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Day in Pop Report for 04/07/2016


Today's Top Stories


Country Legend Merle Haggard Dies On His 79th Birthday

Country music legend Merle Haggard died on Wednesday (April 7th) in California after months of battling with pneumonia. His passing came on the same day as his 79th birthday, which the star predicted to his family.

Haggard's son Ben wrote the following on his official Facebook, "A week ago dad told us he was gonna pass on his birthday, and he wasn't wrong. A hour ago he took his last breath surrounded by family and friends.

"He loved everything about life and he loved that everyone of you gave him a chance with his music. He wasn't just a country singer.. He was the best country singer that ever lived.

The Country Music Hall of Fame star enjoyed a long hit-making career including the classics "Okie From Muskogee," and "Today I Started Loving You Again".

Haggard was hospitalized back in December of last year and again last month for his battle with pneumonia. A number of country music stars paid tribute to Haggard. See them here.

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Judge Throws Out Kesha's Legal Claims Against Dr. Luke

(Radio.com) There has been an significant update in Kesha's ongoing legal battle with Dr. Luke. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich has ruled against Kesha's assertion that Dr. Luke has violated New York statutes commonly referred to as "hate crime" laws.

"Every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime," the judge wrote. Regardling Kesha's claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, the judge wrote:

"Insults about her value as an artist, her looks, and her weight are insufficient to constitute extreme, outrageous conduct intolerable in civilized society." Read more here.

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Notorious B.I.G.'s Daughter Lashes Out At Puff Daddy

(Radio.com) T'yanna Wallace, daughter of Christopher Wallace, better known at The Notorious B.I.G. took to social media to lash out at Sean 'Diddy' Combs, a.k.a. Puff Daddy, over a planned birthday tribute to her father.

In a series of deleted tweets T'yanna expressed her displeasure writing "Puff does nothing for my family. Tired of lying for his lame ass!" She continued, "I haven't spoken to puff in years, guess that's why I didn't get a ticket to the concert."

Apparently things have been resolved. "Me & puff talked, a lot of things were cleared up & everything is LOVE!!" Wallace tweeted. "So everybody can calm down."

The celebration in question is being billed as a Bad Boy Family Reunion, Diddy will be joined by Faith Evans, Lil' Kim, Mase, FrenchMontana, Total, 112, and Mario Winans. Read more and check out T'yanna's tweets here.

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Taylor Swift Releases 'New Romantics' Video

(Radio.com) Taylor Swift has released a new music video for her latest single "New Romantics." The clip features never before seen, behind-the-scenes and live footage from The 1989 World Tour.

Taylor's tweet calls the video "a love letter to her fans and a celebration of the 1989 era." "Looking out into an endless ocean of crowd, that was everything," says Swift in voiceover as the video closes.

"We're all really sad that it's ending but we're really happy because of what it was." The clip is an Apple Music exclusive, but you can check out a preview clip of the video here.

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Janet Jackson Delays Unbreakable Tour To Start A Family

(Radio.com) Anyone desperately waiting to see Janet Jackson live will have to wait a little bit longer. On April 6 the pop diva announced that she's postponing all tour dates so she can rest properly before trying to start a family.

Jackson, who is 49, made the announcement in a nearly two-minute video message to fans. "We're in the second leg of the tour and there actually has been a sudden change," she said in the clip posted on Twitter. "I thought it was important that you be the first to know."

"My husband and I are planning our family," she revealed with a big smile. "I'm gonna have to delay the tour. Please if you can try and understand that, it's important that I do this now. I have to rest up, doctor's orders."

She stressed that she has not forgotten about her dedicated fans and added that she will launch the second leg of the Unbreakable World Tour as soon as possible.

"I want to thank the dancers, the band, my entire crew," she added. "I can't wait for us to get started again. Thank you to all the fans for your love and your loyalty. That means so much to me. It's been a long journey and you guys have been there each and every step of the way." Read more here.

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Carrie Underwood And Miranda Lambert Duet

(Radio.com) Carrie Underwood co-headlined ACM's Party for a Cause-the three-day country music jam leading up to the Academy of Country Music's award ceremony-over the weekend, and she used the opportunity to showcase all the strong female voices currently reigning supreme in country music.

In addition to dueting with artists like Kellie Pickler and Kayleigh Bannen, who also performed at the event, Underwood invited surprise guest Miranda Lambert onstage.

The two sang a duet of "Somethin' Bad," Lambert's 2014 song featuring Underwood. Even though both women were up for Female Vocalist of the Year (a title Lambert would go on to win for the seventh year in a row) that didn't get in their way of having a damn good time. Strutting back and forth onstage, and belting out big notes, they celebrated each other with a tune that got the crowd screaming. Check out the duet here.

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Sara Bareilles To Play Ariel In 'The Little Mermaid' Stage Performance

(Radio.com) Sara Bareilles will soon be donning a red wig to play the role of Ariel in The Little Mermaid at Hollywood Bowl on June 4th. The film becomes the latest to receive the venue's unique outdoor treatment, which involves major artists performing songs from a popular children's movie while it plays in the background (via Billboard).

"I've been pretending I was Ariel in swimming pools since I was a little girl, and now I get to pretend on a bigger stage. This is just fantastic," Bareilles said in a statement.

Rebel Wilson will star opposite Bareilles by playing the sea witch Ursula. The rest of the cast includes John Stamos as Chef Louis, Tituss Burgess as Sebastian and Darren Criss as Prince Eric. Read more here.

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DeJ Loaf Releases New Mixtape 'All Jokes Aside'

(Radio.com) Rapper DeJ Loaf has released her new mixtape All Jokes Aside. The 11-track release can be downloaded or streamed online. DeJ had the following to say:

'There comes a time in a girl's life, where she becomes a young woman," said DeJ. "It's called growth, it's called maturity, it's called living life to the full potential and being true to who you are. That's what I represent.

"I feel good about everything that I am doing right now, because it is what I want to do. Not what anyone else wants me to do; it's what I want to do. I'm in charge. I run my show. It feels damn good." Download or stream the tape here.

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Paris Jackson Honors Her Father Michael Jackson With Tattoo

(Radio.com) To commemorate her 18th birthday, Michael Jackson's daughter Paris Michael Jackson stopped by a Los Angeles tattoo parlor on April 3rd to get some ink honoring her late father.

On Instagram, Jackson shared a photo of the tattoo, which reads "Queen of my heart." She had the saying tattooed in cursive on her left forearm. Explaining its meaning, she wrote, "To everyone else he was the King of Pop. To me, well, he was the king of my heart."

Dermagraphink Tattoo also shared a photo on Instagram commemorating the session. Jackson poses with the tattoo artist and her cousin Austin Brown, who tagged along to support her. Check out the photo here.

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Meek Mill Remixes Drake's 'Summer Sixteen'

(Radio.com) Meek Mill has released a remix of Drake's "Summer Sixteen." Drake originally released "Summer Sixteen" back in January, addressing his sparring partner from the previous summer, consoling him by saying, 'It's nothing personal, I would have done it to anyone."

Mill fired back with the track "War Pain," in which in reminds listeners why the conflict started in the first place: over Mill's claims that Drake uses a 'ghostwriter".

In other words, he hires someone to write his lyrics for him. 'You ain't writin', n--a, we caught ya, can't erase that s--, now you claiming you Hov now, why you stake that s--?" Check out the latest entry into this long running beef here.

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Beyonce Takes Legal Action Against 'Feyonce'

(Radio.com) A Texas firm called "Feyonce" has been served legal papers for selling engagement-themed merchandise that bears more than a passing resemblance to Beyonce swag.

The superstar filed suit against Feyonce, claiming "trademark infringement, unfair competition and trademark dilution, among a score of other statutory and common law violations," according to the BBC.

The suit claims the word "Feyonce" itself hits too close to Beyonce's own trademarks and brand signatures. "Defendants have willfully traded upon the goodwill and notoriety of Beyonce, arguably one of the most famous musical artists and entrepreneurs in the world," states the suit. Read more here.

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Kanye West Pays Tribute To Phife Dawg

(Radio.com) Thousands of A Tribe Called Quest fans descended upon Queens, N.Y. on April 4 to remember founding member Phife Dawg. The crowd included Kanye West , who spoke fondly of one of his greatest influences.

West said that listening to the Tribe's music as a young kid in the suburbs of Chicago enabled him to unapologetically be himself. "I'd always get into trouble for listening to music during the week

"And then I would have to go to detention or study hall, but I enjoyed it 'cause I had that Tribe tape and it didn't really matter how long that walk was," reported RollingStone. "Tribe made Kanye West. Made the kid with the pink Polo. Made it so I could dress funny." Read more here.

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Chris Martin Celebrates Son's Birthday Onstage At Coldplay Concert

(Radio.com) Many rock and pop stars have tried to describe the rush of adrenaline that comes from standing onstage before a packed arena. Tuesday night in Lima, Peru, Chris Martin gave his son Moses a taste of the limelight to celebrate his upcoming 10th birthday and fans cheered as Martin's youngest stood with his dad.

Martin's ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow shared the video of Moses emerging from the wings to greet the masses with the Instagram headline, "When your dad wishes you an early 10th birthday at work#coldplaylima."

Surely, more material presents await, but for an early birthday gift a brush with stardom isn't a bad start. Check out the video that Martin's ex posted online here.

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Singled Out: Dregas' Skin

Los Angeles singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Dregas tells us about the inspiration behind her latest single "Skin", which takes on a hot button topic. Here is the story:

I was sitting in my apartment in downtown LA listening to the Michael Brown protests going on outside my window and seeing a bunch of ignorance and hatred being spewed by my peers online and I was so filled with frustration and helplessness because it seemed no one was willing or able to see beyond their own realities and instead were so quick to condemn and judge. For me, songwriting is a quick and explosive process. Sometimes I've even written songs while asleep - woken up with a melody and lyrics in my head remembered from a dream. I went to the piano to distract myself from all the hatred I was reading online and the song just kind of happened.

The song ended up being a conversation between a woman of color and a white man about the innate differences in their realities and social privileges, one trying to convince the other about the existence of privilege, and the other trying to distract from it by pointing out her gifts. The verses were told from the female point of view, then somehow the chorus just came out from the male point of view and I just went with it. Normally, I would have tried to keep it all in one voice but it felt right as a conversation because that's what I felt was missing from all of the posts online - a conversation. People were so entrenched in their own perspectives that they refused to acknowledge the others'.

"Skin" has been a bit of a social experiment for me. Most people who have listened to it have picked up on the references to feminism and male privilege, but have completely missed the racial aspect of the song, and that's what the initial inspiration for it actually was. I think this is because many people are more willing to discuss male privilege because the line separating men and women is still a much more socially acceptable line to draw than one separating people of different races.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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