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This Week's Top Pop Stories

Here are the top stories from this past week's Day in Pop report
Singing Nun Covers Madonna's Like A Virgin
( The singing nun, Sister Cristina Scuccia won over fans in Italy after winning the country's version of The Voice this past summer and stole the internet's heart with her amazing pipes. And now she's got people talking once again with her choice of debut single.

Sister Cristina released her own cover of Madonna's "Like a Virgin," making it the most literal version of the 1984 song that you will ever hear. (preview and order here) The 26-year-old singing nun told the Italian Catholic paper, Avenire (via the BBC) she released the track "without any intention to provoke or shock," but is prepared for the backlash that may come her way.

"It's a song about the ability of love to make people new," she said. "To redeem them from their past. And that's how I wanted to interpret it." Read more here.

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Interscope Drop Chief Keef?
( To everything there is a season. Chief Keef has reportedly been dropped from Interscope, according to reports from an internal source and seemingly corroborated by Keef's Twitter.

Keef's relationship with Interscope started back in 2012, when he released Finally Rich, his successful debut album. Two years later, and he hasn't dropped anything besides a few free mixtapes and other loosies. quotes an internal source at the label, who claims that the rapper's legal woes contributed to the label's decision to release him. "Keef and his people tried to keep the label accountable (once Keef moved to Los Angeles) but Interscope didn't seem interested in dropping a new album. Keef's team tried to have formal meetings but nothing moved," the source told the website.

Read more here.

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South Park Releasing Kanye West 'Hobbit' Spoof
( Kanye West is the gift that keeps on giving to the creators of South Park. First there was the "Gay Fish" song, in which West was accused of liking "fish sticks."

Then came the accompanying Bonnaroo controversy. Several years later, Trey Stone and Matt Parker took more swings at their favorite punching bag, spoofing him in a song called "My B***h Ain't No Hobbit" that parodies Yeezus closer "Bound 2," and features Yeezy alongside a "hobbit" version of Kim Kardashian.

While the episode originally aired last year, the song will be released on 7-inch vinyl for the Black Friday version of Record Store Day next month, Consequence of Sound reports.

Read more here.

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Annie Lennox Clarifies Beyonce Criticism, Calls Out Twerking
( Longtime feminist activist and former member of the Eurythmics Annie Lennox has clarified her stance on Beyonce's lite feminism. While promoting her new album Nostalgia, the artist sat down with NPR to discuss her controversial comment from last month.

"I didn't specifically criticize Beyoncι," she said. "I was being asked about Beyoncι in the context of feminism, and I was thinking at the time about very impactful feminists that have dedicated their lives to the movement of liberating women and supporting women at the grass roots, and I was saying, 'well, that's one end of the spectrum, and then you have the other end of the spectrum.'"

But while she noted that she didn't exactly have anything against the R&B singer, she does have some thoughts another aspect of modern music - more specifically, one of its dance crazes.

"Twerking is not feminism," Lennox continued. "That's what I'm referring to. It's not - it's not liberating, it's not empowering. It's a sexual thing that you're doing on a stage; it doesn't empower you. That's my feeling about it."

Read more here.

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The Game Sued Over Alleged No Show
( The Game has been slapped with a lawsuit after failing to show at this year's Kentucky Derby. The rapper born Jayceon Raylor, along with his manager Cash Jones, are being sued for more than $75,000 in damages for breach of contract, Courthouse News reports.

Raylor was scheduled to perform at the event on May 2 and was wired a $35,000 deposit, but Jones allegedly canceled the day of the performance after his demands that the rapper would headline weren't met.

"Following multiple discussions defendant, Cash Jones made an eleventh-hour determination that the Game would not travel to Louisville and would not perform at the event," the plaintiff, Dream Team Entertainment LLC, said in its seven-page complaint.

After backing out last minute, The Game reportedly never repaid his deposit or the $30,000 cancellation fee. Read more here.

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Sara Evans Releasing Christmas Album
( Country singer Sara Evans is getting into the holiday spirit this Christmas with the release of a holiday album. At Christmas will be available on Nov. 17 and includes holiday classics like "Silent Night," "Oh Holy Night" and "Winter Wonderland."

Additional tracks include "12 Days of Christmas," which features vocals from two of her daughters Olivia (12) and Audrey (10). The title track "At Christmas" is an original song that was penned by Shane Stevens and Toby Lightman. The album was produced by Mark Bright.

At Christmas is available for pre-order exclusively through Walmart. The album will be available on Nov. 17. More including the cover art, tracklisting and other news here.

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Wiz Khalifa Releases Interactive Stayin Out All Night Video
( In his first ever interactive video, Wiz Khalifa borrows John Legend's girl and stays out all night. Khalifa and Chrissy Teigen do all of the things - they crash a wedding, she gets his name tattooed on her back and he dances in smoke bombs. As one does when staying out all night.

What makes this experimental and interactive is the viewer's choose their own adventure. Different paths through the night are offered up, giving them the chance to take the path that most interests them. Want to see more wedding shenanigans? Done. Prefer to see Teigen scale a wall? It's an option.

It's an interesting concept, made more so by using Director X (Iggy Azalea "Fancy," Drake "Started From the Bottom"), who is known for his story-focused videos. This platform is a challenge for a director of his type, but also a chance to stretch his storytelling legs - if only because the story got longer.

Check out the video here.

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Naked Chef Treats Taylor Swift To Shake It Off Parody
( Taylor Swift's love for music and baking is no secret, so on a recent visit to England the country turned pop singer met up with chef Jamie Oliver for a proper bake-off.

After he introduced himself, the typically friendly Swift wasn't impressed by Oliver's nickname, the Naked Chef. "I'm not doing this if you're going to do this naked. I don't want you to be naked ever," she told him. "Just get your head in the game."

Oliver then picked up his baking utensils to sing an appropriate rendition of her single called "Bake It Off." While he danced around the kitchen to the clever song with lyrics like, "I'm a baking king/ Baking is my thing/ So come into my ring," Swift is busy actually baking.

Clearly displeased with his spoof on her song, she is seen rolling her eyes and covering her ears. "Pop stars can't bake, bake, bake, bake, bake/ My cake's gonna taste great, great, great, great," he sings. Eventually, Oliver even manages to get Swift dancing in the kitchen.

Watch it here.

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Kevin Hart Pokes Fun at Drake and Drake Fires Back
( Drake's air-ball-heard-'round-the-world had quite the commentary from actor/comedian Kevin Hart. Hart took to his Instagram Monday evening (Oct. 20) following the rapper's botched basketball attempt with the Kentucky Wildcats.

He posted a video of Drake's failed shot, a clip of the rapper's "0 to 100/The Catch Up" playing in the background (Drake raps in the song that he's "Steph Curry with the shot," referring to Stephen Curry, a point guard for the Golden State Warriors).

After his miss, a brief clip of Hart's standup commands him to "sit the f**k down." "That moment when you forget your profession and try and live in the moment!" he added in the caption, followed by a staggering amount of hashtags, including #CanadaHatesThatHeDidThis and #DrakeMakesBadDecisions.

Of course, Drake was quick to respond on his own Instagram page. With a picture of Hart looking contemplatively at the camera, he posted a response: "I was watching @kevinhart4real air ball video and reading the hashtags on the plane with this face…" He added his own glut of hashtags. Read more here.

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Lorde's Hunger Games Soundtrack to Feature Kanye West, Charli XCX
( If you ask Lorde to curate a soundtrack, she will deliver. Case in point: the soundtrack for the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, which includes some of the coolest music stars around right now. Once again proving why Lorde is one of the most influential teens in the world.

Fans already know the album will feature the Chemical Brothers and Miguel on a song called "This Is Not a Game," but those guys will be joined by Chvrches, Tove Lo, Tinashι, Charli XCX with Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon, Bat For Lashes, Grace Jones and Stromae on a track that features Pusha T, Haim, Q-Tip and Lorde.

Lorde released her own song from the soundtrack, "Yellow Flicker Beat," which is currently helping Katniss Everdeen get the courage to visit District 12 in the movie's latest trailer. But it seems the song got a little reworking by none other than Kanye West. And as if she wasn't busy enough, Lorde lent another song to the soundtrack called "Ladder Song."

"Curating the soundtrack for such a hotly-anticipated film was a challenge, but I jumped at the chance," Lorde said in a statement. "The cast and story are an inspiration for all musicians participating and, as someone with cinematic leanings, being privy to a different creative process has been a unique experience. I think the soundtrack is definitely going to surprise people."

Check out the tracklist here.

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T.I. Releases Mobster 'King' Video
( Don't mess with T.I. Sure, he's an agreeable family man four seasons in to his reality TV show, and presumably many years distant from the violent lifestyle he made his career by dramatizing. But judging by his latest video, success has made him anything but soft.

Today he released the video for "King," off his new Paperwork LP. The clip finds him returning to visiting old crime associate, with vengeance on his mind.

He's playing some version of himself: "I only see you on the TV now," the gruff mobster tells him over the phone. They meet in a dimly lit bar, where the mobster tries to blackmail him.

Not to give away the ending, but T.I. has certainly learned some tricks from the classic "gun in the toilet" scene in The Godfather. Things don't end well for his adversaries.

Watch the video here.

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Rapper Who Cut Off Own Penis Turns Incident Into Stand-Up Routine
( Christ Bearer, the Northstar rapper and former Wu-Tang Clan affiliate who's now best known for cutting off his penis and jumping two stories, is laughing off the whole matter.

The rapper has since gotten sober and had his genitals re-attached - and as part of his recovery, he's addressing the whole incident in doing stand-up comedy.

At the Ha Ha Cafe comedy club in North Hollywood, he debuted his new routine where he pokes fun at his questionable decision. TMZ obtained footage that shows the rapper joking about it.

"One time I heard voices, the voices told me, 'Cut your d**k off,'" he told the audience. "I said, 'What?!' 'You heard me, cut your d**k off.' So I did. Folks, I don't care how high you get, once you chop off your penis you sober right the f**k up quick!

"So I just jumped out the window. I woke up, the paramedics were trying to find a pulse. I said, 'F**k the pulse! Find my d**k!' You can't be black, broke and [with] no d**k. That's like being white with bad credit, right?"

Read more and watch more here.

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Ringo Starr To Be The New Face of Skechers
( Over the years, Ringo Starr has been many things: a Beatle, a solo artist, an actor, a narrator (of children's show Thomas and Friends), a train conductor (on another children's show, Shining Time Station) and a visual artist (he spoke with at a gallery showing of his work at the Soho Contemporary Art Gallery in July) and of course, an enthusiastic promoter of peace. And love.

More recently, he's gotten into the fashion game via a "#peacerocks" t-shirt that he collaborated on with John Varvatos that benefited the Ringo Starr Peace & Love Fund for the David Lynch Foundation, and also modeled for Varvatos in an ad campaign earlier this year.

Now, he's moving into footwear, as he's going to be the face of Skechers shoes. Starr is set to appear in the footwear company's global marketing campaign for its "Relaxed Fit" line, which seems to make sense for a chill guy like the former Beatle.

The campaign will kick off next spring via a series of funny ads that has so far featured mostly big names from the sports world including football legends Joe Montana and Joe Namath, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and baseball legend Pete Rose. Another baseball star, Mariano Rivera, will also in ads coming early next year.

Read more here.

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Little Big Town Have Surreal Grand Ole Opry Induction
( October has been a very good month for Little Big Town. During their performance at the Grand Ole Opry on Oct. 3, the country quartet were invited to join the Opry by Opry member Reba McEntire.

"It was like a two-night high," Kimberly Schlapman explains to of their invitation and then induction into the Grand Ole Opry. "The first night when were were invited, Reba McEntire came out while we were singing 'Pontoon' and she started ad-libbing at the end and was saying, 'Motorboatin', motorboatin'.'

Phillip Sweet tells how the band heard McEntire singing first in their ears and then she came out on stage at the end of the song: "She lights up the room. It was incredible."

"She invited us and of course we blubbered. Two weeks later we were inducted by Vince Gill and Little Jimmy Dickens," Schlapman adds. "It was so special. Our families were there."

This past Friday (Oct. 17), the group was officially inducted into the Opry. In an interview with promoting their new album Pain Killer (out today), the band recalls the years leading up to that very "surreal" experience. Read more here.

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Ice Cube Gets Angry For Jimmy Kimmel
( If you've ever doubted Ice Cube's gift for acting (which would only be possible if you haven't seen Boyz in the Hood), his recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live will change your mind.

The rapper-turned-actor proved his ability to transform a script when Jimmy Kimmel asked him to read off the most innocuous lines you could think of in Ice Cube's signature angry voice.

"You must have some anger that you can reach down deep and claim for us," Kimmel said, re-introducing the concept, which the pair first did together back in June. "Oh yeah," Cube responded.

As for the lines Kimmel asked Ice Cube to recite? They included, "Yes, I would like to add baby spinach to my breakfast smoothie," "Rainbows are majestic visions that remind us how beautiful life truly is," "Thank you for the Crate & Barrel gift card. You always know what to get me" and much more.

Watch it here.

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iLoveMakonnen Delivers Tuesday Video
( While you're at home on a Tuesday watching television like some average Joe, Drake and his latest OVO signee, iLoveMakonnen are out at the club, turning things up.

Makonnen dropped the clip for his song "Tuesday" on none other than a Tuesday to maybe inspire us to get out there. Though, from the looks of it, the club is pretty spare on a Tuesday. That is until Drake gets there, then things go down. We're talking other people watching a tipsy Drake dance and talk about partying on a Tuesday.

But, the video also features some normies doing some totally mundane things like cooking eggs and folding laundry. We all know they'd rather be having another drink with Drake in the club. Who wouldn't?

Watch "Tuesday" here.

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Teyana Taylor Teases New Song with Fabolous
( What becomes of the broken hearted? Apparently they writhe around in red satin sheets. At least, this is what Teyana Taylor gives us one minute and 27 seconds of in the preview video for her new song "Broken Hearted Girl."

This snippet, featuring Fabolous, is from her forthcoming and much anticipated album VII. "I want people to relate to my music and be like, 'Yes, yes! I go through that'," Taylor told

"I have a lot of love records on my album. I want people to be able to feel like real love exists. All of the lyrics come from the heart. Everything is genuine."

VII is out Nov. 4. Check out the preview video here.

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Gwen Stefani Releases Baby Don't Lie Video
( The last time Gwen Stefani released an album, iPhones did not exist. The year was 2006 and Gwen's The Sweet Escape tore up the Western world with smash singles like "Rich Girl" and "Wind It Up."

Eight years later, the world is a very different place, but Gwen is ready to do it again. She just released the video for a song called "Baby Don't Lie," the first track off an upcoming new album that'll be produced by Pharrell.

The production retains the booming, schoolyard-chant quality of her earlier work, tacked on to sky-scraping synths. "And you love me good, don't lie. But there's something behind those eys, that you can't disguise," croons Stefani as she strides across a fantastic landscape of shifting colors and geometric shapes. The whole thing feels like like "Hollaback Girl" by way of Coldplay.

There's no word yet what her forthcoming LP will be called, or when it will hit shelves. The Sweet Escape - and its predecessor, Love Angel Music Baby - were both smash hits, hitting the top five on the Billboard 200 and selling millions of copies each.

Watch the video here.

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Lorde's Royals Banned in San Francisco
( Lorde has just been banned in San Francisco. That is, until the World Series is over. This year's World Series features the San Francisco Giants going up against the Kansas City Royals, a team Lorde immortalized in her hit song "Royals."

As Lorde's made clear, the song was inspired by a photo in National Geographic of Kansas City Royals third baseman, George Brett. The photo, which was taken by photographer Ted Spiegel, appeared in an article about Kansas City in July 1976 and shows Brett signing baseballs for a crowd of fans. Lorde said the word "Royals" on his jersey struck a chord with her and inspired her to write the song.

Lorde got a chance to meet Brett before her show in Las Vegas, even getting in a photo with the retired player. But, San Fran seems concerned that the song could add extra fuel to Kansas City's fire, that's why two local radio stations in the area have announced that they will become a "Lorde-free zone" throughout the series, according to Billboard.

Read more here.

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Dustin Lynch Hit In The Face With Beer Can
( Oct. 17 was not a good night for Dustin Lynch. According to Detroit's 99.5 WYCD (a CBS Radio station), the country singer was bleeding, injured and annoyed at the Mullet Festival held in Niceville, Fla., on Friday.

This frustration came when a fan lobbed a full beer at the singer, hitting him directly in the face. "Who threw the beer?" Lynch asked during his cover of Garth Brooks' "Friends In Low Places."

Midway through walking down the catwalk, a loud "Ow!" was heard from Lynch. Bleeding, Lynch pointed to the area the beer came from and tried to find the culprit - but to no avail.

"I'm going to keep singing," he says while bleeding. "What was the point of that, man?" Later that night, Lynch thanked fans on Twitter for their concern, before telling PEOPLE Magazine what had happened. Read more and watch video here.

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Sleater-Kinney Releasing First New Album In A Decade
( Sleater-Kinney are officially making their comeback. The Pacific Northwest riot grrrl band have just announced their first new album in 10 years, along with a 13-date tour that starts in February.

The news comes just as the band is gearing up to release a their Start Together box set - out today - a decade-spanning, 3,000-copy limited edition deluxe vinyl set of remastered editions of each of their seven albums.

The new album No Cities to Love, produced by John Goodsmanson, who's worked with the band before, is out Jan. 20. "We sound possessed on these songs, willing it all - the entire weight of the band and what it means to us-back into existence," Brownstein said in a press release.

Read more and check out the video for the first track here.

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Taylor Swift Premieres New Song Welcome To New York
( A few hours before its expected arrival time, Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York" has hit the Internet. The track, the latest taste of her upcoming album 1989, is a synth-laden tune that finds Swift singing the praises of New York City.

Think you know what the song's about from the title? You're probably right. The track features Swift running down the reasons why she loves the city so much, painting a glitzy, worry-free portrait.

Don't necessarily expect the song to become the new city anthem like "Empire State of Mind" did a few years back, but as far as free PR for your city, New York could do much worse than a co-sign from one of the world's biggest pop stars at this moment.

"Welcome to New York," she sings. "It's been waiting for you!" Listen here.

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Coldplay Announce New DVD and Live Album Releases
( Didn't get to see Coldplay on tour for their latest album, Ghost Stories? Don't worry, they're bringing the live show to you in the form of a new live album and DVD out Nov. 24.

The release, appropriately titled Ghost Stories Live 2014 after their recent record, will feature not only a CD of live performances, but a movie directed by Paul Dugdale, who also worked on the 2012 Mylo Xyloto film.

The film will feature footage from a concert held in Los Angeles before the release of the album. Some of this footage may look familiar to fans who checked out the television special pegged to the album's release, which aired on NBC last May.

Their is also a DVD featuring music videos, including previously unreleased clips for B-sides like "All Your Friends" and "Ghost Story," along with a director's cut of the "Magic" video, which happens to feature a cameo from actor Peter Fonda.

Watch the trailer for the release and check out the complete tracklist for the CD/DVD here.

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Country and Rock Songwriter Paul Craft Dead at 76
( Paul Craft, a noted country and rock songwriter and member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, died this past weekend on Oct. 18. He was 76.

According to the Nashville Tennessean, Craft died Saturday at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital after years of health issues. Craft wrote songs for such country artists as Bobby Bare, Mark Chesnutt, Ray Stevens, Alison Krauss, Skeeter Davis, Trisha Yearwood, Moe Bandy and Gail Davies. Songs of his also earned a spot on albums by such rock artists as the Eagles ("Midnight Flyer" from On the Border) and Linda Rondstadt ("Keep Me from Blowing Away" from Heart Like a Wheel).

"Keep Me from Blowing Away" was among Craft's better-known songs, having been cut by not only Ronstadt but Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis and bluegrass group the Seldom Scene, who actually recorded the song first.

"Linda Ronstadt met John Starling, who's in the Seldom Scene," Craft explained during a 2012 video interview. "He sang her 'Keep Me from Blowing Away.' And she said, 'I want to do that!'"

Another notable Craft song is "Brother Jukebox," a hit for Mark Chesnutt in 1991 (though it was originally recorded by Don Everly of the Everly Brothers in 1977).

Craft was also nominated twice in the same year (1977) for a GRAMMY for two more of his best-known songs "Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life" and "Dropkick Me, Jesus (through the goal posts of life)." The latter was a top 20 country hit in 1976 for Bobby Bare.

"He was sittin' in a bar in Memphis and heard a guy say that," singer T. Graham Brown said during a recent performance (in a video posted to YouTube), talking about how Craft came to write "Dropkick Me Jesus." Then he "went and wrote it."

Read more here.

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Alan Jackson Announces 25th Anniversary Tour
( Country superstar Alan Jackson has been earning accolades throughout 2014, as this year marked his 25th anniversary as a major label recording artist.

Now Jackson is taking the celebration on the road starting early next year with his Keepin' It Country Tour. The tour kicks off Jan. 8 in Fort Myers, Fla., with stops planned in Los Angeles, Dallas and Salt Lake City, among other cities.

Currently the tour wraps up May 17 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver, though additional dates and stops may be added as well. Jon Pardi and Brandy Clark will join Jackson on the tour as opening acts.

The set list will include songs from throughout Jackson's career, including such significant hits of his as "Here In The Real World," "Chattahoochee," "Drive," "Gone Country," "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" and "Good Time." If lucky, listeners may also get a taste of Jackson's 2013 release The Bluegrass Album.

More including the dates here.

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Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris Go Outside For New Single
( Ellie Goulding is teaming up with Calvin Harris once again, for his new track "Outside," which is the follow-up to the 2012 track "I Need Your Love" off Goulding's album, Halcyon.

While the last time around Goulding was making kissy faces with Harris things have seemed to have gotten a wee bit darker. "I'll show you what it feels like," she sings, "now I'm on the outside."

Not that you would get the sense that things were on the downward slope with Harris' peppy beat featuring some electric strings and marching band drums.

Listen to "Outside" here.

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Jason Aldean Expands Burn It Down Tour
( The next round of Jason Aldean tour dates is coming - perhaps close to or in your city - this winter. The country singer has announced the second round of his Burn It Down tour over 23 cities starting in February.

Aldean's new jaunt will kick off Feb. 12 in Greenville, S.C., at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Cole Swindell and Tyler Farr will support Aldean on the tour.

A handful of other specific tour dates have been announced, with other cities revealed but not announced in terms of venues and calendar dates. More information will be revealed in the coming weeks, a press release promises.

Tickets are now available for the shows in Greenville and in Bossier City, La. Presale and ticket information has been revealed for Aldean's Feb. 21 show in Nashville at the Bridgestone Arena.

Check out the dates here.

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Lorde, Chemical Brothers, Miguel Release New Hunger Games Track
( First came "Yellow Flicker Beat," Lorde's (singing) contribution to the Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 soundtrack, which she curated herself. Now there's more new music, again from Lorde - but this time, she's more of a background player.

Consequence of Sound calls attention to "This is Not a Game," released Monday (Oct. 20). The track, the newest taste of the Mockingjay soundtrack, is helmed by the Chemical Brothers, with Miguel handling vocals and Lorde providing a few moments of her own.
BBC Radio 1 premiered the song today. Miguel takes the vocal lead in a sometimes-singing, sometimes-rapping style - "I'm talking 'bout a revolution," he cries - with Lorde popping up on occasion to croon, "there it is."

Meanwhile, the Chemical Brothers handle the production side, making a much-anticipated comeback after a few years away. The track is the newest from the Hunger Games soundtrack that Lorde curated, due out Nov. 18. Listen here.

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Gwen Stefani Releases New Single
( Gwen Stefani's new single, "Baby Don't Lie" isn't quite bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S, but it is a welcome surprise. It was already revealed that Stefani, who's currently heading up Team Gwen on The Voice, has been working on her third solo album-her first since 2006's The Sweet Escape-with Pharrell Williams, but on Monday she revealed a new track that has her teaming up with two other well-known producers Benny Blanco and OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder.

On the track, which she co-wrote with Blanco, Tedder and Noel Zancanella, Stefani asks for a little honesty. "Baby, tell me there's nothing but love," she sings before bringing on the "ooohs" and a few howls.

Stefani will make a special appearance at CBS Radio's We Can Survive show at the Hollywood Bowl this Friday (Oct. 24) alongside Taylor Swift, Pharrell, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Sia, Paramore, Alicia Keys and Lady Antebellum.

Listen to "Baby Don't Lie" here.

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Damon Albarn Confirms New Gorillaz Album Plans
( In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald about his latest solo album, Damon Albarn seems to have confirmed the world can expect a new Gorillaz album not this year but next. Along with several other projects.

The paper reports he's got many projects in the works in addition to the Gorillaz album, including writing a West End musical theater adaptation of a children's book and a new record from his The Good, the Bad & the Queen project.

What is not on tap, Albarn says, is new music from Blur. "I would imagine there's some kind of future but at the moment there's no time for the future - only the present," Albarn said of Blur. Read more here.

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Kelly Clarkson Covers Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me'
( "I just like the word 'stay' in songs, so I'm going to sing every song with 'stay,'" Kelly Clarkson joked at a recent concert in Chicago concert before covering the Sam Smith smash, "Stay With Me."

The quip was appropriate, as the pop star had just finished performing her own song entitled "Don't You Want to Stay." She did not, however, go on to cover Lisa Loeb or Charli XCX, though.

Sam Smith's version of the song still sits in the top 10 on the Billboard 200, and while Clarkson's soulful, husky-voiced rendition is not quite the vocal show-off that Smith's smooth, effortless version is, Clarkson's voice has enough personality (as does she, exemplified by the banter before the song) to more than make for a fun interpretation. Watch a video of the cover here.

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James Blunt Was Also Annoyed By 'You're Beautiful'
( How long did it take you to get sick of hearing the James Blunt monster 2005 hit, "You're Beautiful"? 100 times? 1000? Well, a lot of us got sick of it eventually, and it turns out that includes the artist that created the song, Mr. Blunt himself.

"[It] was force-fed down people's throats," Blunt said to Hello Magazine (via Spin), "and it became annoying, and then people start to associate the artist with the same word."

Such is the plight of many artists with one massive, inescapable hit. It is just rare that the artist joins the throngs of people bemoaning a track as being played out. Blunt aimed to change the perception of him on his latest album, 2013's Moon Landing. Whether he was successful is debatable.

Read more here.

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Hozier Provides Soundtrack To LeBron James' Akron Return
( Hozier's beginning to be everywhere - the radio, Saturday Night Live and now a new Beats commercial starring LeBron James. The clip, released Saturday (Oct. 18), celebrates the basketball star's return to the Cleveland Cavaliers and his home base of Akron, Ohio.

James finds his way back to the gym at his old high school, St. Vincent-St. Mary, as Hozier's vocal on his hit song "Take Me to Church" swoops in. He's seen in the weight room as flashbacks to his life in Akron are shown onscreen.

A final shot reminds viewers that the basketball gym at the school has been renamed the LeBron James Arena. James returns to Cleveland basketball for the first time in four years. He left the team in 2010 to become a free agent, later signing with the Miami Heat and winning a pair of NBA titles.

His return to Ohio has been heralded by many as a return home and perhaps a return to form for the Cavaliers, who have struggled since James' departure. Watch the video clip here.

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Beyonce Designer In Racial Controversy
( A designer known for his work with Beyonce has become embroiled in controversy after allegedly using a racial slur on his Instagram page - and fans of the singer are calling for her to boycott the designer as a result.

Michael Costello, a former contestant on Project Runway, bought a dress from up-and-coming designer Maxine James. She was miffed when he a posted a nearly identical version on Instagram, without crediting her.

She responded with a long post, Eurweb reports: "As a designer [you] should know first hand how heart breaking it is for ppl to take something you worked so hard on …..It's like why? Who does that?"

In response, Costello allegedly lashed out at her, according to a screenshot purportedly of his Instagram page. "Your just probably a dumb n-er defending her," the screenshot shows Costello's account saying. "I am royalty b-h! I dressed Beyoncι! Who are they gonna believe!"

Stephanie Costello, Michael Costello's partner, claimed the screenshot is fake, created by a former intern. Read more here.

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Paloma Ford Recruits Meek Mill For New Track
( Meek Mill isn't about to let a little jail time keep him down. The Dreamchasers label boss jumped on the latest single from R&B singer Paloma Ford, "Let Me See". Ford guested on his own "I Don't Know" back in May. Returning the favor, Meek delivers his verse in typically rapid-fire style.

"I'm certain I'mma get it/ Bout to kill it," promises Mill, looking towards the future from behind bars. "Close the curtains/ All these clown a** n****s/ We should put you in the circus."

The ferocity of his lyrical approach is matched only by the production, courtesy of D&D. The song sounds like a mix between DJ Mustard's snappy low-slung club anthems and the revving synths of festival EDM. Read more and listen here.

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Jason Derulo Plans Songs About Jordin Sparks Breakup
( Jason Derulo isn't going to let an opportunity for fruitful songwriting pass him by. In a recent interview with Billboard, the "Trumpets" singer explained that his recent breakup with longtime girlfriend Jordin Sparks was only going to help him with his career.

Asked about the breakup, he expressed a positive outlook. "I think sometimes in life things are placed in our lives as a lesson, so you've got to take every negative experience and turn that thing into a positive," he said.

Would he write songs bout the situation? "Oh, 100 percent," he explained. "I'm somebody who cannot keep those two things separate. Like, I have to put it on paper, put it on wax, put it in my songs. I cannot separate the two. My creativity, my personality won't allow me to separate the two."

Read more here.

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U2's Bono Has Eye Disease
( U2 and frontman Bono have been the punchline of the music industry for a minute after they loaded their recent album Songs of Innocence in your iTunes whether you wanted it or not.

Sometimes, these jokes go after Bono's trademark dark sunglasses, which now appears to be a foul, as the Irish singer has a legit reasons for always wearing the tinted specs.

"This is a good place to explain to people that I've had glaucoma for the last 20 years," Bono told Graham Norton on the BBC's The Graham Norton Show (via CoS). "I have good treatments and I am going to be fine."

Read more here.

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Migos Star Jumps Off Stage and Punches Fan
( Could Migos be the next big stars of the WWE? These days you can't go to one of their shows without seeing a few fisticuffs exchanged, usually initiated by the rap group. Case in point: a recent show in Springfield, Mass., when member Offset jumped into the crowd and began punching a fan.

There's no clear reason for his behavior, but the clip, courtesy of rap beef stalwart Vlad TV, shows him staring at the fan for several seconds before the altercation begins.

Though security are finally able to separate the two, Offset is able to land several punches before the fan is whisked away. Similar fights have occurred - reportedly or otherwise - at recent Migos events in Memphis and Indiana, the latter with concert promoters claiming the group robbed them at gunpoint. The message is clear: they may be Migos, but cross them and there's no guarantee they'll be friendly.

Watch video here.

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Iggy Azalea Responds to Divorce Claims
( Iggy Azalea's beef with a Texas man named Hefe Wine, who claims to be her husband, continues to broil. She's shot back on Twitter after his interview with XXL last Thursday, where he discussed their so-called common law marriage and claimed she's under contract to him.

This afternoon, Azalea fired off a series of tweets giving insight into her relationship with Mr. Wine, as well as her planned response to his comments: court. "i have such a great collection of witnesses now and I'm really excited to get my day in court and see justice prevail," the rapper tweeted.

She also claimed that the rapper's actual wife is "currently in court after he strangled her," referring to her name as Annette Buitrago. Iggy also addressed what seems like a case of extortion and blackmail by her "former husband." Read more here.

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Taylor Swift Hosts Secret Fan Events
( You probably haven't heard Taylor Swift's new album, 1989, but throughout the year she's been treating lucky fans in cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Nashville, Rhode Island and London to a first listen. And definitely making them sign a waiver so they don't reveal anything-and we mean anything-about the record, which from the beginning she's been keeping hush-hush.

In the clip, which features her recently released song with Jack Antonoff, "Out of the Woods," fans talk about what it means to get the secret invite. They didn't even know what was going on when they were asked to attend the Swift event. One girl even says she saw a woman with a cat dress and knew she was in the right place. Yeah, that's definitely a good clue.

Swift being the hostess with the mostess makes chocolate coconut cookies for the group, sneaks around the back of her mom's house as not to ruin the surprise and creepily watches them as they hang out in her apartment mingling together and most likely talking about how much they love Tay.

Watch the clip here.

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16 People Die At K-Pop Concert
( Sixteen people have died and 11 were injured after falling through a ventilation grate during a K-Pop concert as part of Pangyo Techno Valley culture festival in Seongnam, South Korea.

While watching the girl group 4Minute, the fans fell 20 meters when the grate gave out in the middle of the show. Around 700 people were in attendance at the show and as the incident occurred, the band continued to play without knowledge of the tragedy.

The dozens of people nearby the incident, however, were transfixed, standing round the three- to four-meters-wide hole and looking into it, according to photos taken.

Many of those who were injured from the collapse were rescued. Read more here.

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Munford & Sons Working On New Album
( We still appear to be a good while for Mumford and Sons third full-length, but news has dropped today that the British folk stalwarts are back in the studio with a pretty high-profile producer: James Ford, whose credits include Arctic Monkeys and Haim.

NME reports that an unnamed source has commented that, "It's very early days yet, but the sessions have been going well." Which is good news, as the next Mumford and Sons album is going to be one of the most eagerly awaited releases of 2015, whenever it actually materializes.

James Ford (no relation to the Lost character "Sawyer," who bore the same given name), is a member of influential electronic outfit Simian Mobile Disco, and has manned the helm of a slew of noteworthy releases, most recently with work on Jessie Ware's Tough Love, as well as production credits on Florence + the Machine's Ceremonials and Lungs, most everything Arctic Monkeys have done (including Alex Turner's solo work and The Last Shadow Puppets) and Haim's debut Days Are Gone.

Read more here.

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Trace Adkins Launching Christmas Tour and DVD
( Sitting beside a fireplace with stockings hung by the chimney with care, Trace Adkins announced last week that he will be releasing a holiday DVD called The Christmas Show.

While that DVD will surely get all country fans in the holiday spirit, he also just revealed a slew of Christmas Show tour dates. "The holidays are my favorite time of year and I'm excited to bring this show back on the road," Adkins said in a release. "These shows aren't just a straight up concert, they're bigger and more exciting with the 12-piece ensemble, the storytelling and some of the most beautiful arrangements I've ever heard."

Like his DVD, the carols performed on the tour include songs from his 2013 holiday album The King's Gift. "The Christmas season is a spirited holiday full of traditions and rich in history," he told fans in a video posted to Facebook Oct. 14. "A tradition for many families is listening to classic christmas carols on their most treasured holiday albums. Songs that bring warmth and love into their homes. This year I hope to add to your family's collection. I'm going to be releasing a live DVD, The Christmas Show, which features songs from my Christmas album, The King's Gift, and other Christmas classics. I'll take you on a musical and historical journey going back hundreds of years with stories and performances of seasonal favorites."

While the DVD will be available on his website, fans can catch Adkins on the road from Nov. 14 in West Point, N.Y., through Dec. 21 in Clearwater, Fla. Complete dates and venues here.

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Fat Joe and Jennifer Lopez Release 'Stressin' Video
( "No matter the situation, boy, I'm gon' hold you down." Jennifer Lopez and Fat Joe sang this endearing promise to each other on their smash 2005 collaboration, "Hold You Down."

Now they're calling in the favor. "Stressin'" is their new song together, their first in nine years. On Friday (Oct. 17), that song got its own video. The Bronx legends unite on a stomping anthem, proclaiming their love for New York and each other over a huge horn section. Jenny reps her block with a glittery NYC crop top.

In contrast, both he and his counterpart appear devastatingly kingly as they rap beneath a chandelier at a lavish banquette, schmoozing with French Montana.

Jenny asks a rhetorical question on the chorus: "So let me ask you one question, do it look like we stressing?" Watch the video here.

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Lupe Fiasco Reveals First Track From New Mixtape
( Following a little while out of the day-to-day music conversation, Lupe Fiasco has returned with a barrage of announcements and, thankfully, some new music.

After setting the release date for his new Atlantic Records album, Tetsuo & Youth, for Jan. 20 of next year, and a new mixtape titled Lost in the Atlantic, Fiasco has shared his first taste from the latter.

A smooth, brass-filled, early-Kanye-sounding track titled "Lilies," the song gets an assist from Sirah on the chorus and finds Lupe in top form. Not a bad start from the wealth of new Lupe Fiasco we should be expecting down the road. Listen tot eh track here.

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Rich Gang Release 'Freestyle' Video
( Birdman is flying high right now, his Rich Gang project held aloft by the buoyant voices of Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan. The three of them just shared the video for "Freestyle," off their recent successful Rich Gang: The Tour Part 1 mixtape.

On "Givenchy," Birdman delivers a spoken word segment about the Rich Gang lifestyle, defined by "marble floors, gold terlets and chandeliers." That luxury is evident in this video: the rappers cavort around a spacious mansion, Thug and Quan goofing around in between Doric columns while Birdman looks on, cigar smoke floating from his diamond-filled mouth.

He looks like a satisfied babysitter, watching the kids run around the mansion while he chaperones. While not everything is champagne and roses - "My baby momma just put me on child support / F**k her I ain't going to court," growls Quan - Rich Gang seem to be enjoying their well-deserved luxury.

Read more and watch the video here.

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Hank Williams Biopic Cast Revealed
( The Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light has finally started production and is filling out its cast list. Actors David Krumholtz (The Judge, Numb3rs), Josh Pais (The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU), James DuMont (Get On Up, Dallas Buyers Club) and Wrenn Schmidt (Boardwalk Empire, The Americans) have been added to the cast.

According to Billboard, Krumholtz will play New York journalist James Dolan, who interviews Williams. Meanwhile, Pais will play Dore Schary, the former production president of MGM who tries to persuade Williams in the direction of a film career.

DuMont will play the role of a music promoter and mayor named WB Nolan while Schmidt will play Bobbie Jett, who is the mother of Williams' daughter. She was born five days after his death.

Last month, Elizabeth Olsen was cast as Audrey Williams alongside Tom Hiddleson, who was tapped as the role of Hank Williams earlier this year.

Read more here.

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Gucci Mane Streaming New Album Trap God 3
( The newest in Gucci Mane's long, long line of 2014 releases is officially out. The rapper has tossed Trap God 3, his newest album, onto the Internet and iTunes. It's available to stream online and for a paid download at a rate of $9.99.

The album follows full albums Trap House 4, Gucci vs. Guwop and The Oddfather. A number of mixtapes and other collaborative releases have also been tendered.

Trap God 3 is predominantly focused on Gucci, though Chief Keef pops up on the song "Start Pimpin." The album has 17 songs total, with production from Mike WiLL Made It, London on Da Track and 808 Mafia, among others. Check out the stream here.

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Dillon Francis Remixes Deadmau5's 'Some Chords'
( Earlier this month, it was announced that Deadmau5 will be releasing 5 years of mau5, a double album retrospective containing "highlights from his most beloved back catalog alongside exclusive and new remixes from friends."

Today (Oct. 17), we discover that among those "friends" is DJ/producer Dillon Francis, who's revealed his new remix of Deadmau5's 2010 fan favorite, "Some Chords."

The original track was the lead single of Deadmau5's full-length from the same year, 4Χ4=12. Where the album version is a brooding, slow-building track that erupts into the artist's most memorable hooks, Francis has given it a much more aggressive and festival-friendly rework thick with multiple drops.

5 years of mau5 is set for release on Nov. 25, which is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The only American Deadmau5 tour date for the rest of the year is set for Nov. 1 at HARD Day of the Dead in Southern California, where he'll team up with Eric Prydz for a special back-to-back show on the "mau5-ville" stage.

Listen here.

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Little Big Town Releasing New Album, Pain Killer, This Week
( After a summer spent "Day Drinking," it's time for a Pain Killer. No we're not advocating aspirin or other over-the-counter relief. We're talking about the newest studio album from country quartet Little Big Town, which is set to drop this Tuesday (Oct. 21). Pain Killer is the title of the group's sixth studio album, and in honor of this release, Little Big Town is's Impact artist this week.

"We knew the record was going to be called Pain Killer way on into the process because we love that song," bandmember Karen Fairchild told Rolling Stone Country in July. "That song is really kind of tongue-in-cheek - 'be the person that numbs my pain.' We started talking about tying that thread through the whole record, to ease your pain. Don't we want the whole record to do that for people, anyway? Whether it's a sad moment, or a song that's more thoughtful and has a lot more substance in the lyric, we want music to take us away. Pain Killer fits, that's the common thread through all the songs."

As for "Day Drinking," that was the album's catchy lead single, released at the start of the summer. And if it didn't inspire actual quaffing of beverages, it certainly led to plenty of singing along-no wonder, then, that the song has reached the Top 10 of the country singles charts.

"It's completely fun," said Fairchild at the time of the song's release this past June. "It kind of led the way on the record. You've got to find one or two pieces that feel like, 'Ah, this is worthy of building this whole record around.'"

Read more here.

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Tanya Tucker Exhibit Coming To Country Music Hall of Fame
( The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville this week announced a new exhibit focusing on the life and career of country superstar Tanya Tucker.

"Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough to Bend" will open Nov. 14 at the museum and run through May 2015. Along with Brenda Lee before her and, later, LeAnn Rimes and Alison Krauss, Tucker is one of the few singers who made a significant impact on country music at a very young age. In Tucker's case, she was only 13 years old when she first caught the ears of famed Nashville producer Billy Sherrill in 1972. But her rich husky voice, confidence and grown-up attitude turned her version of "Delta Dawn" into a major hit.

Written by Alex Harvey and Larry Collins (a former child star himself with rockabilly duo the Collins Kids), Tucker's version of the song reached the country top 10 and earned Tucker a GRAMMY nomination. It also set the Seminole, Texas, native on a lifelong career on the country charts and in the commercial spotlight.

Tucker followed "Delta Dawn" success with a string of chart hits, many of which centered around mature subject matter that many a parent of a budding country superstar would likely frown on today. Hard to imagine, for instance, a teenage Taylor Swift belting out songs but like "Blood Red and Goin' Down," "What's Your Mama's Name," "The Man That Turned My Mama On" and "Would You Lay with Me (in a Field of Stone)." For Tucker, though, they found a ready audience, despite lyrics about public drunkeness, lust, infidelity and even murder.

"He sent me out to wait, but scared, I looked back through the door," Tucker sang on "Blood Red and Goin' Down," her 1973 No. 1 hit (penned by Curly Putman) about a little girl tagging along on her father's quest for violent revenge against his cheating wife. "And daddy left them both soaking up the sawdust on the floor."

Read more here.

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Pharrell Producing Snoop Dogg's New Album
( Snoop Dogg has made more headlines this year for his antics than his music, but expect that to change soon. After trickling out a couple of novelty tracks - "WFTV Millionaire" and "Bishop Gorman Move Them Chains" - Billboard has reported that Snoop is the latest signee to Pharrell Williams' I Am Other imprint, which is a subsidiary of Columbia Records.

I Am Other confirmed the news on its Instagram account, with a picture of Snoop and Pharrell shaking hands. "Snoop Dogg's new album is produced entirely by Pharrell, and will feature Charlie Wilson and Stevie Wonder," text on the photo announced, with an accompanying caption: "We're speechless too."

His new and currently untitled album will mark his first return to rap since 2011's Doggumentary. It will also follow up his reggae phase as Snoop Lion, where he traveled to Jamaica and embedded himself in Rastafari culture.

The latter is a period that inspired the Diplo-produced Reincarnated, which debuted at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on Billboard's Reggae Albums chart. Read more here.

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Film Rights For Steamy Harry Styles Fan Fiction Sold To Paramount
( Shades of, well, Fifty Shades of Grey. A steamy fanfiction featuring Harry Styles and One Direction is set to hit the big screen, Music Times reports. After, a story written by Anna Todd, was originally optioned for a book deal earlier this year, but will now potentially hit movie theaters after Paramount acquired the film rights to the fanfic.

The After film would be produced through Paramount's Offspring Entertainment offshoot. After is a very NSFW story written by Todd, a 25-year-old Texan, on the website Wattpad.

It follows Tessa Young, 18, who meets a "rude boy" named Harry - who is actually, indeed, One Direction's Harry Styles. Other members of the group make appearances as well.

The fanfic currently has 99 chapters and has received over 260 million hits on Wattpad, along with 1 million comments. Read more here.

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Jason Aldean's New Album Almost Had A Different Title
( It's been nearly a decade since Jason Aldean released his self-titled debut album, but instead of celebrating his past successes, the award-winning, multiplatinum-selling singer keeps his gaze ahead on his new album Old Boots, New Dirt.

He shares that very sentiment in "Just Gettin' Started," the album's lead track. "We're already having the time of our lives and we're just getting started tonight," he sings. "That actually was almost the title of the album," Aldean tells "It's a radio monster, I think. It's going to be a single for sure."

"Just Gettin' Started" is an energetic song, and it's become somewhat of a career motto for Aldean, who was determined to keep pushing forward on Old Boots, New Dirt, his sixth studio album, which just dropped last week. "I think we've got some of the best songs we've had on any record," Aldean says.

While it's been 16 years since the Georgia singer left his hometown of Macon for Nashville, Tenn., Aldean hasn't forgotten his roots. In fact, tracks like "I Took It with Me" remind him of where he's from. With lyrics talking about Highway 41, which runs right through Macon, he knew he had to cut the song.

"I was so drawn to that song because it does talk about Georgia," he tells "It took me back to moving to Nashville in 1998. I was born and raised in Georgia and never lived anywhere else, [and then I] moved somewhere where I didn't know anybody."

Aldean was only 21-years-old when he packed up his things and headed for Nashville. He says he didn't know it at the time, but he was getting ready to get beat down for a few years. As a result, he credits his stubbornness for helping him successfully navigate the industry.

"I always tried to be smart with decisions I made, just tried to remember where I came from and how long it took me to get there," he reflects. "Even once I got to town it wasn't easy. I think being stubborn was the best thing for me. It made me refuse to give up and take no for an answer. No matter how many of these guys would come up and say they didn't believe in what I was doing, I still did. I still felt that what we were doing was cool and different."

Aldean credits his stubbornness and his Georgia upbringing to his parents, and he says it's something that he's glad he's taken with him throughout his career. Read more here.

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Today's Pop News

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More News

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