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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Wednesday
Jun252014

Ariana Grande Inspires MTV to Bring Back "TRL" for One Night Only, Possibly Reveals Album Release Date 

ABC/Kelsey McNealMTV's TRL helped shape the sound of pop music in the early part of the 21st century, and now, it's coming back...for one day only.

The occasion is the release of Ariana Grande's new single, "Break Free."  On July 2, at 7 p.m. ET/PT, Ariana will take over the MTV's Times Square Studio for Total Ariana Live, hosted by Sway Calloway.  During her appearance before a live studio audience, she'll perform a stripped-down version of her hit "Problem," debut "Break Free," play some fun music-themed games, talk about her upcoming album, and make a "surprise announcement."  If you miss the 30-minute special, you'll be able to watch it online at TotalArianaLive.mtv.com.

"It's a huge honor to be able to bring back a show like TRL, I used to love watching it growing up," said Ariana in a statement.  "Can't wait to celebrate with my loves in Times Square. Might have some surprises too."

The head of Ariana's record label added in a statement, "Only one artist has the power to turn the lights back on at 1515 Broadway in the iconic TRL studios, and that's Ariana Grande."

In other Ariana news, she appears to have revealed the release date of her new album.  As part of her Twitter countdown to the release of "Break Free," she included the hashtag #61DaysUntil....:)."  That would put the release date at or around August 24.  That's right around the MTV Video Music Awards, which she no doubt will appear on, so it makes sense to have her album come out then as well.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Wednesday
Jun252014

Florida Georgia Line Performing at First-Ever Kids' Choice Sports Awards

Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard both grew up playing sports, so it's a natural fit for them to perform at the first-ever Kids' Choice Sports Awards next month. According to Us Weekly, FGL will appear on the live broadcast Thursday, July 17 at 8 p.m. ET on Nickelodeon.

Says Tyler, "To be a part of celebrating kids' favorite players is awesome."  Brian adds, "I played baseball up through college, and my coaches, teammates and pro-players were some of the most-influential role models in my life."

Live! Co-host Michael Strahan will host the first-ever Kids' Choice Sports Awards.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun252014

Sam Smith Sets Record with Debut Album Sales 

Capitol RecordsSam Smith's debut album In the Lonely Hour didn't debut at #1 on the Billboard chart, but he managed to set a record nonetheless.

The first U.S. album from the red-hot British singer entered at #2 with sales of 166,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Soundscan.  That's the biggest opening sales week for the debut album by a solo artist since 2012, when Phillip Phillips' album The World from the Side of the Moon sold 169,000 copies.

In addition, In the Lonely Hour is the biggest-selling debut album by a British male artist since 1991, when SoundScan began keeping track of album sales.   The album's lead single, "Stay with Me," reached the one million sales mark just this week.  Sam's upcoming U.S. fall tour is almost completely sold out.

A delighted Sam tweeted, "IN THE LONELY HOUR IS OFFICIALLY NUMBER 2 IN AMERICA!! I am overwhelmed and truly touched. Thank you to everyone who has purchased it xx."

Meanwhile, Jennifer Lopez's new album A.K.A. becomes her eighth top-10 disc, entering the chart at #8 with sales of 33,000 units.  The bad news?  It's the smallest first-week sales total for any of her studio albums. 

Lana Del Rey's album Ultraviolence is this week's #1 debut.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun252014

Songwriters Sue Pitbull & Kesha's Record Company Over "Timber"

RCA RecordsIt's going down: a lawsuit has been filed over the Pitbull/Kesha #1 smash, "Timber."

The New York Daily News reports that three songwriters have filed suit in Manhattan Federal Court, claiming that "Timber" rips off their 1978 song "San Francisco Bay," and saying they're owed money from the record label for copyright infringement.  Neither Pitbull nor Kesha is named in the suit.

Among the plaintiffs is harmonica player Lee Oskar.  According to the paper, the suit alleges that Paul Harrington, who played harmonica on "Timber," was told to "emulate" Oskar's harmonica part in "San Francisco Bay" so it would have "an identical texture and sound." 

The suit further alleges that even if the record company, Sony, obtained a license to use the song, they didn't get it from the songwriters, who haven't made any money from "Timber."  The trio -- which, in addition to Lee Oskar, includes Keri Oskar and Greg Errico, according to Wikipedia -- is seeking $3 million in damages.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun252014

Trey Songz Gives Special Gift to Nicki Minaj

Jimmy Fontaine/Atlantic RecordsTrey Songz has treated Nicki Minaj to a nice surprise. The crooner filled her studio with pink roses as a way to express his gratitude for her contribution to his upcoming album Trigga.

"Walked into the studio to this. Whoa! U rlly shldnt have @treysongz. I’m playing, u should have. Lol," said Nicki on Instagram.

Nicki also shared a handwritten note from Trey. "I’m a lil late on the rosé so I got you these roses instead," he said. "Nicki I love you!!! So proud of you. Your growth is inspiring and beautiful to watch. Very happy and honored for us to do it again."

Nicki wrote in the caption, "The honor is all mine, Trey. Thank u. #BottomsUp #TouchinLovin."

The pair have collaborated on a song called "Touchin, Lovin.'"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun252014

Prince's "Purple Rain" Turns 30 Today

Warner Bros.Thirty years ago today, Prince released the soundtrack to his film Purple Rain.

The movie, starring Prince and then-singer and protege Apollonia Kotero as his love interest, opened in first place a month later, and went on to earn more than $64 million.  Those were big numbers for 1984, though critically, the film was raked over the coals.  The one thing on which critics agreed, however, was that the soundtrack was a smash.  It spawned four top-10 hits, two of which -- "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" -- topped the Billboard singles chart.

Purple Rain has since been RIAA-certified 13x platinum for sales of more than 13 million copies in the U.S. alone and is considered one of the greatest pop albums of all time.  And just last April, fans got some welcome, long-awaited news when Prince announced that a remastered edition of the album is in the works.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun252014

Adam Levine Defends Image as a "D-Bag" Serial Modelizer: "I Date the F***ing Person" 

Tony Kelly/GQAdam Levine is engaged to be married, but he's still getting criticism for being a serial dater of models.  In the new issue of GQ, Adam defends himself against the perception he's, as GQ puts it, a "d-bag."

When the magazine points out that Adam's fiancee, Behati Prinsloo, is the third Victoria's Secret model he's dated in five years, Adam says, "I don't date what the person does. I date the f***ing person. You know what I mean? I could have been a zitty teenager and walked into a Tower Records, and we would have talked about Pearl Jam, and we would have fallen in love when we were 15. And that's when you know. It's like, oh, my God, game over."

Regarding his preference for dating models, Adam says, "So what? Preference should never be looked down upon...I'm not saying I have a preference, but like, I want to date someone... Listen, there are a lot of women in this country, in many countries, who date men for their money. Okay? That's despicable. Right? That's not what we're talking about here. Whatever does it for you, man."

Trying to explain why people so often label him a "d-bag," Adam says there are three things that make you one: lack of self-awareness, arrogance and insecurity, and he has none of those.  "I'm not arrogant. I'm cocky," he says.  "I'm confident. Some people don't like confident.  They resent confidence." 

But he will own up to bad behavior in the past, when he was seen as a lothario on the prowl, seemingly out with a different woman every night?  "All of a sudden, I had money in my bank account. I hadn't had a break in a long time. And I went a little...nuts, y'know?" Adam tells GQ. "I deserved to go a little bit nuts. And I had the time of my life." 

“Would it be really easy to assume that I was a d-bag? Definitely," he adds. "One hundred percent. But that doesn’t mean that I am. Or maybe I am, I don’t know...I'm not the easiest person to love right off the bat, you know. If I knew everyone in the world, they would love me. Every single last f***ing one of them."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun252014

Madonna's Daughter to Attend Her Mom's Alma Mater

Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagicMadonna's daughter Lourdes Leon is following in her mom's footsteps: she'll be attending the University of Michigan, where the Queen of Pop once studied.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Lourdes' profile now appears in the university's student directory, and lists her as an undergrad at the university's school of Music, Theater and Dance.  Freshman orientation for the school's summer session ends Wednesday, the paper reports, noting that Madonna posted an Instagram photo clearly taken in Ann Arbor, Michigan -- where the school is located -- on Tuesday.  The photo, of the school's merchandise store, was captioned, "I think ill stop in here!”

Madonna attended the University of Michigan for a brief time in the mid-1970s before she headed to New York City to pursue a career as a dancer. Last fall, she and Lourdes toured the school's campus.  In 2012, Madonna told the NFL Network that she wanted Lourdes to go to school there, saying that Ann Arbor is "an awesome place."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Wednesday
Jun252014

Adam Levine Says First Acting Role Made Him Think, "What Am I Doing Here?"

The Weinstein CompanyStarring in his first-ever movie, Begin Again, presented a new challenge for Adam Levine.  While he plays a musician -- not much of a stretch for him -- he admits that he was quite intimated by the whole process.

In a new featurette for Begin Again, the Maroon 5 frontman says, "The first thing I did, of course, was scour the earth, asking everyone I possibly could for advice on how to act. It is a pretty daunting thing going into this whole new world with celebrated, incredible actors. And it's one of those things where I think to myself, 'What am I doing here?'"

However, he adds, his co-stars -- including Oscar nominees Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo -- put him at ease. He says, "Feeling that way allows me to do my best."

In the film, Adam's character, Dave, dumps his songwriter-girlfriend, Knightley’s Gretta, after he hits the big time. Gretta goes on to find success after meeting a washed-up record executive, played by Ruffalo.

Begin Again opens in select theaters on Friday before expanding nationwide on July 2.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Wednesday
Jun252014

Check Out Paul McCartney's New Fan-Filled Lyric Video for "Save Us"

Mary McCartney/MPL CommunicationsPaul McCartney has premiered a new official video for his song "Save Us" that was put together with more than a little help from his fans.  The clip features dozens of photos submitted by fans that also include various lyric segments from the rocking tune, which appears on Sir Paul's latest studio album, NEW.

The images have been compiled in a montage, along with some clever animation, and the result is a very clever video that celebrates the creativity of McCartney's faithful followers and the love they have for the former Beatle.  McCartney himself even makes an appearance near the end of the clip in a few photos that also include the phrase "Save Us Now."

You can watch the video now at PaulMcCartney.com and at his official YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, McCartney also has posted a video featuring footage of his first-ever concert in Costa Rica, which took place May 1 in the city of San Jose.  The clip shows Sir Paul performing the Beatles gem "All Together Now."  After being sidelined by a virus that forced him to postpone a series of gigs, McCartney is scheduled to return to the road on July 5 with a performance in Albany, New York.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun252014

Lars Ulrich Says Some People Think Hard Rock Is "Inferior or Low-Class"

Ross Halfin

Metallica will headline the U.K.'s Glastonbury Festival later this week, in spite of a petition by protesters to have the band removed from the festival bill and general grumbling from those sitting on what drummer Lars Ulrich calls "precious indie thresholds."

In an interview with BBC 6, Ulrich dismisses the haters as those who "have short attention spans...they like things broken down into easy, digestible soundbites.  It's like, 'Here comes the big bad heavy metal band to our precious little festival.'  I don't think it's genuinely like that… but there obviously are people who snub their nose a little bit at hard rock, and look at hard rock as inferior or lower-class, and [think] that the people who listen to hard rock are less educated."

The petition to remove the band from Glastonbury had nothing to do with indie cred of course.  As previously reported, it was begun by animal-rights activists upset that Metallica frontman James Hetfield narrated The Hunt, the History Channel TV miniseries about a group of hunters who journey to Alaska in search of the Kodiak brown bear.  Hetfield himself has hunted bear, though he hasn't done so in years.

Metallica is booked to headline the festival on Saturday night.  Other late-nighters include Kasabian, The Black Keys and Arcade Fire.

Wednesday
Jun252014

The Band Perry Salutes Michael Jackson's Influence on 5th Anniversary of His Death

Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImageWednesday marks the fifth anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, and The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry remembers exactly where they were when they got the news of his passing.

She says, "We were actually in Manhattan, Kansas the day that he passed away, and we were performing at the festival there. It was just this crazy feeling about the passing of an era."

While they never got to see Michael Jackson perform live, their mother often talked about getting to see him in concert. She even played his music for them as kids.

"I can remember in second grade waiting for the school bus, my mom would put on her Michael Jackson vinyl, and we would dance waiting for the school bus," Kimberly recalls. "I think what was so special about him is not only was he a songwriter and a creator, but his entertainment, in my opinion, is still unmatched."

As they became performers themselves, the Perry siblings studied footage of Michael Jackson's live shows for ideas on how to entertain a crowd.

Reid Perry adds, "We've looked at everything from his fashion to even, you know, how he pops out of a toaster onstage and will stand there for five minutes while the crowd just goes wild and just kinda see how he was able to do so much that he was able to."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun252014

Kelly Rowland and Husband Get Matching Ring Tattoos

Kelsey McNeal/FOXKelly Rowland and her husband Tim Weatherspoon have expressed their love permanently. Much like Beyonce and Jay Z, the newlyweds have gotten matching ring finger tattoos.

During an interview with InStyle magazine for its July issue, Kelly spoke about her custom engagement ring.

“He designed it. It’s beautiful, but I don’t always wear it. What’s more meaningful to me are our tattoos [a small, simple line design]. We have matching ones on our ring fingers. They symbolize our love for each other,” said Kelly.

She also explained why their matching ink is better than her wedding band.  “The ring is gorgeous, but it’s the love that matters,” says Rowland. “That’s worth more than any ring.”

The couple tied the knot during an intimate ceremony this past May in Costa Rica. They are expecting their first child together.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun252014

The Dirty Heads' "My Sweet Summer" Was Almost a Kenny Chesney Country Song

Five Seven MusicIf you like the latest song from The Dirty Heads, "My Sweet Summer," you're not alone. The tune climbed to number 18 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart this week, on the strength of its strong hip-hop vibe and reggae hook.  But before all those different sonic flavors took shape, the song started out as an idea for a tune for country music superstar Kenny Chesney.  

Dirty Heads singer Dirty J tells ABC News Radio, "We had heard that Kenny Chesney was playing our music before his shows, playing it while [the audience was] waiting for him to come out, and so I was like, 'Oh cool, I'm gonna try to write a song, or maybe a hook or something, for Chesney.'"

Before Dirty J and songwriting partner Duddy B could construct the country song, though, they were inspired to mold it in a different way.  Still,  Duddy B admits to ABC News Radio, "[We] blew it, [we] should have sent that [to Kenny Chesney]. Would have been way bigger than 'Sweet Summer!'" 

All kidding aside, both Duddy B and Dirty J say they're "really stoked" and they "love that song."

"My Sweet Summer" is the first single from The Dirty Heads' new album Sound of Change, which hits digital and bricks-and-mortar retailers on July 8. 

 

Wednesday
Jun252014

Aloe Blacc Designs Custom Artwork for Beck's Beer Bottles 

Frederick Brown/MSNBCIf Aloe Blacc decides to crack open a cold one this summer to toast to his success, he'll be able to do so with a bottle of beer whose label he designed himself.

Aloe is one of the artists participating in Beck's Beer's Live Beyond Labels series, which commissions musicians to design original artwork that is then displayed on the labels of Beck's beer bottles.  This year's series will start July 1, and in addition to Aloe, "Safe and Sound" duo Capital Cities has also created label artwork.

Aloe's label design features a pair of red-framed sunglasses and a red bow tie.  "Beck's is the kind of brand that is on the border between a little bit fancy but still cool and hip, and I feel the same way," he tells USA Today, by way of explaining his design. "When I'm onstage, I'm wearing a suit and trying to look fancy, but I'm also trying to present music that's cool and hip."

Capital Cities' label depicts "two characters in a spacecraft, flying through a fantasy world," according to USA Today.  The duo can enjoy their beer this summer while they open for Katy Perry's Prismatic world tour: they're on the road with her through early August.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun252014

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich country legend joined Zac Brown Band on the hit "While She's Walking Away?" ANSWER: Alan Jackson.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun252014

Katy Perry Visits Vice President Biden at the White House

Image credit: Ryan McGinleyKaty Perry has been in a political frame of mind lately. Just days after sharing a photo of herself with Hillary Clinton, the pop star on Tuesday posted onto Instagram a selfie with Vice President Joe Biden.

Katy wrote, "Brought my pink pony to the White House to holler @VP Joe Biden."

She added, "He made me call my 93 year old grandma to thank her for my baby blue eyes! What a Q-T."

An official with Biden's office told CNN that the vice president and his granddaughter are fans of Katy's music, and he invited her to stop by and say hello while she's in D.C.

Last week, Katy posted a photo of herself with Clinton at a signing for the former secretary of state's new book, Hard Choices, and wrote that she offered to write Clinton a theme song for her potential run for president in 2016.  Clinton responded via Twitter, "Well that’s not a Hard Choice. You already did! Keep letting us hear you Roar."

Katy performed at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday night. She'll be back at the venue Wednesday night.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Wednesday
Jun252014

Travis Barker Remembers Michael Jackson on Five-Year Anniversary of Jackson's Death

Chiaki Nozu/WireImageWednesday marks the five-year anniversary of Michael Jackson's death. Travis Barker remembers where he was when he heard the sad news.

The Blink-182 drummer tells ABC News Radio he was in rehearsals for the BET Awards at the time. He continues, "It went from everyone being hype and having fun and playing music to, oh my gosh."

Jackson's music plays a role in Barker's life today. He says he's teaching his son how to play the drum part of the King of Pop's hit "Beat It."

Barker explains, "There's certain beats you just gotta learn, like certain drum patterns that are legendary. And 'Beat It' is one of them, you know? It's a cool first song to learn on the drums."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun252014

Watch 1D's Liam and Harry Sing the Alphabet with "Sesame Street's" Bert

ABC/Lou RoccoLiam Payne and Harry Styles know their ABCs. The proof is in a new video released by Sesame Street, which finds the two One Direction members singing the alphabet with Bert.

Toward the end of the song, Bert pauses, turns to Liam, and tells him, "I thought you almost forgot the lyrics." Liam replied, "I was just waiting for you to finish, man."

The lads in 1D previously made a Sesame Street appearance in January, singing about the letter "U" to the tune of their hit "What Makes You Beautiful."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Wednesday
Jun252014

Ed Sheeran Reveals Which Career Achievement Felt Better than Losing His Virginity 

Credit: Ben WattsSince Ed Sheeran came onto the scene a few years ago, he's had many career milestones, including Grammy nominations, hit singles and major TV appearances.  But he says one, in particular, is so significant that it was even better than losing his virginity.

Ed was recently asked by Elle magazine to answer questions from readers, and one posed this query to the singer: "You sold out Madison Square Garden three times. What felt better: That or losing your virginity?"  Ed replied, "Probably selling out Madison Square Garden three times." 

When the Elle interviewer responded, "Your first time wasn’t memorable?," Ed said, "It’s a benchmark in my life, but it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever done."

Ed was also asked if he's heard from the girl who inspired his now-legendary song "Don't," written about a musician he was dating who cheated on him with a friend.  He said, "No, but I’ve heard things. I’ve heard things about what the reaction was."  Sadly, he didn't go into detail about the reaction.

Finally, Ed was asked if he had a "guiding sentence by which he lives his life."  His reaction?  "It’s a Bill Cosby quote: 'The key to failure is to try and please everyone.'”

Why that quote? Ed explains, "People say, This is my favorite song. You should write another song like that.' At the end of the day, f**k them. Be selfish. Why bother to please everyone? Please yourself. The rest will follow."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio