Day in Pop Report for 04/16/2015

Ed Sheeran Reveals Harry Styles Secret
(Radio.com) Ed Sheeran is revealing some very, very personal details about his friend Harry Styles of One Direction, in a new interview with a New Zealand magazine ZM Online (via E!).

Sheeran claimed that those nude photos Styles denied were his last year? Well, he was lying. Styles actually leaked those nudes himself. At least that's what Sheeran is saying.

"Did you know Harry leaked that picture himself?" Sheeran says. "He leaked his own picture….I think it's amazing. He was just like 'no one knows' so I'm just gonna tell them." That wasn't the most revealing thing he had to say. Read about that here.

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Wiz Khalifa's 'See You Again' Dethrones 'Uptown Funk'
(Radio.com) While Furious 7 is dominating the cinematic world, its influence hasn't been limited to just one art form, as its songs have also swept up the music industry. Not only does its soundtrack sit on top of the Billboard 200 albums chart, but the movie's major single, Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again," featuring Charlie Puth, has unseated the 14-week Billboard Hot 100 champ, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' monster hit, "Uptown Funk," according to Billboard.

"See You Again" is also proving massive on Spotify. This week, it broke the record for most streams in a single day with 4.2 million and from April 6-12, the track broke the record for most streams in a single week with 21.9 million.

"See You Again" is also the No. 1 song on Spotify's "Global Chart" and tops the individual play charts in a host of countries, ranging from the U.K. and Germany to Hong Kong and Singapore. Read more here.

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Jay Z's TIDAL Not A Hit With Some Big Name Artists
(Radio.com) After the much-ballyhooed launch of the new allegedly artist-controlled music streaming site with a cavalcade of stars including Jay Z, Jack White, Kanye West, Madonna and Jason Aldean, a slew of musicians have come out very critical of the service, leading a TIDAL wave of backlash.

"We wouldn't have joined it anyway, even if they had asked. We don't want to be tribal," retorted Mumford & Sons frontman Marcus Mumford, with the band responding to the mention of TIDAL with "a series of loud fart sounds," according to The Daily Beast. "I think smaller bands should get paid more for it, too. Bigger bands have other ways of making money, so I don't think you can complain. A band of our size shouldn't be complaining. And when they say it's artist-owned, it's owned by those rich, wealthy artists."

Death Cab for Cutie singer Ben Gibbard was equally disparaging of TIDAL, telling The Daily Beast that the artists involved have already failed by focusing on superstar acts that don't necessarily need any help making money.

"If I had been Jay Z, I would have brought out ten artists that were underground or independent and said, 'These are the people who are struggling to make a living in today's music industry. Whereas this competitor streaming site pays this person 15 cents for X amount of streams, that same amount of streams on my site, on Tidal, will pay that artist this much,'" Gibbard explained. "I think they totally blew it by bringing out a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and propping them up onstage and then having them all complain about not being paid… this thing is going to fail miserably."

British singer Lily Allen used her Twitter page to post an extended critique of TIDAL, saying that despite her love for Jay Z, due to the price point for the service "people are going to swarm back to pirate sites in droves, sending traffic to torrent sites. Up and coming (not yet millionaires) artists are going to suffer as a result… my concern is that Tidal may set emerging artists back." See who else came out against it here.

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Kendrick Lamar On Remix Of Kanye West's 'All Day'
(Radio.com) There is a new remix of Kanye West's latest single, "All Day" with Kendrick Lamar filling for Theophilus London. In the words of Richard Lewis from Robin Hood: Men in Tights, "it's a good change."

In the new Kendrick verse, we get classic Lamar rhyming ability by connecting "all day" with "parfait," and a barrage of lighting-fast wordplay that gives the listener whiplash just trying to keep up.

The downside is just how short Kendrick's contribution is, as it's over before he really has a chance to brand his name onto the proverbial cow that is the song.

Check out the new "All Day" here.

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Don Henley Settles 'Don a Henley' T-Shirt Ad Lawsuit
(Radio.com) A lawsuit dating back to last fall between The Eagles' drumming frontman Don Henley and Duluth Trading Co. has been settled, with the clothing manufacturer making a donation to Walden Wood Project, Henley's charity devoted to preserving the works of Henry David Thoreau, as well as issuing a public apology.

The legal battle emerged after Duluth issued an email advertising campaign with the line "Don a henley and take it easy," making a clear play on the singer's name and one of his most famous song titles. Henley and the Eagles pride themselves on never having licensed their music for any product advertising.

"We pushed the advertising envelope too far…," the company said in the apology. "We are deeply regretful and we apologize, not just to Mr. Henley, but to anyone else who took offense." Read more here.

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George Strait Releasing New Song
Country music star George Strait will be releasing his brand new single "Let It Go" following his performance on the Academy of Country Music Awards this weekend.

Straight's new single will be hitting country radio on Monday. Straight co-wrote the track with Bubba Strait and Keith Gattis. "Let It Go" will serve as the lead single from his forthcoming studio album.

Apart from performing at the Academy of Country Music Awards this Sunday, April 19th, Straight will also be receiving the ACM 50th Anniversary Milestone Award.

The event will be broadcast on CBS television at 8/7c. For now you can preview the new song here.

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Charli XCX Release 'Drop That Kitty' Video
(Radio.com) In Charli XCX's new video for "Drop That Kitty," which has guest spots for Tinashe and Ty Dolla $ign along with Charli's kitty crew, she makes dropping it down low look like an experience everyone has to have.

The video is as L.A. as it can be, from gold-plated bikes to Dolla $ign cruising in a drop-top to the rows of palm trees that flash by behind Charli as she dances down the boulevard.

Tinashe, meanwhile, is straight-up channeling Chili from TLC circa 1998 for her dance-break under a concrete highway overpass; another typical L.A. sight. But the eye is pulled away from her magical gold chains and to the back-up dancers, who are also members of the kitty crew. It's the kind of surrealist eccentricity that Charli specializes in, and she nails it.

Watch the full clip here.

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Fred Abbott Releases Solo Song 'Funny How Good It Feels'
Former Noah And The Whale guitarist and keyboardist Fred Abbott is giving fans an early taste of his forthcoming solo album "Serious Poke" with the release the song "Funny How Good It Feels."

Abbott co-produced the album with Martin Hollis (Grinderman, The Rolling Stones and Take That) and recruited his former Noah And The Whale bandmates and other artists to perform on the effort. It's set for release on July 20th.

He had this to say about the album, "If you attended a Noah And The Whale soundcheck at any time in the last five years then you probably heard me, Urby, Mike and Tom jamming some of these songs. Last year while the band was on hiatus I took the opportunity to record them properly, with the boys from NATW and some other talented friends. Now that Noah has officially split the time seems right to put this stuff out there. Enjoy!"

Check out the new song here.

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Chic Featuring Nile Rodgers Perform On Jimmy Kimmel
(popmusiclife) Chic featuring Nile Rodgers performed a pair of tracks on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday. The group delivered their classic disco hit, "Good Times", and their newly-released single, "I'll Be There", from the forthcoming album, "It's About Time."

The project is the group's first new studio project in more than 20 years, since 1992's "Chic-ism." "As with all Chic albums, this one's based on a concept," says Rodgers. "Four years ago I was stricken with very aggressive cancer and I wasn't sure how much time I had left. I decided the album's concept would be about time and I'd feature as many people from the lifespan of Chic that I could on it."

Rodgers formed Chic with bassist Bernard Edwards in New York in 1976. The group scored several hits during the disco era, including "Le Freak", Everybody Dance" and "Dance, Dance Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)." Watch the performance here.

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Nick Jonas Performs On The Voice
(popmusiclife) Nick Jonas performed his hit single, "Chains", on The Voice on Tuesday. The singer has been a featured mentor for Christina Aguilera's team on the popular NBC series this season.

"Chains" was the lead track from Jonas' 2014 self-titled album, which debuted at No. 6 on the US Billboard 200 last fall with opening week sales of 37,000 copies.

The single, which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, was written and produced by Jason Evigan with songwriting assistance by Ammar Malik and Daniel Parker.

Jonas' second single from the album, "Jealous", hit No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 last fall. Watch the performance here.

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Musician Makes Album From Recording Strangers At Guitar Center
(Radio.com) When you visit a music store, chances are you'll hear at least one person trying out the gear. What's usually an annoyance, or white noise, however, has now become the basis for an entire album.

Experimental New York musician Noah Wall trolled the Manhattan Guitar Center, collecting recordings of strangers testing out guitars, which he eventually compiled into the album Live at Guitar Center as The FADER points out. "This place is mostly loners," Wall said of the experience on his website.

"Trying out a guitar or amp or whatever, they probably didn't come here to jam with others. But the din has an ensemble effect and the unintentional group is abiding some unspoken rules… On two different days, two different people on two different instruments in two different rooms play the same Jackson 5 song."

Though the concept is new, this isn't Wall's first avant approach to releasing an album. When he released his album Hèloïse, he scattered free copies of it across New York City in a way that made up a constellation spelling his mother's name, which was also the title of the album.

You can listen to Live At Guitar Center here.

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Jay Z and Dame Dash's Long-Rumored Feud Never Happened
(Radio.com) Dame Dash and Jay Z's long-rumored feud was laid to rest yet again, in Dash's new memoir, Culture Vultures. It's a question people never tire of asking the former Roc-A-Fella head and one he never seems to stop denying.

MTV reports that in chapter one, titled "Life After Corporate Wealth" of the new book, Dash addresses the question head-on. "What we did was create a company together," Dame says in the audiobook.

"We sold it. He went corporate and I decided to stay independent. There was no beef." He continues, "I don't have anything but positive things to say. What Jay wanted to become, he became." Listen to the full first chapter as an audiobook here.

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ABBA Star Opening Mamma Mia! The Party Restaurant
(Radio.com) When ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus left a mysterious message on a new website called Mamma Mia: The Party saying he had an exciting new project in the works, fans hoped this meant the band was finally going on tour.

Sorry to say that's not the case. But, how excited are you for an ABBA-themed Greek restaurant that's set to open in Sweden next year? In a press conference Tuesday (April 14), Ulvaeus announced that he's launching a new venue called Mamma Mia! The Party that is part restaurant, part stage show inspired by the Greek taverna in the musical and the 2008 movie starring Meryl Streep.

According to Swedish website The Local, guests will be greeted by a waitstaff of actors playing the roles in the musical. Ulvaeus also announced that guests will be able to become the stars of their own Mamma Mia! musical, taking part in the show when they're not chowing down on delicious Greek food. Read more here.

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Jack White To Help Fans Relive Elvis Presley's First Record
(Radio.com) Thanks to Jack White, you now have the opportunity to record a record just like Elvis Presley did over 60 years ago. White announced that he's opening up the Third Man Records recording booth to let Elvis fans record The King's first record, which was his first recording at Sun Studios back in 1953.

It was recently revealed that White bought the 10″ 78rpm facsimile record featuring songs "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin" auction for $300,000.

"In the spirit of Elvis' first recordings, Third Man Records will open up the Blue Room to lucky fans and give them the opportunity to record themselves in the exact same way Elvis did in his first session at Sun Records in Memphis back in June of 1953," White wrote on Third Man's website.

White will let you record the exact same way the then-18-year-old Elvis did so many years ago in Memphis using "one mic, one song, cut directly to a 10″ lacquer disc." Read more here.

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'Orange Is the New Black' Renewed For Fourth Season
(Radio.com) Expect orange to be 'in' once again next year. Netflix has renewed the popular series Orange Is the New Black for a fourth season, which will run in 2016.

The news comes ahead of the Season 3 premiere, which takes places in all territories on June 12. In reporting the renewal, Variety relays that the series is one of the top performers for Netflix among the company's original programming, according to executives.

Orange Is the New Black was developed by show runner Jenji Kohan, also the woman behind Showtime's Weeds. Kohan cut her teeth writing on popular 1990s shows including Mad About You, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Sex and the City. Read more and see a preview of the new season here.

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Double Singled Out From Morello's Malcolm Cross
Today Morello's Malcolm Cross (Pete Yorn, The Olms, Minibar and Spiritualized) tells us about the songs "Some Families" and "In-A-City" from the new Morello vs Masaru Mitsu collaborative album 'The Duellists'. Here are the stories:

Some Families: This is a song about communication/miscommunication. Like many songs the initial ideas came out jumbled and non-specific but I tried to keep them (the lyrics) deliberately vague so as to keep the listener guessing: 'Some Families never do/I wasn't talking to you'. It's not until the end of the song that the full, uninterrupted lyric is finally unravelled.

My family has a specific brand of UK up-tightness where no-one ever likes to express strong-or-negative emotions (my dear Grandad's catchphrase was 'don't make a fuss'). I think a lot of British people spend their lives in emotional straightjackets of their own making.

The second verse - 'Church lunch, garden center, Oxfam shop, National Trust' - is an homage to the kind of postcards my Mum would always send; packed with long lists of specific things she had done without really saying anything at all. She was never happy with me moving to the 'States and died unexpectedly when I was working on the recording - I couldn't work on the song for a couple of months after that happened (the album is dedicated to her).

The production of this song was pretty experimental - lots of chopped-up sections of guitars and vocals (the girls are singing 'dut-i-ful', my little joke.) I honestly didn't know if it would all come together but thanks to some amazing performances (that's my sister Fiona on the flute) and a killer mix (by R Walt Vincent) it's ended up being one of my fave tracks on the album.

In-A-City: People had said that my last album Handheld was too 'cute' so I had in mind a tougher, harder stance for the opening track on the new album. The inspiration came from being on tour with Pete Yorn and finding myself in unfamiliar cities in the middle of the night by myself; you gotta walk tall, look like you know where you're going if you don't wanna get jumped! The lines and the rhythm just popped into my head.

'Put your hand on your money' is a London thing (I'm from the UK originally). Because central London is so rife with pickpockets when walking in crowds or on the subway (the 'Tube') the trick is to always keep one free hand covering your wallet/purse. When I'm in any big city situation I always revert back to this without even thinking.

Later on as I explored the idea I figured - all these tough guys that prowl the city streets at night are probably the first ones to put on the fluffy slippers when they get home, smoke a bowl and play Nintendo - hence the line 'all I wanted to be...safe at home with a nice cup of tea'! Meaning the 'tough guy' act is all a front anyway

The bridge also has a kind of 'easter egg' - a half-hidden lyric that a backing vocal sings: 'all I want is to be honest with you'. That's a whole other layer to the song and the whole album in fact; that honesty/dishonesty is at the heart of all the conflict implied by the title "The Duellists".

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

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