Day in Pop Report for 03/16/2016

Today's Top Stories

Madonna Addresses Allegations Of Being 'Drunk or High' On Stage

(Radio.com) Madonna's behavior on the final leg of her Rebel Heart Tour has raised some eyebrows. She's included a clown-costumed portion featuring "Tears of a Clown," made generous use of her liquor bottle props, and appeared to some critics to be genuinely "drunk or high" onstage.

The consummate professional unleashed a defense on Instagram, writing that the erratic behavior is just part of the performance and haters need to lighten up.

"Too bad people don't know the art of acting and playing a character," writes Madonna. "I could never do any of my shows high or drunk. And yes underlying all of this is sexism and mysongony which proves that not only do we not get equal pay [but] we are still treated like heretics if we step out of line and think outside the box!" See her post here.

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Mariah Carey Lands E! Reality Series

(Radio.com) Mariah Carey will star in a new reality series on E!. Fans will get an up-close-and-personal look inside the life and times of the diva on the eight episode series titled Mariah's World.

"I'm excited to bring my fans into my life for the next journey I'm about to embark on," Carey said in a press release. "I'm already having so much fun with this documentary and I know you will too. There is nothing like capturing these moments."

Bunim/Murray will produce what E! is calling an "eight-part docu-series," which will follow the singer as she begins her Sweet Sweet Fantasy tour in the United States and abroad. The show will focus on her planning her upcoming wedding to mogul James Packer, juggling her many business ventures and raising a family while balancing her life as a pop star and touring the world. Read more here.

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Rare Video of Tupac Freestyling Over Snoop Dogg Unearthed

(Radio.com) Rapper Tupac Shakur may have been taken from the world too soon back in 1996, but his music and memory continues to thrive. As many know, Pac loved tucking himself away in a studio and recording nonstop.

One of his friends and collaborators Big Syke unearthed video footage of Pac in the studio having a freestyle cypher with Warren G, Richie Rich, and Syke.

They are spitting bars over Snoop Dogg's beloved song "Gz and Hustlaz." he video shows the late rapper enjoying life with his crew while showcasing his massive talent. Check out the rare clip here.

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Drake Accused Of Distracting Chicago Bulls Player

(Radio.com) Drake's beloved Toronto Raptors were losing a tight game against the Chicago Bulls last night--the score, 106-103. With seconds left in the game, cameras caught the rapper leaning in and whispering to the Bulls' Justin Holiday as he inbounded the ball.

Holiday incurred a penalty for failing to inbound in less than five seconds, a perfectly reasonable mistake when the world's greatest rapper is yapping your ear off.

We may never know what really happened--was Drake taunting Holiday? Was he throwing up a celebrity smokescreen to distract gameplay? Was he whispering not to Holiday, but to himself, spitballing lyrics for a new single? Whatever the truth, Sports Illustrated journalist tweeted "Drake double-teams Bulls' inbounds pass to force 5-second violation" with a clip of the moment in question. Ultimately, Drake's team lost. Read more here.

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Rory Feek Says Emotional Goodbye at Joey Martin Feek Memorial Service

(Radio.com) A teary Rory Feek stood in the high school gymnasium where his late wife, Joey Feek, played out her teenage years and addressed friends, family and fans during her public memorial service in Alexandria, Indiana.

He began by recalling the reason he started a blog about their lives two years ago."Joey and I believed that God would give us a great story," he said. 'Not just a great story to tell, but a great story to live. And he has."

He moved on to recount their relationship and their amazing love story. "I'm here to tell you that it's possible to experience the kind of love you see in movies," he said. "All you need to do is give that kind of love first. And that is not an easy thing to do." Read more here.

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Zayn Malik Denies 'Shading' Kim Kardashian

(Radio.com) If Zayn Malik is hoping to weigh in on Kim Kardashian's nude selfie, he might be a tad late to that conversation. On Tuesday, March 15th, Malik tweeted, "Love how people feel liberated naked .. Read a book liberate your brain." His followers and others immediately took that to be shade directed at Kardashian, but he was quick to follow up and state it wasn't in a second tweet.

Moments after expressing that he didn't mean any shade by his initial comments, Malik wrote in a third tweet, "Love .. liberate yourself with education and learn to love everyone's expression .. I said love how exactly is that shade ? Explanation done."

If that explanation wasn't enough, Malik retweeted a fan who summarized his initial comments and clarified how they weren't shade. He added two emojis to emphasize how much he agreed with her interpretation: A smiley face wearing sunglasses and an "A-Ok" hand sign. Read more here.

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Eminem Covers The Weeknd's 'The Hills'

(Radio.com) Eminem performed at Lollapalooza Brazil over the weekend, where he just so happened to remix The Weeknd's hit "The Hills". On Saturday, March 12th, Eminem laid down a slick rap woven around the song's moody melodies.

While the rapper didn't show off his vocal prowess by singing along with the chorus, he did reveal aggressive verses that work perfectly with the song's overall tone.

Besides his Lollapalooza Brazil performance, Eminem will head to Argentina on Friday, March 18th and Chile on Saturday, March 19th to perform in each country's version of the massive festival.

Watch his cover of "The Hills" here.

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Jeezy Streaming New Track 'Gotta Be A Man'

(Radio.com) Jeezy has been keeping a relatively low profile since the release of his eighth album Church In These Streets late last year. However, he's back with a new single called "Gotta Be A Man."

The track comes from the soundtrack to the Bounce TV drama series Saints and Sinners. "Gotta Be A Man" finds the Atlanta trap rapper in familiar territory. He raps about putting nothing before getting money and not being able to fully commit to a woman because of that.

Jeezy spits, "I might rock a few shows, f- a few hoes / Chase that check, pursue a bankroll / Gotta keep the faith baby it's all God's plan / Until then I hope you understand, a man gon' be a man." Read more here.

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Ellie Goulding Covers Sting's 'Fields of Gold'

(Radio.com) Ellie Goulding is no stranger when it comes to performing before royalty. In 2011, she sang at Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding reception because the couple reported being big fans of her music.

As if that weren't pressure enough, on Monday, March 14th, the singer performed in front of the Royal Family at Westminster Abbey in London as part of England's Commonwealth Day celebrations.

Dressed in prim yet sharp attire, Goulding sang Sting's classic song "Fields of Gold." Her moving acoustic rendition fitted the pomp and circumstance surrounding the day. Backed by two acoustic guitars, Goulding's voice didn't strive to reach the power and punch it normally achieves, but instead observed a more somber tone.

Kensington Palace shared the performance on its Twitter account. Watch it here.

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Lil' Kim Remixes Drake's 'Summer Sixteen'

(Radio.com) Lil' Kim has released a remix of Drake's "Summer Sixteen", and she brings a sharp tongue to her version, speeding up the overall flow and rewriting the verses to reflect her own experience.

Where Drake's version sounds slightly more relaxed, even while the background beats exude an aggressive quality, Lil Kim speeds up her flow. As a result, the rap seems to match the track's mood. 'Mob ties with the legion probably got me moving like I'm the movie / Actin like he knew me, I am too elusive, life is too exclusive to worry / So Imma just live a little / I need an Oscar nomination, b-- I'm a living motion picture," she raps on one verse.

Elsewhere, Lil' Kim changes the chorus from seeking revenge to seeking bands. Drake originally raps, "Looking for revenge/ All summer sixteen," but Lil' Kim raps, "Looking for some bands/ All summer sixteen. While Lil' Kim's version is over one minute shorter than Drake's, it proves she's still got the fire power to hang tight in the rap game.

Listen here.

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LL Cool J Has Fun With Retirement Announcement on Twitter

(Radio.com) On Monday, LL Cool J disappointed fans around the world when he announced his retirement from the rap game. "Today I officially retired from music," he wrote. "Thank you for the love."

Very soon after, the rap pioneer deleted those tweets, reversed course, deleted that tweet, and announced that he was actually working on a new album. How quickly sands shift on social media!

"Today I'm officially coming out of retirement," he tweeted. "And starting a new album .. studio time is set for 8pm.. I'm gonna massacre the rap game!!!" Read more here.

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Kenny Chesney & Miranda Lambert Lead Music & Miracles Superfest

(Radio.com) Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt and Old Dominion will perform at the inaugural Music & Miracles Superfest. The event will benefit Nashville's Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, among other beneficiaries.

Chicken Salad Chick Foundation co-founder Stacy Brown lost her husband Kevin to cancer in November. "Music & Miracles Superfest was Kevin's dream," she said. "While in the midst of his battle against cancer, Kevin chose not to ask 'why me?' but rather 'why not?!'

Kevin asked boldly, 'Why not start a Foundation? Why not have a concert at Jordan-Hare Stadium? Why not ask Kenny Chesney to play it? And why not try and raise a million dollars in a single day to give to those who are in need?'" Read more here.

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The Bachelor's Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell Talk Wedding Plans

(Extra) On Monday night, Ben Higgins made it official by asking Lauren Bushnell to marry him on "The Bachelor." On Tuesday morning, Extra's AJ Calloway spoke to the happy couple in NYC.

Ben proved his heart belongs to Lauren by proposing again last night in front of her family. Lauren gushed, "He has made this whole thing that could be really difficult, going through all that then re-watching it, reliving it, he has made it so much easier, he is such a good listener and so supportive. I'm more in love with him today than I was yesterday, and the day he proposed; it keeps getting better and better."

The flight attendant is moving to Denver to be with her business analyst fianc. She shared, "I'm ready. Bags aren't packed yet, but probably in April."

Before setting a wedding date, the two are focusing on going on a "public date" first. On when they want the wedding, Ben revealed, "Hopefully soon, like, very soon. When I say soon, I would love to say early 2017, [late] 2016." And what about a TV wedding? Ben responded, "We're open to it, I think it'd be fun."

During the interview, Lauren showed off her Neil Lane sparkler, a 4.5-carat bauble said to be is worth $100,000. She raved, "It's pretty, huh? He did good."

The big question is: Is everyone pleased with his decision? "Extra" uncovered a video posted online featuring Ben's mom confessing she would pick JoJo Fletcher. Ben explained about his mom's comments, "I think this whole thing is a crazy experience for everyone involved. There are time when it spins you in the right place and that's like with Lauren, but, you know, my mom met both these women for a couple of hours one day and, you know, I was kind of asking for advice and she's like, 'I don't know what to tell you,' and really that's the only advice I needed. I just wanted her to meet the women, my dad to meet the women, and get to know Lauren now." Read more here.

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Singled Out: Chelsea Carlson's Belong

Chelsea Carlson tells us the moving story behind her new single "Belong" which is also a track that is featured on her recently released debut album "The Broken Road". Here is the story:

"Belong" has always been the song that defied the odds for me - and I really think that's very fitting, considering the song is about finding your place in the world and persevering through it all.

"Belong" was born on the streets of Boston, literally. I had just left class and was walking back to my apartment, my mind undoubtedly still in class-mode, when out of nowhere the idea for this song popped into my head. Honestly, I was pretty taken aback because it was such a happy, hopeful idea - pretty much the opposite of what I usually write songs about. But in the space of those three blocks between school and my apartment, I had figured out the entire chorus in my head. When I got inside, everything was looking so promising - I grabbed my guitar, figured out the chords and melody, andpromptly didn't finish it.

You see, originally, "Belong" was supposed to be a love song. Up until that point, I hadn't written any love songs, and I guess I was subconsciously trying to fill that void with "Belong." Except "Belong" was definitely NOT supposed to be a love song, and forcing it to be that way just sounded inherently wrong, so I dropped it and forgot about it.

Flash forward two whole months later - I was packing up my things to go home, and found the scribbled lyrics to that old chorus I never wrote a song around. After a shrug, I decided to give it another go. I swapped out the lovey-dovey lyrics for some self-empowering ones, and lo and behold, "Belong" burst into existence!

I think a lot of people my age - really a lot of people any age - are faced with figuring out, and possibly defending, where they think they belong in the world. At the time I wrote "Belong," I was going to music school, and while I knew I wanted to be a musician, I wasn't exactly sure where I fit into the whole musician scene. I was studying bass guitar, I had just parted ways with a pretty serious band, and I had started my "solo" career only a few months earlier. After all these years of being in the background of a band, I was finally working towards being a front-person, finally writing and recording my own songs. To top it all off, two days later I would be heading home to New Jersey - not just for winter break, but permanently. I wasn't going to be returning to Boston for the spring semester; I was going to stay in my home state and work on building my career there. All of this was a big step for me, and one that felt really right. I think this newfound direction was really inspiring to me, and was the driving force behind writing "Belong."

"Belong" sort of flew under the radar for a very long time. It wasn't until I actually recorded it for my debut album, "The Broken Road," that I realized just how much this song means to me and how much it really represents me as a musician. "Belong" is a huge contrast to the rest of album. It's soft, quirky, and acoustic. Everything else is heavier, definitely more rock-influenced. If you would have told me two years ago that I would be releasing "Belong" as a single, I probably wouldn't have believed you. But at the end of the day, "Belong" is the song that really tells the story. It really sums everything up. It is the story of a girl who was faced with adversity, overcame it, and believed enough in herself to become the person she is today, and follow her dreams.

The message of "Belong" is that everyone has dreams, a purpose, and a place. For me, this song represents the journey I took to follow my dreams of being a musician. For you, it might represent a new job, a place you want to live, a person you want to be with - any number of things. Regardless of what you want in life, you just need to get out there and go for it! Sometimes it might seem unattainable, or hard to explain. Sometimes you won't receive the support that you want. Sometimes you may even find that you're questioning yourself! But you just have to persevere through it all, hold onto your hope, work hard, and have faith that everything will fall into place. Because if you do all of this, you'll most definitely end up exactly where you "Belong."

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

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Click here to read today's full Day in Rock report


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