zeds Dead, producer Diplo and Swedish singer Elliphant, the clip shows off Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard’s bowling abilities, as well as a self-proclaimed “Hillbilly Long Hair Hippie Tap Dance” from Tyler.

Florida Georgia Line kicks off their dates this week Thursday night with two shows in Wisconsin, before making their way to Monticello, Iowa, on Saturday. Their new album, Dig Your Roots, comes out August 26.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Thursday
Jul212016

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Have the Top-Grossing Tour of 2016, So Far

Credit: Danny Clinch

Concertgoers have been flowing in droves to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's 2016 The River Tour, as Billboard has announced that the trek was the top-grossing tour in the world during the first half of the year. Bruce's ongoing jaunt, which is supporting his 2015 archival box set The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, brought in more than $135 million, while 1.1 million tickets were sold for its 45 concert dates.

Madonna's Rebel Heart tour was second on Billboard's mid-year report, raking in almost $124 million and selling about 741,000 tickets for its 58 shows. Other veteran artists with tours in the top 10 of the list include The Rolling Stones at #4 and ex-Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour at #7. The Stones' América Latina Olé tour only featured 13 concerts, but grossed nearly $84 million and sold 729,000 tickets. Gilmour's trek promoting his solo album Rattle That Lock earned $42.3 million, while selling close to 399,000 tickets for its 17 gigs.

Springsteen and the E Street Band also had Billboard's #1 Boxscore -- that is, the highest-grossing single-venue engagement -- for the first half of 2016. The Boss and company's May 27 and May 29 stand at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland, grossed $19.2 million.

The Rolling Stones, meanwhile, had the second, fourth and fifth best Boxscores, for multiple-nights stands in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, that grossed, respectively, $17.6 million, $13.2 million and $12.3 million.

Paul McCartney, meanwhile, had the #6 best-grossing Boxscore, as his May 17 and 19 performances in Buenos Aires brought in $11.8 million.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Nope, Still Dead: My Chemical Romance Is Not Reuniting 

Kevin Mazur/WireImageOn Wednesday, My Chemical Romance shared a cryptic teaser video featuring the opening keys of their song "Welcome to the Black Parade" that promised that something was happening with the band this September. This then caused an internet frenzy, as many took the clip as a hint that Gerard Way and company would be reuniting. However, as the band has now clarified, that is not the case.

"We've been really touched and blown away by the response to the teaser trailer," MCR writes in a statement posted to Twitter. "We are not touring and there is no reunion planned."

Instead, the trailer was meant to simply tease a reissue of My Chemical Romance's 2006 album The Black Parade, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

"Thanks so much for continuing to keep MCR in your minds and in your hearts," the band's statement continues.

Since The Black Parade debuted 10 years ago, My Chemical Romance released one more album, 2010's Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, before calling it quits in 2013. Frontman Gerard Way released his debut solo album, called Hesitant Alien, in 2014.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Stuntin' Like Her Mommy: Solange Posts Mini Photo Shoot of Blue Ivy

Johnny Nunez/Getty ImagesSolange Knowles is a proud auntie and she wants the world to know it. The singer shared some cute candids of her niece, Blue Ivy in a mini photo shoot posted on Instagram.

Knowles decided to show off Beyonce's daughter by having her pose in a pink ensemble accompanied by a decorative blue flower necklace. The caption to one shot reads, "Gucci campaigns can't even touch her w a pinky toe...#proudauntie."

The singer followed up the first photo with a second one that shows Blue lowering her shades as she looks at the camera. "(Ps: She does her OWN photo edits/selections...as she should) #proudauntie," Solange writes.

Solange also is a proud momma as the singer celebrated the graduation of her son, Juelz, in May. 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Are A$AP Rocky and Kendall Jenner an Item?

Dexter NavyThe magazine quotes an unnamed source close to Jenner as saying that A$AP and Kendall's romance is just casual. "It's a fling. It's not serious," says the source.

The rapper and Jenner started off as friends, then rumors of something more between the two began last month. The pair was spotted on a dinner date, followed by a night of clubbing in Paris during Menswear Fashion Week in June.  

Still, Jenner's other rumored beau, Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Jordan Clarkson, remains in the picture. The Daily Mail writes that Clarkson and Jenner "have been partying in West Hollywood recently." 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Thursday
Jul212016

YG Releases Donald Trump Diss Remix Track

Ro.LexxTell us how you really feel, YG! The outspoken rapper has released a new song titled "FDT", which stands for "F*** Donald Trump." 

The remix track, which also features G-Eazy and Macklemore, is a rowdy declaration on the many reasons why all three recording artists will not vote for the Republican presidential nominee this year.  

"This man's not peaceful, racism's evil," G-Eazy exclaims on the no-holds barred single, while Macklemore raps, "I ain't gonna let you f*** up four years." Towards the end of the single, YG sums up all of the artists featured on the song in one simple verse. "Thought I was making songs just to ride you. But come to find out your own kind don't even like you. Macklemore don't like you, G-Eazy don't like you. The rest weenies, they scared to say it, but they don't like you," he raps. 

You can listen to "FDT" now on SoundCloud.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Billy Joel Helps Tony Bennett Celebrate Upcoming 90th Birthday at His Latest NYC Show

Myrna M. Suarez/WireImageAt the latest edition of Billy Joel's ongoing monthly residency at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, the Piano Man invited another legendary New York singer, Tony Bennett, on stage to duet with him on a rendition of his classic "New York State of Mind." Joel then got the sell-out crowd to sing "Happy Birthday to You" to Bennett, who will celebrate his 90th birthday on August 3.

In addition, Billy surprised Tony backstage with a special birthday cake that featured a picture of the beloved crooner as well as a replica of an old-school microphone.

On Friday, Bennett sent Joel a Twitter message that read, "Thanks for the early birthday cake @billyjoel! It was such a thrill to perform with you last night."

You can check out fan-filmed video of the "New York State of Mind" duet and of Joel singing "Happy Birthday" to Bennett on YouTube.

Joel's next concert is scheduled for Saturday, July 30, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. He returns to Madison Square Garden on August 9.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul212016

Phantogram Takes a Lonely Trip to the Beach in "You Don't Get Me High Anymore" Video

ABC/Randy HolmesPhantogram has premiered the video for their new single "You Don't Get Me High Anymore." The frenetic visual features a variety of evocative images, including frontwoman Sarah Barthel walking in slow-motion as a giant wave crests behind her. You can watch the "You Don't Get Me High Anymore" video now on YouTube.

Directed by Grant Singer, the video was filmed at California's Bombay Beach on the coast of the Salton Sea, which has been significantly damaged as a result of the California drought.

"'You Don't Get Me High Anymore' is about the loneliness in superficial relationships and that feeling of not being able to find happiness in places that were once so easy to come across," Phantogram's Josh Carter tells The Fader. "The desolation in Bombay Beach represents that feeling really well. The area was once a promising vacation spot before the droughts and now it's a ghost town."

"You Don't Get Me High Anymore" is the lead single from Phantogram's forthcoming third studio album, Three, which will be released September 16. The band will be touring in support of Three this fall starting September 29 in Las Vegas.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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