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Wednesday
Jun292016

Sia Invited to Join the Motion Picture Academy; Says She Wants to Give Kids a "Different Idea of Expression"

ABC/Fred LeeSia is one of several musicians who've just been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body that hands out the Oscars. The main benefit of Academy membership is that you get to vote on who wins the Academy Awards each year.

On Wednesday, the organization extended 683 membership invitations to musicians, actors, filmmakers and executives alike. Of that group, 41 percent are people of color and 46 percent are female. You may recall that the lack of diversity among nominees earlier this year spawned the #OscarsSoWhite campaign.

Sia was invited because she's written music for several films, including Shakira's song "Try Everthing" from Zootopia and "Salted Wound," on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack.  She also wrote Rihanna's new ballad "Sledgehammer," which is featured in the new Star Trek movie.  Other musicians invited include Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and Mary J. Blige.

In other Sia news, she interviewed her frequent video star, Maddie Ziegler, for the new issue of Seventeen.  During their chat, Sia says, "My goal is to give girls and boys a different idea of expression. It’s not always about looking pretty or cute. It’s about expressing yourself however that may be, even if that’s being silly or goofy or weird."

Speaking about celebrity, she tells Maddie, "There’s this image of us on the red carpet, being really fancy, and then there’s the reality. I’m in bed doing this interview. I just played tennis, the three dogs are on the floor -- and you know I’m picking up poop at some point today.”

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Wednesday
Jun292016

Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith Jams with Street Musicians in London

Credit: Steve KerosChad Smith took a break from drumming with Red Hot Chili Peppers this week to jam with some busking musicians on the streets of London. You can watch footage of the Red Hot Street Buskers now on YouTube.

Red Hot Chili Peppers are currently touring Europe in support of their new album, The Getaway. The band will return to the U.S. next month to headline Lollapalooza in Chicago.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun292016

New Van Morrison Album, "Keep Me Singing," Hitting Stores in September

Caroline RecordsVan Morrison will release his 36th studio album, Keep Me Singing, on September 30. The 13-track effort is Morrison's first new album since his 2015 collaborative record, Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue, and his first collection of new material since 2012's Born to Sing: No Plan B.

Keep Me Singing features 12 original compositions, plus a cover of "Share Your Love with Me," a song penned by Alfred Baggs and Don Robey that previously was recorded by Bobby "Blue" Bland, Aretha Franklin and Kenny Rogers. One of the new tunes, "Every Time I See a River," was co-written by Morrison and acclaimed lyricist Don Black, who has contributed words to many famous movie theme songs. Closing out the album is an instrumental titled "Caledonian Swing," which features Van playing piano and saxophone.

The album's first single, "Too Late," also will be released on September 30. Shortly after the arrival of Keep Me Singing, Morrison will embark on a brief U.S. tour that gets underway on October 9 at Forest Hills Stadium in New York City, and runs through an October 18-19 stand at SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco.

Here's the full track list of Keep Me Singing:

"Let It Rhyme"
"Every Time I See a River"
"Keep Me Singing"
"Out in the Cold Again"
"Memory Lane"
"The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword"
"Holy Guardian Angel"
"Share Your Love with Me"
"In Tiburon"
"Look Beyond the Hill"
"Going Down to Bangor"
"Too Late"
"Caledonia Swing"

And here are all of Morrison's confirmed U.S. dates:

10/9 -- New York, NY, Forest Hills Stadium
10/13 -- Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Bowl
10/15 -- Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Barbara Bowl
10/17 -- San Francisco, CA, Davies Symphony Hall
10/18 -- San Francisco, CA, SFJAZZ Center
10/19 -- San Francisco, CA, SFJAZZ Center

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Wednesday
Jun292016

Skillet Rocks Hard in "Feel Invincible" Video

Atlantic RecordsSkillet has premiered the video for their new single "Feel Invincible." The visual, which is now streaming at Billboard.com, finds the band rocking out to electronic-tinged track while surrounded by a variety of shadowy figures, one of which is wielding a samurai sword.

"Feel Invincible" is the lead single from Skillet's forthcoming album Unleashed, which, according to vocalist/bassist John Cooper, is "quite diverse."

