B-Sides Report for 12/21/2015

Meek Mill Found Guilty Of Violating Probation

(Radio.com) Meek Mill is facing more possible jail time in 2016 after a judge found him guilty of violating his probation. The violations include breaking travel restrictions by performing and meeting up with his girlfriend Nicki Minaj in different states.

'I bent over backwards so he can have free range to grow his career. It didn't work out," Common Pleas Judge Genece Brinkle said in court about previous accommodations she's made for the rapper when it came to his probation (via XXL Magazine).

The judge seemed especially exasperated by the number of violations Meek Mill continues to have despite numerous 'second chances.' She questioned, "How many times am I supposed to give him a second chance?" (via ABC News).

Until his next hearing on Feb. 5, Meek Mill will not be allowed to work or perform unless that work involves community service. "The chance you gave me definitely changed my life and changed my family's life," Mill said in testimony on Thursday (Dec. 17). "If you didn't give me a chance, I probably wouldn't be at this place I'm at now." Read more here.

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Merle Haggard Says That He Was Nearly Dead

(Radio.com) Merle Haggard checks in from the hospital, after being admitted earlier this month. "A couple weeks ago I came in the hospital here, and I guess I was nearly dead," he said in a recent radio interview.

"They couldn't tell whether the [lung] cancer had returned or whether I just had pneumonia," he continued. "They had to wait until they got the pneumonia under control before we could tell. So it's been kind of a tough couple of weeks, but I've got so many people to thank."

And Haggard did, in fact, take the opportunity to genuinely thank a long list of the people, most notably Gene Autry's widow Jackie, who encouraged him to go to the hospital. "Without her I might not be alive," he admitted.

He also thanked fans for praying for him and God for letting him have another Christmas. Listen to the interview here.

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Ariana Grande's New 'Christmas And Chill' EP Streaming Online

(Radio.com) Ariana Grande has an early present for fans, a holiday EP titled Christmas And Chill. The EP contains 5 original festive songs, and well as an intro.
It's the singer's second holiday EP, her first 2013's Christmas Kisses, featured holiday standards.

"My friends and I created Christmas & Chill together in my home studio in under a week! I hope you can feel how much we loved making it when you listen to the music" said Grande in a prepared statement.

"I wanted to surprise my fans for the holidays and do something special for them. My fans are always so good to me and I hope the music brings some joy and happiness to them this Christmas." You can steam the full EP here.

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Ariana Neal Cast To Play Nicki Minaj In Television Series

(Radio.com) Actress Ariana Neal has been cast to play a young Nicki Minaj in an upcoming television series based on the rapper's formative years in Queens, New York.

"I literally cried watching her taped audition," Minaj captioned an Instagram post. "I demanded to meet her! Sat in a room with her teaching her how to rap by doing a beat on the table & forcing her to stay on beat! Lol. Then pulled out all the attitude she had in her lil body. Haha! She's tough! And so sweet & cute."

But this isn't the first time Neal has played the younger self of a hip-hop star. In 2013 she took on the role of a young Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes in VH1's Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story.

Born and raised in McDonough, GA, Neal is probably best know for playing Tatiana in the critically acclaimed Fruitvale Station. "We are so proud of Ariana. She and her whole family are such beautiful people," said City of McDonough Media Specialist Casey Case. "We are so proud of her success. We came to know her as the young actress on the Georgia lottery commercial back in 2012. We wish her all the success in the world."

Minaj announced the entire cast, including guest star Whoopi Goldberg, as well as the series' title "Nicki" via Instagram. "I am honored and excited to announce that I've literally hand picked the main characters of my scripted series "Nicki" ~ #ABCFamily #Freeform ~ I've been going to the auditions falling in love with some incredible people. Looking forward to unveiling this groundbreaking new show for you guys."

See Nicki's posts here.

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Brantley Gilbert Releases 'Stone Cold Sober' Video

(Radio.com) Brantley Gilbert has released the music video for "Stone Cold Sober", a track that comes from the Platinum Edition expanded reissue of his "Just As I Am" album, which was released back in May.

The clip opens in the aftermath of what had to have been an epic party. Gilbert is part of the narrative, but he doesn't play the main role: a character who wakes up on the front porch of the party house and recalls the night before.

The lyrics reflect the story of the video, as the main character remembers meeting a woman (who he's introduced to by Gilbert), leading to the climax of the narrative: can he say the same things stone cold sober? Watch the video here.

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Kesha Shares Inspirational Message About Haters

(Radio.com) It's been a difficult year for Kesha: An ongoing legal battle with her record label has cast doubt on whether she'll ever record new music, on her own terms, again.

Despite intense media scrutiny and publicized recovery from an eating disorder, the singer-songwriter had an inspirational message to share with her fans on Instagram.

"Hearing about those b-tches from high school who tortured you and made your life a living hell," read a handwritten message on notebook paper, 'One day they gonna brag about how they used to know you." See her post here.

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Suspects In Country Producer's Assault Claim Self Defense

(Radio.com) Producer Dave Brainard, who has worked with Brandy Clark, Jamey Johnson and Jerrod Niemann, was physically assaulted along with his friend Deborah DeLoach on Sept. 27 in Nashville. Brainard had to undergo extensive reconstructive surgery after the assault.

According to Nashville police, the incident occurred after DeLoach was struck by an Infiniti sedan belonging to Dustin and Nichole Hargrove. Nichole allegedly exited the vehicle first and began screaming at DeLoach, even pulling her hair and eventually pinning her down. It's believed that Dustin then choked Brainard until he lost conciseness.

The Hargroves, who turned themselves into police, are now claiming self defense. Dustin was charged with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor assault, while Nichole was charged with misdemeanor assault.

"My clients were defending themselves, and he got hurt accidentally in the process," the couple's attorney Mark Scruggs told The Tennessean. Read more here.

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Luke Bryan Talks Real 'Reason For The Season' With His Kids

(Radio.com) Luke Bryan is looking forward to spending the holiday with his sons Bo and Tate and nephew Til, but he recently told Rare Country that it's important to him and his wife Caroline that they know the reason for the season.

'We try to stress, every day, stress to them, the importance of Jesus and Christianity and being a good person and believing in higher powers," he says in the video.

"I think during Christmas time, with kids, they get wrapped up in Santa Claus and stuff, so I think it's fun that you sit back and really try to have a talk with them about the real reason."

Of course, the boys have long lists for Santa Claus that include hover boards, BB guns and bows and arrows. It's called balance. Watch the video here.

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Madonna Submits Testimony Denying Allegations Sean Penn Beat Her

(Radio.com) Police and media reports of alleged incident in June 1987 have shaped public opinion about the nature of Madonna's marriage to Sean Penn. For almost 30 years, biographers and journalists have repeated variations on a story that Penn tied Madonna up, sexually abused her and beat her with a baseball bat.

Madonna denied the allegations in a 1989 interview with Rolling Stone, and rarely addressed or alluded to the events ever again, despite persistent speculation. This year, Penn brought a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Empire creator Lee Daniels for repeating the story in defense of actor Terrence Howard--who he suggested faces a double standard about domestic violence in Hollywood.

In an amendment to Penn's lawsuit, Madonna herself produced sworn testimony that the incident never occurred and that despite their tempestuous marriage, the fights never got physical. In the sworn affidavit, the Queen of Pop vouches for Penn's character, talent and behavior during their high-profile union. Read more here.

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Future Celebrates 2015 In New 'Moments' Video

(Radio.com) Future must be feeling #Blessed these year between his hit album DS2, his mixtapes Beast Mode and 56 Nights and of course his mixtape with Drake, What a Time To Be Alive. It's been a busy year for the rapper, but, of course, just because 2015 is coming to a close doesn't mean he's slowing down.

Future released a new music video for "Moments," which borrows from "No Basic" off Beast Mode. Keeping things simple and nostalgic, Future removes the strong beat which lines the original track and instead relies on a piano and his voice to highlight the successful-but emotional-year he's had.

The video stitches together behind the scenes footage with shots from his live shows to form a 'year of review' type of narrative. Stream the new video clip here.

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Kendrick Lamar Inspired Puff Daddy's 'MMM' Re-Release

(Radio.com) After seeing how well Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly did when Interscope made a clean version available to stream and download one week prior to the explicit version's release, Puff Daddy decided to follow suit.

Diddy released his mixtape MMM (Money Making Mitch) in November, but since then has received "overwhelming demand" from listeners to make the album available for purchase. He did so today (Dec. 18) on iTunes. The re-release contains a new interlude and two bonus tracks.

"I was surprised that after people had a chance to have it for free, they still want to buy it," he said to Billboard. "I heard about the effect that Kendrick [Lamar] had when he let everybody hear his album for a week for free before they could buy it. It just shows that if it's quality, people have a demand for it." Read more here.

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Justin Bieber Reportedly Baptized In Former NBA Player's Bathtub

(Radio.com) A pastor and a pop idol walk into an apartment complex. This isn't the beginning of a joke--It's how the story of Justin Bieber's 2015 baptism in the Hillsong Church starts.

A recent GQ interview with the singer's purported pastor reveals how, after multiple attempts to baptize Bieber, he finally received the sacrament in a former NBA player's bathtub.

Journalist Taffy Brodesser-Akner retold Pastor Carl Lentz's story: Bieber expressed his desire to be baptized immediately. The duo raced to a nearby apartment complex to use the pool, but it was too crowded. But hope was not lost: Lentz also rents a Manhattan hotel pool specifically for baptisms, as one does. They went to the hotel and discovered that the pool was closed.

This is when the pastor decided to phone a friend: former New York Knick Tyson Chandler. "I said, 'Bro, I'm in a jam here. I have JB with me, he wants to get baptized,'" Lentz told GQ. "He's like, 'Done. Easy.' " Read more here.

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Lady Gaga 'New York, New York' Performance Goes Online

(Radio.com) Frank Sinatra's centennial celebration has drawn many tributes like the All-Star Grammy concert in Las Vegas. This week, Lady Gaga uploaded a video to her Vevo channel from her "New York, New York" performance on the show. In an androgynous tuxedo, the native New Yorker gives a classy, confident take on the song.

Gaga has spent the past few years diversifying her pop portfolio. From her duets album with Tony Bennett to her live Sound of Music performance at the Oscars, she's sought out ways to show off new facets of her persona--placing her talent front and center.

If a Golden Globe nomination for her acting on American Horror Story is any indication, the omnichannel approach is paying off. Watch her "New York, New York" performance here.

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Singled Out: Korbee's Show Me The Way

Los Angeles based singer/songwriter duo Korbee tell us the story behind their latest single "Show Me the Way" which was released last month. Here is the story:

"Show Me The Way" is first, and foremost, a story song. It is filled with loss and defeat with a yearning for triumph and freedom. When we write, it almost always comes out in a very cinematic way, sonically and lyrically. In this case, the driving beat and bass in the track paints a very dark and looming picture for the journey you go on as the listener. You hear love, pain, hope, sadness, euphoria and revenge.

This song comments on a need for hope. "One match strike gonna cause a spark. Can you free the light? Can you heal the dark?" We are so often lost in our lives and no matter how much knowledge or perspective we collect along the way, there is no way we could ever be prepared for what might be coming next. But every time we suit up, armed with our experiences, and continue to fight. There are many times that we find ourselves asking something, anything, to show us the way. That vulnerability is actually the strength in this song.

We know this life is an endless journey; one that will be filled with missteps and the path can turn in a moment's notice. We also know that the search for fulfillment and happiness is one clouded with our own society's rules. Our real truth is the ultimate goal. "Show me a rich man without a ring." If we are prepared to understand that we will never be fully prepared, maybe we will find some kind of peace on the journey.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself here and learn more about the single right here!

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