Day in Pop Report for 02/23/2016

Today's Top Stories

Taylor Swift Donates $250,000 To Kesha

(Radio.com) In the wake of a New York court's decision to uphold Kesha's record contract with Dr. Luke and Sony, Taylor Swift has donated $250,000 to the pop star, Billboard reports.

"In a show of support, Taylor Swift has donated $250,000 to Kesha to help with any of her financial needs during this trying time," a spokesperson for Swift told the publication.

Kesha alleges that Dr. Luke drugged and raped her a decade ago, with continued abuse during the course of her career. As a result of the court's decision, Kesha cannot record outside of her contract with Dr. Luke and Sony. Read more here.

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50 Cent Ordered To Bankruptcy Court Over Cash Filled Instagram Posts

(Radio.com) 50 Cent aka Curtis James Jackson III will have to appear in bankruptcy court after a judge got wind that he had been posting several questionable photos on his Instagram account. Those photos show the rapper either posing with or displaying massive amounts of cash around his house.

In a hearing on Thursday in Hartford, Connecticut, Judge Ann Nevins said, "I'm concerned about allegations of nondisclosure and a lack of transparency in the case. There's a purpose of having a bankruptcy process be transparent, and part of that purpose is to inspire confidence in the process" (via Washington Street Journal).

50 Cent originally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 13, 2015, shortly before he was ordered to pay Lastonia Leviston $7 million for leaking her sex tape. Leviston still hasn't collected any of that money, and she, along with 50 cent's mortgage lender and a business partner still owed money, flagged the Instagram photos.

Although 50 Cent's lawyers have not responded to Judge Nevins' order, they did state that the rapper's Instagram photos should not count as evidence in any motion against him. "By including pictures from [Mr. Jackson's] social media accounts and implying that [he] is hiding assets'the [three creditors] intentionally ignore that [Mr. Jackson] is in the entertainment and promotion business and must maintain his brand and image (or those of the products he is promoting)," they wrote in filed court documents. Read more and see the photos here.

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Rihanna Releases Two Videos For 'Work' Featuring Drake

(Radio.com) Rihanna has released two music videos for her track "Work," featuring Drake. The videos are edited together, with the racier version immediately following the first.

The first steamy clip features the artists getting hot and heavy on the dance floor at a house party we'd like to be invited to. Following by a fake loading screen, the second video is just Rihanna and Drake alone in what could be the champagne room. Wearing a completely see-through top, RiRi continues her private dance for Drake.

Interestingly, our first inkling that Rihanna and Drake had a new song together came through news about the video. In January, eagle eyed fans in Los Angeles noted a casting call for horseback riders and police officers to appear in the new clip. Check out the clips here.

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Dr. Luke Says In Tweet That He 'Didn't Rape Kesha'

(Radio.com) Dr. Luke has taken to social media to share his thoughts on his legal entanglement with Kesha. Although he issued an official statement earlier on Monday through his attorney, his current posts take a decidedly more personal tone.

In a series of tweets Gottwald unequivocally denies the allegations. "I didn't rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her," he tweeted. "It's a shame that there's so much speculation out there basing itself on so little information," he continues.

"The only truly objective person who knows the facts is the judge. The judge did not rule in Kesha's favor on Friday. I understand why people without all the information are speaking out. I can appreciate their compassion. But lives can get ruined when there's a rush to judgment before all the facts come out."

He ends the statement by thanking "all my friends and family who have supported me throughout this," and with an assertion that this legal matter should be tried in a court of law.

See Dr. Luke's full statement, via Twitter, here.

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Ja Rule Announces His Final Album 'Coup De Grace'

(Radio.com) Rapper Ja Rule's fans have been waiting the new music he promised them in July of 2014. This past weekend, Ja told his fans he was changing the name of his eighth studio project.

Originally titled Genius Loves Company, the Queens, New York native said he was changing the title to Coup De Grace. He also made a shocking announcement saying Coup De Grace would be his final album. Ja Rule made these statements on Twitter on February 20.

"My next album will be my best!!!" he began. "And I changed the name of my LAST ALBUM!!! It's no longer gonna be called Genius loves company My best shall be my last In the words of @iamdiddy don't bother me I'm WORKING!!! Bare with me be patient this is ART I'm creating!!! COUP DE GRÂCE My soul will be one with C.D.G My BEST shall be my LAST!!!" Read more here.

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Nick Jonas Slams Dating Rumors And Confirms New Music Coming

(Radio.com) Pop star Nick Jonas is constantly in the rumor mill concerning who he's dating. Although he usually ignores the gossip he hears about himself, this time it became too much to keep quiet about. The singer took to his Twitter account to address recent rumors about his love life.

"I've now been romantically linked to two of my friends wife and girlfriend while third wheeling at dinner with them. #sofunnyiforgottolaugh," the beginning of the mini rant started. Continued by saying the media cropped photos of him and his friends to make it look as if he were on dates rather than hanging out with groups of friends. Jonas said he was single, "I am pretty sure I am the most reliable source," he tweeted.

Jonas also confirmed he was working on new music and it would be coming out soon. He concluded the series of tweets with, "Ready to share the journey I've been on this last year through my music Which is coming very soon." Check out Nick's tweets here.

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Gigi Hadid Taps Backstreet Boys For 'Lip Sync Battle' Surprise

(Radio.com) Model Gigi Hadid has plenty of experience when it comes to music videos, but can she hold her own when it's her turn to take over the musical spotlight? It sure looks that way. Hadid, who is currently dating Zayn Malik, will appear on an upcoming episode of Lip Sync Battle where she battles Tyler Posey.

After Channing Tatum convinced Beyonce to join him onstage when he battled his wife Jenna Dewan Tatum, it only makes sense that subsequent performers have needed to up the ante.

Wearing a black catsuit wasn't enough to win over the audience; Hadid enlisted the help of two Backstreet Boys to perform their song "Larger Than Life."

Nick Carter and AJ McLean join her to surprise the audience right before the chorus. Read more here.

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Jason Derulo's 'Wiggle' Lyrics Decoded For Old People

(Radio.com) At first listen Jason Derulo's "Wiggle" lyrics seemed obvious but upon closer inspection, there are some phrases and words that don't make sense when looked in the Oxford English dictionary.

This could present a problem for anyone older than say 30. And, Derulo's song is so upbeat and fun that everyone deserved the right to join in. This is where Jimmy Kimmel comes in.

Before Derulo's performance on last night's show, Kimmel brought Derulo out to sing a few bars so they could discuss them one by one, helping the older set grasp their meaning.

For example how and why would one go "ham sandwich?" Watch Kimmel's new segment called "New Lyrics for Old People" to find out here.

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Early Halsey Mall Performance Of Blink-182 Song Uncovered

(Radio.com) Many a fledgling pop act have developed material, courted fans and tested their mettle in the American shopping mall. From Tiffany to Justin Bieber and every boy band in between, mall gigs are one of the first signs that young act can transition to superstardom.

A few years ago, singer Halsey was one such wannabe with no stage, production or original material to stand behind. Then known as Ashley Frangipane, newly rediscovered video from 2013 shows Halsey singing Blink-182's "I Miss You" and "If I'm James Dean, You're Audrey Hepburn" by Sleeping with Sirens.

Her signature technicolor hair was a fetching shade of pink, and her vocals revealed what the world would come to learn about her talent. "Like, you guys can totally sing with me," she tells her friends behind the camera. Watch Halsey do her thing in a Philadelphia mall, before she became a thing here.

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Jack Antonoff Wants To Record With Kesha

(Radio.com) Support for Kesha continues to pour forth following a judge's ruling on February 19th denying her injunction to break her contract with Sony Music. Producer Jack Antonoff has an alternative option for Kesha: Record with him.

On February 19th, Antonoff, known most widely for being half of the group fun., became one of the few high profile male artists to join the call to #FreeKesha. On Monday (February 22nd), Antonoff followed up that support by offering to record with her and leak their track. Admitting he didn't know the legal ramifications, Antonoff offered, "I'm around," if Kesha wanted to take him up on the offer to make music together.

In a follow-up tweet, Antonoff also wrote he and Kesha could "just make something and wait on it till that creep can't block you anymore. standing offer," referring to Dr. Luke. Read more here.

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Destiny's Child Members Reunite At Kelly Rowland Birthday

(Radio.com) It's been 12 years since Destiny's Child released a studio album, titled Destiny Fulfilled. Their reunions since then have been few and far between, most notably Beyonc's first appearance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2013 and then a collaboration for Michelle Williams' gospel chart-topping track, "Say Yes."

Apropos of nothing Destiny's Child-related, Kelly Rowland turned 35 this month and celebrated her birthday over the weekend. She uploaded a total of 11 photobooth-style shots from the bash, featuring friends, family and music industry folks. Rather slyly slipped into the series, however, was a photo giving the internet cause to actually say "YES!"

It featured two married moms in their 30s and their fun single friend Michelle, out for a night on the town. If you look closely, however, the women pictured compose the final, iconic lineup of girl group Destiny's Child. From left: Beyonce Gisele Knowles, Kelendria Trene "Kelly" Rowland, and Tenitra Michelle Williams.

Not pictured were LeToya, LaTavia, or Farrah-earlier members who may take some solace in knowing nothing is forever, and that today even Beyonc is a former member of Destiny's Child. See the photo here.

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Joey Martin Feek Tearful Having Made It To Daughter's Birthday

(Radio.com) Last week was a big one for Joey + Rory's Rory and Joey Martin Feek as their daughter celebrated her second birthday and the pair's older daughters represented them at the Grammy Awards (even though they didn't take home a trophy).

"Joey barely slept the night before Indiana's birthday," Rory Feek wrote on his This Life I Live blog. "She was too excited. Jody said she didn't fall asleep until about 5 am, around the time that Indy and I woke up.

"When Joey woke up, a little before noon, I came in to see her and tears were flowing down her face. Again, I put my arms around her and asked, 'why are you crying honey?''We made it', she softly answered. 'We made it'. And once again, my tears mixed with hers." Read more here.

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Dr. Luke Says Kesha Free To Record Without Him

(Radio.com) Even though a judge denied Kesha's injunction to release her from her recording contract with Sony Music on February 19th, Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald) says she is free to record without him.

In a new statement, Dr. Luke's lawyer Christina Lepara said, "The New York County Supreme Court on Friday found that Kesha is already 'free' to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she doesn't want to. Any claim that she isn't 'free' is a myth" (via Rolling Stone).

Dr. Luke also used the statement to deny all rape accusations. "As Dr. Luke has said repeatedly, the allegations against him are outright lies that have been advanced to extort a contract renegotiation and money," the statement read. Read more here.

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Chris Stapleton Takes On Tom Petty Classic At Milestone Show

(Radio.com) Last week (Feb. 18), Chris Stapleton checked a very big experience off his bucket list. The singer-songwriter played the Mother Church of Country Music, Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Maren Morris opened the sold-out show, which included flawless renditions of Stapleton's Traveller album as well as a few collaborations.

Stapleton was joined on stage by his former band, The SteelDrivers for a few songs, including their 'Ghosts of Mississippi" and 'Sticks That Made Thunder." At one point, the group's Tammy Rogers even told the crowd, 'Anytime Chris Stapleton asks, we're going to show up."

One of the night's biggest moments was when Stapleton welcomed back Morris for a cover of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'." Stapleton's wife, Morgane, who joined her husband intermittently as a background vocalist, came to the foreground when she took the lead on the couple's version of "You are my Sunshine." Read more here.

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Taylor Swift Reacts To Middle Finger Award

(Radio.com) Taylor Swift continues to wrack up accolades after taking home the 2016 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. The pop star won Best International Solo Artist at the 2016 NME Awards on Wednesday (February 17th), and had a few things to say about the charming golden middle finger statue that all winners receive.

Swift received the award in the mail, and in a video acceptance speech admitted, "I gotta be honest with you about this: When you first open up the box, this feels a little aggressive," she said. "And then you get used to it, you put it on the shelf. You're like, 'You know what? I kind of like it,'"

She added, "First impressions were a little weird here, but now I understand that this is actually like a strange compliment. You're like being cheeky about it." Watch the full speech here.

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Lukas Graham Explains Important Message Behind '7 Years'

(Radio.com) Four years after releasing their debut, Danish band Lukas Graham are about to crack the U.S. on the strength of their new hit, "7 Years," an unusual song, where frontman Lukas Graham looks back on his life. He recently spoke with Radio.com about the song.

"Well, it's a strange song in the sense it doesn't have a hook, and it doesn't have like a fixed structure, which I kinda like about it. It just has this folky vibe that progresses through the ages and lets you grow with the song."

Although Graham is in his 20s, he says the song appeals to people of any age. "I think no matter how old you are--if you are 80, maybe you feel like the song wasn't written for you. But yeah, a lot of people can relate to it, and that's what I experience when I hear people talk about it. It's their feelings and their story that they portray through something I wrote."

It covers a subject not normally discussed in pop music: "The song's basically just about becoming a good father, and being such a good father that your children would want to come and visit you when you're an old, boring man. I had a really, really cool father, so that's what I wanna be too." Read more here.

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Miley Cyrus Rumored To Have Had Secret Wedding

(Radio.com) Ever since Miley Cyrus landed in JFK sporting her engagement ring from her ex-fiance Liam Hemsworth, rumors have been circulating that the two are not only back together, but taking that serious step down the aisle. Now, Life & Style reports the two have secretly wed.

Life & Style claims the couple actually married during the winter holidays. Miley and Liam fashioned rings out of palm fronds in a symbolic gesture rather than a legal act, and apparently plan to have another ceremony in March to make things official (via Yahoo).

Liam's brother Chris Hemsworth and Chris' wife Elsa Pataky, among other family members were reportedly in attendance during the winter ceremony. Read more here.

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Blaqk Audio (Davey Havok, Jade Puget) Stream Song From New Album

(Radio.com) AFI's Davey Havok and Jade Puget have announced an April 15 release date for their third full-length Blaqk Audio album, Material. The electronic music-loving duo have launched the project by streaming the first single titled "Anointed." The song is a free download when the album is pre-ordered on iTunes.

"I'm so very excited to offer Material to the world," says Havok. "My anticipation for each BA release heightens as we grow. For me, lyrically, Material is darker than our records of the past."

"Considering this is Blaqk Audio's third record over the course of its 15-year existence, it's always an exciting and rare opportunity to release a new batch of songs," says Puget. "Each new release finds us in a very different place, creatively, than the last," adds Puget. "Influences are different, musical interests have slightly or vastly shifted. As a writer, I've moved fully onto [software music sequencer] Ableton Live since the last album, which changes my workflow and writing style."

"'Anointed' highlights themes of misplaced hopes of salvation, redemption and rebirth that carry through the record," explains Havok. "Material is the blank canvas, the fundamental substance, the base of what we create." Stream the song here.

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