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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Friday
Aug012014

Blake Shelton's New Album, "BRINGING BACK THE SUNSHINE," Due Out September 30

Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton's new album, BRINGING BACK THE SUNSHINE -- spelled in all caps -- comes out September 30, and it's now available for pre-order at Walmart.

The black-and-white album cover shows the sun breaking through clouds over the water tower in Blake's hometown of Ada, OK. A track listing hasn't been announced yet.

Look for the lead single from Blake's new project to hit the airwaves soon.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

The Rentals to Release New Album, the First in 15 Years

Image Courtesy Polyvinyl

There's soon to be a new album from The Rentals, the side project of Weezer frontman Matt Sharp. The album, called Lost in Alphaville, will feature ten tracks and is the first release from the Rentals in 15 years. Sharp has enlisted some help from the Black KeysPatrick Carney, though it's unclear whether Carney will also help out on the handful of dates the Rentals will play in support of the new release.

Lost in Alphaville hits bricks-and-mortar stores and digital outlets on August 26.

Here are the Rentals' mini-tour dates:

9/5 -- Los Angeles, CA, Fonda Theatre 
9/7 -- Pomona, CA, Glass House 
9/8 -- San Francisco, CA, Slim’s
9/25 -- Philadelphia, PA, Union Transfer
9/26 -- Asbury Park, NJ, Stone Pony
9/27 -- New York, NY, Irving Plaza

Friday
Aug012014

Madonna Calls for Cease-Fire in Israel-Hamas Conflict

Cliff Lipson/CBSMadonna has renewed her calls for a cease-fire in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Last week, she uploaded to Instagram a photo of flowers, and wrote, “These flowers are like the innocent children of GAZA! Who has a right to destroy them? No One!!!! CEASE FIRE! #peaceinthemiddleeast.” She subsequently posted a picture of herself and declared, “I do not support Hamas! I support human dignity and respect! I support sharing! I support Peace! #ceasefire.”

Madonna again urged a cease-fire in a post on Wednesday, sharing a link to ANERA, an organization that helps Palestinian refugees and poor families in Gaza. She added in a separate post on Thursday, “No Separation! We all bleed the same color! #ceasefire #peaceinthemiddleeast #livingforlove.”

Madonna, of course, has been calling for peace in the Middle East for years. She launched her 2012 MDNA tour in Israel, telling the Tel Aviv crowd, “You can't be a fan of mine and not want peace in the world, OK?"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

First Nirvana Drummer Says a Reunion Is Possible, and Has No Hard Feelings About Hall of Fame

Image Courtesy of Subpop RecordsOriginal Nirvana drummer Chad Channing says he'd be down for a band reunion.  He tells NME that if surviving members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic were in agreement, he'd sign on, but says, "It'd maybe be something like Dave playing guitar and singing and Krist doing bass.  That'd be about the only arrangement I could think of that we could pull off." 

Channing was the drummer on most of Bleach, Nirvana's first album, and on the EP Blew.  He also played drums on the song "Polly."  He left the band in 1990, before Nevermind was recorded. 

Channing was not invited by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to participate in Nirvana's induction in April, but he tells NME that he's "fine about it...I've always sort of felt that for me, everything's so much more about the music than the accolades." 

Despite the snub by the Rock Hall, Grohl thanked Channing for his contributions during his acceptance speech.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

There’s Another Aaliyah Biopic Coming Out Next Year

Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImageAlthough Lifetime is already in production on a TV biopic of Aaliyah, the late singer's life will also be retold on the big screen.

According to Sister2Sister, a feature film about the singer will arrive next year, featuring some of her classic tracks as well as some unreleased music.

"We’re in a position where we can do the feature film and we can do the music," said a source close to production.

Singer B. Simone has been hired to portray the singer, who was affectionately called Babygirl. Other possible co-stars are said to include Terrence Howard and Wood Harris.

Unlike Lifetime's Aaliyah: Princess of R&B biopic, Aaliyah’s uncle and former manager Barry Hankerson is working with scriptwriter and author Zane to produce the film project. 

"I think if we do our due-diligence, people will watch the TV movie and still say, 'I need to see the feature film,'" the source said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWho was Billy Currington's duet partner on the 2004 country hit, "Party for Two?" ANSWER: Shania Twain.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

Wynonna & The Big Noise Launching A Simpler Christmas Tour December 3

Image Courtesy Big EnterprisesWynonna and her band, The Big Noise, will set off on their holiday tour December 3 in Springfield, Ohio. Titled A Simpler Christmas, the trek takes Wy through Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Virginia before wrapping up December 21 in Newberry, South Carolina. The set list will include Wynonna's favorite holiday songs along with her greatest hits.

She says, "My hope is that people can come to the show, forget about their ‘to do’ list and, for the time we are together, simply enjoy themselves.”

Wynonna is currently working on her eighth studio album, due out next year.

Here are Wynonna's A Simpler Christmas tour dates:

12/3 -- Springfield, OH, Clark State Performing Arts Center
12/5 -- Glasgow, KY, Plaza Theatre
12/6 -- Danville, KY, Norton Center for the Arts
12/7 -- Punxsutawney, PA, Punxsutawney Community Center
12/10 -- Fort Myers, FL, Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
12/11 -- Fort Pierce, FL, Sunrise Theatre
12/14 -- Jacksonville, FL, Florida Theatre
12/18 -- Kalamazoo, MI, Miller Auditorium
12/20 -- Virginia Beach, VA, Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Center
12/21 -- Newberry, SC, Newberry Opera House


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

Aloe Blacc Goes from "Wake Me Up" to "Get On Up"

Frederick Brown/MSNBCAfter conquering the charts with his hit "Wake Me Up," and trying his hand at reality TV by appearing as a mentor on The Voice, Aloe Blacc is now making his movie debut.  He's got a small role in Get On Up, the new biopic of the late James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, which is in theaters Friday.  Aloe says this part may not be his last, either.

"Acting is something I want to pursue," Aloe tells ABC News Radio.  In Get On Up, he plays a real person, Nafloyd Scott, whom Aloe describes as "one of the first guitar players that James Brown ever worked with."  Asked if Scott played on any of Brown's classic hits, he laughs, "I wish.  Unfortunately, my character quits the band too early, 'cause he can't stand James Brown's attitude!"

Despite the small size of the role, Aloe is eager to do more acting, but he admits it makes him realize what a beginner he is, and how much work he'd have to put in to get better.

"It was a great learning experience, and really fun to be on such a historic moment, you know, the first well-produced biopic of James Brown," he tells ABC News Radio. "It just showed me, though, that there's a lot to learn when it comes to this form of artistic expression.  And as much time as I put into music, I would have to put into acting, in order to really stand up with the best and the other cast members, who are brilliant actors." 

The cast of Get On Up, which stars Chadwick Boseman as Brown, also includes such first-rate actors as Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Dan Aykroyd.  It was directed by Tate Taylor, who also directed the hit movie The Help.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

First Nirvana Drummer Says a Reunion Is Possible, and No Hard Feelings About Hall of Fame

Image Courtesy Subpop RecordsOriginal Nirvana member Chad Channing says he'd be down for a band reunion. The drummer tells NME that if surviving members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic were in agreement, he'd sign on, but says, "It'd maybe be something like Dave playing guitar and singing and Krist doing bass. That'd be about the only arrangement I could think of that we could pull off." 

Channing was the drummer for most of Bleach, Nirvana's first album, and on the EP Blew. He also played drums on the song "Polly." He left the band in 1990, before Nevermind was recorded. 

Channing was not invited by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to participate in Nirvana's induction in April, but he tells NME he's "fine about it...I've always sort of felt that for me, everything's so much more about the music than the accolades." 

Despite the snub by the Rock Hall, Dave Grohl thanked Channing for his contributions during his acceptance speech.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

Kelly Rowland Gushes About Her "Amazing" Husband Tim Witherspoon; Reveals She's Having a Baby Boy

Kelsey McNeal/FOXKelly Rowland had nothing but great things to say about Tim Witherspoon, her husband and daddy-to-be to her child.

During an interview with E! News,  the pregnant singer expressed her joy about preparing for her first child, who is due this fall.

"I'm extremely excited. First of course for myself and my husband. We couldn't be more happy," Rowland says.

"He's just super supportive. He's like have you eaten today? Did you take your vitamins? Did you drink enough water? He's so hands on and I'm just so blessed," she adds. "I just love him, he's like the greatest guy ever. He's so awesome I just can't believe how blessed I am...and he is too! He's an amazing man."

Kelly accidentally revealed she’s having a baby boy during an interview with Fox411.  Speaking about her pregnancy, the 33-year-old Caress spokeswoman said, “So far, everything has been good. I just feel like the baby is already [spoiled] rotten -- like literally, my Caress family has gotten him all of his little bathing stuff, his toys. It’s just so cool.”

Kelly immediately realized she used the pronoun “his” and tried to retract her comment, only to give up and declare, “Aw, f**k. It’s a boy. It’s a boy.”

This will be the first child for the newlyweds, who exchanged vows in a private ceremony in May in Costa Rica.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

Blake Shelton Performs Free Concert for 60,000 on Atlantic City Beach

Image Courtesy of Warner Music NashvilleMore than 60,000 people went to the beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Thursday to enjoy a free Blake Shelton concert, Philly.com reports.

Shelton greeted the huge crowd by declaring, “I didn’t drag my big ass out here today to play volleyball or go swimming or build sand castles. I came here to drink and play country music.”

The free concert was presented by The Atlantic City Alliance and Live Nation to showcase the New Jersey city and attract visitors.

Shelton was joined on stage at one point in the concert by Danielle Bradbery, the season 4 winner of The Voice.

Dan + Shay opened for Blake.

Blake’s Ten Times Crazier Tour 2014 continues Friday night with a show at Madison Square Garden in New York.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

Taylor Swift: "People Wouldn't Listen to My Songs If They Weren't Heartbroken..."

ABC/Jon LeMayTaylor Swift has never been afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve, and she thinks it's a big reason for her success.

The 24-year-old singer tells Entertainment Tonight, “To me emotion is such an important part of my life and now I guess my job.”

Swift continues, “People wouldn't listen to my songs if they weren't heartbroken or deeply affected and hurt and jilted and sad and bitter and all those wonderful things that I write songs about."

The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter finds herself on unfamiliar turf in the upcoming film The Giver, in which she plays a character named Rosemary, who seems to have no emotion.

Even more surprising is the fact that Swift didn't even have to audition for the part.  ET says she was offered the role a week after one of the producers caught her Los Angeles Concert.

The Giver is based on the popular young adult novel, and tells the story of a perfect world where everyone is happy. Jeff Bridges fills the title role of “The Giver,” an old man who reveals a “real world” that is filled with pain, sadness and war.  Meryl Streep also stars.  The film opens August 15.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Perform New Album Tunes on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Image Courtesy of Mary Ellen MatthewsTom Petty & the Heartbreakers celebrated the release this week of their new album Hypnotic Eye with an appearance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday night. After Jimmy packed his studio audience onto open-air tour buses, they drove to Culver City, California, for a private concert at Petty's rehearsal space. The band played "American Dream: Plan B" and "Forgotten Man" from the album.

Petty & the Heartbreakers will launch a North American tour in support of Hypnotic Eye this Sunday in San Diego. The trek is plotted out through an October 10 gig in Los Angeles.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

Keith Urban “Horrified” to Learn of Alleged Rape at Boston Concert

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleKeith Urban has released a statement regarding the alleged rape that occurred at the Mansfield, Massachusetts, stop on his Raise ‘Em Up tour last Saturday.

“My team and I were horrified to learn of the events reported in Boston this past weekend and our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected,” Keith writes in a statement posted on his official website. “This type of behavior stands in stark contrast to the spirit of our shows,” Keith’s statement concludes.

