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Day in Pop Report for 03/17/2016


Today's Top Stories


Frank Sinatra Jr. Suffers Fatal Cardiac Arrest

(Radio.com) Frank Sinatra Jr. passed away on Wednesday (March 16) of cardiac arrest. He was 72. The Sinatra family released a statement confirming the news saying the singer died unexpectedly Wednesday of cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The statement added that the family mourns the untimely passing of their son, brother, father and uncle. The son of iconic entertainer Frank Sinatra and his first wife Nancy Barbato Sinatra, was scheduled to perform at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach, Florida on Wednesday (March 16).

According to local NBC affiliate WPTZ he became ill in the afternoon and was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center. Sinatra was on his Sinatra Sings Tour and had been in Daytona for several days rehearsing. He was a show business veteran and had been performing for over 50 years. His older sister, Nancy Sinatra, confirmed the sad news on Facebook.

See reactions from various artists who are mourning the loss of Frank Sinatra Jr here.

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Ne-Yo's Wife Delivers Son In Emergency C-Section

(Radio.com) Ne-Yo and his wife Crystal Renay welcomed their little baby boy into the world on Tuesday, March 15th. The couple named their son Prince Shaffer Chimere Smith, Jr. Renay has already taken to calling her son "SJ" for short.

Renay recounted the scary details of the delivery on Instagram, explaining how thanks to complications she needed to have an emergency C-section. She thanked her doctor and husband, adding, "I was able to get through it all and come out with best reward in the world SJ!!!!!"

Ne-Yo's proud mama Lorraine also shared a picture on Instagram, welcoming her grandson into the world. Prince is Ne-Yo's third child. He and Renay were married in February after first announcing their engagement and pregnancy in August 2015 (via E! News). See the photo here.

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Drake Performs 'Work' With Rihanna In Miami

(Radio.com) Rihanna and Drake have a massive hit on their hands with "Work," so it makes sense that he'd follow her to Miami for a stop on her Anti World Tour.

On Tuesday night, the rap star joined Rihanna onstage to perform the track for an audience of thousands, capturing every bit of the chemistry on display in their videos for the song.

While the performance kept fans guessing about whether the pair are currently dating in real life, there's no doubt that performing together comes naturally to Drake and Rihanna. Either way, the crowd went wild when Drake appeared for the collaboration.

See some fan-made videos from the set here.

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Brett Eldredge, Chris Young, Cassadee Pope Added To ACM Awards

The Academy of Country Music have added Brett Eldredge and Chris Young with Cassadee Pope to the performance lineup for the upcoming 51st ACM Awards.

They will join the previously announced performers Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Cam, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Sam Hunt, Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Florida Georgia Line.

More artists are still to be announced for The ACM Awards, which will be broadcast live from MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 3rd at 8:00pm ET on the CBS television network.

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Kelly Lang Announce Release Show For Throwback Album

(Webster) Kelly Lang has announced that she will take the stage at Nashville's 3rd and Lindsley on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 7PM to perform songs from her brand new album Throwback.

The show will spotlight songs from the star-studded project, which includes guest appearances by entertainment icon Olivia Newton-John, "God Bless the U.S.A." singer Lee Greenwood and former band leader on "Late Show with David Letterman," Paul Shaffer.

"In recording these, it was strictly out of honor for the artists who recorded it before. I'm trying to pass along my appreciation for these artists to future generations," says Lang. "I heard a very interesting quote, which pretty much sums it up: 'singing an old song is like visiting an old friend.'" See the tracklisting here.

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Chris Daughtry Talks Role in 'The Passion' Musical

(Radio.com) When Chris Daughtry was in town with his namesake band Daughtry recently, he had a chance to speak with The Morning MIX about his upcoming role in the FOX live musical event The Passion.

To be shot live in New Orleans, hosted and narrated by Tyler Perry, The Passion will recount the last hours of the life of Jesus Christ through verses of the Bible as well as popular song. It's an all-star cast with Jencarlos Canela as Jesus, Daughtry as Judas, Seal as Pontius Pilate, Prince Royce as Peter, and Trisha Yearwood as Mary.

The musical is set to have Daughtry performing "Bring Me To Life," originally recorded by Evanescence and Imagine Dragons' "Demons" as a duet with Jencarlos.

But when asked about his involvement in the production Daughtry revealed, "I'm not a musical guy," noting that it was, if nothing else, definitely a great sound bite.

"I'm not a big fan of musicals," he said, adding, "I do remember however seeing Les Mis with Hugh Jackman [and] Anne Hathaway, and I just thought that was an extremely powerful performance and you kind of forget that they're singing and that it's a musical. And I was kind of hopin' to go for something like that."

And is he nervous about it all? "Hell yeah," he exclaimed. Read more here.

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Carrie Underwood Won't Let Husband Duet With Garth Brooks Before Her

(Radio.com) After Carrie Underwood shared a video on Instagram of her husband, Nashville Predators' Mike Fisher, singing a Garth Brooks song, the country legend himself commented, 'Bro, that is AWESOME! I HAVE to call you out after that 'Nashville is the last city on the American leg of the World Tour'You and me, on stage, The River. You in? love you pal, g." Underwood isn't having any of it.

Speaking with Country Countdown USA, she admitted she'd be heartbroken if her husband got to duet with Brooks before she did. '[Brook is] like 'Let's sing together in Nashville when the tour comes here.' And I said, 'You cannot sing with Garth Brooks before I do,'" she shared.

She explained how it's always been her dream to sing with the country star. 'When I was 10 years old I met Garth Brooks and said, 'If you ever need someone to sing a duet with you, I'm your girl.' So I've been waiting for that forever. And my husband who's a hockey player is gonna sing with Garth? I don't think so! I might cry if that happens," she said. Read more here.

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Chris Brown Releasing Official Documentary

(Radio.com) For many reasons, Chris Brown's personal life has tended to overshadow his professional one. Fans will get a chance to learn more about the singer and dancer with a new official documentary Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life, which goes behind the scenes into Brown's talent and turmoil.

On Tuesday, March 15th Brown posted a photo of the movie poster on his Instagram account. Showing him sitting in the shadow, the poster's tagline reads, "He went from being America's sweetheart to being public enemy number one."

Brown was previously the subject of a documentary short titled Chris Brown: This Is Me. That 25-minute film, directed by Vince Swann, can still be found on YouTube. Brown is touting the new, feature-length documentary as the official story of his life. See the poster here.

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Demi Lovato Celebrates 4 Years Of Sobriety

(Radio.com) For years, Demi Lovato has not shied away from discussing the issues that nearly derailed her career and made her the young woman she is today. Tuesday, the singer tweeted to celebrate her fourth sober anniversary, admitting that this has been a challenging and eventful year to hold it together.

"This last year I experienced so much life and too much death But I made it through Sober. #4Years #GodsWill," she wrote. Fans were quick to congratulate her on how far she's come and what an accomplishment her one-day-at-a-time recovery has been.

Following a rocky string of years in the public eye, Lovato turned her life around following treatment for substance abuse and eating disorders. Today, the "Confident" poster girl frequently turns to that recovery for her message of self-acceptance and perseverance. Read more here.

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Brad Paisley Helps Man Propose During Concert

(Radio.com) Brad Paisley has some mad multitasking skills. The singer-songwriter stopped his show in Bloomington, Illinois, in the middle of "She's Everything" to help a man propose to his future bride.

Paisley mistook a fan at the end of the stage for the would be groom, taking his phone in order to take photos, but when Paisley realized the real couple was actually behind him he jokingly asked the first man if he didn't want to propose as well.

Paisley then took the man's phone, telling him he was going to be the wedding photographer, and snapped pics of couple as the man hit a knee and asked for the woman's hand. Read more here.

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Nicki Minaj Explains Delay Of Next Album

(Radio.com) Nicki Minaj appears on the April cover of Nylon Magazine, where she opens up about the delay in recording and releasing her next album thanks, in part, to the fact that she's chosen to focus on other creative projects.

Not only will Minaj be acting in the new film Barbershop: The Next Cut, but she'll be overseeing a new television series about her childhood. 'Musically, I feel very fulfilled, and now I can start tapping into my acting world, where it's about passion and not about the money," she said about pursuing different avenues. 'It's wanting to be what I set out to be when I was in high school: an actress."

When it comes to new music, Minaj explained how she doesn't want to rush a new album. "I needed time to hear myself think again because where I left off with The Pinkprint was a little bit emotionally unstable. I wanted to take a moment to just live my life, enjoy my life, have fun, go out. I think that's very important before you start writing again. It's a spiritual experience for the people who are hearing the music, so I'm trying to be very careful of what mental space I'm in while I'm creating it. Now, I want my happiness to be reflected in the new stuff." Read more here.

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Ariana Grande Explains March Madness In 'SNL' Bonus Sketch

(Radio.com) Pop star Ariana Grande put her comedic timing to good use when she hosted Saturday Night Live last weekend. Grande said hosting was such a great experience.

Fans who couldn't get enough of the dangerous woman's acting skills now have a chance to see more. Saturday Night Live uploaded a skit featuring Grande explaining NCAA March Madness and how a viewing party works to their YouTube channel. The sketch was cut from the live broadcast due to time constraints.

In the bit, Ariana invites two co-workers over to watch the basketball tournament. They are seriously clueless as to what March Madness is and think it has something to do with angry marching people. As Grande continues to explain the concept of the game and viewing party, the guys become even more confused which leads to a hilarious ending. Watch it here.

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Taylor Swift And Calvin Harris Share Vacation Photos

(Radio.com) Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris recently celebrated their one-year anniversary, but the party didn't stop with a locket and a cake. On Tuesday, the pair shared Instagram shots of themselves frolicking in caption-less bliss in some undisclosed tropical paradise.

Like any normal couple, Swift and Harris took a combination of solo shots and couple shots, finding their best light and posing with just the right amount of effort.

In one particularly sentimental photo, Swift showed how they carved their initials in the sand: "TS + AW," the latter for Harris' original name, Adam Wiles.

In a brief video that shows her jumping on a floating trampoline, Swift wrote "That time when we finally took a vacation," nodding to the busy first year of togetherness she and her boyfriend have shared. It's nice to see two besotted superstars take some time for each other. See some of the photos here.

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Singled Out: Erica Chase's Paris

Up and coming pop star Erica Chase tells us the story behind her brand new single "Paris" which was produced by Dana Strum (Slaughter, Vince Neil, Vinnie Vincent Invasion). Here is the story:

I truly believe that songwriters are vessels that allow songs to flow through us when we happened to be dialed into the right moment, frequency, and consciousness. For me, my songwriting process is as follows: I sit down with my guitar and begin to play and if a song is ready to flow through, a chord progression will start to manifest as will a melody and some nonsense lyrics. The melody will divide itself into the modern pop format of verse, pre chorus, chorus, verse, pre, chorus, possible bridge, chorus to end. The lyrics will start to emerge as a real narrative. This all tends to happen for me in roughly 20-30 minutes and I never write a part and then refine it later on. It is not forced and just kind of happens organically or it doesn't. When the song has finally flushed itself out, I get this unbelievable rush inside and it reaffirms why I live and breathe.

When I wrote "Paris," things came about in a slightly different manner. I was driving in my car close to my home in LA. As I was listening to some instrumental music, the first line and melody of the song, "I thought I left you in Paris," just blurted out of my mouth. It was such an odd thing and I had no idea where or why it was coming to me like that. Since I was close to home, I decided to attempt to do something differently and walked in and grabbed my guitar with the intention of trying to write this song that started itself prematurely!

"Paris" came out again in about 20-30 minutes and it was one of those songs and moments that as a songwriter and artist, you hope for and long to marinate in. I just knew there was something special about it. It had a different vibe than what I had been used to writing and seemed to signal a shift for me artistically as well.

When it came time to bring in my sack of songs to my producer, Dana Strum, I had written a bunch more so "Paris" had sort of moved down the list for me, because it is human nature to gravitate towards the newer. However, when Dana heard it and we began to demo it, we both looked at each other and knew we were onto a great thing. His big heavy pop production groove just married so well to the melody and earnest nature of the song. It came out better than I could have ever imagined. Dana ended up throwing out two entire completed versions of it and went back into mixing with a different approach. He felt it was too unique to just settle. What resulted is what you hear today and I couldn't be more proud or grateful for all of it.

Lastly, the best part of the "Paris" experience was making the music video. I was fortunate enough to have worked with one of my directing heroes, Chris Hicky (Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood), and his treatment of the video totally matched my vision for it. That day felt as effortless and organic as the day I absentmindedly drove home in my car with that one line in my head.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself as you watch the video here and learn more about Erica, including her near-death-experience right here!

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