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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Wednesday
Jan292014

Madonna to Introduce Formerly Jailed Members of Pussy Riot at Amnesty International Concert 

Madonna.comMadonna was very vocal in her support of jailed Russian female punk collective Pussy Riot, and now that its members are out of prison, she continues to support them.  She'll introduce two of the collective's members at an Amnesty International concert event February 5 in Brooklyn, NY. 

As previously reported, the lineup for the concert, called Bringing Human Rights Home, includes Colbie Caillat, The Fray, Imagine Dragons and Lauryn Hill, among other acts.  Madonna said in a statement on her website, "I am honored to introduce my fellow freedom fighters Masha and Nadya from Pussy Riot. I have admired their courage and have long supported their commitment and the sacrifices they have made in the name of freedom of expression and human rights."

Masha and Nadya were jailed in Russia in 2012 for "hooliganism."  Their crime?  They had performed what they called a "punk prayer" in a Moscow cathedral as a protest against Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Arcade Fire, Foster the People Among Stars Performing at 2014 Squamish Valley Music Festival

SquamishFestival.comThe lineup for the 2014 edition of the Squamish Valley Music Festival has been revealed, and it includes an impressive lineup of rock acts. Arcade Fire and Foster the People have signed on to participate in the event, which takes place August 8-10 at Centennial Field, Logger Sports Grounds and Hendrickson Fields in Squamish, BC.

Other notable acts on the bill include Arctic Monkeys, Broken Bells and The Head and the Heart.

Discounted pre-sale tickets for the event will go on sale on Monday, February 3.  Remaining tickets will be sold starting Friday, February 7 at 10 a.m. local venue time. To see the complete festival artist roster and get your tickets, head over to SquamishFestival.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Lorde Condemns New Zealand Media for Pushing Her; Thanks Hometown Fans for Grammy Wins

Bret Hartman/CBSLorde has mixed feelings about being a Grammy winner. According to The Southland Times, the singer had a rough time when she arrived at Auckland International Airport in her home country of New Zealand just hours after picking up the Grammys for for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year for her hit single, “Royals.”

In a series of Tweets that have since been deleted, Lorde claimed that members of the New Zealand media “almost pushed over” her and members of her family at the airport so they could get pictures of her. She added she’s having some issues adjusting to her new-found fame, tweeting, “I know that success comes with a price tag. It just sucks when you see that in your tiny home country where you previously felt safe. I understand that people of note are supposedly fair game for everyone to photograph and film but that doesn't make it acceptable.”

The singer also drew a distinction between the reaction she gets from fans and "the constant, and often lecherous gaze that i'm subjected to in this industry."

While she’s not thrilled with how the New Zealand media treats her, she did take a moment to thank her fans there. The singer had a handwritten note published in the New Zealand Herald on Wednesday, in which she acknowledged the support she’s received from everyone in her home country.

“I just want to say thank you for the time you’ve given me the past 14 months," she writes. "Finding out about me online or in between these pages or in your headphones. Without your support, there’s no way I would ever have gotten to stand in the middle of the Staples Center and perform in my school shoes.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Watch Free Live Streams of Foo Fighters & Imagine Dragons NYC Concerts During Super Bowl Weekend

Steve GullickFoo Fighters and Imagine Dragons will celebrate Super Bowl weekend in New York City by performing at an event dubbed the Bud Light Hotel New York.  Even if you couldn't get tickets, you can still enjoy the show.

RollingStone.com has just announced they’ll be offering up a free live stream of both shows on their website. Imagine Dragons will perform their concert for the event at midnight on Friday, while Foo Fighters will take the stage the next night.

The concerts will take place at the Bud Light Hotel Amphitheater, which inside the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum that’s docked at Pier 86 on Manhattan's Hudson River.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

J. Cole Brings Dreamville Label to Interscope Records 

J. Cole/Sony Music Entertainment/Roc NationJ. Cole has announced that his Dreamville label -- which the rapper' created in 2007, prior to signing with Jay Z's Roc Nation -- has inked a deal with Interscope Records.

"We’re honored and excited to partner with Interscope Records, a legendary and powerful force in the music industry," says J. Cole in a statement. "We’re ready to add to the history."

Dreamville also announced on Wednesday that its first artist signing will be Bas, who has been supporting Cole on tour.

In addition, the rapper has released his free mixtape Revenge of the Dreamers.  The release coincides with his 29th birthday, which was this past Tuesday.  In an image posted to Instagram together with the project's cover, Cole hints that he's only getting warmed up with his new deal with Interscope.

The cover reads: "This sh** started back in '07 summertime. Muhammad crib. Dreamville partnered with Interscope Records (RIP Pac!). Congrats to the Dreamville staff, the movement. This is only the beginning. Enjoy the tape!"

The new mixtape samples Miguel's "Do You…" and Tupac's "Ambitionz az a Ridah."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Eric Clapton Schedules Memphis Concert in Late April

Surfdog RecordsEric Clapton's U.S. fans will get more than one chance to see the guitar legend this spring.  After recently announcing an April 27 headlining appearance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Clapton has added an April 30 show at the Mud Island Amphitheatre in Memphis, Tennessee, to his tour itinerary.

The concert will mark the first time Clapton has performed in Memphis since 2010.  Tickets for the show will go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. CT via Ticketmaster.com.  The Where's Eric fan site reports that Clapton is planning to add a few more spring and early-summer dates, but it doesn't confirm if these gigs will be in North America.

Eric's 2014 tour is scheduled to get under way with a Japanese leg that begins February 18 in Tokyo.  He also will visit Thailand, Singapore and Dubai in March, and has a trio of European dates scheduled for late June.  Check out all of the 68-year-old rock star's shows at EricClapton.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Madonna to Introduce Formerly Jailed Members of Pussy Riot at Amnesty International Concert

Madonna.comMadonna was very vocal in her support of jailed Russian female punk collective Pussy Riot, and now that its members are out of prison, she continues to support them.  She'll introduce two of the collective's members at an Amnesty International concert event on February 5 in Brooklyn, New York. 

The lineup for the concert, called Bringing Human Rights Home, includes Blondie, Yoko Ono and Bob Geldof, as well as such popular contemporary artists as Lauryn Hill, Colbie Caillat, The Fray and Imagine Dragons.  Madonna said in a statement on her website, "I am honored to introduce my fellow freedom fighters Masha and Nadya from Pussy Riot.  I have admired their courage and have long supported their commitment and the sacrifices they have made in the name of freedom of expression and human rights."

Masha and Nadya were jailed in Russia in 2012 for "hooliganism."  Their crime?  They had performed what they called a "punk prayer" in a Moscow cathedral as a protest against Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Justin Bieber Becomes Topic of State Department Briefing

Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation DepartmentHow all-consuming is the topic of Justin Bieber's bad behavior?  His name even came up in a State Department briefing on Wednesday.

A petition on the White House website We the People calling for the deportation of the Canadian singer, following his arrest for DUI and other charges last week, has now garnered more than 100,00 signatures, which means the White House must respond. When asked about it at the briefing on Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (SOCK-ee) told reporters, "We're getting down quite a rabbit hole here with Justin Bieber, but…I will check and see what the visa implications would be for anybody who is found of possibly violating the law.”

She added, however, that the decision wasn't hers. "That's an action that I would point you to the White House, on what steps they may or may not take," she said, adding that such a petition "doesn't always determine a step will be taken."

It is unlikely that Justin could be deported for his alleged crimes, which also include driving with an expired license.  The Hollywood Reporter notes that the singer would have to be convicted of a violent crime or be sentenced to more than one year in prison for the notion to be considered.  If convicted, this would be Justin's first DUI offense, so there's a maximum penalty of only six months in jail.

The petition, which was created the day of Justin's arrest, reads, in part, "We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing, Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked. He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nation's youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert Make Plans to Play Wiffle Ball on Burn It Down Tour

Greenroom PRJason Aldean and Miranda Lambert are cooking up a big collaboration for this summer's Burn It Down tour, which will play Major League Baseball stadiums around the country. Miranda has been added to Jason's stadium dates in Cleveland on July 18, Cincinnati on July 19 and Pittsburgh on July 26. It looks like they'll be working together on the baseball diamond more than on the concert stage, though.

Jason tweeted Wednesday, "Hey y'all - we need another player for our wiffle ball games in the ballparks this summer on the #BurnItDownTour. Who's in?"

Miranda replied, "It's been a while since I swung a bat, but I'm up for the challenge : )"

"It's a deal," Jason wrote back, "Why don't you stay and play a few songs too?"

Ticket information for these shows will be announced soon at JasonAldean.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Katy Perry Scores "Unexpected" #1 with "Dark Horse" 

Capitol RecordsKaty Perry may have missed the top spot with "Unconditionally," the second single from her album PRISM, but the third time's the charm. 

PRISM's third single, "Dark Horse," has now hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the second chart-topper from the album, following "Roar."  Overall, it's her ninth #1 hit, and marks a bit of a departure for the singer, since it features rapper Juicy J, and includes elements of so-called "trap music."

"This No. 1 is the most unexpected one I've ever had, " she tells Billboard. "Dark Horse' has been a dark horse of a song since August, when [my fans] voted to release it early on iTunes, before PRISM even came out. I'm so thrilled and grateful to have these moments."

With this latest #1, Katy has now scored as many chart-toppers as Elton John, Usher and Paul McCartney as a solo artist.  She's just three more number ones away from tying her buddy Rihanna, who's scored 13 #1 hits.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

T.I. and Tiny Are Not Separating 

Grand Hustle/AtlanticT.I. and Tiny are shooting down rumors that the couple is separating.

According to TMZ, the rapper confirmed that the pair has settled its differences just a day after a big argument, which sparked the rumor that the pair had separated. Both were seen celebrating at separate Grammy after-parties.

Apparently the fight started after Tiny wanted to walk the red carpet at the Grammy Awards, but Tip declined to oblige her. As a result, the couple angrily challenged one another to see who can have the most fun, but T.I. says they have since reconciled.

The pair have been married for four years.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Kendrick Lamar Reacts to Grammy Shutout

KendrickLamar.com

The hip-hop community is still reeling over Macklemore & Ryan Lewis beating out Kendrick Lamar at Sunday’s Grammy Awards, however the Compton rapper feels it was "well deserved." In an interview with XXL, Kendrick broke his silence and congratulated Macklemore on his wins.

"It's well deserved; he did what he did, man," Kendrick explained after his performance with Dom Kennedy in New York on Tuesday. "He went out there and hustled and grinded. Everything happens for a reason; the universe comes back around, that’s how it go."

Despite his seven nominations, Kendrick went home empty handed. He is now among a length list of highly regarded lyricists who have been snubbed by the Grammys including Nas, Snoop Dogg, Tupac and Notorious Biggie.

"I definitely feel like they should always have more of the culture up in there, for sure, because we definitely stand out just like any other genre," said Kendrick."We part of the world. We part of the movement. So I think any awards, including the Grammys, should always push for more hip-hop because it’s music as a whole, it’s not just splitting different regions. Everything moves as far as sound and vibrations, and that’s how it goes. And we are a part of that."

As previously reported, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis scored four Grammys including Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance and Best New Artist.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Beyonce's Stylist Explains Her Grammy Look

CBSPharrell's Vivienne Westwood hat wasn't the only topic of discussion at the 2014 Grammy Awards.  Tongues are still wagging over Beyonce's fashion choices at the ceremony. The diva stunned in her white sheer Michael Costello fishnet gown and the black La Perla performance ensemble, which her stylist Ty Hunter says were well-thought out.

In an interview with Billboard, Hunter recalls the inspiration for the stage look. "The style team -- comprised of Raquel Smith and Timothy White (Karen Langley helped with the performance outfit) -- wanted to emulate the video with a different spin," he says. "Kim Kimble did her hair, but it was all coming from the 'Drunk in Love' video.  Just trying to bring an even more sophisticated look to the stage."

So why did Beyonce go with the fresh-out-the-shower look? He explains, "The style team wanted to go for sexy and elegant."

In terms of her head-turning red carpet gown, Hunter says they were looking for "something a little different." He adds, "When we saw the Michael Costello dress, we knew instantly we found the one!  We had so many options to choose from, but that one was just it."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Young the Giant’s "Mind Over Matter" Debuts at #7 on "Billboard" 200; Grammy Winners Get Sales Boost

Fueled By RamenYoung the Giant’s sophomore release, Mind Over Matter, secured a sweet spot on the Billboard 200 this week, debuting at #7 on the list, with 34,000 copies sold. Thanks to the successful sales week, Mind Over Matter is now the band’s highest-charting debut on the tally. The group’s 2011 self-titled debut album peaked at #42 on the list and moved 10,000 copies in its best week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Fueled by the recent Grammy Awards telecast, the 2014 Grammy Nominees album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, selling 59,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The 2014 Grammy compilation, which features hits by brand-new Grammy-winners Imagine Dragons, Lorde and Daft Punk, has now become the 13th release in the series to debut in the Billboard 200’s top 10. The 2014 Grammy Nominees album is now tied with last year’s Grammy nominees album as the highest-charting release of the series: the 2013 edition also grabbed the #2 spot on the list the week after the 2013 Grammy Awards. That album featured singles by a number of rockers including Muse, Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys, Jack White and Coldplay.

