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Friday
Dec192014

Kelly Clarkson Says New Album Will Be "Uplifting" and "Empowering"

RCA RecordsKelly Clarkson hasn't released an album of all-new, non-holiday material since 2011's Stronger, but she'll have a brand-new record coming out in 2015.  What will it sound like?  Well, she describes it as "uplifting" and "empowering" and says that, music-wise, it's got "a little bit of everything."

At a Nashville press conference on Thursday to talk about the benefit concert she's holding on Saturday, Kelly was asked to describe the album, and at first, she decided to make a joke.  "It's amazing. And you're going to love it," she cracked. "You're gonna be like, 'This is right on up there with John Lennon, Imagine. [I] guaran-damn-tee it!"

Then, she backtracked, just in case anyone thought she was serious.

"It's not Imagine. Sarcasm!" she laughed.  "But we can aim!"

Then, getting serious, Kelly said of the new album, "It's an uplifting record. I've always been a person about empowerment and doing empowering songs. There's empowering songs on the record and there's a lot of positive on there."

But Kelly has switched back and forth between pop and country in the next couple of years, what can we expect as far as the genre?

"There's all kinda of genres," said the Nashville-based singer. "I'm obviously affected by the community I live in so there's a little bit of everything. It's a great record."

No word yet on a release date for Kelly's album, which will be her first regular studio album since getting married and becoming mom to daughter River Rose.


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Friday
Dec192014

Hunter Hayes Performs on "Christmas in Washington," Tonight

Image Courtesy TNTHunter Hayes performs for President Obama on tonight's Christmas in Washington special on TNT, but this won't be the first time he's entertained a sitting president. In fact, Hunter sang for his first U.S. president as a seven- or eight-year-old child prodigy in a Cajun band.

Hunter tells ABC News Radio, "It was actually on the White House lawn."

He returned to Washington, D.C. the next year to perform for the president again, but Hunter admits he didn't really understand what a big deal that was as a kid.

He says with a laugh, "I'm 23 now. It means a lot. It means a lot more, you know."

Look for Hunter to perform "Run Run Rudolph" and "Mary, Did You Know" on Christmas in Washington. Performing on this show has been on Hunter's wish list for a while now.

"I've seen, actually, a lot of my favorite artists do it," Hunter explains. "Everything about it is just so [big] -- I mean, the enormous and incredible orchestra, the choir, the band that plays with everybody. The production, the building, and obviously, all for our nation, right? So, it's quite something to walk into and process."

Darius Rucker, Earth Wind & Fire and pop star Rita Ora are also performing on Christmas in Washington. The show, hosted by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET, and you'll see the first family get onstage with all the musical performers at the end and hug them.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec192014

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockRolling Stone Country has selected Kenny Chesney's hit song, "American Kids," as the best country single of 2014.

Sara Evans has two new Christmas performances available for viewing now at YouTube.com/CountryNow.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec192014

K. Michelle Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard R&B Albums Chart 

Keith Major/Atlantic RecordsK. Michelle's latest album, Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart? has not only debuted in the top ten on the Billboard 200 cross-genre album chart, but the project also has topped the magazine's R&B Albums tally, amassing 87,000 in sales and streams for the week.

According to the publication, her sophomore studio set has become her second R&B #1 following her debut album Rebellious Soul. The singer's latest set includes the lead single, "Love 'Em All," which is steadily making progress on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart, climbing from #18 to #13 in its fifth week on the chart.

Earlier this week, Michelle shared an email via Instagram, which was sent from Craig Kallman the chairman/CEO of Atlantic Records, who personally congratulated her for making a "landmark album that will stand the test of time."

"Thanks Rebels for making this album the #1 R&B album in the country with 87,000 units sold. God is really good. Music from the soul will always find its home," she wrote in the caption.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec192014

Jack Johnson Announces Winners of All at Once Sustainability Award

Image Courtesy of Brushfire RecordsDuring Jack Johnson's 2014 tour, the singer-songwriter launched his All at Once campaign, which focused on improving the environmental standards of music venues through plastic-free initiatives and sustainable local food systems. Now, Johnson has announced the three winners of his inaugural All at Once Sustainability Award: Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York; Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland; and the Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, California.

The All at Once Sustainability Award honors "elite venues who excelled in waste reduction and sustainability measures and made every effort to meet Jack Johnson's Environmental Rider during his 2014 From Here to Now to You Tour across North and South America."

"These venues are raising the bar on waste management, plastic-free initiatives, healthy and local food options, alternative transportation systems and much more. The concert experience is improved exponentially for fans and musicians when venues care enough to make these important changes. I came away from my experience at these venues inspired," says Johnson in a statement.

Johnson's 2014 tour was in support of his 2013 album, From Here to Now to You. The album charted number one on the Billboard 200.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec192014

Brandon Flowers Says New Solo Album Is "Definitely Going to Be Different"

Image Courtesy of Brandon Flowers MusicWith The Killers still on their self-imposed hiatus, frontman Brandon Flowers has turned his attention to his second solo album. According to Flowers, the new album, due out in 2015 -- won't sound too much like his solo debut, Flamingo.

"Even though I'm still young, you can start to get set in your ways," Flowers tells NME. "Change is good and there's always growth, I'm always looking for that."

That change will be facilitated by Grammy-winner Ariel Rechtshaid, who will be producing the new album.

"He's really knowledgeable about every genre; it's pretty incredible what he's able to reference and pull out," Flowers says of Rechtshaid. "[The new album is] definitely going to be different, but I'm still in the thick of it, hammering away."

Even though The Killers are taking a break, the band did come together for their annual Christmas single. This year's song was "Joel, the Lump of Coal," which the band recorded with Jimmy Kimmel. Flowers tells NME that they also wanted "Power of Love" singer Huey Lewis to contribute to "Joel, the Lump of Coal."

"Somehow, along the way, Huey lost his involvement," Flowers says. "Jimmy had this idea of a lump of coal who goes to a bad kid and gives up his life and becomes a diamond. It’s kind of genius that it hasn’t been used."


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Friday
Dec192014

Darlene Love to Give Final "Late Show with David Letterman" Holiday Performance Friday

John Paul Filo/CBSDarlene Love will help David Letterman usher in the holidays one final time when she makes her annual pre-Christmas appearance on CBS' Late Show Friday night.  As always, the acclaimed singer will belt out her soulful yuletide classic "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," a song she's performed on the last Late Show episode before Christmas nearly every year since the program premiered in 1993.  Letterman recently announced that he'll be retiring from the Late Show; his final broadcast will air May 20, 2015.

Love actually began the tradition back in 1986 on NBC's Late Night with David Letterman.  "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" originally appeared on producer Phil Spector's famous 1963 holiday album, A Christmas Gift for You.  In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Darlene discussed how she felt about singing the tune one last time for Letterman.

"I'm really trying not to think about it," she admitted.  "When I think about it, I really do get a little emotional.  And David always comes over and gives me the biggest hug.  People can't see what I see when he's hugging me, and looking at me in the eye, and whispering in my ear telling me thanks for coming.  That means more than anything."

In honor of Love's historic appearance on Friday, the Late Show has put together a video montage of highlights of her previous performances of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)."  You can watch the clip now on the Late Show's official YouTube channel.

Late Show with David Letterman airs at 11:35 p.m. ET/10:35 p.m. CT.

In other news, Darlene has a number of U.S. concerts on her tour schedule, including four Christmas-themed shows at B.B. King Blue Club in New York City.  Here are all of her upcoming tour dates, according to DarleneLoveWorld.com:

12/19 -- New York, NY, B.B. King Blues Club
12/20 -- Bethlehem, PA, Baker Hall of the Zoellner Arts Center
12/21 -- Red Bank, NJ, Count Basie Theatre
12/26 -- New York, NY, B.B. King Blues Club
12/27 -- New York, NY, B.B. King Blues Club
1/2/15 -- New York, NY, B.B. King Blues Club
1/24 -- West Point, NY, Eisenhower Hall Theatre at West Point
1/31 -- Boca Raton, FL, Polo Club Boca Raton
2/14 -- Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
3/25 -- Lakeland, FL, Youkey Theatre at The Lakeland Center


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec192014

Jimmy Page Says His Next Musical Project Will Be "Sparkling" and "Stimulating" to the Senses

Credit: Ross HalfinIn a new video interview with the U.K.'s Classic Rock magazine, Jimmy Page gives a little insight into his upcoming musical plans for next year.  The Led Zeppelin guitarist doesn't get too specific about his new project, but he promises that it will be something "sparkling…stimulating all the senses."

He tells the magazine, "I'm playing guitar at the moment, because I'm getting ready.  I'm starting to get ready."

Page explains that his game plan was that after he finished preparing the deluxe Led Zeppelin reissues, which he's done, "at the end of that was gonna be what would manifest as me playing live."

Jimmy adds that whatever his next move is, he's planning to defy expectations.

"Whatever I do, I don't want everyone to have made up their mind what I'm doing before I've done it," he insists.  "I mean, they already have.  On the Internet, people are telling me that, 'Oh, you're doing this, and you're doing that,' and I'm [saying,] 'Am I?  Just wait and see what I do.'"

Page also reports that he's written some "new material," adding that "it will be surprising."

As for the kind of live show he intends to play, he notes, "I'd like to obviously show what I've done along the way, but I'd definitely have musical surprises for people so they wouldn't sort of start yawning."

Fans will have to stay tuned to find out exactly what Page has in store for them.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec192014

Did Angelina Jolie Really Kidnap Chris Martin?

Phil HarveyIn addition to being an accomplished singer and songwriter, it turns out Chris Martin is something of a comedian.

When asked by a reporter at a recent Hollywood luncheon how Angelina got the musician to write the song "Miracles" for her new film, Unbroken, Martin spun quite a tale.

"I got a message that said, 'Meet in this undisclosed location. You'll be blindfolded and picked up by seven ex–Navy SEALs,'" Martin deadpanned to New York magazine. "So they kidnapped me, hit me over the head, and sprayed me with Mace. When I woke up, I was in an office, and Brad Pitt was doing push-ups as Angelina Jolie was just sitting there with her crown on. There was also a guy holding a knife to my throat, and she said, 'Write me a song, or else.' And Brad Pitt said, 'Yeah. What she said.'"

Wait, there's more.

"We wrote a song and then she said, 'It's through to the final eight,' and then we had live eliminations at her house," the Coldplay frontman continued.

Obviously, Martin's group came out on top, -- or did it? Not so, he said.

"We came in second, but the main guy chickened out," he joked.

Turning serious for a minute, Martin explained that he enjoys the unique challenge of writing a song for a film's soundtrack as compared to, say, creating an entire album.

"I find that a little bit of limitation is really helpful when you're trying to create," he said.

"Miracles" is Coldplay's second song written for a film, following last year's "Atlas," composed for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Friday
Dec192014

Maroon 5, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell and 5 Seconds of Summer Perform on the First People Magazine Awards

Vincent Perini/222 Recordings/Interscope RecordsThe first-ever People Magazine Awards, which took a look back at the year in pop culture, aired live from the Beverly Hilton on NBC Thursday.

The evening also included performances from Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams, 5 Seconds of Summer and Maroon 5.

The two-hour special was hosted by Nick Cannon, who managed to sneak in a joke about splitting with his wife Mariah Carey after six years of marriage.

"I've been told that I have graced People from time to time. A little small mention here and there," the America's Got Talent host told the audience, adding, "I don't know why, it's not like anything interesting has happened in my life in 2014."

Stefani, who earlier won the Style Icon of the Year award, teamed up with her fellow Voice coach Pharrell for their new single, "Spark the Fire."

5 Seconds of Summer performed their cover of The Romantics' "What I Like About You," from their album She Looks So Perfect.

Maroon 5 performed their hit, "Animals."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Friday
Dec192014

Mistrial Declared in Case Against Man Accused of Stalking Ashanti

eOne MusicA New York criminal court judge on Thursday declared a mistrial in the case against Devar Hurd, the man accused of stalking Ashanti.

The mistrial was declared because one of the jurors was too sick to come in for deliberation. Hurd, who represented himself while facing charges of stalking and aggravated harassment, will return to jail and be retried as soon as next month.

Between September 2012 and July 2013, Hurd allegedly sent over 100 messages to Ashanti on Twitter. Some of the messages were sexual in nature, and prosecutors said those messages caused harm to her "mental and emotional health." Hurd also allegedly approached Ashanti's sister, a violation of an order of protection requiring him to stay away.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Friday
Dec192014

Amy Adams Fangirls over One Direction in New "Saturday Night Live" Promos

Jeff Daly/NBCAmy Adams unleashes her inner One Direction fangirl in a series of new Saturday Night Live promos.

The actress will be hosting the show this weekend, and the British boy band will be the musical guest. In one of the promos, Adams suppresses the urge to scream around the guys. In another, she hangs a strategically-placed mistletoe and tries to get the guys to kiss her. “You said we have to kiss you,” Harry Styles points out. To which Liam Payne adds, “Otherwise, we can’t do SNL.”

The last promo features the band members holding Adams. “Should we, uh, put you down?” Liam asks. “Don’t you dare,” Adams responds, as she runs her fingers through Zayn Malik’s hair.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec182014

Kelly Rowland Shares a New Picture with Baby Titan

ABC/Randy HolmesKelly Rowland continues to share her bundle of joy with the world.

Despite the untimely passing of her mother, Rowland has found peace by focusing on her six-week-old son, Titan Jewell Weatherspoon.

The singer posted an Instagram picture of herself "#chillinwiththelilbigguy!" Her baby boy appeared to be fast asleep in the shot. Although she has yet to show her son's face, the picture reveals Titan already has a full head of curly hair.

The baby is the first child for Kelly and hubby Tim Weatherspoon. Last month, proud aunt Beyonce expressed her joy in meeting the little one. "There's no better feeling than holding my beautiful nephew," she wrote on Instagram. "I thank God for the honor of witnessing my sisters journey into motherhood. I've always dreamt of our little ones growing up together. I'm so thankful for our bond. Baby Ty, I love you so much. Congrats to my Spoons."

#chillinwiththelilbigguy

A photo posted by kellyrowland (@kellyrowland) on


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Thursday
Dec182014

Nick Minaj: "I Am the Greatest Female Rapper"

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images via ABCNicki Minaj is the greatest female rapper of all time, if you ask her.

“I am the greatest female rapper, and it’s humbling because the people make you that,”  Nicki explained during a recent interview for Elliott Wilson's CRWN Internet inteview series. “I wanna let the hip-hop culture know I take this serious.”

She adds that she brings something to the table that no other female rapper has. "The word of the day is skill," she says.

Her third studio album, The Pinkprint, was released Monday and is projected to become her third #1 on the Billboard album chart following her  previous projects, Pink Friday and Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec182014

Band of Horses Recording New Album, Releases Christmas Song, "Hang an Ornament"

Image Courtesy of Brown/ColumbiaBand of Horses has stampeded back to the studio. The band posted on Facebook that they hope to release the new album -- BoH's fifth -- by the end of 2015.

"We're excited to tell you that we are in the studio working on a new album that we hope to release later in the coming year," the post reads. "We can’t wait to finish this thing up and get it out to y'all!"

The new album will be produced by Jason Lytle, who fronts the indie rock band Grandaddy. BoH has also collaborated with Lytle to release a new Christmas song, entitled "Hang an Ornament." You can listen to "Hang an Ornament" on the BoH SoundCloud page.

Band of Horses' last album was 2012's Mirage Rock, which peaked at number four on Billboard's Alternative Albums chart.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec182014

Two People Have Found Vinyl Records Jack White Hid Inside Furniture in 2004

Image Courtesy of David James SwansonIt turns out Jack White developed a taste for unconventional album releases at a young age. Before he became the rock star he is today, White used to work as an upholsterer in Detroit. He was mentored by friend and coworker Brain Muldoon, who also had musical aspirations. The two formed a band -- aptly named The Upholsterers -- and recorded a single, entitled "Apple of My Eye," in 2000.

Four years later, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Muldoon's start in the upholstery business, they recorded a second single. They then hid 100 copies of the single, pressed on vinyl, inside pieces of furniture on which they worked, without telling the customers.  Now, according to White's current label, Third Man Records, two of the singles have been found by two separate people.

"Recently Third Man Records has been made aware of the discovery of two different copies found by two separate individuals of the 2nd single by the Upholsterers," reads a statement on the label's website. "This duo, comprising of actual upholsterers Jack White and Brian Muldoon, pressed 100 copies of this single and proceeded to hide them in furniture being reupholstered by Muldoon in 2004, in celebration of his 25th year in the business."

The upholstery route isn't the first time White has released singles in an unconventional manner.  In 2012, White released his single "Freedom at 21" via balloons . Only a few that were launched were ever found -- one of which sold for over $4,000 on eBay. So keep that in mind as you pull apart your furniture in search of the Upholsters' single.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec182014

Katy Perry, John Legend Among the Most "SoundHound’ed" Artists of the Year

Christie Goodwin/Capitol RecordsFirst we had the list of the most Shazamed artists of the year, based on the popular song-tagging app.  Now we've got the list of the most SoundHound’ed artists of the year, based on a similar app that identifies not only recorded songs, but songs that you sing or hum.

According to SoundHound, the song most people were curious about was "All of Me" by John Legend, followed by Clean Bandit's "Rather Be," Pharrell Williams' "Happy," MAGIC!'s "Rude," "Am I Wrong" by Nico & Vinz and "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry.  Others in the top 10: Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" and "Stolen Dance" by Milky Chance.

On the album side, Katy's PRISM album was the most SoundHound'ed, followed by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' The Heist, John Legend's Love in the Future, Ariana Grande's My Everything and Prayer by Mr. Probz.  Other albums in the top 10 included discs by Iggy Azalea, Jason Derulo, Pharrell and Lorde.

The most SoundHound’ed artist of the year overall, though, was Pitbull, thanks to his own hits, and his appearances on other artists' records.  Number two was David Guetta, and number three was OneRepublic.


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Thursday
Dec182014

Watch Maroon 5, Gwen & Pharrell, Plus 5SOS, Perform on Tonight's "People" Magazine Awards 

Dana Edelson/NBCIf you're upset that The Voice is over for the season, just turn on tonight's People Magazine Awards. It'll be like it never ended.

On the show, which airs tonight at 9 p.m. on NBC, you'll see Maroon 5 perform, and Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams teaming up for their collaboration "Spark the Fire," Gwen's new single.  5 Seconds of Summer, who have a new live album out, also are on the bill.

Nick Cannon hosts the show, which will look back on the year in pop culture.  Other stars attending include Jon Hamm, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart, Michael Keaton, Jennifer Lopez, Josh Groban and Kate Upton, among others.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec182014

Anthrax Announces Its Own Bourbon Brand

Image Courtesy of Matthew RodgersAnthrax received its sixth Grammy nomination earlier this month, and the band is celebrating in style.  The thrash metal veterans have teamed up with Jefferson's Bourbon to create their own brand of the beverage, called Indians.

"Anthrax's Indians, a single barrel bourbon, was personally chosen by the band and will taste like no other due to its particular blend and the barrel it was aged in," reads a press release.

"We've been wanting to come up with a special item like this, something that was unusual, one-of-a-kind, not a T-shirt or hoodie or poster, and Indians was perfect," adds bassist Frank Bello in a statement.

Indians is now available for order via the Atlantic City Bottle Company's website.  One bottle will set you back $100.  If you live near Atlantic City, though, you can pick up a bottle in stores for $75.

Anthrax was nominated for the 2015 Grammys in the Best Metal Performance category for its cover of Black Sabbath's "Neon Knights."  The band recorded the song for the Ronnie James Dio tribute album Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life.

"It's been an honor every time we've been nominated, but this one is particularly special," says drummer Charlie Benante.  "To have been asked to contribute 'Neon Knights' to Ronnie's tribute album was an honor on its own; to have it nominated for a Grammy is just beyond the best."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec182014

Elton John Fan Club Members to Receive Download of His Set at 2014 Bonnaroo Festival

Joseph Guay/Capitol RecordsIf you couldn't make it to Tennessee this past June to see Elton John and his band rock the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, you can now watch it from the comfort of your own home...if you're a member of Elton's fan club.

Platinum subscribers to John's Rocket Club will receive Elton John: Live at Bonnaroo 2014 with the Elton John Band, a 68-minute video download of his set from the festival that was recorded on June 15.  The video features 10 songs, including "Bennie and the Jets," "Levon," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "Crocodile Rock" and "Saturday Night's Alright (for Fighting)."  You can watch a preview on Elton's website now of "Bennie and the Jets."

The download also includes a special message from John.  If you want access to it, you need to sign up for the fan club at Elton's website by December 31.


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ABC News Radio