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Friday
Apr242015

Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless Score Number Ones on "Billboard's" Rock Charts

Atlantic RecordsHalestorm and The Pretty Reckless are currently ruling the road on their joint tour, and they're ruling Billboard's rock charts, too. Halestrom's latest album, Into the Wild Life, has debuted at number one on Top Rock Albums, while The Pretty Reckless' single, "Follow Me Down," has reached number one at Mainstream Rock Songs.

Into the Wild Life, Halestorm's third album, also debuted at number five on the Billboard 200. The album sold 52,000 copies, more than doubling the 24,000 copies the band's last album, 2012's The Strange Case Of..., sold in its first week. The Strange Case Of... peaked at number seven on Top Rock Albums and 15 on the Billboard 200.

Meanwhile, "Follow Me Down" gives The Pretty Reckless three number-one hits on Mainstream Rock Songs, following "Messed Up World" and "Heaven Knows." The Pretty Reckless is only the second band to have their first three charted songs hit number one -- 3 Doors Down first achieved that feat between 2000 and 2001 with "Kryptonite," "Loser," and "Duck and Run."

Halestorm's tour with The Pretty Reckless wraps up June 3 in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

The Chemical Brothers Announce New Album, "Born in the Echoes," Featuring Beck

Credit: Hamish BrownThe Chemical Brothers have returned, and they've brought a Grammy Album of the Year winner with them. Beck will guest on the electronic duo's first studio album in five years, called Born in the Echoes, which will be released July 17.

Beck will lend his vocals to the album's closing track, "Wide Open."  The song will be the first new music featuring Beck to be released since his album Morning Phase unexpectedly won Album of the Year at this year's Grammy Awards.

Born in the Echoes will also feature contributions from St. Vincent, rapper Q-Tip, and singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon. You can listen to the first track from the album, called "Sometimes I Feel So Deserted," now on YouTube.

The Chemical Brothers' last studio album was 2010's Further. Since then, the duo has been busy with soundtrack work -- they scored the 2011 film Hanna, and they collaborated with Lorde on the track "This Is Not a Game," from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1 soundtrack.

Here's the track list for Born in the Echoes:

"Sometimes I Feel So Deserted"
"Go" (featuring Q-Tip)
"Under Neon Lights" (featuring St. Vincent)
"EML Ritual" (featuring Ali Love)
"I'll See You There"
"Just Bang"
"Reflexion"
"Taste of Honey"
"Born in the Echoes" (featuring Cate Le Bon)
"Radiate"
"Wide Open" (featuring Beck)


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

Tim McGraw's Shotgun Rider Tour Might Be a Miracle Cure for Troubled Marriages

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsCan Tim McGraw's Shotgun Rider Tour actually save troubled marriages? That's the claim put forth in a hilarious new video on Tim's YouTube page.

In the clip, spoofing ads for drugs like Cialis, guys suffering from their wives' INS, or Intense Nag Syndrome, are looking for ways to make their wives happy. When they go about seeking a cure, their doctor prescribes tickets to Tim's Shotgun Rider tour.  The prescription seems to work, but the side effects may include pregnancy, hysteria, male dancing, unusually tight male jeans, fainting and air guitar playing.

Tim's Shotgun Rider tour kicks off June 5 in Little Rock, Arkansas.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

Stevie Wonder, Peter Cetera to Join David Foster at Foundation Miracle Gala & Concert

Image Courtesy of Eddie WolflStevie Wonder and Peter Cetera will perform at the David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala & Concert in Canada this fall.

Wonder and the former Chicago singer will join the Grammy-winning writer/producer onstage Sept. 26 at the Mattamay Athletic Centre in the Gardens, Toronto.

The David Foster Foundation supports the non-medical expenses of Canadian families with children undergoing life-saving pediatric organ transplants. Non-medical expenses include gas and groceries, mortgage payments, car payments, and travel. The average cost to support one family is $10,000 a year. Last year's gala in Calgary -- which featured Steven Tyler, Jennifer Hudson, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Jackie Evancho -- raised $8 million for the foundation.

Canadian dance-pop artist Kiesza will also join Wonder and Cetera during the show.

The announcement coincides with Canada's National Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness Week. Tables are available at  $20,000 and $30,000 and may be purchased through the Foundation's offices directly.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

Paul McCartney Announces Philly Show, Hints More North American Dates to Follow

Credit: MJ KimPaul McCartney is coming to the City of Brotherly Love.

The Beatles legend announced that he will perform at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center on June 21.  It will be Paul’s first appearance in Philadelphia since 2010.  The show is being billed as the first North American arena date of the rocker's Out There tour, with the implication of more to come.

Advance tickets will go on sale Monday for registered users of McCartney's website, with sales to the general public beginning  Friday, May 1 at noon Eastern.

Currently on tour in Japan and South Korea, McCartney is already confirmed for headline slots at the Firefly Music Festival on June 19 in Dover, Delaware, and Lollapalooza on July 31 in Chicago.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

Report: Grateful Dead Tour in the Works with John Mayer

J. Shearer/WireImageThe surviving core members of The Grateful Dead have insisted that the group's Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago and Santa Clarita, California, will be their last, but according to Billboard a tour could be in the works with pop guitarist John Mayer filling in for the late Jerry Garcia.

Although a rep for the Dead tells Billboard talk of a tour is "premature," the magazine cites unnamed sources as saying Mayer already has begun jamming informally with Dead guitarist/singer Bob Weir and other band members, and that an October kick-off is being eyed for a full-fledged tour.

As previously reported, The Grateful Dead's five Fare Thee Well shows will take place on June 26 and 27 in Santa Clarita, and July 4-6 in Chicago. Those shows will feature surviving members Weir, bassist Phil Lesh and drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart performing with Phish's Trey Anastasio, one-time Dead keyboardist Bruce Hornsby and Rat Dog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.

Billboard estimates ticket sales for those five shows will top $50 million, which may in part explain the attraction of taking the show on the road with Mayer.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

Taylor Swift: “I Just Don’t Place Much Priority on Looking Cool” 

Courtesy of Glamour UKThere are tons of young girls who think Taylor Swift is the coolest gal around. But in the new issue of Glamour’s U.K. edition, which Taylor guest-edits, the singer tells the mag that “looking cool” just isn’t high up on her list of things to do.

“I just don’t place much priority on looking cool, and I think at 25, I’m finally OK with feeling that,” she says. “I’ve said this before. I think there’s this priority on having this persona of being edgy or cool or bored. And those things are all sexy. All those things are chic, when you seem not to care about anything other than yourself. And I just don’t buy into it. I’m really excited by lots of things.”

Taylor adds, “I think enthusiasm is the best protection. It can protect you from anything. And I don’t feel bored by any of this, so I don’t strive to look bored by any of this.”

Taylor says she counts on her friends and family -- particularly her mom, Andrea, who was recently diagnosed with cancer -- to keep her grounded. “My mom is really good at putting things back into perspective for me," says Taylor. "And it’s really nice when she says, ‘I know there’s no way I could possibly understand what you’re going through, but here’s what I think.’ And sometimes it does feel unfair, but then I walk into my apartment that I can’t believe I could afford to buy and it doesn’t feel so unfair anymore.”

One of the injustices of being a mega-pop star, though, is having your love life on display for all to see. Taylor says she’s happy she got to explore life as a single woman, but feels she was forced into it. “It’s kind of a sad way I got there though, being shamed into it,” she says. “What else is it when you have two boyfriends in one year and everyone’s calling you boy crazy, making jokes about you at awards shows? That’s public humiliation. And I don’t think it’s fair.”

Luckily, Taylor’s songwriting is her therapy, but there are some topics that likely won’t make it on to her next album. “Every woman has different things that make them feel strong and powerful. For me, I don’t have any need or urge to write about overt sexuality,” she says. “It just never occurs to me. I appreciate girls who sing about whatever they want, because that’s what they want to sing about.”

And for Taylor, staying true to yourself is about as "cool" as it gets.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr242015

Big Sean's Lyrics on “Stay Down” Reportedly Caused Ariana Grande Split

ABC/Kelsey McNealBig Sean and Ariana Grande's eight-month-long relationship may have ended over a single song.  Reportedly, the lyrics in the rapper's “Stay Down” are a major reason why the pair broke up.

According to TMZ, sources from Grande’s camp say the singer was offended by Sean’s disrespectful lyrics. In the tune, the Detroit native raps: “I ain’t even gonna lie, I got a million-dollar chick/With a billion dollar p****y/Every time I c*m, I swear to God I feel like I be rich.” 

Sources add that Ariana felt humiliated, and that even her grandmother asked her about the explicit song.

TMZ reveals that the former pair also had a fallout over Sean's big House of Blues performance in February, which Grande skipped.  Although the rapper felt slighted, Ariana's camp says she was on doctor's order to rest her voice before her Grammy performance the following day.

“They both deeply care for each other and remain close friends,” Ariana's rep tells ABC Radio. “We kindly ask that the media respect their wish for privacy regarding this personal matter at this time."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

Blac Chyna Exposes Tyga’s Alleged Text Messages

Universal Music Group/Pamela LittkyBlac Chyna has seemingly exposed her ex-fiance Tyga on Instagram following whispers he's trying to get back with her while hanging with his rumored girlfriend, Kylie Jenner.

In the photo, we see a text exchange between Chyna and someone called "King's Father," in which Tyga seemingly expresses his desire to reconcile and raise their son King Cairo together. "I want to be a family again," Tyga allegedly wrote. "Want to start this friendship. Relationship."

If it is Tyga, Chyna apparently shared their conversation to prove that the rapper is stringing both ladies along.  But Tyga isn't having it. He quickly tweeted that he's moving forward and doesn't want to engage in any drama.

"I ain't here for the tea," he wrote. "Focus on what's real in life. And surround yourself with people that you really care about.its simple."

Black Chyna and Tyga called off their engagement last August due to infidelity allegations.

 


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Friday
Apr242015

Beyonce Shares Mother's Wedding Reception Photos 

Eric McCandless/CBSTina Knowles recent wedding ceremony to Richard Lawson ended with an epic reception, according to new pictures posted on Beyonce's official website.

After exchanging vows aboard a yacht in Newport Beach, California earlier this month, the family hit the lower deck for a fun-filled night of dancing and laughing. In one snap, we see exactly where Queen Bey got her dance moves, as Miss Tina takes over the dance floor.  Later, Bey's husband, Jay Z, also showed off some old-school dance moves. The rap mogul also enjoyed a precious moment with their daughter Blue Ivy, who served as the flower girl.

While Beyonce raised her wine glass, the happy couple also enjoyed a speech from Susan Taylor, the former Essence magazine editor-in-chief.

Before the evening got underway, the immediate family, all decked out in white, posed for a silly group photo with their tongues out.

Tina previously said in an interview with People that her big day "couldn't have been more perfect."


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Friday
Apr242015

Gerard Way and Hayley Williams Support Frances Bean Cobain Against Tabloids

Credits: Eric Ray Davidson; ABC/Lou RoccoAfter Frances Bean Cobain spoke at the Los Angeles premiere of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck on April 21, a few Internet tabloids criticized the way she looked. Cobain, who's an executive producer on the film, fired back at the media on her Twitter, and she received support from former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way and Paramore frontwoman Haley Williams.

"Apparently I'm not well because I dressed like morticia Addams last night and am pale?" Cobain tweeted, referring to the character from the TV show The Addams Family. "Okay media spin cycle, okay. #slownewsday"

Way offered his support, tweeting "f the media and the sun," the latter reference apparently meaning the offending British tabloid.  Williams added, "I get psyched every time ppl don't understand how I dress. It's like they're congratulating you for being your own!"

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the first fully authorized documentary about the late Nirvana frontman, opens in select theaters today. The film will air on HBO May 4.


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Friday
Apr242015

The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach Launches New Solo Project, The Arcs

Credit: Danny ClinchSix years after the release of his debut solo album, The Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach is launching a new solo project. The new band, called The Arcs, will release two boxing-themed songs, "Stay in My Corner" and "Tomato Can," on one seven-inch single May 2, the same day as the much-anticipated Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao fight. The single will only be available in independent record stores.

"I just wanted to do my thing and get extra weird," Auerbach tells Rolling Stone of the new project. "I wanted everything to flow [and] be cohesive. A lot of the songs bleed one into the other, a lot like the Grateful Dead -- my favorite records that they did. So I've got a lot of connected songs. It's basically everything I love about music all wrapped up into one record -- that's all!"

The Arcs' full-length debut album will be released this summer. Auerbach's last -- and so far, only -- solo album, Keep It Hid, came out in 2009.

Before The Arcs' debut is released, Auerbach will reconvene with The Black Keys to make up tour dates that were canceled due to a shoulder injury drummer Patrick Carney suffered earlier this year.


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Friday
Apr242015

Charlie Puth Will Perform "See You Again" with Rapper Wiz Khalifa on "SNL"

Elisabeth Caren/Atlantic RecordsCharlie Puth will be joining rapper Wiz Khalifa for a special performance on Saturday Night Live May 2. The two will be performing “See You Again,” the Paul Walker tribute song from the Furious 7 soundtrack, which Charlie co-wrote and co-produced.

Two days later, on May 4, Charlie will release his debut EP, Some Type of Love. The four-song collection includes the single “Marvin Gaye,” featuring Meghan Trainor. It also features a retro-style ballad called “I Won’t Tell a Soul,” which is currently streaming on Charlie’s YouTube channel.

Charlie is touring the U.S. with Meghan this summer.  His debut album will be released later this year.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr242015

Elton John Voices Support for Bruce Jenner

ABC/Randy HolmesElton John is voicing his support for Bruce Jenner.  The former Olympian turned reality star's 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer airs Friday night, during which Jenner will presumably address his gender transition for the first time.

"It's an incredibly brave thing to do, especially when you're older," Elton told Access Hollywood Thursday night during a charity event in L.A. The singer added, "I admire him for doing it and I support him 100 percent.”

Elton’s husband, David Furnish, agreed. “People should support him,” he said.

Other celebrities have spoken out in support of Bruce's reported transition, too. Boy George told People earlier this month: "I applaud what he's doing. I think it's very brave. And it actually makes me quite emotional.”

In a promo for the interview, Bruce expressed that one of his biggest concerns throughout his journey was his family. He has six children, including Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and he’s a stepdad to the Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob Kardashian.

Bruce Jenner: The Interview airs tonight at 9/8c on ABC.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr242015

Reba Explains Why She Was "Ticked Off" the First Time She Saw a Reba Drag Queen

Image Courtesy ABCReba has grown to love the drag queens who dress up like her and perform her biggest hits in clubs across the country, but she was thrown off the first time she saw a man dressed up in Reba drag.

Reba tells The Advocate, "One night in the early ’90s, shortly after [my single] ‘Fancy’ came out, I had a gentleman at one of our fan club get-togethers we’d have, and he showed up in full regalia -- total drag -- and it really ticked me off because his hair and makeup looked better than mine!”

Unfortunately, Reba didn't have time to get any tips from the drag queen because she had to go perform her show. She still sees Reba drag queens show up at her concerts from time-to-time, and it always gives her a thrill.  "Imitation is a huge form of flattery," she says.

Now those drag queens can use Reba's new cosmetics line, Reba Beauty, to achieve the right look. Check out the first offering, the Deluxstick lip gloss shade Fancy, at Reba.com/Reba-Beauty.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

Loverboy Teaming Up with Rick Springfield, The Romantics for Late Summer Tour

Credit: Mick RockLoverboy will be working all over North America this year, as the Canadian rockers have a wide variety of tour dates lined up, including a series of co-headlining shows with fellow '80s stars Rick Springfield and The Romantics.  Loverboy's upcoming 2015 itinerary kicks off with a show this Saturday in Pompano Beach, Florida, and is mapped out through an October 1 concert in Yakima, Washington.

The band will team up with Springfield and Romantics in late summer for more than a dozen shows stretching from an August 29 gig in Atlanta through a September 22 performance in The Woodlands, Texas.  Loverboy and Springfield also are slated to play a couple of additional shows together without The Romantics.

Loverboy also is scheduled to open for Styx at an August 9 show in Lincoln, Nebraska, and in late September the band is scheduled to play its first concert in the Los Angeles area in many years.

Here is Loverboy's full upcoming North American tour schedule:

4/25 -- Pompano Beach, FL, Pompano Beach Seafood Festival
6/13 -- Rothbury, MI, Sandy Corley Memorial Run
6/20 -- Oswego, IL, PrairieFest
6/27 -- Brainerd, MN, Lakes Jam
7/3 -- Coralville, IA, 4th Fest
7/4 -- Junction City, KS, Heritage Park
7/10 -- Ft. Wayne, IN, Three Rivers Festival
7/18 -- Victoria Beach, MB, Canada, Summerwinds Family Music Festival
7/25 -- Hot Springs, AR, Timberwood Amphitheater
8/1 -- Kenora, ON, Canada, Kenora Harbourfest
8/8 -- St. Albert, AB, Canada, Rock'N August
8/9 -- Lincoln, NE, Pinewood Bowl Theater^
8/14 -- New Glasgow, NS, Canada, Pictou County Wellness Centre
8/15 -- Bridgewater, NS, Canada, Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre
8/22 -- Baker, MT, Fallon County Fair
8/29 -- Atlanta, GA, Chastain Amphitheater**
8/30 -- St. Augustine, FL, St. Augustine Amphitheater**
9/2 -- Hollywood, FL, Hard Rock Casino**
9/4 -- Raleigh, NC, Red Hat Amphitheater**
9/5 -- Charlotte, NC, Uptown Amphitheater**
9/10 -- Chicago, IL, Northerly Island**
9/11 -- Cleveland, OH, Jacobs Pavilion+
9/12 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Borgata**
9/13 -- Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center**
9/16 -- Westbury, NY, NYCB Theatre at Westbury**
9/17 -- Bethlehem, PA, Sands Bethlehem Event Center**
9/18 -- Detroit, MI, Freedom Hill**
9/20 -- Cincinnati, OH, PNC Pavilion at Riverbend**
9/22 -- The Woodlands, TX, Cynthia Woods Pavilion**
9/23 -- Oklahoma City, OK, The Zoo Amphitheatre*
9/25 -- Agoura Hills, CA, Canyon Club
9/26 -- Beverly Hills, CA, Saban Theater
9/27 -- San Juan Capistrano, CA, Coach House
9/29 -- Bakersfield, CA, Kern County Fair
10/1 -- Yakima, WA, Central Washington State Fair

^ = with Styx
** = with Rick Springfield and The Romantics
+ = with Rick Springfield and Donnie Iris
* = with Rick Springfield.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

Loverboy Teaming Up with The Romantics, Rick Springfield for Late Summer Tour

Credit: Mick RockLoverboy will be working all over North America this year, as the Canadian rockers have a wide variety of tour dates lined up, including a series of co-headlining shows with fellow '80s stars The Romantics and Rick Springfield.  Loverboy's upcoming 2015 itinerary kicks off with a show this Saturday in Pompano Beach, Florida, and is mapped out through an October 1 concert in Yakima, Washington.

The band will team up with Springfield and Romantics in late summer for more than a dozen shows stretching from an August 29 gig in Atlanta through a September 22 performance in The Woodlands, Texas.  Loverboy and Springfield also are slated to play a couple of additional shows together without The Romantics.

Loverboy also is scheduled to open for Styx at an August 9 show in Lincoln, Nebraska, and in late September the band is scheduled to play its first concert in the Los Angeles area in many years.

Here is Loverboy's full upcoming North American tour schedule:

4/25 -- Pompano Beach, FL, Pompano Beach Seafood Festival
6/13 -- Rothbury, MI, Sandy Corley Memorial Run
6/20 -- Oswego, IL, PrairieFest
6/27 -- Brainerd, MN, Lakes Jam
7/3 -- Coralville, IA, 4th Fest
7/4 -- Junction City, KS, Heritage Park
7/10 -- Ft. Wayne, IN, Three Rivers Festival
7/18 -- Victoria Beach, MB, Canada, Summerwinds Family Music Festival
7/25 -- Hot Springs, AR, Timberwood Amphitheater
8/1 -- Kenora, ON, Canada, Kenora Harbourfest
8/8 -- St. Albert, AB, Canada, Rock'N August
8/9 -- Lincoln, NE, Pinewood Bowl Theater^
8/14 -- New Glasgow, NS, Canada, Pictou County Wellness Centre
8/15 -- Bridgewater, NS, Canada, Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre
8/22 -- Baker, MT, Fallon County Fair
8/29 -- Atlanta, GA, Chastain Amphitheater**
8/30 -- St. Augustine, FL, St. Augustine Amphitheater**
9/2 -- Hollywood, FL, Hard Rock Casino**
9/4 -- Raleigh, NC, Red Hat Amphitheater**
9/5 -- Charlotte, NC, Uptown Amphitheater**
9/10 -- Chicago, IL, Northerly Island**
9/11 -- Cleveland, OH, Jacobs Pavilion+
9/12 -- Atlantic City, NJ, Borgata**
9/13 -- Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center**
9/16 -- Westbury, NY, NYCB Theatre at Westbury**
9/17 -- Bethlehem, PA, Sands Bethlehem Event Center**
9/18 -- Detroit, MI, Freedom Hill**
9/20 -- Cincinnati, OH, PNC Pavilion at Riverbend**
9/22 -- The Woodlands, TX, Cynthia Woods Pavilion**
9/23 -- Oklahoma City, OK, The Zoo Amphitheatre*
9/25 -- Agoura Hills, CA, Canyon Club
9/26 -- Beverly Hills, CA, Saban Theater
9/27 -- San Juan Capistrano, CA, Coach House
9/29 -- Bakersfield, CA, Kern County Fair
10/1 -- Yakima, WA, Central Washington State Fair

^ = with Styx
** = with Rick Springfield and The Romantics
+ = with Rick Springfield and Donnie Iris
* = with Rick Springfield.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr242015

Billy Joel to Play Final Show at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island Before Venue Closes

Myrna SuarezBilly Joel has a monthly residency at New York's Madison Square Garden, but in August, he'll head East to his home base -- Long Island -- to play the final concert at that area's major concert venue: Nassau Coliseum.

The venue is closing for an extensive renovation and won't re-open until December of 2016, possibly under another name.  Billy has played a total of 31 shows at the venue, and in 1998, he set a record for most sellouts in one run, when he sold out nine shows.  The final concert will take place August 4; tickets go on sale May 1 at 10 a.m.  If you're an American Express Card Member, you can grab tickets starting this Monday through Thursday.

In a statement, the executive who'll oversee the renovation said, "Who else but Billy Joel could play the final show at Nassau Coliseum? Billy is the definitive voice of Long Island and has made a lasting impact on his community in so many ways."

In addition to the Nassau Coliseum show, August will also find Billy playing Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Chicago's Wrigley Field and, of course Madison Square Garden.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Friday
Apr242015

John Legend Uses His Fame to Make the "World a Little Better"

Image Courtesy ABC/ Lorenzo BevilaquaOn Friday in Washington, D.C., John Legend will take part in a special panel discussion on the modern day civil rights movement hosted by political news website Politico.  "An Evening with John Legend," featuring a performance by the singer, takes place the night before the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, when journalists, politicians and celebrities of all stripes come together.  It's a high profile gig for John, but he's long been an entertainer who's used his celebrity to support social causes.

"I’m just trying to make great music and then hopefully make an impact, not just with the music, but with what I do with my fame," says Legend, who is spearheading a new multi-year campaign, Free America, focused on ending mass incarceration and changing the criminal justice system. 

The singer says it's important to him to use his high profile to do more than just entertain. "When we do social campaigns and political campaigns, it’s because I’ve been given a platform as an artist and I try to use that platform to make the world a little bit better," he says.

Aside from his philanthropic projects, the crooner is busy with his TV and film production company, Get Lifted Film Co., whose projects include a new reality series Sing It On and an upcoming movie musical.  After picking up an Oscar for "Glory," the song he co-wrote for the movie Selma, he says he's eager to get more of his songs into films.

"The thing is, I write so many songs for my albums that I can’t use on my albums, so I end up putting some of them on movies," he says. "And then some I actually write specifically for the movie, like for Selma I did that," he says. "But I enjoy having my music in film. I have a production company that produces film as well and we try to find ways to integrate good music with good film."

"An Evening with John Legend" will take place at Washington, D.C.'s Longview Gallery.  It's invite-only, but it will be streamed live on Politico beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Friday
Apr242015

Rachel Platten Says Writing Breakthrough Hit "Fight Song" "Gave Me Power" 

Columbia RecordsIt took her more than ten years of hard work, but singer/songwriter Rachel Platten finally has a hit on her hands with the empowerment anthem "Fight Song."  And she says she had a feeling it was something special, because of how it made her feel when she wrote it.

I had a feeling...even writing it gave me power," Rachel tells ABC Radio. "Even writing it reminded me that I wasn't going to give up on myself. And I used to walk around Los Angeles and I would listen to it in my headphones and take walks and be reminded that I still believed in myself."  The song has now been adopted by fans as the soundtrack of their own personal struggles, which they've shared via the #MyFightSong social media campaign.

Rachel was an independent musician for years, and in 2011, she had some success with a song called "1,000 Ships."  But now that she's landed a deal with Columbia Records, and "Fight Song" is moving up the charts, she's experiencing a bona fide breakthrough.  "Oh it's incredible. It's amazing," she says. "I honestly didn't know I'd get another chance, so it feels like a dream, really."

But after a decade of taking every gig offered and eating, as she puts it, "lots of cereal with no milk," does Rachel feel that it's about time she finally had some success?  Well, yes and no.  "I'm in the middle of feeling deserving of it, because of how hard I've worked and how much I poured into this song in particular and these new songs," she explains. "But also kind of just struck by how lucky this all is and I can't believe what's happening. So I'm right in the middle of it."

Rachel has landed the opening slot on Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri's joint summer trek, dubbed the Girls Night Out, Boys Can Come Too tour.  But she just wrapped up a spring tour with her good friend Andy Grammer, who, she says, she learned a lot from simply by watching every night.

"Andy and I are like brother and sister, and watching him, I felt like a little sister, just in awe of my brother on stage," she tells ABC Radio.  "He had his band doing backflips on stage and they all dance together and they make a party on stage. I absolutely watched and was, like, 'I gotta do that at some point!'" 

Rachel's tour with Colbie and Christina kicks off July 10 in Uncasville, Connecticut.


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