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Thursday
Mar262015

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the first country hit Kenny Chesney collaborated on with Grace Potter? ANSWER: "You and Tequila."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Yolanda Adams to Headline McDonald's Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour

PR NewswireThe line-up for the McDonald's Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour has just been announced.

This year's trek will see performances from the legendary Yolanda Adams, as well as gospel standouts like Dorinda Clark-Cole, Ricky Dillard, DeWayne Woods and BET's Sunday Best season six winner Tasha Page-Lockhart. The ninth annual outing will kick off May 13 in Detroit, making stops in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Philadelphia, before concluding on October 17 in Los Angeles.

"I couldn't pass up an opportunity to join this unique tour with so many of my phenomenal peers," said Clark-Cole in a statement. "The tour will certainly be filled with exciting, soul-stirring music."

To learn more information about the free shows, visit 365Black.com.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

T-Pain Has a Song with Aaliyah on "The Iron Way" Mixtape

Inage Courtesy RCA Records

News broke earlier this week that T-Pain has a song with Aaliyah on his upcoming mixtape,The Iron Way. Wednesday night inside New York City's Jungle Studios, he gave reporters and others a listen to the track, titled "Girlfriend."

On the song, Aaliyah croons, "Me and my girlfriend/I need someone to talk to/and I doubt that you could do everything that we do/...and if we start breaking up I've got someone else to fall to."

T-Pain said after it was revealed he had a duet with the late R&B singer on his mixtape, he saw mostly a negative response online. "I've seen people directly say, 'He doesn't deserve her records,'" he recalled. "I'm trying to figure out what the f*** did I do?" 

T-Pain also detailed how the duet came about. "They were planning on doing an Aaliyah X album...They were doing that and they came to me for a feature on the album. They had a bunch of sessions of her of unused tracks," he explained. 

He added that after asking could he have a song with Aaliyah for his album, if he did the feature unpaid, her producers and family agreed. "It's like a swap," he continued. "I did a song for her, for her album, and they gave me one for mine."

The Iron Way, which features Bun BBig K.R.I.T, Migos, Lil Wayne, K Camp and The-Dream, is set for release online Friday.

Here's the track list for the mixtape:

1. "Kill These N*****
2. "Disa My Ting" feat. Kardinal Offishall and KK Holiday
3. “Did It Anyway”
4. “Let Your Hair Down” feat. The-Dream and Vantrease
5. “Trust Issues” feat. Young Cash and Sean Jay
6. “Booty Butt A**”
7. “15”
8. “Sun Goes Down” feat. Audio Push
9. “The King” feat. Bun B and Big K.R.I.T.
10. “HashTag”
11. “Personal Business” feat. Vantrease
12. “Need to Be Smoking”
13. “Relax”
14.“Heartbeat”
15. “Representin” feat. Yo Gotti and Snootie Wild
16. “Girlfriend” feat. Aaliyah
17. “Wait a Minute” feat. OG Maco
18. “Another Level” feat. Vantrease
19. "What You Know" feat. K Camp and Migos
20. “Let Me Thru” feat. Lil Wayne
21. “Ever"


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Listen to New Ringo Starr Song, "Confirmation," Online Now

Universal Music EnterprisesRingo Starr fans wanting to get a little preview of what the ex-Beatles drummer's upcoming solo album, Postcards from Paradise, sounds like can head over to Billboard.com now.  The website is hosting an exclusive stream of the song "Confirmation," one of the new record's 11 tracks.

The tune is a funky, soulful and upbeat love song that features Starr accompanied by female backing singers and a bright horn section.  Ringo tells Billboard that he began working on the song at his home studio with his engineer Bruce Sugar, and that the tune originally was going to be called "Memphis," "because it had that Memphis feel."

He explains that he then called hit-making songwriter Glen Ballard "to come on over and make a record, and I gave him a choice of two of my basic tracks I cut at home with Bruce…Glen chose this one and we turned it into 'Confirmation.'"  The original name for this track was 'Memphis' because it had that Memphis feel."

Postcards from Paradise, Starr's 18th solo studio album, will be released this Tuesday, March 31.  As previously reported, it features contributions from his current All Starr Band members -- Steve Lukather, Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie, Richard Page, Warren Ham and Gregg Bissonette -- as well as from Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton, Benmont Tench, Dave Stewart, Richard Marx and Nathan East, among others.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Annie Lennox's Concert DVD Gets a Release Date

Blue Note RecordsAnnie Lennox’s new concert film, An Evening of Nostalgia with Annie Lennox, is set to be released on DVD May 4.

The film features Annie, backed by a 19-piece band, performing a series of classics from her album Nostalgia, including “Summertime,” “Georgia On My Mind,” and “Strange Fruit.” Also included is her powerful rendition of “I Put a Spell On You,” which she sang at the Grammys this year and which was featured on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack.

The concert concludes with a four-song selection of Annie’s own hits: “Here Comes the Rain Again,” “No More I Love You’s,” “Why” and “Sweet Dreams."

An Evening of Nostalgia with Annie Lennox was filmed on January 28 at Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theatre. The film will be available for purchase on its own in DVD, Blu-ray and digital long form formats, or as part of a deluxe package that includes her Nostalgia album.

Fans will get a first look at Annie’s concert film when it airs on the PBS series Great Performances on April 3.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar262015

Members of Bring Me the Horizon, Grouplove and Wolf Alice Share Their Current Book Choices

Credit: Jakob PrintzlauBands have a lot of downtime when they're on tour, and often they will turn to the majesty of the written word to entertain themselves on the road. NME.com asked a bevy of musicians what they have been reading while on tour.

Bring Me the Horizon frontman Oli Sykes is deep into George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, which of course spawned the hit HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones.

"I'm on about book five," Skykes says. "I didn't think it'd be something I'd be into -- I hate Lord of the Rings and all of that. But I started watching the TV series, and in the end, I just needed to know what happened next."

Meanwhile, Grouplove vocalist Hannah Hooper is reading Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own.

"I was drawn to it because I love the cover art," says Hooper. "It's this loose cobalt-blue sketch with handwritten type that was peeking out of a pile of books at a yard sale in Austin. It's definitely missing a few pages, but so am I."

Wolf Alice drummer Joel Amey's book of choice is Looking for Alaska, by The Fault in Our Stars author John Green.

"Me and [bassist] Theo [Ellis] shared it on one tour," Amey remembers. "It was amazing and then in the middle it got really sad. I looked up from the book and he knew I'd got to that point."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Plain White T’s Release New Video Featuring the "Breaking Bad" RV

James MinchinPlain White T’s released the music video for their new single, “Pause,” on Billboard Tuesday.

The video features the band getting stranded on a desert road after their mode of transportation -- the actual RV from Breaking Bad -- breaks down. They decide to make the best of the situation by playing an impromptu concert and pretty soon they attract passing drivers for a carefree roadside party.  

“Our new album, American Nights, really focuses on being present and concentrating on what’s happening now instead of what might happen tomorrow," lead singer Tom Higgenson tells Billboard. "This song, 'Pause,' is our lead single and it serves as a reminder to be present and appreciate all of life’s experiences.”  The song will be featured in Lipton's new "Be More Tea" ad campaign.

In addition to the Breaking Bad RV, the video features a cameo from American Pie actor Thomas Ian Nicholas, who’s a friend of the band.

American Nights, the band’s seventh studio album, arrives March 31.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar262015

Kenny Chesney's Sleepless Nights End Tonight with The Big Revival Tour Launch

Image Courtesy Sony Music Nashville/Blue ChairKenny Chesney has spent several sleepless nights worrying about The Big Revival tour. The trek kicks off tonight in Nashville, and Kenny admits he's been anxious about putting the new show together for his fans.

He tells The Tennessean, "To see it all start to come together is the exciting part. This is a very creative, stressful but rewarding process for me. That anxiety is brought on by myself; it's just because I care so much. "

Today just happens to be Kenny's 47th birthday, too. He says he wanted to play Music City on his birthday so his mother could be with him to help celebrate.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

T-Pain Reveals Song with Aaliyah, "The Iron Way" Track List

Johnny Nunez/WireImageNews broke earlier this week that T-Pain has a song with Aaliyah on his upcoming mixtape, The Iron Way. Wednesday night inside New York City's Jungle Studios, he gave reporters and others a listen to the track, titled "Girlfriend."

On the song, Aaliyah croons, "Me and my girlfriend/I need someone to talk to/and I doubt that you could do everything that we do/...and if we start breaking up I've got someone else to fall to."

T-Pain said after it was revealed he had a duet with the late R&B singer on his mixtape, he saw mostly a negative response online. "I've seen people directly say, 'He doesn't deserve her records,'" he recalled. "I'm trying to figure out what the f*** did I do?" 

T-Pain also detailed how the duet came about. "They were planning on doing an Aaliyah X album...They were doing that and they came to me for a feature on the album. They had a bunch of sessions of her of unused tracks," he explained. 

He added that after asking could he have a song with Aaliyah for his album, if he did the feature unpaid, her producers and family agreed. "It's like a swap," he continued. "I did a song for her, for her album, and they gave me one for mine."

The Iron Way, which features Bun BBig K.R.I.T, Migos, Lil Wayne, K Camp and The-Dream, is set for release online Friday.

Here's the track list for the mixtape:

1. "Kill These N*****
2. "Disa My Ting" feat. Kardinal Offishall and KK Holiday
3. “Did It Anyway”
4. “Let Your Hair Down” feat. The-Dream and Vantrease
5. “Trust Issues” feat. Young Cash and Sean Jay
6. “Booty Butt A**”
7. “15”
8. “Sun Goes Down” feat. Audio Push
9. “The King” feat. Bun B and Big K.R.I.T.
10. “HashTag”
11. “Personal Business” feat. Vantrease
12. “Need to Be Smoking”
13. “Relax”
14.“Heartbeat”
15. “Representin” feat. Yo Gotti and Snootie Wild
16. “Girlfriend” feat. Aaliyah
17. “Wait a Minute” feat. OG Maco
18. “Another Level” feat. Vantrease
19. "What You Know" feat. K Camp and Migos
20. “Let Me Thru” feat. Lil Wayne
21. “Ever"


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Thursday
Mar262015

Vance Joy Chose His Stage Name to "Conjure Up a Cool Little World" for Himself 

Darren AnkenmanThanks to his hit "Riptide" and his upcoming opening slot on Taylor Swift's 1989 world tour, a lot more fans are familiar with Vance Joy.  But you may not be aware that Vance Joy isn't actually the Australian singer/songwriter's given name: he was born James Keogh, and took his stage name from a character in a book.  So why did he change it?  "I wanted to create a little world," he explains.

Vance, who originally set out to be a lawyer and then switched to music, said he was inspired to change his name when he saw that one of his musician buddies had done it.  "One friend in particular started doing well and he had a stage name and I saw him create something out of nothing, almost," he tells ABC Radio.

"He had these songs, and then he had this different alias, and then he had this kind of presence online and it was as if he was kind of conjuring up this cool little world just for himself that people were attaching to and it kind of sparked people’s imaginations," he adds. "So I saw the way that could work and I had the same desire to do it for myself."

So once Vance -- who was James at the time -- wrote "Riptide" and a few other songs, and decided to take music seriously, he says he was ready to take the leap.

"I knew the name 'Vance Joy' from a book that I had read called Bliss by Peter Carey," he recalls. "And I wanted to create, like, a little world. And up to that point, I had played a few gigs for friends, but I kind of wanted to make a more ambitious step into the music world, with the name and with my new songs."

However, Vance says that his new persona didn't go over particularly well with his either his friends, or the woman he was dating at the time.

"I wrote a list of terrible names and you ask people their opinions, and if you ask for opinions you’re gonna get an opinion on everything," he laughs. "And even with Vance Joy, people were like, 'Oh, you’re crazy.' And my girlfriend at the time was like, 'Yeah...that ain’t gonna work.' And I was, like, 'I think it’s good." And [she] was, like, 'All right, [it's] your funeral!'"

Luckily, Vance didn't listen, and went with the new name, which seems to have worked out pretty well for him. "I guess I learned to just follow your instinct about names and you just gotta stick to your guns," he says.

Vance is currently back home performing in Australia, but in April, he'll head to the U.S. for a series of solo and festival dates, including a stop at Coachella.  On May 20, he'll hook up with Taylor -- not literally, of course -- as she launches her tour in Bossier City, Louisiana.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Darius Rucker Explains the "Homegrown Honey" Lyric About a Girl Being "Money"

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker is obviously singing about his lovely wife, Beth, on his latest hit, "Homegrown Honey," but we wondered what the song's lyric about her being "money" actually means to him.

Darius explains with a laugh, "[To borrow a] 2002 term, she's all that and a bag of chips, man! She looks real good when she's money."

When asked if there is any specific times Beth looks especially "money," Darius replies quickly, "Always. My wife is always beautiful. She's always gorgeous. She had the flu the other day, and she was money."

"Homegrown Honey" is the lead single from Darius's new studio album, Southern Style, due out Tuesday.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Serena Williams Recreates Beyoncé's "7/11" Video for Vogue

Bret Hartman/CBSBeyonce's "7/11" video has inspired many to re-create its epic house party, and now Serena Williams has become the latest to offer up a rendition of Bey's viral video as a part of her appearance in the April issue of Vogue magazine.

In the clip, posted on Vogue Videos, the tennis champ keep the fancy edits in tact as she channels her inner Sasha Fierce. Instead of using the red cups and hairdryers seen in Bey's original clip, though, Williams has fun with her tennis rackets, a golf cart and several senior citizens who join her in some hallway choreography.

After Serena's clip started garnering buzz online, Beyonce gave it her official stamp of approval.  "So Cute Serena Williams!" Bey wrote on her Facebook page.

Vogue's April issue is available on newsstands now.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Ledisi Says "Intimate Truth" Tour Is "R&B at Its Finest"

Image Courtesy Derek Blanks/UniversalWith a few dates remaining her Intimate Truth tour, Ledisi is reflecting on the response her North American trek, alongside her supporting acts Raheem DeVaughn and Leela James, has garnered so far. The singer tells ABC Radio that fan will see the whole range of R&B on display at the shows.

"They will see themselves on stage. They will see energy. They will see R&B at its finest, not just me but from other artists -- Leelah James and Raheem Devaughn that's with me," the singer says. "We're giving it all, but there's different versions of soul that they're going to be educated on, which I love. "

The singer says a big part of the energy comes from the diverse crowd the tour is drawing. "R&B is alive and well and the response is so great, because it's a different audience, it's not just old school," she says. "The people are all over the place -- you have people that are high end and low end, it doesn't matte. It's like everyone came to enjoy and be uplifted and you can tell they've been waiting for this -- it's refreshing." 

Ledisi's Intimate Truth tour concludes at Atlanta's Symphony Hall on March 29.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Did 1D's Harry Styles Cry Over Zayn Malik's Departure? Meanwhile, Fans Go In-Zayn Over News

ABC/Lou RoccoIt wasn't just millions of teens worldwide who burst into tears Wednesday at the news that Zayn Malik had left One Direction: his bandmate Harry Styles was choked up too.

Us Weekly magazine reports Harry was caught on stage during the band's concert Wednesday in Jakarta, Indonesia wiping away tears.  It's not clear if Zayn's departure was the reason for his sadness, though.  A source tells the magazine that the band "knew it was coming" after Zayn left the tour and flew home to the U.K., citing "exhaustion."  Said an insider, "He just wasn’t happy. He felt he had gotten everything he can out of being in the band and that it was now time to change his life and be away from all the craziness."

As for the band's fans, social media has been filled with countless tweets and Vines of girls getting hysterical over the news that 1D is now a quartet.  Sixteen-year-old 1D superfan Janelle Holm tells ABC Radio, "I was like, oh my God, this cannot be happening. I almost had a panic attack during homeroom."  She adds that her friends were "shocked and crying and stuff like that," but others were "really mad" at the singer.

Why?  "Because he left," she explains. "Because he was like, 'I'm only going to take a break.' We should have gotten closure from him, because he didn't tweet anything...Like, I feel like he should have tweeted something."

Asked if she thinks the band will survive, Janelle says, "I hope so. I mean if they don't it will definitely be horrible for the whole fandom."  As for why she thinks Zayn ultimately made the decision to leave, she thinks it's due to the fact that he's engaged to Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards.

"I feel like they have been putting off their wedding for so long because of his busy schedule," notes Janelle.  "But I feel like it's the stress of the wedding that he's planning and the tour that brought this on."

And if 1D can't stand the stress of losing Zayne, and ends up breaking up?

"Man, I will lay down in my bed and cry for a week," says the teen.

Malik himself is seeking the life of a "normal 22-year-old," but to hear his fans tell it, nothing with ever be normal again.

It is no surprise that the hyper-connected demographic that made the boy band world famous would take to social media to express their pain. Here are just a few of the countless references that popped up on Twitter:

"zayn left one direction???? @god what did i do wrong"

"Obama gotta speak on Zayn Malik leaving One Direction"

"I'D GIVE MY LIFE UP TO BRING ZAYN BACK"

"ZAYN CANT LEAVE US LIKE THAT HE CHANGED OUR GO*DAMN LIVES ITS NOT HAPPENING"

Even Game of Thrones author George RR Martin, infamous for killing off his beloved characters, tweeted, "This is what happens when 1D asks me to guest write a song..." 

While much of the fan drama can be chalked up to harmless tween and teen heartbreak, a much more serious angle emerged online, with the hashtag #Cut4Zayn -- complete with graphic posted pics of fans who cut themselves to show their devotion -- trending. 

Meanwhile, Harry Styles tweeted late on Wednesday, "All the love as always," while Liam Payne tweeted early Thursday, "So glad to be in bed after a long and strange 24 hours." 

Niall Horan also tweeted on Thursday, "Been a mad few days and your support has been incredible as per usual! This in turn spurs us on to make the best music we possibly can, put on great shows / tours for you guys. You are the best fans in the world and you deserve nothing less from us! The lads and I arrived in South Africa this morning . We cannot wait to see all you SA fans for the first time and have great shows."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Mariah Carey Performs "Carpool Karaoke" with "Late Late Show" Host James Corden

Mark Cant/FoxOn Wednesday night's installment of The Late Late Show with James Corden, the new host launched a new sketch called "Carpool Karaoke," which he created to help fight the Los Angeles traffic and HOV violations the newcomer to L.A. apparently accrued.

His first passenger was none other than Mariah Carey.

Corden asked Mariah if she wanted to hear some music during their car trip and then proceeded to turn on the radio. When Mariah's "Always Be My Baby" began, the singer replied, "That's not an accident, I know your act."

"It's a new car," Corden insisted lamely. "I don't know how to change the radio station." And despite refusing to sing, claiming she'd been "up all night," Mariah proved game, singing along to that hit, as well as others, including "Fantasy" -- with Corden doing ODB's part, naturally.

They also sang parts of "Vision of Love" -- with Corden singing the lead, and blowing the lyrics -- and "Thirsty."

They also cheekily swapped accents.

Mariah is expected to release a new album later this year, a collection of 18 of her biggest hits titled #1's. Mariah begins her residency, Mariah Carey No. 1s, at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on May 6.

As they drove around, the topic of her record-breaking number of number ones, not coincidentally, came up. "That's why my age stays 18," Carey remarked. "See, we'll [always] celebrate my 18th birthday," Carey said, "with the fact I've had 18 Number Ones."

When Mariah started to primp in the mirror on the visor, Corden said. "You're so hot. Stop it...I'm a married man. You have to stop what you're doing. I can read you like a book."

"Oh my goodness," Carey replied. "I know that I'm your dream lover, I love that I'm your dream lover..." she said.

As they pulled into the CBS Studio where the Late Late Show is taped, Corden asked Mariah if she's going to get home okay. "I think I'll just hitch a ride until somebody picks me up," she deadpanned.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Thursday
Mar262015

"American Idol" Recap: Boy George Tells Contestants to "Enjoy What You're Doing"; Two Are Eliminated

Michael Becker/FOXBoy George took time out from planning his just announced North American tour with Culture Club Wednesday to appear on American Idol where he advised the remaining top nine hopefuls to simply "enjoy what you're doing."

Boy George sat down with the Idol hopefuls and told them, “Vulnerability is so important...if you sing something from your heart, [the audience] connect[s] to that. When asked about the best advice he's ever received, Boy George urged the contestants to “enjoy what you’re doing.”

“Don’t make it into a drama,” he warned, "leave that to me.”

Boy George said he agreed to coach the contestants because he “loves singers” and "it's such a pleasure to work with people" with such a wide range of voices.

Boy George's tour with Culture Club kicks off July 20 in Denver, Colorado, and wraps up August 16 in Orlando, Florida.

Wednesday’s two-hour edition of American Idol also featured a double elimination and a musical performance by David Hasselhoff.

The nine contestants who advanced as a result of America’s votes are: Daniel Seavey, Quentin Alexander, Joey Cook, Tyanna Jones, Jax, Nick Fradiani, Clark Beckham, Qaasim Middleton and Rayvon Owen.

Adanna Duru and Maddie Walker were sent home.

Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. were back behind the judges' table, and Idol mentor Scott Borchetta advised the contestants with Boy George.

In keeping with the theme of Wednesday's broadcast, which was “Tribute to the 80s,” Hasselhoff was there to hand the envelope containing the results of America’s votes to host Ryan Seacrest.

Hasselhoff then performed a medley of popular '80s hits that included Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves and Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up."

In honor of Boy George, the Idol contestants performed Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon."

Here's a rundown of Wednesday's performances:

The first saved contestant of the night was Daniel Seavey, who tackled Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True.” Boy George advised the 15-year-old to ignore his critics, because that would ultimately affect his performance.

Keith said Daniel's performance seemed to get stronger as it progressed and he told teen he needed to learn how to “get comfortable quicker.” Jennifer agreed and added that the song was well-suited to Daniel’s voice. Harry said the vocals were just “pretty good,” and he urged the teen to throw away his choreographed moves and just have fun.

Quentin Alexander sang the Phil Collins hit “In the Air Tonight.”  During rehearsal, he admitted he needed to work on his pitch, but Boy George advised him that breath control was more important. Borchetta said when Quentin relaxes and just sings, he’s “mesmerizing.”

Jennifer thought Quentin's “cool factor was on a thousand,” adding it was a “home run.” Harry loved the performance, but noted Quentin sang mostly slows songs and suggested he change it up. Keith loved Quentin's artistry, but said the New Orleans native needed to sing with more authority and “own the song.”

Tyanna Jones impressed the judges with her version of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me).” Boy George said it was like “going into the ring with Tyson.” He added, “The only worry I have with Tyanna is that she might, in the moment, show off,” adding, “There’s nothing wrong with showing off, I’ve been doing it for thirty years.”

Keith loved the performance, but thought Tyanna could relax a little more. J-Lo agreed, telling her to do what she was “born to d-o.” Harry loved that Tyanna was “in the driver’s seat” during her performance, but warned her not to become complacent.

Also saved on Wednesday was Nick Fradiani, who sang Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” Borchetta noted he’d been working with the singer on connecting with the audience. Boy George noted that Nick tends to “panic” on stage, which causes him to sing from his chest. He hoped Nick could “find some ground.”

Harry, noting the source of Nick's charisma is his humility, thought he chose the perfect song to showcase that. Keith praised Nick for showing off his “million dollar smile” throughout the song. Jennifer urged the 29-year-old not to think too much, urging him instead to just concentrate on the lyrics.

Clark Beckham also advanced. He sang The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” Boy George suggested he lower the key of the song, but Clark stuck with his original key.

The gamble paid off. Keith thought the performance showed heart and took him “on a journey.” Jennifer said she “got the goosies” and praised every aspect of the performance. Harry had “good news and bad news” for Clark. The bad news was that Clark was up against artists who jump around the stage and are more dynamic. The good news was that the singer didn’t have to do any of that.

Qaasim Middleton needed the judges' “save” last week to stay in the competition, but he got America’s seal of approval this time. Borchetta said the challenge for Qaasim with his version of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” was to recreate the excitement he brought to the stage last week. Boy George said Qaasim has a great voice and is a great storyteller.

Qaasim didn’t bring the excitement he showed last week, but J-Lo and Harry both loved the more reserved tone of Wednesday's performance. Keith thought everybody got to hear the contestant’s voice in a way they hadn’t before.

There were performances by other finalists that left the judges unimpressed:

On Boy George’s advice, Joey Cook bounced around the stage as she sang Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Harry thought she looked “distracted.” Jennifer said it was a good song for her, but she couldn’t “find her groove” in it. Borchetta had said that Joey was the contestant who was the most excited to meet Boy George. She received a hug from the singer.

Jax started and ended her performance of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” on the piano. Jennifer and Harry thought she looked a little lost when she left the piano. Keith said the performance “wasn’t put together right.”

Rayvon Owen, who ended up in the bottom three with Adanna Duru and Maddie Walker, sang Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Harry thought it was good from an interpretive standpoint. Keith thought he needed to relax more. Jennifer urged Rayvon to take more chances.

The show also included Salt-N-Pepa performing “Push It.”

The theme of the show next week will be the "Kelly Clarkson Songbook," with Clarkson also appearing on the show.

American Idol airs next Wednesday on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Thursday
Mar262015

"American Idol" Recap: Two Hopefuls Go Home, Boy George Coaches, David Hasselhoff Sings

Michael Becker/FOXThe top nine finalists were revealed on Wednesday’s two-hour edition of American Idol, an installment that featured a double elimination, singing advice from Boy George and a musical performance by David Hasselhoff.

The nine contestants who advanced as a result of America’s votes are: Daniel Seavey, Quentin Alexander, Joey Cook, Tyanna Jones, Jax, Nick Fradiani, Clark Beckham, Qaasim Middleton and Rayvon Owen.

Adanna Duru and Maddie Walker were sent home.

Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. were back behind the judges' table and Idol mentor Scott Borchetta enlisted Boy George to help guide the contestants.

In keeping with the theme of Wednesday's broadcast, which was “Tribute to the 80s,” David Hasselhoff was there to hand the envelope containing the results of America’s votes to host Ryan Seacrest.

Hasselhoff then performed a medley of popular '80s hits that included Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves and Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up."

In honor of Boy George, the Idol contestants performed Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon."

Here's a rundown of Wednesday's performances:

The first saved contestant of the night was Daniel Seavey, who tackled Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True.” Boy George advised the 15-year-old to ignore his critics, because that would ultimately affect his performance.

Keith said Daniel's performance seemed to get stronger as it progressed and he told teen he needed to learn how to “get comfortable quicker.” Jennifer agreed and added that the song was well-suited to Daniel’s voice. Harry said the vocals were just “pretty good,” and he urged the teen to throw away his choreographed moves and just have fun.

Quentin Alexander sang the Phil Collins hit “In the Air Tonight.”  During rehearsal, he admitted he needed to work on his pitch, but Boy George advised him that breath control was more important. Borchetta said when Quentin relaxes and just sings, he’s “mesmerizing.”

Jennifer thought Quentin's “cool factor was on a thousand,” adding it was a “home run.” Harry loved the performance, but noted Quentin sang mostly slows songs and suggested he change it up. Keith loved Quentin's artistry, but said the New Orleans native needed to sing with more authority and “own the song.”

Tyanna Jones impressed the judges with her version of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me).” Boy George said it was like “going into the ring with Tyson.” He added, “The only worry I have with Tyanna is that she might, in the moment, show off,” adding, “There’s nothing wrong with showing off, I’ve been doing it for thirty years.”

Keith loved the performance, but thought Tyanna could relax a little more. J-Lo agreed, telling her to do what she was “born to d-o.” Harry loved that Tyanna was “in the driver’s seat” during her performance, but warned her not to become complacent.

Also saved on Wednesday was Nick Fradiani, who sang Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” Borchetta noted he’d been working with the singer on connecting with the audience. Boy George noted that Nick tends to “panic” on stage, which causes him to sing from his chest. He hoped Nick could “find some ground.”

Harry, noting the source of Nick's charisma is his humility, thought he chose the perfect song to showcase that. Keith praised Nick for showing off his “million dollar smile” throughout the song. Jennifer urged the 29-year-old not to think too much, urging him instead to just concentrate on the lyrics.

Clark Beckham also advanced. He sang The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” Boy George suggested he lower the key of the song, but Clark stuck with his original key.

The gamble paid off. Keith thought the performance showed heart and took him “on a journey.” Jennifer said she “got the goosies” and praised every aspect of the performance. Harry had “good news and bad news” for Clark. The bad news was that Clark was up against artists who jump around the stage and are more dynamic. The good news was that the singer didn’t have to do any of that.

Qaasim Middleton needed the judges' “save” last week to stay in the competition, but he got America’s seal of approval this time. Borchetta said the challenge for Qaasim with his version of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” was to recreate the excitement he brought to the stage last week. Boy George said Qaasim has a great voice and is a great storyteller.

Qaasim didn’t bring the excitement he showed last week, but J-Lo and Harry both loved the more reserved tone of Wednesday's performance. Keith thought everybody got to hear the contestant’s voice in a way they hadn’t before.

There were performances by other finalists that left the judges unimpressed:

On Boy George’s advice, Joey Cook bounced around the stage as she sang Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Harry thought she looked “distracted.” Jennifer said it was a good song for her, but she couldn’t “find her groove” in it. Borchetta had said that Joey was the contestant who was the most excited to meet Boy George. She received a hug from the singer.

Jax started and ended her performance of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” on the piano. Jennifer and Harry thought she looked a little lost when she left the piano. Keith said the performance “wasn’t put together right.”

Rayvon Owen, who ended up in the bottom three with Adanna Duru and Maddie Walker, sang Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Harry thought it was good from an interpretive standpoint. Keith thought he needed to relax more. Jennifer urged Rayvon to take more chances.

The show also included Salt-N-Pepa performing “Push It.”

The theme of the show next week will be the "Kelly Clarkson Songbook," with Clarkson also appearing on the show.

American Idol airs next Wednesday on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Michael Schenker Says New Temple of Rock Album "Entertains from the Beginning to the End"

Image Courtesy of Chipster PRMichael Schenker was on a mission when he made his latest album with his current group Temple of Rock. The veteran rock guitarist tells ABC Radio that the newly released record, Spirit on a Mission, is "a really well-balanced album that entertains from the beginning to the end…with really good vocals and melodies."

Schenker, who is best known for his work with The Scorpions, UFO and his own Michael Schenker Group, says he went into the new project with high expectations thanks to the chemistry he's developed with the current lineup of Temple of Rock.  This incarnation of the band -- which includes ex-Scorpions drummer Herman Rarebell and bassist Francis Buchholz, former Rainbow singer Doogie White and longtime Schenker collaborator Wayne Findlay -- previously recorded the 2012 album Bridge the Gap, and Michael felt like the group could "bring it to the next level" on the new project.

"The idea was to really make this album very, very energetic and hard and fast and very melodic and sounding adventurous," he explains. "And to make the whole album read like a book…that keeps it exciting and you don't want to finish reading until [the end]."

Schenker tells ABC Radio that part of his plan for Spirit on a Mission was to use more seven-string guitar to help achieve "a bigger spectrum of sounds on one album and combine the older with the new and…to express as many experiences and emotions that have been accumulated over the years as possible."

To help achieve that balance he mentioned, Michael points out, "I wrote like five really fast songs with a lot of energy, and…I wrote a couple of songs like I used to do with UFO, like mid-tempo type [tunes]."

While Schenker says he has a hard time picking a favorite song from the album, he does shower praise on the lead track, "Live and Let Live."

"It's like a train that never stops, [with] great vocals on it, and really good melodies," he tells ABC Radio.  "It's just entertaining and it's energetic."

Michael also likes "Savior Machine," a song driven by seven-string guitar that he says "turned out to be an epic."

As for where the title Spirit on a Mission came from, Schenker reveals that he took it from a comment he once made to an interviewer who asked him what he'd liked to be remembered as.

"The whole sentence goes, 'I'm a spirit on a mission, spreading the joy of music from a place of pure self-expression,'" he notes.  "And that's basically who I am."

Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock had been scheduled to kick off a U.S. tour on Wednesday, but the first three shows of the trek have been postponed.  The tour now is slated to get under way on April 1 in Orangevale, California.  Visit MichaelSchenkerHimself.com to check out the band's full itinerary.

 
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Recent Brian Wilson Concert Celebrating His New Album to Air on PBS' "Soundstage"

Image Courtesy of Capitol RecordsA special episode of the long-running PBS performance series Soundstage celebrating Brian Wilson's latest solo album, No Pier Pressure, will premiere shortly after the record's April 7 release.

The program, which according to Wilson's official Facebook page will begin airing on April 9, will features performances from a concert held his past December at the Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas.  At the show, the Beach Boys mastermind was joined by many of the artists who lent their talents to No Pier Pressure, including Brian's longtime band mate Al Jardine, former Beach Boys sidemen Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar, fun. singer Nate Ruess, jazz trumpet player Mark Isham and Sebu Simonian of the indie-pop act Capital Cities.

Several videos showing highlights from the concert have been posted on Soundstage's YouTube channel, including a trailer for the special.  The clip shows snippets of a variety of songs being performed, including a few tunes from No Pier Pressure, the Beach Boys classics "Sloop John B" and "Good Vibrations," and a couple of lesser-known tunes by the band such as "Wild Honey" and "Our Prayer."  The preview also includes a snippet of a pre-taped segment capturing Wilson and actress/She & Him singer Zooey Deschanel in a studio performing their No Pier Pressure duet "On the Island."

A few full-length live performances from the special also are viewable at the Soundstage YouTube page, including renditions of the No Pier Pressure tunes "The Right Time" and "Sail Away," and The Beach Boys' "Wild Honey."

No official announcement has been made about Wilson's Soundstage episode, but you can check PBS.org closer to the show's April 9 premiere to find out the air times and dates in your area.

In other news, Wilson is taking part in a new fan Q&A on Thursday, March 26, that will be hosted by his Facebook page starting at 4 p.m. ET.  Visit Brian's Facebook site now to submit your questions.


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Thursday
Mar262015

Killswitch Engage Preparing Live DVD

Credit: Vegar AbelsnesKillswitch Engage is planning to release footage from their 2014 Halloween show at The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts as a live DVD. Frontman Jesse Leach revealed the news by linking to an Instagram post by frequent band video collaborator Ian McFarland, who filmed the show.

"Today I onlined and mastered the new @killswitchengage Live Halloween Concert Film we directed back in October. It looks and sounds amazing," wrote McFarland. Leach then added, "Among the things in the works there is this in addition to some other cool stuff for an eventual DVD release."

All That Remains opened at that Halloween show, but it is unclear if any of their performance will make the live DVD.

Meanwhile, Killswitch Engage just released a new track, entitled "Loyalty," for the new Game of Thrones mixtape, Catch the Throne: The Mixtape Vol. 2. Other artists to contribute to the mixtape include Mastodon and Anthrax.

In more Killswitch Engage news, the band will be reissuing their latest album, 2013's Disarm the Descent, as a gold double vinyl record. The limited-edition record will be released on March 31.


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