Axl Rose Suggests Flea Had "Google *ss" Transmitter During Super Bowl Performance

Theo Wargo/FilmMagicMany headlines have been occupied by bassist Flea's admission that the Red Hot Chili Peppers played to a pre-recorded music track at this year's Super Bowl halftime show -- so many, that Axl Rose felt compelled to weigh in on the issue and offer a novel possible explanation and defense of the Peppers.

In an open letter published at Billboard.com, the Guns N' Roses singer says he "enjoy[ed] the show and...would[n't] want to suggest or imply anyone wasn't actually performing or that what they were playing wasn't actually what we heard."

Reminding readers that "I feel it's important to always look on the positive side of things and to give the benefit of doubt," Rose offers the following explanation: "Maybe sometime before their actual performance...rather than use a guitar cord or standard wireless, that in the name of science and for all mankind Flea courageously had a newly invented breakthrough in microchip technology installed in his ass that picked up the frequencies of his bass and transmitted them to his amplifier."

He continues, "Maybe they all had microchips installed in their asses and not only pick up the frequencies of their instruments but get Direct TV and the internet too!  Like Google Glass... Google Ass!  They could be 'Scientific Pioneers!'  Like Buzz Aldrin!  And besides... If the band wasn't really playing or wireless or whatever and [frontman] Anthony [Kiedis] was really singing they may have set a new world record for the largest karaoke audience ever! Awesome!"

Karaoke or not, this year's Super Bowl halftime performance set a record for largest audience ever, with 115.3 million viewers.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


DMX Not Confirmed for Celebrity Boxing Match Against George Zimmerman

Ruff RydersEarlier this week, rumors began to spread that DMX is scheduled to fight George Zimmerman in a celebrity boxing match. However, the rapper's rep has revealed that nothing has been confirmed.

"The boxing match between George Zimmerman and DMX is not officially confirmed," Domenick Nati told ABC News Radio on Wednesday.

Nati added, "DMX has promised to 'beat his ass', but no contract or paperwork has been signed or agreed to yet. DMX will release an official statement if and when an agreement is made." 

TMZ previously reported X was selected out of 15,000 people who applied to fight the former neighborhood watchman, who was found not guilty in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The date, time and location for the three-round match, if it comes together, will be announced next week.

 Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Beyonce's "Drunk in Love" Cracks Top Ten on Billboard's Digital Songs Chart 

Columbia RecordsFollowing her performance during the Grammy Awards, Beyonce's show-opening song has enjoyed a sales surge.

"Drunk in Love" featuring Beyonce's husband, Jay Z, has seen its best week yet over on Billboard's Digital Songs chart, soaring from #18 to #7 with 151,000 downloads. 

In addition, Beyonce's self-titled album has remained in the top ten since its surprise release in December. The project has slipped one position to the #5 spot, with 48,000 additional copies sold.

In other news, Beyonce is scheduled to kick off the European leg of her Mrs. Carter World Tour beginning Feburary 20 at Glasgow, Scotland's SSE Hydro Arena.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Duet for Lady Gaga and Britney Spears?

Courtesy Lady Gaga/LittleMonsters.comOver the weekend, Lady Gaga went to Las Vegas to see Britney Spears' show at Planet Hollywood and used Twitter to rave about the experience -- and about the fact that Britney's dad served her homemade barbecue.  Now comes word that the two pop stars may team up on record for a duet.

An insider tells Us Weekly that the collaboration will "happen soon," and claims that the two even talked backstage at Britney's show about the possibility of a duet.

Last year during an online chat, Britney said that she would be interested in doing a duet with Lady Gaga.  Gaga responded at the time, "Let's do this, b***h.  It's time."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus Wishes Everyone Would Let the Eric Church Thing Go

EMI Nashville/Big Machine RecordsRascal Flatts's Jay DeMarcus insists there's no bad blood between the band and Eric Church, who was fired from Rascal Flatts' tour in 2006 for playing over his allotted, opening time slot. Of course, Eric went on to headline his own arena shows after building up his fan base in rock clubs over the years.

The rift with Rascal Flatts seemed to be in the past until Taylor Swift mentioned it at last year's CMA Awards. She was hired to replace Eric on the Flatts tour only because Eric was fired. He then used that Taylor speech in a teaser clip for his new album, The Outsiders, which got people talking about the firing all over again.

While the Flatts have explained what happened in a few recent interviews, Jay tweeted Wednesday, "Wish everyone would let this @ericchurch thing go! We have nothing against him and we're very proud of what he's done! It's ancient history!"

Eric is now grateful to have built his legion of fans headlining his own shows.

"I found that a lot of people, when they first come out, new artists, it's almost like they're trying to borrow and steal other big acts' fans," Eric tells SPIN. "They come out to open for people. For us, we never did that. We couldn't. So we had to make our own. They became ours from the beginning, and then they converted other people. I didn't do it; they did it."

Eric's new album, The Outsiders, is due out next week. Rascal Flatts' new single, "Rewind," is now climbing the country chart.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Selena Gomez Checked Into Facility for Treatment, Not Rehab

ABC/Lou RoccoRemember back in December, when Selena Gomez said she was canceling her Australian tour? At the time, she said in a statement, "It has become clear to me and those close to me that after many years of putting my work first, I need to spend some time on myself in order to be the best person I can be."  Well, it turns out that last month, she did just that, enrolling herself in a wellness program at an Arizona facility.

To be clear, Selena's rep tells ABC News Radio that her stint at Dawn at The Meadows recovery facility in Wickenburg, Arizona was not "rehab," as has been reported.  "Selena voluntarily spent time at Meadows but not for substance abuse,” the rep says.

According to the facility's website, among the conditions it treats are depression, "love addiction," "love avoidance," panic and anxiety disorders, trauma, and codependency.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Luke Bryan Calls "Drink a Beer" the "Highlight of the Night" on That's My Kind of Night Tour

Capitol NashvilleLuke Bryan was inspired to record his latest hit, "Drink a Beer," in memory of his late siblings, Chris and Kelly. Now he's seeing other fans remember their loved ones when he sings the song in concert.

Says Luke, "I’m always able to look through the crowd and see people really overwhelmed with emotion by it, and that means so much to me. It means that the song is affecting people and helping people."

Luke goes on to call "Drink a Beer" the highlight of his concerts even though it brings up some tough emotions.

"I’m so honored to have the song in my set now," he says, "and so honored that fans sing it the way they do."

"Drink a Beer" is included on Luke's latest album, Crash My Party. Check out his tour dates at LukeBryan.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


It's "Hollywood or Home" on "American Idol" Tonight

Michael Becker/FOXHollywood Week gets underway tonight on American Idol, but this time around, there's a twist.  Instead of going straight to the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and singing for the judges, all the golden ticket holders will instead be herded into an airplane hangar. There, they'll be forced to compete in a new surprise round called "Hollywood or Home," which will result in immediate cuts.

During the "Hollywood or Home" round, the judges will call on some singers to perform again, and if they don't pass muster, they're going to be sent straight home.  After the field is narrowed down, Thursday night will mark the official start of Hollywood Week: cue the group performances, tears, fights and drama.

Returning judge Jennifer Lopez recalls how she's always disliked Hollywood Week, because it's so emotional. "You know, there are so many hopes and dreams, like, on that moment, and they know they only have that one shot, and it’s brutal," she says.  What the judges want to see here, she says, is whether or not the contestants have taken to heart any of the constructive criticism they offered during the audition rounds.

"We say nothing right now," says J-Lo, when asked if they offer the hopefuls any additional advice going into Hollywood Week. "Once they get through, then we can kind of help them get to the finals and stuff like that, but for right now it’s really, 'Who’s the cream of the crop? Who’s going to show up?  Who’s not going to crack under pressure?'"

New judge Harry Connick Jr., meanwhile, loved the opportunity to pick the best of the best out of the huge field of hopefuls. "You know it’s going to be an incredibly tight race when you have to cut really good people. We’ve cut a bunch of people that are extremely good. That leaves the people that are extraordinarily good," he says.  And J-Lo notes that during this Hollywood Week process, "the stars kinda pop out right away...everybody in the room feels it...everybody knows; everybody goes, 'Who’s that?'"

"You feel an energy," Harry agrees. "Like, some people, we put 'yes' within three seconds."

This new Hollywood or Home round is part of the American Idol overhaul that's taken place this season; in addition to new judges, there's a new team behind the scenes as well.  Harry, who's been given a lot of credit for making the show fun to watch, says that they're only giving the viewers what they deserve.

"Especially with a brand that’s so powerful and strong and identifiable as American Idol, they should get the best show on television," he says.  "The way it looks thus far, that’s exactly what they’re going to get."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


New Box Set Features Ex-Moody Blues Keyboardist Mike Pinder's Solo Albums

Cherry Red RecordsA new three-disc collection gathering founding Moody Blues keyboardist Mike Pinder's two solo albums and a bonus DVD is available now from the U.K.'s Cherry Red label.  The Promise/Among the Stars box set includes remastered versions of Pinder's 1976 debut solo effort, The Promise, and his 1994 release, Among the Stars, which originally was sold privately via mail order.

The compilation also contains three bonus tracks -- a solo tune titled "If She Came Back," and a pair of songs by The Pinder Brothers, a group featuring Mike's two sons, Matt and Michael Lee.  Original Moody Blues member Ray Thomas plays flute on the latter two tracks, "Waves Crash" and "Empty Streets," which were produced by longtime Moodies producer Tony Clarke, who died in 2010.

The DVD features more than an hour of footage of Pinder performing some of his music, sharing memories about playing with The Moody Blues, and musing about his personal philosophy.

Pinder was a member of The Moodies from their 1964 inception until 1978, when he exited the group during the recording of the Octave album.  Mike played the distinctive mellotron keyboard on many of the band's classic songs and also delivered the spoken-word soliloquy "Late Lament" that's heard at the end of "Nights in White Satin."

Here's the track list to The Promise/Among the Stars box set:

CD One: The Promise
"Free as a Dove"
"You'll Make It Through"
"I Only Want to Love You"
"Someone to Believe In"
"Carry On"
"The Seed"
"The Promise"

CD Two: Among the Stars
"The Power of Love (Can Survive)"
"You Can't Take Love Away"
"The Best Things in Life"
"Hurry Home"
"When You're Sleeping"
"Fantasy Fight"
"Among the Stars"
"Upside Down"
"Waters Beneath the Bridge"
"The World Today"

Bonus Tracks:
"If She Came Back"
"Waves Crash" -- The Pinder Brothers (with Ray Thomas)
"Empty Streets" -- The Pinder Brothers (with Ray Thomas)

Exclusive extended interviews with Mike Pinder & solo performances

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Seether Announces Spring Tour

Seether.comWhile Seether's still at work on an upcoming album, the band is also getting ready to hit the road.

The group will kick off a month-long tour April 18 in Huntington, NY.  The trek is currently mapped out through a May 21 date in Sioux Falls, SD.  Opening for Seether on all its headlining dates will be Black Stone Cherry and Skindred.  Tickets go on sale this Friday, February 7.

During the tour, the band is expected to preview material from its forthcoming album. A title and release date for the set have yet to be announced, but they're currently working on it with producer Brendan O'Brien.

The tour also will include several festival appearances, including one at the band's own Rise Above Festival in Bangor, ME on May 10.  As previously reported, after a year's hiatus, the festival is back in 2014 with a lineup that includes Avenged Sevenfold, Motörhead and Trivium, as well as the band's tour partners Black Stone Cherry and Skindred.  The festival, which will take place at Bangor's Darling's Waterfront Pavilion will raise money for SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education).

Here are Seether's announced tour dates:

4/26 -- Ft. Meyers, FL, Jet Blue Park/Fort Rock Festival
4/27 -- Jacksonville, FL, Metropolitan Park/Welcom to Rockville Festival
4/29 -- Atlanta, GA, The Masquerade
4/30 -- Birmingham, AL, Iron City
5/2 --  Chattanooga, TN, Track 29
5/3 --  Concord, NC, Motor Speedway/Carolina Rebellion Festival
5/6 --  Baltimore, MD, Ram's Head Live
5/7 --  Stroudsburg, PA, Sherman Theater
5/8 --  Clifton Park, NY, Upstate Concert Hall
5/10 -- Bangor, ME, Darling's Waterfront/Rise Above Festival
5/11 -- Hartford, CT, Webster Theater
5/13 -- Lancaster, PA, Freedom Hall
5/14 -- Sayreville, NJ, Starland Ballroom
5/16 -- Columbus, OH, Columbus Crew/Rock on the Range Festival
5/17 -- Grand Rapids, MI, The Orbit Room
5/18 -- Chicago, IL, House of Blues
5/20 -- St. Paul, MN, Myth
5/21 -- Sioux Falls, SD, The District

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Lorde: "Royals" Definitely Isn't My Best Song

Monty Brinton/CBSAfter spending weeks atop the alternative charts last year, Lorde's smash "Royals" went on to rule for nine weeks on the pop charts, and it just won the Song of the Year Grammy to boot.  So that's why it's so hard to believe that Lorde herself really doesn't think it's her best work.

Speaking to the Australian magazine The Music, the singer, born Ella Yelich-O'Connor, says, "I definitely don't think 'Royals' is my best song. I understand why it worked and why it was kind of a hit, I can see those qualities in it, but at the same time...these melodies are just not as good as something I could have written now."  She also feels she would have done the lyrics differently if she wrote the song today.

"I was 15 when I wrote it and I’m 17 now, so I think you grow a lot in that period. It definitely feels like a bit of a relic now,” she explains.

The teen also reveals that she was a bit concerned that initially, people wouldn't be able to relate to her debut album Pure Heroine, which also went on to receive a Grammy nomination.

"If you write super personally, like I do, the worry for me is that if it means so much to me then it’s not gonna mean too much to other people because it’s going to be too specific or whatever,” she tells the magazine.  Thankfully, that wasn't the case.

"I feel like a lot of people my age really reacted to it which is so cool for me and is kind of the dream," she says. "I was lucky. I feel like teens are a tough audience and I feel like a lot of the art and that a lot of the material aimed at teens is usually super corny and feels patronizing or whatever, and I am aware of that. But people I guess didn’t feel that about Pure Heroine, which is super cool.”

Lorde will kick off her U.S. tour on March 3 in Austin, Texas.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockLuke Bryan opened last year's CMA Awards performing which one of his hits with Florida Georgia Line? ANSWER: "That's My Kind of Night."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Report: Keyshia Cole Faces $162K Tax Lien


Keyshia Cole is the latest celebrity reported to owe a huge amount of money to the IRS.

According to documents obtained by Radar Online, a federal tax lien was filed in Georgia against Cole, who allegedly failed to pay more than $162,000 dollars in taxes for 2009, which was right around the time KC scored with her first headlining outing, A Different Me Tour.

"We have made a demand for payment of this liability, but it remains unpaid," the documents state.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Outkast to Play 2014 Sasquatch! Music Festival

Outkast.comWith their reunion announcement, Outkast has secured spots at many of this year's hottest music festivals, from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California to the Governor's Ball in New York City.  Now, the rap duo has just been announced as one of the headlining acts at this year's Sasquatch! Music Festival, which takes place at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Quincy, WA.

André 3000 and Big Boi will join their rap peers including Chance the RapperKid Cudi and Tyler, the Creator for the festival's first weekend on May 23 through May 25.  In addition, Frank Ocean, Black MilkAction Bronson and Atmosphere are among the second round of hip-hop acts scheduled to take stage during July Fourth weekend.

Concertgoers can purchase tickets and VIP packages now via Ticketmaster.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Katy Perry Releases Limited-Edition Version of Her Fragrance Killer Queen

Katy Perry Fragrances/Coty Inc.Last year, Katy Perry debuted her third signature fragrance, Killer Queen. Now, she's coming out with a limited-edition version of the scent for the spring.

A posting on her fragrance Facebook page features a photo of the new perfume. "Ready to say goodbye to winter? Killer Queen Oh So Sheer has a light floral scent that will have you thinking spring is already here," reads the caption.  It'll be available in the U.S. and Canada starting March 1. Unlike the original Killer Queen fragrance, the bottle is clear, not ruby red.

In addition to Killer Queen, Katy has two other scents: Purr and Meow.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Franz Ferdinand Lets Fans Make Setlist

Press Here PublicityThe members of Franz Ferdinand have decided to let concertgoers decide for themselves what they'd like to see and hear at an upcoming show.

The band is set to play at the upcoming BBC Radio 6 Music Festival in Manchester, England, where they'll crank out six songs. Which six songs? That's up to fans. Voting is open at the BBC Radio 6 Festival website, where you can choose from 15 Franz Ferdinand songs preselected by the band members, who agreed to let popular vote whittle that number down to six. Voting is open now and will end at 7:00 p.m. GMT, which is 2 p.m. ET in the U.S., on February 10.

The BBC Radio 6 Music Festival takes place on February 28 and March 1 at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Eli Young Band Offering Early Song Downloads and Exclusive Merchandise with "10,000 Towns" Pre-Order

Republic NashvilleEli Young Band's new album, 10,000 Towns, is now available for pre-order at BigMachineLabelGroup.com.  Fans who order through that site will receive a signed, one-of-a-kind Polaroid picture of the band. Ten of the pre-orders will come with a Golden Ticket, entitling the winner to receive an Eli Young Band t-shirt, hat, koozie and bracelet. One grand prize winner will win an autographed guitar, too.

10,000 Towns is also up for pre-order at iTunes, with instant downloads of the first two singles, "Drunk Last Night" and "Dust," available now. The title cut will be available for those who pre-order at  iTunes on July 11, followed by the song "Just Add Moonlight" on July 18. "Prayer for the Road" will be released to iTunes on July 25 before the full album goes on sale March 4.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Clay Aiken Is Running for Congress

ClayAiken.comIt's been rumored since the beginning of the year, but this morning, Clay Aiken officially announced that he's running for Congress.

The 35-year-old former American Idol finalist is running as a Democrat for North Carolina's second congressional district seat in the House of Representatives.  In a video announcing his candidacy, posted on his website, Aiken talks about his mother leaving his abusive father when he was a year old, growing up poor, and why he thinks he'll do a better job than the Republican incumbent against whom he's running, Rep. Renee Ellmers.

"For most Americans, there are no golden tickets. At least not like the kind you see on TV. More families are struggling today than at any time in our history," Clay says in the video.  He also says he wants to continue helping special needs children.

Clay came in second in season two of American Idol in 2003, losing to Ruben Studdard.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Sting Performs The Beatles' "Drive My Car" on "Late Show with David Letterman"

Image credit: Frank OckenfelsSting covered The Beatles classic "Drive My Car" Tuesday night on CBS' Late Show with David Letterman. It was part of David Letterman's week-long celebration of the Fab Four's historic first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago.  Sting was joined by self-described "swamp hop" singer Ivy Levan.

The former Police frontman is set to launch a tour with Paul Simon this Saturday in Houston.

Letterman's Beatles salute at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, where the Late Show is taped, began Monday night with Broken Bells performing "And I Love Her." Lenny Kravitz will appear on Wednesday night's show, while The Flaming Lips and Sean Lennon are scheduled for Thursday night.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Don Felder, Styx & Foreigner Members Talk Soundtrack of Summer Tour, New Version of "Hotel California"

SoundtrackofSummer.comAs announced on Tuesday, Styx, Foreigner and ex-Eagles guitarist Don Felder are joining forces for The Soundtrack of Summer package tour, which gets under way on May 16 in Oklahoma City.  The three acts already have established relationships, as Styx and Foreigner toured together in 2010 and Styx singer/guitarist Tommy Shaw collaborated on two tracks on Felder's 2012 solo album, Road to Forever.

Speaking with ABC News Radio, Shaw notes, "We really hit it off with Foreigner [when we toured together,] and it's almost like we're all in the same band.  We all love music and we all do the best that we can every single night."  He adds that he's "sat in and worked with [Don] before, so for me it was just, the people, the music -- what's not to like about this?"

Felder has a similar positive feeling about his tour mates.  "I've loved Foreigner's records since they started coming out in the '70s [and] I know Tommy and everybody in that outfit," he explains to ABC News Radio.  "It just seemed like a really fun way to go out and spend a summer, playing great music and having a fun time."

Foreigner frontman Kelly Hansen, meanwhile, says, "There's a real kind of similar energy in all these bands and what the music says and what it spoke about at the time it came out."  The singer adds that that he thinks that shared energy will "really make for a great show."

To promote the trek, the three acts have collaborated on a new rendition of The Eagles' classic "Hotel California" that will be released soon.  Felder, who co-wrote the tune, says he was "very proud of the way [the recording] turned out."  Don, who will be the opening act throughout the tour, adds that the musicians put a new spin on the well-known song, with him, Shaw and Foreigner's Mick Jones each contributing a guitar solo, and various guys, including Hansen and Styx singer/keyboardist Lawrence Gowan, lending their vocal talents to the track.

"It's got enough of the original idea in character and arrangement where it sounds familiar, but it kind of grows into this other beast towards the end," Don notes.  "It was just so much fun and a delightful time to do that together."

Shaw is equally pleased with the revamped version of "Hotel California," pointing out that once he heard the finished track, he realized, "This isn't some promo thing, this is f**king awesome."

Tommy notes that to remake such a famous tune, "it had to be something special."  He adds that he likes the way the new version "rolls from one guy to the next and it's seamless, [and] it builds and the solo is different at the end because you have three guitar players on it."  Summing things up, he says "Hotel California" is "a tremendous song, and we found some more magic in it."

The Soundtrack of Summer Tour currently features 34 confirmed dates and is mapped out through a July 27 concert in Santa Barbara, California.  Tickets will go on sale to the general public starting this Friday.  Additional shows will be added soon.  For more info visit SoundtrackOfSummer.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio