Day in Pop Report for 06/04/2015

Janet Jackson Returning With New Album
(Radio.com) Janet Jackson's musical return was first noted last summer, when reports of her hitting the studio surfaced, but now it's official: she just announced her first album in seven years.

The full-length, which follows up 2008's Discipline, will be released under her new imprint Rhythm Nation, named for her 1989 album Rhythm Nation 1814.

While the details laid out on her website are scarce at the moment, Rhythm Nation was more fully explained. "At Rhythm Nation Janet plans to offer a home to both new and established recording artists," the statement reads.

Jackson's new label claims to make artists rights a priority. That means that "unlike a traditional record deal, under an artist services deal the artist retains ownership of their recordings and full oversight of all costs and revenues." Read more here.

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Young Money's Flow Wanted By Police For Double Murder
(Radio.com) Young Money rapper Flow is wanted by the police in connection with a double murder in New Orleans last week. Police obtained a warrant for Widner "Flow" Degruy for questioning after two brothers--Kendrick and Kendred Bishop, ages 22 and 18--were shot to death on May 25 in eastern New Orleans. No further information about a possible motive was released by the police.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune quotes a report by the NOPD that claims Degruy came under suspicion after surveillance video showed him and a second suspect "possibly running from the scene and making a purchase at a nearby store."

Flow first signed to Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment label back in 2012. According to police, he would face two charges of second-degree murder if arrested. Read more here.

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Lady Antebellum, Sam Hunt & Hunter Hayes Rock Aerosmith Classic
(Radio.com) Turns out that Blake Shelton isn't the only country star debuting covers of classic rock tunes on this day. But where Shelton went the sentimental route for his rendition of a Bob Dylan classic, Lady Antebellum, Sam Hunt, and Hunter Hayes are going a much different route in their live cover song.

On their recent headlining tour, Lady Antebellum has taken to covering Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" as a group collaboration with their supporting artists on the jaunt, Hunt and Hayes.

The tune allows all three acts to play off each other, with Hayes in particular having a blast by showing off his lead guitar abilities. The whole of the tune plays against type for a country concert, but judging from the audience reaction, it works with the evening that Lady Antebellum is working to present.

Lady Antebellum's The Wheels Up tour continues all summer and into mid-September. Check out the clip from the Jones Beach performance on May 29th here.

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Rita Ora Releases 'Poison' Music Video
(Radio.com) They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. For Rita Ora in the case of her new "Poison" video, it's paved with self-interest and a desire for fame.

In this one we diverge from the theme of her song, which is strong-headedly choosing a lover/path/lunch that you know is not good for you and follow her path to becoming a British supermodel, or at least an Edie Sedgwick-type character.

But alas, the Rita in this video doesn't stand by her choice of a poisonous influence and chooses her authenticity instead, eschewing his world of champagne, makeovers and photography.

Unfortunately her decline was an inspiration to one of her crew, whom she finds in a state of undress and serving as her poison's new muse. For some reason this prompts her to run through the streets of London in a bra and leather jacket; I cannot fathom why she was unable to find a shirt.

"Poison" is off Ora's second studio album, which does not yet have a release date. Watch the video here.

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Canaan Smith Explains Why Kip Moore Is A 'Sissy'
(Radio.com) The Sounds of Summer tour is going to be a long one for Kip Moore. Not only has Dierks Bentley promised more pranks, but now Canaan Smith has some strong words for the "I'm to Blame" singer.

As he recalled the day that Bentley made the Sounds of Summer tour mates take a Polar Plunge, Smith noted that Maddie & Tae were much braver than Moore about jumping into the freezing cold water on New Year's Day.

'Kip was a sissy that day," Smith told Taste of Country. It was all fun and games though, as Bentley, Moore and Smith are good friends. "The better friends you are with people out there on the road, the more you fool around and act crazy," Smith previously told Radio.com. 'I actually have some ideas in my head of how I'm going to get Dierks back for the Polar Plunge thing he did to us. Small price to pay for a good tour I guess." Read more here.

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Blake Shelton Reveals Covers Of Bob Dylan's 'Forever Young'
(Radio.com) Max is an upcoming film about a military dog that befriends a young man played by Josh Wiggins, the brother of Max's owner who was killed in battle. Max joins a family, helping them cope with the loss of their son.

