Maddie & Tae Ready to "Start Here"

Image Courtesy Dot RecordsMaddie & Tae’s first full-length album, Start Here, is due in stores and online June 2. It will include both their chart-topping debut, “Girl in a Country Song,” as well as their latest hit, “Fly.”

“We had so many names,” Maddie says of choosing the title, "pieces of lyrics, song titles, our names. But when it really came down to it, what this record is to us is the beginning of everything! You only get one first album.”

In the end, Tae believes Start Here says it all. “It is one of those sentiments that holds all the promise, all the chances and maybe a little bit of being scared. But you have to start somewhere, and this is pretty great place to begin.”

The weekend following their album’s release, Maddie & Tae kick off Dierks Bentley’s Sounds of Summer tour with Kip Moore and Canaan Smith June 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Tickets for Stephen Stills' Light Up the Blues Autism Benefit Concert Go On Sale Friday

Image Courtesy of Jensen CommunicationsOfficial details have been announced for Stephen Stills' third annual Light Up the Blues benefit concert, which is scheduled to take place April 25 at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles.  Tickets for the star-studded event, whose lineup also includes Neil Young, Steve Earle and Shawn Colvin, among others, will go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. PT at Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets and the Pantages box office.

Stills and his wife, Kristen, organize the Light Up the Blues benefit, which raises funds for Autism Speaks, an organization that supports research and advocacy for people affected by the disorder and their families.

"We are so thrilled to be doing this benefit for the third time and, this year, at the iconic Pantages Theatre," Stephen and Kristen say in a joint statement.  "The last two years' Light Up the Blues benefits were such incredible, life-changing events for all involved.  We are so grateful to be able to bring such a special night of music to the entire community and to support Autism Speaks."

As previously reported, Jack Black will serve as emcee for the show, whose lineup also features The White Buffalo, Stephen's son Chris Stills and three music artists with autism -- Spencer Harte, Nick Guzman and Matt Savage.

The concert is held during Autism Awareness Month and helps draw attention to Autism Speaks' Light It Up Blue campaign, which enlists supporters to temporarily replace the white light bulbs at their homes or businesses with blue ones to promote the cause.

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Paul McCartney's Childhood Home Sells at Auction for About $231K

Image Courtesy of Countrywide Property AuctionsA house in Liverpool, England, where Paul McCartney spent some of his early childhood was sold at an auction on Thursday for 150,000 pounds, or about $231,000.  The auction was hosted by the city's famous Cavern Club venue.

According to the Liverpool Echo, bidding began at 100,000 pounds and escalated to the sale price in minutes.  The winning bidder was an anonymous local resident who was in attendance at the auction.

McCartney and his family moved into the residence, which is located at 72 Western Avenue in Liverpool's Speke neighborhood, when he was four years old and it reportedly is the first home in which he remembers living.  It features a lounge, dining room, kitchen and hallway on the ground floor, while the bedrooms and a family bathroom are located on the second floor.  In addition, gardens are located in the front and back of the house.

The sale was organized by Countrywide Property Auctions and real estate broker Entwistle Green, who also handled the auction of John Lennon's boyhood home at 9 Newcastle Road in 2013, and George Harrison's home at 25 Upton Green last year.

The Liverpool Echo reports that the seller of McCartney's former home, Peter Thompson, is happy about the sale and "hopes the new owner enjoys it as much as he did."

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Selena Gomez Tells Fans: "Every Life Is Worth It" 

Image Group LA/ABCSelena Gomez wants her fans to know that their lives matter. The singer Instagrammed a screen shot of a lengthy comment she wrote to a fan in which she explains why suicide is not the answer.

"By me following you is not me saying it's ok to think these thoughts," she wrote. "It's not me saying 'hey you said sad things, so I'm going to follow you to make you feel better'. God puts us in situations that are so unexplainably difficult for a reason. There is someone in the world feeling so much, just like you."

The message, which went out to all of Selena’s 24 million followers, continued, "People everyday feel so many emotions they wish they could turn it off. But that's not why we are here. We are here for relationships, for people just like us who feel worthless. Your purpose is to share, help, encourage. Remember that. Please. Before you think of taking your life, think of all the [lives] you could save. I love you. More importantly there is a God that will love more than I ever could."

The 22-year-old captioned the message, “Every life is worth it.” Selena herself has admitted to struggling with depression. In a recent interview with V Magazine, she said there were a few months where living such a public life took its toll on her. She said she went through a phase where she felt depressed and would rarely leave her house.

I know I meant lives. I don't care about grammar. I'm sorry I had to share. Every life is worth it.

A photo posted by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

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Sugary Ray's Mark McGrath Confirms He's Alive and Well, Say He Knew Nothing of Death Hoax Beforehand 

Frederick M. Brown/Getty ImagesMark McGrath is not dead. We repeat: Mark McGrath is not dead. The Sugar Ray frontman was simply the victim of a celebrity death hoax Thursday.

A press release was sent to various media outlets claiming the 46-year-old had died while "filming the second season of entertainment show Hot Package, when he was confronted by a masked gunman and shot several times."

The release added, "In honor of Mr. McGrath's legacy, his team is asking in liu [sic] of flowers, fans post a Sugar Ray Selfie, holding a packet of sugar over their heart.  #RIPMARKMCGRATH.”

It sounded bogus, and it was bogus. Over an hour after the first release was sent, another message was emailed to the media clarifying that Mark was alive in real life, but will be killed by a masked gunman on the Adult Swim show’s season-two premiere, which conveniently airs this Saturday.

Mark tweeted that he had no idea about the death hoax beforehand. “Final word on the death hoax thing, I knew nothing about it and found out the same time you did...sorry about any confusion,” he wrote.

Adult Swim also denied any involvement in perpetrating the hoax. "This press release did not come from Adult Swim and is not part of any network PR or marketing campaign for the show Hot Package,” the network said in a statement to E! News.

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Big Sean Set for First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart 

ABC/Kelsey McNealBig Sean is set for a big first week with his latest album, Dark Sky Paradise.

The rapper's third studio effort is projected to land atop the Billboard 200 chart, according to the publication. His sales are estimated to amass over 140,000 album equivalent units earned in the week ending March 1.

In addition to potentially becoming his first chart-topper, Dark Sky Paradise could sell more than 110,000 in traditional album sales -- besting his last effort 2013's Hall of Fame, which opened at #3 and sold 72,000 copies.

Elsewhere, Chris Brown and Tyga's collaborative album Fan of a Fan could open in the top 10, selling more than 60,000 copies in its first week.

The official sales tally will be released next Wednesday.

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Beyonce Posts Workout Video for Let's Move Campaign

Eric McCandless/CBSBeyonce has celebrated the fifth anniversary of Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign's by sharing some of her workout moves via her official Instagram.

In her latest post, Bey gives a 15-second rundown of her workout routine, which consists of standing oblique crunches, lunges, jump squats and shadow boxing holding weights while Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" plays in the background.

"Celebrating the 5th anniversary of Let's Move!#GimmeFive @michelleobama," Bey wrote in the accompanying caption.

In response, the first lady re-posted the singer's workout video. "Double tap if you're ready to work out with @Beyonce! #GimmeFive of your workout drills (or you'll disappoint the Beygency)," she wrote.

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Celebrating the 5th anniversary of Let's Move! #GimmeFive @michelleobama 💪

A video posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on


The U2 Joshua Tree Has Been Vandalized 

Image Courtesy of Island RecordsThe famous Joshua tree in California's Mojave Desert that was immortalized on the cover of U2's 1987 album The Joshua Tree has been vandalized.  On the U2 fan forum atU2.com, user Hwy 190 writes that someone had hacked off one of the tree's limbs.

"This past Sunday, I made my proverbial yearly hike out to the Tree with my dog to reminisce only to find that some hack and I do mean hack, decided it was a bright idea to take a hacksaw to one of the Tree’s limbs -- evidently to remove an inch thick cross section as a souvenir," writes Hwy 190.

Consequence of Sound has posted a photo of the vandalized tree.

The Joshua Tree, which featured the singles "With or Without You" and "Where the Streets Have No Name," was U2's first #1 album on the Billboard 200.

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Billy Corgan Says Rock Music Needs to "Be More Aggressive in Taking on Pop Music"

Image Courtesy of Martha's MusicBilly Corgan has never kept his feelings about pop music hidden. In an interview with Australia's The Morning Show, The Smashing Pumpkins frontman elaborated on his opinion of the "scourge" that is pop music, saying that rock musicians need to "be more aggressive in taking on pop music."

"Particularly in America there's a very cozy relationship between rock stars and pop stars, and I don't think that's a good relationship," Corgan says. "I think everybody sort of belongs on their own side of the street for a good reason. By definition a rock star is supposed to be an independent individual who pursues a vision to an end -- an Axl Rose, an Elton John. And a pop star is basically supposed to do whatever they can do to pray at some horrible idol of fame which is ubiquitous and fleeting."

Corgan believes that the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain would've been able to help break up that "cozy relationship."

"I think Kurt had an incredible level of integrity and I often have said that he would know what to do with the pop miasma we're dealing with right now," he says. "Rock needs to be free and independent, it doesn't need to imitate pop to survive."

Corgan has previously said that he and Cobain were "the top two scribes" of the '90's alternative scene.

The Smashing Pumpkins released their latest album, Monuments to an Elegy, late last year.

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Madonna Found Out Through Instagram that She'd Been Hacked, Says It Was "Pandemonium"

Interscope RecordsImagine being hacked, and then finding out about it on Instagram. That’s exactly what happened to Madonna in December. Dozens of demos she had recorded for her album Rebel Heart were leaked online, and the pop icon tells Time her Instagram followers were the ones who gave her the heads up.

“It was through Instagram that I found out my songs were leaking, because my fans were warning me,” she tells the mag. “Aside from the violation of having something stolen from me, suddenly, people were making comments on songs I had no intention of releasing. I thought, ‘Oh my God, I have to push myself into overdrive.’”

In the wake of the hack, she hustled to finish several of those songs and rushed out a six-track EP on iTunes to divert attention from the unfinished demos. “I didn’t sleep for weeks,” she says. “I didn’t see my kids. It was pandemonium, confusion, paranoia, hysteria.”

On January 21, an Israeli man was arrested in connection with the hack, but Madonna says she doesn’t expect this problem to go away any time soon. “I think it’s going to become pervasive in our society,” she says. “People make a living off it. It’s not like you’re a bank robber -- there’s some kind of honesty to that crime. With cybercrime, you don’t know who they are. People can hide so easily, and it’s really dangerous.”

The leak was a setback to be sure, but Madonna’s used to overcoming obstacles. The latest snafu happened at the Brit Awards Wednesday, when she took a nasty tumble during her performance of "Living for Love." She later addressed the fall on Instagram, "My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up!”

Hear that, hackers? You can’t stop Madonna. Rebel Heart comes out March 10 and her interview with Time hits newsstands Friday.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


The Black Keys, Walk the Moon, Royal Blood & More to Play Bunbury Music Festival 

Credit: Danny ClinchThe Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio has revealed the lineup for its 2015 edition. Ohio natives The Black Keys will headline the festival, which will also feature sets from Walk the Moon, Royal Blood, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Bleachers, Matt and Kim, Tame Impala, Manchester Orchestra, Brand New, The Decemberists and Twenty One Pilots.

In addition to spots at Mountain Jam in Hunter, New York and Governors Ball in New York City, The Black Keys' appearance at Bunbury marks just the third North American date for the Akron duo in 2015. The band will spend most of the year hitting festivals in Australia, Asia and Europe.

The Bunbury Music Festival will be held June 5-7 at Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove in Cincinnati, Ohio. The full lineup and ticket information can be found at BunburyFestival.com.

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Carly Rae Jepsen Confirms "I Really Like You" Is Her Next Single 

ABC/Todd WawrychukWe just got “Call Me Maybe” out of our heads, so that must mean it’s time for a new Carly Rae Jepsen song. Last week, Carly was spotted filming what appeared to be a music video for a new tune called “I Really Like You,” with Tom Hanks and Justin Bieber. Now the Canadian singer has confirmed that song is indeed being released as the first single from her new album.

In a post on her website, the 29-year-old said she's finally gearing up to debut some new music. She said for the past few years she's been "hiding in forests where one meets a prince and dances till midnight. I've been cocooned in my Soho apartment, sipping tea with artists so weird and wonderful that only New York could keep them happy. I have been hiking to the tippy tops of L.A. peaks where I've said this out loud to no one…'I'm ready.'"

Carly Rae will appear on ABC's Good Morning America on Monday to talk about her new music.

Carly's major label U.S. debut album Kiss was released in 2012, so it’s been a while since she’s released new material. She didn’t give any more details on the new single or the new album, but her manager Scooter Braun recently told Billboard the single would be released in March. He said the tune is “on the level” of her first mega-hit “Call Me Maybe.”


I know I really like you when I start to write songs about you. #IReallyLikeYou

A photo posted by Carly Rae Jepsen (@carlyraejepsen) on Feb 25, 2015 at 7:51pm PST


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Kacey Musgraves Sends "Biscuits" to Country Radio

Image Courtesy Kelly Christine Musgraves/Sandbox

Kacey Musgraves is baking up a batch of “Biscuits” for country radio. Her new single will be fans’ first taste of new music from her sophomore album for Mercury Records Nashville. Her debut, Same Trailer Different Park, won the Grammy for Best Country Album.

"I'm very proud to be kickin' things off with 'Biscuits'! I think it's the perfect preview to the record we had SO much fun making,” Kacey says. “The sound of this song represents so many of the things I love about country music. And be warned -- it may inspire a square dance,” she jokes.

Kacey co-wrote “Biscuits” with frequent collaborators Shane McAnally and Best New Artist Grammy nominee Brandy Clark. You should start hearing it on the radio around the middle of March.

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio


Christina Aguilera Gives Kudos to Miranda Lambert

Image Courtesy Sony Music Nashville

Don’t be surprised if you see some of Miranda Lambert’s influence when Christina Aguilera steps into her upcoming guest role on Nashville.

"Miranda is no joke,” Christina told Seth Myers Wednesday on NBC’s Late Night. “She's awesome. I've become such a huge fan… Honestly, if I were a country singer, I’d probably be her. She’s awesome. She's really awesome. I've got to give her kudos!"

Christina will play a pop star trying to cross over into country on the ABC show set in Music City. She’s hoping the new role will step up her cred with country contestants when she’s competing against Miranda's husband Blake Shelton to secure contestants for her team on The Voice.

"I'll be able to have something under my belt to get certain steals for these country artists," she says. "I'll be like 'Well, I'm actually on the show Nashville, recording in Nashville.'"

You can catch Nashville Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.  The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio  


Nico & Vinz to Apply Lessons Learned from Bruno Mars to New U.S. Headlining Tour This Spring

Sara McColgan/Warner Bros. RecordsNico & Vinz have toured with Bruno Mars and are currently touring Europe with Usher, but this spring they’ll be hitting the road for their first full U.S. tour. The Norwegian duo will embark on a 24-date Ones to Watch with Skype tour starting in May.

The first stop will be Anaheim, California on May 4, with other stops including Dallas, Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Seattle. The tour concludes on June 8 in San Diego, California.

Ones to Watch with Skype is a platform that gives fans direct access to emerging artists with things like exclusive backstage Q&As broadcast via Skype. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 27.

During the tour, the Norwegian duo will be able to apply the lessons they've learned on tour with Usher and Bruno to their own show.  Speaking about their tour last year with Bruno, Nico tells ABC News Radio, "We learned so much about being professional. He delivers at such high level every night and it was so inspiring to get off stage when we were done playing and just standing in the crowd waiting to see his show."

"It’s so motivational to us," he adds. "Like, we watched all the lights, all the moves he’s got, the way he sings, and it just inspires us to reach that level. Keep reaching higher and higher."

But there was admiration on Bruno's side as well.  As Vinz recalls, "The first time we met him, and we came to do the first show in Canada, we sat in the dressing room and we were like, 'What is that noise out there?' and he was doing sound check."  What they were hearing, it turned out, was Bruno soundchecking by singing their big hit, "Am I Wrong." 

"It was like, 'Is that Bruno playing our song right now?'” Vinz recalls. "He was singing our song and it was just like, 'Okay, cool.' We met him afterwards, [he was] super cool. So that was fun."

Here’s the full list of tour dates:

5/4 -- Anaheim, CA, House of Blues
5/8 -- Tulsa, OK, Cain's Ballroom
5/9 -- Austin, TX, Parish
5/10 -- Dallas, TX, House of Blues
5/11 -- Houston, TX, House of Blues
5/13 -- Orlando, FL, House of Blues
5/15 -- Greensboro, NC, The Cone Denim Entertainment Center
5/16 -- Charlotte, NC, The Fillmore Charlotte
5/17 -- Baltimore, MD, Sound Stage
5/18 -- Philadelphia, PA, Theatre of Living Arts
5/19 -- New York, NY, Irving Plaza
5/21 -- Boston, MA, Paradise Rock Club
5/23 -- Cincinnati, OH, Bogart's
5/24 -- Louisville, KY, Mercury Ballroom
5/26 -- Cleveland, OH, House of Blues
5/27 -- Chicago, IL, House of Blues
5/28 -- Minneapolis, MN, Varsity Theater
5/30 -- Denver, CO, Bluebird Theater
5/31 -- Park City, UT, Park City Live
6/2 -- Seattle, WA, Neptune
6/3 -- Portland, OR, Wonder Ballroom
6/6 -- San Francisco, CA, The Independent
6/7 -- Los Angeles, CA, House of Blues
6/8 -- San Diego, CA, House of Blues

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Raheem DeVaughn to Top Billboard R&B Albums Chart?


It looks like Raheem DeVaughn's new album, Love, Sex and Passion, is set to land a top Billboard's R&B Albums chart this week.

The singer shared via Instagram the news that he received from his label that the album would debut at #1 on that chart when the official weekly tally is revealed.

According to his label, the singer's latest set will also debut at #2 on the Billboard Independent Chart, #4 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Chart, and #31 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart.

"Shout out to all my fans & supporters you are part of my success.... I was just a kid that grew up in the DMV with a dream & hustle! #AllPraiseDue2theCreator #1," the signer wrote on Instagram.

DeVaughn will be touring alongside fellow R&B peers Ledisi and Leela James beginning on February 27 at Los Angeles' Club Nokia. The trio's North American tour will travel to 23 cities before concluding at Atlanta's Symphony Hall on March 29.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


2015 Gathering of the Vibes Lineup Features Weezer, Wilco & More

Credit: Emily ShurWeezer and Wilco will play the 20th annual edition of the Gathering of the Vibes music festival. The lineup also includes The Gaslight Anthem, The String Cheese Incident and Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals.

"There's an unmatched heart and soul to the Vibes community -- coming together each summer, catching up with friends on stage and off," says festival founder Ken Hays.  "Our 20th year together will be a truly inspirational and meaningful experience!"

Gathering of the Vibes began as a gathering for Grateful Dead fans who wanted to pay tribute to the late Jerry Garcia. This year's festival is planning to commemorate the Dead, as 2015 marks the legendary band's 50th anniversary. The Dead will be celebrating the anniversary themselves this year with three final shows at Chicago's Soldier Field. Phish frontman Trey Anastasio will join the band for their farewell concerts.

The 20th Gathering of the Vibes will take place July 30 through August 2 at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Tickets and VIP passes for the festival can be purchased at GatheringoftheVibes.com.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich beach-themed Luke Bryan chart-topper was co-written by Cole Swindell? ANSWER:  "Roller Coaster."

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio


Cole Swindell Takes Down Home Tour to Home State

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleThis weekend, Cole Swindell brings his Down Home tour to his home state.  Sunday, the Georgia native wraps up three days of music at Atlanta Motor Speedway, headlining just before the drivers are introduced for the Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500. Though he’s not performing, pop-rocker Gavin DeGraw is also the honorary pace car driver for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Cole grew up in the small town of Bronwood, Georgia, about three hours south of Atlanta. When he’s not playing his own solo dates, he’s currently out on the Burn It Down tour with Jason Aldean and Tyler Farr.

Copyright 2015 ABC News Radio


The Moody Blues' John Lodge Releasing New Solo Album, "10,000 Light Years Ago," in May

Esoteric AntennaMoody Blues singer/bassist John Lodge will release his second solo album, 10,000 Light Years Ago, on May 5, more than 38 years after his first solo effort, Natural Avenue, hit stores.  The new collection features eight original tunes, including the title track, which will be released as a digital single on April 14.

One of the undoubted highlights of 10,000 Light Years Ago is the tune "Simple Magic," which reunites Lodge with two former Moody Blues members -- flute player Ray Thomas and keyboardist Mike Pinder.  The album features a number of other guest musicians, including renowned rock guitarist Chris Spedding, who also contributed to Lodge's first solo effort.

Lodge says the music on 10,000 Light Years Ago was created using the same inspirations that guided him and his Moody Blues band mates when they recorded their classic 1967 album Days of Future Passed.

"The theme [of that album] encompassed the past, present and future experiences of our lives," he notes.  "When Days of Future Passed was successful, I knew that our decision to stick to our principles by writing and recording music we felt driven to create, was the right one.  Upon reflection, I suppose that in my work with The Moody Blues, and in my solo work, I have continued to stick to that principle."

Lodge is responsible for a number of The Moody Blues' best-known songs, including ""Ride My See Saw," "Isn't Life Strange," "I'm Just a Singer (in a Rock & Roll Band)," "Steppin' in a Slide Zone" and "Sitting at the Wheel."

Prior to the release of 10,000 Light Years Ago, Lodge will hit the road with The Moody Blues on a new North American tour that celebrates the band's recently released Timeless Flight -- Polydor Years box set.  The trek kicks off March 19 in Worcester, Massachusetts, and runs into May.  Check out all of the dates at MoodyBluesToday.com.

Here is the full track list of 10,000 Light Years Ago:

"In My Mind"
"Those Days in Birmingham"
"Simply Magic"
"Get Me Out of Here"
"Love Passed Me By"
"Lose Your Love"
"10,000 Light Years Ago"

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