"There are more extreme songs on both sides of the spectrum, meaning harder rock and even metal, but also pop and atmospheric tunes/sounds," Cooper tells Billboard.

Unleashed will be released August 5.

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Wednesday
Jun292016

Blink-182 Scores First Number-One Single in 12 Years with "Bored to Death"

BMG Rights ManagementIt took them a dozen years, but Blink-182 has finally returned to the top of Billboard's Alternative Songs chart. The band's new single "Bored to Death" has taken the number-one spot, 12 years after they topped Alternative Songs in 2004 with their hit "I Miss You."

In total, it took Blink 12 years and three months to return to the peak of Alternative Songs, which is the second-longest period between number-ones in the chart's history. The longest wait belongs to Jane's Addiction, who topped Alternative Songs in December 1990 with "Been Caught Stealing" before returning to number one 12 years and seven months later in August 2003 with "Just Because."

With "Bored to Death," Blink-182 now has three number-one singles on Alternative Songs, following "I Miss You" and 1999's "All the Small Things."

"Bored to Death" is the lead single from Blink's forthcoming album California, which will be released July 1.

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Wednesday
Jun292016

Usher Takes Us Into The World of Foxes and Sea Turtles on The Discovery Channel

Kurt Iswarienko/RCAUsher is a stone cold fox -- or at least he will narrate the life of one on television! 

The Grammy-award winning singer has lent his vocal talents to a new Discovery Channel show called HELLO WORLD, in which the world of foxes and sea turtles will be seen through his eyes.  

The title of his episode, "Stronger," also features his new song of the same name.

press release states that the family-friendly show will "look at the wonders of the natural world through the eyes of some of today's most celebrated musicians." Musical talents such as Ellie GouldingSteven Tyler and Christina Aguilera have taken part in the six-part documentary series.

HELLO WORLD will air on the Discovery Channel on July 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun292016

Holy Hiddleswift: Taylor and Tom Visit the Vatican

ABC/Lou Rocco; ABC/Randy HolmesTheir relationship is already sacred. Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston continued their Roman holiday Wednesday with a trip to the Vatican, UsWeekly reports.

The two, coordinating in light-colored outfits, toured the Pope’s home and held hands as they walked around. Earlier in the week, they took a private tour of the Colosseum and enjoyed a romantic meal nearby.

Taylor ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris, meanwhile, is enjoying a vacation of his own. He was spotted in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on a private yacht with a bevy of beauties.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun292016

Eric Paslay Plans a Weekend Date with Some Angels

EMI Records NashvilleEric Paslay has a date with some angels and some barbecue this Fourth of July weekend. The Texas native will debut his new single “Angels in This Town” Sunday at a special free concert at Stubb's BBQ in Austin.

It’s the first in a series of events where Eric will honor community heroes all across the country, and it turns out he knows a thing or two about angels -- both real and metaphorical -- since his parents are both missionaries. The July 3 show will pay tribute to the staff and volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club of Austin.

The following Friday, July 8, Eric hits the road with Toby Keith on the Interstates & Tailgates Tour.  “Angels in This Town” will be featured on his forthcoming sophomore album, Dressed in Black.

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Wednesday
Jun292016

Dan+Shay Have One of "Those Days" with Electronic Violinist Lindsey Stirling

ABC/Fred LeeLindsey Stirling is continuing her country collaborations, and Dan+Shay are her latest musical partners. Last year, the electronic violinist paired with Dierks Bentley on “Riser” on the CMA Awards, returning for the Country Music Association's annual Country Christmas special in December.

Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney contribute vocals to the track “Those Days” on Lindsey’s third studio album. You can check out the threesome’s work when Brave Enough comes out August 19.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun292016

Demi Lovato Debuting New Song, “Body Say,” During Future Now Tour Tonight

Photo by David Becker/Getty ImagesDemi Lovato and Nick Jonas kick off their Future Now tour tonight, and Demi’s making it extra special. The singer announced on the Future Now tour’s Twitter page that she’ll be debuting a new single during the show in Atlanta.

She revealed that the song is called “Body Say” and also showed off the single’s sexy artwork, featuring her topless in a bed with her bra strewn off to the side.

