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Friday
Jan242014

Grammys Executive Producer: Pink Plans to "Outdo" Herself with a "Supersonic" Performance

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images In 2010, Pink stunned the Grammy audience by singing her song "Glitter in the Air" while suspended above the crowd on a length of fabric, submerging herself in water, and then rotating slowly, soaking the crowd below.  It was one of the night's most talked-about performances, but at this year's Grammys this Sunday night, Pink aims to top that.

Grammys executive producer Ken Ehrlich tells ABC News Radio that when he met with Pink a couple of months ago to discuss her performance on Sunday, "She said, 'I need to outdo what I did before.'"  So, what does the singer have in mind this time around?  Ehrlich would only says, "Close your eyes and imagine that we're on our way toward another supersonic Pink moment."

One thing we do know about Pink's performance is that it'll include fun. frontman Nate Ruess, because the two are slated to perform their #1 hit duet "Just Give Me a Reason," which is nominated this year.  Coincidentally, last year, fun. also incorporated water into their Grammy performance, singing "Carry On" in an onstage "rainstorm."

Other unique duets and collaborations on Sunday's show include Sara Bareilles singing with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Carole King, Robin Thicke performing with the band Chicago, and French electronic duo Daft Punk performing with Nile Rodgers of Chic and Stevie Wonder.  For Ehrlich, the fact that Daft Punk is actually on the show at all is the most surprising performance of all.

"They don't do television, he tells ABC News Radio. "The last television show that they did was the Grammys [in 2008] when they were on with Kanye [West].  And what happened this year was they actually reached out to us, when they assumed they were gonna be nominated, and said, 'We had a pretty good time last time.  Would you be interested in us this year?'" 

A surprised Ehrlich adds, "I didn't even think they were gonna do it because they don't do television!" Unfortunately, he can't say whether or not the duo will remove their ever-present robot helmets if their song "Get Lucky" wins and they have to make an acceptance speech.

Other collisions of musical genres that will take Sunday night will include heavy metal gods Metallica playing with Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang, and rock band Imagine Dragons performing with rapper Kendrick Lamar. Of the latter performance, Ehrlich says, "Not that the rest of the ones that are on this show this year aren’t really true mash-ups, because they are, but this one I’m really proud of what they did, in getting together and integrating each other into each others' songs. It becomes really kind of pure and exciting."  

The Grammys, which will also feature performances from Taylor Swift, Lorde, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Paul McCartney and many more, airs Sunday night on CBS starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan242014

Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Disappointed 3D Film "Through the Never" Didn’t Resonate with Casual Moviegoers

ThroughTheNeverMovie.comDespite their best efforts, Metallica’s 3D film Through the Never was a box office flop. According to Box Office Mojo, the flick cost $18 million to make and only took in about $3.4 million worldwide. While guitarist Kirk Hammett says he's confused by the movie’s poor numbers, he has an idea why the film didn’t do well.

“Our fans definitely went to movie theaters and saw the film, but the people that we were counting on to buy movie tickets -- which was your casual moviegoer -- they weren’t as motivated to buy a ticket as our fans,” he tells Stereogum. “For us, that was a big question mark. We couldn’t figure it out.”

Metallica Through the Never will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and at all the usual digital retailers on Tuesday. The packages include an 80-minute documentary, Making of Metallica Through the Never, plus extensive behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with the movie's cast and crew. In addition, the sets include footage from a band Q&A session at the recent Mill Valley Film Festival, and highlights from drummer Lars Ulrich’s Film Tent at the 2013 Orion Music + More festival.

To see the full track list of each package, visit Metallica.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Mary J. Blige's Father Critically Injured After Alleged Stabbing by Ex-Girlfriend

MaryJBlige.comMary J. Blige's father was in critical condition Thursday afternoon after he was allegedly stabbed in the neck by his ex-girlfriend.

Police say they were called Thursday morning to the apartment complex in Battle Creek, Michigan, where 63-year-old Thomas Blige lives. They say he was found in his apartment with three stab wounds, including one to his neck, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer. He was subsequently hospitalized, and he underwent surgeries for his injuries.

