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Friday
Mar272015

Kenny Chesney Wants Your Old iPod

Image Courtesy Sony Music Nashville/Blue ChairIf you’ve ever wondered what to do with your old iPod, Kenny Chesney has the answer. The country superstar has partnered with the non-profit Music & Memory to encourage fans to donate their old mp3 players to help people struggling with Alzheimer’s.

“The gift of a music player full of favorite songs can help reconnect people with Alzheimer’s to good memories and to the people around them, and that’s a ray of hope for a lot of people,” Kenny says in a PSA he taped for the organization.

Music & Memory provides patients with individually-tailored playlists that help enhance their quality of life. It started with four facilities in New York, and has grown into a nationwide program with 1,000 outlets.

This week, Kenny kicked off his Big Revival tour with two shows in Nashville.


Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar272015

Stevie Wonder to Be Presented with Braille Baseball Bat Tonight in Louisville

Image Courtesy of Louisville SluggerStevie Wonder will be presented with a unique gift tonight to commemorate his concert at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.  The Louisville Slugger company has created a special baseball bat featuring a message engraved in Braille in honor of the Motown legend's show.

The message, which appears both in Braille and regular lettering, reads: "STEVIE WONDER, SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE TOUR, MARCH 27, 2015, LOUISVILLE, KY."  The bat boasts a maple finish and features orange and white accents to represent the prominent colors on the singer's classic 1976 album, Songs in the Key of Life, which he's performing in its entirety on his current tour.

To make the Braille inscription, a laser engraver was employed that used a special computer file made by Louisville's American Printing House for the Blind.

"This is the first time we've made a Braille bat in our 131 years," says Louisville Slugger executive Rick Redman.  "We aren't aware of any other company making a Braille bat.  It's great that laser technology allowed us to do it, and we're honored to be able to provide this special bat to the one and only Stevie Wonder."

Replicas of the Braille bat currently are being displayed at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.  The company previously has created special bats to celebrate other famous music stars' shows at the KFC Yum! Center, including Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, and Beyonce.

Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life Tour is scheduled through an April 14 concert in Newark, New Jersey.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Report: Rolling Stones Now Planning to Announce North American Tour Next Week

Credit: Brian RasicAs Rolling Stones fans know, the band intended to announce details of a 2015 North American tour on Thursday, March 19.  Those plans were delayed, reportedly because of ticketing issues involving the trek's promoters.  Now, Hits Daily Double is reporting that, according to insiders, The Stones will make the tour announcement sometime next week.

The same sources tell Hits Daily Double that the trek will visit stadiums and other large venues in 16 cities and, as previously reported, will kick off over the Memorial Day weekend at San Diego's Petco Park.  The insiders also claim the tour will feature shows May 30 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio; June 6 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas; June 10 at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville; June 13 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida; June 30 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California; July 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; and July 1 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, New York.

Sources say tickets for these concerts will go on sale to the general public on April 13, with pre-sale tickets being made available starting April 8.

Meanwhile, The Rolling Stones recently launched a contest offering a trip for two to an undisclosed location, where the winner apparently will get the chance to introduce the band prior to a concert.  The contest winner also will receive and a commemorative video of the event shot by the band's official videographer.  Fifty runners-up will receive a collection of Stones vinyl.  You can enter the contest now until April 2 at JustAKissAway.rocks.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Is Taylor Swift Really Dating Calvin Harris?

ABC/Ida Mae AstuteAfter they were photographed together in Nashville earlier this week, rumors began that Taylor Swift was dating Scottish deejay/producer Calvin Harris.  Of course, it often seems as if Taylor's automatically linked with any eligible young man she stand anywhere near, so the fact she was spotted with Harris doesn't necessarily prove anything.  But now, TMZ claims to have photographic evidence that the two are more than friends.

