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Page Too Report for 12/23/2016

Jeremih and Chance the Rapper Release Surprise Christmas Mixtape

(Radio.com) Chance the Rapper and Jeremih just released the new holiday-themed mixtape Merry Christmas Lil' Mama. The nine-song project was released late Thursday night with no warning.

Chance announced the release through social media. This is Chance's first project since he released Coloring Book earlier in the year, and Jeremih's first tape since he dropped Late Nights Europe back in July.

Chicagoans Chance and Jeremih, have worked together in the past, so the collaboration isn't shocking, it's just a pleasant surprise. The project also includes a feature from comedian Hannibal Buress. Listen to Merry Christmas Lil' Mama here.

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Chris Martin Covers Drake and Beatles At Surprise Benefit Show

(Radio.com) Coldplay frontman Chris Martin surprised New Yorkers at the Mercury Lounge with a last-minute benefit for Manhattan homeless shelter, The Bowery Mission.

James Winans of the Bowery Mission told Radio.com that "Chris literally conceived of that concert at 3 pm while visiting The Bowery Mission that afternoon, and the doors opened six hours later at 9 pm at the Mercury Lounge."

Martin delivered a few Coldplay singalong tunes, like 'Fix You," 'Yellow," 'A Sky Full Of Stars," but he also covered Drake's 'Hotline Bling," the Beatles' 'Yesterday," and the late Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah."

It was a solo acoustic show until about halfway through when some of the guys from the mission joined him; Martin's new "bandmates" had a very direct connection to the cause: James Macklin and Ron Nelson both received critical help from The Bowery Mission as they recovered from homelessness and addiction Macklin in the 1980s and Nelson in recent years. Read more and check out some fan filmed footage here.

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Judge Orders Prince's Divorce Papers To Be Made Public

(Radio.com) Prince's second marriage to Manuela Testolini ended in divorce in 2006. A decade later, his life came to a shocking end. The aftermath of his death has been accompanied by a number of lawsuits and legal issues, as the singer died with no will in place, leaving numerous family members wrangling for a piece of his estate.

And as part of the wrangling over his estate, a judge has ruled that previously sealed divorce records will be opened, reports The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Hennepin County Family Court Judge Thomas Fraser issued an order in August unsealing the divorce records. The release of the documents was delayed because of objections from Testolini (her attorneys say the divorce papers are tied to a private document), Prince's half brother Omarr Baker and Bremer Trust, the company overseeing Prince's estate. Read more here.

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Lee Brice Pays Tribute To Fallen Air Force Major

(Radio.com) Country music singer and songwriter Lee Brice performed Vince Gill's 'Go Rest High on That Mountain" during a private service held in the Old Post Chapel on Joint Base Myer-Hendreson Hall to honor U.S. Air Force Maj. Troy Lee Gilbert. The service, held at Arlington National Ceremony, came 10 years after Gilbert's F-16 crashed on the ground in Iraq.

The hero was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, but it took 10 years for his final remains to make it home because his body was stolen by al Qaeda fighters, reports Taste of Nashville. He is the first soldier to be honored at Arlington National Cemetery three times.

Brice first got involved when Gilbert's wife Ginger Gilbert Ravella told the singer how much his song, 'I Drive Your Truck," meant to her. From there, the story took on a much heavier meaning.

"I told him how much we, as fallen families, cling to pieces left of those we love," she said. 'Troy sold his old beloved truck for a new one about a month before he found out he was deploying. Things were starting to break on his old one, and he needed a reliable ride. Just a week before he took off for Iraq, he said, 'I think we need to sell my new truck. We really can't afford to make payments while I am gone.' So we sold it and he left. Years later when Lee's song came out, it wasn't the new truck I wished we still had. It was the old one; the one that belonged to Troy's Dad first, the one Troy drove for years, the one I knew [my sons] Boston and Greyson would get a kick out of." Read more here.

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Dolly Parton's My People Fund Helps Almost 900 Families In 4 Days

(Webster) In a little more than two weeks after the wildfires that spread across Dolly Parton's home area of Sevier County, Tennessee, Parton and the Dollywood Foundation launched the distribution of assistance from the My People Fund. During the four day cash distribution, 884 families received their initial support payments.

"It's a blessing during this holiday season that we are able to help as many families as we have so far," Parton said. "We know there are more families out there who need our help and we encourage them to be in contact with us before our January distribution."

The Dollywood Foundation My People Fund provides $1,000 each month to Sevier County families whose homes are uninhabitable or were completely destroyed in the recent Smoky Mountain wildfires. Any family who lost their primary residence (renters and homeowners) due to the wildfires in Sevier County will be eligible.

Millions of people watched Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund telethon on Tuesday, December 13 on Great American Country, AXS-TV, RFD-TV and The Heartland Network and during several rebroadcasts throughout the last week. As a result, donations continued to roll in and thanks to generous people from coast to coast and Parton's friends, the total amount raised has climbed to $9.3 million.

"As, Dolly said, the response has been overwhelming," David Dotson, Dollywood Foundation President said. "We will distribute all $9.3 million to the families affected. That will insure all of the money raised will go to where Dolly promised it would go."

The next distribution is January 26 and 27, 2017 at the LeConte Events Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. A pre-application for those affected is available at dollywoodfoundation.org.

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Beck Will Be Releasing His New Album 'Very Soon'

(Radio.com) Beck's follow-up to the GRAMMY-winning Morning Phase has kept fans waiting: First, it was set for release in 2015, before it was rescheduled for November 2016.

That deadline came and went, leaving many wondering when the new Beck would, well, materialize. The alt-rock icon recently said that the yet-untitled album is coming "very soon" and lifted the lid on what fans can expect, reports NME.

"This record was supposed to come out over the last year, and then I've been touring and doing a million other things," he said. His followers have already heard "Wow" and "Dreams" from the upcoming release. And Beck has said some of the content was inspired by a summer set he played with The Strokes in 2015.

'It's a summer night, people have their hands up," he said. 'It's a communal, celebratory thing. I wanted to take that into the studio, a kind of energy or joy. The thing that wakes you up a little bit." Read more here.

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Gucci Mane Releases 'Stutter' MusicVideo

(Radio.com) Gucci Mane released yet another new music video on Thursday (December 22), this time for "Stutter" off his holiday album The Return of the East Atlanta Santa.

There's nothing overtly Christmas-y about Gucci's latest visual. In it, he's surrounded by gorgeous women in lingerie while he hangs out in a mansion. The majority of the shoot takes place in a decked out library, where Gucci stands in front of a pool table and the ladies staged around the room seductively bend over.

"Stutter" focuses on the good lovin' Gucci offers in the bedroom. Or on the jet. Or anywhere really. But he only gives as good as he gets, and when his lady makes him "stutter," he knows he's found a good one. Watch the video here.

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Ronnie McDowell Becomes Santa Claus For Hometown Kids

(Webster) Earlier this week country music legend Ronnie McDowell teamed up with elementary schools and countless community volunteers to transport 30 children on five tour buses to a local Walmart in his hometown of Portland, Tenn for a $100 shopping spree just days before Christmas.

This year the buses were lent to the worthy cause by fellow country stars Garth Brooks, Josh Turner and more. McDowell decided to make spirits even brighter by dressing up like Santa Claus as the kids shopped for clothes, dolls, bicycles and everything else on their wish list. Following the shopping trip, the group headed to a local fast food restaurant for dinner and treats.

"This event makes my Christmas every year. I cannot fathom, as one of 10 children to a mother that worked three jobs, what something like this would have meant to me as a kid growing up in Portland, Tennessee. That's why I do it," said McDowell. Visit his official site here.

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Drake Appears To Be Having A Blue Christmas

(Radio.com) Drake appeared to be blue in a new photo that he shared on Instagram on Tuesday (December 21st) that has him posing in front of a Christmas tree with a framed Canadian flag in the background.

Despite wearing luxurious items like a Louis Vuitton scarf, a sleek cream colored coat and Timbalands, and having had a killer 2016 that broke records galore, Drake scowls at the camera lens. Sure, it's a typical Drizzy pose, but it seems not even the Christmas spirit can produce a smile from the Canadian rapper.

Perhaps Drake is concentrating more on 2017, which will bring his new playlist project, More Life. Drake promised the album will be a step away from more traditional fare like studio albums and mixtapes, and instead reflect the way music is being cultivated more and more often. See the photo here.

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Machine Gun Kelly Adds His 2 Cents To Fifth Harmony Drama

(Radio.com) Camila Cabello's exit from Fifth Harmony has grown more acrimonious by the day, as she and her former group mates trade conflicting accounts of what happened.

Machine Gun Kelly has joined Shawn Mendes to voice his support for Cabello. Kelly and Camila recorded "Bad Things" together, an early signal that she wanted to pursue a solo career.

'I know Camila. there is no like trickery going on. There's no behind-the-back stuff," he said, reports Billboard. 'It was odd that it happened on the day that we got our gold plaque for 'Bad Things.' It seems like, the way it played out, it wasn't great timing' but I know that it was all so genuine." Read more here.

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Niall Horan Going For Fleetwood Mac Vibe On Solo Album

(Radio.com) Niall Horan's solo studio debut will arrive in summer 2017, and if fans want an indication of what that project will sound like (besides the single "Our Town" he already released), he detailed his major influences in a new interview.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Horan said that Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and Crosby Stills & Nash had a big effect on him. "Whenever I would pick up a guitar, I would always naturally play chords like that, and finger pick a lot and play that folky kind of style," he said.

Horan mostly wrote his songs on guitar and piano before turning to other musicians to help flesh out each track with heavier, more electric instruments. As a result, instead of a strict pop vibe like One Direction rose to fame on, Horan's solo effort will be more folk-pop with a few electric moments. Read more here.

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Chance the Rapper Featured In 'Jeopardy!' Answer

(Radio.com) An eagle-eyed Jeopardy! viewer noticed another stratospheric measure of fame -- Chance the Rapper was the answer to a question on the long-running game show.

"In 2016 this disciple of Kanye West released his Coloring Book mixtape," deadpanned Alex Trebek. The question was worth $1,200. A contestant named Jennifer swooped in with the correct answer, in the form of a question: "Who is Chance the Rapper?"

2016 was a year of Jeopardy! firsts. The Foo Fighters got their own category in July, while Trebek rapped a portion of "Jumpman" for a Drake question in October. Kurt Vile and The Flaming Lips got their due in February, joining artists like Fall Out Boy, Vampire Weekend, Daft Punk and Sigur Ros who've been answers in the past. Read more here.

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Miley Cyrus' Family Christmas Photo With Liam Hemsworth Revealed

(Radio.com) Miley Cyrus' enthusiasm for ugly Christmas sweaters is well known, but she kept it even more casual for a Cyrus family holiday photo what has been posted online.

Miley's sister Brandi shared an Instagram captioned "Cyrus fam Christmas in full swing," in which Miley stands front and center wearing what appears to be a comfy robe. Her betrothed Liam Hemsworth also joined for the picture, proving just how tight their bond has become since they got engaged in May.

Over on her own Instagram page, Miley shared a photo with her parents, Billy Ray and Trish. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Cyrus residence. See the photo here.

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Singled Out: Alaina Beach's This is How You Get to 99

Country music star Alaina Beach recently premiered her brand new video for the song "This is How You Get to 99" with The Boot and to celebrate we asked her to tell us about the inspiration for the track. Here is the story:

"This is How You Get to 99" was inspired by my 99 year-old grandmother. Every time you ask her what her secret is, she says something different. She weighed almost nothing when she was born, and her family didn't think she would survive in the first place. When asked why she thinks she lived, she says, "Because they just loved me so much." She has outlived her ten siblings, as well as most of her friends. She lost the love of her life, my grandfather, a baseball player, a professional wrestler, and the county sheriff, before I was born. She still talks about every detail of her life very clearly. She still loves her late husband.

I was talking to a good friend of mine earlier this year, telling him about my grandmother, when the song idea was born. I went home and wrote a draft of simple lyrics. I wanted the song to make people feel good, to get the idea across that you do the best you can, and there isn't always a right answer. It was as much a note to myself as to anyone else. I can be a bit of a perfectionist, and I am hard on myself.

The song sends a message that life isn't going to be perfect. All you can do is cherish the good things as they come, forgive, and try to be grateful. The lyrics in the bridge honor my grandmother's strength: "Years and years you fought, fought just to get by. Now they call you, now they call you wise." She has struggled, and her experience is her strength; now she is the one we look to for guidance.

Trinidad Sanchez produced this song, and he brought to it a new sound that surprised me, one I really liked. He is extremely patient and kind, and he has a wonderful ear. I went to my vocal coach, Kim Franca, to prepare to record vocals for this song. Kim has blessed my life in so many ways, and I have her to thank for my vocal progress over the last year. I also consulted with Rick Beresford on this song. He has been my songwriting mentor and taught me how to edit a song and to be patient, which doesn't always come naturally to me.

"This is How You Get to 99" is more upbeat than my prior releases, and I think it marks a shift in my growth as a writer and singer. Despite it being sort of a turn-up-the-volume, roll-down-your-windows and "have fun" song, there is some sadness in the reality that life keeps going despite the ones you lose. My grandmother is very spiritual, and she is graceful in the way she talks about loss. I've learned so much from her about finding peace in what you cannot change. I'm grateful to her for that.

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

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