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Day in Pop Report for 04/13/2015


'Uptown Funk' Closing In On Chart Record
(popmusiclife) Mark Ronson's smash hit, "Uptown Funk", is closing in on a US chart record. The song appears on Ronson's fourth studio album, "Uptown Special."

Billboard reports the song - which features Bruno Mars on vocals - has tied for the second-longest amount of weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 single chart.

With 14 weeks on top, "Uptown Funk" ties six other songs for second place as it closes in on the chart record of 16 weeks held by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's 1995 hit, "One Sweet Day." Read more here.

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Carly Rae Jepsen Confirms New Album
(popmusiclife) Carly Rae Jepsen has confirmed that her third album will be titled "E•MO•TION." The singer announced the news via her social media sites, saying "I've been working on new music for awhile now... happy to finally announce that my sophomore album "E•MO•TION" will be out this summer!"

Jensen has been working on the follow-up to 2012's "Kiss" with collaborators like Rami Yacoub (One Direction, Nicki Minaj), Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), Jack Antonoff (fun., Taylor Swift), Ariel Rechtshaid (Charli XCX, Haim), Tegan and Sara, Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, Greg Kurstin (Sia) and 2015 Grammy winning Producer of the Year Max Martin.

The project features the lead single, "I Really Like You", which is currently sitting at No. 80 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The popular video for the tune stars Tom Hanks lip-syncing Jepsen's vocals as he goes through his daily routine. here.

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Taylor Swift Responds To Rumors Her and Lorde Are Fighting
(Radio.com) Taylor Swift sure knows how to write a one-liner. Specifically one that clocks in at under 140 characters. We've seen Taylor shake off rumors that hackers have nude photos of her--"You got nothing." She also informed us how you get through April Fools' Day with a little help from Mulder and Scully--"For the next 24 hours. TRUST NO ONE. *locks self in kitchen cabinet.*"

And now, she's making it clear there is no bad blood between her and bestie Lorde, no matter what the tabloids may say. In one, swift tweet, Taylor shot down anyone who wants to make a buck off stories that her and her cooking buddy are on the outs because their voices don't "mesh well together."

"Media, when you say "Lorde & Taylor are fighting"-by fighting do you mean 'FaceTiming constantly from US to NZ and LOLing at you?'" she wrote, ending it with the perfect sign off. "Thnx bye." Read more here.

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Mumford & Sons Perform New Song On 'SNL'
(Radio.com) Mumford & Sons have already premiered their new banjo-less sound via the release of two singles, but aside from a handful of secret shows-all of which had strict no video policies, so it's not like footage has been released-the general public hadn't received the chance to see the new direction live and plugged in.

All that changed Saturday night (April 11) with Mumford's most recent trip to Saturday Night Live, performing two new songs from new album Wilder Mind. And if you're here trying to figure out what happened to the kick drum? You should probably get used to that drummer, that electric guitar and probably Winston Marshall's flowing locks of hair.

The band kicked things off with "The Wolf," their newly released single debuted earlier this week. Make no mistake: though the song begins with and maintains a frenetic energy whereas many earlier Mumford tracks follow more of a crescendo, frontman Marcus Mumford ramped up his vocal by song's end, really going for it on the final chorus, his voice straining, visibly out of breath as they went to commercial break.

They followed with "Believe," which lacked the pulse of its predecessor but again showed off stadium-ready guitar, while Mumford presented a rare scene: a guitar-less frontman, Mumford handing off his electric toward the end to straddle the microphone, for once lacking an instrument. All kinds of changes tonight, for real. Watch the videos here.

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George Ezra Cancels Tour Dates Due To Illness
(Radio.com) Breakout star George Ezra has been forced to cancel a series of tour dates, including an appearance at this past weekend's Coachella festival, due to illness.

After postponing a show in Portland earlier last week, due to feeling "very ill and run down," Ezra released an official statement detailing the extent of his illness and scuttled shows:

"Hey, you've probably realised I've had to cancel a few shows this week ands I'm gutted to say I'm having to cancel my performance today at Coachella. The doctor has told me I have viral laryngitis." Read more here.

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DMX Has Devine Reaction To Gas Station Robbery Accusation
(Radio.com) In case you were wondering what's up with DMX in 2015, it would appear that he's on the front lines of a holy war. Last week he won a major battle in the war when he allegedly robbed a fan of $3,200 in a gas station parking lot.

At least that's the fan's story: he told police that a member of DMX's entourage pulled a gun on him after he approached the rapper in a parking lot. Now DMX has responded to the claims in a new interview captured by TMZ.

"I do not recall the incident you are referring to," he remarks with a wry grin, before going to elaborate on what he considers to be the incident's divine overtones.

"The harder the devil works to try and destroy me, it's because I'm special to God," he claims. "No weapon against me shall prosper," he adds, quoting the bible. Watch it here.

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Madonna Admits It Isn't Easy Working With Kanye West
(Radio.com) Madonna is gracing not one, but four different covers of Cosmopolitan's 50th anniversary issue and she's sharing even more secrets. In the interview, out on newsstands April 14, Madonna talks about working with Kanye West on her new album, Rebel Heart, admitting it wasn't always easy. Not at all.

"It's a little bit of a bullfight, but we take turns. He knows that he's walking into a room with a person with a strong point of view, and I do too," she says of working with the rapper on her track "Illuminati."

"I listen to what he has to say, take it in, and he listens to what I say and takes it in. We didn't agree on everything, but he has good ideas." Read more and see of the covers and more here.

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Mariah Carey Unveils Cover For 1 To Infinity
(popmusiclife) Mariah Carey has unveiled the cover artwork for her forthcoming greatest hits compilation, "#1 To Infinity." The project is set to feature all 18 of the singer's No. 1 hits on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

An official song list and release date are to be announced. The album is expected to coincide with the launch of Carey's Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palance, which begins May 6.

"I'm going to do my first ever residency in Vegas at Caesars," Carey told Ellen DeGeneres recently. "This is a special event for me. And again, I have to hope that the fans will enjoy this cause I'm gonna be performing, which was kind of inspired by my album #1's, and this is now the updated version with eighteen of them.

"Hopefully other people will enjoy this. I've never done this before. It's a new chapter for me and I'm just excited about it." Check out the cover art PLUS the tweet which morphs #1's cover into #1 To Infinity cover here.

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Naughty Boy Talks Zayn Malik's Exit From One Direction
(Radio.com) There are plenty of feelings going around about Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction. In a new interview with Heat, producer Naughty Boy, who has been working with Malik on solo music, opened up about his friendship with the former boy band member and his recent Twitter feud with One Direction's Louis Tomlinson.

'There seems to be some needless provoking going on," Naughty Boy told Heat. "[Louis] was deliberately adding to the provoking. I don't think that's fair. Especially on Zayn, that's not fair. Right now, there needs to be calm. He could have said that to me privately. Doing it openly is another act of provocation that's not needed."

He added that Malik had been under pressure with the band, which was the reason he left the tour in the first place. 'I've been his friend. He needs one. Just because we were seen at my studio-you [don't] necessarily just make music," he said. "People seem to forget that he's under so much stress. Which is why he left the tour." Read more here.

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Rick Ross Releases New Song 'Dog Food'
(Radio.com) Rick Ross released two albums last year, and he's on pace for another prolific year. He's just released a new song called "Dog Food." The song is produced by Lex Luger, with whom Ross has struck gold on songs like "B.M.F."

Luger's beat is as titanic as you'd expect, a waterfall of crashing 808s and towering keys. Ross doesn't need to do anything more or less than yelling about his pants and pockets.

"Stones in my pocket, stonewashed jeans, labeled a mastermind, my elaborate schemes," he spits. "They say I'm eclectic 'cause I got it perfected, take 200 racks just to 'HUH' on your record." Check it out here.

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ASAP Rocky Releases New Song 'M'$'
(Radio.com) When A$AP Rocky came out of the gates, he was rapping as though he was already at the top of his genre: "Our presence is a present, just to kick it is a blessing," he declared on the single "Peso."

Which makes Rocky's new turn on his latest track "M'$" all the more surprising. He's still flaunting his bank account, all of the "M's" inside it, but Rocky seems more in awe of his success on the Honorable C-Note- and Mike Dean-produced track.

"Remember when I had no home/ Now I got a penthouse and a beach home…I like to thank myself because I made myself the man," he raps. There's still no release date for A.L.L.A. but Rocky has said that he hopes to have it out by this summer. Read more and listen here.

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Josh Gad Channels Olaf from 'Frozen' on The 'Late Late Show'
(Radio.com) The power and influence of Frozen is wide and far-reaching. Besides making mind-blowing amounts of money at the box-office, via the soundtrack, video games, books and toys, it also can apparently help you bum-rush a late night show monologue.

At least, if you're the voice of Olaf the snowman. Last week (April 8), Josh Gad, was determined to join in James Corden's monologue on The Late Late Show, and sang his way into the role.

When Corden announced that Gad was a guest, the camera cut to his dressing room, where he was nowhere to be found. Instead, Gad was sitting in the audience, and confessed to the host that he always wanted to have his own talk show.

But really, he just wanted to be part of Corden's monologue.
Happily, he had a song perfect for the situation: "Can I Help You Host The Show, Man?"And yes, it was to the tune of "Can I Help You Build a Snowman."

Watch the cuteness and hilarity in the video here.

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Madonna Performs Classic Hit 'Holiday' With The Roots
(popmusiclife) Madonna performed her 1983 hit, "Holiday", on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday. The singer teamed up with house band The Roots to jam on the tune with children's instruments, a tradition of the late-night program.

"Holiday" was the third single from Madonna's 1983 self-titled debut album. The song peaked at No. 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100 while the album hit No. 8 on the Billboard 200 on its way to selling more than 5 million copies in the States alone.

Madonna appeared on The Tonight Show to promote her latest album, "Rebel Heart." Her thirteenth studio release currently sits at No. 57 on the Billboard 200 after 4 weeks on the chart. Watch the Fallon performance here.

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Thomas Rhett Talks New Single 'Crash and Burn'
(Radio.com) Thomas Rhett may have just earned his third No. 1 hit in a row last month, with "Make Me Wanna," but that doesn't mean he's putting things on cruise control.

Instead, the 2015 ACM Best New Artist nominee is already moving his music in new directions, in advance of what will only be his second album, due later this summer.

"I've been just so inspired by so many different things that I wanted to explore a different side of my voice, a more soul-filled side of my songwriting," he tells Radio.com. It's a bold move for a relatively new artist to shake things up, but then again, it's bold artists who tend to be the most exciting--and enduring.

The first hint of this new sound comes via Rhett's brand-new radio single, "Crash and Burn," which dropped this week. "It's the most different single I've ever put out," says Rhett, "very throwback to the '50s and '60s." Indeed, while it's a song about dealing with heartbreak, melodically it's actually very upbeat, with a killer hook, a snappy beat and an arrangement that nods strongly in the direction of Motown.

"The first time I heard the demo of 'Crash and Burn' I was like, 'I gotta have this song,'" says Rhett. One listen and you can hear why, even though heartbreak isn't a subject he's dabbled in much up to this point--or, actually, at all. "I have never released a heartbreak song," he admits. "I didn't even have a heartbreak song on my whole first record."

The new album is still in process, and the song list isn't finalized yet. In fact, there may still be some last-minute surprises. "I feel like that's the hardest part of making a record," he says. "When people know you're finishing your record, they're constantly sending you their best songs and their newest songs."

While he admits being enamored right now with this soul-based sound from half a century back, he also notes that the album will include "a huge variety of songs." Perhaps even, he hints, a song cowritten with Eric Church--an experience he calls "one of the coolest moments of my life."

Rhett filled Radio.com in on the story behind his new single "Crash and Burn," how dancing with his grandma helped inspire his new music and where he is in the process of finalizing his new album. Read the full interview here.

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Christina Aguilera Previews 'Nashville' Debut
(Radio.com) Christina Aguilera has gone country, Well, sort of. We won't exactly be hearing a country album from the singer anytime soon, after all. But now we get a preview of what a country-sounding Aguilera song might sound like as she will make her debut on ABC's music television drama Nashville on April 15.

In a preview of the episode, Aguilera is playing to a sold-out crowd, not unlike her own career as a pop diva. The pop singer plays Jade St. John, a pop star who wants to release a country album.

After some resistance from her label, a 40-second preview clip she tweeted out looks like she has some history with record executive Jeff Fordham who might help her make that goal a reality.

She tweeted, "Here's a sneak peek of me on @Nashville_ABC. My first episode premieres next Wed 15th! XoXtina" Check it out here.

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Chris Stapleton Releases New Song 'When the Stars Come Out'
(Radio.com) Chris Stapleton has had fans waiting patiently for new music and now those fans can hear the newest track from his debut solo album Traveller with an audio stream on YouTube.

"When the Stars Come Out," written by Stapleton and Dan Wilson, is off Stapleton's solo debut and showcases the singer's voice at the forefront with country production including pedal steel.

'Being a solo artist is a slightly uncomfortable thing," Stapleton explained to Radio.com, 'because I've been in bands in the past, and it's never your name on the front of things. There's a bit of pressure internally, because when you put your name on the cover of something it's like, 'This is me.' It's more of an eye on you sort of thing than being in a band." Read more and listen to the new track here.

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Kiesza Releases 'Sound of a Woman' Video
(Radio.com) Kiesza's major label debut Sound of a Woman hasn't quite taken off in America as it has abroad, where first single "Hideaway" hit number one of the U.K. pop singles chart, though the album did debut in the top 50 on the Billboard 200. But album cycles are long, and with her new video for the titled track from her debut album, yet another potential smash is released on U.S. fans.

In the "Sound of a Woman" clip, Kiesza is presented in many forms: as a silhouette, in her bedroom wear and as a projection of herself on herself. This all provides the background for the singer to get emotional and direct; running, swimming, crawling and, always, singing.

Kiesza is touring this spring with Betty Who and has a much anticipated set coming this weekend at Coachella. Sound of a Woman is out now on Island Records. Watch the new video here.

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Cast of 'Game of Thrones' Sings 'I'm So Excited'
(Radio.com) Game of Thrones season 5 kicked off Sunday on HBO (or HBO Go, or your parents' HBO Go), and with that, the HBO series' fans are making themselves known. Already Silicon Valley and Key and Peele have shown their fandom in hilarious videos, and now it is Jimmy Fallon's turn.

Set to the tune of The Pointer Sisters' iconic "I'm So Excited," the Tonight Show team has cut all the characters from the hit series saying the lyrics. All your favorites are there, from Tyrion Lannister saying "think I" to Littlefinger finishing the thought with "like it."

It's all good fun, and a nod to Fallon's other favorite TV show, Saved by the Bell, which featured Jessie Spano having a caffeine pill meltdown while also reciting the song lyrics. Watch it here.

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Taraji P. Henson Does Nicki Minaj Impression on 'Saturday Night Live'
(Radio.com) It was bound to be a musical evening on Saturday Night Live with Empire's Taraji P. Henson in the house. But a Henson impersonation of one of hip-hop's biggest stars in Nicki Minaj? Well, it wasn't a shock but exciting nonetheless.

That's exactly what happened shortly into the run time of Henson's SNL hosting debut as she and cast members did their best impressions for a faux making-of trailer of Home 2, the purported sequel to Dreamworks' Home starring Jim Parsons and Rihanna.

Cast member Sasheer Zamata does her own Minaj but was relegated to a Rihanna rendition instead while Henson attempted her Nicki Minaj, calling attention-as many Minaj impressions do-to the juxtaposition between the rapper's quiet and more harrowing styles.

Also involved? Kendrick Lamar, Missy Elliott, Rick Ross and even Die Antwoord. Watch it here.

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Jared Leto's Green Hair For 'Suicide Squad' Revealed In New Photo
(Radio.com) Fans were bummed not to see Jared Leto left out of a Suicide Squad cast photo tweeted by the film's director, David Ayer, last week. But don't worry, Ayer is finally revealing Leto's Joker look.

In a photo posted to Twitter using the hashtag #WhereIs Jared and #SuicideSquad, the director reveals that Leto is no longer blonde. His Joker, like so many Jokers before him, does have green hair.

Of course, Leto has to make it all the more mysterious by holding a camera to his face in this still. But, hey, we'll take it. Leto's hair has been a topic of conversation with fans chronicling the extreme change that went from cutting his Jesus-like locks to a short crop to dying it platinum blonde. See the photo here.

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