TMZ has footage and photos of Taylor Calvin holding hands and walking into country superstar Kenny Chesney's concert Thursday night in Nashville, and of the two of them standing together in the audience, with Calvin's arm around Taylor's waist.  Eyewitnesses also tell TMZ that Taylor was sitting on Calvin's lap, and that the two kissed.

Calvin recently worked with Taylor's friends, the sister group HAIM, and she and the HAIM girls reportedly went to Las Vegas earlier this month to see one of Calvin's shows.

Calvin, who previously dated British singer Rita Ora, wrote and produced Rihanna's #1 smash "We Found Love," and has also collaborated on hit singles with Ellie Goulding, Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine, and British singer John Newman -- "I Need Your Love," "Sweet Nothing" and "Blame" are those songs, respectively.  Calvin also scored his own hit as an artist with the song "Feel So Close."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Chris Daughtry Says He Wanted to Act Long Before He Wanted to Rock

Paul Drinkwater/NBCTwo years ago, Chris Daughtry tweeted that he was taking acting lessons, and they seemed to have paid off: this week, he announced he's landed a recurring role as a drug-addicted rock star in Studio City, a new Fox drama pilot.  But if you think that Chris plans to put career with his band Daughtry on hold in favor of Hollywood, you'd be wrong.

"It’s not something where I feel that I’m gonna, you know, kick music to the side for a few years and do acting," he told ABC Radio around the time he revealed he was taking the acting lessons.  "I don’t see that in my future, because obviously I love what we do so much as a band and with the music. So, it’s gonna be difficult to find a perfect balance."

Still, acting is a passion, and not an afterthought, for Chris.  He didn't just decide to do it because people started offering him roles because he's a chart-topping singer. 

"Looking back over the last six or seven years, it just seems like one dream after another is just coming to fruition, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t pursue ‘em all. You know what I mean?" he told ABC Radio. "And acting was something that I wanted to do way before I ever found music."

As for whether or not Chris is actually any good at acting, well, his coach seems to think so.  He took classes with Marjorie Ballentine, who's worked with Gary Oldman, Krysten Ritter and other stars.   "She just gave me some really encouraging words and made me feel like it’s something that I’m good at and something that I should really consider,"  he told ABC Radio. 

In addition to acting in the show, Chris plans to write original music for Studio City.  As for his day job, he and Daughtry have concerts lined up in late April and early May, and then a few dates here and through the summer.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Brad Paisley Pulls Hidden Camera Pranks on Repeat After Me

Arista NashvilleNotorious prankster Brad Paisley shows off his comedic chops in primetime next week. Brad guests on Repeat After Me, the hidden camera show hosted by The Goldbergs' Wendi McLendon-Covey. She communicates with celebrities via an earpiece, suggesting awkward and often inappropriate things for the stars to say and do, as they interact with unsuspecting civilians.

Produced by Ellen DeGeneres, the half-hour series started as a sketch on her daytime talk show. Repeat After Me airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockThe Oak Ridge Boys sang backup on which 1976 Paul Simon hit? ANSWER:  "Slip Slidin' Away."


Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar272015

Rihanna Wants New Movie "Home" to Make Little Girls Feel "Empowered"

John Russo/DreamWorks AnimationRihanna made her acting debut in the poorly received 2012 big-budget sci-fi flick Battleship, and made cameo appearance in 2013's This Is the End and last year's Annie remake.  Now, it's her voice -- her speaking voice, not her singing voice -- that's front and center in the new animated movie Home, in theaters on Friday.

In Home, Rihanna voices a resourceful and brave little girl named Tip who becomes separated from her mom, voiced by Jennifer Lopez, when aliens invade Earth.   She evades capture, goes on the run and teams up with one of the aliens, voiced by Jim Parsons.  Together, the two learn about acceptance, friendship and perseverance. 

What's notable about Home, besides its all star cast, is its diversity -- it's rare to see an animated movie whose lead character is a regular African-American girl, not some impossibly beautiful Caucasian princess.  "I think it was both important to me and [the movie studio] for this character to be as realistic as possible," says Rihanna. "We wanted little girls to feel empowered. Little girls of any size, shape, color, race -- it didn’t matter."