Police believe Thomas Blige and his 50-year-old ex-girlfriend, who is not named in the Battle Creek Enquirer report, had a domestic dispute after he saw her deflate the tires on his car.

The ex-girlfriend was treated for a cut at a hospital, and was later arrested on a charge of assault with intent to murder. She's expected to be arraigned Friday.

Police say they have handled seven domestic violence complaints between Thomas Blige and his ex-girlfriend since last August.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

University of Missouri Has A Class On Jay Z & Kanye West

Michael Buckner/Getty Images For BET

Jay Z and Kanye West have a remarkable history together, which would explain why The University of Missouri is offering a college course on the rap icons, according to Consequence of Sound.

In the English course, aptly named "Jay-Z and Kanye West", students will dissect the duo's success from three distinct perspectives: "(1) Where do they fit within, and how do they change, the history of hip-hop music?; (2) How is what they do similar to and different from what poets do?, and (3) How does their rise to both celebrity and corporate power alter what we understand as the American dream?"

The creator of the class, Andrew Hoberek, revealed the overall academic aim of the course."I really do think that these guys are warming up to the level of major poets, and not many people think of it in those terms. Because it’s not just on a page, but it’s video art, too," Hoberek explains. "So, we looked at how those complicated the questions, and how do books about poetry help us to understand rap with Jay and Kanye at the forefront. We looked at the larger history of rap as an art form."

He goes on to add that Jay's Blueprint 3 and West's Yeezus makes "an identifiable push to get beyond what’s happening in the art form. They’re very much like painters and novelists in the 20th century, moving beyond the confines of the art form’s boundaries."

Both rappers previously have been the subject of academic analysis. Back in 2011, Georgetown University offered a sociology class centered on Hov, while West inspired Julius Bailey's 300-page textbook called The Cultural Impact of Kanye West, arriving later this spring.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

New Videos Of D’Angelo Studio Sessions Surface Online

Photo Credit: Jesper SkouboellingD’Angelo is making progress with his long-awaited album, which will mark his first studio project in more than a decade. One of the crooner's producers, Russell "The Dragon" Elevado, shared three video clips of their latest recording sessions at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles.

In the clips, which were posted to Elevado's YouTube page, fans will see D'Angelo vibing out to a funky beat while guitarist Pino Palladino plays various riffs on a track called "Sugah Daddy." In another video, Pino contributes to a song called "The Charade" and famed drummer James Gadson appears in another.

"I just spoke to D'Angelo...he's ready to finish," Elevado tweeted earlier this week. "I hope you're all ready. ..I think you are though...keep the faith."

D'Angelo's upcoming effort, tentatively titled James River, will serve as the follow-up to 2000's critically acclaimed Voodoo, which spawned classics like "Lady" and "Untitled (How Does It Feel)."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Ryan Lewis of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Turns Model for Buffalo David Bitton

Courtesy Buffalo David BittonMacklemore & Ryan Lewis may get equal billing, but let's face it: most of the focus has been on Macklemore.  Well, now Ryan Lewis is getting his props: he's been tapped to model in the new spring campaign for the Buffalo David Bitton [bih TOHN].

The rap duo has been associated with the label for a while, in a partnership which allowed them to create a video documentary of their tour.  Ryan tweeted, "I'm happy to be the face of spring collection! From tour videos to now, they've been awesome partners."

In a video documenting the shoot for the campaign, Ryan and model Tori Praver are shown lounging on a fancy sofa on the beach in Malibu, California.  "It's been exciting...to have done a whole bunch of photo shoots in my life; this is a completely different thing," says Ryan.  Speaking about the jeans he's modeling, Ryan says, "They have so many different washes, so many different cuts.  I really like tighter jeans; fitted jeans."  He adds, "Now more than ever, fashion and hip-hop culture are thriving together."

