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Monday
Apr242017

Mary J. Blige to share some "real love" with fans at Wawa Welcome America 4th of July concert 

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute"Queen of Hip Hop Soul" Mary J. Blige is headlining this year's free Wawa Welcome America concert on July 4, for the first time ever, in Philadelphia, PA.  

The nine-time Grammy-winning artist, whose single "U + Me (Love Lesson)" recently became her second #1 track from her forthcoming album, Strength of a Woman, is premiering her Strength of a Woman: An Album Documentary film on VH1 May 2.  

The visual will feature exclusive interviews with the superstar along with a information on how the new album was made. 

Philadelphia's very own Boyz II Men will also appear at the Wawa Welcome America six-day festival that same day at the "Celebration of Freedom Ceremony." The R&B group's musical legacy and philanthropic contributions will be honored by the City of Philadelphia at the event.  

Wawa Welcome America takes place from June 29 to July 4. For more information about free events and additional guest performers, visit WelcomeAmerica.com.  

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Monday
Apr242017

Machine Gun Kelly finishes Florida concert after collapsing from severe chest pains

John Sciulli/Getty Images for SamsungNot even chest pains could keep Machine Gun Kelly down. The rapper reportedly collapsed backstage at his Florida concert Saturday night, but then went back out and finished the show.

After experiencing severe chest pains, MGK left the stage in the middle of his hit song with Camila Cabello, “Bad Things.” A video posted on TMZ showed him clutching his chest before walking off.

He later explained the incident on Instagram, writing that he “took some serious damage” to his chest plate and ribs this week while filming the movie Captive State.

“During our 6th song last night I collapsed backstage and thought I was having a heart attack,” Kelly  writes. “What they didn't report, was that I went back out and finished that show cuz we're f***** champions and it was my 27th birthday and nothing can take me away from the stage.”

He posted a video showing him being treated by an EMS crew, who encourages him to go to the hospital due to an elevated heart rate. He doesn’t take their advice -- the video ends with him going back out on stage.

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Monday
Apr242017

What was Dave Grohl's mom's biggest fear? That "Madonna would snatch him up"

ABC/Andrea McCallinAll mothers worry about their children, but when your kid is a rock star, that opens up a whole new ocean of things to be worried about.

For Virginia Grohl, she wasn't concerned that her son, Dave, might fall into a world of drugs or anything like that, but she did have one fear on her mind.

"I did worry about women," Virginia tells The Guardian. "I don't know how to tell you this, it's so embarrassing, but my biggest fear was that Madonna would snatch him up."

Grohl talks more about her experience as a rock mom in her new book, From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars, which also includes interviews with the moms of Michael Stipe, Amy Winehouse and Dr. Dre, among others. You can watch Dave interview his mom about the book during an event in Los Angeles last weekend, now on YouTube.

Both Virginia and Dave will appear on the The Late Show this Wednesday, April 26 to talk about From Cradle to Stage, which is available now.

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Monday
Apr242017

Pearl Jam to release "The Complete Scores" lyric and transcriptions book

Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of FameIf you know anyone who wants to start a Pearl Jam cover band and also has a birthday coming up, then we've got the perfect gift.

The grunge icons have announced Pearl Jam Anthology -- The Complete Scores, an 800-page hardcover book featuring lyrics and instrument transcriptions for every one of the band's album songs, from Ten to Lightning Bolt.

The Complete Scores will set you back $75, and it's available for pre-order now via PearlJam.com. The book will officially be released May 10.

In related Pearl Jam literary news, guitarist Mike McCready will be holding a number of live events in support of his upcoming photo book, titled Of Potato Heads and Polaroids, which will be released May 30. The events will be held May 30 in Seattle and June 7 in New York City.

Earlier this month, Pearl Jam was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The ceremony will air on HBO this Saturday, April 29.

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Monday
Apr242017

Honky Tonk Nights on Broadway: Brad Paisley brings John Fogerty & Timbaland to Tootsie's

ABC/Image Group LABrad Paisley took the stage at the world-famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge Sunday night in downtown Nashville, celebrating the release of Love and War, along with many of the superstars who appear on his new album.

Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer John Fogerty joined Brad for his ninety-minute-plus set, contributing his own hits, as well as the pair's anthem of support for America’s veterans, which is the record's title track. Country Music Hall-of-Famer Bill Anderson and hip-hop/R&B artist and super-producer Timbaland also stopped by to show off their contributions to Love and War.

Earlier in the evening, Brad unveiled the visual album that accompanies his eleventh studio effort, which is said to be the first of its kind in country music.

Brad also revealed he’ll be the face of Sarah Cannon’s Band Against Cancer campaign this year, with his #1 hit “Today” serving as its official song.  The organization that works to fight cancer is inspired by legendary Opry comedian Minnie Pearl, whose real name was Sarah Cannon.

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Monday
Apr242017

God save Rihanna: "Diamonds" singer dissed by fans after posting Photoshopped pics of Queen Elizabeth II

Getty Images via ABCIn the eyes of some of her fans, Rihanna's latest Instagram photos are a royal mess. 

RiRi posted several pictures on her Instagram account -- in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's 91st birthday -- of the Queen's head Photoshopped onto the singer's body. 

All of the photos, including a particularly saucy image featuring Ri's semi-exposed underboob tattoo from her Paper magazine March issue photoshoot, attracted various degrees of criticism from the entertainer's followers.

In the caption for her superimposed Paper photo, Rih wrote, "it's not that deep," but one fan believed that it was and wrote, "yes it is you just offending the queen and she has more power than you she can just easily get you to jail and you're in the news that you're posting this pics."   

For another picture -- featuring the Queen's head, complete with her royal crown, on top of Rihanna's ripped denim shorts, sequined bodysuit and off-the-shoulder Gucci tank top -- a fan wrote, "Most already know you lack intelligence and respect but not you're just rude. Boredom at its finest."   

Rih has yet to respond to critics, but she did have time to answer Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o with an "I'm in" regarding a fan's dream movie plot in which "Rihanna looks like she scams rich white men and [Lupita] is the computer-smart best friend that helps plan the [scams]." 

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Monday
Apr242017

Ed Sheeran breaks Australian chart record with "Shape of You" 

Atlantic RecordsThe Australian charts are in great "Shape" thanks to Ed Sheeran.

The singer's latest hit, "Shape of You," has now broken the record for most weeks at #1 Down Under, according to Billboard.  The record was 13 weeks, set way back in 1995 by Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise."  Ed's "Shape of You" spent 13 weeks at #1, got knocked out for a week, but has now returned to #1 for a record-setting 14 weeks.  In addition, his latest album Divide is #1 for a seventh straight week.

As huge a star as Ed is in the U.S. and the U.K., he's absolutely massive in Australia.  His last album, X (Multiply), was #1 for six weeks there and was Australia's biggest-selling album of 2014.  He was also the first artist to tour Australian arenas and then stadiums completely solo, with no band or backing musicians.

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Monday
Apr242017

Donald Fagen preps special Nightflyers tour

Credit: Santiago Felipe/Getty ImagesDonald Fagen is taking his musical history on the road.

The Steely Dan frontman has assembled a new tour project dubbed Donald Fagen and The Nightflyers (named after his 1982 debut solo album, The Nigthfly). Fagen says the band will play a mixture of tracks from his solo recordings, Steely Dan hits and “some swell surprises.”

Fagen’s band is comprised of four young musicians he’s been working with over the past few years at various gigs near his home of Woodstock, New York. They include guitarist Connor Kennedy, bassist Brandon Morrison, drummer Lee Falco and keyboardist Will Bryant, all of whom also contribute vocals.

The Nightflyers tour kicks off with a two-night stand in Port Chester, New York in early August and continues through a September 16 performance in San Francisco. Tickets go on sale this Friday, April 28.

Donald Fagen and The Nightflyers tour:

8/3 & 8/4 –- Port Chester, NY, Capitol Theatre
8/8 –- Miami, FL, The Fillmore at Gleason
8/9 –- Clearwater, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall
8/11 –- Orlando, FL, Hard Rock Live
8/12 –- Saint Augustine, FL, Saint Augustine Amphitheatre
8/14 –- Montgomery, AL, Montgomery Performing Arts Center
8/16 –- Atlanta, GA, Atlanta Symphony Hall
8/17 –- Wilmington, NC, Cape Fear Stage
8/19 -- Chattanooga, TN, Tivoli Theatre
8/20 –- Nashville, TN, Schermerhorn Symphony Center
8/22 –- Louisville, KY, The Palace
8/23 –- Cincinnati, OH, Taft Theatre
8/25 –- Northfield, OH, Hard Rock Live
8/26 –- New Buffalo, MI, Four Winds Casino
8/28 –- Indianapolis, IN, Murat Theatre
8/29 –- Milwaukee, WI, Riverside Theater
8/31 –- Salina, KS, Stiefel Theatre
9/2 –- Austin, TX, ACL Live at Moody Theater
9/3 –- San Antonio, TX, Majestic Theatre
9/12 –- Portland, OR, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
9/13 –- Seattle, WA, The Paramount
9/15 –- Saratoga, CA, Mountain Winery
9/16 –- San Francisco, CA, Masonic

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Monday
Apr242017

Justin Bieber acknowledges troubled past: "Thank God I'm not where I used to be" 

Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images via ABCA few years ago, it seemed as though Justin Bieber was making headlines daily -- not for his music, but for his bad behavior and his run-ins with the law.  But things have now turned around for the Bieb, and he's making critically-acclaimed chart-topping music and keeping his nose clean.  He paused to reflect on how far he'd come on Sunday with an Instagram message to fans.

Justin posted a mug shot of himself from his 2014 Miami arrest for D.U.I. -- labeled "Then" -- next to a selfie of himself today, labeled "now."  

"I LOVE THIS because it reminds me IM NOT EXACTLY WHERE I WANT TO BE BUT THANK GOD IM NOT WHERE I USED TO BE!!" Justin captioned the image. "THE BEST IS YET TO COME DO YOU BELIEVE IT?"

While we're not sure when Justin will release the follow-up to his album Purpose, his remix of the Luis Fonsi/Daddy Yankee Spanish-language song "Despacito" is a massive global smash.

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Monday
Apr242017

Rob Thomas to perform at the Library of Congress

Ben WattsRob Thomas is heading to Washington, D.C. tomorrow to take part in a prestigious gig at an unusual location: the Library of Congress.

The Matchbox Twenty frontman is one of the performers at the ninth annual We Write the Songs Event, which is presented by the Library of Congress and The ASCAP Foundation.  It celebrates the fact that the Foundation, a division of the performers' rights organization ASCAP, is gifting the Library of Congress with manuscripts, lyric sheets, letters and photos from some of the country's greatest songwriters.

In addition to Rob, performers at the event include rock legend Peter Frampton and Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman of the band The Hooters.

Wednesday, the day after the concert, is "Stand with Songwriters Advocacy Day" on Capitol Hill.  Many of the performers at the event will meet with lawmakers and urge them to update federal regulations governing how songwriters license their work in the age of digital music.

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Monday
Apr242017

Bananarama to reunite after 29 years

Michael Putland/Getty ImagesWe've heard a rumor that 1980s pop trio Bananarama are reuniting! 

Nearly 30 years after "petty squabbles" forced Siobhan FaheyKeren Woodward and Sara Dalin ended a six-year run on the pop charts that included the hits, "Cruel Summer," "Venus" and "I Heard a Rumour," the group tells The Sun that they've burried the hatchet and are launching a U.K. tour kicking off in November.

“We first had a chat about it over Christmas and before we knew it the whole thing snowballed," says Keren. "I called Siobhan to chat about it and things went from there.”

Adds Fahey, “By the time I managed to come over to talk about it, somehow it had become a done deal, the dates had been scheduled and we had a photoshoot arranged."

Siobhan wasn't immediately on board with the idea, admitting that after 29 years she's "rusty to say the least."

“I didn’t say ‘yes’ immediately," she explains. "I was in complete shock but my heart felt a sense of absolute joy and I just felt it was the right time in my life.

“Emotionally it felt like something I needed to revisit, to go back to my roots and that time with my best friends, Fahey continues. “We’re going to go back and celebrate that extraordinary life we led together in our 20s.”

The British newspaper also indicates that the U.K. tour may only be just the beginning for the trio.

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Monday
Apr242017

John Mayer debuts at #2 with "The Search for Everything"

Columbia RecordsJohn Mayer's still got it. After telling USA Today earlier this month that he was ready to pass the torch to younger singer-songwriters, John's latest album, The Search for Everything, debuted this week at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

John's eighth top-10 album did 132,00 in sales and equivalent streams, most of those numbers coming from traditional sales, reports Billboard. It was kept out of the top slot by the big debut of rapper Kendrick Lamar's latest, DAMN., which had the best sales week of any debut album so far this year.

Earlier this month John said he was ready to pass the torch to Ed Sheeran.  "I would take Ed Sheeran's worst idea on any day and it would be my biggest song of the year. For me, Ed's the voice, and that's the way it's supposed to be, as I transition into writing stuff that's deeper for me on a musical, artistic level...at the expense of being popular," he told USA Today.

This week Ed's latest, ÷ (Divide), drops from number 3 to number 4.

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Monday
Apr242017

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockJosh Turner sits at the top of the country chart this week with "Hometown Girl," but the South Carolina native's most recent prior #1 came with this song from 2010. Can you name it? ANSWER:  "All over Me."

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Monday
Apr242017

"Red, Red Wine" at the "Bar at the End of the World": Kenny Chesney plays tourist

ABC/Image Group LAKenny Chesney isn’t just singing about a “Bar at the End of the World” these days, he’s looking for it as well.

The superstar from East Tennessee most recently engaged his wanderlust on an excursion to Europe.

“There’s a lot of places that I’m curious about,” Kenny says. “I love being a tourist. I went to Italy this past year and I loved it because I love to eat,” he laughs.

“I love red wine so it was a lot of fun. I grew up loving cheese, tomatoes,” the notorious fitness buff goes on. “All that’s in Italy. I love it and… I love being a tourist when I can be.”

Since he’s not mounting a full-fledged tour this summer, one of the rare chances to see Kenny this year comes this weekend at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California. 

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Monday
Apr242017

Listen to the original Chic mix of Diana Ross' "diana" album on vinyl for the first time

Motown/UMe/UMGI

Fans of Diana Ross' iconic 1980 album diana can now listen to the songs in a whole different way, thanks to a version of the record called diana -- the original CHIC mix that's available on vinyl for the first time.

The double-LP set is pressed on pink vinyl and includes original mixes of songs composed by Chic's Nile Rodgers and the late Bernard Edwards for Diana, such as the hits "Upside Down" and "I'm Coming Out." The latter tune became a gay anthem and, later, the basis for Puff Daddy's #1 hit "Mo' Money Mo' Problems."

The discs play at 45 rpm.

Here's the track list of diana -- the original CHIC mix:

Side One
"Upside Down"
"Tenderness"

Side Two
"Friend to Friend"
"I'm Coming Out"

Side Three
"Have Fun (Again)"
"My Old Piano"

Side Four
"Now That You're Gone"
"Give Up"

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Monday
Apr242017

New Beatles-themed Hot Wheels toys feature designs based on five of the band's albums

Courtesy of MattelLast June, Mattel partnered with The Beatles to introduce a collection of Hot Wheels cars inspired by their 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. Now the toy company has released a new series of Hot Wheels based on five of the band's classic albums.

The toys feature designs inspired by The Beatles' 1968 self-titled record, a.k.a. The White Album; Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; Rubber Soul; Magical Mystery Tour; and the U.S. version of the A Hard Day's Night soundtrack. Each car's packaging also includes a miniature replica of the album cover that corresponds to the vehicle's design.

The vehicle models are based on different types of Hot Wheels cars, with The White Album being a "Hiway Hauler"; Sgt. Pepper's, a "'67 Austin Mini Van"; Rubber Soul, a "Ford Transit Super Van"; Magical Mystery Tour, a "Haulin' Gas"; and A Hard Day's Night, a "Dairy Delivery."

The Beatles Hot Wheels are priced at $4.99 and can be found at stores across the U.S. For more info, visit HotWheels.Mattel.com.

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Monday
Apr242017

Royal Blood's new single "Lights Out" influenced by Daft Punk

Credit: Eliot Lee HazelRoyal Blood's new song "Lights Out," the lead single from their forthcoming sophomore album How Did We Get So Dark?, continues the band's style of heavy drums and distorted bass riffs, but the track was influenced by a group not really known for either: Daft Punk.

"We were going for a Daft Punk thing quite a lot and trying to f*** with the rock thing, I guess," frontman Mike Kerr tells NME. "What would Daft Punk do if they wrote a rock tune?"

Meanwhile, Kerr describes the album's closing track, called "Sleep," as a "Black Sabbath hip-hop tune."

Even with Daft Punk and hip-hop influences, Kerr feels How Did We Get So Dark? is still a meat-and-potatoes record that focuses on his bass and Ben Thatcher's drums.

"The songs we felt really excited about didn't involve having synths or guitars," Kerr says. "It's funny, the moment we added anything like that, our songs went from sounding huge to really not that cool and small. It made it ordinary."

"We're a pretty tight-knit team," he adds. "It's kind of like bringing your mate on a date. They're just going to kill the vibe."

How Did We Get So Dark? will be released June 16.

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Monday
Apr242017

Of Mice & Men's post-Austin Carlile era begins with new track, "Unbreakable"

Credit: Lindsey ByrnesThe new era of Of Mice & Men begins with "Unbreakable," the first new song from the band since frontman Austin Carlile left the group last December. You can listen to "Unbreakable," and watch its desert-set video, now on YouTube.

Carlile left Of Mice & Men due to his ongoing struggle with Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder. Bassist Aaron Pauley now handles all vocal duties in the band.

"We're incredibly excited for the world to hear our brand-new song, 'Unbreakable,' which is all about staring fear in the face, overcoming fear's ability to keep you stagnant, and telling it where it stands," says Pauley in a statement.

"Through this transitional time, we've felt the tremendous outpouring of love, encouragement, and support from our fans around the world, and we can't wait to see you all soon," he continues. "None of this would be possible without you, and we thank you all, endlessly."

Of Mice & Men will hit the rock festival circuit this spring with sets at Fort Rock, Carolina Rebellion and Rock on the Range, among others. They'll also play a one-off show with Rise Against in Los Angeles on July 13.

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Monday
Apr242017

Kings of Leon plan fall headlining tour 

Credit: Jimmy MarbleKings of Leon will kick off a spring and summer headlining tour at the end of this week, and they've already announced a new batch of dates for the fall.

The fall outing begins September 27 in Charlotte and will conclude October 28 in Tampa, Florida. Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning this Friday, April 28 via KingsofLeon.com.

Along with the fall dates, Kings of Leon have also added a show in Chicago to their summer tour, held August 12.

Kings of Leon will be touring in support of their new album, WALLS, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. WALLS features the singles "Waste a Moment" and "Reverend."

Here are Kings of Leon's fall tour dates:

9/27 -- Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion
9/29 -- Nashville, TN, First Tennessee Park
10/2 -- Morrison, CO, Red Rocks Amphitheatre
10/4 -- Oklahoma City, OK, Chesapeake Energy Arena
10/7 -- Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Bowl
10/11 -- Vancouver, BC, Rogers Arena
10/13 -- Edmonton, AB, Rogers Place
10/14 -- Calgary, AB, Scotiabank Saddledome
10/16 -- Winnipeg, MB, MTS Centre
10/18 -- St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center
10/20 -- Columbus, OH, Schottenstein Center
10/21 -- Louisville, KY, KFC Yum! Center
10/23 -- Tuscaloosa, AL, Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
10/25 -- Jacksonville, FL, Dailey’s Place Amphitheater
10/27 -- West Palm Beach, FL, Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre
10/28 -- Tampa, FL, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

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Monday
Apr242017

Kendrick Lamar announces The DAMN. Tour 

PRNewsfoto/Live Nation EntertainmentAfter topping the charts with his acclaimed album DAMN., Kendrick Lamar is ready to back up the disc with a tour of the same name.

He announced that this summer, he and special guests Travis Scott and D.R.A.M. will embark on a 17-city tour, kicking off  July 12 at Phoenix's Gila River Arena.

The tour will also hit Dallas, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and more before he wraps it up in his hometown of Los Angeles with an August 6 show at the Staples Center. 

Tickets go on sale to the general public starting Friday, April 28. Presale and other ticket info can be found at www.ticketmaster.com.

Kendrick Lamar's The DAMN. Tour dates: 

7/12 -- Phoenix, AZ, Gila River Arena
7/14 -- Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center
7/15 -- Houston, TX, Toyota Center
7/17 -- Duluth, GA, Infinite Energy Arena
7/19 -- Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
7/20 -- Brooklyn, NY, Barclays Center
7/21 -- Washington DC, Verizon Center
7/22 -- Boston, MA, TD Garden
7/25 -- Toronto, ON, Air Canada Centre
7/26 -- Auburn Hills, MI, The Palace of Auburn Hills
7/27 -- Chicago, IL, United Center
7/29 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
8/1 -- Seattle, WA, Tacoma Dome
8/2 -- Vancouver, BC, Rogers Arena
8/4 -- Oakland, CA, Oracle Arena
8/5 -- Las Vegas, NV, T-Mobile Arena
8/6 -- Los Angeles, CA, STAPLES Center

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