In addition, artists who appeared on the telecast saw some major sales boosts this week, and those who won also enjoyed increased sales of their albums and singles. Billboard reports Lorde saw an increase of 19% in sales of her debut album, Pure Heroine, racking up 37,000 copies this week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Imagine Dragons experienced a 16% bump in sales for their debut album, Night Visions, selling 24,000 copies. Daft Punk got a 91% sales boost for their Album of the Year-winning Random Access Memories, selling 8,000 copies.

Over on the Digital Songs chart, three tracks that were performed on the Grammys racked up some serious numbers. Lorde’s “Royals” enjoyed 102,000 downloads, Imagine Dragons “Radioactive” sold 61,000 downloads, and Daft Punk’s "Get Lucky" sold 50,000 downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Grammy Executive Producer Apologizes to Trent Reznor for Cutting Short Finale Performance

NIN.comGrammys executive producer Ken Ehrlich has offered an apology to Trent Reznor for clipping off the end of his performance at the awards show on Sunday night.

Reznor, who took the stage with Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham to play NIN’s "Copy of A" and QOTSA’s “My God Is the Sun” for the show’s finale, was furious after their set was cut off about three-quarters of the way through as CBS rolled credits and went to commercials. Shortly after the incident, the NIN frontman vented his frustration by tweeting, “Music's biggest night...to be disrespected. A heartfelt F**K YOU guys.”

Ehrlich says he feels badly about cutting off the show’s finale a little early, but notes he did the best he could to keep as much of it in there as possible. “I’m sorry he was upset,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I was really thrilled that we were finally getting him on the Grammys. I did tell them we’d take it as long as we could. The number was about five, six minutes long, and we got to within a minute twenty of the end. We got as close as we could possibly get.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Zac Brown Band and More Sign on for C2C Shows in London and Dublin

CMACountry music heads across the pond to the U.K. and Ireland in a big way this March. Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, Rascal Flatts and Dixie Chicks are set to headline the Country to Country, or C2C, shows in London and Dublin. The London concerts take place March 15 and 16 at The 02 London while the shows at The O2 Dublin take place March 14 and 15.

Dierks Bentley and Chris Young are also playing this year's C2C shows. Martina McBride is set to appear on the London shows as well, and she's also performing at The O2's IndigO2 in London on March 14 as part of the CMA Songwriters Series.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Report: Bob Dylan to Star in Car Commercial That Will Air During Super Bowl

Columbia RecordsWhen football fans around the world sit down to watch Super Bowl LVIII this Sunday, they'll also get the chance to see Bob Dylan hawking Chryslers.  Billboard reports that multiple reliable sources have confirmed that the folk-rock legend will star in a commercial promoting the car company's recently introduced 200 line of automobiles.

The ad will be the latest in a series of commercials from Chrysler that have premiered during the big game over the past few years.  Other stars who have appeared in the advertisements include Berry Gordy, Clint Eastwood and Eminem.  According to Billboard, the new Chrysler spot also will feature an as-yet-unrevealed Dylan song. 

Interestingly, the ad isn't the only Dylan-related commercial that will be shown during the Super Bowl.  On Tuesday, the Chobani yogurt company introduced a spot online that prominently features the 72-year-old singer/songwriter's 1966 hit "I Want You."  The clip focuses on a grizzly bear that wreaks havoc in a general store as he searches for a container of Chobani.

As elusive a character as Dylan is, he and his music actually have popped up in quite a few high-profile commercials in recent years.  He appeared in ads for Victoria's Secret, Apple's iPod and Cadillac in 2004, 2006 and 2007, respectively, while a mash-up created by Will.i.am that incorporated a version of Bob's song "Forever Young" was heard in a 2009 Pepsi commercial and a rare cover Dylan recorded of Blind Willie Johnson's "Motherless Children" was featured in Jeep Cherokee ad last year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

Is Selena Gomez Really Dating Austin Mahone? 

