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Day in Pop Report for 04/29/2015


Joni Mitchell In The Hospital But Not In A Coma
The Joni Mitchell camp has shot down a report from online tabloid TMZ that the legendary singer is in a coma. They do confirm that she is currently being treated in a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

Radio.com reports: According to Joni Mitchell's official website, the singer is in the hospital, but is not in a coma: "Contrary to rumors circulating on the Internet today, Joni is not in a coma. Joni is still in the hospital - but she comprehends, she's alert, and she has her full senses. A full recovery is expected.

"The document obtained by a certain media outlet simply gives her longtime friend Leslie Morris the authority - in the absence of 24-hour doctor care - to make care decisions for Joni once she leaves the hospital.

"As we all know, Joni is a strong-willed woman and is nowhere near giving up the fight. Please continue to keep Joni in your thoughts." Read more here.

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Sam Smith Forced To Cancel Dates Due To Vocal Cord Hemorrhage
(Radio.com) Vocal powerhouse Sam Smith has entered into the worst possible case scenario: he's temporarily exhausted his voice. The timing comes just as Smith was touring through Australia, and now he's had to cancel a string of dates there in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perty.

Smith announced the news on Instagram. 'I am deeply, deeply saddened to tell my Australian fans, I have to cancel my Australian tour," he wrote. "I have been vocally exhausted for a while now however last night in Sydney I had a small hemorrhage on my vocal chords.

"The doctors have told me I need to fully rest until my vocal chords have healed, otherwise this could become a huge long-term issue. I am so sorry to all who have bought tickets, I truly am. This kills me." See the post here.

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Migos Postpone 'Yung Rich Nation' Tour
(Radio.com) Migos fans may have to show a little patience this summer: the Atlanta trio have postponed their much-hyped Yung Rich Nation tour with fellow Atlanta turn-up wrangler OG Maco until July.

The tour was originally scheduled to kick off on May 1. In a statement shared with HNHH by email the group explain the circumstances of the postponement.

"Due to circumstances beyond our control we are postponing this tour until July," the statement reads. We want to be at our best and make sure that we give 100% during the Yung Rich Nation tour. We would also like to say 'Thank You' to all of our fans for their love and support." Read more here.

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One Direction Changing Musical Direction On New Album
(Radio.com) One Direction are hard at work on a new album as a foursome and it sounds like it's going to be very rock and roll. In an interview with the U.K.'s Capital FM, the guys teased the sound of their upcoming album, which apparently will be familiar to Brit pop fans in the '90s. And Liam Payne couldn't be more excited about it.

"The albums coming together really well actually. The boys we've been writing with have come up with some great, great songs that are kind of like a bit Oasis-y almost which is ace," he said. "I love that."

Can't wait until Liam Gallagher gets a chance to hear this new album of 1D's, we're sure he'll have some really nice things to say about it since he did once say One Direction was "his biggest competition." His brother and former bandmate Noel Gallagher on the other hand did not have such kind words: "F-king idiots. Bless 'em. Bless 'em, but f-k 'em at the same time."

The boy band's fifth album, expected later this year, hope that like Oasis, it will be something that spans generations and can be played anytime. Payne even said they were trying to channel Ed Sheeran. Read more here.

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Nelly Is Making A Country Music EP
(Radio.com) Some relationships are hot and heavy, either flaming out quickly or becoming something that lasts, while others take time to develop. If you were to characterize Nelly's relationship with country music, it would be the latter, going back to the hints of influence in his 2000 breakthrough Country Grammar and continuing with collaborations with Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line in recent years.

Maybe Nelly and country music are star-crossed lovers, inevitably crossing paths, and that path has finally come. Nelly will be releasing a full-fledged country EP according to his manager, J. Erving.

"He's a free agent on the label side now," Erving said to Billboard, "and is working on a country-based Heartland EP, which should be really interesting.

"He may be one of the first hip-hop artists to jump into that space in an authentic way with Florida Georgia Line and Tim McGraw, so we think he has an opportunity to grow that base even more." Read more here.

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Bell Biv DeVoe Reunited on 'Lip Sync Battle'
(Radio.com) While current phenomenon Lip Sync Battle has become one of TV's breakout shows of the season, a new episode elevates the proceedings to an entirely higher level with the unexpected reunion of '90s New Edition spin-off Bell Biv Devoe to perform their perennial 1990 hit, "Poison" with former football star/current morning TV host Michael Strahan.

During the brief promo clip, just the presence of Ricky Bell, Michael Bivens and Ronnie DeVoe onstage with Strahan is enough to send the studio audience and show judges (including LL Cool J) into arm-waving hysteria.

As Strahan and Bell Biv DeVoe reprise some of the band's classic old-school dance moves, it would appear that the competition, namely Today show host Hoda Kotb and her rendition of Sir Mix-a-Lot's 1992 smash, "Baby Got Back," doesn't really stand a chance. Check out the preview video here.

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Jason Derulo Laments Lost Love On New Song 'Cheyenne'
(Radio.com) Jason Derulo looks back with regret on lost love on his new song "Cheyenne." The danceable track showcases Derulo's impressive falsetto but throughout the three-and-a-half-minute song it's hard not to think of him singing about his ex Jordin Sparks on the emotional track.

The song begins with pounding on doors as a friend warns him to leave because somebody called the cops. As the sound of cop cars are heard in the distance Derulo enters, admitting that, "I'm a little unsure how it got so complicated."

He then laments that he "just can't stop thinking about you every day no I can't stop now" and that he "never meant to fall in love." "Cheyenne" is a brand new song off Derulo's upcoming album, Everything Is 4, which will be released on June 2. Listen here.

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Dierks Bentley Leads Stars for Second Harvest Benefit Lineup
(Radio.com) Arizona-born country singer Dierks Bentley has been announced as the headliner of this year's Stars for Second Harvest Benefit, Rolling Stone reports.

Bentley will be taking to the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville to perform tracks from his recently released eighth album Riser, like "Bourbon in Kentucky," "I Hold On" and "Drunk on a Plane."

He'll be joined by performances from Nashville star Charles Esten and his co-stars otherwise known as sister duo Lennon and Maisley Stella. Also in attendance will be the host for the evening--Craig Wiseman, the famed country songwriter behind hits by Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney and LeAnn Rimes. Read more here.

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Kendrick Lamar Throws Out The First Pitch At A Dodgers Game
(Radio.com) Throwing out the first pitch as a non-baseball playing celebrity is no easy feat. Just ask 50 Cent, who made headlines for how truly bad his was at a Mets game last year, leading him to remark, "I'm a hustler, not a damn ball player" after New York City cops ragged on him and later receive his own baseball card in jest.

But, luckily Kendrick Lamar didn't embarrass himself too bad when he threw out the opening game pitch Monday night (April 27) at Dodger Stadium. In fact, he didn't embarrass himself at all.

Wearing a Dodgers blue hat, the Compton native showed good form, winding up like a real pitcher and throwing from the actual mound 59 feet away. And while it was probably a little low to be a strike, it was in the right zone. And unlike 50 Cent's it was actually close to the plate. Sorry, not sorry 50.

Watch Kendrick's pitch and him hanging out with legendary pitcher Orel Hershiser here.

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'Rush Hour 4' Diddy Billboard Was A Funny Or Die Spoof
(Radio.com) Last week we brought you news of a mysterious billboard towering above Los Angeles that seemed to advertise a film starring Diddy and also, as it turns out, does not exist: the fourth entry in the Rush Hour franchise, Rush Hour 4: Face/Off 2.

Who would spend hard-earned money on such a thing? Established pranksters Funny Or Die, of course. The comedy network yesterday released a trailer for an absurd mashup of Rush Hour and Face/Off.

The spoof does in fact star Diddy and action star Byung-hun Lee, who appeared on the billboard. Diddy plays Detective Carter, who must rescue the daughter of a Korean ambassador. He teams up with Detective Lee, played by Lee. Read more here.

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Anna Kendrick Sings Campfire Version of 'Cups' in Pitch Perfect 2 Clip
(Radio.com) The Barden Bellas are reunited over "Cups" in a new clip from Pitch Perfect 2. You've seen a teaser of this moment in earlier film trailers, but here we get Anna Kendrick telling the girls how much she'll miss them.

"You know, when I look back on this I won't remember performing and competing," Kendrick says. "I'm going to remember you weirdos. It makes me really sad to think it won't ever be like this again. I'm going to miss you guys."

Her heartfelt expression, rather rare for her character, prompts Brittany Snow to begin singing Kendrick's audition song from the first movie and the surprise hit single "Cups."

All the Bellas, including Rebel Wilson and Anna Camp join in, cashing their tickets for the long way 'round. Watch the clip here.

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Twenty One Pilots Release 'Stressed Out' Video Watch
(Radio.com) There's a little story called Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. Perhaps you've heard it; in the end, he does end up growing up and leaving Neverland.

twenty one pilots attempt a bleak retelling of this tale in their new video for "Stressed Out," minus the magic of Neverland and set instead in the dull drums of the suburbs.

The video opens on a partly cloudy day, the worst kind of non-committal and uninviting weather, while singer Tyler Joseph peddles down the street on a three wheeler. He arrives at an average house and goes into the average (but surprisingly clean) bedroom where drummer Josh Dun is waiting. That's where things get a little existential.

The two perform, in the mind of the young man who lives there (and who looks basically exactly like them minus the tats and hair color). So now we're mixing fairy tales, going from the desire to forever be that kid in his family home to taking a trip down the rabbit hole, Alice in Wonderland style.

And then we jump to the duo in beds while a crew of people dressed in black watch them sleep. So'it's The Princess and the Pea? It quickly becomes apparent that the crew of watchers are their families, whose expectations for them are the stuff everyday life is made of.

In the end, no one does what the chorus of the song suggests and wakes up because they need to make money. Except they do, because by watching this video, twenty one pilots just made some money off of you. Watch it here.

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Death Cab for Cutie Unplug For 'Passenger Seat'
(Radio.com) Death Cab for Cutie released something for the old school fans today, posting an acoustic cover of "Passenger Seat" from their 2003 album Transatlanticism to YouTube.

The moody video has singer Ben Gibbard with touring band member Zac Rae on piano, playing the track at Hear Me Shimmer Studios in Seattle, Wash.

For fans, old and new alike who like what they hear, the band can be seen on tour around the country with dates going from now to July 16, when they take a small break and continue on starting in September.

Along with "Passenger Seat," the band also released an acoustic version of "Black Sun," the lead single from their new album Kintsugi. Check out video here.

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Taylor Swift Turns Sheep Whisperer In New Online Video
(Radio.com) When Taylor Swift speaks, people listen. Sheep do not. In a new Instagram video, Swift tries to play the role of the sheep whisperer, but things aren't going the way she probably planned, as evidenced by their lack of understanding.

"These are gestures, that's not food," Swift lectures the sheep, who are clearly hoping against hope for a little nugget of something delicious to drop out of her hands.

Looks like Swift has learned an important lesson about logic and sheep--namely that the two are not companions. "Important lessons from today," she writes in the caption. "1)Sheep are impossible to reason with, 2) Sheep are rude." Check it out here.

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Miranda Lambert Reveals Latin-Flavored 'Two of a Crime'
(Radio.com) If you've been wondering what a Miranda Lambert song with some Latin influence sounds like, you're in luck. Lambert's song "Two of a Crime" from the forthcoming comedy Hot Pursuit was released on Tuesday (April 28), and it's unlike anything previously heard from the country singer.

"Two of a Crime" kicks off with gritty guitar distortion before Lambert enters on vocals echoing an Alanis Morissette throwback. "Red rose on painted lips. Puttin' on Chanel. Packing Parliaments," she sings at the onset.

"We're a deadly combination, you and me/ The way I play it cool and you bring the heat," Lambert adds on the chorus. But I got your back and I know that you've got mine/ That makes us two of a crime."

The song closes with nearly two minutes of instrumentals from a Mariachi band, complete with horns and the Latin flavor that begs us to dance along. Read more here.

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Jana Kramer Debuts New Music During ACM Sessions Appearance
(Radio.com) It's been three years since actress-turned-country singer Jana Kramer released her eponymous debut album, which means that she's about due for her follow-up.

During her new ACM Sessions episode, Kramer treated fans to a sneak peek of what that will sound like. The former One Tree Hill star played through her hits at the AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas, "Why Ya Wanna," "Love," and "I Got the Boy," before debuting her latest track, "Boomerang."

"It's called 'Boomerang' 'cause boys, we are not your boomerang," said Kramer, introducing the scorched earth dismissal of a bad relationship. "I ain't the kind of thing that you can throw away / Watch it circle 'round," she sings. "There's nothing left to say."

Kramer also sat down for a Q&A, where she talked about everything from the positive reception of her debut album to winning an ACM award, always loving country music, transitioning from acting to music and her next album. Check out video here.

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deadmau5 And Diplo Taking Part In Gumball 3000 Rally
(Radio.com) The Gumball 3000 transcontinental rally will kick off Sunday, May 23 in Stockholm and race across the globe ending in a massive car show and concert at the MGM Resorts Village in Las Vegas, Friday and Saturday, May 29 and 30 for which tickets went on sale today (via Ticketmaster).

Rally drivers include deadmau5, Diplo, David Hasselhoff, EVE, The Alchemist, Bun B, Tommy Lee, Tyson Beckford, Dolph Lundgren, Tory Belleci (Myth Busters), Guess supermodels Simone Holtznagel and Daniele Knudson, Fast 'N' Loud's Richard Rawlings, Tony Hawk and Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, alongside socialites, Royal families and wealthy auto enthusiasts.

This year's rally will mark deadmau5's second Gumball. The dance music producer who won the Spirit of the Gumball trophy last year will debut his latest rocket--a 2016 McClaren P1; which for those that don't know is a limited production plug-in hybrid supercar capable of 217 mph. deadmau5 is the proud owner of one of only 375 made. And of course he couldn't leave the $1.3 million dollar car alone. Just like his Nyan Cat-themed Purrari, the McClaren has been covered in vinyl. Read more and watch footage from last year's race here.

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Bradley Cooper, Helen Mirren Lead 2015 Tony Nominees
(Radio.com) The nominees are for the 69th annual Tony Awards were announced Tuesday morning at the Paramount Hotel in New York by actors Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker.

'The ceremony, which will air on CBS on Sunday June 7, will be hosted by Kristin Chenoweth (who is nominated for her role in On the Twentieth Century) and Alan Cumming.

Bradley Cooper, who got a lot of press for taking on the lead role in a revival of "The Elephant Man," is nominated for Best Actor in a Play, while the show itself is up for Best Revival; his co-star Patricia Clarkson is up for Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Play and Alessandro Nivola is nominated for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Play.

See the nominees in the major categories here.

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Of Monsters & Men Release 'I of the Storm' Lyric Video
(Radio.com) Following the release of first single "Crystals," Of Monsters & Men are back with a new taste of their sophomore album: "I of the Storm." The new song, uploaded via a lyric video to their YouTube page Tuesday (April 28), finds the Icelandic band taking an atmospheric, slow-building approach.

Performing the lyric video karaoke-style is Danish actor and MAC makeup artist Atli Freyr Demantur, whose facial expressions are so powerful, even the smallest muscles in his face can be seen twitching with emotion. With makeup like a Las Vegas show girl and the fragility of a wounded animal, Demantur brings each of Hilmarsdóttir's words and breaths to life.

"I am a stranger/ I am an alien," Hilmarsdottir sings over drum corp percussion and echoing reverb. Eventually, the track gains more of a pulse, rising toward a denouement that comes in the form of falling action, a lilting piano finishing off the song.

"I of the Storm" is the second song shared from Beneath the Skin, Of Monsters & Men's followup to 2012's My Head Is an Animal. Read more and watch the video here.

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Mark Ronson Reveals How 'Uptown Funk' Came To Be
(Radio.com) "Uptown Funk" is one of the most popular songs of 2015. Technically it was released late in 2014, but in 2015 it set the record for reaching the No. 1 largest radio audience in the Top 40 format of all time. The song also broke Spotify's global and U.S. record for number of streams in one week with over 4.8 million in the U.S. and 14.79 million streams worldwide. It spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100. It's been streamed on YouTube over 524 million times. This is "Uptown Funk's" world, we're just living in it.

Why is this song so universally adored? Songwriter and producer Mark Ronson told us he has no idea. But he does know the story of how "Uptown Funk" came to be.

"[The song] came from an idea that Jeff Bhasker (producer for fun., Kanye West), who produced my record with me and wrote the album-we went over to Bruno [Mars]'s studio one night," Ronson recalls. "We had worked on 'Locked Out of Heaven' and 'Gorilla' together with Bruno and Phil [Lawrence, composer]. I don't remember how it started exactly. We had this other idea we were kicking around that I thought was cool but we just hit a brick wall with it. We started jamming."

This jam wasn't your average waste of time fishing expedition for ideas, Ronson says. First Mars got on the drums and began pounding out a straight beat. Bhasker, who Ronson calls "an amazing keyboard player" got on the synths and his Juno keyboard. Ronson was on bass. And the "Uptown Funk" groove kind of worked itself out. The guys got the basic groove of the song, recording about an hour of themselves playing the music and listening to it on a loop to come up with melody and lyrics. They wrote the first verse then. It was all they would get done for some time.

"It definitely felt more exciting than most things, but we only had a verse and a chorus," Ronson remembers. "Every time we tried to get back together, it would never quite pan out. It took a long time of fighting to finish the song. Everyone was kind of ready to give up on it but I kept being like, 'We've got to get this.' I was the annoying one. Bruno was the genius. Jeff was just cool. Phil has the funny lines. " Read more and watch the video here.

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