Demi previously told USA Today that her new sound is “definitely sexier.” She added, “It’s more adult and there’s also some songs on my album that have more of a country influence. We’ll see where it goes -- you never really know until it’s finished.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Wednesday
Jun292016

Sheila E. Continues to Honor Prince with New Song, Music Video

Vince Bucci/Getty ImagesFollowing her electrifying Prince tribute performance with Stevie Wonder and other stars at this year's BET Music Awards, singer/percussionist Sheila E. has continued to honor the late music icon by releasing a new song and an accompanying music video. 

Titled "Girl Meets Boy," the ballad is a heartfelt homage to Prince, with whom Sheila E. shared an intimate relationship as lover, friend and creative partner.

The music video for "Girl Meets Boy" was posted on her Twitter page, along with the message, "From my heart, to you." 

In other news, Sheila E. is hosting a three-night "Glamorous Life Latin Cruise" from Miami, Florida, to Coco Cay and Nassau in The Bahamas. Set to depart in February 2017, the cruise also will feature actor/comic George Lopez, Debi Nova, Ozomatli and Sheila E.'s father, legendary percussionist Pete Escovedo.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun292016

The 2016 ESSENCE Festival Will Honor Prince With A Special Tribute

Neil Lupin/RedfernsThe 2016 ESSENCE Festival is gearing up to be one of the best live events of the summer and this year it will honor one of music's greatest performers.

The four-day celebration is set to honor the life of Prince on Sunday, July 3 in New Orleans, Louisiana. ESSENCE has reported that the New Orleans-themed tribute will feature many musical guests, including Larry GrahamMarsha AmbrosiusKelly Price, D-NiceDoug E. FreshThe Roots of Music and members of Prince's band, the New Power Generation.

"Understanding his musical intent and precision since I was a child to this very day, there will never be another. His music [is] forever lasting," says Ambrosius on Prince's legacy. 

The 2016 ESSENCE Festival kicks off from June 30 to July 3. Tickets are currently on sale now.   

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Wednesday
Jun292016

Brad Paisley Pitches in to Help West Virginia Flood Victims

Arista NashvilleBrad Paisley is pitching in to help his home state of West Virginia, after the June 23 floods that killed more than twenty people and devastated multiple small towns. After performing the John Denver classic “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in a video posted on his Facebook page, Brad launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the region, where 44 out of 55 counties have declared a state of emergency.

The “Without a Fight” singer got the ball rolling by contributing $100,000 himself, with a goal of raising a million dollars. The money will go to help flood victims through Brad’s foundation. He plans to visit the area on Thursday, and isn’t counting out the idea of doing a benefit concert at some point, though he stresses “now is not the time.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun292016

The Real Reason Iggy Azalea Called It Quits With Nick Young?

ABC/Fred LeeThe will they/won't they saga of Nick Young and Iggy Azalea's romance appears to have turned completely sour.

Life & Style reports that the real reason behind the termination of Young and Azalea's engagement is because Young's baby mama, Keonna Green, is pregnant with their second child! 

"Nick waited until Keonna was four months pregnant to tell Iggy the news," an insider told .  

Green allegedly told the magazine that the pregnancy was an accident with a "yes," followed by a "no comment."  

On June 27, Iggy retweeted a fan's video message coupled with the quote, "We are always here for you. #WeLoveYouIggy #LeaveIggyAlone." 

Also recently, Young was spotted on his Instagram account singing the words to Drake's song, "Redemption." 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.  

 

Searching for these words to say to you...

A video posted by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on Jun 23, 2016 at 3:17pm PDT

 

Wednesday
Jun292016

Rihanna's Music Video for New Single, "Sledgehammer," Will Debut Exclusively in IMAX

Lester Cohen/Getty Images via ABCIf you love Rihanna and her new single, "Sledgehammer," then get ready -- the music video is coming to IMAX theaters Thursday!  

"#SLEDGEHAMMERVIDEO tomorrow! 1st ever #IMAX music video debut at 9AM EST," Rihannatweeted, along with a nearly thirty-second clip from the video.

