Day in Pop Report for 06/18/2015

Little Big Town Cancel Concerts For Medical Reasons

(Radio.com) Little Big Town fans, take note: The band is canceling all live shows through July 30. According to a statement on the band's website, the reason is that bandmember Jimi Westbrook will "undergo surgery next week to remove a polyp on his vocal cord." He then needs to rest his voice in order to recover fully after the surgery.

This includes the band's July 17 date at Tim McGraw's Sandy Hook benefit concert. The statement from Little Big Town about the canceled concerts is below:

"With heavy hearts we want to let you guys know that Jimi will have to undergo surgery next week to remove a polyp on his vocal cord. As a result, doctors have ordered him to rest his voice and completely recuperate before we continue touring. All shows through July 30th will be cancelled or rescheduled.

"It breaks our hearts to let you guys down, but Jimi's health is the most important thing and he is expected to make a full recovery with rest and treatment. We will keep everyone updated on Jimi's progress. Thanks for your understanding and support. - K,K,J & P" Read more here.

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Courtney Love Trying To Stop Kurt Cobain Conspiracy Theory Film

(Radio.com) For most, the death of Kurt Cobain is not a mystery, as they accept virtually all reports that the Nirvana singer took his own life. Yet some still hold on to the idea that it is a conspiracy in which Cobain's wife, Courtney Love, played a part in the songwriter's death.

A new documentary, Soaked in Bleach, tries to dig deep into this conspiracy theory, and Love is not taking the film's existence too kindly.According to Ultimate Classic Rock, Love is behind a cease-and-desist letter that has been presented to all theaters showing the film, with a pretty cut-and-dry reasoning.

The letter claims the movie "falsely presents a widely and repeatedly debunked conspiracy theory that accuses Love of orchestrating the death of her husband Kurt Cobain," while noting that there just isn't evidence to support any of the claims. Read more here.

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Eminem Producing Music For New TV Series 'Narc'

(Radio.com) Eminem has recently seemed to be shifting his musical endeavors away from albums and toward the small screen. Deadline reports that the rapper will be the executive producer of a new show on TV based on the movie Narc. He'll also write original music for the series.

Produced by Joe Carnahan, who directed the movie in 2012, it's a thriller set in Detroit, which should give Eminem plenty of insight into the plot and characters. It will tell the story of a cop going undercover with criminals to investigate a murder.

This latest cinematic endeavor for Eminem comes after his recently announced soundtrack for the film Southpaw, about a wounded boxer getting back in the game. He sure knows how to pick scenarios that sound like Eminem songs. Read more here.

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Sam Hunt Releases New 'House Party' Video

(Radio.com) Being on the road with Sam Hunt is all fun and games. At least, that's what it looks like from his new music video for his latest single "House Party." What's an average day like for Hunt while on the road playing music with his friends?

At any second a backstage dressing room can turn into an impromptu dance party. Some days there are arcade games, an intense laser tag battle and often wiffle ball, Frisbees and ping pong balls are flying.

The nearly four-minute clip was shot while Hunt was on tour and includes beach shows, performances in London and mini tour bus concerts. Hunt gives a glimpse into his journey since releasing his debut album Montevallo last year, and it looks like a wild ride.

Of course, your sense of deja vu is not unwarranted: Hunt shot an alternate video for the song last year. Check it out here.

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Beck Working On New Music With Nile Rodgers

(Radio.com) One look at the production resume of Chic's Nile Rodgers and it's clear the man keeps busy. He's produced classic albums by Diana Ross, Madonna, Duran Duran and David Bowie, to name a few.

And he's not slowing down anytime soon, either. In a new interview with Radio.com, Rodgers revealed that he'll soon go into the studio with Beck, who is one of the performers at the Rodgers-curated FreakOut! Let's Dance Festival, taking place in Riverhead, N.Y., Aug. 4-5.

"We haven't gone into the studio yet," he said. "We're going into the studio out on [Long] Island. We have the studio booked, we're ready to go." But it does make sense: Rumor has it that Beck is moving in a funkier direction, if his new song "Dreams" is indicative of his upcoming music.

Will Beck be backed by Chic when he performs at FreakOut! Let's Dance? "No," Rodgers says, "Beck is bringing his band…this is the beginning of the Beck tour. When you look at the poster for the festival, people think Beck and Duran Duran are headlining. No: The reason I did that is to say 'thank you' to them, because these are the first shows that they're doing; it's also the first show on the Duran Duran tour." Read more here.

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Icona Pop Release 'Emergency' Video

(Radio.com) There's something unsettling about Icona Pop's new video--though perhaps that's to be expected, considering it's for a song called "Emergency." The duo of Caroline Hjeltand and Aino Jawo kick off the first visual from their upcoming album by getting unzipped out of body bags by a spike-masked, leather-clad mystery man. Stylistically, that sets the tone for the rest of the video.

In between choreographed dances in a what looks like a storage locker, they run through a visual feast of avant looks. There's quirky hats, crocodile dresses, crazy heels and, later on, gilded outfits.

All the while, they dance right into the boxy camera, no doubt a nod to Hype Williams' late '90s videos for Missy Elliott. The track, which is available for purchase on iTunes, will be featured on Icona Pop's follow up to their 2013 breakthrough This Is…Icona Pop. There's no release date yet. Watch the new video here.

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The Ting Tings Cancel Tour Due To Injury

The Ting Tings have announced that they have been forced to cancel their U.S. which was set to kick off tonight (June 18th) after Katie White suffered a partially ruptured tendon in her left hand.

Doctors have ordered White to rest her hand to allow it time to heal, forcing the UK duo to pull out of the tour which was scheduled to start tonight in Berwyn, IL and conclude on July 26th in Omaha, NE.

White had the following to say, "Really sorry to be cancelling our U.S. tour. My left hand has been playing me up for a while and unfortunately, it finally decided to throw a tendon tantrum.

"We tried to scale back the upcoming shows to avoid making it worse, but unfortunately, I have a torn tendon that the doctors have said only rest and physiotherapy will heal... back soon." see the canceled dates here.

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Florence + the Machine Take Foo Fighters Slot At Glastonbury

(Radio.com) Dave Grohl's broken leg affected more than just the head Foo Fighter and his band. After the band canceled a number of European tour dates, one of England's premier festivals, Glastonbury found itself without a headliner for its Friday night show (June 24).

So, plan B: invite Florence + the Machine to fill in for the Foos. Festival organizer Emily Eavis posted a message on Glastonbury's website earlier today addressing the news.

"Once we heard the sad news that Foo Fighters had been forced to pull out, there was only one person we wanted to call and that was Florence," she wrote. "Every time she has played here she's done something spectacular and we always knew she would headline the Pyramid one day. I'm delighted she's agreed to step up to it-she's going to smash it!"

Hopefully she won't do too much smashing, though: Florence herself is recovering from her own injury, a broken foot suffered at Coachella. Read more here.

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Carrie Underwood Writes New Song For Her Son Isaiah

(Radio.com) Carrie Underwood is hard at work on her first album post pregnancy, and the new mom has even written a song about her 3-month-old son Isaiah. In an interview with Taste of Country, the "Little Toy Guns" singer said that while she tried her best to stay away from a "cheesy Mommy moment" on her upcoming new album, the song she wrote for her son will likely make the cut.

'I'd be very willing to put money that it will be on there," Underwood said. She didn't reveal the title for the track but said that the song poured out during a recent songwriting session.

So how is motherhood treating Underwood? It seems her new son is transforming her into a morning person. 'He's just this gift and such a smiley baby and so easy to be around," she said. 'I'm a grouch in the morning and I wake up and he wakes up and he's just smiling at me. So he just makes my life better." Read more here.

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Taylor Swift's Exposed Belly Button Goes Viral

(Radio.com) This is why we can't have nice things. In a moment of weakness--or more accurately, a fan photo--Taylor Swift exposed her belly button and gave the internet a new meme.

Swift has always said she wanted her belly button to remain a "mystery," explaining, "As far as anyone knows based on my public appearances, they haven't seen evidence of a belly button. It could be pierced. They have no idea. If I'm going to get some sort of massive tattoo, it's going to be right next to my belly button because no one's ever going to see that."

While taking a photo with a fan at a recent show, Swift decided to be a little cheeky and lift her crop top just enough to expose her belly button, which is totally normal looking.

Reddit had a field day, posting the photo with the wise words: If you gaze into her navel long enough, it too shall gaze into you. Of course, no one got lost in this tiny black hole, instead they thought of things that could replace her belly button, including a six-pack, a bunch of baby orangutans and our personal favorite the Taylor XY, revealing she has no belly button at all. See the images here.

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Tori Kelly's Debut Album 'Unbreakable Smile' Streaming Online

(Radio.com) It took eight years in the making but Tori Kelly's debut album Unbreakable Smile is finally here to stream. The former American Idol hopeful and YouTube star-turned-pop singer worked with executive producer Max Martin on the project, which has cameos from Ed Sheeran and LL Cool J.

'I'll be honest, I was a bit nervous to even work with somebody as successful as Max because I didn't think that our worlds would go together at all," Kelly told Radio.com earlier this year. 'There was me, coming from this indie, singer/songwriter thing and then him, completely running the pop charts. But I knew that was the next step. Personally, I knew that was what I wanted."

Clearly it was a good match, as the first song they wrote together "Nobody Love" became a hit, breaking into the top 20 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart and racking up over 10 million streams. Read more and grab the stream link here.

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Lady Gaga Covers John Lennon's 'Imagine'

(Radio.com) Covering John Lennon's "Imagine" has become a kind of rite of passage, and now Lady Gaga can finally claim that right. At the 2015 European Games opening ceremony, Mother Monster took on the ballad for the 70,000-deep crowd in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Aside from a flower strewn piano, Gaga was at her most understated for the occasion, delivering a stripped-down performance of the track that flexed her vocal range and forgoing her usual sartorial flair.

She was almost unrecognizable with minimal makeup, platinum blonde hair and a white gown. It's not exactly surprising, however, that Gaga kept things simple for the show. Since she released her last album, a jazz standards compilation with Tony Bennett dubbed Cheek to Cheek, Gaga has been letting her vocals take most of the spotlight and simplifying her wardrobe in the process. Watch it here.

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The Cadillac Three Release 'White Lightning' Video

(Radio.com) The Cadillac Three frontman Jaren Johnston shares the spotlight with his wife Evyn in the band's new video for "White Lightning" and it's a fitting role, as Johnson wrote the song about his wife.

The music video for the Southern rock love ballad begins with Johnston getting into his truck and slamming the door to which a photo of he and his wife falls to the passenger seat.

He looks at the photo and then begins to sing the opening lines of the song while driving and you instantly get the feeling you're with him as he's writing the song.

The three-minute clip then flashes forward to Johnston returning home to see his wife in their kitchen as the camera pans to photos of them both on their refrigerator. The stripped-down feel of the song comes to the forefront as Johnston is found upstairs writing the song as pictures of he and his wife flash on the screen as he sings, "That's what love is supposed to feel like."

And by looking at their relationship through the span of the three minutes of "White Lightning" it seems love sure feels good. Read more and watch the video here.

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Tonic, Smash Mouth, Coolio, Lisa Loeb Lead 90sFest Lineup

(Radio.com) Attention Brooklyn bread throwers: your next chance to grace Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell with slices (or loaves) of your favorite wheat products has now been named, as the band will be among the headliners for 90sFest, taking place on September 12 at the outdoor 50 Kent.

Along with Smash Mouth, '90s nostalgia nuts will get sets from rapper Coolio, "Stay (I Miss You)" singer Lisa Loeb, Tonic, Naughty by Nature, and the surviving members of Blind Melon. The festival is also touting a "surprise act."

Hosting the festivities is none other than the Weasel, Pauly Shore. Tickets for the event are now on sale, ranging from $60-85 for general admission and $100-150 for VIP. Read more here.

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Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt Lead 'Passengers' Cast

(Radio.com) Sony Studios is moving forward with Passengers, a big-budget science-fiction drama starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. But getting the production off the ground was not without its own drama, says the Hollywood Reporter.

The film bounced between studios before landing at Sony. Tom Rothman, Chairman of Sony's motion picture division, is said to have wrestled with the film's budget. And with Chris Pratt's price tag having just gone up $2 million this weekend with the success of Jurassic World, Pratt's take is now at $12 million per picture, reports THR.

Add Pratt's pay to co-star Lawrence's $20 million salary, plus hefty back-end profit sharing, and the film could end up running somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million. Read more here.

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Outlaw Country Star Whitey Morgan Talks New Album

(Radio.com) If you're a fan of the 'outlaw' side of country, you may already know the music of Whitey Morgan. He's not on the radio much, but he is well known on the touring circuit for his energizing live show.

Now on his latest album, Sonic Ranch, the country troubadour strips down his sound for a gritty and raw collection of songs that showcase his many influences.

Recorded at a cozy studio outside of El Paso, Texas, that he says felt like home, Sonic Ranch includes not only original compositions but also a selection of memorable covers, including Townes Van Zandt's "Waitin' 'Round to Die," Waylon Jennings' "Goin' Down Rockin" and Tom T. Hall's 'That's How I Got to Memphis."

"There's definitely a piece of me in all those covers that I sing," Morgan tells Radio.com. He's speaking by phone from Bass Lake, California, a small village south of Yosemite National Park where he moved six months back.

Bass Lake is a long way from Flint, Michigan, where Morgan and his band, the 78s, first got their start five years ago. But it represents a new turn in Morgan's life. For instance, while his beard, long hair and tattoos give him the appearance of a biker, it turns out he's lately focused on bikes of the pedal-powered variety ("I'm healthier than I've been in along time," he admits"). In fact, as we speak he's taking a break from a cycling ride in the mountains near his new home.

But that fresh focus on personal health doesn't temper the grit, guts and soul that defines Morgan's music, which is steeped in the soul and sounds of country's honky tonk and outlaw eras. This is true whether he's performing his own original songs or working up new versions of vintage material. Either way, it's material that comes from a place deep down inside.

As he explains it: "If you're going to do someone else's song, you really have to make it your own. The only way to make it your own is if you lived it."

As far as the original songs he wrote for the record, Morgan says each song is true to him, the most honest being "Good Timin' Man," which speaks about the difficulties of life on the road.

"The chorus for that really explains a lot about me and life on the road. People want me to be that person when I'm on stage. I'm not always that person off stage and sometimes I have to put on a…." He pauses. "Merle Haggard, in one of his songs ['Footlights'] he says you gotta 'put on that Instamatic grin.' You gotta go up there and put this show on no matter what mood you're in. You have to get up there, and they all want the party songs." Read more here.

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Jon Hamm Tipped Waitress With Bonnaroo All-Access Wristband

(Radio.com) When Mad Men star Jon Hamm turned up last weekend at Bonnaroo, videos of him performing at the Superjam and feeding Belle and Sebastian gummy bears surfaced to prove him pretty cool.

According to Consequence of Sound, after his Bonnaroo festivities, Hamm stopped by the Tupelo Honey Cafe in Chattanooga for a fried egg BLT, coffee, and an orange soda.

Apparently, the service was really something, as Hamm gave server Abby Swartz his Bonnaroo all-access wristband as part of his tip. 'Take this wristband and go to Bonnaroo. This will get you anywhere you need to go," he said. 'Go to Bonnaroo and have a great time."

Swartz made it to Bonnaroo in time to catch sets from Billy Joel and Florence + the Machine. Read more here.

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Dixie Chicks Announce Reunion Tour Dates

(Radio.com) Dixie Chicks will be reuniting for a European tour in 2016. Only a hand full of concerts have been announced, with the run set to begin in Amsterdam on April 20 and conclude in Dublin on May 4.

No U.S. tour dates have currently been scheduled, but the simple fact that Natalie Maines, Emily Robison Strayer and Martie Maguire will be performing again together should increase hope that some American stops might be in the cards.

Dixie Chicks last toured in 2013, while their most recent album, Taking the Long Way Home, was released way back in 2006, and went on to win five Grammy awards, including Album of the Year. See the dates here.

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Channing Tatum Opens Up Online

(Radio.com) When you're old and gray, remember to tell your grandchildren--Channing Tatum was a national treasure. This much was proven Wednesday (June 17) when Tatum completed a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) answering user-submitted questions on topics ranging from co-stars like Jonah Hill to Magic Mike fans to the weird things he eats.

And boy, does he eat some weird things. The AMA didn't go on for all that long, but we nonetheless gleaned a few beautiful morsels of new information about the star. Here are some of the stranger stories.

His favorite sandwich is weirder than Elvis' favorite sandwich. He even gives instructions on how to make it: "Bread, white. peanut butter, not crunchy, creamy. grape jelly, double portion, more than you think should actually fit on a piece of white bread. bread, and then some cheetos shoved in there, and then you're good to go."

Saturday Night Live was some of the hardest acting he's done. "Doing SNL was by far the most terrifying thing that I've ever done, because there is a lot of reading involved, and I don't read that well out loud. I get terrified and freeze up. So it really depends on what kind. If i'm really super prepared and I'm off book, I'm not nervous. There's no wrong way to do it, just different ways to do it, because you never know what is going to work." Read more here.

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Singled Out: Slightly Stoopid's The Prophet

Today Miles Doughty from Slightly Stoopid tells us about the song "The Prophet" from their forthcoming album "Meanwhile... Back At The Ranch," which is set for release on June 30th. Here is the story:

The prophet is a song that was originally written when I was 16 years old and recorded on a 4 track in my living room. I always loved the song but never really recorded more than an acoustic version of it.

To bring it to life in the studio the story needed to change a little more to the life I've lived instead of the one I used to dream about living. With the help of Ras-MG in the production world we were able to bring it to the level that would make Brad proud. It's been a hell of journey for this song and I'm glad it's seeing the light.

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

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