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This Week's Top Pop Stories
Here are the top stories from this past week's Day in Pop report
Ariana Grande has been named as the halftime headliner for the 64th NBA All-Star Game, which will be taking place on February 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Fans will be able to watch the performance and the game on the TNT network that will be kicking off their broadcast at 8 p.m. ET. And this won't be the only chance for fans to see Grande on TV.
The popstar is also scheduled to appear at this year's Grammy Awards where she has been nominated in two categories; Best Pop Vocal Album for My Everything and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Bang Bang," her collaborative track with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj.
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Jason Derulo will be the latest music star to pull double duty as a judge on a reality competition television show as he has signed on for the upcoming 12th season of So You Think You Can Dance along with veteran TV talent show judge Paula Abdul.
Derulo had the following to say about his new gig, "I am truly excited, and eagerly look forward to joining the cast of So You Think You Can Dance. It is one of the most respected and longest-tenured shows on network television, and I hope to be a part of new growth and continued success."
The new season will air this summer on the Fox television network and the auditions for the season will kick off this Saturday, January 24, in New York with Derulo, Abdul and Nigel Lythgoe acting as this year's judges and Cat Deeley as host.
Abdul released this statement about joining the show, "I have dedicated a large part of my career as a choreographer to discovering and mentoring some of the most iconic artists and performers from all over the world.
"So You Think You Can Dance has a long-standing history of launching brilliant careers for young choreographers and dancers in the industry. It's going to be a true honor and pleasure joining this panel with Jason and Nigel, and I'm looking forward to an exciting new season!"
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Country music star Shania Twain is bringing her Colosseum at Caesars Palace Las Vegas residency into fans living rooms with the release of a new live album and DVD.
Twain has teamed with Walmart to release "Shania: Still the One Live from Vegas," on March 3rd in two formats; a stand-alone CD and a DVD that includes behind the scenes bonus features.
Shania had this to say about the releases, "This show has been my labor of love for over three years. It has meant so much to me and was such a privilege to live out my visions on that stage, and it is so exciting to now get to share the whole experience with the fans all over the world!"
Check out the tracklistings.
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Chris Brown and Tyga have released a lyric video for the new single, "Ayo," which comes from their joint album, Fan of a Fan 2, the follow-up to their 2010 mixtape.
The lyric video, aside from spotlighting the new single, also comes ahead of the official video which will be directed by Colin Tiley (Enrique Iglesias, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake), according to ABC.
The new clip also comes ahead of the "Between The Sheets" Tour featuring Brown, Tyga and Trey Songs. The North American tour will be launching on January 28th in Hampton, VA.
Watch the new lyric video
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(Radio.com) The Little Monsters and fans of Adele who require no shared name are in a tizzy trying to figure out what a photo of the pair together, apparently in Los Angeles, posted to Lady Gaga's Instagram means.
First of all, if the photo is from Wednesday night (Jan. 21) as the caption indicates, Gaga has left brunette hair behind and returned to her usual platinum blonde. It's not impossible but it is suspect considering she was still brown-haired in photos posted to her account earlier in the same day.
That said, a slew of her previous Instagrams have shown her in the process of songwriting with producer RedOne or had captions talking about writing new material. So it's not too much of a stretch to think perhaps she's been working on music with Adele--it certainly seems to be what Gaga wants us to think. See the photo
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(Extra) "Extra's" special correspondent Angie Martinez caught up with New Kids on the Block and TLC to discuss their "The Main Event" summer tour with Nelly.
Donnie Wahlberg explained how the tour came to be. "We did a show together a couple of years ago and we are standing on the side of the stage watching them perform and we are like, 'This is a no-brainer.'"
TLC recently announced they are raising funds via Kickstarter for their final album. T-Boz said, "We're excited because we've always liked to do things that are different and a lot of the fans have been asking us for more music. We were like, 'Hey, we like to do things out of the box!' This is an innovative, different, creative and freeform record, so we were like, 'Let's try this and incorporate the fans and have them involved like they've always been.'"
T-Boz and NKOTB member Joey McIntyre laughed that Wahlberg proposed that NKOTB donate $10,000, much to the other band members' surprise.
Wahlberg smiled, "I'll make up for it now. This is an exclusive. The New Kids are [contributing $10,000] that I put them on the spot for, and I'll [donate] my own extra $10,000. That's $20,000 for TLC."
Regarding the generous donation, Donnie did have a few requests. "I'm going to be in the video. I'm going to lip sync in the video. I want to play bongos during their concert."
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(Radio.com) The price of high profile romance is that everyone gets to have an opinion on it. And sometimes, those opinions can come from within your own band, as has been seen in the recent back-and-forth between members of Fifth Harmony and members of The Vamps.
It all began in a recent interview, when Brad Simpson of The Vamps was asked whether or not he was still involved with Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui.
Billboard points out that the good thing to do here would either answer the question simply or to decline to answer, but what happened was much different. Instead, members of The Vamps made cracks about all having dated Jauregui, bro-ing out in the process and making themselves look pretty badly.
Well, the ladies of Fifth Harmony are having the last laugh, as Jauregui has kept her composure through the events, seeing her group mates standing up for her via tweets.
Camila Cabello tweeted, "the amount of sexism and immaturity is astounding. a man will treat a woman with respect and stick up for her when she's being disrespected."
Check out the series of tweets
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(Radio.com) Tyga fans, the wait continues. The term "bumpy" doesn't really do justice to the chasmic and fragmented road traveled by the rapper's forthcoming The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty; originally slated for last year, The Gold Album was delayed until 2015 after Tyga tried to leave his contract with Cash Money.
In October, he tweeted that "Gold album been done. my label holding me hostage so i can't release nothing. might just leak it for my fans then let them make $ off it."
He hoped to release the album on his own Last Kings label, and announced previously that it would come out on Jan. 27, next Tuesday. Now it looks like that won't be happening, either.
On Wednesday he tweeted that further debates with the label have held up the release date. He wrote, "The gold album won't be released the 27th still fightin with Label on my release. But will keep u guys updated.- T-Raww (@Tyga) January 21, 2015"
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(Radio.com) Have you ever heard of a guitar player named Blaze? We hadn't either. But after Blaze posted his video tribute to Brad Paisley--titled, appropriately, "Brad Paisley"--he has caught our attention.
And he's also caught the attention of Paisley himself. A young guitar whiz based in Las Vegas, Blaze got his first guitar at age 5 and started playing professional at 12.
He is described on his website as "a classic perfectionist" with with "jaw dropping" proficiency on the fretboard--keep in mind this is his own promotional copy talking, though if you check out his music, you'll see there is more than a ring of truth to those words. The guy is a substantial shredder.
His bio goes on to say that, while he's been a KISS fan since he was a kid, it was the guitar playing of country superstar Paisley that grabbed his attention more recently.
"One day I was flippin' around on the car stereo/And some cat was just tearin' it up on country radio," Blaze sings in his song "Brad Paisley." He goes on to say how Paisley has is now a favorite, while his "headbanger friends" think he's "crazy."
The good-natured video has Blaze singing and shredding in various Las Vegas locations, alongside showgirls, tourists and other local characters--including a recurring guy in an oversized Paisley mask. The lyrics tell about how he came to dig country music, and what he'd do to land a chance to jam with the "Perfect Storm" singer--including mowing his lawn. Read more
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(Radio.com) Can you imagine how Anastasia Steele, the female protagonist in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, must have felt the first time she met her soulmate, the titular Christian Grey? How about what she felt the first time they danced?
Method actor/musician Ellie Golding certainly does. In the video for her track from the Fifty Shades soundtrack, "Love Me Like You Do," Goulding steps into the shoes of the female lead, re-enacting her first walk through Grey's opulent offices. Later she does a recreation of their first dance from the film, with the skill level and choreography turned up to 10.
The parallel concept is skillfully done, with Goulding skulking around in a dimly lit shadow world that runs next to clips from the very brightly lit, modern looking film. It's a clever metaphor for the millions of women who have become fanatics of the series by putting themselves in the lead role.
The Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack will be released on Feb. 10, with the movie opening on Feb. 14. Watch the new video
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(Radio.com) Say what you will about Iggy Azalea but she doesn't let her haters get her down. The Aussie rapper has no shortage of confidence in the latest issue of GQ, where she gave one of her more pull quote-worthy interviews.
Among the highlights was when interviewer Sarah Ball asked what Azalea wants to be her legacy. In her mind, the worst case scenario is that she's changed hip-hop for the better. To repeat, that is the worst case scenario.
"At the very worst, if I have a short-lived career, at least I could say I sparked a change--that I inspired some leniency in what people accept in hip-hop," Azalea said. "And if I have a very long career and can be gyrating in a leotard at 35, that would be great."
Azealia Banks would definitely disagree with the rapper on that front, but, as Azalea explains, she doesn't care about that kind of beef. "When people choose me as the person they think should be speaking for them, I think, 'Well, I don't really care what someone in the industry or another artist has to say about it,'" she said. "Your opinion is biased anyway, because you want people to listen to your voice." Read more
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(Radio.com) When your baby's car collection is more expansive and luxurious than most adults dream of, and you've got a co-sign from Kanye West, it's time to celebrate.
That's exactly what Chief Keef does in his latest track, "Ain't Nothing." Produced by Ace Bankz, the track reads like a mumbled list of Keef's accomplishments. Among them: "Been gettin' money since '08/ been riding hunnids
Made it out the jects now I'm on a jet."
While Keef is flexing his bank status, he also reminisces about slanging drugs out of his grandma's house, with progressively more violent verses. "Grandma house sellin' dope out the back door/ Cops coming, I run out n-a," he raps. "I'm ready I'm finna shoot the f- up and lace my boot/ Now we finna shoot the muthaf--' pistols gettin' loose."
No word on where "Ain't Nothing" will appear on Keef's upcoming releases or if it's a mere one-off. His Bang 3 is expected soon. Listen to it
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(Radio.com) Many experts, self-help books and women scorned would argue that the thing men don't understand about women is their mutable nature. Chaka Khan pretty much nailed what that means with the track "I'm Every Woman" and Jhene Aiko aims to put a period on it with the video for her track "Spotless Mind."
In the vid she takes on multiple personalities through a day on a date, morphing from the low-key beach girl to the spacey hippie girl to the goth gamer girl to the high maintenance neat freak to' well, you get the picture.
In the end, just like in the song, her man still leaves her. It's a bit hard to discern if the message is meant to be that being everything to one person is a waste or if being true to yourself is more important than being in a relationship. It probably doesn't matter though, as she seems nonplussed about the dumping. Watch the video
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(Radio.com) The third annual Faster Horses Festival will return to Brooklyn, Mich., this July. Florida Georgia Line, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will headline the three-day festival.
From July 17-19, country fans will be able to camp out and enjoy live country music in the Irish Hills of Michigan. Additional acts on the bill include Frankie Ballard, Kristian Bush, Mark Chesnutt, Craig Wayne Boyd, Lee Brice, Clare Dunn, Mickey Guyton, Tracy Lawrence, Lonestar, Dustin Lynch, Justin Moore, RaeLynn, The Cadillac Three, Thomas Rhett and Dwight Yoakam. More acts are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Last year's festival saw performances from headliners Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert as well as sets from Little Big Town, Kip Moore, Brett Eldredge, Joe Diffie, Jana Kramer, Ashley Monroe, Parmalee, Cassadee Pope, Dan + Shay, Dee Jay Silver, Chris Stapleton, Cole Swindell and Austin Webb.
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(Radio.com) Will Ferrell was ejected from Wednesday night's Lakers vs. Pelicans game at New Orleans' Smoothie King Center for nailing a Pelicans cheerleader in the face with a basketball. Well, kind of.
Ferrell was actually filming a scene from his upcoming comedy Daddy's Home, co-starring Mark Wahlberg, who sat nearby with his faux family faking mortified looks.
"They're filming a Will Ferrell movie here at halftime, in which he drills a cheerleader w/a failed halfcourt shot," explained Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell in his Vine. Watch it
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(Radio.com) "Can you feel it?" So it begins, almost a declaration rather than a question, like a storm rising from the west, sounding a little bit like Mumford & Sons--but wait, aren't they on hiatus?--as it careens toward you.
It's "Geronimo," the first internationally reaching single from Australian indie pop act Sheppard, and it's come to take over the world. That's not to say "Geronimo" is all that the six-piece is and ever will be, but it's a heck of a good start. Released in February 2014, the song conquered Australia, then set its sights on the rest of the world, going top 10 in multiple countries, including much of Europe. Next up: America, where the song is already getting spins at KROQ (a CBS Radio station) and just broke into the Billboard Hot 100.
And that's not bad for a song that just sort of happened by accident. According to George Sheppard, frontman and one of three songwriters of the band (as well as one of three Sheppards; his sisters Amy and Emma also populate the group), "Geronimo" started as a spontaneous idea just moments before a gig, courtesy of guitarist Jason Bovino.
"We were literally about two minutes from going on, and Jay had found this little wooden DJ booth at the back of the stage, and he kind of stepped into that," George tells Radio.com. "He was wearing these big, thick boots and started stomping on the wood. It made this big reverberating sound all throughout the backstage. He called Amy and I backstage and he started playing that opening 'Geronimo' riff; I think he had a Mumford & Sons-y type of vibe to it.
"It was like a lightbulb moment; there was something so engaging about that way he was strumming the guitar that we instantly started singing that opening melody, that 'Can you feel it?' I don't know, it was just one of those songs that comes out of nowhere and blindsides you."
Sheppard's story accelerated in 2014, but it started in 2009. George--at the time in acting school--met up with Amy, who he says "wanted to be a musician from an early age." The two collaborated on the harmonies of an unfinished song, and suddenly it all clicked. Later, the band filled out with other members, including younger sister Emma on bass.
But it was no von Trapp children situation, as Sheppard is quick to point out. The sextet's musical attack varies, but it all comes back to the dual-vocal approach with George and Amy, who either trade off lead vocals or harmonize together. Think Of Monsters and Men in a more modern sense, sure, but their main influence goes back a bit further.
"Growing up in Papua New Guinea, we didn't get a lot of access to new music, but we'd listen to a lot of what our parents were listening to--like Eric Clapton, Cat Stevens and Fleetwood Mac," Sheppard says. "Fleetwood Mac is a big one for us, with all the boy-girl harmonies and the style of music they were making. That style of pop music was a huge influence on us. All those old-school pop acts' Even nowadays we have all these different influences and all have different iPods, iPod playlists. I think that is the aspect that sort of makes us who we are."
That approach first found the band success in 2013, when their song "Let Me Down Easy" was a top 20 hit on the ARIA Singles Chart (the Australian music sales charts), scoring a nomination for Best Independent Release at the ARIA Music Awards. A year later, at the 2014 awards, Sheppard was suddenly nominated seven different times, including for Album of the Year for their debut full-length Bombs Away and Song of the Year for "Geronimo." Though they only won once, for Best Group they did beat out the likes of 5 Seconds of Summer.
That big year also included three weeks atop the Australian charts. Who'd they beat? Pharrell, whose "Happy" had been atop the chart for 12 weeks. "I think the fact that it was someone so well-renowned as Pharrell was a pretty awesome moment for a little independent band from Australia," Sheppard says with a laugh. "I don't think Pharrell was too concerned, he was rolling around in his bathtub of money having a good time." Read more
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(Radio.com) The person suspected of hacking into Madonna's computer and then leaking her unfinished new album 'Rebel Heart' online back in December has been arrested in Israel.
Madonna has since had to release the leaked tracks as an EP, but it seems that the case of the leaking is not over. Billboard is reporting that a 39-year-old was arrested in Israel after months of investigating for this crime and others.
In a statement, Lahav 433 (basically the Israel version of the FBI) said the suspect "broke into the personal computers of several international artists over the past few months and stole promotional final-cut singles which have yet to be released and traded them online for a fee." Read more
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(Radio.com) Disclosure's songwriting is the subject of a new lawsuit filed by songwriter Katie Farrah Sopher. Sopher claims that she wrote the words for the duo's songs "Latch," "White Noise," "You And Me" and "Attracting Files."
The brothers, Guy and Howard Lawrence of Disclosure, have refuted these claims via a post on their Facebook page Wednesday (Jan. 21). "Firstly we want to make it very clear that every Disclosure song we have put our names to has been written by us," they wrote. "We sometimes write lyrics and melodies along-side whoever the featured singer may be (i.e. Sam, Eliza etc) and the great Mr. Jimmy Napes, but that is it."
They added: "So, just to be clear, all allegations made against us to do with this subject are completely false, as anyone we have ever worked with will back up. We didn't get into this industry to steal other people's ideas and we haven't - we are musicians, artists and producers."
Check out the full statement
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(Radio.com) The hardest thing to do is say I'm sorry, but Lil Wayne is doing just that with a free mixtape. On Tuesday night (Jan. 20), Wayne released Sorry 4 The Wait 2 featuring Drake, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, Mack Maine and Christina Milian as an apology for the hold-up of Tha Carter V.
The sequel to his 2011 Sorry 4 the Wait mixtape also has remixes of Beyonce's "Drunk in Love," Dej Loaf's "Try Me," iLoveMakonnen's "Maneuvering", Future's "Sh!t", and Rae Stremmurd's "No Type."
What may be more telling is the photo featured on the cover of mixtape, which has Wayne wearing handcuffs, but only cuffed on one wrist. The mixtape comes as Wayne continues to be at odds with his record label, Young Money, who have delayed Tha Carter V, even asking to be released from the roster. Read more and find the download link
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(Radio.com) Luke Bryan is gearing up for a busy 2015. In a press conference that aired live Wednesday morning (Jan. 21) from the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville (and was also shown live on his website), Bryan revealed that he'll be hitting the road in May for his Kick The Dust Up Tour.
The tour, which takes the name from a song off his upcoming album (no release date is set yet), will visit several cities, 13 of which he'll play two nights each. He will also headline seven stadiums this year in cities including Denver, St. Paul, Nashville and Detroit.
Randy Houser and Dustin Lynch will join Bryan for duration of the tour, while Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett will be added to his seven stadium dates.
"We're so excited about the lineup," Bryan said. "We feel that nothing will be a better time than in the summer time rolling into a big stadium and having all these guys."
That's not all, though. Bryan revealed that he will be ending his annual Spring Break Tour. On March 11 and 12, Bryan will say goodbye to his seventh annual Spring Break show in Panama City.
"We've had such an amazing run down there. It has been something I look forward to year after year. Last year was just amazingly over the top. [We had] over 200,000 people on the beach," he recalled. "We're going to end it on a big bang. It's been an amazing run. We just wanted to play some music on the beach and it's turned into albums and releasing songs online via iTunes and it's turned into physical albums. The last spring break album will be called Spring Break'Checkin' Out.."
Read more and see the tour dates
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(Radio.com) As far as anyone knows, Morrissey does not have Ebola. That didn't stop Moz from telling a fan that he indeed did have Ebola to avoid signing an autograph.
You have to hand it to the British icon. Coming up with reasonable excuses for not interacting with fans on the street has to be exhausting. Leave it to Morrissey to lay out the most ridiculous reason ever.
From Morrissey-solo.com (via Stereogum) "I met morrissey tonight but unfortunately his bodyguard would not allow me to take a picture and when I asked morrissey for his autograph he told me he couldn't because he has ebola'. typical morrissey answer' still exciting though."
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(Radio.com) Gwen Stefani is getting ready to re-launch her solo career via an upcoming album, and she'll also be taking the stage for her first solo show in six years at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles on Feb. 7 (the night before the GRAMMYs).
Stefani, of course, has performed sans-No Doubt in the years since that band has reactivated, notably at CBS Radio's We Can Survive concert in October of last year. But this will be her first full length headlining show since the end of her tour promoting her last solo album, The Sweet Escape, ended in 2007.
The show is part of her recently launched partnership with MasterCard, which included her appearing in a TV commercial for the company that began airing last month.
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(Radio.com) The 57th Grammy Awards broadcast is starting to take shape. Once again, legendary hip-hop figure LL Cool J will be hosting--a role he's held since 2012.
The emcee hosting the show is no surprise, and neither is the announcement that Sam Smith--who has six nominations this year including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist--will be making his debut GRAMMY performance.
Also added to the lineup are Miranda Lambert, Usher, Pharrell and the duo of Common and John Legend. Common and John Legend will perform their Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated song from Selma, "Glory."
Previously announced performers include Madonna, Ariana Grande, Eric Church, Ed Sheeran and AC/DC. Read more
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(Radio.com) The annual Vans Warped Tour is renowned as a launching pad for up and coming rock bands, and has branched out over the years to embrace a widening palette of genres and sounds for the traveling all-day festival.
The 2015 edition of the tour is no exception, with the announcement that this year's jaunt will now feature none less than the Neon Icon, himself, Riff Raff.
The rapper himself seemed pleased as spiked punch to announce his inclusion on the Warped Tour with an Instagram post, proclaiming himself as one of the 2015 headliners. See it
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(Radio.com) How do you follow up the highly cinematic video for "I Bet My Life," the first single from Imagine Dragons' upcoming sophomore album? By going a little more back to basics.
Rather than tell a story, the band's new music video for "Gold" is a tried-and-true performance video, though that doesn't mean it's too straightforward, either. Set in a warehouse, the video finds the band surrounded with brilliant reflecting lights and lasers, creating a scintillating sight to behold.
As the video stretches on, the colors change, patterns alter, but the song remains the same: the towering chorus is complemented by slo-mo shots as gold light shines forward.
"Gold" is the second song to be revealed off Smoke + Mirrors, Imagine Dragons' second studio album. It follows Night Visions, which put the Las Vegas rockers on the map with a string of top 10 singles in the U.S., including the inescapable "Radioactive," which set a record for longest time spent on the Hot 100 last year.
Watch the video
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(Radio.com) During a stop on Yelawolf's Slummerican Tour, the Alabama rapper pulled in his buddy Travis Barker for an impromptu acoustic performance of "Till It's Gone," the latest single from his upcoming album, Love Story.
Fortunately, cameras were present backstage at House of Blues in Hollywood, Calif. to capture the gritty, introspective song on video. "Oh man, Travis Barker, DJ Clever, Bones Owens and myself just set up backstage and jammed it out acoustic," Yelawolf told Radio.com. "Travis was just sitting there with a snare drum, DJ Clever slappin' his knees and Bones and the guitar, we just put mics up and recorded an acoustic version of it. It's pretty dope, man. Was just a backstage jam with me and my buds. We were going to record an acoustic version with me and Bones and Clever but I was like, 'Trav, jump in on this.' He threw his snare drum down and tapped it out. It was spur of the moment."
Yelawolf and Barker worked together two years ago on the Psycho White EP. Originally distributed through the Blink-182 drummer's Famous Stars & Straps clothing company. The five-song disc has since been posted to iTunes.
Watch the video
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(Radio.com) After getting some quality hang out time with their bestie Taylor Swift and taking a touring break--seriously, these sisters played every festival over the course of the last two years--Haim are back in the studio.
For the follow-up to their 2013 debut, Days Are Gone, Este, Danielle and Alana are teaming up once again with producer Ariel Rechtshaid, who seems to have found his spirit animal in David Bowie. Specifically, 1976 The Man Who Fell To Earth Bowie.
The HAIM sisters are up for this year's Best New Artist at the GRAMMYs, and Rechtshaid only had good things to say about the trio, telling Radio.com they deserve to win because "there's pop celebrity presence, and then there's the thing that musicians can articulate but I think everyone feels. HAIM has both, really."
See the photo and read more
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(Radio.com) According to Meghan Trainor, Harry Styles knows a thing or two about love. But, before you start spreading rumors about these two being the hottest new couple of 2015, let's make it clear, she's talking about his ability to write a love song. Nothing more.
The two recently teamed up for a songwriting session, where Trainor says Styles thoroughly impressed her. "Yes, I wrote a song with Harry," Trainor told BBC Radio 1 (via Billboard). "It was unbelievable. He's a very, very talented songwriter - I was very impressed."
Earlier in the day, Trainor told The Sun that she was initially "worried he'd just be a 20-year-old boy." "I walked in with a prepared voice and chorus. But he gave me very poetic, mature lyrics," she said. "I was like, 'Well, damn, Harry, you know what love is.'"
Trainor did not say when the song would be released, but did say it was a "cute acoustic love thing" on her ukelele. Read more
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(Radio.com) Did you know that in Amsterdam in 1983, a group of friends managed to kidnap the heir of the Heineken beer empire? And succeeded in landing the biggest ransom ever paid at that point for a kidnapped individual?
That crazy story is the basis of the new film Kidnapping Mr. Heineken. The film stars Anthony Hopkins, Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington and Ryan Kwanten, and it was directed Daniel Alfredson, whose credits include The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (the second and third films in the Millennium Trilogy created by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson).
At the start of the new trailer for the film, we see a group of friends playing pool in a bar, intercut with shots of Anthony Hopkins (playing the kidnap victim) issuing tidbits of wisdom. The friends are seen conjuring their get-rich-by-kidnapping scheme, while Hopkins is portrayed as the wrench in their plan. He is kidnapped, yes, but his words have bite and begin to get under the skin of the young team of criminals.
"There's two ways a man can be rich in this world," Hopkins' character says at one point. "He can have a lot of money, or he can have a lot of friends. He cannot have both."
Obviously, there is a lesson to be learned here. Which is why the promotional copy for the film includes this intriguing line: "It was truly the perfect crime'until they got away with it."
Kidnapping Mr. Heineken opens March 6 in U.S. theaters and on iTunes/VOD. Watch the trailer
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(Radio.com) Sway ain't got the answers; apparently, the Washington Wizards do. In a new interview with ESPN, Wale claims that Kanye West got a solid client for his budding designing career: the Washington NBA basketball team, for which Wale is a creative liaison.
'I'm not going to do anything corny, but I'm talking to Kanye about designing new uniforms," Wale said, according to CBS Washington. The rapper said it's all part of his plan to bring some life back to the franchise, perhaps a la Drake with the Toronto Raptors.
"I want to see the phone booth rocking every time I come here," he explained. 'I want to create the 'Lake Show," create what the Bulls had. 'I want to take the personality of our stars--John, Otto, Marcin--and create what Kemp and Payton had, what LeBron and D-Wade had. That's the vibe I want."
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(Radio.com) Lo-fi rock queen Karen O has a gift for pulling on heartstrings. That was especially evident on her last release, 2014's Crush Songs, which compiled previously unreleased tracks she wrote in the mid-aughts, and it's also apparent in her latest video.
The visual clip for "Day Go By," one of the standouts from Crush Songs, is a sweet escape about one couple's perfect summer day. They go swimming, ride on a motorcycle, and watch the sunset in the video directed by Wilssa, which consists of Vanessa Hollander and Wilson Philippe.
'I wrote this song when I was living in Los Angeles and my boyfriend was stuck freezing in New York--I really needed my fix of being with him but was miles away," Karen O told Vogue. 'Wiissa brings summer loving to everyone who's braving a cold winter's day."
Crush Songs, which is Karen O's debut solo album, is out now on Cult Records. Watch the video
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(Radio.com) Sam Smith is dominating the GRAMMYs this year. He is tied with Beyonce for the most nominations and his album In the Lonely Hour is up for the night's biggest award, Album of the Year. Smith revealed in an interview with Radio.com that some of the songs that didn't make the cut were with the top songwriters of modern times including Sia and Linda Perry.
"What surprised me was the songwriters I worked with," Smith says. "I got put in the room with some of the best songwriters of all time. Even though some of the songs I've done with certain songwriters [didn't make] the album, like I got to work with Sia and Linda Perry
that's amazing, just to meet them."
In the end Smith largely wrote with Eg White and Frazier T, who he calls "geniuses" and new songwriting talents Jimmy Napes and Two-Inch Punch. Smith says that he takes a Taylor Swift approach to songwriting, saying he goes in the room and reveals everything about his personal life and mindset that he needs to so the songs that come out of his sessions can be their best.
"I think songwriters get a bit shocked with me sometimes because I will sit in there and literally tell them my deepest and darkest secrets," Smith says with a smile. "I've got nothing to hide." Read more
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(Radio.com) If Miley Cyrus's Golden Lady tights commercial taught us anything, it's that the pop singer's gift for getting people talking extends to her ads. Further proof is her latest for MAC Cosmetics as their spokesperson for the Viva Glam ad.
Today brings the first look at Cyrus' commercial and, even though it's only 15 seconds long, Miley still manages to pack a whole lot of GIF-ready moments into a short window. She also makes comparisons to Madonna easily reachable with her platinum pixie cut, black lingerie and strip club background that recalls the iconic singer's 1986 "Open Your Heart" video, as Idolator points out.
In the commercial set to Miley's Big Sean-featuring Bangerz track, "Love, Money, Party," the #FreetheNipple poster woman lets loose in a mirrored room, dancing on a LED-lit strip pole and licking a disco ball.
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(Radio.com) Most people would agree that Stevie Wonder is an icon--except, that is, Stevie Wonder. In GQ's new Legacy Project, the magazine interviews Wonder, whose response to the very concept is to say, "Honestly, I don't even know what that means. God is the icon."
Wonder goes on to show a savvy appreciation for current music. One of his favorites, it turns out, is a young Compton rapper. He said, "Kendrick Lamar is extremely talented.
"But not only is he just talented; he has a real concern for the people. The good thing about the young is that they want to fix things. They don't want to fall into the same ol' bulls-."
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(Radio.com) For the second single off his major label debut Ignite the Night, Chase Rice is back with the laid-back "Gonna Wanna Tonight," which tells the story of the perfect night with his girl.
'He's praying the whole night that she's going to have the same vision of the night as he does," Rice told Radio.com of the song. "In this particular song you're basically just saying to the girl, 'Girl, I hope you're gonna wanna tonight.' It's a fun anthem chorus that gets real big. It's not the same rockin' melodies that I've had. It's a little bit softer side."
The video, which was released on Wednesday (Jan. 21) on CMT, brings the song to life as Rice is shown writing a song as he envisions the perfect night. There's plenty of hammock laying, drinking from red solo cups, candlelit card games, a campfire with s'mores and a midnight swim. Read more
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(Radio.com) Many videos that are companion pieces to songs from soundtracks take the easy route, using footage from the film to fill in the b-roll blanks. This, of course, would not do for The Weeknd. Even when he's crooning for S&M, he is on brand for himself.
And so the video for "Earned It" finds him doing his best Frank Sinatra on the set of a David Lynch film. The set is a theater, in which he roams from the seats to the stage, while a troupe of dancers, appropriately outfitted in costumes reminiscent of Cabaret chorus girls, swing whips around and flash the X-marks-the-spots taped to their buttocks.
Perhaps the highlight is the moment one female dancer, shown doing a full split, twerks her butt cheeks while masterfully holding the black X shaped tape on them in place.
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(Radio.com) Feuding rappers Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks will not be pleased to learn that they were recently confused by a Jeopardy champion contestant. The mixup happened when host Alex Trebek posed this question to Nicholas Berube: 'This Australian hip-hopper used the pet name/street name system to come up with her rap name."
Forgetting that the ocean, among other things, separates one Azalea from the other Azealia, Berube responded with the name of the Harlem upstart best known for "212": "Azealia Banks."
What's worse is that none of the other contestants figured out his blunder in time to give Trebek the correct answer. Somewhere right now, Azealia Banks is drafting her Twitter takedown--unless she was consoled by Berube's apology on Twitter.
After the episode aired, he tweeted at his favorite Azealia to let her know it was a harmless mistake. "Hey @AZEALIABANKS - I'm the guy on Jeopardy who mixed you up with Iggy Azalea. I apologize. I actually think you're awesome.- Nicholas Berube (@nicholas_berube) January 21, 2015"
Read more and watch video
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(Radio.com) Drake may be one of the world's most famous Lotharios, but even he is no match for the one-man flirtation machine that is his father. Dennis Graham is well known on social media for posing with beautiful women on his Instagram page, but now he's taking things one step further: Graham posted an image announcing that he's starting a new phase of his career, Complex reports.
"I am in search of a classy female rapper to collaborate with me on my new single,not looking for ghetto style rapper serious inquiries only please DM me," he writes in the caption of a photo of him posing in a black do-rag with a gold chain and an OVO shirt.
Nevertheless, he shouldn't have much trouble locating the perfect specimen; the post already has thousands of likes and hundreds of comments from prospective artists.
See the photo
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