"We wanted girls to just feel strong and brave and empowered and beautiful and like they can do anything and they can take charge of their life or their situation, no matter what," the singer adds.

Also important, says Rihanna, is the fact is that Tip looks like a lot of the kids who'll be going to see Home this weekend.

"I think we were really, really careful, especially with the animation and making sure that she wore the right thing, that her body was not unrealistic, you know?" she says. "And I think for kids, that’s gonna be very special. For young girls, especially."

Rihanna also contributed three songs to the Home soundtrack; songs by Charli XCX, Jennifer Lopez, Kiesza and other artists round out the package.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

T.I. Cutting Ribbon for New Atlanta Restaurant

Atlantic Records/Warwick SaintT.I. will be joined Friday evening by city officials at the ribbon cutting ceremony for his new restaurant, Scales 925, in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

The event will be followed by a soft opening on April 1, and a grand opening party on April 14. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the restaurant will offer “upscale Southern cuisine” with a decor influenced by the Harlem Renaissance era.  The dining room is described as “classy, elegant, very ornate and chic.”

T.I,.’s personal chef will be a member of the staff. The menu includes numerous chicken offerings including 925 Signature Fried Chicken. 

The rapper/actor bought the Vibe restaurant in January 2015 and renamed it Scales 925.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Brett Eldredge Has Broadway and a Standards Album in His Sights

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleSo far, fans have only glimpsed Brett Eldredge’s talent as a thespian in his music videos. But if he has his way, we’ll likely one day see him on Broadway.

“I'd do it in a heartbeat,” he reveals. “I would totally do that. I mean, I was in that stuff. I was in musicals in high school and stuff. I loved it. I loved being onstage. I love acting. I definitely want to get into that as well. So, absolutely, I would do it. It's fun. I love to watch shows.”

Brett adds he’d also like to record a standards album inspired by his hero, Frank Sinatra, but it’ll be a while before he branches out to do either project. He’s currently climbing the country chart with his top ten hit, “Mean to Me.”

 
Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar272015

Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts to Perform at Swamp Fox Biker Bash

Credit: Jamie WeilandScott Weiland and the Wildabouts have been added to the Swamp Fox Biker Bash in Marion, South Carolina, taking place May 8-17. The former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver frontman's new band will play May 13 to raise awareness of motorcycle safety and the dangers of drunk driving.

Other bands playing the Swamp Fox Biker Bash include Buckcherry and Bret Michaels. Tickets are available via Pledge Music.

Weiland also teamed up with Pledge Music to release his debut album with the Wildabouts, Blaster. Blaster will be released on March 31.

In other Scott Weiland news, the singer took to Facebook to apologize after he was rude to fans at a recent meet-and-greet following a concert in Boston.

"I would like to make a sincere apology to the fans that were at the meet and greet in Boston," he writes. "I'm embarrassed by my behavior and some of the things that I said."

According to AlternativeNation.net, several fans took to the STP forum BelowEmpty.com to vent about their unpleasant experience at the meet-and-greet, saying that Weiland was disrespectful and seemed drunk.

"I put my all into the show that night and honestly was just beyond exhausted," Weiland continues in his apology. "Either way, I acted like a total a**hole and for that I'm truly sorry."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Slash Among Stars Set to Appear at Kirk Hammett's Fear FestEvil

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros. RecordsKirk Hammett's Fear FestEvil just got a little heavier.  Slash is among several hard-rock stars who have signed on to make guest appearances at the Metallica guitarist's second annual horror-inspired music festival.

Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor, Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante also will be on hand for the scare-filled event, while performance lineup includes Meshuggah, High On Fire, Agnostic Front and others.

In addition to the music, the Fear FestEvil will feature selections from Hammett's Crypt Collection of horror collectibles and memorabilia.

The FestEvil also will include the newly announced Carnival of Chaos, which will take place outside the RockBar Theatre in San Jose, California, where the music will be played.  The free, outdoor Carnival of Chaos will feature carnival games, Hammett's famous '36 Ford and an "authentic freakshow."

Also new to this year's Fear FestEvil is a murder mystery dinner hosted by Hammett at San Jose's Winchester Mystery House on April 10.  Guests will dine alongside Hammett, tour the infamous mansion and try to figure out the culprit of the night's "murder."

Kirk Hammett's Fear FestEvil will be held April 11 and 12 at the Rockbar Theatre in San Jose.  For all information, you can visit FearFestEvil.com.

 
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Annie Lennox's Concert DVD Gets a Release Date

Blue Note RecordsAnnie Lennox's new concert film, An Evening of Nostalgia with Annie Lennox, is set to be released on DVD, Blu-ray and digitally on May 4.

The film features Lennox, backed by a 19-piece band, performing a series of classics songs from her album Nostalgia, including "Summertime," "Georgia on My Mind" and "Strange Fruit."  Also included is her powerful rendition of "I Put a Spell on You," which she sang at the Grammys this year and which was featured on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack.

The concert concludes with a four-song selection of Lennox's own solo and Eurythmics hits: "Here Comes the Rain Again," "No More I Love You's," "Why" and "Sweet Dreams."

An Evening of Nostalgia with Annie Lennox was filmed on January 28 at Los Angeles' Orpheum Theatre. In addition to standard DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats, the film will be available for purchase as part of a deluxe package that includes the Nostalgia album.

Fans will get a first look at Lennox's concert film when it premieres April 3 as an episode of the PBS series Great Performances.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar272015

Zayn Malik on Leaving 1D: “I Feel Like I’m Doing What’s Right”

RJ ShaughnessyZayn Malik says he doesn’t regret his decision to leave One Direction.  

In an interview published Friday in the U.K. newspaper The Sun, the 22-year-old admits being surprised by the reaction to his announcement this week but he feels good about the decision he made.

“It is crazy and wild and a bit mad, but at the same time I've never felt more in control in my life,” says Zayn. “And I feel like I'm doing what's right -- right by myself and right by the boys, so I feel good.”

In the interview, Zayn rejects reports that he left the boy band because of bad blood between him and the other members: Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan.

“My band has been really supportive. They've been cool about it,” Zayn tells The Sun. “And they understand that, you know, it's not real to me anymore.”  He said the reports of tension “couldn't be more wrong.”

Zayn also tells the newspaper that he's still with his fiancée, Perrie Edwards, and she's "very supportive" of his decision.

Zayn acknowledges that many fans are upset by his departure, but he hopes they understand.  “I feel like I've let the fans down but I can't do this anymore,” he confesses, adding, "It's not that I've turned my back on them or anything, it's just that I just can't do that anymore because it's not the real me.”

As for his future, Zayn tells The Sun he's been working on his own music for some time.

The four remaining members of One Direction have vowed to continue.  They have concert dates booked through October and are recording a fifth album that is due out later this year.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Friday
Mar272015

Taylor Swift Joins Country Star Kenny Chesney for His Tour Kickoff Show

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Kenny ChesneyTaylor Swift was a special guest at country star Kenny Chesney's opening show on his Big Revival tour in Nashville on Thursday night.

She joined Kenny on stage at the Bridgestone Arena for a performance of his hit song "Big Star." Video of their collaboration was quickly posted on YouTube.

One fan at the show reported on Twitter that she saw Taylor holding hands with Scottish DJ/musician Calvin Harris at one point. The day before, the two were photographed grocery shopping in Nashville, sparking rumors of a potential romance.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Friday
Mar272015

Taylor Swift Joins Kenny Chesney for His Tour Kickoff Show

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Kenny ChesneyTaylor Swift was a special guest at Kenny Chesney's opening show on his Big Revival tour in Nashville on Thursday night.

She joined Kenny -- who turned 47 on Thursday -- on stage at the Bridgestone Arena for a performance of his hit song "Big Star." Video of their collaboration was quickly posted on YouTube.

Also joining Kenny were Chesney collaborator and songwriter David Lee Murphy, Grace Potter, Uncle Kracker, and veteran rocker and Eagles member Joe Walsh.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Friday
Mar272015

Kendrick Lamar Makes History Jumping to Top of "Billboard" Artist 100

Image Courtesy Mark Davis/NBCKendrick Lamar has hurtled to the top of the Billboard Artist 100 list in the biggest move in the brief history of the eight-month-old chart.

Lamar jumped from 82 to number one, fueled by the success of his number one album, To Pimp a Butterfly. The Artist 100 measures popularity based on sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media interaction.

The Compton rapper replaces Taylor Swift, who falls to second place after reigning for 19 weeks at the top of the chart. He also breaks the record she set when she jumped from 69 to number one in September 2014.

Lamar, whose previous high on the chart was number 30, follows Drake as the second rapper to lead the Artist 100 list. Drake is currently number five.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Lee Brice Embarks on Environmentally-Friendly College Tour

Image Courtesy Curb RecordsLee Brice goes back to school next month, as he launches the first leg of a unique tour of college campuses. He's partnering with REVERB, a non-profit that brings musicians and students together to work toward environmental and social change. The avid hunter and fisherman will focus on outdoor preservation and water conservation, even working to lessen the effect of the shows themselves.

"We're hoping to offset the environmental impact of the tour by supporting clean energy projects and using buses and trucks fueled with locally produced biodiesel," he says. "I have two sons and I look at this as investing in their future and that of kids around the world."  

The South Carolina native plays his alma mater, Clemson University, on April 11. 

Here are the dates so far for Lee Brice's college tour:

4/8 -- Buies Creek, NC, Campbell University
4/9 --Erie, PA, Penn State University
4/10 -- High Point, NC, High Point University
4/11 -- Clemson, SC, Clemson University
4/15 -- Saint Charles, MO, Lindenwood University
4/22 -- Conway, AR, University of Central Arkansas
4/24 -- Monroe, LA, University of Louisiana
4/30 -- North Andover, MA, Merrimack College
5/1 -- Slippery Rock, PA, Slippery Rock University

 
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Sam Hunt Had His Doubts About "Take Your Time"

Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleEven though “Take Your Time” has turned out to be Sam Hunt’s latest top ten hit, he confesses he wasn’t always sure that would be the case.

“‘Take Your Time’ is a song I wrote two or three years ago,” he recalls, “and it was sort of my first experience using a unique cadence in the verses and flowing from that spoken thing into a melody and then back again.”

Along the way, Sam worried the song might just be too different for country radio.

“It probably represents a lot of the R&B influence that a lot of my music has, and I’ve always been really attracted to that rhythmic style of music. It’s a song that I’ve had for a while and been most antsy about putting out, because it is one of the first songs I wrote when I started working on my own project.”

Sunday night, Sam takes his Lipstick Graffiti tour to the campus of Iowa State University.


Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio

 

Friday
Mar272015

Go Behind the Scene of Tyrese's Latest Video Featuring Snoop Dogg

Voltron RecordzWhile Tyrese was in New York City Thursday promoting Furious 7 which opens April 3, he released a behind-the-scenes video for his collaboration with Snoop Dogg, "Dumb S**t.”

The song is the first single from his sixth solo album, Black Rose, which is due July 7, and apparently will be Tyrese's swan song. He says in the clip, “Black Rose is my last album solo and I figured, if we gonna tap out, I’m a give them more than enough to hold on to,” he says in the new clip, adding, “The fans have been rocking with me forever." 

The mini-documentary features R. Kelly and Wiz Khalifa visiting the set which is filled with scantily clad women. Snoop surprises Tyrese with a birthday gift -- lap dances from two of the ladies.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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