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Sunday
Nov232014

Earth Wind & Fire to Perform on "A Home for the Holidays" Special

PRNewsFoto/Legacy RecordingsEarth Wind & Fire is a part of the entertainment lineup for this year's edition of the CBS special A Home for the Holidays, which airs December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The show also will include performances by Train, Jennifer Hudson, U.K. pop act Rixton and country artists Ashley Monroe and Dan + Shay.

As always, the special will feature uplifting stories about families whose lives have been changed by adoption from foster care.  Celebrity presenters, some of whom have had their own adoption experiences, or who are involved in children's issues, will also be part of the show.

Also scheduled to appear on A Home for the Holidays are Katharine McPhee and Jillian Michaels.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov232014

Sammy Hagar Says He "Was Honored" to Be Asked to Appear on "The Simpsons"

2014 TCFFC/FoxSammy Hagar will join an illustrious list of fellow rock stars when he appears tonight in cartoon form on The Simpsons.  The Red Rocker's voice and animated likeness will be featured in an episode titled "Covercraft," in which Homer -- suffering from a mid-life crisis after Moe's bar closes -- becomes the bassist in a cover band with some other local dads.

Hagar says he jumped at the chance when he was asked to take part in the show, which in the past has featured cameos by such music legends as Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, The Who and Michael Jackson.

"I liked the list of people that have done it before me, and I was honored," Sammy explained during a press teleconference held Thursday.  He added that he also was excited because it gave him the opportunity to do "something new, something different."

He also noted that he enjoyed doing the show because he got the chance to ham it up. "I liked being a little bit of a caricature of myself," he said.  "I get to overdo it, and every time I overdo it around the house, you know, I get criticism from my kids and stuff.  So it's really nice to be able to overdo it and get away with it."

One thing Hagar wasn't too pleased with was the way he looked as a cartoon character.

"I don't think anyone can relate to themselves as a Simpson," he said with a laugh.  "When I saw it I went, 'Whoa!  Hey!  Hold on here.'  You know, it's pretty funny but, like I said, I can't relate too much to the character except…they got my tennis shoes really right and they got my…flower shirt…my kind of semi-Hawaiian lifestyle look…But [I] couldn't relate to the body and face look."

Besides that, Hagar said he was so happy with his Simpsons experience that it made him want to become a full-time cast member.

"It made me want to do voice-overs," he explained.  "I told the guys after I did it…I said, 'Hey man, invent a permanent Simpson character for me and I'll do it.'…I'm telling you, it was really, really fun."

Sammy revealed that at this stage in his career, he's very interested in trying things he hasn't done before, so beyond doing voice-overs he'd like to try his hand at acting in a film.

"I'd love to have a bit part in a movie," he said.  "Not like a star, but I would love to…try some things like that, where I can be some other character.  I'm tired of being Sammy, you know what I mean?"

You can check out a video featuring behind-the-scenes footage of Hagar recording his Simpsons cameo on RollingStone.comThe Simpsons airs Sundays on Fox at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov232014

Mary J. Blige, Iggy Azalea & More Performing on Sunday's American Music Awards

Dick Clark ProductionsMary J. Blige and Iggy Azalea are among the many entertainers set to perform during the 2014 American Music Awards, airing Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. The show's executive producer says that if you don't tune in as soon as the show starts, you'll be missing something "huge" and "outrageous."

"Don't tune in late ,'cause if you tune in late you're gonna miss something that's outrageous," AMA Executive Producer Larry Klein tells ABC News Radio. "Trust me. Don't come into the show at 8:10.  Don't do that. You better start at eight o'clock, 'cause I ain't holdin' nothin' back...it's gonna open up with a huge 'wow.'  And it's gonna go for three hours and end with a big 'wow.'"

Previously confirmed performers for the AMAs also include Lil Wayne and Christina Milian, Nicki Minaj,Sam Smith, Fergie, Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Jessie J and many more. It's no wonder that the show will be a huge production, and Klein says the challenge every year is trying to make sense out of many diverse performances. 

Iggy leads all nominees for this year's AMAs with six nods, including for Artist and Single of the Year for “Fancy.”  She's followed by Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and John Legend who each have five nominations.  Beyonce is also nominated in the cross-genre Artist of the Year category.

The American Music Awards air live this Sunday night on ABC.  Here are the nominees:

Artist of the Year
Iggy Azalea
Beyoncé
Luke Bryan
One Direction
Katy Perry

New Artist of the Year Presented by Kohl’s
5 Seconds of Summer
Iggy Azalea
Bastille
Sam Smith
Meghan Trainor

Single of the Year
Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX, “Fancy”
John Legend, “All of Me”
MAGIC!, “Rude”
Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J, “Dark Horse”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy”

Favorite Male Artist -- Pop/Rock
John Legend
Sam Smith
Pharrell Williams

Favorite Female Artist -- Pop/Rock
Iggy Azalea
Lorde
Katy Perry

Favorite Album -- Pop/Rock
Lorde, Pure Heroine
One Direction, Midnight Memories
Katy Perry, Prism

Favorite Artist -- Rap/Hip-Hop
Iggy Azalea
Drake
Eminem

Favorite Album -- Rap/Hip-Hop
Iggy Azalea, The New Classic
Drake, Nothing Was The Same
Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2

Favorite Male Artist -- Soul/R&B
Chris Brown
John Legend
Pharrell Williams

Favorite Female Artist -- Soul/R&B
Jhene Aiko
Beyoncé
Mary J.  Blige

Favorite Album -- Soul/R&B
Beyoncé, Beyoncé
John Legend, Love in the Future
Pharrell Williams, G I R L


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov232014

Aaliyah's Life Revisted in VH1's Behind the Music Series

Image Courtesy Blackground/Jive/BMG RecordsIt's safe to say that public interest in the late Aaliyah is at an all time high. Following the premiere of Lifetime's controversial biopic on the singer last weekend, VH1 has announced that the network will air an encore presentation of Behind the Music: Aaliyah.

Fans can expect to learn more about the singer, affectionately known as "Baby Girl," during the show, which will include a narration updated from the original 2001 production. The show also will include exclusive interviews with the singer’s family members and closest friends.

Behind the Music: Aaliyah will air on Sunday, November 23 at 6 p.m and then again at 10 p.m.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov232014

Imagine Dragons Performing at American Music Awards on Sunday

Image Courtesy of ABC/Richard HarbaughImagine Dragons will be bringing their new single to the big stage. The Las Vegas band will be performing "I Bet My Life" on Sunday's 2014 American Music Awards, which start at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

In addition to performing at the award show, Imagine Dragons will be up for two AMAs: Favorite Artist -- Alternative Rock and Favorite Band, Duo or Group -- Pop/Rock. The band won the Favorite Artist -- Alternative Rock award at the 2013 AMAs, so they could make it two straight

Lorde and Bastille square off against Imagine Dragons in the Favorite Artist- -- Alternative Rock category. Lorde will also be performing at the AMAs. She also received nominations in two other categories: Favorite Album -- Pop/Rock and Favorite Female Artist -- Pop/Rock. Bastille is a multiple nominee as well -- the British band is up for the New Artist of the Year award.

All in all, the AMAs will feature 18 musical performances from hot alternative acts like Imagine Dragons and Lorde to pop stars like Taylor Swift and One Direction.

"I think what we're doing is just representing what pop culture is in today's world. Period," AMA Executive Producer Larry Klein tells ABC News Radio. "Listen to any radio station -- I don't care what the station is -- the songs you hear on those radio stations, you'll be seeing Sunday night with the artists performing them."

The American Music Awards air live this Sunday night on ABC.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov232014

Luke Bryan Takes on Beyonce and One Direction at the 2014 AMAs

Image Courtesy ABCWithout a doubt, Luke Bryan is the country torchbearer at this year's American Music Awards, as the only artist from the genre nominated in the all-inclusive Artist of the Year category. Luke confesses it's a little hard to believe he's up against the likes of Beyonce and One Direction.

"Anytime I'm in the room with all of music, I get really, really inspired. I'm very flattered. I always think about representing country music in the best way I know," he says. "I just love being in that room. It's always fun going out to the AMAs and seeing all of the talent in the room. And knowing that this year I'm nominated in the category of overall artist is really, really hard for me to wrap my head around. It's amazing."

Even though he's also competing against Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton for Favorite Male Artist in the country category, Luke vows he won't let the pressure get to him.

"I just wanna go out there and enjoy it. I love meeting all of the people in all of music. At the end of the day, I think we're all in there to make the art of music better. Hopefully, I can represent Nashville."

On the female side, Carrie Underwood squares off against Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves for Favorite Female Artist - Country. Carrie says the fan-voted awards remind her of the beginning of her career.

"I'm excited to be nominated for an AMA. I see every day on my Twitter feed, people have been retweeting and doing all that stuff, which is really cool. They've always had my back, and seeing their enthusiasm about voting for me is something that is really cool because that's how I got here in the first place with American Idol," she remembers. "So, it makes me feel good to know that there are still people out there that are voting their fingers off."

Whether or not Florida Georgia Line is able to wrestle the country Band, Duo or Group trophy from Lady Antebellum and Eli Young Band, Tyler Hubbard thinks it's just fun to get to rub elbows with artists from other kinds of music.

"It's a huge honor, to be honest, to be a country artist and then to be able to be at an all-genre awards show feels great.  It's definitely humbling, and so it's cool," he says. "And we're excited. You get to see a lot of cool people and meet a lot of nice people and see a lot of different, basically, music cultures. It's neat for us, you know. "

Garth Brooks, who's up for country's Favorite Album, is set to perform on the show, while his fellow nominee Brantley Gilbert will help hand out one of the trophies. You can find out who wins Sunday, November 23 at 8 p.m. E.T. on ABC.

The nominees in the country categories for the 2014 American Music Awards are:

Favorite Male Artist -- Country
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Blake Shelton

Favorite Female Artist -- Country
Miranda Lambert
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Favorite Band, Duo or Group -- Country  
Eli Young Band
Florida Georgia Line
Lady Antebellum

Favorite Album -- Country
Garth Brooks, Blame It on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences
Eric Church, The Outsiders
Brantley Gilbert, Just as I Am


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov232014

Charli XCX Looking Forward to Wearing "a Million Billion" Outfits at Sunday's AMAs 

Bella Howard/Atlantic RecordsThe 2014 American Music Awards kick off Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, and Charli XCX, who's nominated and is performing on the show, says she's less excited about the prospect of winning, and more psyched about the prospect of wearing a series of fabulous outfits.

"Dude, you have no idea!" she gushes to ABC News Radio. "Like, I cannot wait.  I want to have, like, a million, billion outfit changes.  It's, like, my favorite thing.  I literally can't wait."

Charli XCX is nominated for Single of the Year for "Fancy," her smash collabo with Iggy Azalea.  She says winning awards isn't really important to her, but she's not going to turn them down, either.

"I don't do this for, like, awards, or, like, award wins, or whatever," she tells ABC News Radio. "You know, of course, I'm very grateful but it's just like...I'd rather be in the studio, I guess.  But of course, I'm very thankful." 

Fergie is one of many artists debuting new music on the show: in this case it's her single "L.A. LOVE (La La)," and she admits it's pretty nerve-wracking to sing a new song on TV for the first time. "Of course it is," she tells ABC News Radio. "But that's when I remind myself what the song's about.  It's about having a good time and it's about spreading the love and I gotta take my own advice!"

5 Seconds of Summer performed on the MTV VMAs earlier this year, and they'll be performing Sunday night; they're also nominated.  Drummer Ashton Irwin tells ABC News Radio that the Aussie band likes attending award shows.

"I think it's cool to see everyone," he says. "It really exposes how unique they are, these shows, and I think that's what I like about them, is the individuality that it expresses through the TV, which is a cool thing.  And we get to go to them, and, you know, it's not competitive or anything, it's more like, 'Just be yourself' and that's how you got there." 

Taylor Swift will open the show with her #1 hit "Blank Space."  The rest of the lineup includes Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Jessie J, Imagine Dragons, Sam Smith, Selena Gomez, Lorde, MAGIC!, One Direction, Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azalea and host Pitbull

Presenters include Meghan Trainor, Gavin DeGraw, Becky G, Mary Lambert, Train's Pat Monahan, Lucy Hale, Tracee Ellis Ross, Danica McKellar, and Ansel Elgort. The fun begins Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Here are the nominees:

Artist of the Year
Iggy Azalea
Beyoncé
Luke Bryan
One Direction
Katy Perry

New Artist of the Year Presented by Kohl’s
5 Seconds of Summer
Iggy Azalea
Bastille
Sam Smith
Meghan Trainor

Single of the Year
Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX --“Fancy”
John Legend -- “All of Me”
MAGIC! -- “Rude”
Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J -- “Dark Horse”
Pharrell Williams -- “Happy”

Favorite Male Artist -- Pop/Rock
John Legend
Sam Smith
Pharrell Williams

Favorite Female Artist -- Pop/Rock
Iggy Azalea
Lorde
Katy Perry

Favorite Band, Duo or Group -- Pop/Rock
Imagine Dragons
One Direction
OneRepublic

Favorite Album -- Pop/Rock
Lorde, Pure Heroine
One Direction, Midnight Memories
Katy Perry, Prism

Favorite Male Artist -- Country
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Blake Shelton

Favorite Female Artist -- Country
Miranda Lambert
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Favorite Band, Duo or Group -- Country  
Eli Young Band
Florida Georgia Line
Lady Antebellum

Favorite Album -- Country
Garth Brooks, Blame It on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences
Eric Church, The Outsiders
Brantley Gilbert, Just as I Am

Favorite Artist -- Rap/Hip-Hop
Iggy Azalea
Drake
Eminem

Favorite Album -- Rap/Hip-Hop
Iggy Azalea, The New Classic
Drake, Nothing Was the Same
Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2

Favorite Male Artist -- Soul/R&B
Chris Brown
John Legend
Pharrell Williams

Favorite Female Artist -- Soul/R&B
Jhene Aiko
Beyoncé
Mary J.  Blige

Favorite Album -- Soul/R&B
Beyoncé, Beyoncé
John Legend, Love in the Future
Pharrell Williams, G I R L

Favorite Artist -- Alternative Rock
Bastille
Imagine Dragons
Lorde

Favorite Artist -- Adult Contemporary
Sara Bareilles
OneRepublic
Katy Perry

Favorite Artist -- Latin
Marc Anthony
Enrique Iglesias
Romeo Santos

Favorite Artist -- Contemporary Inspirational
Casting Crowns
Hillsong United
Newsboys

Favorite Artist -- Electronic Dance Music (EDM)
Avicii
Calvin Harris
Zedd

Top Soundtrack
Frozen
The Fault in Our Stars

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Vol. 1


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov232014

American Music Awards Producer Says Show Will Start With a Huge "Wow"

Dick Clark ProductionsThe 2014 American Music Awards kick off Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, and the show's executive producer says that if you don't tune in as soon as the show starts, you'll be missing something "huge" and "outrageous."

"Don't tune in late ,'cause if you tune in late you're gonna miss something that's outrageous," AMA Executive Producer Larry Klein tells ABC News Radio. "Trust me. Don't come into the show at 8:10.  Don't do that. You better start at eight o'clock, 'cause I ain't holdin' nothin' back...it's gonna open up with a huge 'wow.'  And it's gonna go for three hours and end with a big 'wow.'"

With 18 musical performances from the likes of Taylor Swift -- who'll open the show -- and Lorde, Sam Smith, Mary J. Blige, Fergie, Jennifer Lopez, Imagine Dragons, One Direction, MAGIC!, Ariana Grande, Jessie J and many more, it's no wonder that the show will be a huge production, and Klein says the challenge every year is trying to make sense out of many diverse performances. 

"The show represents all the different genres of music, so you got rap and hip-hop and country and R&B and pop and rock," he says. "And what you have to do is try to make all those things blend together into a, one three-hour cohesive show.  That's a challenge."  But when it works, Klein says, viewers will have a perfect depiction of what's going on in music right now.

"I think what we're doing is just representing what pop culture is in today's world.  Period," Klein tells ABC News Radio. "Listen to any radio station -- I don't care what the station is -- the songs you hear on those radio stations, you'll be seeing Sunday night with the artists performing them."

With all this talk of the performances, it's hard to remember that trophies will be handed out as well, but as Klein says, that's really not the main attraction -- and it never has been, as per instructions from its creator, the late Dick Clark.

"We're an awards show like other awards shows, but Dick Clark always said, 'We're an entertainment show.  Entertainment first, awards second,'" says Klein. "Awards mean a lot, but what Dick Clark created was a show that was for the masses, for the public to enjoy, to watch.  It's the world's biggest fan-based show. We have 18 performers on the show.  I always think of it as 18 little miniseries in a three-hour show."

The show will be hosted by rapper Pitbull, and Klein explains why he's such a great host.

"He brings energy like you can't imagine, and I want people to understand that when you see Pit on stage with his energy, please don't think he's doing that for television," laughs Klein. "I hang out with Pit a lot, he's one of my best friends: we're at a restaurant, he has that same energy; we're driving in a car, he has that same energy.  So, please, you gotta understand, what you see on stage -- he's like that 24/7!"

The American Music Awards air live this Sunday night on ABC.  Here are the nominees:

Artist of the Year
Iggy Azalea
Beyoncé
Luke Bryan
One Direction
Katy Perry

New Artist of the Year Presented By Kohl’s
5 Seconds of Summer
Iggy Azalea
Bastille
Sam Smith
Meghan Trainor

Single of the Year
Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX, “Fancy”
John Legend, “All of Me”
MAGIC!, “Rude”
Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J, “Dark Horse”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy”

Favorite Male Artist -- Pop/Rock
John Legend
Sam Smith
Pharrell Williams

Favorite Female Artist -- Pop/Rock
Iggy Azalea
Lorde
Katy Perry

Favorite Band, Duo or Group -- Pop/Rock
Imagine Dragons
One Direction
OneRepublic

Favorite Album -- Pop/Rock
Lorde, Pure Heroine
One Direction, Midnight Memories
Katy Perry, Prism

Favorite Male Artist -- Country
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Blake Shelton

Favorite Female Artist -- Country
Miranda Lambert
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Favorite Band, Duo or Group -- Country  
Eli Young Band
Florida Georgia Line
Lady Antebellum

Favorite Album -- Country
Garth Brooks, Blame It On My Roots: Five Decades of Influences
Eric Church, The Outsiders
Brantley Gilbert, Just As I Am

Favorite Artist -- Rap/Hip-Hop
Iggy Azalea
Drake
Eminem

Favorite Album -- Rap/Hip-Hop
Iggy Azalea, The New Classic
Drake, Nothing Was The Same
Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2

Favorite Male Artist -- Soul/R&B
Chris Brown
John Legend
Pharrell Williams

Favorite Female Artist -- Soul/R&B
Jhene Aiko
Beyoncé
Mary J.  Blige

Favorite Album -- Soul/R&B
Beyoncé, Beyoncé
John Legend, Love in the Future
Pharrell Williams, G I R L

Favorite Artist -- Alternative Rock
Bastille
Imagine Dragons
Lorde

Favorite Artist -- Adult Contemporary
Sara Bareilles
OneRepublic
Katy Perry

Favorite Artist -- Latin
Marc Anthony
Enrique Iglesias
Romeo Santos

Favorite Artist -- Contemporary Inspirational
Casting Crowns
Hillsong United
Newsboys

Favorite Artist -- Electronic Dance Music (EDM)
Avicii
Calvin Harris
Zedd

Top Soundtrack
Frozen
The Fault In Our Stars

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Vol. 1


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov232014

Smashing Pumpkins Release New Song, "Drum + Fife"

Image Courtesy of Martha's MusicThe Smashing Pumpkins have released another song from their forthcoming album, Monuments to an Elegy.  The new track, "Drum + Fife," is inspired by Irish folk music while also incorporating electronic beats and loops.  You can stream "Drum + Fife" on NME's website.

"'Drum + Fife' was originally a folk song.  We really had a problem getting it off its almost dour Irish balladeer aspect," Billy Corgan tells NME.  "I must give a lot of credit to [Motley Crue's] Tommy Lee, because he’s the one who turned the corner."

Corgan explains that Lee, who plays drums on Monuments to an Elegy, used his experience in dance music to give "Drum + Fife" its electronic elements.

"It's almost like mid-'80s new wave or something and it reminded me a little bit of early U2 or Big Country," Corgan continues.  "The open strut made the Irish ballad part of the song come alive and have more of a expansive quality and from there on it got a lot easier."

Monuments to an Elegy will be released December 9.  The Smashing Pumpkins also have a second new album in the works, Day and Night, which is due out next year.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov222014

Katy Perry Slams "Perverted" Australian Paparazzi for Harassing Her 

ABC/Paul TrantowEarlier this year, Lorde wrote on Twitter that she felt harassed and threatened by a certain photographer in her home country of New Zealand.  Now, Katy Perry's taken to Twitter to slam the paparazzi in Australia as "perverted" and "disgusting."

Katy's Down Under for her Prismatic world tour and according to Entertainmentwise.com, she was visiting a park dressed in a bikini top and shorts when she was harassed by photographers who wouldn't leave her alone.  She then posted a screen shot of a paragraph she wrote, saying, "Australian PRESS: you should be ashamed of your paparazzi & tabloid culture. Your paparazzi have no respect, no integrity, no character. NO HUMANITY."

She continued, "I was stalked by many grown men today as I tried to take a quiet walk to the beach. These men would not stop as I pleaded over & over to let me have my space. Many other people stopped to try to help but the paps continued to laugh at me & hold their barrels up and shoot.”

Katy went on to add, "They told me to make a 'deal' with them. Give them a bathing suit shot and they would leave me be. This is PERVERTED & disgusting behavior that should NEVER be tolerated, especially by people who do NOT want this. I will NEVER make a deal with paparazzi and I will not befriend anyone who perpetuates this kind of behavior.”

Katy then posted photos of three of the paparazzi in question, writing, "THESE ARE A FEW OF THE STALKERS."

By the next day, though, Katy seemed to be back to her old self, making jokes on Twitter.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov222014

Jackson Browne, Robert Plant Featured on Season Finale of PBS' "Austin City Limits"

Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana MusicThe season finale of the long-running PBS performance series Austin City Limits will premiere Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.  The show will feature highlights from the 2014 Americana Music Association's 13th annual Honors and Awards ceremony, which took place this past September at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

The event included performances by Jackson Browne, Robert Plant, Rosanne Cash, folk-blues veteran Taj Mahal and country legend Loretta Lynn.  Browne was honored with the Spirit of Americana Award at the ceremony, and during his appearance he performed "The Long Way Around," a song from his new album, Standing in the Breach.  Plant, meanwhile, joined his one-time musical and romantic partner Patty Griffin for a rendition of her tune "Ohio."

You can watch a video preview of Browne's performance now at RollingStone.com.

Here's a complete set list for Saturday's Austin City Limits episode:

"Feather's Not a Bird" -- Rosanne Cash
"Truck Stop Gospel" -- Parker Millsap
"Coal Miner's Daughter"-- Loretta Lynn
"Snake Eyes" -- The Milk Carton Kids
"You Can't Judge a Book" -- Americana All-Star Band
"Ingrato Amor" -- Flaco Jimenez
"The Long Way Around" -- Jackson Browne
"Grass Is Greener" -- St. Paul & the Broken Bones
"You Can't Be Told" -- Valerie June
"Ohio" -- Patty Griffin & Robert Plant
"Statesboro Blues" -- Taj Mahal
"Cover Me Up" -- Jason Isbell
"Life of Sin" -- Sturgill Simpson


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov222014

R.E.M. Documentary Making Television Debut on Saturday

Image Courtesy of REMHQ.comR.E.M. by MTV, the new documentary exploring the relationship between the legendary band and the music network, will be making its television debut on Saturday.  The documentary will air at 9 p.m. ET on VH1 Classic and Palladia.

R.E.M. and MTV have been linked since they both began -- the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers released their first album in 1981 just weeks before MTV premiered its first video.  Directed by Alexander Young, R.E.M. by MTV exclusively uses archival footage to trace the history between the two rising stars.

"It occurred to us that there's all this footage of some of the band's absolute career highlights sitting in some MTV vaults in London and New York -- and thanks to a lot of effort and digging and arranging, this is our chance to share that music with various generations of R.E.M. fans in a pretty unique release," says longtime R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs.  "And Alexander Young's documentary is a fine way to tell the story of R.E.M. through its various twists and turns, as captured in real time by MTV's cameras -- it has some great funny bits too!"

R.E.M. by MTV is part of a six-DVD collection entitled REMTV, which includes more than 14 hours of material.  REMTV will be released on Monday, November 24.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov222014

Mary J. Blige on Getting Sober, Why She Could've Helped Amy Winehouse

Image Courtesy Peter Kramer/NBCMary J. Blige is opening up about her life struggling with alcohol and cocaine.

In this week's Billboard cover story, the singer candidly discussed maintaining her sobriety, following two sober years since last drinking. "I've done those things for so long," she says. "I would stop drinking and then I'd start again. This is the second time that I've stopped drinking. It's peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys."

While promoting her upcoming album, The London Sessions, Blige reflected on one of the low moments of her career back in 1994. "I was ready to just check out," she recalls and credits her turnaround to husband and manager, Kendu Isaacs.

Unlike other entertainers, Mary never entered rehab to cope with her addictions. Still, the singer says she felt "connected to [Amy Winehouse] in terms of the darkness," and still believes she might have helped her.

"I would tell so many people, 'I need to talk to her, I need to get to her,'" she says. "Especially when my life turned around and I chose life. I wanted to somehow get to her, to tell her, 'It's OK to choose life.' "

The issue will be available newsstands Monday, November 24.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov222014

Ashley Monroe and Dan + Shay Head "Home for the Holidays"

Warner Bros. NashvilleAshley Monroe and Dan + Shay are set to sing alongside Jennifer Hudson, Train, Earth, Wind & Fire and Katharine McPhee on the upcoming A Home for the Holidays special. This is the 16th year for the Christmas tradition that pairs musical performances with heartwarming stories of children adopted from foster care.  The show airs Friday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

Ashley also recorded a new version of the Amy Grant classic "Tennessee Christmas" for Amazon's new All Is Bright holiday playlist.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov222014

Song Bruno Mars Will Sing on "SNL" Is One of the "Favorite Things That He's Ever Done," Says Producer

Dana Edelson/NBCBruno Mars returns to the Saturday Night Live stage this weekend for a performance with his pal, super-producer Mark Ronson.  The song they'll be performing is "Uptown Funk," the lead single from Ronson's upcoming album Uptown Special. Ronson tells Billboard, "I know that it’s one of Bruno’s favorite things that he’s ever done.”

Ronson tells Billboard that Bruno co-wrote "Uptown Funk" and he also played drums on the album.  However, he was hard to lock down for the sessions, since he was on tour at the time.  "It was six or seven months of chasing Bruno around on tour,” says Ronson, who produced "Locked Out of Heaven" and other songs on Bruno's album, Unorthodox Jukebox

Cameron Diaz is the host for Saturday night's episode.  She, Bruno and Ronson star in a series of promos for the show.

The last time Bruno was on Saturday Night Live was in 2012, and he served as both host and musical guest.  He first appeared on the show in 2010.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov222014

American Music Awards Live Pre-Show Features Jordin Sparks, Lance Bass, Gavin DeGraw, Mary Lambert 

Dick Clark ProductionsBefore you tune into ABC Sunday night for the American Music Awards, you'll be able to check out the star-studded pre-show, which will stream live at Yahoo! starting at 5 p.m. ET.

The Coca Cola Red Carpet LIVE! pre-show will feature three hours of celebrity interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and live performances.  Hosting the festivities will be Jordin Sparks, Lance Bass, Gavin DeGraw, Ariana Grande's brother Frankie Grande, and others.  Performances from Mary Lambert, Becky G and Ella Henderson will round out the event.

Mary Lambert, who's a veteran of the MTV VMAs and The Grammy Awards, says she's looking forward to her performance of her hit, "Secrets."

"I usually have a lot of fun at award shows.  I have an awesome time," Mary tells ABC News Radio. "And for me it's just like a big party, and it feels really cool to be performing at an award show with, y'know, a song that I sort of 'birthed,' I guess.  And I'm stoked for people to see it." 


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Usher Delayed Album So He Could "Put the Soul" in It

Image Courtesy RCA/Saccenti

Usher is giving more details surrounding the delay of his eighth album, which no longer has a release date.

In an interview with MTV News, the crooner reveals that one of reasons he pushed it back is because he “hadn’t put the soul of it in yet.”

“The record company will be shocked, but I didn’t plan on putting out an album this year because I just didn’t feel like I was ready,” Usher explained. “This is a very important and significant album for me. It’s my eighth album, I don’t know if it’s something about that number.”

The singer, who is currently on his UR Experience Tour, adds that he's taking his time.

“I’m approaching it with empathy and appreciation for everything and everyone that has shown support for me throughout all of these years so I want to make sure that it’s true,” he said. “And it truly does represent where I am, but also it makes people feel like they need to move and do something.”

The singer adds that the album could potentially arrive at the “top of the year.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Paul McCartney Loves Dylan's Contribution to Tribute Album, but Isn't Sure If Everyone Will

MPL/Mary McCartneyThe star-studded Paul McCartney tribute album The Art of McCartney was released this past week, featuring renditions of the rock legend's songs by such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Brian Wilson, Roger Daltrey and many many more.  During a BBC Radio interview Wednesday, McCartney himself chatted about the compilation, marveling about the "amazing people" the producers got to take part in the project.

One star McCartney said he was particularly glad contributed to the record was Dylan, although he admitted that the lauded singer/songwriter's weathered vocals might not be everyone's cup of tea.

"[With] his croaky old voice…he's doing one of my songs called 'Things We Said Today,'" Sir Paul pointed out in the interview, before proceeding to imitate Bob's rendition.  Macca added, "I think I was saying…'If I started singing like that they'd shoot me.'  Bob's great, you know.  I love it…It's just, you're either a fan or you're not, and I'm a big fan of his."

McCartney also revealed that The Art of McCartney producer Ralph Sall had asked him to take part in the recording, but he didn't think it was a good idea.

"I said, 'Well, I can't, 'cause if it's a tribute I've got to just sort of be thankful they're doing it.  I can't get involved in my own tribute,'" he recalls.  "So I just let them get on with it.  He's done a good job, really."

Meanwhile, McCartney reported that the next project he's focusing on is an animated feature film based on a 2005 children's book he co-wrote called High in the Clouds.  Sir Paul said his "main job is to do the music," but he also will voice one of the characters in the movie.

The former Beatle also talked a little bit about "Hope for the Future," the theme song he wrote for the recently released video game Destiny that's expected to be issued as a single soon.

McCartney's BBC Radio interview is streaming now at BBC.co.uk.  His segment begins at about the 37-minute mark.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Melissa Etheridge, Cyndi Lauper, Bryan Adams & Robin Thicke Perform at Grammy Foundation Legacy Concert

ABC/Lou RoccoOn February 5, three days before the Grammy Awards, Grammy winners Melissa Etheridge, Cyndi Lauper, Bryan Adams and country legend Willie Nelson will headline a special concert event called "Lean on Me: A Celebration of Music and Philanthropy." 

The event is the 17th annual concert staged by the Grammy Foundation, and it's designed to highlight the Foundation's efforts to preserve our musical legacy.  Also on the bill are Grammy nominee Robin Thicke, as well as Aloe Blacc.  The theme of the event is the evolution of music's role in helping charitable causes, and so the concert will celebrate iconic charity songs and concerts.

More artists will be added to the bill. Tickets to the event, which will take place at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, cost $45 and are on sale now at GrammyFoundation.org.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Meghan Trainor, Nick Jonas, Jennifer Hudson to Perform on "Dancing with the Stars" Finale 

Brooke Nipar/Epic RecordsThe Dancing with the Stars season 19 finale airs on Tuesday, and the show will feature performances by some top musical talent.

Meghan Trainor will appear on the show performing a medley of "All About That Bass" and "Lips Are Movin'," and Nick Jonas will take the stage to perform his new hit "Jealous."  In addition, Jennifer Hudson is teaming with English electronic duo Gorgon City to perform a song called "Go All Night."

The remaining couples on the show are Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro and his partner Witney Carson, YouTube star Bethany Mota and her partner Derek Hough, Pretty Little Liars star Janel Parrish and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy, and Duck Dynasty star Sadie Robertson and her partner Mark Ballas.  One couple will waltz off with the coveted Mirror Ball trophy at the end of Tuesday night's show.


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