Ryan also says that 2014 will be "the year of getting back in the studio" for him and Macklemore.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Ed Sheeran Adopts Kitten, Gives Him His Own Twitter Feed

Vince Bucci/STARTRAKS PHOTO via ABCThey're both acclaimed singer/songwriters, but now Ed Sheeran has yet another thing in common with his buddy Taylor Swift: they're both cat owners.

Ed tweeted that he's now the proud parent of a kitten, who he's saved from certain death. "So basically this one month old kitten was gonna get put down so I adopted him and called him Graham," tweeted Ed. "Just bought Graham a bed and snacks."  He then announced that he'd set up a Twitter feed for the new kitty, @GrahamShizza, and asked fans to follow it for "cat updates and general kitten chat."

Fans embraced Ed's new pet, and when we last checked, Graham had close to 20,000 followers.  The kitten's first tweet was, of course, "Meow," followed by a blurry photo of himself with the caption, "FIRST SELFIE OMG." 

Because Ed is something of a comedian, he's been keeping up a steady stream of funny tweets.  In one, Graham says that he's watching the movie Spartacus, noting, "It's all a bit too violent for a young one like me."  Another post features a photo of his palatial cat bed, with the caption, "MTV cribs holla at your damn boy."  Yet another is directed to Ed's manager, Stuart Camp, saying, "FEED ME YOU WADDLE MONSTER."

Since Ed has announced that he's taking some time off after the Grammy Awards on Sunday, you can expect more funny tweets from Graham.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Roger Waters to Be Made an Honorary Citizen of Italian City Where His Father Was Killed

Photo: Sean EvansFounding Pink Floyd singer/bassist Roger Waters will receive a special tribute in the city of Anzio, Italy, where he'll be made an honorary citizen on February 18.  According to The Daily Express, the ceremony will be held on the 70th anniversary of the death of Waters' father, Eric Fletcher Waters, who was killed in the city during World War II in the Battle of Anzio.

As part of the commemoration, local officials will unveil a monument recognizing Roger's dad that will bear an inscription featuring Waters' lyrics from the song "Two Suns in the Sunset," which appears on Pink Floyd's 1983 album, The Final Cut.

As reported in The Daily Mail, Waters only was made aware of details about his father's death this past fall, when a 93-year-old World War II veteran named Harry Schindler uncovered documents that included in-depth information related to the battle.

The ceremony involving Waters will be part of a series of memorial events marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Anzio.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Sevendust to Release Fan-Funded Acoustic Album, "Time Travelers & Bonfires"; Schedules Tour Dates

7 Bros/AsylumAfter staging a successful campaign on PledgeMusic.com to raise money for an acoustic album, Sevendust has revealed they will soon be releasing the record. Time Travelers & Bonfires will arrive at all the usual outlets on April 1.

The album features 12 acoustic tracks: six brand-new songs and six stripped-down versions of cuts from the band’s catalog. Time Travelers & Bonfires is the band’s second acoustic release, following 2004’s Southside Double-Wide: Acoustic Live.

The same day that Time Travelers & Bonfires hit stores, the band will head out on the road to promote it. Dubbed An Evening with Sevendust, the acoustic trek will kick off at the Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA, and make stops in Austin, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York and Philadelphia, among other cities. 

Here is the track list for Time Travelers & Bonfires:

“Come Down”
“Under It All”
“The Wait”
“Upbeat Sugar”
“One Life”
“Bonfire
“Gone”
“Denial”
“Trust”
“Crucified”
“Karma”
“Black”

Here are the tour dates:

4/1 -- Athens, GA, Georgia Theatre
4/2 -- Destin, FL, Club LA
4/4 -- Houston, TX, Scout Bar
4/5 -- Dallas, TX, Trees
4/6 -- Austin, TX, Emo's
4/8 -- Tempe, AZ, Marquee
4/10 -- El Cajon, CA, Sycuan Casino
4/11 -- Los Angeles, CA, House of Blues
4/12 -- Las Vegas, NV, Vinyl at Hard Rock
4/13 -- Reno, NV, Knitting Factory
4/16 -- Sacramento, CA, Ace of Spades
4/18 -- Seattle, WA, El Corazon
4/19 -- Portland, OR, Hawthorne Theatre
4/20 -- Boise, ID, Knitting Factory
4/21 -- Salt Lake City, UT, The Complex
4/22 -- Denver, CO, Gothic Theatre
4/25 -- Joliet, IL, Mojoes
4/26 -- Madison, WI, Orpheum
4/28 -- Detroit, MI, Royal Oak Music Theatre
4/29 -- Cincinnati, OH, Bogart’s
4/30 -- Louisville, KY, Mercury Ballroom
5/2 -- Baltimore, MD, Sound Stage
5/3 -- Washington, D.C., The Howard Theatre
5/4 -- New York, NY, Highline Ballroom
5/6 -- Hartford, CT, Webster Theatre
5/8 -- Patchogue, NY, Emporium
5/9 -- Portland, ME, Asylum
5/10 -- Philadelphia, PA, Electric Factory

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Mariah Carey & Husband to Publish Holiday Children's Book

C Flanigan/Getty ImagesMariah Carey loves Christmas, and she loves her twins, Monroe and Moroccan. Now, she's combined those two loves into a new project: a holiday children's picture book titled Roc and Roe's Twelve Days of Christmas.

Mariah and hubby Nick Cannon teamed up to write the book, which will be out this fall via Scholastic Press.  Aimed at kids ages three and up, the book is illustrated by artist AG Ford, and follows the twins as they tell their own version of  the classic carol "The 12 Days of Christmas."  It's described by Scholastic as "an adorable spin on a classic tale, sprinkled with humor and heart."

In a statement, Mariah and Nick say, "We are so excited to work with the Scholastic team on our Roc and Roe picture book and we can't wait until this holiday season!"

This past holiday season, Mariah filled her Instagram account with festive snaps, including one where she had Santa Claus come to her room and wake up a sleeping Roc, Roe and Nick.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Brantley Gilbert Steps in for Trace Adkins at Great American Outdoor Show February 8

ValoryBrantley Gilbert has signed on to headline the concert the Great American Outdoor Show presented by NRA Country on February 8. He steps in for previously-announced headliner Trace Adkins, who's undergoing treatment for alcohol abuse. Tickets for Trace's show will be honored for the Brantley concert.

The performance takes place at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA as part of the sports and outdoors event running February 1 through 9. Thomas Rhett and Eric Paslay join Brantley on the bill.

For more information, go to GreatAmericanOutdoorShow.org.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Grouplove’s "I’m With You" Documentary to Debut Friday on Palladia

Pamela LittkyIf you missed your chance to check out Grouplove’s documentary I’m With You online last year, you’ll have another opportunity to watch it Friday night, when the flick makes its television broadcast debut on Palladia at 9 p.m. ET.

I’m With You features interviews with the band and performance footage shot during a week in New York City on their recent SeeSaw Tour.  

In addition to watching I’m With You on TV, you’ll be able to purchase the film on iTunes and at Amazon.com starting February 25. If you buy the movie, you’ll also get a six-track EP featuring live versions of “Colours,” “Schoolboy,” “I'm With You,” “Raspberry,” “Ways to Go,” and “Gold Coast,” which were recorded during the SeeSaw Tour.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

The Doors' Robby Krieger, Aerosmith's Brad Whitford & More Added to 2014 Experience Hendrix Tour Lineup

Experience Hendrix LLCSome big names have been added to the lineup of the 2014 Experience Hendrix Tour, which features a variety of respected musicians performing the songs of the late Jimi HendrixThe Doors' Robby Krieger, Aerosmith's Brad Whitford, The Black Crowes' Rich Robinson, and veteran folk-blues artist Taj Mahal now will be performing at select stops on the trek, which gets underway in March.

In addition, several dates have been added to the beginning and end of the tour, which now is scheduled to run from a March 8 concert in Shawnee, Oklahoma, through an April 8 show in Minneapolis.  As previously reported, former Hendrix bassist Billy Cox and drummer Chris Layton of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan's backing group Double Trouble will serve as the rhythm section for the entire trek.  Among the many other musicians who will perform during the outing are blues great Buddy Guy, Los Lobos members David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas, ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, funk bassist extraordinaire Bootsy Collins, Jonny Lang, Dweezil Zappa, Doyle Bramhall II, and Eric Johnson.

In a video message promoting the tour, Cox says, "Jimi was a musical genius.  He was the most gifted musician I have ever known.  Because Jimi wrote in the now, his music is immortal, and the Experience Hendrix Tours bear witness to that."

A series of clips featuring many of the artists who are participating in this year's tour sharing their thoughts about the guitar icon in online now at Hendrix's official YouTube channel.  You can check out which musicians will be playing at each stop on the trek by visiting ExperienceHendrixTour.com.

Here are all of the confirmed dates for the 2014 Experience Hendrix Tour:

3/8 -- Shawnee, OK, Grand Event Center
3/9 -- Midland, TX, Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center
3/11 -- Grand Prairie, TX, Verizon Theater
3/13 -- St Louis, MO, Fox Theater
3/14 -- Chicago, IL, Chicago Theatre
3/15 -- Ames, IA, Stephens Auditorium
3/16 -- Milwaukee, WI, Riverside Theater
3/18 -- Louisville, KY, Whitney Hall at The Kentucky Center
3/19 -- Charleston, WV, Clay Center
3/20 -- Pittsburgh, PA, Benedum Theater
3/21 -- Glenside, PA, Keswick Theater
3/22 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Harrah's Resort
3/23 -- Wilkes-Barre, PA, Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
3/25 -- Red Bank, NJ, Count Basie Theatre
3/27 -- Hampton, NH, Casino Ballroom
3/28 -- Albany, NY, Palace Theatre
3/29 -- Waterbury, CT, Palace Theater
3/30 -- Washington, DC, Lincoln Theatre
4/1 -- Buffalo, NY, Center for Arts at Univ. of Buffalo
4/2 -- Northfield Park, OH, Hard Rock Live
4/3 -- Detroit, MI, The Fox Theatre
4/4 -- Milwaukee, WI, Riverside Theater
4/5 -- Merrillville, IN, Star Plaza Theatre
4/6 -- Peoria, IL, Peoria Civic Center
4/8 -- Minneapolis, MN, State Theatre

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Source: Justin Bieber Blood Alcohol Level Over the Limit for a Minor 

Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation DepartmentJustin Bieber's DUI arrest may turn out to have more serious consequences than he thought. 

A law enforcement source tells ABC News that when he was tested after his arrest, his blood alcohol level was .04.  In Florida, you can get up to six months in jail if your blood alcohol level is between .08 and 1.5, but if you're a minor, the threshold is much lower. 

Because of the state's zero tolerance policy for minors drinking alcohol; the blood alcohol level threshold for DUI for minors is .02.  As a minor, Justin is well over the limit.

However, Justin may be eligible for a program for first-time offenders that reduces the charge to reckless driving.  In that case, he wouldn't be convicted, and he wouldn't get any points on his license.

As previously reported, after he and a friend were caught drag racing on a residential street, Justin was arrested early Thursday morning in Miami for DUI, driving with an expired license and resisting arrest without violence.  He admitted that he had consumed alcohol, smoked pot and taken prescription medication. His bail was set at $2,500 and he left jail just after 2 p.m. ET wearing a black hoodie and shades.

People magazine reports that the singer has hired Roy Black to represent him.  In the past, Black, who is married to Real Housewives of Miami star Lea Black,  has represented Kesley Grammar, Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.

In other Bieber news, the hit Netflix show Orange Is the New Black, which takes place in a women's prison, posted a photo of the singer's mug shot and tweeted, "We've got an open bunk for you, @justinbieber."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

U2 to Debut New Song "Invisible" in a Commercial Airing During the Super Bowl

Photo: Damon WinterU2 fans who tune in to Super Bowl LVIII on February 2 will be able to hear a brand-new song by the band called "Invisible," while also getting the chance to contribute to fight against AIDS.  During the big game, a new commercial featuring the Irish rockers performing the tune will premiere and the song also will be made available as a free download at iTunes for a 24-hour period.

The campaign is part of new partnership between U2, the (RED) charity and Bank of America.  For every track downloaded over the course of those 24 hours, Bank of America will donate $1 -- up to a total of $2 million -- to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  The initiative's goal is to raise more than $10 million for the cause, which would bring the total amount (RED) has brought in for the fund to $250 million since it was founded in 2006 by U2's Bono and activist Bobby Shriver.

"Bank of America coming on as a (RED) partner to help the Global Fund's efforts to eliminate AIDS is great news," says Bono in a statement.  "It's the kind of game-changing influence that will not just deliver millions of dollars but raise consciousness and keep public pressure on putting an end to this devastating pandemic which has already taken the lives of 35 million people."

To find out more about the campaign, and to watch a new video featuring Bono talking about the partnership and its goals, visit BankofAmerica.com/RED.

"Invisible" was produced by Danger Mouse and mixed by Tom Elmhirst.  The commercial featuring the track will include scenes from an upcoming official video for the song that's directed by Mark Romanek.  Super Bowl LVIII will air live on CBS, and the game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Katy Perry Adds 12 Dates to Prismatic World Tour

Goldenvoice/AEG LiveKaty Perry's ticket sales are roaring: the singer has just added 12 shows to her Prismatic World Tour due to overwhelming demand.  She'll now play second nights in Washington, D.C.; Toronto; Brooklyn; Boston; Philadelphia; Chicago; Edmonton; Anaheim; Los Angeles; San Jose; Dallas; and Houston. 

The general on-sale date for the new shows is this Monday, January 27 at 10 a.m. local time.  Here are the new tour dates:

June 25  -- Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
July 19  -- Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
July 25  -- Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
August 2  -- TD Garden, Boston, MA
August 5  -- Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
August 8  -- United Center, Chicago, IL
September 1  -- Rexall Place, Edmonton, AB
September 17  -- Honda Center,  Anaheim, CA
September 20  -- STAPLES Center,  Los Angeles, CA
September 23  -- SAP Center,  San Jose, CA
October 3  -- American Airlines Center,  Dallas, TX
October 11  -- Toyota Center,  Houston, TX

The North American leg of the tour kicks off June 22 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The tour itself gets underway in May in Northern Ireland. You'll get a preview of Katy live this Sunday at the Grammy Awards, where she's scheduled to perform.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Neil Young Says He's Not Releasing Duets Album with Jack White; Announces Next Release, "A Letter Home"

Photo: Danny ClinchNeil Young has set the record straight regarding a widespread rumor that he recorded duets album with Jack White.  The folk-rock legend posted a note on his Facebook page Wednesday to let fans know he and the ex-White Stripes frontman will not be singing together on his next release.

The message reads, "False Rumors: Neil Young and Jack White are not doing a record of duets as has been erroneously posted on various outlets.  We are certain those rumors have no basis in truth."

Meanwhile, Young has announced some details about an upcoming album he's recorded called A Letter Home that will be released by White's Third Man Records label.  A message posted on Neil's official site and ThirdManRecords.com describes the record as "an unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology [that] captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever."

The album's description appears to be similar to that of the rumored duets record, which according to veteran music journalist Michael Goldberg was to include interpretations of songs by various influential folk musicians such as Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Tim Hardin, Phil Ochs and Bert Jansch.

It appears that Young may have recorded A Letter Home on the 1947 Voice-o-Graph machine located in the Third Man Records' Record Booth at the label's Nashville headquarters.  This past April, in conjunction with Record Store Day, Young used the device to record a version of the late Jansch's "Needle of Death," a song he's been playing regularly at his recent concerts.  The machine allows the user to record for up to about two minutes, and the recording is immediately cut onto a six-inch vinyl disc.

Young tells Rolling Stone that A Letter Home will arrive in March, although no official release date has been announced.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Pitbull & J-Lo Team for World Cup Anthem 

ABC/Matt BrownPitbull and Jennifer Lopez teamed up a few years ago for the hit song "On the Floor," and now they're getting together again for this year's World Cup anthem. 

"We Are One (Ole Ola)," by Pitbull featuring J-Lo and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, has been chosen as the official song of the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer championship, which will take place in Brazil. The song will be performed by all three artists at the FIFA World Cup Opening Ceremony on June 12 at the Arena de Sao Paulo.

In a statement, Mr. Worldwide says, "I'm honored to join Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte at the FIFA World Cup to bring the world together. I truly believe that this great game and the power of music will help unify us, because we are best when we are one." 

Adds Jennifer, "I grew up in a house that loved 'futbol,' so I am thrilled to be performing at the World Cup Opening Ceremonies...This is an amazing celebration of global unity, competition and the sport."

The song itself will premiere later this year, and will be included on an accompanying official World Cup album.  A video is also in the works.

It remains to be seen whether "We Are One" will be more popular than "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," Shakira's World Cup Anthem from 2010.  It's currently the best-selling World Cup anthem in the digital age, moving more than four million copies worldwide.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Jennifer Hudson Tapped for Carnival Live Concert Series

JenniferHudson.com

Jennifer Hudson is among the newly announced performers scheduled to play on select Carnival cruise ships throughout 2014 as part of the inaugural Carnival LIVE Concert Series

During a press conference Wednesday, Hudson expressed her excitement about partaking in the upcoming cruises, especially given her previous stint as a performer on the Disney Cruise Line before competing in American Idol. "I think it's so cool working with Carnival and I love the concept of incredible artists coming to a cruise ship environment and performing so intimately," she says.

The Grammy-winning singer will perform June 18 on the Carnival Ecstasy and June 19 on Carnival Breeze, both in Cozumel, Mexico. Various contemporary and veteran pop, rock and country acts alsoare among the many acts who will participate in the series, which will give vacationers the chance to see exciting onboard shows while visiting select ports during their trips.

The shows, which will start in April and run through December, will take place in the main lounges of eight cruise liners in these locations: Cozumel, Mexico; Nassau, the Bahamas; and Catalina Island, California.  The artists will come aboard the ships while they're docked and leave after their respective concerts.

"Onboard entertainment is an important part of the overall guest experience when cruising," says Carnival Cruise Lines executive Mark Tamis. "With the Carnival LIVE Concert Series, our guests will enjoy an exclusive performance with one of their favorite artists for an extraordinary value."

Ticket prices run from $20 to $40 each, while a limited amount of VIP packages also will be sold that cost from $100 to $150.  The VIP tickets include seats in the first three rows, plus a meet-and-greet and photo op with the artist.  Tickets are available for purchase at Carnival.com and also will be sold on board participating cruise liners.

A total of 49 shows are set for this year alone; a full list can be found at Carnival.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan232014

Billy Joel Books Two More Stadium Shows

StoneMusicFest.comWhen Billy Joel isn't playing at New York's Madison Square Garden, he'll be spending his time rocking baseball stadiums across the U.S.  He's just lined up two more: in Philadelphia and in Washington,  D.C.

Billy will play Nationals Park in our nation's capital on Saturday, July 26.  It's his first solo headlining appearance at that venue and his first appearance at the venue since 2009.  Tickets go on sale to the general public February 1, though Nationals Season Plan ticket holders can buy them January 30. American Express Card members get a crack at them from January 28 through January 31.

The Piano Man will also perform at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on August 2. It'll be his first solo headlining appearance there as well, and will also mark his first concert in the city since 2009.  Tickets for that show go on sale January 31, though American Express Card members can guy them as early as this Monday.

Billy previously announced a show at Chicago's Wrigley Field on July 18.  In May, he'll play three shows at the iconic Hollywood Bowl.

Billy Joel's residency at Madison Square Garden, which will see him playing a show a month as long as there's interest from fans, gets underway on Monday. Right now, shows are scheduled through September.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio