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Wednesday
Apr082015

Zac Brown Signs On to Perform at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 18

Image Courtesy CMAZac Brown is teaming up with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello to perform at the 30th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 18. They'll honor inductees Paul Butterfield Blues Band on the show, taking place at Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio.

Look for the 30th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction to air as a special on HBO Saturday, May 30.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr082015

Tom Morello, Beck & More to Perform at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony; Miley Cyrus to Induct Joan Jett 

Image Courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + MuseumA bevy of big names has been added to the performers list for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello will team with country star Zac Brown to perform for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, while Beck, Karen O and Nate Ruess will perform in honor of late Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed, being inducted now for his solo career. They will join previously announced performers Dave Grohl, the Eagles' Joe Walsh and Jimmie Vaughan, brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Additionally, it has been announced that pop star Miley Cyrus will induct Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Cyrus has often spoken about her admiration for Jett.

Other newly announced performers include John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr., who will play in honor of Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble.  R&B star John Legend will perform for Bill Withers.

As previously reported, Paul McCartney will induct Ringo Starr, Fall Out Boy will induct Green Day, Peter Wolf will induct the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Patti Smith will induct Lou Reed.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place April 18 in Cleveland.  The event will air on HBO on May 30.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr082015

Nicki Minaj to Perform at High School All-Star Basketball Game

ABC/Lou Rocco

Nicki Minaj has found time to squeeze in another performance in the midst of her The Pinkprint Tour.

The rapper confirmed that she will be performing during the 14th annual Jordan Brand Classic, an all-star game for the nation's top high school basketball recruits.

"Don't miss it, NYC," she tweeted to her 19 million followers. The game takes place April 17 at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

The rapper will later return to Brooklyn for the North American leg of her trek, which will include supporting sets from Dej Loaf, Tinashe, Rae Sremmurd and her boyfriend Meek Mill.

In the meantime, Nicki has three dates remaining for her overseas fans. "I can't really put into words the kind of love I feel every night on the stage," she wrote on Instagram. "I just hope I give it back to u guys in a way you'll always remember. I'm really in love with u. Thank u so much for being a part of this moment in time with me."


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Wednesday
Apr082015

Wale's "The Album About Nothing" Debuts Atop Billboard 200 Chart

Image Courtesy Maybach Music GroupAs expected, Wale has the number one album in the country with his latest effort, The Album About Nothing.

The rapper's fourth studio album debuts atop the Billboard 200 chart, according to the publication, selling 100,000 equivalent album units in its opening week, which includes on-demand streaming and digital track sales. The final numbers surpass initial forecasts of 90,000 to 95,000 in sales for the project.  The album is Wale's second chart-topper, following his previous effort, 2013’s The Gifted.

The 14-song set boasts guest appearances from J. Cole, Jeremih, SZA and Usher as well as samples of Janet Jackson's "Go Deep" on "The Girls on Drugs."

Elsewhere, Ludacris' Ludaversal debuts at #3 on the chart this week with 73,000 in sales and streams. It's Luda's eighth top 10 album. Last week's #1, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, falls to #4 in its third week, with an additional 65,000 in sales and streams.


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Wednesday
Apr082015

Jennifer Hudson Set for VH1's "The Ride" 

Heather Wines/CBSJennifer Hudson has been tapped for VH1’s The Ride, a new documentary series premiering later this month.

The network announced Hudson will join seven other artists for each hour-long show, which is being described as a Behind the Music-type series that lets each entertainer detail their ride to the top of their respective music career. You can expect to hear unfiltered interviews with acts like Snoop Dogg, T.I., Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Jessie J, among others.

The Ride is set to premiere Saturday, April 18 at 9 p.m. ET on VH1.  Here's the schedule of who's featured when:

4/18 -- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
4/25 -- Jessie J.
5/2 -- Jennifer Hudson
5/9 -- Demi Lovato
5/16 -- Snoop Dogg
5/23 -- Linkin Park
5/30 -- T.I.
6/6 -- Enrique Iglesias


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Wednesday
Apr082015

Ed Sheeran Performs Special Gig for School Kids in New Zealand

Cliff Lipson/CBSStudents at an elementary school in New Zealand got something better than recess this week: a private concert from Ed Sheeran. The New Zealand website Stuff reported that the British singer performed for 100 pupils at Redcliffs School in Christchurch Wednesday, after the school won a radio contest.  

Ed, who’s currently on tour in New Zealand, also did a Q&A with the students. One asked him about working with his pal Taylor Swift and he revealed, “We have plans to work together soon.” He also told the kids that all of his guitars have male names because he “beat them up too much” to give them women’s names. And if he wasn’t a musician, Ed said he’d “be a teacher.”

He took the time to snap photos with the children, too. One of the photos was posted on Ed’s Instagram page. “Spent the afternoon singing with primary school kids,” he wrote. “My face hurts from smiling, so much fun.”

For their winning entry in the #SchoolOfEd competition, Redcliffs changed their name of Edcliffs for two weeks and held a Dress Up Ed day, where students dressed like the singer. Some even dyed their hair red. The entire school also got together to perform a version of Ed’s hit song “Thinking Out Loud,” with their own school-themed lyrics.

Spent the afternoon singing with primary school kids. My face hurts from smiling, so much fun

A photo posted by @teddysphotos on


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr082015

Lady Gaga Hosting Fundraiser at SoulCycle Chicago

Jeffrey R. Staab/CBSLady Gaga wants you to sweat it out for charity. The pop superstar is set to host a fundraiser for her Born This Way Foundation at the new SoulCycle Chicago later this month.

For $1,000, you can reserve a bike at the indoor cycling studio and on April 21, you’ll get to take a spin class with Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. There was also the option to shell out $2,500 for a bike right next to Gaga, but that’s already sold out.

The proceeds go to Gaga’s Born This Way foundation, which aims to support and empower young people. Gaga, a New York native, has close ties to Chicago via her fiancé, Taylor Kinney, who films NBC’s Chicago Fire there, where Gaga frequently visits him.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr082015

Coachella Reveals 2015 Set Times

Credit: James MinchinWith the first day of Coachella rapidly approaching, the festival has revealed the set times for its first weekend. AC/DC will headline the main Coachella Stage Friday, preceded by The War on Drugs, Interpol and Tame Impala. Jack White plays the Coachella Stage on Saturday after Milky Chance, Hozier and Alt-J perform, while Florence + the Machine graces the main stage on Sunday.

Visit Coachella.com to view the entire first weekend schedule.

As with all festivals, the Coachella schedule is rife with overlapping sets that will force you to make some tough decisions. On Friday, Interpol, Alabama Shakes and Lykke Li's sets overlap, while Saturday has conflicts between Alt-J and Glass Animals, plus Milky Chance and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. Conflicting sets affect the headliners, too: Florence + the Machine's set will overlap with Fitz and the Tantrums'.

The first weekend of Coachella will take place April 10-12. As in previous years, sets from the festival will be streamed live on YouTube.


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Wednesday
Apr082015

Warped Tour Finalizes 2015 Lineup 

Credit: Jonathan Weiner The Vans Warped Tour has been gradually revealing its 2015 lineup.  Now, with the addition of eight new bands, including Senses Fail and Miss May I, the full bill is complete. The annual touring festival, which turns 21 this year, will features performances from Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandria, Escape the Fate, Matchbook Romance, Motion City Soundtrack, and many more.

Asking Alexandria will be playing their Warped Tour set with a new lead singer. Their founding frontman, Danny Worsnop, left Asking Alexandria earlier this year to focus his other band, We Are Harlot.

The lineup also includes a bevy of comedians and YouTube stars.

As with previous years, Warped Tour attendees under 18 will be given a complimentary ticket for their parent or guardian.

The 2015 Warped Tour will begin June 17 in Anchorage, Alaska and will run through August 8 in Auburn, Washington. For the full lineup, itinerary and ticket info, visit VansWarpedTour.com.


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Wednesday
Apr082015

Jack White Producing "American Epic" TV Documentary 

Credit: Mary Ellen MatthewsJack White will be an executive producer on American Epic, a three-part TV documentary exploring the birth of modern music. Producer extraordinaire T Bone Burnett and actor Robert Redford are also executive producers on the project.

Set in the 1920s, American Epic tells the story of "when record company talent scouts toured America with a recording machine and for the first time captured the raw expression of an emerging culture," according to a press release.

White will also be an executive producer on The American Epic Sessions, a feature-length film in which contemporary artists, including Alabama Shakes and Beck, will record music using re-created equipment from the 1920s. White's Third Man Records will also issue an album of the recordings on vinyl.

"In American Epic we can examine how important the fact is that when phonograph records were invented, for the first time ever, women, minorities, poor rural men and even children were given the opportunity to say whatever they wanted in song, for the whole world to hear, shockingly without much censorship," says White in a statement. "What they were allowed to say on phonograph recordings, they were not allowed to speak in public or in person. That is an astounding thought."

American Epic and The American Epic Sessions will air on PBS this fall.

 
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr082015

Keds Launching Sneaker Line in Honor of Taylor Swift's 1989 World Tour

Big Machine RecordsKeds never go out of Style! In honor of Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour, the shoe brand is launching a new line of limited-edition sneakers.

Keds will be releasing three different styles of the “Tour Shoe” to commemorate Taylor’s tour stops in North America, Europe and Japan. The shoes will feature the city names of each tour stop in a neon sign design against a navy blue background.

The brand will also be releasing the “1989 Champion” and “1989 Double Decker Slip-On.” Inspired by the cover art of Taylor’s 1989 album, those shoes will feature a bright seagull print in sky blue with an embroidered "1989" on the heel.

You’ll be able to purchase the sneakers starting next month on Keds.com/1989, TaylorSwift.com, and at select global retailers.

Keds is an official tour sponsor of Taylor’s 1989 World Tour, which kicks off May 5 in Tokyo, Japan and runs through December. Taylor has been collaborating with the brand since 2012; they launched a similar line of limited-edition sneakers for her RED tour in 2013.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr082015

Twisted Sister Schedules Tribute Shows for Late Drummer; Announces Farewell Tour

Eagle Rock EntertainmentTwisted Sister has revealed plans to pay homage to the band's late drummer, A.J. Pero, with a pair of tribute concerts, and also has announced that it will be retiring from the road next year following a farewell tour.

The tribute shows for Pero, who died March 20 at the age of 59 of an apparent heart attack, will take place May 30 in Las Vegas and on June 13 in Sayreville, New Jersey.  The Las Vegas concert, which will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, will be recorded for a DVD, CD and television special.  The New Jersey event, which was organized so Pero's family could attend, will take place The Starland Ballroom.  Tickets for both shows are available now.

Filling in for Pero at these two gigs, as well as at the 2015 festival dates Twisted Sister has on its schedule, will be acclaimed drummer Mike Portnoy, who's known for his work with Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob, and The Winery Dogs.

Meanwhile, Twisted Sister will say goodbye to its fans in 2016 with the "Forty and F**k It" tour.  The trek will celebrate the glam-metal veterans' 40th anniversary and will feature the group's surviving core members -- singer Dee Snider, guitarists Jay Jay French and Eddie Ojeda, and bassist Marc "The Animal" Mendoza.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr082015

Van Morrison to Receive Highest Honor from Songwriters Hall of Fame

Credit: Bradley QuinnVan Morrison has written many songs that are considered modern-day standards, so it's not surprising that he's been chosen to receive the Songwriters Hall of Fame's highest honor: The Johnny Mercer Award.   Morrison will be presented with the award at the organization's 46th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner, scheduled for June 18 at New York City's Marriott Marquis Hotel.

The Johnny Mercer Award is given to a songwriter or songwriting team already inducted into the Hall of Fame, but whose body of work is of such high quality and impact that it upholds the legacy of Johnny Mercer, the lyricist for pop standards including "Moon River," "Hooray for Hollywood," "Summer Wind," "Satin Doll," and many other classic tunes.

"We are thrilled to be honoring the songwriter who has combined Celtic fire with rhythm & blues in an unforgettable way," says Songwriters Hall of Fame President Linda Moran.  "Van Morrison and his songs have been a powerful cultural force on both sides of the Atlantic for five decades."

Previous Mercer Award recipients include Paul Simon, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Smokey Robinson, Phil Collins, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Holland-Dozier-Holland, and Jimmy Webb.

Last month, Morrison released his 35th studio album, Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue.  The collection features new versions of some of Van's lesser-known tunes that he recorded with such stars as Steve Winwood, Mark Knopfler, Natalie Cole, Mavis Staples, George Benson, Simply Red's Mick Hucknall, and the late Bobby Womack.

As previously reported, this year's Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees include the Grateful Dead songwriting team of Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia, as well as Cyndi Lauper, blues great Willie Dixon, country star Toby Keith, and pop-rock hitmaker Linda Perry.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr082015

Garth Brooks Opens Up About Being a Stay-at-Home Dad in New Issue of "People"

Image Courtesy Chris Hollo/Grand Ole OpryYou might assume Garth Brooks had nannies and assistants helping him raise his three daughters when he retired from touring in 2000, but you'd be wrong. In the new issue of People, on stands Friday, Garth talks candidly about his time spent raising Taylor, August and Allie. At first, the family of four was living in a one-bathroom bunkhouse on his ranch in Oklahoma.

"I'd just stare at them," Garth says of his early days alone with the kids. "I knew their sweet faces and their dispositions. But I didn't know who they were."

Garth soon got the hang of making the girls lunches, assigning them chores on the ranch and driving the girls to soccer games and school plays.  He says, "You start being a part of the community. The dads across the soccer field looked at me as a dad just like them. And I was very grateful."

Garth adds that he now prays for his girls more than ever now that they're off living their own lives: "For some reason when they were under my roof, I felt like I might have had some control, you know?"

Garth is back on the road now, playing shows with his wife, Trisha Yearwood, whom he calls "the love of my life." Check out the new issue of People to see Garth's personal family photos, along with more thoughts on his return to touring.

Of note, Garth is slated to share some big news on ABC's Good Morning America this Friday.


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Wednesday
Apr082015

Madonna's "Ghosttown" Video Debuts on Meerkat

Interscope RecordsMadonna’s apocalyptic video for “Ghosttown” made its debut on live-streaming app Meerkat today, a day later than expected.

The video, which went up on Vevo shortly after, depicts Madonna alone in a bunker just after some sort of apocalyptic event has occurred. She ventures outside and eventually encounters another person, played by Empire’s Terrence Howard.

The two dance together amidst the destruction, as Madonna sings, “When it all falls, when it all falls down/I’ll be your fire when the lights go out/When there’s no one, no one else around/We’ll be two souls in a ghost town.”

The video was originally supposed to be released on Meerkat Tuesday, but fans were left scratching their heads when it failed to appear. It's not known what caused the delay. “Ghosttown” is the second video Madonna has debuted on an app. In February, she released the video for “Living for Love” on Snapchat.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr082015

Frances Bean Cobain Discusses "Montage of Heck," Her Favorite Nirvana Songs & More

Image Courtesy of The End of Music, LLC/HBOFrances Bean Cobain is an executive producer on Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the first fully authorized documentary about her late father. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Frances describes the film as a piece of "emotional journalism."

"It's the closest thing to having Kurt tell his own story in his own words -- by his own aesthetic, his own perception of the world," she says. "It paints a portrait of a man attempting to cope with being a human."

Frances admits that she isn't the biggest Nirvana fan -- she prefers bands like Mercury Rev, Oasis and Brian Jonestown Massacre -- but there are a few songs by her father's band that she particularly likes.

"'Territorial P***ings' is a f**king great song," she says. "And 'Dumb' -- I cry every time I hear that song. It's a stripped-down version of Kurt's perception of himself -- of himself on drugs, off drugs, feeling inadequate to be titled the voice of a generation."

In watching Montage of Heck, Frances has noticed similarities between her and her father -- she says his voice reminds her of her own. Those similarities haven't escaped the notice of Kurt's Nirvana band mates, either.

"Dave [Grohl], Krist [Novoselic] and Pat [Smear] came over to a house where I was living," Frances remembers. "It was the first time [the ex-Nirvana members] had been together in a long time. And they had what I call the "K. C. Jeebies," which is when they see me, they see Kurt. They look at me, and you can see they're looking at a ghost."

In addition to the interview, Rolling Stone released a clip from Montage of Heck, featuring a previously unheard Kurt Cobain original, which is now streaming at RollingStone.com.

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck will hit select theaters in the U.S. on April 24. The film will air on HBO May 4.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr082015

Miley Cyrus to Induct Joan Jett into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nate Ruess & John Legend Join Lineup

RCA Records/Business WireMiley Cyrus has often spoken about her admiration for '80s rock icons Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Now, she'll get to usher them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

On April 18 in Cleveland, Miley will induct Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, best known for their hits "I Love Rock 'n Roll," "Crimson & Clover" and "Do You Wanna Touch Me," into the Hall of Fame. 

In addition, it's just been announced that fun.'s Nate Ruess will be on hand to perform in honor of another one of this year's inductees, the late Lou Reed, and John Legend will perform in honor of inductee Bill Withers, the soul singer best known for his hit "Lean on Me."

John Mayer will induct the late guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band Double Trouble, and perform their music as well.  Fall Out Boy will induct Green Day, Stevie Wonder will induct Bill Withers, and Paul McCartney will induct his Beatles band mate Ringo Starr.

The ceremony will air on HBO May 30.


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Wednesday
Apr082015

Marilyn Manson Reportedly Punched After Canadian Concert; Wants to Press Charges

Credit: Jiro SchneiderMarilyn Manson was reportedly involved in a physical altercation at a Denny's restaurant following his concert in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada over the weekend, according to TMZ. The original story stated that the alleged attacker punched Manson in the face after Manson reportedly insulted his girlfriend. Manson's manager has now told TMZ that the rocker did not provoke the attack and was instead "sucker punched," adding that Manson plans to take legal action against the alleged assailant.

Manson's manager told TMZ that while at the Denny's a pair of fans asked for a photo. Manson obliged the request and was then punched in the face by someone who "came out of nowhere," his manager continues, adding that Manson did not insult either fan.

An eyewitness, Johnny Scott, told the Calgary Sun a similar story, saying that Manson "never got a chance to sit down."

"He was being friendly with everyone, anyone who wanted a picture, he would give them a picture, anyone who wanted an autograph he would give them an autograph," Scott said. "They were just talking and the guy just punched him right in the face without any provocation."

Manson is currently touring in support of his latest album, The Pale Emperor, on his Hell Not Hallelujah tour. This summer, he'll join Smashing Pumpkins on a co-headlining tour, dubbed The End Times.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr082015

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich ACM New Artist of the Year nominee is a co-writer on Kenny Chesney's #1 hit "Come Over"? ANSWER: Sam Hunt.


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Wednesday
Apr082015

DJ Ashba on Sixx:A.M.'s First Tour: "I've Never Been This Excited to Play a Concert" 

Credit: Paul BrownSixx:A.M. will launch its first-ever full-scale headlining tour tonight in San Francisco.  Since the band, led by Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, was never conceived of as a live unit, Sixx:A.M. has had to create versions of its material for the stage.

"When we wrote the stuff we never envisioned we were ever going to have to play it live," guitarist DJ Ashba tells ABC Radio.  "So it's just been a really fun challenge figuring out how to play these songs live now."

From the start, Sixx:A.M. categorized itself as a studio-only band, but the massive fan reaction to the group's music made the members want to take the band on the road.  In recognition of its fans' support, Sixx:A.M. took to its Facebook page to ask fans to help build the set list for the tour.

"The fans are really, I guess, to blame for turning this into the monster it's kind of become," Ashba laughs.  "So it's really important to us to put together the set that the fans want to hear.  We got killer feedback.  We're going to put together a really nice, lengthy show that gives the fans exactly what they want."

As pumped as the fans are to finally hear Sixx:A.M. live, Ashba's excitement to actually perform live with the band is on another level.

"I've never been this excited to play a concert in my life," he says.  "It's just because I never thought I was going to have a chance to play some of these songs live, so I'm really looking forward to this."

Sixx:A.M. will be joined by cello-rockers Apocaylptica on the tour.  Ashba tells ABC Radio that the Finnish band was at the top of their list when they chose an opener.

"The main goal was to find somebody who was trying to do something in the similar vein as what we were doing, and that's push the envelope and not be the same, typical band," he says.  "Somebody that's being out there trying to do something real different and move mountains and be super creative, and [Apocalyptica] were the first band that came to mind."

Sixx:A.M.'s tour will wrap up on April 29 in Silver Spring, Maryland.


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