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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Sunday
Mar222015

Aretha Franklin to Celebrate Birthday with Star Studded NYC Party

Credit: Matthew Jordan SmithSome very special guests will be giving Aretha Franklin some R-E-S-P-E-C-T for her 72nd birthday celebration this Sunday.

Record industry legend Clive Davis, actor Tyler Perry and Empire creator Lee Daniels will be on hand at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York City to honor the Queen of Soul.

The list of attendees also will include political luminaries Congressman John Lewis, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Judge Sheila Johnson,  and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht.

Franklin’s actual birthday is March 25. The festivities will begin at 9 p.m.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Mar222015

Sevyn Streeter Reveals Guest Features for Debut Album

Image Courtesy Atlantic RecordsSevyn Streeter continues to dish out new details surrounding her upcoming, debut album, On the Verge.

In an interview with Rap-Up TV, the singer revealed that she's collaborated with Ty Dolla $ign on a song called "Fallen," as well as August Alsina on a duet called "Been a Minute."

"It’s a sexy little record and it’s really dope," said Sevyn of her song with August. "I loved the song when I did it. We always talked about doing a record together and he heard the record and he loved it. We’re both really in love with the record."

So what can fans expect of the project?  "The album is like my baby that I’ve been holding for nine months and I’m ready to just release it to the world," Sevyn said. "I didn’t want to put myself in a box and I wanted to just be really honest on every record, no matter how that came out. If I was sad or depressed or crying one day, which I was, I wrote a song about people who don’t make me feel like that."

On the Verge will arrive later this year, including her latest single "Don’t Kill the Fun" with Chris Brown.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Mar222015

Brandon Flowers Reveals Cover of New Solo Album 

Credit: Williams + HirakawaThe Killers frontman Brandon Flowers' second solo album, The Desired Effect, now has a cover. Flowers shared the artwork, in which he is wearing a suit with -- what else? -- a flower pinned to it, via Facebook. The lettering on the cover is all white save for the word "The," which is in yellow.

The Desired Effect will be available for pre-order beginning March 24. The pre-order will include an instant download of the album's lead single, "Can't Deny My Love."

In related news, Flowers has been sharing ambiguous teasers of "Can't Deny My Love" on his YouTube page. The short clips show Flowers walking by torchlight on a journey of some sort, presumably to demonstrate how his love cannot be denied.

The Desired Effect will be released on May 19.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Mar222015

Dierks Bentley Joins "Nashville" Cast Members for African Children's Choir Benefit Concert

Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley and several cast members from Nashville are performing a benefit concert for the African Children's Choir this Sunday. The show takes place at 3rd & Lindsley in Music City in celebration of the choir's 30th anniversary.

Nashville's Connie Britton, Lennon and Maisy Stella and Charles Esten join Dierks on the bill along with pop/gospel star Amy Grant. Proceeds from the concert go to the African Children's Choir in their efforts to educate children and provide relief and development programs across Africa.

 Go to AfricanChildrensChoir.com for more details.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Mar222015

Train Warming Up for US Summer Tour with Overseas Dates 

Pamela LittkyTrain's U.S. summer tour doesn't kick off until May, but this weekend, the band is warming up for that trek with a run of overseas dates in Europe, Great Britain and Australia.

Things get underway Sunday with a show in Amsterdam, followed by a series of U.K. dates in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.  Then, the band heads Down Under for shows in Sydney, Melbourne and a massive festival in Byron Bay.

"It's still incredible to us to go to another country and have just as many people come out and see us as in the United States," Train guitarist Jimmy Stafford tells ABC Radio. "Especially in the U.K. -- the U.K. has really grown a lot for us."   

Next month, Train is one of the many artists who'll be performing in Washington, D.C. on April 18 at the Global Citizen Earth Day Event; also on the bill are No Doubt, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Fall Out Boy and more. 

The Picasso at the Wheel U.S. tour, in support of the band's current album Bulletproof Picasso, starts May 21 in Marysville, California, with special guests The Fray and Matt Nathanson.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Mar212015

Ariana Grande Stars in "Ew!" with Jimmy Fallon, Impersonates Celine Dion 

Dana Edelson/NBCAriana Grande performed at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Friday night, but through the magic of pre-taping, she also appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where she impressed by guest-starring in Jimmy's ongoing comedy sketch Ew! and impersonating a certain Canadian pop diva.

On Ew!, a fake talk show where Jimmy plays an adolescent girl named Sara, Ariana guest-starred as "Alexa Armstrong," one of Sara's BFFs. Wearing a multi-colored dress decorated with pink flamingos and carrying a unicorn purse, Ariana-as-Alexa told Sara she was upset because, "I posted a pic on Insta and only got three likes. I'm literally dying." 

During the skit, Alexa revealed that some of the things she thinks are "Ew!" are hummus, neck pillows and Starbucks Venti Lattes -- of course, she said, "I prefer Grande."  Both girls agreed that they both liked Shamrock Shakes and drank them, and when brain freeze set in, Alexa said, "Oh my God, I'm literally dying."

Ariana also sat for an interview with Jimmy, where she revealed it was the first time she actually talked on a talk show, as opposed to just singing. "I feel vulnerable," she revealed.  Jimmy then asked her to do her impersonation of Celine Dion, and she and Jimmy did an impromptu duet of "Beauty and the Beast."  At the end, Ariana even beat her chest, just like Celine.

As for her concert at Madison Square Garden, Ariana wrote on Twitter, "one of the most special nights of my life. thank you ny, madison square garden. can't stop crying. i'm so overwhelmed and happy. ty i love u."

Saturday
Mar212015

Jason Aldean and Brittany Kerr Tie the Knot in Mexico

Image Courtesy CMAJason Aldean has tied the knot with Brittany Kerr. ABC News has confirmed the couple married in a Saturday night ceremony in Mexico.  Jason tells Us Weekly, "This is the best day ever -- I've got my girl here, my friends, my family. It's the best day ever!"

Brittany adds, "Today has been the best day of my life. I feel like the luckiest woman to have been able to marry my best friend."

Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame was in attendance along with Jason's daughters from his previous marriage, Keeley and Kendyl.

Jason and Brittany Kerr got engaged last September after dating for two years.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Saturday
Mar212015

Backstreet Boys to Guest Star on ABC's "Extreme Weight Loss" 

Francesca FoleyThe five members of the Backstreet Boys aren't overweight themselves, but they want to help people who are.

The boy band will be guest-starring on an upcoming episode of ABC's Extreme Weight Loss, according to a post on their website.  The group says they want to "pay it forward to a deserving fan who's in need of a healthy lifestyle change!"

The Boys then ask fans to apply to be on the show if they have "around 50% of your body weight to lose," and direct fans to visit  ExtremeWeightLossCasting.com for more details.  It's not clear when the next season of the show will air.

The group is kicking off an Asian tour next month which will see them visit China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, The Philippines and Thailand. Then, they're off to Australia, New Zealand, Israel, South America and Mexico.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Mar212015

Van Halen to Perform on "Ellen"; Tour Announcement Coming?

Robert YeagerVan Halen will celebrate the forthcoming release of their new concert album, Tokyo Dome: Live in Concert with an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on April 2.

According the show’s website, the appearance is a “daytime exclusive.”

“The California rockers will take over Ellen’s stage to perform one of their favorite songs as they embark on their Greatest Hits Tour!” the show proclaims. “They’re some of the most talented, wildest and most exciting musicians of all time. “

No word about that Greatest Hits Tour yet.

Recorded on June 21, 2013, Tokyo Dome: Live in Concert  is set for a March 31 release. 


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Mar212015

K. Michelle Teases Video for "Hard to Do"

Image Courtesy JimmyFontaine/AtlanticK. Michelle has selected "Hard to Do" as the next single from her latest album, Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?

The singer shared a 15-second video via Instagram for the steamy song, in which she sings about craving her lover. "Fishnets and trench coats, underneath it's the bomb/ America's most wanted, Errrbody up on on it," she sings.

In the black-and-white visual, the full version of which which will arrive in coming weeks, Michelle delivers a Fifty Shades of Gray-inspired clip, complete with a submissive woman wearing a leather choker and leather straps.

Her sophomore album Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart? is available now.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Mar212015

Billy Corgan Says "My Name Is William" 

Image Courtesy of Martha's MusicBilly Corgan would like everyone to know that his name is actually "William." When fans at a concert in Lima, Peru this past week sang "Happy Birthday" to the Smashing Pumpkins frontman, Corgan set the record straight.

"Thank you for that, but my name is not Billy," he told the crowd, in a scene captured on video and posted to YouTube. "My name is William." That statement elicited even more cheers from the crowd, who began to chant "William" over and over again.

"My mother in heaven thanks you," Corgan said, smiling.

In sadder Billy, er, William Corgan news, Corgan's rescue cat Sammi has passed away. Last year, Corgan famously posed with Sammi and his other cat, Mr. Thom, for the cover of PAWS, a magazine run by a Chicago pet shelter of the same name.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Mar212015

Kenny Chesney Helping Raise Big Bucks for His Alma Mater's New Football Stadium

Image Courtesy Sony/Blue ChairKenny Chesney has signed on to co-chair the fundraising committee for a new football stadium at his alma mater, East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City. The 30,000-seat stadium will open in the fall of 2017 as the venue for the school's Buccaneer football team. The facility will cost around $26 million, and Kenny is glad to give back to the college that shaped him so much.

He says of his experience there, "The education I received, the friends I made, the music I made all altered the path of my life in such a positive way and I am forever grateful."

Kenny goes on to say the building of this stadium and the return of the football team to campus -- it currently plays home games off-campus at Kermit Tipton Stadium  --  will have a huge impact on life at ETSU and the surrounding area.

"I'm excited for the school, the town, the students, and for all the future ETSU football players that will be a part of history and something really special," Kenny adds. "I'm honored and thrilled to be a part of that in a small way and can't wait for kickoff."

Kenny always includes several stadium dates in his concert tours, so there is a chance he could one day perform in the new football stadium, too. Kenny returns to the road with The Big Revival tour launching next Thursday and Friday night at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar202015

Snoop Dogg Says New HBO Original Drama Series in the Works 

ABC/Randy HolmesSnoop Dogg has announced a partnership with HBO to develop a new series.

Billboard reports that during his keynote address at the South by Southwest conference on Friday -- more of question and answer session with his manager Ted Chung than a speech -- the rapper revealed that the untitled program will be directed and executive produced by Menace II Society co-director Allen Hughes and written by Rodney Barnes, with whom Snoop previously collaborated on The Boondocks.

The new series is set in early 1980s Los Angeles and follows "a family whose seemingly idyllic life is turned upside down by the collision of their community and American politics."

"HBO's the No. 1 network in the world as far as developing and having these types of shows come to life,"  Snoop revealed. "To be able to work with Allen Hughes…this is like a dream come true to be able to tell a story that's gonna be told the right way, on the right network."

While that project is still in the development, the rapper is also working on his next studio album, Bush, due out May 12 via Columbia Records.

Snoop teamed for the upcoming album with executive producer Pharrell, who he calls a "genius."  "It's a ride through the funkisphere. It feels good," Snoop says of the album, adding "It's just a whole nother groove of me."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar202015

Rihanna on Her Dating Record: "I Fell in Love with the Beast" 

Eric McCandless/CBSIs Rihanna taking jabs at Chris Brown? While promoting her upcoming animated movie Home, arriving March 27,  the singer briefly revealed how the one fairy tale in particular correlates to her own dating life.

When asked about her favorite childhood film, the singer made reference to 1991's Beauty and the Beast.

"I fell in love with the Beast," she laughs in an interview with Time magazine. "Pretty much my dating record so far."

Without naming the Beast, many fans have guessed that she was referring to ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, with whom she endured a volatile on-again, off-again relationship for five years.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar202015

"World's Happiest Playlist" Released with Song Picks from Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams & More

Cliff Lipson/CBSThe United Nations unveiled the “World’s Happiest Playlist” Friday, in honor of the U.N.'s International Day of Happienss. Ed Sheeran, John Legend and Pharrell Williams were among those who helped curate the list of joyful tunes for the #HappySoundsLike campaign.

Ed picked “Independent Woman” by Destiny’s Child, while John chose “Got to Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye, which he described as “infectious and fun.” Pharrell picked “This Must Be the Place” by Talking Heads, but ignored his own smile-inducing tune “Happy.”

Other contributors included Britney Spears, who chose “Kiss” by Prince and James Blunt, who included fun.’s hit “We Are Young.”

Singer and former X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger chose “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley and actress Charlize Theron picked Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.”

The complete playlist, which allowed non-celebrities to nominate songs as well, is now available on www.HappySoundsLike.com. The International Day of Happiness was established by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012 to promote the idea that “the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Friday
Mar202015

Does One Direction's Zayn Malik Have a Problem with Fame?

Jeff Daly/NBCFans might be worried that Zayn Malik is missing One Direction tour dates due to stress, but sources tell E! News the break is likely just what the 22-year-old needs.

“He has a problem with the fame -- he doesn't handle the attention very well, and every so often he has a little wobble," a source says.

Contrary to reports, his departure has nothing to do with his band mates Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne.  "He gets on with everyone, so this is nothing to do with a bigger problem within the band. They are all good," a source tells E!. "But Zayn is a very artistic person. He's passionate and sensitive. And he can be quite shy. Being on tour can be hard. And being under the spotlight can be difficult.”

The last straw for Zayn appeared to be the cheating allegations that surfaced this week, claiming he had been unfaithful to his fiancée, Perrie Edwards. Zayn denied the rumors on Twitter Wednesday, a day before his break from the tour was announced.

Insiders insist that despite the recent drama, Zayn is a good kid who just wants to make music. “He is very close to his mom,” a source says. “It's good that he is able to take a breather. Ultimately he is a really lovely guy. I wouldn't read too much into this."

The band will be finishing out the rest of their Southeast Asia tour dates -- which include stops in Manila, Philippines and Jakarta, Indonesia -- without Zayn. It’s not yet known when he’ll rejoin them.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar202015

Jessie J Clears Up Rumors About Her Health

Matt Irwin/Republic RecordsAfter reports surfaced claiming Jessie J might never be able to sing live again, the singer took to Instagram Friday to clear up rumors about her recent health setback. Long story short: She’s feeling better and she’ll be back to hitting those high notes in no time.

Jessie, who suffers from a heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, recently had to cancel dates on her Australian tour due to her illness. “I was really unwell,” she wrote in a lengthy Instagram post. “I have slept a lot. I have watched every series of Homeland in bed. I'm addicted to tim tams. I still have a heart problem.”

The 26-year-old said that while the media made it seem like she was recently diagnosed, she’s had her heart condition since she was born. The condition can cause fast, irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath.  “But my heart is ok,” she said. “My body is healing. I don’t have to mime to hit my high notes on stage.”

Jessie said that reports claiming she’d have to lip-synch to maintain her health were completely untrue and “made her laugh.” She said her mom has been taking care of her while she recovers in Australia, and apologized for letting down her Australian fans.

Facts | Feelings | Random things I am ok | I'm feeling better | I was really unwell | I have slept a lot | I have watched every series of Homeland in bed | I'm addicted to tim tams | I still have a heart problem | Dun dun dun | Papers acting like I didn't know lol | Had it since I was born | But my heart is ok | My body is healing | I don't have to mime to hit my high notes on stage | Who believed it? Fess up! | Made me laugh because it was so choopid | Don't even know where they get these stories from | Maybe from Source and his best mate bullshit | anyway | My Mum flew to Australia to be with me | I love my Mum | She has cooked for me everyday | And held my hand whilst I've been in pain | Im sorry for all the fans I let down | I f***ing hate that my mind is stronger than my body sometimes | I didn't want to cancel shows but a doc told me I had to | I cried a lot | I had to listen | Thank you for all your well wishes | I need them | If I could hug every sick person right now I would | Rest and be well | Luke is the love of my life | I'm using these |'s because he uses them and I miss him | Off to bed | *Adlibs* | I just walked into a spider web.... | I want a Tim tam...

A photo posted by Jessie J (@isthatjessiej) on


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar202015

Chris Cornell Completes Work on New Solo Album

Image Courtesy of Press Here PublicityChris Cornell has finished recording his new solo album. The Soundgarden frontman announced the news on Facebook Thursday.

"Last day of recording solo album!" Cornell wrote. "We made the magic happen."

The new album will be Cornell's first studio album since 2009's Timbaland-produced Scream. That album proved to be divisive among fans due to its electro-pop sound. Those who weren't fond of Scream may be happy to know that the photo posted alongside Cornell's Facebook update includes producer Brendan O'Brien, who has previously worked with Cornell and Soundgarden's grunge contemporaries Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots, as well as AC/DC, Seether and Rage Against the Machine.

Meanwhile, Cornell has also contributed his vocals to "Heavy Is the Head," a new song by Zac Brown Band. "Heavy Is the Head" is a single from the country group's forthcoming album, Jekyll + Hyde, which will be released on April 28.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar202015

Paul McCartney Gets Happy for International Day of Happiness

MJ KimPaul McCartney and his wife, Nancy Shevell, did their part for the United Nation's International Day of Happiness on Friday.

The couple joined in the fun by posting a video of themselves dancing to Pharell Williams’ eternally joyful hit song, “Happy,” on YouTube.

The cute clip, which he shared on Twitter with the hashtag, #HappyDay, added to the fun celebrated around the globe as part of the effort by the United Nations Foundation. The International Day of Happiness is part of a two-part goal to spread happiness and increase awareness about climate change.


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Friday
Mar202015

Def Leppard Announces Hysteria on the High Seas Cruise

Image Courtesy of Press Here PublicityDef Leppard is setting sail with fans for an oceanic adventure next year.

The band's Hysteria on the High Seas cruise will set sail from Miami for a four-night event from January 21-25, 2016 on the MSC Divina. The cruise will include music, theme nights and special events as fans and the band will stop at various destinations in the Caribbean, including Freeport, Bahamas and the private island Half Moon Cay.  Ticket information and additional details will be announced at a later date.

In other news, the band has been confirmed as a musical guest for the season finale of the Canadian version of The Voice, La Voix, on April 12.

Def Leppard will kick off their Canadian tour at the South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton, Canada on April 15.


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