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Thursday
Jun162016

Cole Swindell Can't Slow Down: New EP, Tour on the Way This Fall

Warner Music NashvilleIt was only last month that his sophomore album You Should Be Here came out, but we already know there’s new music on the way from Cole Swindell. The third EP of his Down Home Sessions will be out this fall, in conjunction with another installment of his Down Home Tour, this one sponsored by CMT.

As for what he’ll be doing between now and then, the Georgia Southern alum has his work cut out for him. This summer, he continues on the Dig Your Roots Tour with Florida Georgia Line, as his latest single “Middle of a Memory” climbs the charts.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

Fatherhood First: Dad of Four Chris Janson Says That's Job #1

Sweet Talk PublicityNow that he’s scored his breakthrough hit with “Buy Me a Boat,” you might think country singer is job number one for Chris Janson. But the father of four says you’re wrong. “I am a dad first and a husband first, and I take the most pride in that in my whole life,” he boasts.

When it comes to how he’ll celebrate this Sunday’s holiday devoted to dads, Chris is pretty easygoing. “I just do whatever the kids want to do, frankly. Kelly and I both do, we travel so much. We take them with us when we can -- when they want to go.”

Having four kids does mean four times the presents. “Usually there's a lot of homemade artwork floating around the house...I'm not one who likes to take gifts -- I don't take gifts very well. I just like things that are from the heart. My kids are really good at that, they all naturally are very artsy. I don't know. I take Father's Day as a reflective day just to be thankful for being a parent. It's a privilege.”

Chris’s latest single, “Holdin’ Her,” was inspired by his wife Kelly.  

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/Thinkstock Though her breakthrough hit was 1972's "Delta Dawn," this country icon scored her first Billboard #1 with "What's Your Mama's Name" in 1973. Can you name her? ANSWER:  Tanya Tucker.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

More People Claim to Be Heirs to Prince Estate

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesIt’s been nearly two months since Prince passed away on April 21, and the number of claims to his estate continues to grow.

In addition to his known descendants, several more people, including three claimed half-siblings and two alleged children, say they are related in court documents filed this week, USA Today reports.

One of the people claiming to be children is 43-year-old Taz Laeni Walker, who says she was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and adopted by a family that knew Prince. In her statement, she writes, "A friend of my (adoptive) father told me...my mother had multiple sexual partners and Prince's name was mentioned. I inferred from these conversations that my mother had sex with Prince. I believe that I may be the daughter of Prince."

This week's claims were filed after the June 10 deadline, so they may not be considered. The next estate court hearing is scheduled for June 27.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

Tito Jackson on the Reason He's Finally Releasing Solo Music at Age 62

Spectra Music GroupBelieve it or not, Tito Jackson has never released a solo project, until now. 

Earlier this month, the founding Jackson 5 member’s new single "Get It Baby" entered the Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks and Adult R&B charts. With that feat, he completes the family set -- all nine Jackson siblings now have had solo hits on the Billboard charts.

The Gary, Indiana, native is elated about the success, and had something to prove in the process.

"This is my official debut and I don't want to call out any names, but a very known figure used a comment about me they said and it threw me under the bus, I felt," Jackson reveals to ABC Radio. "And I said, you know what, I gotta do this to kind of shut this kind of language up. Their initials is CB...a basketball team with Dwyane Wade and a bunch of Tito Jacksons."

He's referring to former NBA superstar turned brazen sports analyst Charles Barkley, who famously made remarks in 2010 about Jackson's talent in reference to the Miami Heat team.

Success is the best revenge. And Jackson, 62, has no hard feelings.

"Well, you know I love this person and I'm not saying it's cold or hot or whatever but I just had to do what I need to do to put a lid on that."

The singer -- who performed blues music for 10 years -- had some initial reservations about the song when he first heard it, though.

"They played the song for me and I heard the groove in it but I felt like it was a little not for me. And I listened to it again and said, 'Dang, I could do this song, this song is great…I like it, people seem to like it, everybody wants to dance to it.  I'm happy."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

How Flea's Broken Arm Helped Change Red Hot Chili Peppers' Creative Process

Scott Dudelson/WireImageRed Hot Chili Peppers have worked with mega-producer Rick Rubin on all of their albums since 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik. However, for their upcoming album The Getaway, the Chili Peppers recruited producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton. That change came about in part thanks to bassist Flea breaking his arm last winter in a snowboarding accident.

"We were jetting down the mountain, going, like, 50 miles an hour, when I just wiped out," the bassist tells Rolling Stone. "It was like, bam. My arm started swelling up right away. I broke my arm in five places. Big pieces of bone were shorn off."

Flea spent six months recovering from the accident, which required major surgery to repair nerve damage. When he tried to pick up a bass again, he played one note and "a bunch of pain shot up my arm.

"I tried to play the simplest things and my hand just wouldn't do it," Flea recalls. "It felt like I let everyone down, because we couldn't work on the record."

While the Chili Peppers couldn't do concrete work on what would become The Getaway, the downtime allowed the band to think about what they wanted to accomplish with the album. Coming off 2011's I'm with You, which was a commercial disappointment compared to RHCP's past records, the band wanted to shake things up.

"We were starting to do the same things we've always done," says Flea of the I'm with You sessions. "I knew what we were gonna do before we even did it."

To avoid any more creative malaise, the Chili Peppers decided to recruit Burton to produce the album. You can hear the results when The Getaway is released June 17.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

Tom Morello to Headline Concert Protesting Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesThe ever-political Tom Morello will rage against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal by headlining the Rock Against the TPP protest concert, held July 23 in Denver.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a potential trade agreement between the U.S. and 11 other countries which, according to the White House, will "grow the American economy, support well-paying American jobs and strengthen the American middle class." Critics of the agreement, however, argue that it will harm American jobs, the environment and internet freedom.

"Working people everywhere have had enough," says Morello in a statement. "The TPP is nothing short of a corporate takeover of our democracy. That's why people are rising up to stop it. Corporate lobbyists want to sneak the TPP through Congress quietly; that means it’s time for us to get loud."

Rock Against the TPP will also include a performance from actress Evangeline Lilly and an acoustic set from punk rockers Anti-Flag. The concert will be followed by a short Rock Against the TPP tour, the full details of which will be announced soon. For more info, visit RockAgainsttheTTP.org.

Meanwhile, Morello will be spending his summer and fall on the Make America Rage Again tour with his new band Prophets of Rage. Along with the guitarist, Prophets of Rage includes Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy's Chuck D and Cypress Hill's B-Real.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

Cage the Elephant, Silversun Pickups to Play Inaugural Lollapalooza Colombia

Credit: Ira ChernovaCage the Elephant and Silversun Pickups are headed to South America this fall for the inaugural Lollapalooza Colombia, held September 17-18 in Bogota.

The lineup also includes Vance Joy, Matt and Kim, Lana Del Rey, Disclosure and Lewis Del Mar, among others. Additionally, a mystery headliner will be announced in the coming weeks. For the full lineup, visit LollapaloozaCO.com.

Lollapalooza was created in 1991 by Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction as a touring festival before taking up permanent residence in Chicago's Grant Park in 2005. The festival has since expanded into Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Germany.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead and LCD Soundsystem will headline this year's flagship Lollapalooza in Chicago, held July 28-31.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

Beyonce's Mother to Be Honored at the "Essence" Festival

Kevin Mazur/Getty ImagesBeyonce is not scheduled to appear at the Essence Festival, however don’t be surprised if she makes a surprise entrance, because her mother will be honored.

Tina Knowles-Lawson will receive the first “Inspiring Leadership Award” on July 3 during the annual Gospel Tribute at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Essence is citing Knowles–Lawson "for her years as a pioneer in the entertainment industry, and for providing leadership, mentorship and inspiration to many." She is involved in several philanthropic endeavors, including The Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth, The Survivor Foundation, Miss a Meal and Goodwill. Essence Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor will  conduct a live interview session with Knowles-Lawson at the event.

The gospel concert will feature performances by The Clark Sisters, Yolanda Adams, Kierra Sheard, Faith Evans, Ledisi and Keke Wyatt.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

It’s a “Miracle” Justin Bieber Survived Stardom, "Never Say Never" Director Says

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesIf there’s anyone who’s seen the real Justin Bieber, it’s director Jon M. Chu. He directed two Bieber documentaries -- 2011’s Never Say Never and 2013’s Believe -- and was a witness to the pop star’s early ups and downs.
 
