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Thursday
Aug082013

Tigers and Racoons, Oh My! Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne Reveal New Artwork

Image Courtesy Katy Perry via TwitterIt's official: Katy Perry's leaving her candy-colored clothing behind for a totally new image.  You can see it in the artwork for her upcoming single "Roar," due out August 12. 

Katy revealed the artwork on Thursday by tweeting to her U.K. fans asking them to to pre-order the song on iTunes.   The art shows a dark-haired Katy, her back to the camera, looking over her shoulder.  She's wearing a blue satin jacket -- or maybe it's a robe -- with a roaring tiger embroidered on the back.  There's also an animal print border, and to hammer home the point even further, the "o" in the word "Roar" has roaring cat heads on it.

This could, of course, just be the artwork for the U.K. release of the single, but so far, that's all we've got. 

"Roar" is the lead track from Katy's much anticipated album Prism, which is due October 22.

In other artwork-revealing news, Avril Lavigne has unveiled the cover of her upcoming album, which will be self-titled.  The cover shows Avril, with her hair up, posed against a black background, staring straight ahead with a glazed look in her eyes and no expression on her face.  Her eyes are ringed with tons of smudged black eyeliner, giving her a racoon-like look. 

"Thanks to all my fans for the amazing support! Here's an exclusive look at the cover of my new, self-titled album!" she wrote on Facebook.  No word on the release date yet.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Katy Perry Reveals Cover Art for New Single "Roar" 

Image Courtesy Katy Perry via TwitterIt's official: Katy Perry's leaving her candy-colored clothing behind for a totally new image.  You can see it in the artwork for her upcoming single "Roar," due out August 12. 

Katy revealed the artwork on Thursday by tweeting to her U.K. fans asking them to to pre-order the song on iTunes.   The art shows a dark-haired Katy, her back to the camera, looking over her shoulder.  She's wearing a blue satin jacket -- or maybe it's a robe -- with a roaring tiger embroidered on the back.  There's also an animal print border, and to hammer home the point even further, the "o" in the word "Roar" has roaring cat heads on it.

This could, of course, just be the artwork for the U.K. release of the single, but so far, that's all we've got. 

"Roar" is the lead track from Katy's much anticipated album Prism, which is due October 22.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Michael Buble's Pregnant Wife Looks Ready to Pop

Kevork Djansezian/AMA2010/Getty Images for DCPMichael Buble already announced that he wouldn't be able to perform on NBC's Today show on Friday because he couldn't leave his wife, who's due to give birth any day.  But if there was anybody out there who didn't believe him, he provided photographic evidence this morning.

Michael sent a video to Today show where he made his apologies for not showing up, and added, "Fortunately and unfortunately, there's something really big that's really close to me, that's right here."  The camera moved to reveal his wife Luisana's hugely pregnant belly, though we didn't actually see her face.

"So, I won't be there but I'll see you guys really soon on the road, and I'll be bringing somebody extra with me," Michael finished.  He and Luisana are expecting a baby boy, their first child.  He'll kick off his U.S. tour next month.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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Thursday
Aug082013

Nas Helps Single Father of Seven Find New Home After Fire 

Facebook.com/Nas

Nas announced plans to help an unemployed construction worker, Stanley Young, who in now homeless with his seven children. Young appeared on ABC affiliate WJLA TV and revealed that he was scrambling to find a new place to live after his northwest D.C. home was destroyed in a fire.

The Queens rapper, who was visiting D.C. when he heard Young's story, wrote on his Twitter page that he was moved to help the D.C. single father.

Nas promptly started an online crowdsourcing campaign via the website Crowtilt to help the Young family. In the campaign's description, he writes, "I am also a single father, and we don’t get enough credit in this country...I believe and hope that we should all, as a community, come together to help our fellow American men and women when they need us in desperate situations like this."

He adds, "We need to raise enough to extend their stay, and maybe even afford a down payment on a new house or something."  The Young family currently is staying in a hotel until August 13.

After donating $5,000 of his own money, the rapper said that if the campaign reaches his goal of $20,000, he’ll give another $5,000. At our last check, the total amount raised stands at $26,629.

According to WJLA, Stanley Young has learned of the rapper's support and expressed his gratitude. "I truly, truly, from the bottom of my heart thank you for sending this out to everyone," Young says. "It's just amazing how people just pour their hearts out."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Check Out Cage the Elephant’s New Single, “Come a Little Closer”

Colin LaneLast week, Cage the Elephant posted a snippet of “Come a Little Closer,” the first single from the group’s upcoming third studio album, Melophobia.  Now, the band is ready for you to hear the whole song.

The group has posted a video for “Come a Little Closer” on their YouTube channel, which features the full track accompanied by footage of swirling blotches of paint that morph into a painting of a distorted face, which is the artwork for the single. In addition to checking out the track online, you’ll be able to purchase it at all the usual digital outlets starting Tuesday.

While a release date for Melophobia has yet to be announced, the band is expected to unveil more information about the record in the coming weeks.

In other Cage the Elephant news, the band has signed on to support Muse on a series of dates for their upcoming fall tour.  That outing begins on September 3 at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC.  Visit CageTheElephant.com to view the full itinerary.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Check Out Jennifer Hudson's "Winnie Mandela" Trailer

JenniferHudson.com

Fans now can watch the official trailer for the upcoming biopic Winnie Mandela, which stars Jennifer Hudson as the ex-wife of South African leader and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, portrayed in the film by Terrence Howard.

In the first glimpse of the long-delayed film, viewers can see Hudson enacting the struggles Winnie Mandela endured over the years. The film chronicles Winnie's life from her childhood through her marriage and her husband's incarceration, as well as their divorce due to her own infidelity.

The Darrell Roodt-directed flick, which was filmed in the spring of 2010 and premiered at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival, is scheduled to hit U.S. theaters on September 6.

In other news, Jennifer has just wrapped up production for her forthcoming drama musical, Black Nativity. Hudson joins an all-star cast, including Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Tyrese Gibson, Mary J. Blige and Nasir Jones.  The movie is set to arrive in theaters just in time for the holidays, on November 27.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Justin Timberlake's Week-Long Stint on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" to Be Re-Run

Lloyd Bishop/NBCBack in March, Justin Timberlake appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon for an entire week, receiving rave reviews for the mix of music, sketches and comedy that he and Jimmy brought to viewers.  It's no wonder fans were excited when Justin appeared to announce a return engagement via Twitter -- but sadly, it's not to be.

"What's better than this week? all next week on !," tweeted Justin on Thursday.  He added the hashtag "

Thursday
Aug082013

Stevie Nicks' CMT "Crossroads Episode" with Country Stars Lady Antebellum to Premiere on September 13

Photo: Kristin BurnsStevie Nicks' much-anticipated episode of CMT Crossroads -- the series that matches up pop and rock acts with country artists -- finally has an airdate.  The show, featuring the Fleetwood Mac singer performing with Lady Antebellum, will premiere next month.

During the concert, the two acts trade vocals on Stevie's solo and Fleetwood Mac classics "Edge of Seventeen," "Landslide," "Gold Dust Woman" and "Rhiannon," as well as on Lady Antebellum hits like "Need You Now."  There's also a reworking of Nicks' memorable duet with Tom Petty, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around."

According to RollingStone.com, during the taping, Stevie revealed that she had spent three months listening to the country trio's music while preparing for the concert.  "These songs are amazing," she declared.  "These songs make you feel like you're in love."  And before the "Edge of Seventeen" performance, Nicks explained that she usually doesn't like to sing that song with anyone else because of how personal it is to her.  However, she added, "I'm proud to share it with Lady Antebellum, because they're good enough to do it."

Look for CMT Crossroads: Stevie Nicks and Lady Antebellum to premiere the night of September 13 at 10 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake's "Holy Grail" Climbs on Hot 100

Lester Cohen/WireImageJay-Z's "Holy Grail" featuring Justin Timberlake has jumped two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart -- moving from #7 to #5, making it a rarity among singles that debut in the chart's top ten.

