B-Sides Report for 12/30/2015

Search Continues For Missing Country Singer Craig Strickland

(Radio.com) Craig Strickland's wife, Helen Strickland, is calling on fans to pray for the safe return of the Backroad Anthem singer, who went missing during storm Goliath in Oklahoma over the weekend.

"Craig is still missing," Helen tweeted Monday night (Dec. 29). "The search has been called for the night. It will resume again in the morning with a sonar boat. Still need prayers."

Strickland was hunting ducks with his friend Chase Morland when the two decided to go into the storm to continue their hunt. Before they continued their quest, Morland posted a tweet, which became the last message from either of them.

"In case we don't come back," Morland tweeted, "@BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. #IntoTheStorm."

Authorities discovered Morland's body after they located the boat, which was found capsized. The search for Strickland continues. Read more here.

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Man That Inspired Taylor Swift Hit Arrested For Alleged Child Abuse?

The man that reportedly was the inspiration for Taylor Swift's early hit "Teardrops on My Guitar" was arrested on Saturday (December 26th) in connection with a child abuse complaint, according to ABC.

Andrew Hardwick was arrested in Hendersonville, Tennessee along with two other suspects, Joni Hardwick and Christopher Hardwick, after police discovered a three-year-old girl with severe bruising and swelling on her face, and a concussion, according to the Hendersonville Star News.

Media reports indicate that Hardwick is the same "Drew" that was mentioned in Swift's 2007 hit song with the lyrics "Drew looks at me, I fake a smile so he won't see / That I want and I'm needing everything that we should be." Read the ABC report for more details here.

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Meek Mill Ordered To Sit Out New Year's Eve Show With Nicki Minaj

(Radio.com) Meek Mill won't be joining Nicki Minaj for the couple's scheduled Las Vegas New Year's Eve show. Instead, he will be spending his New Year's Eve in Philadelphia performing his court-ordered community service.

Meek will need to stay in the City of Brotherly Love until his Feb. 5 sentencing for a probation violation. And according to Page Six, his probation officer, Treas Underwood, has no plans to make life easy for him.

'She keeps showing up to his community service, which is not common," a source told Page Six. 'She has 122 other cases, but she has it out for him. Probation is supposed to be a rehabilitative thing, but she will do anything to keep him on probation."

According to Page Six sources, Mill and Underwood have a history, which allegedly includes an "altercation" between Mill and her cousin "when they were younger." Read more here.

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Travis Scott Denies Delaying Rihanna's Anti Album

Travis Scott has denied allegations from songwriter Glass John that he has delayed the release of Rihanna's new album Anti, which was rumored to be released on Christmas as a surprise for fans but the album did not appear on the holiday.

John posted a series of tweets this past weekend making the allegation that Scott had caused a delay in the release. Scott reportedly posted a screen shot of an article about the allegations and said on Snapchat "Don't believe this s***," according to XXL (via ABC.

According to the report, John's tweets included: "Travis Scott keeps telling my wife she needs to make an all trap hood ghetto albumAnd Roc nation keeps listening to Travis because they think he is a genius... I DONT F****** SEE IT THO,"


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Eric Church, Jake Owen and Florida Georgia Line Lead Country Thunder

Eric Church, Jake Owen and Florida Georgia Line will be headlining both installments of the Country Thunder music festival in 2016, which will once again be staged in two cities across the U.S.

The first weekend will be taking place in Florence, Arizona on April 7th-10th which will also feature headliner Kip Moore along with CAM, Cole Swindell, Randy Houser, Old Dominion and LoCash, according to Radio.com.

The second weekend's festival will be taking place at Twin Lakes, Wisconsin on July 21-24 and will include headliner Chris Young as well as Thomas Rhett, Parmalee, Dallas Smith and more.

Cadillac Three, Chase Bryant, Chris Janson, and Thousand Horses have all signed on to perform during both weekends.

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Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown, Chris Stapleton Lead Concept Album Lineup

(Gibson) Producer Dave Cobb will be releasing a star-studded concept album entitled "Southern Family" on March 18th, 2016. Cobb has already worked with some of the biggest contemporary stars of country music.

He's produced albums for Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Shooter Jennings. This February, he's up for two Grammy Awards - Album of the Year for Chris Stapleton's Traveller and Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) for his production work on albums by Stapleton, Jason Isbell, A Thousand Horses and more.

This March, he's set to take things a step further with the release of a new concept album called Southern Family. Produced and conceived by Cobb, the album will feature twelve songs by Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown, Chris Stapleton (with Morgane Stapleton), Jason Isbell, John Paul White (The Civil Wars), Shooter Jennings and more. The concept of the album revolves around the artists writing new songs about growing up in the South or performing songs that were important to them.

Speaking to Rolling Stone about the album's central idea, Cobb said, "the more I thought about it, everybody has a great story, about their parents, their grandparents or brother and sister. I wanted to have really talented artists custom write and do songs that mean a lot to them, and also just make the song that maybe they wouldn't put on their record. The deep song, or the song that doesn't fit in the queue or wouldn't be a single. I wanted them to do the most honest song they could do." See the artwork here.

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Kendrick Lamar Discusses Dark Themes On To Pimp a Butterfly

(Radio.com) Kendrick Lamar has flown to new heights as an artist in 2015, releasing the critically acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly. But he recently explained the dark side to his newfound fame and how his own past threatens to clip his wings.

"You can have the platinum album, but when you still feel like you haven't quite found your place in the world -- it kind of gives a crazy offset," Lamar told NPR's David Greene. "When you go inside these places, no matter how much money you have, no matter how much success, when you still feel like you're not comfortable, where's the feeling in that?"

He also explained the emotions that fueled To Pimp a Butterfly displayed on the spoken word interludes, including screams of agony. "The feeling was missing home," Lamar said. "The feeling was, I should be with my family right now when they're going through hardships, with the loss of my dear friends that's constantly passing while I'm out on this road. The feeling was, 'How am I influencing so many people on this stage rather than influencing the ones that I have back home?' That's the feeling: being inside the hotel room, and these thoughts I'm just pondering back and forth while I look at the ceiling all night." Read more here.

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One Direction Didn't Let Losing Zayn Drag Them Down In 2015

(Radio.com) When Zayn Malik announced his departure from One Direction in March, observers wondered if the band had reached the beginning of the end. They'd had a great run, but so did the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, whose huge popularity eventually died down as their fan bases grew up and moved on.

In the opening lines of "Drag Me Down," Harry Styles fiercely sings, 'I've got fire for a heart / I'm not scared of the dark / You've never seen it look so easy." Facing indignity and adversity, a special someone's love keeps the lads afloat: Perhaps their 26.1 million Twitter followers? The lyrical content of 'Drag Me Down" casts stalwart fans as key players in a real-time perseverance fable.

It doesn't hurt that the song itself has crossover appeal, hitting a sweet spot of pop and rock that listeners outside their Instagram demographic can access. If you compare NSYNC's final singles 'Pop" and 'Girlfriend," the One Direction hit reveals maturity and evolution their predecessors couldn't nail.

There's a certain cynicism every boy band, girl group and solo teen idol faces after a few years of success. Pop ecologists--reviewers, executives and fans--watch like David Attenborough, looking for telltale signals of their advancing life cycle. Teen pop is a genre of precipitous rise, monumental success and sudden collapse. Read more here.

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Elle King Finds Success In 2015 With Love Stuff

(Radio.com) Elle King, aka Tanner Elle Schneider, has been performing since she was 16, but it was only in 2015 that the 26-year-old found herself in the pop culture spotlight. Having earned comparisons to the likes of Janis Joplin and Johnny Cash, King's gravelly voice and polished but fierce stage presence made her a welcome addition to the year's musical landscape.

After releasing her debut The Elle King EP in 2012, King followed it up in 2015 with Love Stuff, which contained the explosive hit single "Ex's and Oh's." That song earned her two GRAMMY nominations, including Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance.

After learning about her two nominations in "Room 608 of the Hilton in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania," (her description) King spoke with Mix 104.1 about the anxiety-ridden lead-up to that recognition. She said, "Well, people write predictions of nominations and then you just kind of go crazy, and think about it endlessly, and you don't sleep for days, and then you stay up and watch, and then Alicia Keys doesn't say your name, and then you tell your mom that life is over, and then you realize that there are other things to be nominated for, and then you get two nominations, and life is great and it's fine. That's a normal way that things go." Read more here.

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Alessia Cara Breaks Out In 2015

(Radio.com) Lots of artists have made their name with party jams. Fewer have broken through with songs that express total ambivalence about actually being at a party.

But that's how Alessia Cara's breakthrough came, via the song "Here." She's pretty clear in her lyrics: 'I don't dance, don't ask, I don't need a boyfriend/So you can, go back, please enjoy your party/I'll be here, somewhere in the corner."

The song resonated in 2015, big time. It was a top ten single. More tellingly, Taylor Swift invited Cara to perform it onstage with her during the 1989 tour. In other words, Cara got the guest star spot that Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, the Weeknd, Tove Lo, Charli XCX, Keith Urban and the Band Perry occupied on other nights during Swift's tour. Read more here.

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