“The fact that he’s survived and has come out the other end...it’s pretty much a miracle,” Chu tells MTV News. “I admire that about him. What I see is someone who’s finding himself along the way. Every day, he understands more of himself and how he can cope and get through these things.”

Justin recently came under fire for saying he no longer wanted to take pictures with fans. But it’s a choice Chu understands.

“He loves his fans more than any artist I’ve seen,” the director says. “I think that’s why he’s survived. And at the same time, those things can eat away at you. So I feel for him as a human being. It’s not a normal way to live.”

Chu says Justin also keeps his sanity by writing music “every day of his life.” “He has folders from every city he goes to, and he has songs in every single one,” he adds. “When I see someone like that, someone who’s obsessed with [his] craft, [he’s] going to survive whether people buy the album or not.”

As for whether Chu will make a third Bieber film, he says it’s a possibility.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

You've Seen Him Dance, Now Watch Him Sing: "DWTS" Pro Mark Ballas & Fiancee Hit the Road as Alexander Jean

Nicholas Gilligan

As you may know, two-time Dancing with the Stars champ Mark Ballas is also is a musician.  He and his fiancee, BC Jean, play as a duo called Alexander Jean, whose music has topped the iTunes singer/songwriter chart and been featured on Dancing with the Stars.  They kick off their first headlining tour Friday night, but Mark says fans shouldn't expect any ballroom dancing on stage.

"We definitely move," says Mark. "We don’t stand there. [But] I mean, as far as, like, breaking out [the cha-cha], I don’t know if that’s gonna be happening!"  "That’s at the after-party," jokes BC.

Mark says you can expect an intimate show: "It's just BC and I...there's no band needed....so I think it’s gonna be a really nice, up close and personal experience." 

The duo will play songs from their debut EP, Head High, some covers, and some of the songs BC has written for other artists -- she wrote "If I Were a Boy" for Beyonce, for example. 

Mark and BC, who got engaged earlier this year, say being in a band with the person you're going to marry is a great experience, and not just because you can save money by sharing a hotel room.

"We laugh a lot, we trust each other’s instincts creatively," BC tells ABC Radio.  Mark adds, "I think working together, we learned more about each other. We learned how to love each other even more, and trust each other’s opinions because music is something that’s personal."

Mark and BC already know they're going to dance together at their wedding, and they have the wedding song all picked out: "Magic" by Coldplay.  As for the dance, Mark says they'll forgo the fancy stuff in favor of what he calls "a stand and sway." 

Here are the tour dates:

6/17 -- Santa Ana, CA, The Constellation Room
6/18 -- Scottsdale, AZ, Pub Rock Live
6/23 -- Korova, San Antonio, TX
6/24 -- Dallas, TX, The Prophet Bar
6/26 -- Houston, TX, House of Blues,
6/27 -- Atlanta, GA, Masquerade,
6/30 -- Vienna, VA, Jammin Java
7/1 -- New York, NY, The Studio At Webster Hall
7/2 --  Hartford, CT, Webster Underground
7/3 -- Worcester, MA, The Palladium
7/6 -- Pittsburgh, PA, Hard Rock Café
7/7 -- Cleveland, OH, Agora Ballroom
7/8 -- Pontiac, MI, The Pike Room @ The Crofoot
7/9 -- Chicago, IL, Schubas Tavern
7/11 -- St. Louis, MO, Firebird,
7/14 -- Denver, CO, Marquis Theater
7/15 -- Salt Lake City, UT, Billboard Live
7/18 -- Santa Cruz, CA, The Catalyst Club (Atrium)
7/20 -- San Francisco, CA, Bottom of the Hill
7/21 -- San Diego, CA, House of Blues – Voodoo Room
7/23 -- Los Angeles, CA, Regent Theater

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

James Bay Compares the US and UK Music Scenes: "We Inspire Each Other"

Republic RecordsThe last few years have seen a big influx of British artists on the charts, from Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Charlie XCX, to Adele, Ellie Goulding, and One Direction, just to name a few.  James Bay is part of that group, but he says he doesn't think the American charts are more welcoming to British artists these days -- he says it's just the latest chapter in the "great friendship" between the music scenes in the U.S. and U.K.

"You know, U.K. and America have had that relationship for decades," the "Let It Go" singer tells ABC Radio. "It’s one of the coolest things about the sort of journey of pop music, in my opinion -- the way that we’ve reacted off what each other does."

He points out that, just as there have been plenty of British acts topping the U.S. charts recently, there are plenty of American artists who are huge in the U.K. It's a symbiotic relationship, according to James.

"The U.K.’s got a lot of time for wonderful American performers and in return, you guys have had a lot of time for us," James tells ABC Radio. "And we inspire each other, I guess. So it’s very cool to have the opportunity to come and play over here, because I’m inspired by so much music that was originated and was born out here. So, it’s a great friendship [and] relationship."

James, who was nominated for three Grammys earlier this year, is currently overseas performing in Europe and the U.K, but after those shows, and some dates in Asia, he'll be back in the States come September for another round of tour dates. 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Thursday
Jun162016

Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page Takes the Stand in "Stairway to Heaven" Lawsuit

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesJimmy Page took the stand in the copyright-infringement trial involving Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" and insisted he'd never heard the song he's accused of ripping off until a few years ago, when people started posting comparisons online.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the legendary guitarist, 72, claimed in court that he doesn't use computers or the internet and wasn't aware of the talk regarding a potential similarity until his son-in-law showed him a video online. Page further stated that when heard the orchestral intro to the Spirit song "Taurus," it was "totally alien" to him, adding, "Something like that would stick in my mind."

Page did admit to owning several Spirit albums, but only remembered acquiring two of them — neither containing the song in question.

Michael Skidmore, who represents the estate of Spirit songwriter Randy California, is suing Page and Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement, claiming "Stairway to Heaven" lifted from "Taurus."

Zeppelin's Robert Plant and John Paul Jones are also expected to testify during the trial.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Thursday
Jun162016

Lil Wayne Gives Surprise Performance at E3 Expo

Denise Truscello/WireImageLil Wayne delivered a surprise performance Wednesday at E3 Expo 2016, an electronic entertainment conference, in Los Angeles.

The rapper was in high spirits, according to Samsung, as he performed snippets of 15 songs at the company's booth to promote his mobile skateboarding game, "Sqvad Up."

Lil Wayne's appearance at E3 Expo 2016 came two days after he suffered two minor seizures while he was flying. His reps told ABC News in a statement at the time, "Under the guidance of his doctors, he is now in stable condition and good spirits. He thanks his fans for their everlasting support, prayers and well wishes."

 Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Snapchatters can now take a little “Vacation” with Thomas Rhett, who just rolled out a new Snap filter that takes its theme from his new single.

LOCASH provided the music Wednesday evening for the Illinois Broadcasters Association Awards.

Brandy Clark sang the first single from her new album Big Day in a Small Town Wednesday on Live! with Kelly. You can watch her performance of “Girl Next Door” online.

If you missed Easton Corbin’s Facebook Live chat backstage at the Grand Ole Opry Wednesday night, you can check it out on his Facebook page.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

Workin' Man Blues: Luke Bryan Brings His Family on the Road for Father's Day

ABC/Matt BrownBeing CMA Entertainer of the Year is certainly not a bad gig -- even though you do have to work on holidays. Luke Bryan says that’s not a problem for him, provided the ones he loves are by his side.

“Just as long as I get to be with my family on important days, whether it's birthdays or anniversaries or stuff like that, or certainly Father's Day or Mother's Day, that's all I need,” he says. “Just let them make me a cup of coffee in the morning, and I'm happy.”

Luke admits his better half, Caroline, probably prefers a more elaborate celebration.

“My wife is so great about wanting to -- if it were up to her, every moment like that would be fireworks and balloons, cakes and all that. And I'm like 'Baby, let's just have...' So they're gonna come up to our show, and then we've got a couple days together.”

This Sunday, Luke and the whole Bryan clan will celebrate Father’s Day in Columbus, Ohio, as dad plays the Buckeye Country Superfest.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

Toto's Steve Porcaro Says Late Brother's Illness Sparked Him to Finish His First Solo Album, "Someday/Somehow"

Porcara MusicaThis past week, Toto's Steve Porcaro released his first solo album, Someday/Somehow, a project he says he's been working on, off and on, for about 40 years. The group's founding keyboardist reveals to ABC Radio that his brother, longtime Toto bassist Mike Porcaro's terminal battle with Lou Gehrig's disease inspired several songs on the album and gave him "the spark and the impetus" to finish the record.

"There's…a definite thread of loss [that] has to do with being very much influenced by what my brother Mike was going through," the 58-year-old musician explains, "and just realizing how quick life can go by."

Mike Porcaro, who died last year at age 59, played bass on a number of songs on Someday/Somehow, including on a tune called "Back to You" that also features Steve's late brother Jeff -- Toto's original drummer. Steve says he originally wrote the song for Toto in 1983, but it didn't work for the band.

"It just kind of got shelved," Porcaro explains. "And when I was putting this record together I got to kind of have my cake and eat it too, where I took my brother Jeff and Mike's tracks [and] transferred them over into the computer along with my original demo."

Steve handled lead vocals on seven of the album's 13 tracks. He also enlisted several guest vocalists, including Michael McDonald and Toto backing singer Mabvuto Carpenter. Among the other musicians who contributed to the project were Toto guitarist Steve Lukather and the band's touring drummer, Shannon Forrest.

"For me it was all about the songs, and not so much about me being the star of the show," Steve says of Someday/Somehow. "And, I just kind of wanted to have final say for once with my own music."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

Joe Walsh to Donate Proceeds from Two N.C. Concerts to Organizations Opposing State's "Bathroom Bill"

Credit: Andrew MacphersonJoe Walsh is joining the many musicians pledging their support for the LGBT community in North Carolina following the state's recent passage of legislation that many consider discriminatory against gay and transgender people.

Walsh has announced that he will donate some proceeds from two upcoming concerts in North Carolina to the American Civil Liberties Union to aid in the organization's lawsuit seeking to overturn the state's House Bill 2, also known as "the bathroom bill."

In a statement, Walsh maintains that the law "dictates which bathrooms transgender individuals are to use and overrules LGBT anti-discrimination measures passed by local governments in…North Carolina," and adds that he finds the legislation "deeply disconcerting and offensive." The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also says that the law "hits close to home" because he has a gay stepson who he feels will be adversely affected by it.

Walsh writes, "I believe that music is a language that connects people -- without bias -- and that my shows are a place where all are welcome and all can feel safe." He adds that in addition to donating money to the ACLU, he will give proceeds from the shows to Equality NC, another organization that supports the LGBT community.

Walsh will be playing a joint show with Bad Company on June 30 at the PNC Pavilion in Charlotte, and has a headlining gig scheduled for August 9 at the Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh. The ACLU and Equality NC will be collecting donations and passing out information at both performances. Joe also has posted links to the organizations' websites at his own official site, and encourages fans to contribute to the groups, while joining him "in coming together to protect equal rights for everyone including our LGBT children today and for years to come."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

Watch Marilyn Manson Play a Hitman in New "Let Me Make You a Martyr" Trailer

Rebecca Sapp/WireImageMarilyn Manson will star in the upcoming indie crime drama Let Me Make You a Martyr as a hitman named Pope. For a preview of what that will look like, you can watch the film's new trailer now at Indiewire.

Let Me Make You a Martyr will make its premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival, held July 12 to August 2 in Montreal. Manson will be in attendance for the premiere.

Along with Manson, the Let Me Make You a Martyr cast includes the musician's Sons of Anarchy co-star Mark Boone Junior. In the film, Boone's character Larry hires Manson's Pope to kill his adoptive son.

In between attending movie premieres, Manson will be spending his summer on tour alongside Slipknot.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun162016

Tribute to Salt-N-Pepa at "VH1 Hip Hop Honors"

Stephen J. Cohen/Getty ImagesSalt-N-Pepa are the latest rap icons to be recognized at the 2016 VH1 Hip Hop Honors.

The duo consisting of Salt  -- Cheryl James -- and Pepa -- Sandy Denton -- will join previously announced honorees Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott.

The ladies from New York City are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their 1986 debut album, Hot, Cool & Vicious. They made history with that album as the first female rap group to have an album certified platinum. Salt-N-Pepa reached the height of their success in 1993 with their five-times platinum album, Very Necessary, featuring their hits “Shoop” and “Whatta  Man” with En Vogue.

VH1 Hip-Hop Honors: All Hail the Queens will air Monday, July 11 at 9 p.m. ET live from New York.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







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