Day in Pop Report for 05/25/2016

Today's Top Stories

Kanye West Sued For $2.5 Million Over Plagiarism Claim

(Radio.com) A Hungarian rock star has filed suit against Kanye West for allegedly sampling his work without permission. Gabor Presser wrote the song "Pearls In Her Hair" as part of the band Omega in 1969, and claims it became "one of the most beloved pop songs ever in Hungary and across Eastern Europe."

In the lawsuit, which was filed in New York's U.S. District Court, Presser asserts that one-third of "New Slaves" from West's 2013 album Yeezus contains a sample from the track. He seeks a minimum of $2.5 million in damages.

In the suit, Presser claims that on May 20, 2013, he received an email from West's management indicating that they wanted to reach a financial agreement for licensing the sample. The suit claims Presser never responded. Later, the Hungarian songwriter says he received a $10,000 check from West's attorneys--which documents state he never cashed.

"Kanye West knowingly and intentionally misappropriated [the] plaintiff's composition," the complaint said. "After his theft was discovered, defendants refused to deal fairly with plaintiff." Listen to the two songs and compare here.

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Drake's 'Views' Smashes Streaming Records

(Radio.com) Drake's latest album Views continues to smash streaming records. Since its April 29 release, fans have listened to the album on streaming services 572 million times in the United States alone, according to NME.

In its debut week, Views amassed 246 million streams on Apple Music, besting (by more than double) Beyonce's record of 115 million for her April release, Lemonade.

Last week, Views became more available to listeners since streaming services in addition to Apple Music picked up the album --bringing the grand total to well over half a billion listens. That means Views has broken the record each week it has been streamed online, and shows no sign of slowing down. Read more here.

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Little Big Town Announce Pharrell Produced Album 'Wanderlust'

(Radio.com) Producer and hip-hop artist Pharrell has been tapped to produce Little Big Town's newest album Wanderlust. Karen Fairchild detailed how their collaboration came to be.

"What started out as one writing session a few months ago turned into multiple writing sessions, as well as back and forth trips from Nashville to Los Angeles," she said. "When the songs started coming together, we realized it was too special to not share with our fans" (via Music Row).

It sounds like it's going to be an interesting combination. "Pharrell loves country music and is a huge fan of harmony," Fairchild said. "That shared passion and appreciation took us on a creative journey we had no idea would happen. The music feels like our worlds have collided in the best possible way--his infectious grooves paired with our layered vocals and harmonies." Read more here.

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A Great Big World's 'Won't Stop Running' Inspired By MS Battle

(Radio.com) A Great Big World have a great big anthem on their hands, but it took a music video to get the song--and their story--to the masses. "Won't Stop Running" is the third single from last year's When the Morning Comes, and the video is striking in its simplicity. In it, singer Chad King looks straight into the camera, and sings as the lyrics appear on the screen.

King tells Radio.com the clip was inspired in part by Janelle Monae's 'Cold War,' and the scene in Magnolia where the cast members sing Aimee Mann's 'Wise Up.'"

The video is powerful without any context; you don't need to know what the song is about for it to move you. And with lyrics like "I'll take another sunrise/Another hand to hold tight," listeners might think that this is another breakup ballad. In fact, the song is about King's struggles with Multiple Sclerosis. And that's a subject that's more relevant than ever today (May 25), as it is World MS Day.

King discussed his struggles with the disease and told Radio.com his story: "I was diagnosed in 2007 with multiple sclerosis, and the doctor told me that if I didn't take the medication that he was prescribing, that I would be paralyzed within seven years. I started on the medication, and the medication actually gave me symptoms that were worse than what I was feeling from the MS: I was getting seizure-like symptoms, and a bunch of other crazy things. I decided that I wanted to explore other avenues to treat this thing. And so, I found a lot of information on how to treat it through diet and nutrition."

"Won't Stop Running" was inspired by the aforementioned doctor. "We got to writing this last album, and the topic of my MS came up, I can't remember why. I wanted this to be a response to that doctor that said I was going to be paralyzed. Because I feel better than ever. I have no symptoms right now. It's amazing. I want people to know that there are other ways to go about treating this thing than medication. [But] I'm not saying not to take your medication!"

He's very careful to note that different people react differently to prescribed medication. "It's hard to even talk about this, because I'm not saying that I'm against western doctors, or the treatments that they offer, because a lot of times, the treatment does help certain patients. I just know that that was not working for me. And the diet and nutrition shift, did."

He says that he has worked with a doctor to help him guide his diet and lifestyle: "Dr. Terry Wahls was paralyzed with MS and she had tried every medication that her doctors recommended and nothing was working for her. She did research on how the brain functions, and what you can feed your body to possibly regain function of certain parts of your brain that may be damaged. She changed her diet, and started walking within three months. Her story really inspired me, and I've been in touch with her." King describes as his new diet similar to a paleo program with no gluten, dairy or processed sugars.

As a songwriter, King is proud that "Won't Stop Running," while personal, isn't too heavy on details, and has resonated with people who may not even know his story.

"I didn't want it to be MS specific, neither of us did. That's so limiting to the experience and to who this message could reach." Read more here.

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Ariana Grande Releases 'Into You' Video

(Radio.com) Ariana Grande has released a new music video for the song "Into You." The new clip was directed by Hannah Lux Davis and depicts Grande performing in a desert and snuggling up to a beefy man. Davis also directed Grande's video for "Focus," and has shot clips for Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj and David Guetta.

"So baby, come light me up and maybe I'll let you on it," Grande sings on the chorus. "A little bit dangerous, but baby, that's how I want it, A little less conversation, and a little more touch my body, Cause I'm so into you, into you, into you."

Grande launched the "Into You" video at midnight from her social media accounts. She teased the arrival of the clip a few hours before by tweeting #intoyouvideo. Watch it here.

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Pink Surprised By Her Fan-Girl Crush Johnny Depp

(Radio.com) While being interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel earlier this week, Pink revealed that her fan-girl crushes on Johnny Depp and Michael Keaton are so intense that she runs the other way when she's in their presence.

She says that she becomes flustered and speechless and has gone to great lengths to dodge both actors. When Kimmel asked if Pink had met Depp, who coincidentally was backstage waiting to be a guest, she revealed embarrassing stories about her encounters with the actors.

While Pink explained that she ducked under a table at a restaurant to avoid contact with Keaton, she wasn't as lucky with Depp. It was her husband Carey Hart who forced a meeting with Depp at a record store, which didn't go well for the 36 year-old.

After detailing the awkward moment, Kimmel seizes the opportunity for a reprisal by bringing Depp on stage to surprise the singer. After Depp graciously greets the pair, Pink expresses her disapproval by joking, "That was awful, this sucks. This is the worst day ever!" Check it out here.

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Chewbacca Mom Gets A Lesson From J.J. Abrams

(Radio.com) The Internet's favorite masked mother Chewbacca Mom (aka Candace Payne) drove James Corden to work on Monday (May 23) and she got a surprise visit from J.J. Abrams during the ride.

Payne originally posted a video on May 19 for family and friends after she purchased a Chewbacca mask. Her sheer delight and riotous laugh over finding and wearing the mask quickly went viral.

On The Late Late Show with James Corden, Payne drove the host to work while he complained that the mask actually didn't sound anything like Chewbacca. Abrams appears in the backseat. "I gotta disagree," he says. He then pops on his own mask and proceeds to give her directions about how to be the best Chewbacca possible.

Later on the show, Payne sat with Corden on the couch and spoke about how the video went viral. When she originally posted it, she texted her friend after it received 1,000 views and excitedly shared that number. She had no idea how huge the video would get. It eventually reached 140 million views in three days. Watch the video here.

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Beyonce Pays Tribute To Prince in Minneapolis

(Radio.com) Hours after Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton declared May 23 "Beyonce Day" for 24 hours, a lightning storm forced the pop superstar to delay her concert in Minneapolis. A whopping 35,000 fans that filled the TCF Bank Stadium were moved to the concourse and close by indoor arenas at The University of Minnesota. In less than an hour the storm passed and fans were readmitted to the stadium.

Taking the inconvenience in stride, Beyonce told the crowd "Thank you for riding out the storm with me." In the governor's proclamation, he said: "Beyonce has influenced many women and young girls with powerful, positive messages in her songs."

No Minneapolis concert would be complete without a heartfelt Prince tribute, and Beyonce selected "The Beautiful Ones" to pay her respects to the late icon in his home city. Original audio from "Purple Rain" also played while a simple purple square filled the Jumbotron. Watch the Prince tribute here.

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Kanye and Kim Celebrate Their 2nd Wedding Anniversary

(Radio.com) Kanye West and Kim Kardashian (together, Kimye) have become such a fixture of tabloid and entertainment culture that it's hard to believe they've been married for just two years.

According to People magazine, the couple are celebrating their anniversary in the same country where they were married--Italy. Kardashian Instagrammed a throwback photo of their early courtship captioned: "Happy 2 year anniversary to the love of my life! You make me so happy! I love you so much!!!"

Two years is technically considered the "cotton" anniversary, so many items from Kanye's Yeezy collection will do for gifts. Congrats on keeping up with the Kardashians for two full years, 'Ye. See some sentimental snaps here.

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Liam Gallagher Has Strong Response to Oasis Reunion Rumors

(Radio.com) Liam Gallagher took to Twitter on Tuesday (May 24) to clarify how he feels about the possibility of an Oasis reunion. "F-- OASIS" he wrote as a capstone to his rant against older brother Noel.

Liam started off by making fun of Noel. He tweeted a picture of Noel standing in profile and labeled it "Potato." Then he turned on Oasis' fans and made fun of them for whining.

The brothers have been fighting since at least 2009, when Noel left Oasis. The event that spurred the final split came from Liam attempting to attack Noel backstage before they began a Paris show (via Metro). Noel recently said he would reunite with his brother and perform to the tune of $30 million, but Liam's rebuttal on Twitter makes it clear that isn't happening.

British beefs run deep. And when they're between brothers, it seems like it takes more than time to heal those wounds. See his tweets here.

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Lady Antebellum To Host ACM Honors

(Radio.com) Lady Antebellum will host the Academy of Country Music's 10th Annual ACM Honors on CBS. The event recognizes the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 51st ACM Awards in April.

Among the Special Awards recipients are Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Glen Campbell, Crystal Gayle, Tanya Tucker, Jimmy Webb, and The Statler Brothers.

Jeff Walker and Eddie Rabbitt will receive posthumous awards. Ross Copperman will be honored as Songwriter of the Year. The event will be filmed for the prime time television special. Read more here.

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Kesha Performs Bob Dylan Classic For His 75th Birthday

(Radio.com) Just one day after Kesha's cover of "It Ain't Me, Babe" mesmerized audiences at the Billboard Music Awards, the pop star flew to Nashville to perform another Dylan tune. She sang "I Shall Be Released" at Dylan Fest, a two-day concert dedicated to the folk-rock icon on his 75th birthday.

This time, her song choice seemed to make a bolder statement in light of the ongoing legal action she's taken against Kemosabe Records and her producer, Dr. Luke-whom she's accused of sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

"Down here next to me in this lonely crowd / Is a man who swears he's not to blame," the song goes. "All day long I hear him cry so loud / Calling out that he was framed."

"I see my light come shining / From the west unto the east," the lyrics continue. "Any day now, any day now I shall be released." Read more and watch Kesha's performance here.

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Singled Out: The Devyl Nellys Funk Is Free

(Radio.com) The Devyl Nellys' Max Feinstein tells us the story behind their new track "Funk Is Free". Here is the story:

Funk Is Free started in August of 2014 with a working concept of "Perfect Strangers." That initial version had the main instrumental melody, but not much else, and aside from showing the idea to John Oates at Crown Of Continents Guitar Festival in Montana a few weeks later I didn't do a whole lot with it until presenting it to the band in September when it came time to choose more songs for the album. We jammed on it as a band and ended up writing the remaining parts of the song that day.

Will Kienzle came up with the chorus hook, and the lyric that became the title of the song, Nelly Levon articulated the concept with melody lines and lyrics, and the song took flight, & shape. The chorus and verse ideas that were added to my original idea really excited me because Will & Nelly wrote them and they were inspiring me to contribute more to the song and to see my own ideas in a different light.

The song is special to me as a writer and as a music fan because it's the kind of song that really got me passionate as a young kid and was the kind of song I'd wanted to write for a long time. It's a very earnest and encouraging piece of work that wants to encourage someone to have a good time for the sake of having a good time.

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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