Mansfield Police say the alleged rape occurred on the lawn of Xfinity Center as onlookers watched with some shooting videos of the attack.  Police say the attack ended when a woman intervened. Eighteen-year-old Sean Murphy of Boston has been charged with one count of rape in connection with the attack.  Officials have not released the alleged victim’s name or age.  Murphy has pleaded not guilty.  He is being held on $10,000 bail.

Keith's Raise 'Em Up tour visits St. Louis Friday.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

Katy Perry Performs at White House Event for Special Olympics

ABC/Fred LeeKaty Perry took time out from her Prismatic tour Thursday evening to perform at a White House event that paid tribute to the Special Olympics.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted “A Celebration of Special Olympics and a Unified Generation” to mark the 46th anniversary of the Special Olympics.

“I love Katy Perry.  She is just a wonderful person,” Obama said. “I’ve just met her mom and now I know why she is such a wonderful person, but I just want everybody to know she is on tour right now and so for her to take time out to do this is really special and so we really want to say thank you to her for doing this.”

A Special Olympian introduced Perry, who wore a floor length blue sequin dress. She dedicated her first song, "Roar," to "those who inspire me."  Her set list also included “Unconditionally.”

In addition to Perry, invited guests included elected officials, Special Olympians and a number of celebrities, including Stevie Wonder.

Perry resumes her Prismatic tour Friday in Boston.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

The Moody Blues Kick Off New North American Tour Tonight

Image Courtesy of Chris Hewlett PRThe Moody Blues have returned to North America for a late summer tour that gets under way tonight in Syracuse, New York.  The outing includes a total of 26 shows, and will stop mostly in cities in the northeastern and midwestern U.S., winding down with a September 4-5 stand at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois.

Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward tells ABC News Radio that one of the interesting things about this trek for him is that the band hasn't performed in North America too often in August.  He notes that, because of the time of year, "we'll be doing a lot of outdoor gigs and I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun."

Hayward also reports that the Moodies will be visiting "[p]laces we haven't been for a while," adding, "I think we're all looking forward to it."

As for the band's set list, Hayward says he doesn't think it "will have changed much" from the one featured on the group's last visit to the U.S.  He points out, though, that since the Moodies will be playing some places they haven't been to before, the show likely will be new to those fans.

At their concerts this past May, The Moody Blues included some lesser-known tunes like "Higher and Higher," "You and Me," "Peak Hour" and "Nervous," along with classic hits like "Nights in White Satin," "Tuesday Afternoon," "Question" and "Your Wildest Dreams."

Meanwhile, The Moody Blues haven't put out a new studio album since their 2003 holiday collection, December, and Hayward tells ABC News Radio that the band still has no concrete plans for another record.

"I never know what's gonna happen [with The Moodies]," he admits.  Justin does reveal that the band has plans for a U.K. tour next year, adding that "there's talk of another DVD project, so that'll be good too."

If the band does decide to hit the studio again, Hayward suggests that there won't be a shortage of new songs.  "There's always something in the diary, that's for sure," he maintains.

Here are all of The Moody Blues upcoming North American dates:

8/1 -- Syracuse, NY, Landmark Theater
8/2 -- Niagara Falls, NY, Seneca Events Center
8/4 -- Saratoga, NY, Saratoga Performing Arts Center
8/5 -- Bethlehem, PA, Musikfest
8/6 -- Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Sun Arena
8/8 -- Rama, ON, Canada, Casino Rama
8/9 -- Rama, ON, Canada, Casino Rama
8/11 -- Philadelphia, PA, Verizon Hall
8/12 -- Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
8/14 -- Gilford, NH, Meadowbrook Music Arts Center
8/15 -- Hyannis, MA, Cape Cod Melody Tent
8/16 -- Hyannis, MA, Cape Cod Melody Tent
8/17 -- Danbury, CT, Ives Concert Park
8/20 -- Toledo, OH, Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre
8/21 -- Grand Rapids, MI, Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater
8/22 -- Fort Wayne, IN, Embassy Theatre
8/23 -- Dells, WI, Crystal Grand Music Theatre
8/25 -- Lincoln, NE, Pinewood Bowl Theater
8/26 -- Minneapolis, MN, Northrup Auditorium
8/28 -- Springfield, IL, Sangamon Auditorium
8/29 -- Kettering, OH, Fraze Pavilion
8/30 -- Detroit, MI, Fox Theatre
9/2 -- LaCrosse, WI, La Crosse Center Arena
9/3 -- Appleton, WI, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
9/4 -- Highland Park, IL, Ravinia
9/5 -- Highland Park, IL, Ravinia


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

5 Seconds of Summer Debuts Video for "Amnesia"

Capitol RecordsOne day after announcing a 2015 headlining tour, 5 Seconds of Summer on Thursday debuted the video for their new single, “Amnesia.”

The song, which revolves around a lost love, shows the Australian group having fun in a pool, sharing laughs in a car, and singing into the camera quite a bit.

“Amnesia” is one of the tracks on their self-titled debut album, which just hit #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

5 Seconds of Summer is currently touring with One Direction. Their next scheduled shows are this Friday and Saturday in Toronto. They’ll embark on a two-month-long headlining tour in North America next summer.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

Witness Shares What She Saw During Bieber-Bloom Fight

Ben WattsSo, what exactly transpired between Justin Bieber and Orlando Bloom when the two scuffled at a restaurant in Ibiza, Spain, early Wednesday?  One witness shared what she says she saw with Britain’s Daily Mirror.

Former journalist Anastasia Skolkova tells the newspaper she was having dinner with friends, nearby Bloom and Leonardo DiCaprio, at the Cipriani restaurant. Lindsay Lohan and Diddy, among others, were also there.

Skolkova continues, "Justin said something when he came in which was aimed at Orlando, who then jumped onto a sofa to try and get at Justin.” It’s been reported that Justin made a comment about Bloom’s ex-wife, model Miranda Kerr.

Skolkova recalls that everyone in the restaurant stood up and clapped; allegedly, DiCaprio applauded Bloom.

She adds, "There were actually two moments when it turned violent, it wasn't just the one punch thrown. DiCaprio was flipping out and Lindsay Lohan was trying to call them. Justin's face was amazing.”

Since the incident, Justin has taken a couple of digs at Bloom on social media, first by reportedly posting a photo of Kerr, and then later by uploading a picture of Bloom appearing to wipe his eye.

Justin didn’t post anything onto Instagram Thursday, and his only tweet and Facebook post of the day involved an inspiring video about a 13-year-old girl, born with a lung disease, who saw OneRepublic for her first concert. He wrote, “what it's all about…#giveback nice job @OneRepublic.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockJake Owen will host the 8th Annual ACM Honors ceremony September 9 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Tickets are now available through Ticketmaster.

Little Big Town spent Thursday having fun at Disneyland in California.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug012014

Billy Currington Remembers His Grandparents' Lost Record Player and Vinyl Collection

Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleSome of Billy Currington's favorite childhood memories were made listening to the big record player at his grandparents' house back home in Georgia.

He says, "They had this old, in perfect shape record player with an eight-track cassette tape player in it, and also a radio and speakers. It was a whole cabinet thing."

Unfortunately, Billy's grandfather decided to get rid of the record player after Billy moved to Nashville.

"They didn't know I loved that thing that much," Billy explains, "and my granddad put it in the paper or something for free -- somebody to just come get it. That thing was worth everything to me -- not money-wise."

Even though the record player is long-gone, Billy always thought his grandmother kept their classic country record collection in the attic. He finally got around to asking her about the collection last week.

Billy says, "She said, 'Honey, I think your granddaddy gave all them records away with the record player that he gave away.' So, I was bummed to hear that, 'cause it was everything."

Billy has a personal record collection handed down from his parents, but it's lighter on classic country and pretty heavy on dance music.

"[It's] '70s gold," Billy says with a laugh. "Disco! All that stuff. My mom had it all."

Billy is helping his fans make musical memories of their own on the road this summer. Go to BillyCurrington.com to see where he's playing next.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio