Pharrell Inks Deal to Turn "Happy" Into a Children's Book 

ABC/Randy Holmes

Pharrell's infections hit song, "Happy” is becoming a children’s book.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated song will be transformed into a picture book by Penguin Young Readers, as part of a four book deal between the Pharrell and the publisher.

"I’m humbled by the global success of 'Happy,' but especially in awe of the song's young fans," Pharrell said in a statement. "My collaboration with Penguin allows me to continue a dialogue with these children in a fresh, new way. We’re both committed to feeding the curiosity of young minds with imagination."

Fans can expect the first book in the the series, Happy, to hit stores September 22 -- the literary effort will feature happy images of children worldwide.

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Justin Bieber Gets Egged in New Promo for His Comedy Central Roast

Courtesy of Comedy CentralJustin Bieber is left with egg on his face -- literally -- in the new promo for his upcoming Comedy Central Roast.

In the clip posted to Facebook Tuesday, the shirtless pop star gets egged by off-camera assailants. The whole thing happens in dramatic slow-mo. It seems the Biebs is ready to take on his roasters and get taken down a few pegs in the process.

The Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber premieres March 30 and will be hosted by comedian Kevin Hart.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Beck Adds New Tour Dates

Credit: Peter HapakFresh off his surprise Album of the Year Grammy win, Beck has announced three new headlining tour dates. The new dates will take place May 16 in Memphis, Tennessee; May 19 in North Charleston, South Carolina; and May 20 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Tickets for these stops will go on sale February 20 at 10 a.m. local time. Visit Beck.com for all ticket info.

Beck's new tour dates will be sandwiched between two festival appearances: the Hangout Festival in Alabama, and Boston Calling.

At last week's Grammys, Beck's album Morning Phase stunned prognosticators by taking home the prize for Album of the Year over heavily-favored pop stars Beyonce and Sam Smith. Rapper Kanye West took the stage and appeared ready to interrupt Beck's speech -- à la the 2009 Taylor Swift VMAs incident -- but decided against it. Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler has offered his thoughts on the incident be creating a mashup between Beck's "Loser" and West's "Jesus Walks."

Here are all of Beck's current tour dates:

5/15-17 -- Gulf Shores, AL, Hangout Music Fest
5/16 -- Memphis, TN, Mud Island Amphitheater
5/19 -- North Charleston, SC, North Charleston Performing Arts Center
5/20 -- Charlottesville, VA, nTelos Wireless Pavilion
5/22 -- Boston, MA, Boston Calling Festival

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Kid Rock Announces Massive Summer Tour 

Credit: Clay Patrick McBrideKid Rock is launching a massive summer tour in support of his forthcoming album, First Kiss. The tour begins June 24 in Hartford, Connecticut and wraps up September 5 in Auburn, Washington. Classic "Hot Blooded" rockers Foreigner will provide support throughout the trek.

Tickets will go on sale February 24 -- the same day First Kiss will be released -- via Livenation.com. Just like with Kid Rock's previous tour, tickets will start at only $20.

Leading up to the First Kiss release date, Rock will be making a few TV appearances. February 22, he'll perform before the Daytona 500, which will mark the live debut of his single, "First Kiss." The pre-race concert will air on FOX at 12:15 ET. February 23, Rock will guest on The Tonight Show, and on February 24, he'll appear on The Today Show.

Here are all the Kid Rock tour dates.  More info's available on Kid Rock's official website.

6/24 -- Hartford, CT, The Xfinity Theatre
6/25 -- Mansfield, MA, Xfinity Center
6/27 -- Scranton, PA, The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
6/28 -- Burgettstown, PA, First Niagara Pavilion
6/30 -- Holmdel, NJ, PNC Banks Arts Center
7/2 -- Saratoga Springs, NY, Saratoga Performing Arts Center
7/3 -- Bethel, NY, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
7/7 -- Camden, NJ, Susquehanna Bank Center
7/8 -- Bristow, VA, Jiffy Lube Live
7/10 -- Virginia Beach, VA, Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
7/11 -- Raleigh, NC, Walnut Creek Amphitheater
7/14 -- Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion
7/16 -- West Palm Beach, FL, Coral Sky Amphitheater
7/18 -- Tampa, FL, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater
7/19 -- Atlanta, GA, Aaron's Amphitheater at Lakewood
7/22 -- Woodlands, TX, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman
7/23 -- Dallas, TX, Gexa Energy Pavilion
7/25 -- Maryland Heights, MO, Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
7/26 -- Tinley Park, IL, First Midwest Bank Amphitheater
7/30 -- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Blossom Music Center
8/1 -- Noblesville, IN, Klipsch Music Center
8/2 -- Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center
8/4 -- Darien, NY, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
8/7 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theater
8/8 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theater
8/11 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theater
8/12 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theater
8/14 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theater
8/15 -- Clarkston, MI, DTE Energy Music Theater
8/26 -- Phoenix, AZ, Ak-Chin Pavilion
8/27 -- Irvine, CA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
8/29 -- San Bernardino, CA, San Manuel Amphitheater
8/30 -- Mountain View, CA, Shoreline Amphitheater
9/2 -- Marysville, CA, Sleep Train Amphitheater
9/4 -- Ridgefield, WA, Amphitheater Northwest
9/5 -- Auburn, WA, White River Amphitheater

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Passion Pit Releases Two Songs from New Album, "Kindred" 

Image Courtesy of Jason Nocito/Columbia RecordsAfter various teasers and Morse code messages, we finally have new music from Passion Pit. The band has released two new songs from their forthcoming album, Kindred"Lifted Up (1985)" and "Where the Sky Hangs." You can listen to both new tracks now on YouTube.

Kindred, Passion Pit's third album, will be released April 21. You can pre-order it now via iTunes, which will get you instant downloads of "Lifted Up (1985)" and "Where the Sky Hangs."

Passion Pit's last album was 2012's Gossamer, which peaked at number four on the Billboard 200.

Here's the track list for Kindred:

"Lifted Up (1985)"
"Whole Life Story"
"Where the Sky Hangs"
"All I Want"
"Five Foot Ten (I)"
"Dancing on the Graves"
"Until We Can't (Let's Go)"
"Looks Like Rain"
"My Brother Taught Me How to Swim"
"Ten Feet Tall (II)"

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Imagine Dragons Frontman Dan Reynolds Discusses Writing on the Road and Performing in the Sky 

Credit: Eliot Lee HazelOn Tuesday's Good Morning America, Imagine Dragons stopped by to promote their second studio album, Smoke + Mirrors, which hits shelves today. Frontman Dan Reynolds told George Stephanopoulos that he wrote a lot of the lyrics for Smoke + Mirrors while touring.

"I'm not much of a party animal so at the end of the day I'd go back my hotel room and kind of just write my thoughts," Reynolds said. "After a show I'd go back and the neighbor would pound on the door at like 2:00 A.M. at the hotel room, like, 'Come on man, stop singing!' But, you know, you do what you got to do."

Not only does Smoke + Mirrors drop today, but tickets to Imagine Dragons' 39-city tour in support of the album also go on sale today via LiveNation.com. Metric will be the tour's opening band.

Before they launch their full-scale Smoke + Mirrors trek, Imagine Dragons will be performing miles in the air on an flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta, Georgia. The in-flight concert coincides with the band's much smaller, and much more intimate, warmup tour.

"We're bringing out some of our fans that were there from the beginning seven years ago and fly to the small little clubs we started playing with them and we're going to do a show on the plane," explained Reynolds. "I don't know how we're going to do that yet. Over the P.A., I don't know."

Imagine Dragons also took the stage at GMA to perform their gigantic hit, "Radioactive."

Smoke + Mirrors is out now.

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Maroon 5 Kicks Off World Tour with Too Many Hits to Fit

Vincent PeriniMaroon 5 kicked off a world tour Monday in Dallas, Texas in support of their current album, V.  If you've got tickets for one of the upcoming shows, you can be sure this is one concert where you'll be able to sing along with pretty much every song.  But the downside is that the band is now put into the odd position of literally having too many hits for one show.

"Even if you’re a casual Maroon 5 fan, even if you’re not a Maroon 5 fan, there’s some of these songs that I just don’t think that anyone’s been able to avoid," the band's guitarist, James Valentine, tells ABC News Radio about the tour. "So you’re gonna come and you’re gonna hear songs that you know, which is really cool." 

But with more than ten years' worth of hits in their catalog, James notes that when the band made up their set list for this tour, some songs just had to go.

"When we started off, we’d have to throw in covers to our set just to come up with a headlining set. We couldn’t fill an hour, even," he recalls. "And now, we have to cut songs that are a lot of people’s favorite songs, which is the bad part of it. But the good part is that everybody knows all the songs!"

Adding even more hits to the night's entertainment is Maroon 5's opening act, MAGIC!, the Canadian pop-reggae band who ruled the charts for weeks last summer with their own inescapable hit, "Rude."  How did the pairing come about?

"We played a show with them in Canada and....they put on an amazing live show," says James of the band. "[They're] really cool guys. It was kind of a no-brainer."  He says that fans coming out to the shows will find that "their sound really compliments ours," adding, "It's gonna be a really, really good night of music."

MAGIC! lead singer Nasri says he's aware of what the band's job is on this tour, which is scheduled through June.  Asked what fans who'll be coming out to the shows can expect from their opening set, he tells ABC News Radio, "Just a good time. I mean, we're just gonna get the crowd ready for Maroon 5 and do our thing and share our music and learn from Adam Levine and his crew and just try to keep expanding as a band until we get to that level ourselves."

With a set list full of hits and a hot opening act, Maroon 5 seems well-equipped to conquer the world on the tour, which will take them through the U.S. and Canada, as well as to Europe.  So what's fueling the band members backstage?  James tells ABC News Radio that their list of backstage demands isn't exotic at all.

"Man, our rider, it just gets more and more boring the older we get," he laughs. "I mean, it’s mostly just health food now, granola. We still have some tequila on there but only for the weekends."  (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich country legend is featured on Toby Keith's hit "Beer for My Horses"? ANSWER: Willie Nelson.

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Brad Paisley Offers Parenting Advice to Pal Carrie Underwood

Image Courtesy ABCBrad Paisley has been very forthcoming with parenting advice for his CMA Awards co-host and mom-to-be, Carrie Underwood. She's reached out to ask him questions about finding a good pediatrician in Nashville and raising a kid while on the road. Brad admits Carrie will face more challenges than he does balancing parenthood and a demanding concert schedule.

Brad tells CMT.com, "My kids get to be home with my wife, their mother, and it’s a much different thing when it’s the mom going on the road. I cannot imagine what it would be like if she’s got a weekend with three shows, and she’d have to just leave breast milk in the fridge. That would be rough.”

Brad's sons Huck and Jasper love being on the road with their dad, but they mostly stay home in Nashville because of school. Check out BradPaisley.com to see where he's playing next.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Jimmy Page to Release Box Set of Film Compositions; Will Host Playback Event for "Physical Graffiti" Reissue

Ross HalfinA compilation collecting material from the film soundtracks Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has composed is set for release.

Sound Tracks by Jimmy Page -- a special edition box set -- will combine compositions for the films Lucifer Rising and Death Wish II along with additional archival material and never-before-heard tracks.

"The archive material and work included here serve as an illustration of the ongoing process at the time of these two projects," Page wrote on his website.

The package also includes a 36-page booklet containing written track-by-track insight from Page. The set, which will be released on March 6, is available for pre-order on his website.

In other news, Page will be on hand on Thursday, February 19, for a special playback event of the group's seminal album, Physical Graffiti, to be held at Olympic Studios in London, in celebration of the upcoming deluxe reissue of the album.  The site was chosen to host the event because portions of Physical Graffiti were recorded at the studio.

The deluxe edition of the reissue will be played in full, and Page will participate in a special fan Q&A session that will follow the playback.  The whole event, which starts at 2 p.m. ET, will be streamed live online at Yahoo! Live, and also will be viewable via the Yahoo Screen app.  The Physical Graffiti reissue will be released on February 24.

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Tool Is "Working on Some Tunes" in the Studio

Credit: Tim CadienteIs Tool recording a new album? In a video posted to guitarist Adam Jones' Facebook page, the band appears to be back in the studio.

The video shows Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee walking through a studio hallway before he shows Jones sitting on a couch, revealing both bands are recording in the same studio. Dee asks Jones, "What are you guys doing here, Adam?" to which Jones replies, "We're working on some tunes."

Tool's last album was 2006's 10,000 Days. The record contained two Grammy-nominated singles -- "The Pot" and "Vicarious." Last year, Jones and drummer Danny Carey told Rolling Stone that Tool hasn't had a chance to record a new album due to a lawsuit that began when a friend of Jones claimed he had created artwork for the band and he wanted credit. The lawsuit got more complicated from there when the insurance company Tool hired to defend them turned around and sued the band as well.

Meanwhile, Carey has teamed up with Mastodon frontman Brent Hinds to form a new group, Legend of the Seagullmen. You can hear the first two songs from the new band at TheSeagullmen.com.

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Arcade Fire's Win Butler Creates a Beck and Kanye West Mashup, "Jesus Walks, Loser"

Images Courtesy of Def Jam; Peter HapakArcade Fire frontman Win Butler has given his thoughts on the Beck/Kanye West Grammy brouhaha via a mashup. Under his DJ moniker, DJ Windows 98, Butler created a mashup of Beck's classic slacker anthem, "Loser," and West's 2004 hit "Jesus Walks," cheekily titled "Jesus Walks, Loser." You can listen to "Jesus Walks, Loser" on SoundCloud.

During last week's Grammy awards, West threatened to interrupt Beck -- à la the 2009 Taylor Swift VMAs incident -- when Beck's Morning Phase won the Grammy for Album of the Year over Beyonce's self-titled album. West decided against it, though, and he smiled and left the stage. Although the incident seemed to make big waves in the music world, Beck doesn't think it was a big deal. He told Us Weekly that West "deserves to be on stage as much as anybody."

Butler, meanwhile, has had an eventful couple days. Last Friday, he scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds during the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game, and on Saturday, he served his RaRa Haitian Coffee at the La Colombe cafe in New York City.

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Trey Songz Releases Steamy Video for "Slow Motion"

Jimmy Fontaine/Atlantic Records

In case you needed, Trey Songz has released a steamy video for his new single "Slow Motion."

In the clip, posted on YouTube, the singer picks up his girlfriend and bring her to his home for a night cap, pouring a drink by the fireplace. One thing leads to another in the Dre Films-directed video.

"Baby, I just wanna get you out them clothes/ I just wanna see you dance in slow motion," Trey coos.

"Slow Motion" is slated to appear on Trigga: Reloaded, the upcoming expanded re-release of Trey's most recent album, due out on April 14.

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Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp Join Rock in Rio lineup for Debut Gig

Ross Halfin/UMeJohnny Depp may find the whole idea of actors in bands sickening, as he once told an Australian newspaper, but the movie star will put those opinions aside for the chance to play a gig with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry at the Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this September.

The Hollywood Vampires -- a supergroup  formed by Cooper -- is named for the rambunctious group of musicians the singer hung around with at Los Angeles's Rainbow Bar and Grill in the Seventies including John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon, and Ringo Starr. Cooper confirmed the gig on his Instagram page.

Depp's association with Cooper goes back to when the two met when filming director Tim Burton's film, Dark Shadows. Depp also lent background vocals to Aerosmith's "Music in Another Dimension."  He has lent his guitar chops to recordings and performances alongside Ryan Adams, Marilyn Manson, Willie Nelson, Paul McCartney and Butch Walker.

Rock in Rio 2015 will be held September 18-20 and 24-27. Visit RockinRio.com/Rio for the full initial lineup and ticket information.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Jorma Kaukonen Says New Album, "Ain't in No Hurry," Was "a Labor of Love" 

Red House Records

Founding Jefferson Airplane guitarist and Hot Tuna frontman Jorma Kaukonen's latest solo album, Ain't in No Hurry, arrives in stores today.  As with most of his previous solo projects, Kaukonen's new record is made up mainly of a mix of new original tunes and traditional blues and folk tunes.

The 74-year-old musician tells ABC News Radio that he generally is pleased with the work he does on his albums, but putting together Ain't in No Hurry was a particularly enjoyable experience.

"This album was such, well, to use a hackneyed phrase, just a labor of love," he gushes.  "It was so relaxed to make and it was so easy…I mean, everything about it really came easy.  It's not always like that."

Ain't in No Hurry oozes authentic Americana, as exemplified on Kaukonen's renditions of standards like "Brother Can You Spare a Dime" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," the latter of which Jorma has been playing for 50 years but had never officially recorded until now.

One highlight of the new album is "Suffer Little Children to Come unto Me," which features lyrics by late folk legend Woody Guthrie that Jorma and producer Larry Campbell set to music.

Kaukonen tells ABC News Radio that the collaboration came about because of his friendship with Guthrie's daughter, Nora, who, as Jorma explains, is "one of the guardians of the Guthrie legacy."  Nora sent Kaukonen four sets of lyrics, and he felt "Suffer Little Children" was the one "that fit easiest" into a song format.

The album also includes a countrified version of the 1975 Hot Tuna song "Bar Room Crystal Ball" that features Jorma's longtime musical cohort Jack Casady, the bassist of both Hot Tuna and the Jefferson Airplane.  Kaukonen says Casady initially was hesitant about contributing to the album because he was worried that it would be "like blurring lines between Hot Tuna."  However, Casady eventually relented when Jorma pointed out that he had played on Jack's solo effort, 2003's Dream Factor.

Kaukonen explains that Ain't in No Hurry's title track reflects his own philosophy about life, although he did not write the song.  It was penned by Jim Eagan, a student at his Fur Peace Ranch, the guitar instruction center and performance venue Jorma runs with his wife in Pomeroy, Ohio.

"The guy's not a professional musician, but he could be because he writes great songs," Kaukonen notes.  "And my guitar part, basically, I snagged the way he played the song, 'cause that just said it perfectly."

Kaukonen has solo tour dates in support of Ain't in No Hurry lined up into May.  He also has a variety of Hot Tuna concerts scheduled this year.  Check out his full itinerary at JormaKaukonen.com.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Randy Houser Put His Emotions on the Line Releasing "Like a Cowboy" to Radio

Image Courtesy Stoney Creek RecordsRandy Houser had three number one hits from his latest album, How Country Feels, before he released the fourth single from the project, "Like a Cowboy." That song will most likely top the country chart in the coming weeks, and Randy is proud the traditional-sounding track about a guy who can't commit to a relationship is catching on with fans.

"[It's] definitely more of the songwriter side of me and me expressing myself more than trying to get a hit," Randy says. "We obviously have to record things that sound like they would sound good on the radio if we want to have a career, but I think that this song definitely represents more of the guy that has to say something."

Releasing "Like a Cowboy" to radio was an emotional risk for Randy since he believes in the song so much.

He says, "Those are the songs that you get a little more self-conscious about. You know, as artists, we're very self-conscious about our music in the first place because we're trying to express ourselves."

Randy is performing "Like a Cowboy" during his opening set on Luke Bryan's That's My Kind of Night Tour 2015.

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The Band Perry Collaborates with Pop DJ Diplo, Performs for Students in Iowa

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleThe Band Perry has teamed up with dance/pop DJ and artist Diplo to create a new song. Diplo tweeted about the collaboration, saying he is addicted to the Perry siblings' "good vibes."

In other Band Perry news, the group performed a concert at Cascade High School in Cascade, Iowa Monday. The students won the concert through their participation in State Farm's Celebrate My Drive campaign to promote safe driving among teenagers.

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Jon Bon Jovi a "Dozen Songs In" to New Album

AEG LiveJon Bon Jovi is working on new music.  The Bon Jovi frontman has revealed that he has about "a dozen" songs in the works for the new project, according to People magazine.

Bon Jovi shared the news during Fashion Week while he was curating a show at the Kenneth Cole clothing store in the Soho section of Manhattan.  He added that he had been in the studio "all day working on the new record."

"I walked here from the studio," he said. 

The singer added that the new music he's working on has been inspired by events in the news.  "I just read the paper, it gives you an opportunity to write something," he explained.  "It's early but I'm about a dozen songs in.  I feel good."

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Taylor Swift's Next Role: Maid of Honor at BFF's Wedding

ABC/Lou RoccoTaylor Swift is about to take her best-friend skills to the next level. She was just asked to be the maid of honor at her childhood BFF’s wedding.

The singer posted the sweet message from her pal Britany Maack on Instagram over the weekend. The letter read, “Taylor, You are more than a friend, you are more than a best friend, you are my sister! I cannot imagine having any one else by my side on my wedding day… Will You Be My Maid Of Honor?” Taylor replied in her caption, “YEAH I WILL.”

Given her many close gal pals, we have a feeling this is just the first of many maid of honor invites she’ll be receiving. Wonder if her maid of honor duties will include performing the wedding song.

YEAH I WILL. @britmaack

A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockReba performed a Valentine's Day show in Music City Saturday to benefit the Nashville Rescue Mission.

Kacey Musgraves regularly covers Dolly Parton's 1977 hit "Here You Come Again" in her live shows.

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