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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.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

LBT's Kimberly Schlapman Wants You to Lend a Ham This Holiday Season

Sandbox EntertainmentThis holiday season, Kimberly Schlapman from Little Big Town wants you to lend a ham. The play on words is part of a campaign to inspire folks to donate food to feed hungry families.

"I'm excited to join Smithfield in their effort to lend a ham to those in need this season," Kimberly says with a wink. "Since I was a little girl, Smithfield has always been a part of my family's holiday tradition, and to now have the opportunity to help provide that to someone in need means the world to me."

For every act of kindness posted on Twitter or the Smithfield Facebook page with the hashtag #LendAHam, the company will donate a serving of protein to a local food bank. Kimberly also teamed up with Smithfield to surprise Thanksgiving shoppers with $100 gift cards, in hopes of inspiring them to do good deeds themselves. You can see the video that captures Kimberly going undercover as a grocery cashier on YouTube.

The campaign goes through Christmas Eve, with Smithfield planning to donate up to a million servings to help feed the hungry this holiday season.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Rixton to Release Ed Sheeran-Penned Song "Hotel Ceiling" as Next Single, Debut Album Now Due in March

Image credit: Lindsey ByrnesFollowing their hits "Me and My Broken Heart" and "Wait on Me," Rixton's next single will be "Hotel Ceiling," a track which was co-written Ed Sheeran.

A video for the song is due in January, and they'll perform the track live January 6 on ABC's Good Morning America.  If you pre-order Rixton's debut album Let the Road, you'll get a download of "Hotel Ceiling" instantly.  The album, initially due on January 6, will now be released on March 3.

On Black Friday, fans in Minnesota will be able to pre-order a copy of Let the Road with the band in attendance: on Black Friday, November 28, they're doing a concert in the Rotunda of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Rixton will open for Ariana Grande on her upcoming North American tour, which starts February 25, and on her European tour, which starts May 15.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

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 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 Pumpkins also have a second new album in the works, Day and Night, which is due out next year.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Revealed: Why Taylor Swift Won't Show Her Belly Button

Sarah Barlow/Big Machine RecordsRemember that Saturday Night Live parody "Swiftamine," where the announcer cracked that Taylor Swift is "always wearing a 1950s bathing suit?"  Well, one design detail of those kind of suits is that they don't reveal your belly button.  In fact, Taylor is almost always photographed in high-waisted ensembles that completely cover her navel.  Why won't she show it off?  

"I don’t like showing my belly button," explains Taylor in the new issue of Lucky magazine. "When you start showing your belly button then you’re really committing to the midriff thing. I only partially commit to the midriff thing -- you’re only seeing lower rib cage. I don’t want people to know if I have one or not. I want that to be a mystery." 

Cultivating an air of mystery seems to be an ongoing theme with Taylor: she recently said that's why she only wanted to show half her face on the cover of her latest album, 1989.

"As far as anyone knows based on my public appearances, they haven’t seen evidence of a belly button. It could be pierced," she laughs. "They have no idea. If I’m going to get some sort of massive tattoo, it’s going to be right next to my belly button because no one’s ever going to see that.”

You can read more with Taylor in the December/January issue of Lucky.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Friday
Nov212014

Trisha Yearwood and Lady A Go Viral for No Shave November

Image Courtesy Vector ManagementTrisha Yearwood and Lady Antebellum are going viral for No Shave November. Typically, for the campaign, men grow beards and mustaches to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. But when Trisha heard about a female friend in the business who vowed not to shave her legs for the month, she decided to help her out, taping a YouTube video that changed the words of her first hit to “She’s Got Leg Hair Like a Boy.”

Then, Lady A got in on the act, with a little help from Meghan Trainor. The trio changed the lyrics of “All About That Bass” to “I’m all about that beard, no stubble.” So far, Team Lady Antebellum has more than tripled its $1,000 fundraising goal, with more than a week still left in the month. Meanwhile, Trisha’s friend has raised nearly thirteen times her $100 goal.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Beyonce Teases Two New Songs, “7/11″ & “Ring Off”

Nick Farrell/Sony Music

Beyonce has recorded two new songs for the expanded re-release of her self-titled album, although the tracks have leaked online she's now giving fans an official preview of  “7/11″ and “Ring Off.”

90-second snippets of each song were posted on her SoundCloud page and offer two different sounds. On the Mike Caren-produced “Ring Off,” Bey draws inspirations from her mother Tina Knowles, who found love again after divorcing Bey's father Matthew Knowles

“You took that ring off / So tired of the lies and trying, crying, fighting / Took that ring off,” sings Bey. “Oh, and now the fun begins / Dust yourself off and you love again / You found a new man, now you shine and you’re fine like it’s my time.”

Meanwhile, the R&B banger “7/11,” produced by Detail,  will surely remind fans of Bey's 2007 hit "Get Me Bodied."

“Smack that, clap that like you don’t care,” she sings. “My hands up, my hands up, flexing with my hands up.”

The new, platinum edition box set arrives on Monday, November 24. The two-CD, two-DVD-set will include four unreleased remixes with Pharrell, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West and Jay Z.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Train, Earth Wind & Fire, Rixton & Jennifer Hudson to Perform on "A Home for the Holidays"

Pamela Litky/Columbia RecordsThis year's edition of the CBS special A Home for the Holidays will include the musical talents of Train, Earth Wind & Fire, Rixton, Jennifer Hudson and more.

As always, the show 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 on the bill for the special are Katharine McPhee, Ashley Monroe -- who duetted with Train on their single, "Bruises" -- Jillian Michaels and country duo Dan + Shay.   It airs December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Train, Rixton, Jennifer Hudson & More to Perform on "A Home for the Holidays"

Pamela Litky/Columbia RecordsThis year's edition of the CBS special A Home for the Holidays will include the musical talents of Train, Rixton, Jennifer Hudson and more.

As always, the show will feature uplifting stories about real-life 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 on the bill for the special are legendary R&B group Earth Wind & Fire, Katharine McPhee, Ashley Monroe -- who duetted with Train on their single, "Bruises" -- Jillian Michaels, and country duo Dan + Shay.   It airs December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Harry Styles Denies Rumor He Gave Taylor Swift 1,989 Roses

Peter Kramer/NBCAlthough he reportedly inspired a few songs on Taylor Swift's latest album, 1989, her ex-boyfriend Harry Styles didn't help her celebrate the album's success by sending her roses.  Lots of them.

Australia's New Weekly magazine claimed the One Direction member sent Taylor 1,989 roses after her album did so well on the charts, but Harry says it must've been someone else.

"I know about the rumor. I don't know anything about the roses," he said, laughing, on Friday's Ellen DeGeneres Show. "I think it might have been someone else and I may have falsely taken [credit]."

Taylor and Harry split in 2013.  Harry was allegedly the inspiration for the song "Out of the Woods" and, perhaps, other songs on 1989.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Hinder Announces New Album, Unveil New Single, "Hit the Ground"

Image Courtesy of Jeremy CharlesHinder has returned, and they've brought a new lead singer with them. Not only has the band announced they'll release a new album -- their fifth -- in 2015, the currently-untitled record will be Hinder's first with new lead singer Nolan Neal, who replaced Austin Winkler after Winkler departed the band last year.

In addition to the album announcement, Hinder has also unveiled a new song, "Hit the Ground." The new track starts off with an acoustic guitar that contains the slightest bit of country before the band launches into the hard rock chorus. "Hit the Ground" is streaming now on Billboard.

"One thing that I've learned since we started this journey over 10 years ago is that nobody is invincible," drummer Cody Hanson tells Billboard. "['Hit the Ground'] is one of my favorite songs on the album because I know how true and real these lyrics are. We've lived and experienced every single line in this song. We can't even begin to tell you how excited we are to share it with our fans and get this new chapter started."

The new album will be Hinder's follow-up to 2012's Welcome to the Freak Show.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

The Flaming Lips and Yoko Ono Team Up for "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" 

Image Courtesy of George SalisburyLast month, The Flaming Lips released a full-length tribute to The Beatles' legendary album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Now, Wayne Coyne and company have teamed up with Yoko Ono to cover another one of John Lennon's classics, Lennon and Ono's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)."

The song starts off in signature spacey Flaming Lips style before Yoko comes in with the sweeping chorus. You can listen to their new version on YouTube.

The Lips and Ono's rendition of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" is part of a holiday themed playlist on Amazon entitled "All is Bright." Amazon plans to accompany the playlist with videos of live performances, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Tickets for Bob Dylan MusiCares Tribute Being Auctioned to Aid Grammy Charities

Image Courtesy of William ClaxtonA new charity auction is offering the chance to attend the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year benefit, which will feature an all-star tribute to Bob Dylan.  The event will be held on February 6 in Los Angeles, and will honor the singer/songwriter's musical contributions, as well as his humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.

The winning bidder and a guest will receive two premium tickets to the event, as well as passes to private rehearsals that will be held the day before.  Bidding on the MusiCares Person of the Year package will be open until December 10 at CharityBuzz.com.

Among the many big-name artists scheduled to perform at the gala are Neil Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, John Mellencamp, Bonnie Raitt, Eddie Vedder, Tom Jones, Jack White, Los Lobos, Willie Nelson and Beck.

The experience is just one of many VIP packages being offered as part of the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares' second annual holiday auction, which raises money for educational programs and to aid members of the music community who've fallen on hard times.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Lionel Richie Among Honorees at "Billboard" Touring Awards

Rankin; Library of CongressThe Rolling Stones, Billy Joel and Lionel Richie were among the honorees at this year's Billboard Touring Awards, which recognizes achievements in concert touring business.  The event was held Thursday night at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.

The Stones won the Top Boxscore prize, for a three-show engagement at the Tokyo Dome in Japan in February and March of this year.  The British rock legends beat out Paul McCartney and U.K. boy band One Direction for the award, which honors the highest-grossing single engagement by an artist.

Joel took home the Concert Marketing & Promotion Award for his ongoing residency at New York's Madison Square Garden.  The Rolling Stones' 50 and Counting Tour won the same award last year.

Richie was on hand to accept the Legend of Live Award, which recognizes his lifetime achievements as a touring act.

The evening's big winner was One Direction, which was presented with the Top Tour and Top Draw prizes.

The awards are based on numbers reported to Billboard magazine from October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014.  You can check out a complete list of winners at Billboard.com.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, One Direction Winners at "Billboard" Touring Awards 

Christie Goodwin/Capitol RecordsKaty Perry, Lionel Richie and One Direction were winners at this year's Billboard Touring Awards, which honors achievements in concert tours over the past year.

Lionel Richie was presented with the previously-announced Legend of Live Award, while One Direction's Where We Are tour took home the prizes for both Top Tour and Top Draw -- the trek has grossed more than $290 million.  In addition, the group's management firm was named Top Manager.

Katy Perry's Prismatic World Tour was named Top Package for its eclectic lineup of opening acts, which has over the year included Capital Cities and country star Kacey Musgraves.

Billy Joel's residency at Madison Square Garden, presented by Citi, won the Concert Marketing and Promotion AwardCountry duo Florida Georgia Line was named Breakthrough Touring Act at the show, and The Rolling Stones won the Top Boxscore prize, given to the act that grosses the most money during a specific engagement.  The band won for their three-night run at the Tokyo Dome this past February and March.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov212014

Katy Perry, One Direction Winners at "Billboard" Touring Awards

Christie Goodwin/Capitol RecordsKaty Perry and One Direction were winners at this year's Billboard Touring Awards, which honors achievements in concert tours over the past year.

One Direction's Where We Are tour took home the prizes for both Top Tour and Top Draw -- the trek has grossed more than $290 million.  In addition, the band's management firm was named Top Manager.

Katy Perry's Prismatic World Tour was named Top Package for its eclectic lineup of opening acts, which has over the year included Capital Cities, Kacey Musgraves, Tegan & Sara, Becky G, and Ferras.

Country duo Florida Georgia Line was named Breakthrough Touring Act at the show.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Friday
Nov212014

Sheryl Crow Gives Her Favorite Charity the Boot 

Interscope RecordsSheryl Crow's boots are made, not for walking, but for selling.  The singer is auctioning some of her most prized possessions, including her footwear, on eBay to benefit the nonprofit group Feeding America, which she's been a part of for the past decade. 

She tells People magazine, “I’ve toured for 20-something years, and I’ve collected a lot of stuff over the course of that time. I’ve got over 80 pairs of cowboy boots or boots in general, and I’ve got quite a few pairs of blue jeans. There’s going to be a lot of [Ralph Lauren], some Rag & Bone, some Paige; some great name brands that people will be able to get on the cheap, for a good cause!”

Sheryl's involvement with Feeding America started years ago when she wrote a song for them.  Since then, she has become more hands-on, even volunteering at the group’s food banks in Nashville, Tennessee, with her two sons, Wyatt, 7, and Levi, 4.  She says the experience has been very eye-opening for them.

“On our first trip to the food bank, my son and I sat down next to a man,” Crow tells People. “The guy who ran the food bank came over and gave him a pair of boots. My son Wyatt said, ‘Why did he give you boots?’ And the man said, ‘Cause I didn’t have any boots.’ And my son said, ‘Why don’t you have any boots?’ And he said, ‘Cause I can’t get a job.’ And my son said, ‘Why can’t you get a job?’ And the man said, ‘Cause I don’t have any boots.’ "

"For three weeks," she adds, "My son talked about that experience, of not understanding that having food and a job for some people is a real luxury.”

Sheryl's auction runs through December 11 on eBay’s Charity Shop.  “It makes you feel so grateful to have what you have and to be able to help someone else, the feeling that I get from that is much bigger than anything else that I could experience,” she says. “It just matters that we take care of each other in our lives.”


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