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Day in Pop Report for 06/12/2015


Country Star Randy Howard Killed In Shootout With Bounty Hunter
(Radio.com) 65-year-old country singer Randy Howard was shot and killed in his Lynchburg, Tennessee, home on Tuesday night (June 9) by a bounty hunter attempting to take him into custody.

According to WSMV in Nashville, a bench warrant had been issued for Howard after he missed a court appearance for fourth offense DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a gun while intoxicated and driving on a revoked license.

"One morning I went over there to take him to court and he wasn't ready," Howard's friend Terry Dotson told WSMV. "He said, 'Well, I'll call them in a couple hours.' And that's when I got mad at him. I said, 'Look, we're supposed to be there at 9 o'clock.'"

According to crime investigators, Howard opened fire, with the bounty hunter returning shots. Both men were struck in the shootout, with Howard dying on the scene. The bounty hunter is expected to make a full recovery.

The longtime and well-respected Howard had worked with some of country music's biggest names, including Willie Nelson, Read more here.

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Carly Rae Jepsen Announces New Album
Carly Rae Jepsen has announced that she will be releasing her new studio album, entitled "E-MO-TION," on August 21st which will be preceded by the release of the new single "Run Away With Me" next month.

Jepsen has also announced that she will be celebrating on the album's release date with a performance of the single on The Today Show as part of their Summer Concert Series. Check out the album's trailer here.

She had this to say about the album, "I took my time with this album and wanted to make a pop record that had heart to it. I was lucky enough to work with some of my favorite writers and producers and together we made a collection of songs that I couldn't be more proud of". See the tracklisting here.

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Country Music Legend Jim Ed Brown Dead At 81
(Radio.com) Jim Ed Brown passed away on Thursday (June 11) after a battle with cancer. He was 81. The country singer and Grand Ole Opry member died at Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tenn. just a week after it was reported that his cancer had returned.

'The Grand Ole Opry family is truly saddened by the news of Jim Ed's passing," Pete Fisher, Vice President, General Manager Grand Ole Opry said in a press statement. 'While we will miss his kind heart and gentle nature, we will remember and celebrate one of music's smoothest and most beloved voices ever."

Brown made his last appearance at the Opry on April 11, 2015 performing 'In Style Again" and 'The Three Bells," just a month after he and his former band the Browns were elected as the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

On June 3, just months after he canceled a tour after being diagnosed with lung cancer, his daughter Kim revealed on Facebook that his cancer had returned. Read more here.

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Jazz Pioneer Ornette Coleman Dead At 85
(Radio.com) Legendary jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman died earlier today in New York City at 85, according to The New York Times. The cause was cardiac arrest, a representative of the family said.

The alto saxophonist and composer was one of the most powerful and contentious innovators in the history of jazz. With his "out" and "free" style, he helped shaped the majority of music that would come in the latter part of the 20th century, both pop and avant grade included.

An extremely important figure in modern jazz music, he's also influenced a number of musicians outside of that genre: Lou Reed was a fan, and Coleman played on Reed's The Raven album. Ditto Bruce Hornsby, who also collaborated with him on a track.

In the late '80s and early '90s, Coleman's influence was felt in alternative rock music, via two of his biggest fans, Vernon Reid of Living Colour, whose guitar solos recalled Coleman's free jazz experimentation, and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Flea wrote of the experience, "I practiced for months to prepare. I was nervous about it and when the big day came, I was up there with these great jazz musicians with all the chops in the world playing maniacally, and I'm just an uneducated punk rocker, but I did my best. I did OK. I was in awe of Ornette, and did my best to support him with all my heart."

When the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed at the GRAMMY Awards in 2007, Flea covered his amps with a sign that said, "Love to Ornette Coleman," as Coleman was in the audience that night to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Watch the video here.

Looking to check out the man's music? Start with 1959's The Shape of Jazz to Come, one of his first albums, and one with a rather prescient title.

Read more here.

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Florida Georgia Line Releases 'Anything Goes' Video
(Radio.com) What's a typical day like for Florida Georgia Line? The country duo give a glimpse into life on the road in their new music video "Anything Goes" which was released Wednesday night (June 10).

At the video's start Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley are found in the backstage area of the venue getting pumped up before they hit the stage. This includes a prayer circle with their band and girls before a Florida Georgia Line chant.


The video then pans to the guys hanging out on their buses before soundcheck earlier in the day. How do they kill time between soundcheck and the show? Well, some drinks are involved as well as a motorcycle ride around town.

The mostly live performance video follows the guys working out in the parking lot before the show and a party after the set which includes fire breathing festivities. "You oughta try it with Fireball and see what happens," Hubbard says at the video's close. Watch it here.

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Foals Announce New Album 'What Went Down'
(Radio.com) Added to the list of anticipated summer albums? Foals with their fourth full-length What Went Down, which is set to be released on August 28 via Warner Music.

For their follow up to 2013's Holy Fire, out August 28, the UK art rock band hunkered down at a 19th century windmill in the South of France with producer James Ford, best known for helming the sounds of Arctic Monkeys, Florence + the Machine, Mumford & Sons and Jessie Ware.

The band stayed in its rock pop lane for this release, while exploring weightier topics than usually found in the genre. "I wanted to tap into my inner madman and feel like I was channeling some sort of fevered creature," said vocalist and lyricist Yannis Philippakis in a statement. Read more here.

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Walk the Moon Release Vibrant 'Different Colors' Video
(Radio.com) Walk the Moon pay homage to their spring tour in their new video for "Different Colors", which was released on Thursday (June 11). "On the road, we get to experience such vibrant creativity and diversity in the people we meet and places we visit," the band tweeted.

"So, we built this video out of some of our favorite moments from our journey across North America this past spring. March on <+> spread love <+> and keep shining like the brilliant kaleidoscope rainbow future stars you are!"

The video itself resembles a kaleidoscope of different colors as the band shows off their tattoos, bright sneakers and neon face paint before they hit the stage. Their fans do the same, as many are captured in the shots sporting bright images painted on their arms and faces as well.

Throughout the nearly four-minute clip, the band is seen dancing on and off the stage along their spring tour stops. Walk the Moon already announced a new fall tour which we can assume will include their high energy set and, of course, many bright colors. Watch the video here.

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Dave Grohl, Questlove and More Imitate Ringo Starr In New Video Clip
(Radio.com) Normally at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, each inductee is introduced with a mini-documentary about their career. But this year, the producers of the award ceremony (and the subsequent HBO broadcast) took a different approach to Ringo Starr, who was honored with the Award for Musical Excellence.

Instead of the expected archival footage of Ringo's era in the Beatles and afterwards, a number of the most popular drummers in the world were interviewed while sitting behind Starr's Beatles-era kit. Among them: Foo Fighters Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins, Tre Cool of Green Day, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, session drummer Jim Keltner (who has played on Ringo's albums in the past, and in his first All-Starr Band), Max Weinberg from the E Street Band, Stewart Copeland of the Police, Questlove from the Roots and Abe Laboriel Jr., who has been putting his spin on Starr's drum parts for years (he's been in Paul McCartney's backing band for over a decade).

"Four drums," Weinberg says. "That's all Ringo Starr needed," before demonstrating Starr's creativity behind the kit by playing the totally distinct drum part to the Beatles' "Ticket To Ride." Later, several of the drummers play the unforgettable drum riff in "Come Together," and his solo on "The End."

"The most timeless drummers," Questlove adds, "Are the ones who are the most simple."

Grohl points out, "You hear his drumming, and you know exactly who it is."

And Smith says, "He has the magic touch." Smith, in fact, is the person who posted the video to his Facebook page. Watch the video here.

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Common 'Suicide Squad' Role Revealed?
(Radio.com) When Common was cast in the upcoming Suicide Squad film, which will star Will Smith and Jared Leto and feature a number of well-known superhero characters (including Leto as The Joker), many jumped to the conclusion that the rapper would be playing Black Manta.

Stills from the movie are emerging and one shot of Common bears a close resemblance to the character The Tattoo Man, arch-enemy of the Green Lantern, capable of turning his tattoos into weapons.

Of course, when images first appeared of Leto as The Joker, he also had a bunch of crazy tattoos, so maybe Common still is a Black Manta, but with a bunch of tattoos. All will be revealed in August of 2016, when the film is released. Read more here.

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Beck Teases Mysterious 'Dreams'
(Radio.com) '90s alt-rock darling Beck has caused a lot of noise this year, especially considering the quiet, contemplative nature of his most recent album, Morning Phase.

Mostly touring since the firestorm of controversy that followed his Album of Year win at this year's Grammys (thanks in large part to Kanye West's aborted stage invasion after the award announcement), Beck has announced that something new is pending just over the horizon.

So far there's not much more to go on than artwork for what's presumed to be a new Beck song called "Dreams." Is it a cover Fleetwood Mac's 1977 No. 1 hit? Probably not, especially given the whiz-bang nature of the cover art, which was shared as a GIF. Pretty snazzy, Mr. Hansen.

According to sources close to Beck's camp, "Dreams" is a new track that does a complete 180 degree turn from the hushed nature of Morning Phase and harkens back to upbeat, funky and fun sounds of albums like 1999's Midnite Vultures.

Rumor has it that "Dreams" will be revealed to the world on Monday (June 15), so stay tuned, Beck fans. Things are about to get very interesting. See the gif image here.

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'The Program' Trailer Follows Journalist That Busted Lance Armstrong
(Radio.com) "Inside each and every one of us is something more potent, more powerful than any drug. It's called the will to survive," begins the first trailer for The Program, in voice over narration by Ben Foster (best known for his role in Lone Survivor) who plays Lance Armstrong in the film.

Centered around the efforts of Irish journalist David Walsh (Chris O'Dowd of Bridesmaids), the film details when he began to suspect Armstrong was using performance enhancing drugs and his search for clues that would take Armstrong down.

The cast is rounded out by Dustin Hoffman, Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights) and Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy). A U.S. release date has not yet been announced for The Program. Watch the trailer here.

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Kacey Musgraves Performs 'Biscuits' On The 'Tonight Show'
(Radio.com) Earlier this week (June 9), Kacey Musgraves turned the Tonight Show into the Grand Ole Opry by channeling her retro country roots. The singer, wearing a studded scarf and a bandanna patterned dress, took the stage with her rhinestone cowboy band, whose suits actually lit up, to perform her sweet and sassy track "Biscuits."

But it's no surprise that Musgraves would channel her inner-Dolly Parton, as she says on the track, "I'll just do me, and honey, you just do you." One thing she won't be doing is taking a page from Taylor Swift's book, telling the Fader recently, that she has no intentions of having her face plastered everywhere.

'The idea of massive amounts of fame--having my face on Walgreens end-caps and pizza boxes--I don't fantasize about that I'm happy with just being a songwriter. I'd rather have smaller numbers [of fans] that are really into what I'm doing than a massive amount of people that don't really know what I'm about," she said. Read more and watch her perform "Biscuits" here.

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Nicki Minaj Rants Against Ex and Professes Love For Meek Mill
(Radio.com) Don't worry, Nicki Minaj is still in love with Meek Mill, but she isn't very happy with her ex Safaree Samuels. After Minaj got a listen to Sarafee new single "Love The Most," which leaked on Wednesday and talks about the highs and lows of their 10-year relationship. It also reportedly talks about how ungrateful she is and a kiss she shared with Nas, which did not make Minaj very happy.

That's why she took to Twitter Thursday morning (June 11) to shut him down and perhaps air a bit of his dirty laundry. In a series of tweets that have since been deleted, but were screencapped by Vibe, Minaj writes, "Don't make me do thisLesson: don't cheat on a loyal woman. God will punish u. When he does, tell people the truth. The truth may set u free. Love. Always."

Adding, "Took a person with me to fame & fortune. These dudes leave their girl in the hood. Tell ppl the truth or you will b doomed."

In the next few tweets, she then lays out why her relationship with Safaree didn't last, in a rather nice way, writing,"Enough with the pity party. Just live your life," she added. "I'm happy today not b/c of meek. But b/c i know Im a good person. Don't hate u. Will always love u. I forgive u. It's time to move on." Read more here.

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Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig Working With Jaden Smith?
(Radio.com) Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig is no stranger to collaboration. Whether it has meant lending a voice to his bandmate Rostam Batmanglij's side-project Discovery to crossovers with more dance-oriented artists like Major Lazer and Duck Sauce, Koenig's career is characterized by a willingness to work with a range of artists.

Even this past weekend, Koenig was seen on stage performing with Chromeo at New York's Governors Ball. But, maybe his strangest collaboration yet is the new one that is rumored, fueled by a Twitter post from Koenig himself in which he stands next to Jaden Smith, Smith's arm firmly around the indie rocker's neck.

The caption on the picture is the item fueling speculation, where Koenig wrote, "things are bubbling in the sea beneath 14th street." Of course, anyone familiar with Koenig's Twitter account knows that the songwriter is an avid joker, and could just be using the photo op as an opportunity to get a laugh out of his friends and fans. Read more and see the tweet here.

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All-Female 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Reveals Male Cast Member
(Radio.com) The all-female Ghostbusters reboot of the classic '80s film just found its guy in Chris Hemsworth. On Thursday (June 11) it was announced that Hemsworth, a.k.a Thor, will play the receptionist in the film directed by Paul Feig, a role reversal we can all get behind.

Feig seems pretty excited about the casting too, tweeting a photo of Hemsworth with the hashtag #whoyougonnacall. We all know Hemsworth can pick up a hammer, but now we'll get to see how he does with a phone.

Hemsworth will be the new Annie Potts, who played receptionist Janine Melnitz in the original Ghostbusters. Hemsworth is certainly going to have to up his hair game to compete with Potts.

But, thanks to his recent hosting stint on Saturday Night Live, we do know he's got the comedic chops to pull off all the jokes. Read more here.

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Laverne Cox's Dressed Statue of Liberty on 'Entertainment Weekly'
(Radio.com) Laverne Cox is ready to prove she's an all-American woman. She does it on the cover of the new edition of Entertainment Weekly dressed as the Statue of Liberty.

The new cover, unveiled by the magazine and Cox on her Instagram on the eve of the release of season three of Orange Is the New Black, has an accompany interview.

For her part, Cox says she's happy to take on that celebrity and the explanation of trans life that accompanies it, but asks "I just wonder, am I allowed to be a human being?" Read more and see the cover here.

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The Vampire Diaries Star Kat Graham Talks Fashion
(Radio.com) One thing is for sure, Kat Graham is not afraid of a statement outfit. When she showed up to the Radio.com offices she was wearing a deep v-neck jacket, sans top, a lot of Topstick two-sided tape to make sure she didn't pop out of her outfit and a choker.

"No f-s given, f-in' lucky I'm here," Graham says with a smile when asked to describe what her clothes would say if they could talk. "But you don't say that, you just wear it."

And if you're Kat Graham, you wear it with Adidas, which she did on the day we spoke to her. "Adidas is one of the most fun brands because they're all about experimenting and collabing with different musicians and artists. I love that about them. I wanted to wear them. I've been wearing heels all week," she says with a pout.

The Vampire Diaries actress is a double threat, most recently making a name for herself as a singer with her single "1991," which harkens back to her favorite period in fashion.

"My favorite movies [were] Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion and Clueless. Fashion was such a huge part of that time," Graham reminisces. "Even watching that TV show All That, which was on Nickelodeon, they had such distinct style. Or Clarissa Explains It All. Now when I watch TV it could be any decade, it could be at any time, but you know when it was the '90s." Read more here.

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The Police's Andy Summers Recalls Experience With John Belushi
(Radio.com) The upcoming documentary on The Police, Can't Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police, is set to debut this Friday (June 12) on Vimeo, and the new teaser clip will be hard to top with the rest of the film.

In the scene, guitarist Andy Summers, whose biography, One Train Later, is the basis for the film, recounts a decision to travel to Asia after a tour to take photographs along with drummer Stewart Copeland.

It is then that the pair run into SNL legend John Belushi at their hotel. They immediately hit it off and decide to eat psychedelic mushroom omelettes together.

While Summers narrates this story, photographs from the time period are displayed, including one of Belushi with an exposed belly and look of pure bliss. Read more and see the clip here.

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