ABC/Lou RoccoAfter Selena Gomez's self-described "really bad breakup" with Justin Bieber, you'd think that she'd be hesitant about rushing into a relationship with another pop singer who's younger than she.  But US Weekly claims that Selena is now dating rising pop star Austin Mahone, thanks to the machinations of her friend Taylor Swift.

Taylor knows Austin because the 17-year-old singer has opened for her in the past.  US Weekly claims that she put him together with Selena, and now they're "seeing each other."  Apparently, the two attended a concert together on January 24 and sneaked out separately, but then left "in the same car."

However, a source tells ABC News Radio that despite the story, Selena and Austin are not dating.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

"Frozen" Soundtrack Returns to #1; Grammy Awards Lead to Sales Gains

Bret Hartman/CBSSince much of the country is in deep freeze, perhaps it makes sense that the top of the charts would be, too.  The soundtrack to the hit Disney animated film Frozen has returned to #1, replacing last week's chart-topper, Bruce Springsteen's High Hopes.  This is the album's third week overall at #1.

Billboard notes that Frozen is the first TV or film soundtrack to spend at least three weeks at #1 since High School Musical 2 topped the chart for four weeks in 2007.  However, the last movie soundtrack to spend three or more weeks at the top was Bad Boys II, which spent four weeks at #1 in 2003.

Elsewhere on the chart, this year's compilation of songs by Grammy-nominated artists, 2014 Grammy Nominees, debuts at #2.  A Great Big World, riding high with the success of their hit single "Say Something," featuring Christina Aguilera, debuts at #3 with their first album, Is There Anybody Out There?

Meanwhile, even though the Grammys just aired on Sunday, their effects are already being felt on the chart.  Thanks to Billboard, here's a look at the sales percentage increases for albums and songs that either won awards, or were featured on the star-studded three-and-a-half hour telecast:

Taylor Swift's Red album and song "All Too Well" -- 105% and 3,280% increases, respectively
Pink & Nate Ruess' "Just Give Me a Reason" -- 122%
Daft Punk's album Random Access Memories and song "Get Lucky" -- 91% and 206%, respectively
Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" and her album Prism -- 12% and 11%, respectively
Lorde's Pure Heroine album and her song "Royals" -- 19% and 17%, respectively
Bruno Mars' Unorthodox Jukebox album -- 44%
Sara Bareilles' "Brave" -- 41%
Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" -- 34%
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' album The Heist -- 38%

Next week is when we'll see the real "Grammy bump" impact on the charts, as a full week's worth of sales figures will be taken into account.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan292014

On "GMA," Rihanna Talks "Shock" over Latest Grammy Win, New M.A.C. Campaign

ABC/Richard HarbaughRihanna won her eighth Grammy Award Sunday night during the non-televised pre-telecast.  However, many fans wondered where the pop star was, since she was noticeably missing from the red carpet.

"I was at home and one of my friends hit me and said, 'You just won a Grammy,'" Rihanna revealed on Wednesday's Good Morning America. "And I was like, 'What?' ...It was quite an emotional moment, surprisingly. But I was in shock. I'm excited. It was a good feeling to still be that excited at this point in my career."

When she's not traveling -- Rihanna was recently spotted in Brazil, relaxing with best friend Melissa Forde -- the 25-year-old pop star is also using her celebrity for a good cause, as the latest spokesperson for M.A.C. Viva Glam.  Rihanna's lipstick and lip glass just became available this month, and sales of the product support those affected by HIV/AIDS globally.

Rih Rih said she joined the campaign because M.A.C. doesn't condemn people for their life choices and she wants her fans to be more accountable for their actions. "They don't judge. They're not here to say, 'be perfect.' They want you to have fun as well as myself. I want you have fun. I love having fun, but you have to be responsible," Rihanna said.

During her sit-down with GMA anchor Robin Roberts, Rihanna also reflected on winning the first-ever Icon Award during the American Music Awards last year.

"I felt like I was dreaming. It didn't feel real. It still doesn't feel real because I feel like I have so much more to do," she said. "I mean, icon, that's such a big title. It's such a big thing to say or to even be said about myself. So now the pressure's on. I have to live up to that."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio