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Tuesday
Jul282015

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is Blake Shelton's middle name? ANSWER: Tollison.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

New James Bond Theme Song Is Done -- but Who Sang It? Sam? Ellie? Ed?

Douglas Gorenstein/NBCThere's been a lot of speculation about who's going to sing the theme song for Spectre, the next James Bond movie -- but it turns out the song has already been recorded.  So, who got the job?  According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Sam Mendes says we won't have to "wait long" to find out, but bookmakers in the U.K. are already placing bets on the most likely candidates. Unsurprisingly, Sam Smith is the front-runner.

Bookies have Sam at 2/5 odds as the Spectre singer, even though he's publicly denied it.  If he does end up being the one, he'll be the first British male solo singer to do a Bond theme since 1965, when Tom Jones sang "Thunderball."  Meanwhile, bookies have Sam's buddy Ed Sheeran at 8/1 -- he's publicly said that he doesn't think he could do a good job. 

Ellie Goulding is at 10/1, even though Sam said has stated that she got the job, and she recently tweeted "Live and Let Die."  That's the title of a 1974 Bond film.

Adele, who won an Oscar and a Grammy for the theme to the last Bond film, Skyfall, is at 12/1 odds, while singer Lana Del Rey is at 14/1.  Bookies have Lorde at 16/1, but as The Hollywood Reporter notes, she's deeply involved with another movie franchise, The Hunger Games, so it's probably unlikely she'd take this one on as well.

Mendes says the theme sounds "fantastic."  We'll just have to wait and see.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Billy Joel Says He'll Write a Song for His New Baby 

Credit: Myrna SuarezBilly Joel's daughter with Christie Brinkley, Alexa Ray, has inspired many of his songs, from "Temptation" to "Goodnight My Angel" to "The Downeaster 'Alexa.'"  Now, the Piano Man says he'll pen a new tune for the baby he and his new wife are expecting next month.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Billy says, "I'm going to write a song for the kid, or something.  Alexa...was always enchanted with music even before there were words."   No word on whether or not the song will have lyrics or if he'll ever release the tune: Billy hasn't put out an album of pop songs since 1993's River of Dreams.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also discusses his relationship with his former tour partner Elton John, whose record for most performances by a solo artist at New York's Madison Square Garden he recently broke.  During that record-breaking show, Billy played Elton's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," but he says he wasn't doing it to needle the Rocket Man. 

"That was really an homage," he tells EW.  "He's, like, the guy before me!  He was the piano player before I was a Piano Man. I felt humbled by it -- to play [the Garden] 65 times and beat his record. I thought, 'I'd like to tip my hat to the man.'"

While Billy and Elton have had had their ups and downs over the years -- with Elton publicly criticizing Billy for not releasing enough albums and for not taking rehab seriously -- Billy says they buried the hatchet "a long time ago" during a sit-down meeting.  Asked to describe what that was like, Billy says, "He was concerned. I think he's a little scared of me sometimes, like 'What's he going to do?'" 

He laughs, "I'd tie his shoes [together] on stage while he [was] playing the piano, just to f*** him up."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Neil Young and John Mellencamp to Headline Farm Aid 30

Farm AidFarm Aid will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year in Chicago with an eclectic lineup headlined by Neil Young and John Mellencamp. The bill also includes Mavis Staples.

Young and Mellencamp, along with country legend Willie Nelson, are members of the Farm Aid board.

"We organized the first Farm Aid concert in Illinois in 1985 to respond to the people suffering during the Farm Crisis," says Nelson in a statement. "Thirty years later, in Chicago, we'll bring together so many of the people -- farmers, eaters, advocates and activists -- who have made the progress of the Good Food Movement possible. At Farm Aid 30, we'll celebrate the impact we’ve had and rally our supporters for the work ahead."

Farm Aid 30 will be held September 19 at Chicago's FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. Tickets will go on sale August 3 at 10 a.m. CT. For more information, visit FarmAid.org.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Imagine Dragons, Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson to Play Farm Aid 30

Farm AidFarm Aid will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year in Chicago with an eclectic lineup featuring Imagine Dragons, Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson.

Matthews, who's a Farm Aid board member alongside country legend Willie Nelson and classic rockers Neil Young and John Mellencamp, will be playing alongside frequent collaborator Tim Reynolds.

"We organized the first Farm Aid concert in Illinois in 1985 to respond to the people suffering during the Farm Crisis," says Nelson in a statement. "Thirty years later, in Chicago, we'll bring together so many of the people -- farmers, eaters, advocates and activists -- who have made the progress of the Good Food Movement possible. At Farm Aid 30, we'll celebrate the impact we’ve had and rally our supporters for the work ahead."

Farm Aid 30 will be held September 19 at Chicago's FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. Tickets will go on sale August 3 at 10 a.m. CT. For more information, visit FarmAid.org.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Jermaine Jackson Offers Update on Father's Condition, Thanks Doctors

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty ImagesJermaine Jackson thanked the doctors in Brazil who're taking care of his father, Joe Jackson, who fell ill there Sunday.

"Thank you for the love & prayers for our father. Following a heart procedure, he remains in hospital where he's doing 'extremely well'," Jermaine tweeted Monday night.

"Doctors say cardiac arrest followed a mini-stroke. Thankfully, brain scans show it's 'not as bad as first feared'. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the wonderful surgeons, doctors and nurses at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo," he added.

Joe Jackson was in Brazil celebrating his 87th birthday, which was Sunday, when he suffered the heart attack and stroke. 

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Jason Derulo Says "So You Think You Can Dance" Experience Has Been Humbling, "Amazing"

Brooklin Rosenstock/FOXJason Derulo is a singer and songwriter, but this year, he added "reality show judge" to his resume, joining the panel of Fox's long-running series So You Think You Can Dance.  As the show heads into the home stretch, the "Want to Want You" singer says his time on the panel this season has been a real learning experience for him.

"I think as a performer you should be able to humble yourself enough to learn from anybody," Jason tells ABC Radio. "Whether they’re professional or not, you should be able to be so humble that you can take insight from anywhere. So this show has offered me a bunch of that."

He adds, "You know, I sit next to Paula Abdul, who is probably one of the most influential choreographers, Nigel Lythgoe, who’s the creator of the show, and it’s been amazing."

Not only has Jason been able to soak up knowledge from those two veterans but, he says, the contestants have a thing or two to teach him as well.

"I get to watch amazing dancers from all across the world and they all bring something totally different, you know what I’m saying? So I definitely take heed," Jason tells ABC Radio.  "And I’m able to give off a lot of the information that I’ve garnered over the years. I have so much that I can give." 

While he's on the show, Jason doesn't have a lot of time to perform on stage himself, but he has a few tour dates coming up starting this weekend at the Dubuque County Fair in Iowa.  He's also appearing at the Wisconsin State Fair on August 7, and at the Washington State Fair on September 26.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockTanya Tucker will perform the national anthem prior to the Bojangles' Southern 500 NASCAR race on September 6 in Darlington, South Carolina.

Blake Shelton has released "Gonna" as the latest single from his current album, Bringing Back the Sunshine.

Randy Houser's new video, "We Went," premieres this Saturday morning on CMT Hot 20 Countdown.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

#WeWent Music Video Premiere coming Saturday on @CMT!

A video posted by Randy Houser (@randyhouser) on Jul 27, 2015 at 1:44pm PDT


 

Tuesday
Jul282015

Hot Tuna to Celebrate Jorma Kaukonen's 75th Birthday at the Beacon Theatre

Scotty HallHot Tuna’s annual New York City bash will double as a 75th birthday celebration of guitarist Jorma Kaukonen.

The "Freakin' at the Beacon" party, hosted at the Beacon Theatre, will take place 8 p.m. November 20 and 21, with two electric sets and "numerous special guests" to be announced in the coming months.

Previous birthday celebrations included appearances by Jefferson Airplane’s Marty Balin, Steve Earle, Warren Hayes, Pete Sears, John Hammond, Cindy Cashdollar, Bill Kirchen, G.E. Smith, Lincoln Schleifer and Steve Kimock.

Kaukonen, the founding guitarist of Jefferson Airplane, continues to perform as a solo artist and in Hot Tuna, his popular folk-blues duo with Jeffeson Airplane bassist Jack Casady.  Jorma, Jack and some special guests will be commemorating the Airplane's 50th anniversary during a September 11 set at the 2015 Lockn' Festival in Arrington, Virginia.

Kaukonen also is currently promoting his latest solo record, Ain't in No Hurry.

Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

What a Fool Believes: Doobie Brothers Sue Cover Band over "Confusingly Similar" Name

Jim O'Shea/Courtesy Doobie Brothers

It seems The Doobie Brothers really do take the  band name quite seriously, case in point: the band is suing the group The Doobie Decibel System over trademark usage claiming the band’s name is “confusingly similar” to theirs, according to Billboard.

On Friday, Doobie Brothers Corp. and Doobro Entertainment sued the Northern California folk-rock cover duo-which consists of musicians Jason Crosby and Roger McNamee. The band said it successfully trademarked the words "Doobie Brothers" and "Doobies" for musical performances in 1982.

The band is arguing that Crosby and McNamee’s use of "Doobie" in their band’s name exhibits "willful intent to trade on the fame and reputation, or to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive consumers.” They want the group to stop using the name DDS immediately and are seeking punitive damages for trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition.  They also are requesting a full accounting of the group’s earnings.

Crosby and McNamee are far from novice musicians. Crosby has played with Bob Weir, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana while McNamee performs in the jam band, Moonshine and is the co-founder of prominent venture capital firms Silver Lake Partners and Elevation Partners, the latter he founded with U2's Bono.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Civil Twilight Talks Getting Personal, Maturing and Having Fun on "Story of an Immigrant" 

Image Courtesy of Sacks & Co.Civil Twilight is currently on tour in support of their newly released third album, Story of an Immigrant. The title of the record carries a literal meaning for the band, as they hail from South Africa. In fact, they count Story of an Immigrant as their most personal album to date.

"I think lyrically, definitely [Story of an Immigrant is more personal]," vocalist Steven McKellar tells ABC Radio. "A lot of looking back at our childhood. And I think musically a lot of looking back as well."

"A lot more early influences from South Africa kinda crept into the music this time around, which hasn't really happened on the last albums as much," adds drummer Richard Wouters.

Earlier in their career, Civil Twilight garnered many comparisons to bands like Muse, U2 and The Police, but for Story of an Immigrant, the band wanted to create an album that better reflected the music of their upbringing.

"We got filtered down all this music from Europe and the U.K. and the States, and I think we were just kinda like enamored by that music for so long," McKellar explains. "We wanted to make that and sort of ignore what was around us and just kinda look at what was coming in on the ships, as it were. Now I think we're just willing to really embrace what we were surrounded by as kids."

While Civil Twilight looked towards their childhood on Story of an Immigrant, McKeller felt that he was maturing as a musician and a songwriter, especially when compared to the difference between the band's self-titled debut and their sophomore album, Holy Weather.

'I listen to [Holy Weather] and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, Steve,'" McKellar tells ABC Radio. "It's like embarrassing because it seems like I'm just revolting against what I did before [and] reacting to the attention that the first record got and how much I've grown and trying to prove a point: 'This is how much I've grown, take a look at this!' And this record I think we just got beyond that."

That maturation allowed Civil Twilight to make a more concise record with Story of an Immigrant, and, overall, "have some fun," which resulted in the album's lead single, "Holy Dove." The track features heavy, synth-based riffs and is punctuated by the line, "I'm not going down with the rest of you." McKellar likes that the line is open to interpretation, although he has his own understanding of its meaning that he has declined to share.

"I've told like two people what I wrote the lyrics from, what the perspective was for me. I told two people and they both were like, 'Oh my gosh, that's so lame! Don't tell anybody that!'" McKellar laughs. 

Civil Twilight's next tour stop is tonight, July 28, in Cleveland. Story of an Immigrant is out now.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Michael Ray Fills in the Blank About What Happens Overnight in "Kiss Me in the Morning"

Warner Music NashvilleCountry newcomer Michael Ray's debut hit, "Kiss You in the Morning," leaves a lot to the imagination between the last two lines of the chorus -- "I wanna kiss you with the neon light in your eyes glowing/Then I wanna kiss you in the morning." While it's obvious where this romantic night is leading, Michael thinks there's at least one stop before the couple in the song heads home.

"There was a 3 a.m. Waffle House visit for sure," Michael tells ABC Radio. "That's the time where you're recapping the night, you know, and you're rethinking. The lights are on, you're sobering up a little bit, and you're going, 'OK, we're good. Everybody still agrees with this.'"

Of course, a trip to the Waffle House isn't complete without spending some money on the jukebox. So, which songs would Michael play to set the right mood for the night?

He says, "I would always start with some classic Keith Whitley, some good, good classic country songs."

Besides "Kiss You in the Morning," Michael says he would definitely play John Legend's romantic hit, "All of Me."

"['All of Me'] is what you probably asked her to dance to," Michael says. "You know, 'All of Me' is great. John Legend has really helped a lot of us out."

"Kiss You in the Morning" is the lead single from Michael Ray's self-titled album, out Friday, August 7.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Dave Grohl "Cried Like a Baby" at Florence + the Machine's "Times Like These" Cover 

Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBSAfter Dave Grohl broke his leg at a show in Sweden, Foo Fighters were forced to cancel their headlining set at U.K. mega-festival Glastonbury. Luckily, Florence + the Machine was able to fill in for the Foos, and they even covered "Times Like These" in honor of Grohl.

"The day after the gig, someone sent me a link to the performance and I cried like a f****** baby," Grohl tells Q of watching Florence tackle his hit 2003 single. "It melted my f****** heart. I am forever indebted to them. It meant so much, you have no idea."

Grohl was also able to commiserate with frontwoman Florence Welch about his injured leg, as Welch had previously broken her foot when she jumped off stage while performing at this year's Coachella.

"She gave me great advice for healing broken bones," Grohl says.

Foo Fighters will resume their North American tour on August 12 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Bobbi Kristina's Story Isn't Over Yet: "People Are Gonna Want Answers"

Lifetime

The death on Sunday of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown's only child, Bobbi Kristina Brown has closed a chapter, but the story is far from over, says Essence Entertainment Director Cori Murray.

"No, it isn’t. I mean, on one hand, there’s no more suffering for Bobbi Kristina, but on the other hand there are tons of questions that still need to be answered, why this 22-year-old girl has left us," she tells ABC Radio.

Although preliminary autopsy results from the Fulton County Georgia Medical Examiner on Monday did not reveal an obvious cause of death, and no significant injuries were found,  the Fulton County District Attorney's investigation into Bobbi Kristina's passing remains open.  Murray says that people want to know the truth about what led to Kristina being found face-down in her bathtub back in January.

"I think a number of people are gonna want answers," she says, given Whitney Houston's stardom. "This is not something that will be swept under the rug.  Ultimately will this have been a homicide? You know, those are the things we’re gonna need to know and I think the public is gonna demand that."

Murray also addressed the rumors that Brown's partner, Nick Gordon, was somehow involved.  "You’re relieved that the pain is gone, but what happened? What went on in that townhouse? What was their relationship like?" Murray says. "I mean, there’s just so many unanswered questions that we all need answers to."

She adds that Bobbi Kristina never truly recovered from Whitney's own death.  "This was something that, you know, just seemed to haunt her a bit. You know, losing her mother and losing her mother publicly -- while most people can grieve privately, she had to grieve with everyone," she says. "And in the way she lost her mother...I think this wasn’t inevitable, I think it’s just ultimately really sad."

While Murray predicts that Bobbi Kristina eventually would have "found her place in the spotlight," she says her death is doubly sad because for many, she was seen as the last remaining link to Houston herself.

"It’s so heartbreaking because everyone loved Whitney so much. Whitney was all of our favorite singer. To see her battle her demons like she did and ultimately lose that battle with those demons, so yes, and here it is her one and only child who didn’t get to fulfill her legacy," she says. "I think that’s what kind of really makes this painful, that Bobbi Kristina couldn’t live out her days."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jul282015

Billy Joel Says He'll Write a Song for His New Baby 

Credit: Myrna SuarezBilly Joel's daughter with Christie Brinkley, Alexa Ray, has inspired many of his songs, from "Temptation" to "Goodnight My Angel" to "The Downeaster 'Alexa.'"  Now, the Piano Man says he'll pen a new tune for the baby he and his new wife are expecting next month.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Billy says, "I'm going to write a song for the kid, or something.  Alexa...was always enchanted with music even before there were words."   No word on whether or not the song will have lyrics or if he'll ever release the tune: Billy hasn't put out an album of pop songs since 1993's River of Dreams.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also discusses his relationship with his former tour partner Elton John, whose record for most performances by a solo artist at New York's Madison Square Garden he recently broke.  During that record-breaking show, Billy played Elton's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," but he says he wasn't doing it to needle the Rocket Man. 

"That was really an homage," he tells EW.  "He's, like, the guy before me!  He was the piano player before I was a Piano Man. I felt humbled by it -- to play [the Garden] 65 times and beat his record. I thought, 'I'd like to tip my hat to the man.'"

While Billy and Elton have had had their ups and downs over the years -- with Elton publicly criticizing Billy for not releasing enough albums and for not taking rehab seriously -- Billy says they buried the hatchet "a long time ago" during a sit-down meeting.  Asked to describe what that was like, Billy says, "He was concerned. I think he's a little scared of me sometimes, like 'What's he going to do?'" 

He laughs, "I'd tie his shoes [together] on stage while he [was] playing the piano, just to f*** him up."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul272015

Circa Waves' Debut Album "Young Chasers" Set for September U.S. Release

Virgin RecordsCirca Waves' Young Chasers, will be released in the U.S. on September 18. The Liverpool group's debut record was released in their native U.K. earlier this year in March.

If you pre-order Young Chasers now on iTunes, you'll receive instant downloads of five of the album's songs, including lead single "T-Shirt Weather," which currently is charting at Alternative Rock radio.

In support of the Young Chasers U.S. release, Circa Waves will embark on their first ever U.S. headlining tour, which kicks off September 14 in Seattle. Before the tour, they'll make their U.S. festival debut at Lollapalooza on August 2.

Here is the Young Chasers track list:

"Get Away"
"T-Shirt Weather"
"Fossils"
"Lost It"
"My Love"
"Deserve This"
"Young Chasers"
"Good for Me"
"Stuck in My Teeth"
"Best Years"
"The Luck Has Gone"
"So Long"
"Talking Out Loud"
"100 Strangers"

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul272015

Sevendust Announces New Album, "Kill the Flaw" 

Credit: Chris BairdSevendust is turning the electricity back on with their new album, Kill the Flaw. The 11-track record will be released on October 2. You can listen to the lead single from Kill the Flaw, "Thank You," now on YouTube.

Sevendust's last album, 2014's Time Travelers & Bonfires, was an acoustic record featuring unplugged re-workings of some of the band's hits, as well as six new acoustic tracks. Kill the Flaw is Sevendust's first electric album since 2013's Black Out the Sun.

"We took some time off from the heavy side of Sevendust and when it came time to record some new music," says vocalist Lajon Witherspoon in a statement. "[Guitarist] Clint [Lowery], [guitarist] John [Connolly], [bassist] Vinnie [Hornsby], [drummer] Morgan [Rose] and I put everything we had in to what became Kill the Flaw. We love this new music and we can't wait to share it with our amazing Sevendust family!"

Here's the Kill the Flaw track list:

"Thank You"
"Death Dance"
"Forget"
"Letters"
"Cease and Desist"
"Not Today"
"Chop"
"Kill the Flaw"
"Silly Beast"
"Peace and Destruction"
"Torched"

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul272015

Fantasia Barrino Shares Photos of Her Honeymoon

RCA RecordsAfter showing fans a sneak peek video of her wedding day on Instagram, Fantasia Barrino is sharing photos of her honeymoon photos with new husband Kendall Taylor.

Barrino has taken to Instagram to share photos of her tropical vacation, which includes shots of her lounging on the beach and another of herself strolling through a rainforest.

To keep the romance going, her hubby also bought flowers for his bride. "My King never carries cash... Leaves dinner table to walk several blocks for ATM to pay Flower Man... being a Taylor feels so different," she wrote in the caption.

While she didn't reveal the location of their honeymoon, its clear she's cherishing their new life. "Didn't think I could be this Happy....." she added under an Instagram photo.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul272015

Nicki Minaj & Meek Mill Show PDA in "All Eyes on You" Video

ABC/Lou RoccoMeek Mill showed off his relationship with Nicki Minaj in the official video for “All Eyes on You,” the first single off his latest album Dreams Worth More than Money.

In the Benny Boom-directed clip, Meek and his lady lounge around in a sprawling mansion while Chris Brown sings the hook in the hallway. The happy couple get intimate in the bedroom, Nicki splashes in the pool and later they later hit up a night club hand in hand as hip-hop's hottest couple.

The pair will continue to work together closely as they continue Nicki's Pinkprint tour, which wraps up August 19 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul272015

Taylor Swift's Houston Concert Gets Rescheduled Because of Baseball

ABC/ Lou RoccoTaylor Swift just got bumped for baseball. The Houston Astros have rescheduled the singer’s 1989 World Tour stop at Minute Maid Park, just in case they make it to the playoffs and need to use the stadium.

The concert, originally scheduled for October 13, will now take place on September 9. Those who already purchased their tickets for the previous date are guaranteed the same seats. Refunds will be given to those who can no longer attend the rescheduled date.

Taylor had been scheduled to perform in Fargo, North Dakota, on September 9, but that show will now take place in October.

The Astros haven’t made it to the postseason since 2005, but this year they might have a shot. As of Monday morning they were in second place in the American League West and leading in the American League wildcard race.

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