The music video for "Sledgehammer" marks the first of its kind shot only with IMAX cameras. "I have been a fan of Star Trek since I was a little girl. Being able to be the first director to shoot a music video entirely with IMAX cameras and use this revolutionary technology to explore a different type of new territory was a dream come true," says director Director Floria Sigismondi

"Sledgehammer" was written for the Star Trek Beyond movie, set to debut in theaters July 22. 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

 

 

Wednesday
Jun292016

Take That, Taylor! Calvin Harris Parties with Ladies on a Private Yacht in Mexico

Jason Merritt/Getty Images via ABCIt seems Calvin Harris is doing just fine since his breakup with Taylor Swift. While Taylor gallivants around Europe with her new beau Tom Hiddleston, Calvin is enjoying a Mexican getaway with a bunch of beautiful babes.

The DJ-producer posted some Snapchat photos of himself with the group of women on a private yacht in Cabo San Lucas. “I write songs,” he captioned it. His pick-up line, perhaps?

Calvin was traveling with his longtime friend Emil Nava, who directed the video for his Rihanna collab “This Is What You Came For.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun292016

Sheila E. Continues to Honor Prince with New Song, Music Video

Steve Grayson/WireImageFollowing her electrifying Prince tribute performance at this year's BET Music Awards, singer and percussionist Sheila E. has continued honoring the late music icon with a new song and accompanying music video. 

Titled "Girl Meets Boy," the ballad is a heartfelt homage to Prince. Both shared an intimate relationship as lovers, friends and creative partners.

Sheila E. posted the music video for "Girl Meets Boy" on her Twitter page, with the message, "From my heart, to you." 

In other news, Sheila E. is hosting a three-night "Glamorous Life Latin Cruise" from Miami, Florida to CocoCay and Nassau in the Bahamas. Set to depart February 2017, other special guests include actor George LopezDebi NovaOzomatli, and Sheila E's father and legendary percussionist, Pete Escovedo.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

 

Wednesday
Jun292016

Jermaine Dupri to Partner with L.A. Reid for The Rap Game

Taylor Hill/Getty ImagesSo So Def label owner Jermaine Dupri is partnering up with Epic Records CEO L.A. Reid to release new music for the Lifetime network reality series, The Rap Game. Dupri is a host on the show.

Both Dupri and Reid will come together to release music from the contestants during the show's second season, which will premiere July 22.

"LA and I have had the biggest hits together; we belong together again, to make magic with this collaboration!," says Dupri in a statement. 

The Rap Game highlights aspiring teen musical artists vying for a shot at stardom. Throughout their journey on the show, the young hopefuls will be mentored by music industry icons, such as Mariah CareyMonicaTimbaland and Snoop Dogg.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun292016

Kanye West + Adidas = Monumental Creative Partnership

BBC Worldwide/SHOWTIMEConsidered "the most significant partnership ever created between an athletic brand and a non-athlete," athletic brand Adidas has just announced a new creative union with Kanye West

The brand entity, called Adidas + KANYE WEST, will encompass footwear, apparel and accessories for all genders in need of streetwear or sportswear. 

Adidas CMO Eric Leidtke said of the partnership, "Kanye is a true creator who has the abilities to see things others don't.  With Adidas + KANYE WEST we are exploring new territories by opening up the sports world to Kanye's creativity. This is what adidas has always been about, empowering creators to create the new." 

Kanye added, "These past two years Adidas and YEEZY have given a glimpse into our future. This partnership illustrates that anyone with a dream can dream without limitations." 

West and Adidas have enjoyed past success with the rapper's many creative efforts produced with the German sporting goods brand. West's Adidas YEEZY line has produced some of the most sought-after shoes in footwear history. 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun292016

John Mayer Says He’s “Single and Excited About the Future”

ABC/Randy HolmesJohn Mayer is single and ready to mingle. The singer dished on his romantic life -- or lack thereof -- on Watch What Happens Live Tuesday.

"I'm ready to roll,” he said of his relationship status. “I'm older and more mature than I've ever been. The stage is set, I’m excited for a meet cute at some point. So I’m single and I’m excited about the future.”

John’s most recent high-profile relationship was his on-again off-again romance with Katy Perry, which ended for good last year. Katy has since moved on with Orlando Bloom.

For now, John is just enjoying being able to spend more time with his friends. He even talked about hitting some gay clubs with WWHL host Andy Cohen.

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