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Wednesday
Feb142018

Maren Morris bonds with Kesha at "All for the Hall" NYC

Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame“I’m really nervous. This is I think the craziest guitar pull I’ve ever done,” Maren Morris said, as she prepared to play the All for the Hall show Tuesday night at New York City’s PlayStation Theater.

Country-Music-Hall-of-Famer Vince Gill led the otherwise all-female line-up, featuring fellow Hall-of-Famer Emmylou Harris, Maren, and pop star and former Nashville resident, Kesha. The show featured the classic Music City guitar pull format, with all the artists onstage at once, taking turns and contributing to each other’s songs at will.

The evening began with an example of what the Country Music Hall of Fame does with the money raised at events like this. “Every Little Thing” hitmaker Carly Pearce joined fifth-graders from PS 169 in the Bronx, as they performed “We are the Song,” a tune they wrote through the Hall’s Words & Music program.

“We’ll start with one of Rodney [Crowell]’s songs tonight,” Vince said, as he launched into “’Til I Can Gain Control Again,” a song Emmylou introduced in 1975. He also did his 1994 hit “Whenever You Come Around,” while Emmylou offered “Love and Happiness,” a track originally recorded with Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler.  

In addition to her 2010 smash, “Your Love Is My Drug,” Kesha also contributed “Godzilla,” from her latest album, Rainbow.

Maren spanned her career, from her breakthrough hit, “My Church,” to her first solo #1, “I Could Use a Love Song.” She and Vince also had the rare opportunity to do “Dear Hate,” their duet Maren released shortly after the Las Vegas shooting last year.

“Was having a little bit of an off day,” Maren later shared on her socials, along with a photo of Kesha. “And then I played a round with Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and this woman who has inspired me a whole lot this year. Kesha, thank you for being so kind.”

All for the Hall New York was the tenth show of its kind, rotating between Nashville, Los Angeles, and the Big Apple. In all, it’s a tradition that’s raised more than $4 million for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Copyright ©2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Listen now: Ellie Goulding releases cover of Don McLean’s “Vincent” as a Valentine for fans

ABC/Image Group LAAs a special Valentine’s Day treat for fans, Ellie Goulding has released a cover of Don McLean’s 1972 hit, “Vincent.”

The song, about the tragic life of artist Vincent Van Gogh, gets a delicate, acoustic makeover from Ellie and her angelic vocals.

“My album isn’t ready yet, but for the best fans in the world, here’s my offering for Valentines Day, a tribute to Don McLean who wrote this heartbreakingly beautiful and poignant ode to Vincent Van Gogh,” she writes on Instagram. “So much love and big hug.”

Ellie’s last album, Delirium, came out in 2015.

Copyright ©2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Disturbed goes acoustic in recording studio clip

Credit: Travis ShinnDisturbed may be exploring their softer side on their next album.

The Chicago metallers have shared a video from a recording studio showing them playing acoustic guitars and using brush drumsticks. In the clip, you can hear frontman David Draiman say that what they're working on is a "big departure," while still featuring a "gargantuan hook."

It would make sense if Disturbed wanted to take a more acoustic approach to their next album, given the success of their Grammy-nominated orchestral cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic, "The Sound of Silence."

The new album will be the follow-up to Disturbed's 2015 comeback effort, Immortalized.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Is Nicki Minaj's social media silence due to working on new music?

Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABCIt appears there may be a very good reason for Nicki Minaj's recent hiatus from Twitter and Instagram. 

Sources tell TMZ that the rapper has decided to take a break from social media to "fully focus on her music," adding, "we're told she feels way more creative without the distractions of Instagram and Twitter." 

Nicki hasn't posted any new messages on Twitter since December 26, or on Instagram since December 30.  

TMZ adds that Minaj "has been working night and day in the studio" with producers and rappers like Lil Wayne and Mack Maine, and that she won't return to social media until the completion of her forthcoming album, which is "expected to be released later this year" and "expected to be fire." 

Nicki's previous album, The Pinkprint, was released in 2014.  

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Florida Georgia Line "Cruise(s)" to their second top-ten pop hit with "Meant to Be"

ABC/Kelsey McNealFlorida Georgia Line lands the second top-ten pop hit of their career this week with “Meant to Be,” their collaboration with Bebe Rexha. FGL’s first, of course, was their smash debut single, “Cruise.”

Even though Bebe comes from the world of pop and Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley hail from the country music capitol of the world, Rexha says they were on the same page, musically.

“When we wrote this song, Tyler was just doing what he does best with his country roots and I was doing what I knew best with my roots,” she tells Billboard. “We were just being true to ourselves. The meaning is simple and honest, and that’s why I think it’s resonating with the world. The beautiful thing about music is that it allows you to break boundaries, and that’s what I want to be remembered for.”

Growing up in the Big Apple, Bebe says her education in country music came mainly from crossover acts like Faith Hill, the Dixie Chicks and Taylor Swift.

“I never thought a New York girl like me would have a country hit, but I guess it goes to show you that some things are just… meant to be.”

"Meant to Be" is now spending its eleventh week atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs ranking, making Rexha a country record-holder. She bumps Taylor as the female with the most weeks at #1 on the chart, besting her 10-week run with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” in 2012-2013.

Copyright ©2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

D'arcy Wretzky fires back at Billy Corgan: "I honestly think he may have a brain tumor" 

L-R: Billy Corgan, D'arcy Wretzky and James Iha in September 1996 (Catherine McGann/Getty Images)And the Smashing Pumpkins drama continues.

Earlier this week, the band issued a statement saying original bassist D'arcy Wretzky has "repeatedly been invited out to play with the group" in response to her claim that frontman Billy Corgan rescinded an invitation to join their upcoming reunion. Now, Wretzky has given a wide-ranging interview with the site AlternativeNation.net, in which she says that Corgan, among other things, "may have a brain tumor."

In the interview, the reclusive bassist says that she got back in contact with Corgan in 2016 after original guitarist James Iha joined The Pumpkins on stage for the first time in over 15 years. Despite her contentious relationship with Corgan, which led to her leaving the band in 1999, Wretzky says she was open to reconnecting.

"Everyone said he changed since he had a kid, and he can be very charming, and fun," Wretzky continues. "I just was so out of that world for the longest time, I wasn't aware of a lot of the crazy stuff, like he supports [Donald] Trump. What?"

She also addresses a comment Corgan made on a radio show about him seeing a "shapeshifter."

"The shapeshifting thing, I honestly think he may have a brain tumor," Wretzky says. "He's always been insufferable."

Wretzky adds that, contrary to The Pumpkins' statement, Corgan has "never invited me to anything," and she doesn't expect that to change now that she's spoken up.

"He's not going to forgive me," Wretzky says. "He wanted me to do what he wanted me to do, and he's furious at me for telling the truth...Just f***ing come out and say it, you don't want me to tell people that I'm not going to be the bass player."

ABC Radio has reached out to Corgan's rep for comment.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Metallica to receive 2018 Polar Music Prize 

ABC/Randy HolmesMetallica will receive the 2018 Polar Music Prize, also known as the "Nobel Prize of Music." The band will be honored with the prestigious Swedish award during a ceremony held June 14.

"Through virtuoso ensemble playing and its use of extremely accelerated tempos, Metallica has taken rock music to places it had never been before," reads a statement on the Polar Music Prize website. "In Metallica's world, both a teenage bedroom and a concert hall can be transformed into a Valhalla. The strength of the band's uncompromising albums has helped millions of listeners to transform their sense of alienation into a superpower."

In response to being chosen for the honor, Metallica posted a statement on their Twitter feed that reads, "We are truly humbled and inspired to be recognized in this manner!"

Polar Music Prize winners are awarded with one million Swedish kronor, or about $125,000. Metallica will donate the winnings to their All Within My Hands charitable foundation.

Along with Metallica, the 2018 Polar Music Prize also will honor the Afghanistan National Institute of Music.

Among the previous Polar Music Prize honorees are Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Elton John, Chuck Berry, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Patti Smith, and Bjork.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Katharine McPhee to take over lead role in Broadway's "Waitress"

Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Janie's FundKatharine McPhee is tying on her apron and taking on the lead role in the hit Broadway musical Waitress, which features songs written by Sara Bareilles.

Sara, who's been starring in the musical herself in recent weeks, announced the news on Twitter: "I’m passing a pie to @katharinemcphee! So excited for her to start her shift at the diner as Jenna on April 10."

Katharine will take over the lead role of Jenna, a pregnant pie-baking waitress trapped in an unhappy marriage.  She then falls into an affair with her OB-GYN, Dr. Pomatter.  Jason Mraz had been playing Pomatter for several months, vacating the role this past Sunday.

This will mark Katharine's Broadway debut; she's currently starring in the CBS drama, Scorpion.  Late last year, she released a new album of standards, titled I Fall In Love Too Easily.

The former American Idol finalist will star in Waitress through June 17.

Copyright ©2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Josh Groban comes bearing Valentine's Day gifts: new song, tour announcement 

Brian Bowen SmithHappy Valentine's Day, Grobanites: Josh Groban has special gifts for you.

Just go to your Alexa-enabled device to hear a snippet of Josh's brand-new song, "Symphony," as part of Amazon's Today in Music feature.  You can also hear Josh himself explain that the song is about the difficulties of keeping up a relationship when you're a working musician.

"In a nutshell, this song is about this crazy business that I'm in," he says. "I'm often traveling, I'm on the road, and sometimes I've been lucky to be in a wonderful relationship when I'm doing those things, and it's very hard to stay connected with people when you're working as hard as sometimes I have to work."

He adds, "And sometimes...you're in a hotel room and you write about it and you want to give that message to the person that you love, in song form, when the rest won't do."

The song itself is just that: Josh, from a hotel room, telling the object of his affection that they don't simply deserve to have a song written about them -- they deserve a symphony.

On the Alexa Today in Music feature, Josh also reveals that he's going on tour with special guest Idina Menzel, and reels off a list of cities he'll be visiting, including Dallas, Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and New York City.  Presumably, he'll be releasing details soon.

Josh also reveals his three Valentine's Day song recommendations: Elton John's "Your Song," The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody," and Sade's "Your Love Is King."

Copyright ©2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Fantasia Barrino's nephew murdered; singer shares condolences on Instagram

ABC/Fred WatkinsFantasia Barrino's nephew Tyquan Washington was fatally shot Tuesday in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

According to the Greensboro Police Department, police officers found Washington in the roadway suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. 

First responders were also called to the scene of the crime. 

Emergency Medical Services attempted to save Washington's life at the scene but he was later pronounced dead at Moses Cone Hospital. 

The investigation behind the shooting is currently underway, with police interviewing witnesses as of Tuesday.   

Investigators say that the shooting followed a dispute between Washington and another individual. Greensboro PD tells ABC Radio that a suspect, David Lee White Jr., has been arrested in the connection with the shooting and was charged with first-degree murder. 

Fantasia posted two messages on her Instagram page in tribute to her late nephew. 

The latest one, shared Wednesday, features a picture of Tyquan smiling. 

In the caption, Fantasia writes, "Man That Smile [heart emoji] Happy Valentines Day Angel [angel emoji] Keep Dancing Up there Ty and Uncle @xavierbarrino will Soon Be On his feet to dance down here for you again. #unbelievable #unreal #Rip #nephew." 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Count ‘em: Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” video reaches one billion views on YouTube

Markus PritziShe’s got new views, let’s count ‘em! Dua Lipa’s video for her hit, “New Rules,” has surpassed one billion views on YouTube, making her the youngest solo female artist to hit the milestone.

The visual is also the 100th video to make it to the Billion Views Club, and it racked up those views pretty quickly. “New Rules” took 223 days to hit a billion views, making it one of the 15 fastest videos to do so.

“This is surreal! I never expected that 'New Rules' would get the reaction it did,” Dua says in a statement to YouTube. “Videos are so important to me and I’m so grateful that fans discovered this one and loved it so much. It’s been life changing.”

Dua Lipa also celebrated the news by posting a picture on Twitter of herself as a baby, holding a phone. She writes, “I picked up the phone and found out I am the youngest female artist to hit 1 BILLION views on a music video #newrules WHAAAAA!!!”

Copyright ©2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Frances Bean Cobain reveals battle with addiction; marks two years of sobriety 

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesFrances Bean Cobain has opened up about her struggles with addiction. In a heartfelt Instagram post, the 25-year-old daughter of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love reveals that she marked two years of sobriety on Tuesday.

"It's an interesting and kaleidoscopic decision to share my feelings about something so intimate in a public forum," Cobain writes. "The fact that I'm sober isn't really public knowledge, decidedly and deliberately. But I think it's more important to put aside my fear about being judged or misunderstood or typecast as one specific thing."

Cobain doesn't elaborate about the specifics of her addiction, but says she wants to "have the capacity to recognize & observe that my journey might be informative."

"Even helpful to other people who are going through something similar or different," she continues. "It is an everyday battle to be in attendance for all the painful, [bizarre], uncomfortable, tragic, f***ed up things that have ever happened or will ever happen."

Cobain ends the post by writing "Peace, love, empathy," the same phrase her father, who struggled with addiction throughout his life, used in his suicide note.

"I'm going to reclaim this phrase and define it as something that's mine, filled with hope and goodness and health, because I want to," she says.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Watch Eddie Vedder, Chad Smith & Will Ferrell cover Depeche Mode at benefit concert 

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CitiOn Monday, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and his celebrity doppelganger Will Ferrell held a charity show in Seattle, joined by one of the city's favorite sons: Eddie Vedder.

During the show, dubbed One Classy Night in Seattle, the trio, along with Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready and folk rock singer Brandi Carlile, performed a cover of the Depeche Mode classic "Personal Jesus." You can watch fan-recorded footage of the all-star collaboration now on YouTube.

Carlile handled lead vocals, while Vedder stayed near the back of the stage, banging on a tambourine. Ferrell, of course, played the cowbell.

The show raised money for Cancer for College, which gives college scholarships to cancer survivors.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

"Something I felt I needed to get off my chest": Eminem & Ed Sheeran debut dark video for "River" 

Craig McDeanUnhappy Valentine's Day, everybody: Eminem has released the video for "River," his collaboration with Ed Sheeran

The emotional song tells the story of a woman named Suzanne who cheats on her husband because he cheated on her.  She gets pregnant, and her lover tells her to terminate it, but then berates himself for messing with another man's wife and making that request.  In the video, Eminem himself plays Suzanne's lover. 

The video cuts between footage of Suzanne's husband, Trevor, talking about how she broke his heart, scenes of Suzanne secretly meeting with Eminem in a diner and in various hotel rooms, and Eminem rapping the lyrics in a recording booth. 

Ed Sheeran, meanwhile, sits alone in a dark, empty, half-wrecked room, singing the song's hook: "I've been a liar, been a thief/Been a lover, been a cheat/All my sins need holy water, feel it washing over me."

At one point, the music drops out and we see, reflected in a mirror, Eminem and Suzanne arguing about the pregnancy.  He claims she told him she couldn't get pregnant, and tells her he thought they were just "hanging out," not having an actual relationship.  Suzanne insists he take responsibility. 

We then see footage of the two of them physically fighting inside the dark, half-wrecked room while rain pours down, and shots of Suzanne standing alone in the rain.

The video ends as it begins: with Eminem alone in a room, being asked questions by an unseen interviewer.  The interviewer asks, "Just explain to us a bit about what the song means to you."

The rapper replies, "Um, what the song means to me is something that I felt like I needed to get off my chest." 

So, is this a true story? It's unclear, for now.

Copyright ©2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Bryan Adams and Jethro Tull among acts headlining 2018 Ottawa BluesFest

Courtesy of Ottawa BluesFestBryan Adams and Jethro Tull are among the artists who will headline the 2018 edition of Canada's Ottawa Bluesfest, which will be held July 5 to July 15.

Adams will close out the first day of the event. British pop-rock veteran Nick Lowe also will perform on July 5, accompanied by wrestling mask-wearing surf rockers Los Straightjackets. Jethro Tull will hit the stage at the end of day two of the festival, July 6.

Other headlining acts on the Bluesfest bill include Foo Fighters on July 10, Dave Matthews Band on July 11, Shaggy and Naughty by Nature on July 12, and Beck on July 13.

Tickets for the festival will go on sale this Thursday, February 15, at 10 a.m. local time. For the full lineup and more information about tickets, visit OttawaBluesFest.ca.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Bryan Adams, Jethro Tull, Foo Fighters among acts headlining 2018 Ottawa BluesFest

Courtesy of Ottawa BluesFestBryan Adams, Jethro Tull and Foo Fighters are among the artists who will headline the 2018 edition of Canada's Ottawa Bluesfest, which will be held July 5 to July 15.

Adams will close out the first day of the event, while Jethro Tull will hit the stage at the end of day two of the festival and Foo Fighters will serve as the headliners on July 10.

Other headlining acts on the Bluesfest bill include Dave Matthews Band on July 11, Shaggy and Naughty by Nature on July 12, and Beck on July 13.

Tickets for the festival will go on sale this Thursday, February 15, at 10 a.m. local time. For the full lineup and more information about tickets, visit OttawaBluesFest.ca.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Country star trivia

Comstock/Thinkstock Originally, this Chris Young hit made it to #37 on the Billboard chart in 2008. But when it was re-released in 2011, it made it all the way to the top. Can you name it? ANSWER: "Voices."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Wakeboarding or a #1 song? How Kip Moore almost missed "More Girls Like You" 

ABC/Image Group LA Kip Moore celebrated his #1 lead single from his album Slowheart, at a party Tuesday afternoon at Analog at Nashville’s Hutton Hotel.

It’s a moment that almost didn’t happen, because Kip nearly missed the writing appointment when “More Girls Like You” came to life. At the time, he’d just come off the road and was headed to the lake to do some wakeboarding.

“I've always had that fear of maybe I'm gonna miss out on a magical day,” Kip admits, “so I don't cancel stuff. I'd already had those plans, and then [publisher] Nate [Lowery] was like, 'Well, I've put this on the books for you.' So I didn't want to bail…”

Kip was also anxious to collaborate with his eventual co-writers, David GarciaJosh Miller and Steven Lee Olsen.

“Nate had sent me some demos that these guys had done,” Kip says, “and I loved what they were doing, so I wanted to jump on the opportunity. And I felt like I was already in a creative headspace, so I'm super-stoked that I showed up that day.”

“More Girls Like You” is the fourth #1 of Kip’s career. He kicks off the second leg of his Plead the Fifth Tour March 22 in Kingston, Ontario.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Red Hot Chili Peppers fan accidentally buys tickets to Red Hot Chilli Pipers show 

Credit: Steve KerosA British Red Hot Chili Peppers fan got a big surprise recently when he realized he'd actually bought tickets to see Red Hot Chilli Pipers, self-described as "The Most Famous Bagpipe Band on the Planet."

The fan, Duncan Robb, purchased tickets for himself and his girlfriend to the Chilli Pipers' gig in Belfast, Northern Ireland, thinking they were going to see Anthony Kieids and company. Even after realizing the mix-up, they decided to make the trip anyway.

"Still can't believe we've flown over to Belfast not for the @ChiliPeppers but to see the 'worlds best bagpipe band' @chillipipers," Robb tweeted. "Thought I'd got a rate good deal on tickets n'all. Had a nightmare."

The couple even ended up going to the show by the Chilli Pipers, whose sets generally are made up of covers of tunes by classic-rock acts like Journey, Queen, ZZ Top and Deep Purple. Still, Robb probably doesn't ever want to feel like he did that day.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb142018

Adam Levine teams with Tinder to give fans the perfect Valentine's gift: Adam himself, at their doorstep 

Travis SchneiderYou may not be able to swipe right on Tinder and get a date with Adam Levine, but you can watch a video of him surprising some very excited fans for Valentine's day, courtesy of Tinder. 

Adam teamed up with the dating app to travel around and visit fans at their homes.  First, he and Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine gift a couple with Maroon 5 concert tickets and serenade them with "She Will Be Loved" -- after asking if they can use their bathroom.

Next, Adam shows up at a male fan's house and helps him tweak his Tinder profile to make him more appealing.  Finally, Adam surprises two female fans with a basket full of "Galentine's Day" presents, and they're so shocked and overwhelmed they can barely speak.  When then they do, they pretty much just repeat "Oh. My. God." over and over.

Fans can get in on the fun by tweeting @Tinder and @Postmates using emojis of the gift they'd like to receive for Valentine's Day, using the hashtag #VDayandChill.   You might win some exciting deliveries yourself -- but sorry, no guarantees that Adam will show up at your door.

Copyright ©2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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