And if you can't look past how cute Max is in his military gear, know that the film also has an eye for accuracy. The pup is a Belgian Malinois, the same type of dogs that the military frequently use to sniff out bombs and one was involved in the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

For the film, country mega-star Blake Shelton has recorded a cover of the Bob Dylan 1974 classic, "Forever Young." Also featured on the track is his former The Voice teammate Gwen Sebastian on backing vocals. Check out the song here.

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50 Cent To Finally Release 'Street King Immortal' This Year?
(Radio.com) After three years of questions and few answers, it looks as if we'll finally get 50 Cent's long-awaited Street King Immortal album. At the very least, the project now has a release month--during a red carpet interview at an event celebrating the second season of his TV show Power, 50 Cent casually announced that Street King Immortal would drop in September.

In response to a mundane question about whether he preferred rapping, acting or his business entrepreneurship, 50 Cent tells the camera that his first love will always be music, since it introduced him to a life where he could pursue acting and business. Then, as if to confirm that his love of music isn't going anywhere, he says that he has a new album: "SKI, coming September."

This comes a full three years after Street King Immortal's initial release date, which was November 2012. After several other delays, it looks like this time around might be the real deal--last month he released the first single from the album, "Get Low." Read more here.

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A Thousand Horses Score No. 1 Hit With 'Smoke'
(Radio.com) A Thousand Horses may be country newcomers, but the bandmates are in celebration mode this week, because their debut single, "Smoke," made it all the way to No. 1.

Turns out, it's also a milestone: "Smoke" is the first debut single by a new country group to top the Billboard Country Airplay chart in this decade (the last to do it was Zac Brown Band with their debut single "Chicken Fried" in 2008).

"Smoke" is also just the first taste of what's to come on Southernality, the group's debut album. Produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson), the album drops June 9.

As the bandmembers explain, the success they've had with "Smoke" proves there is still a place for Southern rock on country radio. "Bands like Lyrnyd Skynryd and the Allman Brothers, they probably would have been considered country music in some ways," guitarist Zach Brown tells Radio.com.

Meanwhile, bandmate Graham DeLoach name-drops the Eagles and Tom Petty, saying that today they would be considered country music. "The Rolling Stones were trying to be," adds frontman Michael Hobby. "At one point they were making some cool country songs." Read more here.

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Neon Trees Release 'Songs I Can't Listen To' Video
(Radio.com) It's a feeling at least as old as a John Hughes movie: there are certain songs that, after a breakup, you can't listen to anymore. Or maybe you're more the type who binges on listening to them for awhile before you can't listen to them anymore. Either way, it's a heartbreaking feeling.

Neon Trees tackle it for their new video for "Songs I Can't Listen To," with frontman Tyler Glenn acting out the good, the bad and the ugly of a relationship.

From the beginning until the time it falls apart, he and his partner are together in sunny Southern California. They play each other songs on the car radio, they listen to vinyl in their living room and they share earbuds. Until, that is, they break up.

There's not much to the video story-it's a pretty direct representation to the song lyrics. The one thing that makes it remarkable is that director Rebecca Thomas has set Glenn, who only came out last year, with a male lead. He happens to be Dustin Lane Black, LGBT activist and Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Milk.

The one thing of note here is that while the two men often come close, they don't actually kiss on the mouth at any point. It's an interesting aesthetic choice that is reinforced as being important when one near-kiss sends them floating in the air away from each other. It's the only surreal moment in the video, ripping the viewer from this real-life scenario into a figurative representation of what drifting apart feels like. Watch the video here.

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Carly Rae Jepsen Reveals Details For New Album 'Emotion'
(Radio.com) Carly Rae Jepsen wrote 250 songs for her forthcoming album Emotion, though--understandably so--not all made the final product. While the release date has been scheduled for June 24, the singer didn't reveal the complete 17-song tracklist until late last night (June 2) on Twitter.

The tracklist for Emotion, her followup to 2012's Kiss, includes the already-released "I Really Like You" and "All That" in addition to songs like "Boy Problems" and the title track.

Previously, Jepsen told Radio.com that she's been having listening parties at her SoHo loft in hope to figure out which songs to put on the album. 'I seduced them with food and wine and would be like, 'Here's a ballot, we're going to listen to some stuff, you cannot put your name down and just tell me what you love and what you hate, feel free to be candid.' I find that to be the most helpful," she said.

For Emotion, she spent the past two years writing and recording the album instead of two months like her previous release Kiss. 'I just kind of took some time to take some time with it," she told Radio.com. 'I'd rather come back with quality not quantity. I didn't want to push new songs out just to push them out."

Jepsen teamed up with fun. and Bleachers' Jack Antonoff, songwriter Greg Kurstin (Kelly Clarkson), Tegan and Sara and The Cardigan's Peter Svensson for Emotion, among others. Check out the track details here.

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Why Ellie Goulding Deleted Photo with Katy Perry
(Radio.com) Rumors were swirling when pop star Ellie Goulding posted a photo of herself with Lorde and Katy Perry and then swiftly deleted it, with some speculating that it had to do with Goulding's friendship with Taylor Swift, who is not a big fan of Perry.

Well, it appears it is not the case. Goulding says she deleted the pic for a much more understandable reason: she didn't think she looked very good in the photo.

"No, I deleted that because I looked bad in it," Goulding said on Tuesday at the Glamour Awards, according to Billboard. "And I think I was a bit drunk. And I thought it wasn't a very good example of myself. That's so funny that, um, that's even a thing. No, I delete things all the time!" Read more here.

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Blur Are Video Game Stars In 'Ong Ong' Video
(Radio.com) Music videos can be a high-budget chore to get right, but rather than stress about it, Blur have had fun with them. First they recruited a Chinese dance collective for their "Lonesome Street" visual, and now they're sitting out yet another video, this time for "Ong Ong" from their recently released album The Magic Whip.

Instead of appearing in the flesh, the band are represented by avatars in their new video, which doubles as a video game. Inspired by Super Mario Bros., the psychy vintage-feeling game stars Mr. OK, who you might recognize as the smily ball from Blur's "Go Out" video.

Meanwhile, Damon Albarn is represented as the ice cream cone Mr. Cream. Graham Coxon is a fly named Mr. Brown. Alex James is a blob called Mr. Red. The only bad part about the video game? It doesn't exist IRL. Watch it here.

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Martina McBride On Eliminating Women From Country Radio Controversy
(Radio.com) Last week, radio consultant Keith Hill made waves when he declared in a Country Aircheck interview that country radio programmers should limit play of female artists.

"If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out," Hill said. 'They're just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females."

As you might predict, Hill's statements didn't go over very well with many listeners and artists. Martina McBride was quick to respond last week, and on Tuesday (June 2) she appeared on CBS This Morning to explain why she feels Hill's comments are "dangerous" for the industry.

"You have record companies that don't invest in female artists or sign female artists as much, thinking that they're not going to get a return on their investment or get played on the radio," she said. "You have songwriters who aren't writing songs for females as much, because they 'don't get played on the radio.'"

Comments like Hill's, then, become a "self-fulfilling prophecy." McBride then continued discussion of the issue on social media. "I feel like whether or not a song gets airplay should be based on how good the SONG is…not whether or not it's sung by a male or female," she wrote in a Facebook post. "It's kind of like comparing tall artists to short artists, blondes to brunettes, bald guys to guys with hair….what does it matter?" Read more here.

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Stephen Colbert Teases Launch Of 'Late Show' With Video and Website
(Radio.com) Get ready for the return of Stephen Colbert, world. Fans are getting their first look at what The Late Show with Stephen Colbert will be like as the comedian launches a website and social accounts for his new show.

And of course there's a video. In the nearly six-minute clip, Colbert spends the first four slowly shaving off his beard as he explores possible looks for his new show. Going from the "not Hitler" to Amish to half of a lumberjack, he finally lands on the old, clean-shaven Colbert look.

In the meantime, many whiskers pile up on his hot dog (not a euphemism). Then he dedicates a solid minute to eulogizing his beard to the tune of Green Day's " Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" with the lyrics to "Camptown Races" over them, for legal reasons obviously. Read more and watch the video here.

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Taylor Swift Explains 'Drunk' Hiking Photo
(Radio.com) A new photo of Taylor Swift hiking got people asking, "what is going on here?" But don't worry the singer took to her Tumblr to explain just that. In the viral shot, Swift is seen in the great outdoors in shorts and a tank top, no different than what one would wear to go hiking. But, the photo also includes a man dressed in blue, who suspiciously looks like he's trying to get her to walk in a straight line.

Leading some to ask, "Is that Taylor Swift taking a sobriety test?" or more specifically "Taylor wtf is happening here im confused." The question got some validity when Swift thought it would be funny to post the pic to Tumblr with a gif from Bridesmaids, which features Kristen Wiig doing a little jig after being stopped by a cop for possibly drunk hiking.

The caption: "If I was drunk would I be able to do this?" While Swift wasn't actually drunk hiking, the real story is nearly as interesting. As Swift explained in her post, "I saw the guy with the camera and wasn't in the mood so I hiked the whole trail backwards and my security told me when to make turns." Read more here.

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Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Perform On The Late Late Show
(hennemusic) Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds performed "Lock All The Doors" on The late Late Show with James Corden on Monday. The track appears on the band's second album, "Chasing Yesterday", released this past February.

Prior to the performance, Gallagher joined the host and guests, actress Hannah Simone and comedian Pete Holmes, for an extended chat that included discussions about food, travel, One Direction and the breakup of his former band, Oasis.

On the topic of fist-fights with his brother, Liam, the guitarist was asked who would win most of the brawls. "It was pretty even towards the end," says Noel. "I did leave on a high, though."

The famous feuding Gallagher brothers have not been on speaking terms since Oasis split in 2009. While Liam and the final lineup of the group formed Beady Eye – who eventually disbanded last October – Noel went on to his solo project, issuing a self-titled debut in 2011. Watch the Late Late Show appearance here.

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James Bay Tells The Story Behind 'Hold Back The River'
(Radio.com) When James Bay sat alone with his guitar one evening he had no idea he'd end up writing his very first hit song. The 24-year-old British songwriter was simply overwhelmed with feelings and music was his only mechanism for coping.

Bay tells Radio.com that "Hold Back The River" was born purely out of emotion, and a longing to be with friends and family after a grueling tour got in the way.

'Most of my songs start musically--melody, guitar part, chords, whatever--but that one didn't," Bay recalls. 'It started with quite an overwhelming feeling."

With his early success, Bay found himself busier than he'd ever been. Touring the world had created not just a physical distance but an emotional one from everyone important his life. 'I started to panic about losing touch with those people," he admits. 'That started to worry me."

It all came to a head the night of his first headlining show, where three-fourths of the audience was made up of friends and family. Bay mistakenly assumed he'd be able to spend time with everyone after the show. But as the lights turned on and people left, he realized he hadn't spent quality time with anyone. 'The moment came and went in two seconds," Bay laments. 'I continued to feel anxious about how I was losing touch." Read more here.

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Alia Ahmed-Yahia On Launching Fashion Blog The Style Scout
(Radio.com) Starting a fashion website is easy, right? You take some photos, post some buy links and bing, bang, boom, you're done. Well, think again. When Radio.com caught up with Alia Ahmed-Yahia, the woman behind fashion site The Style Scout and host of the Style Scouting podcast on Play.it, to find out more about her fashion roots, we also discovered that building a brand is hard to do.

"I moved to New York when I was 21 years old. I knew no one," Ahmed-Yahia recalls. "I basically sent my resume to everyone that I possibly knew might have a connection. A friend of a friend of a friend worked at GQ magazine and he reached out to me asking if I was interested in being a fashion assistant. I was open to anything creative but I knew zero about fashion."

Ahmed-Yahia is the oldest of seven kids, which may account for some of her tenacity. She went from a starting position at GQ to a fashion assistant job at Vanity Fair where she got a crash course in fashion knowledge firsthand.

"I like to say I just took a nosedive into the pool of fashion," she says. "I think most people that I talk to now that are outside the industry look at it as this very glamorous world where people that have a good eye just pick things out of the sky and put looks together. And that's not really what fashion and the fashion industry and being an editor means. It really means being responsible for driving the fashion industry, supporting the fashion industry. It clicked for me: this is a business."

After handling designer goods and learning about styling at Vanity Fair, she went to a small, now-defunct magazine in the Conde Nast family called Vitals, which was helmed by fashion industry icon and current editor-in-chief of Yahoo Style, Joe Zee. Though the experience was short-lived, Ahmed-Yahia says the small staff of about 20 allowed for a lot of hands-on training. "If you can get into an environment like that, you can do so many more things than the job you're hired to do and that's where you truly learn," she says. Read more here.

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