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Day in Pop Report for 05/04/2016


Today's Top Stories


Tupac Shakur's Mother Afeni Dead at 69

(Radio.com) Afeni Shakur, the mother of late rapper Tupac, died late Monday (May 2). She was 69. Police arrived at her house at about 9:30 following the report of a possible cardiac arrest, reported People.com. night. She was transferred to a hospital in Marin County, California, where she died around an hour later.

An investigation into the exact cause and manner of Davis' death will be conducted, the Sheriff's Office said. In 1997, she opened the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Ga.

Last year the center displayed a letter from Eminem, in which he thanked Afeni for her support. "Thank you for always being so kind to me," he wrote. "You are a true Queen, and I mean that in every sense of the word. I will never forget the opportunities you have given me. You will always be in my heart, my thoughts and my prayers."

On display alongside his letter was a drawing of Tupac, in which he shared the rapper's influence on his life. Read more here.

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Pearl Jam Releasing Single Featuring Beyonce

(Radio.com) For the last 25 years, Pearl Jam fan club members have enjoyed free bonus material as a "holiday" gift from the band--some years, the exclusive single releases come later than others.

This year, the band will release a live cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" featuring Beyonce. The performance is from last year's Global Citizen Festival. It will be available to members of the official Pearl Jam fan club, Ten Club.

Despite its high-profile status, the collaboration with Beyonce is actually a B-side to a cover of Free's "Wishing Well," which Pearl Jam recorded in 1991. And it's not the first time the band has entered Beyonce's world. In 2013, the band released a version of "99 Problems" with Bey's husband Jay-Z.

For a preview of the set, watch a video from the performance when it aired live here.

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Jay-Z Apologizes To Beyonce In Funny or Die Video

(Radio.com) Jay-Z apologizes for his infidelity in the latest offering from Funny or Die, titled I Gave You Lemons. In the hour-long parody, a voice actor pulls off a spot-on impression of a brokenhearted Hova.

Why the ridiculous length? Because his wife Beyonce's new "visual album" Lemonade is an hour long. "I'm sorry," the Rock is in the building!, begins the visual apology. "Baby, life gave you lemons and you made lemonade. Life gave me Lemonade and now I'm doing this. I wanted to reach out to filmmakers I know to make this response special but no one wants to work with me. Everyone is mad because I cheated on my wife. I can't believe I cheated on Beyonce. I can't believe I forgot I was married to Beyonce."

After an hour of poetic apology and countless pieces of stock video footage, we're left with the funniest line -- "Damn, I know I messed up but I'm glad I'm not Usher." Watch the full apology video here.

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Katy Perry Reaches Out To Dying Fan

(Radio.com) Katy Perry has sent along a heartfelt video message to Sophie Birtles, a young fan in Isle of Man, who is dying from the rare genetic disorder Juvenile Sandhoff Disease.

The young girl, 13-year-old Sophie Birtles is a huge Perry fan so a close family friend and local radio station presenter, Jo Pack, recently started a social media campaign, which quickly went viral. The #youreafireworksophie hashtag became a top trender and soon made it to Perry, who happily respnded.

In a 20-second video message, Perry shares well wishes with Birtles. "Sophie, it's Katy Perry here," she says. "I heard your story and I just want to tell you that you are a firework and you are trending and I do love you. Everybody loves you and we're thinking about you all over the world right now and sending you so much love." Read more here.

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'Blues Brothers' Animated Series Coming

(Radio.com) The Blues Brothers are getting the band back together and will return in the form of a primetime animated TV series. Dan Aykroyd, Judy Belushi and 'Saturday Night Live' writer Anne Beatts will serve as co-creators and executive producers on the series.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show will follow Jake and Elwood Blues, along with their band, as they take their act on the road and back to their native Chicago.

Each episode will feature a score and soundtrack curated with the soul, blues and R&B classics and hits performed by the Blues Brothers, as well as new performances made specifically for the show. The show will also feature special guest appearances from up-and-coming artists to Blues legends and pop stars. Read more here.

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Kip Moore Blown Away By Reception On UK Tour

(Radio.com) Kip Moore recently wrapped several dates overseas and was pleased to find that crowds in the UK crowds are just as avid as his U.S. fans, calling it an "unreal experience".

"There's something so special about writing all of your own music, writing these songs and you come all the way to Europe," Moore said. "To see people singing these songs, it's the most gratifying thing as a songwriter, as an artist, to see people appreciate your work and tell you that to your face. That's the reason we came, because we felt the demand to come and we felt that they wanted us here. So, we packed up and left."

During Moore's dates in the UK he set aside some time to play intimate acoustic sets for fans outside of the venue each night, and said the experience was "pretty amazing." Read more here.

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The Weeknd and Nas Met Gala Video Goes Online

(Radio.com) As celebrities' numerous selfies and social media posts from the Met Gala make their way online, a new video gives a behind-the-scenes look at a special performance from The Weeknd and Nas.

The Weeknd performed a small set at the event Monday night (May 2). When he decided to "slow things down," he chose his Kanye West-produced track "Tell Your Friends" from his 2015 album Beauty Behind the Madness. New York rapper Nas came out halfway through to help.

The slow and sultry song gets a bit of pep from Nas' verse. He raps about everything from his bedroom swagger to his cash flow still going strong. He may be 42, he says, but he can still get down like he's 22. No doubt.

Seeing as how Kanye was in attendance, sporting blue eyes and all, we wonder what he thought of the performance. Watch The Weeknd and Nas do their thing here.

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Kanye West Says He Will Be Launching Tour In September

(Radio.com) In between tinkering with The Life of Pablo and working on his next project Turbo Grafx 16, Kanye West says in a radio interview that he has plans to tour this fall.

Kanye phoned in to a radio morning show on May 3 (via Pitchfork), and talked about when he would get back out there to tour. Never one to play the modesty card, Kanye said, "Oh, you know my tour game is strong. My tour game is unprecedented."

He added, "So we gone go out in September, I believe, and we're just working on some of the ideas right now. But as I said before, it's like, I'm trying to literally inspire these kids the way Disney inspired me, the way, you know, when I saw the original Star Wars." Read more here.

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Bono Joins Lupita Nyong'o On Broadway To Help Abducted Girls

(Radio.com) Lupita Nyong'o is a freshly-minted Tony nominee for her performance in Eclipsed, a drama about the Liberian Civil War. Before a performance on Monday night, the Oscar-winner used her platform to raise awareness about the 219 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.

She brought U2 frontman and humanitarian Bono onstage to address the audience about the situation--which earned widespread media attention two years ago, but has since faded from the national conversation.

"The cast wants us to remember two girls in particular, Lydia Habila and Rejoice Musa," Bono said. "It goes without saying if they were American girls or Irish girls we'd get a daily report on how they are doing. Well, they're not out of the news tonight and we want that daily report." Read more here.

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Deerhunter Perform 'Living My Life' On Stephen Colbert

(Radio.com) When Deerhunter performed "Living My Life" on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert May 2, viewers might have wondered, "What's this elevator music?!?"

The light sax (in heavy proportion) hearkens back to the sound of Muzak and automated "hold call" tunes. With wind chimes and a conga, it marked a clear departure from how the track sounds on the 2015 album Fading Frontier. But it's fantastic.

Last year, Deerhunter's Bradford Cox described the sunny inspiration for "Living My Life" and their latest album, Fading Frontier. "This record feels to me like the first day of spring, where you go out and everybody's happy and sitting on their stoops and walking their dogs and waving to each other," he told Pitchfork. "It happens once a year, after a brutal winter. It's the day when you realize it's not gonna be freezing forever, you're not gonna be miserable forever. It's a very special feeling." Watch the Colbert performance here.

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Kevin Durant Reacts To Hearing His Name in Drake's Song

(Radio.com) Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is a fan of Drake's so when he heard his name mentioned on the rapper's newest release, Views, he was pleasantly surprised.

On "Weston Road Flows," the sixth track on the new LP, a basketball reference is cited where Drake compares himself to Durant, whose number is 35.

"A lot of people just hit me up when my name is mentioned / Shout out to KD we relate we get the same attention / It's rainin' money, Oklahoma City Thunder / The most successful rapper 35 and under," Drizzy raps on the song.

In an interview Monday (May 2) with The Oklahoman, Durant said the namedrop was news to him. "It kinda surprised me," he said. "When your favorite rapper puts your name in a song, it makes you feel like you made it no matter what you've done. So yeah, it was pretty cool." Read more here.

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Wiz Khalifa Joined by Snoop Dogg At National Concert Day

(Radio.com) Tuesday (May 3) at New York's Irving Plaza, concert promotion powerhouse Live Nation staged their second annual National Concert Day event. It's essentially Live Nation's "Upfront" for the summer concert season, where artists across all genres - who are going on Live Nation promoted tours - chat with the press and also perform.

Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, Dierks Bentley and Wiz Khalifa all took the stage playing mini-sets of their most well-known songs. Khalifa was joined by surprise guest Snoop Dogg - with whom he's co-headlining a tour this summer.

Before the performances, Radio.com spoke with some of the big names who will be on the road this summer. All of them spoke about the importance of seeing live music, and the impact that concerts made on their lives.

Newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robin Zander of Cheap Trick recalled his first concert: "I went to see the Beach Boys at Harlem High School, it was so cool, it affected me in a good way." He didn't waste much time figuring out what he wanted to do with his life: "At 12 years old, I already had a band and I was out playing."

Cheap Trick will co-headline a summer tour with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Heart this summer. He's looking forward to spending the summer with old friends: "I've known Joannie since she was a young teenager, I saw her at a place called Waverly Beach Ballroom, in Wisconsin, she was with the Runaways at that time. They were on their first tour. And I've known Ann and Nancy for a long, long time. My duet with Ann, 'Surrender to Me,' was a top 5 song from the film Tequila Sunrise. Read more here.

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Adele Admits To Beyonce Worship

(Radio.com) Adele has taken to social media to show her love for Beyonce. The multi-platinum singer posted a photo of herself hugging the cover art to Beyonce's "Irreplaceable".

Along with the photo, Adele included the following caption: "I'm not late on this I've just been speechless. Beyonce is the most inspiring person I've ever had the pleasure of worshipping.

"Her talent, beauty, grace and work ethic are all in a league of their own. I appreciate you so much! Thank god for Beyonce X" Check out Adele's Instagram post here.

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