According to Billboard, most singles that enter the chart in the tally's upper ranks lose strength in the weeks immediately following the debut.  But "Holy Grail" launched at #8 four weeks ago and has been steadily creeping upward.

The last top 10 debut to gain in three weeks after it's debut week was Maroon 5's "Payphone," featuring Wiz Khalifa, back in May 2012.

In related news, Jay-Z and Dame Dash reunited at a party in New York City on Wednesday night. Pictures have surfaced online of the moguls shaking hands and seeming to be on good terms. It had been speculated that the former business partners, who built their independent record label Roc-A-Fella in the mid-1990s, had not been in the same room since their fallout in 2004.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Chris Young's Crazy Fall Schedule Suits Him Just Fine

RCA NashvilleChris Young is gearing up to release his new album, A.M., on September 17, which means he won't have any time off until December. On top of promoting his new album, Chris is also opening shows for Brad Paisley's Beat This Summer tour.

The crazy workload suits Chris just fine, though.  He tells Pollstar, "I’m ADD and I get bored if I’m not writing or singing.  I don’t know if I’ll be saying that in December -- I’ll probably be ready for a break at that point -but I’m just gearing up for it."

Chris adds that he loves promoting A.M. since he really believes in the project. The first single, "Aw Naw," is climbing the country chart now.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

John Mayer Duets with Katy Perry on His New Album

Columbia RecordsKaty Perry has already said that her boyfriend John Mayer doesn't appear on her upcoming CD Prism, but she never said anything about her being on his new disc.  Rolling Stone reports that the lovebirds team up for a duet on John's album Paradise Valley, due August 20.

According to Rolling Stone, Katy joins John on a song called "Who You Love," which is described as a "country-tinged, mid-tempo track."  In July, when John kicked off his tour, he gushed about Katy from the stage, talking about how "patient" she was while he struggled to recover from his vocal issues, and how she continued to "get to know me and love me."

As previously reported, at least two songs on Katy's album Prism were inspired by John.

Another guest on Paradise Valley is Grammy-winning R&B star Frank Ocean, who sings on a song called "Wildfire."  That's apparently payback for John's playing guitar on Frank's song "Pyramids."  John also backed Frank when the singer appeared on Saturday Night Live.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Robert Plant Relaunches Official Website with New Features and Design

Photo: Gregg DelmanRobert Plant has relaunched his official website, which now is offering a variety of new multimedia features, including streaming concert performances and rare archival material.

Among the many features offered at the redesigned RobertPlant.com are expansive photo and video sections, a solo discography, an in-depth tour history and up-to-date schedule, and a selection of vintage press clippings.  In addition, the site boasts a music section that presently features audio from an October 2012 concert Plant and his current band, The Sensational Space Shifters, played in Brasilia, Brazil.

Fans also can look forward to an upcoming 10-part video documentary series shot by the Led Zeppelin legend during a recent visit to Mali.  The documentary will be posted at the website in weekly installments later this year.

Meanwhile, in conjunction with the RobertPlant.com relaunch, the singer has officially joined the Twitter, Instagram and Google+ social-media outlets.  Links to his accounts -- as well as to his Facebook and YouTube pages -- can be easily accessed from his website.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Usher Requested to Sing at Wedding of Man Who Helped Rescue His Son

Chris McKay/Getty Images for Usher's New Look Foundation

Following his son's near drowning in a pool last Monday, Usher has publicly thanked the two men, Eugene Stachurski and Ben Crews, who rescued his five-year-old son, Usher Raymond V.

However, according to TMZ, Crews' mother feels the platinum-selling singer should express his gratitude by performing at her son's upcoming wedding.

Leigh Crews tells the gossip site that Ben is not seeking any compensation for saving Usher's son from his great aunt's pool. Instead he would love an unforgettable performance from the international star during the reception. Leigh revealed to TMZ that having Usher do a song or two would be priceless.

Usher has yet to announce whether he'll comply with Ben Crews' wishes. His son remains in intensive care but is expected to be released from the hospital within the next few days.

As previously reported, Usher released the following statement Wednesday: "I am blessed and fortunate to say that my son Usher V is doing well and is recovering. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayers, love and support for my family’s well-being. I would like to thank my Aunt Rena as well as the doctors and nurses who are working with us around the clock.  I would especially like to thank the two men who saved my son's life, Eugene Stachurski and Ben Crews. They are true heroes and I am deeply grateful to them."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Future Drops First Single from His Upcoming Album

Courtesy of Future's Instagram

As promised, Future unleashed the lead single for his upcoming sophomore album, Honest, during a Ustream session earlier today.

"We taking it up to a whole other level for the album," he told fans during the live webcast. "Every day I'm in the studio working...trying to make hits on hits."

After telling fans how much he appreciates them, Future described the single as a "classic already" and then debuted it for his eager following.

"I’m a rock star for life/I’m just being honest," he raps on the title track, which was produced by DJ Spinz and Metro Boomin, who's also responsible for hits from Lil Wayne and Ludacris.

Following the positive response he received from fans, Future tweeted, "I truly appreciate everyone for showing me Love."

The follow-up to last year's Pluto is slated for a November 26 release via Epic Records. Future and Miguel are scheduled to hit the road for Drake's upcoming outing, dubbed Would You Like a Tour?, beginning September 25 in Portland.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Kenny Chesney Pulls Off First Wardrobe Change of His Career

Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney usually sports a simple t-shirt, jeans and a cowboy hat onstage, but he got even more under-dressed midway through his Wednesday night show in Bangor, ME. In response to some fans who wanted to see him dress more like he's back in the islands, Kenny stopped midway through the show to run out to his bus and change into swim trunks, a Boston Red Sox cap and another t-shirt. Appropriately enough, Kenny also lost his cowboy boots and performed this stop on the No Shoes Nation tour barefoot.

Kenny says with a laugh, "I may be the only person in history to come back dressed down. But that crowd was so alive and so ready to hang out. That was literally, that and Fort Lauderdale, the most freewheeling shows of the tour! If they didn’t have a curfew, we’d have probably start pounding covers and been up there ‘til 1 o’clock in the morning.”

This marks the first time Kenny has ever pulled off a costume change onstage in two decades of touring. You can see if he attempts this hat trick when he performs on Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series Friday on ABC.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Hear Jane's Addiction’s New Single, “Another Soulmate”

Eliot Lee HazelHere’s a special treat for Jane's Addiction fans: the band is offering a preview of a brand-new single they recorded recently, “Another Soulmate.” Frontman Perry Farrell says that the track, which is currently streaming at RollingStone.com, was inspired by a friend of his wife who tends to make bad dating choices.

"She's a good-looking woman, she had a career, but when it came to love and romance, she sold herself short all the time,” he tells the magazine. “Any time she'd meet a guy she'd say, 'I feel like he's my soul mate.' So I wrote this song."

Farrell adds that in the coming weeks, he plans on creating a video for the single, which he hopes will go viral. "I want to make…a parody of [an] online dating service: quick, simple, inexpensive, hilarious and compelling,” he explains. "So that's what we're doing.”

You’ll get your chance to hear the new single performed live if you attend this year’s Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival, which features sets by Jane’s Addiction, Alice in Chains, Coheed and Cambria and Danko Jones. That outing kicks off on Friday at the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Visit RockstarUproar.com to view the full itinerary.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Panic! at the Disco Drummer Spencer Smith Drops Out of Tour to Continue “Fighting Addiction”

Jeff Fusco/Getty ImagesPanic! at the Disco needs a new drummer. Frontman Brendon Urie announced on Wednesday that founding drummer Spencer Smith, who recently revealed he’d been struggling with addiction to prescription drugs and booze, has dropped out of their current North American tour so he continue with his recovery.

"It's become evident that Spencer still needs more time to take care of himself,” Urie writes in a post on Panic! at the Disco’s website. “I can't expect him to be fighting addiction one minute and be fully immersed in a national tour the next. With that said, the tour will continue without Spencer while he is away getting the help he needs.”

Urie has yet to reveal who will replace Smith for the remainder of their tour, which runs until the end of November. Panic! at the Disco’s next concert is set to take place on Friday at Jack Rabbits in Jacksonville, FL.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Neil Young & Crazy Horse Cancel Remaining European Tour Dates After Guitarist Injures Hand

Photo: Julie GardnerNeil Young & Crazy Horse have been forced to cancel the rest of their current European tour after an accident left guitarist Frank "Poncho" Sampedro with a mild hand fracture.  The band's publicist tells ABC News Radio that Sampedro is expected to make a quick recovery, but doctors have advised him to take time off to let the injury heal.

According to NeilYoung.com, seven shows have been nixed, stretching from an appearance today, August 8, at the Way Out Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, through an August 19 concert at the O2 Arena in London.  Young & Crazy Horse's rep says the rockers plan to be ready to return to the road for their upcoming North American dates, which start with an August 31 performance at the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic in Dundas, Canada.

Neil and his band mates have issued a statement about the cancellations that reads, "We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes to our fans or the festivals where we were scheduled to appear.  As you must be, we too are disappointed at this unfortunate turn of events."

Here is a complete list of canceled shows:

8/8 -- Gothenburg, Sweden, Way Out Festival 2013
8/10 -- Bergenhus Festning, Bergen, Norway
8/12 -- Forum Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
8/14 -- Dresden, Germany, Filmnaeechte Am Elbufer
8/16 -- Kiewit-Hasselt, Belgium, Pukkelpop 2013
8/18 -- Liverpool, England, Echo Arena
8/19 -- London, England, O2 Arena

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Ariana Grande Reveals Track Listing for Debut Album, "Yours Truly"

Republic RecordsAriana Grande has been burning up the charts for months with her hits "The Way" and "Baby I," and now she's released details of her debut album, Yours Truly

The album, in stores September 3, is now available for pre-order.  Anyone who does so will receive an instant download of the song "Right Here," featuring Big Sean.  He's not the only guest on the album, though: Ariana's also joined by British singer Mika for a reworking of "Popular Song," from the Broadway show Wicked.  In addition, she duets with The Wanted's Nathan Sykes on "Almost Is Never Enough," which also appears on the soundtrack of the movie Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

Ariana, known for her roles on the Nickelodeon series Victorious and Sam & Cat, worked with legendary producer Babyface on the record.  The album artwork was somewhat controversial: it originally showed the 20-year-old singer in a baby-doll bustier and thigh-high stockings, kneeling on a bed of roses against a pink background.   After facing a storm of criticism, she unveiled a new image, which is simply a black and white photo of herself.

Here's the track listing for Yours Truly:

"Honeymoon Avenue"
"Baby I"
"Right There" (feat. Big Sean)
"Tattooed Heart"
"Lovin' It"
"Piano"
"Daydreamin'"
"The Way" (feat. Mac Miller)
"You'll Never Know"
"Almost Is Never Enough" (feat. Nathan Sykes from The Wanted)
"Popular Song" (feat. Mika)
"Better Left Unsaid"
"The Way" (feat. Mac Miller) (Spanglish Version) [iTunes Bonus Version] 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug082013

Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee, Legendary Producer "Cowboy" Jack Clement Dead at 82

CowboyJackClement.comCountry Music Hall of Fame inductee-elect "Cowboy" Jack Clement has died after a battle with cancer. He was 82. Clement helped shape rock and roll's early sound as a producer and engineer at Sun Records in Memphis starting in 1956. There he worked with the likes of Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Clement went on to produce Johnny Cash's classic 1963 hit "Ring of Fire." His songs were recorded by everyone from Dolly Parton and George Jones to Charley Pride and Waylon Jennings. He later worked on U2's 1987 album and film, Rattle & Hum, recording their versions of "When Love Comes to Town" with B.B. King and "Love Rescue Me."

"Cowboy" Jack Clement will be formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year. He is survived by his daughter Alison and son Niles.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio