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Tuesday
Apr252017

"A Real Fine Place to Start": Sara Evans starts new label to launch 8th studio album

Photo Courtesy Sony REDSara Evans is starting her own record label, and she expects to be back with a new album sometime this summer.

The new partnership with Sony is called Born to Fly Records, and it takes its name from Sara’s 2000 #1 hit.

“I love that the label is [called] ‘Born to Fly,’” she says. “I wrote that song about my own life, coming to Nashville and following my dreams.”

“It’s a dream come true to surround myself with my own team and truly embrace my entrepreneurial spirit…” she adds. “I can’t wait to share this new project with everyone!”

Sara scored her most recent hit when the title track from 2014’s Slow Me Down made it into the top-20. We should learn more about her upcoming eighth studio album in the next few weeks.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Foreigner, Boston, Deep Purple part of $20 summer concert ticket special

Credit: Thos Robinson/Getty Images for ForeignerSummer concert season is almost here, and fans will have a chance to enjoy live music at budget prices.

Foreigner, Boston, Deep Purple, Rod Stewart and Earth, Wind & Fire are among the artists involved in live event promoter Live Nation’s “Kickoff to Summer Ticket Promotion” on National Concert Day, Monday, May 1. The company will offer over one million tickets to various concert tours for just $20 each.

The $20 tickets will be available for over 1,000 shows and over 50 tours, including Boston with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Chicago and The Doobie Brothers, Deep Purple and Alice Cooper with special guest The Edgar Winter Band, Def Leppard with Poison and Tesla, Earth, Wind & Fire and CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers, Foreigner and Cheap Trick with special guest Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, Queen + Adam Lambert, Rod Stewart with very special guest Cyndi Lauper, Styx and REO Speedwagon with special guest star Don Felder.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, May 2 at 8 a.m. local time, with the special offer continuing for one week. Full information is available online.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, FGL and more: How to score a $20 ticket to summer's hottest shows

ABC/Image Group LAIf you happen to be in New York City on May 1, you can check out Jason Aldean’s performance at Irving Plaza during National Concert Day. And if you’re really lucky, you may be able to land a $20 ticket to his They Don’t Know Tour this summer.

The ACM Entertainer of the Year is just one of the artists taking part in the kickoff to the summer concert season. Rock bands Foreigner, Nickelback and Daughtry are also set to take the stage, as well as hip-hop group The Roots and singer/songwriter Prince Royce.

National Concert Day also marks Live Nation’s commitment to make 1 million tickets available to some of its biggest tours for only $20. Brad Paisley, Brantley Gilbert, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Hank Williams Jr., Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, and Zac Brown Band are all part of the promotion.

Pre-sales start May 1, with the remainder of the affordable seats up for grabs between May 2-9. You can find out more at LiveNation.com/20Ticket.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Lady Gaga wins three Webby Awards 

Courtesy of The Webby AwardsLady Gaga's Grammy tribute to David Bowie has nabbed her three Webby Awards.

All three awards were in different categories, but they were all for the David Bowie tribute she did in February of 2016, which she created in partnership with Intel.

Coldplay won a Webby Award as well: Best Music Video for "Up&Up."

Other winners included Steve Buscemi and Gillian Anderson for Best Actor and Actress, and, in various categories, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the movie Deadpool, Lena Dunham's Women of the Hour podcast, the Missing Richard Simmons podcast, and Game of Thrones.

The awards will be handed out during a May 15 ceremony in New York City hosted by Joel McHale, which will be available on demand May 16 at Webbyawards.com.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Ed's out of #1, but Zedd, Alessia & Justin soar into the top 10

Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABCAfter 12 weeks at #1, Ed Sheeran's finally been knocked off the top spot by Kendrick Lamar's single "Humble."  But the song is still hanging on to the top on a number of other charts.

Billboard reports that while "Shape of You" has dropped to #2 on the main Hot 100 chart, it's still #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and the Adult Pop Songs chart.

Meanwhile, there's good news for "Stay" by Zedd and Alessia Cara: it's just jumped into the top 10.  It's the third top-10 hit for both Zedd and Alessia.

And Justin Bieber's back in the top 10 thanks to his presence on the remix of the Spanish-language Luis Fonsi/Daddy Yankee track "Despacito," which means "Slowly."  The song just jumped to #9, becoming the first top-10 hit that's mostly in Spanish since the 1996 Los Del Rio smash "Macarena."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Paul McCartney says some initial reviews of "Sgt. Pepper's" were "terrible"

Universal Music Group

The 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is upon us, but according to Paul McCartney, initial reactions to the now-classic album were somewhat mixed.

Speaking to Mojo magazine, the ex-Beatle recalls being told, “You’re gonna lose all your fans with this one.’"  He says their response was, "Well, we’ll lose some but we’ll gain some. We’ve gotta advance.”

McCartney also mentions a “terrible” review the album received in the New York Times, in which the writer said “the over-all effect is busy, hip and cluttered,” adding that Sgt. Pepper’s was “spoiled” like “an over-attended child.”

But Paul points out that when that same writer heard what others were saying about the album, he revised his opinion in another piece for the Village Voice.  That time, he said it was “better than 80 percent of the music around today,” but opined that Sgt. Pepper's wouldn’t be considered as good historically as Rubber Soul and Revolver.

Paul also spoke about the 50th anniversary version of Sgt. Pepper’s that's being released next month, saying he really appreciates the new stereo mix.

He explains, “The original stereo mix is a bit of a period piece. You’ve got the drums in one corner. You’ve got the vocals in another corner. We would be at listening parties, have some mates around and I’d go, ‘Listen to the drums on this, man!’…and you couldn’t hear ’em. 'Oh! They’re over there in the other corner of the room.'”

Describing the new mix, he says, ”It sounds more like us playing in the room and more like we intended it.”

The remastered 50th Anniversary version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band arrives arrive May 26.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Why Brett Young owes the wedding song of 2017 to Trent Tomlinson's mom

BMLGThis week, Brett Young lands the second top-10 of his career with “In Case You Didn’t Know.”  And in case you didn't know, the inspiration for the popular wedding song originally came from co-writer Trent Tomlinson’s mother.

“He said his mom always used to stop him on his way out the door and say, 'Hey Trent! In case you didn't know, I love you,’” Brett recalls.

“I thought, 'That's so how men are,’” he goes on. “We assume that people know all the time. We forget that it's as easy as saying, 'Hey, I love you!' So… we kept it really simple and we just wrote a love song.”

The California native says that by the time his debut single “Sleep Without You” hit #1, the right choice for his next release was obvious.

 “When I moved to Nashville, somebody said to me that the right song would raise its hand,” Brett remembers. “The EP was brand new, and people were already putting [‘In Case You Didn’t Know’] in their weddings."

“We hadn't even started talking about the next single before 'In Case You Didn't Know' was like, 'Hey! Pick me!'” he laughs. “So it was pretty nice to have that responsibility of picking taken out of our hands.” 

This summer, Brett heads out on the You Look Good World Tour with Lady Antebellum and Kelsea Ballerini.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockStarting in 1989, Clint Black managed to send five songs from his debut album, Killin' Time, all the way to #1. Can you name the Texas native's first chart-topper? ANSWER:  "A Better Man."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Robin Thicke to salute his mom at VH1's "Dear Mama" tribute event

ABC/Fred LeeRobin Thicke is returning to the spotlight to honor his mother.

The "Blurred Lines" singer, who has been laying low since the death of his father, actor Alan Thicke, will show some major love to his momma, singer and actress Gloria Loring, in the upcoming VH1 special Dear Mama: An Event to Honor Moms.

Thicke is the first performer announced for the show, which will be hosted by black-ish star Anthony Anderson and reality star La La Anthony for the second annual Mother's Day event.

The event, set to take place at Pasadena's Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in California, is executive produced by Queen Latifah's Flavor Unit and Jesse Collins Entertainment. 

Dear Mama: An Event to Honor Moms premieres on Monday, May 8th at 10 p.m. ET. 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Highly Suspect wants to collaborate with K.Flay

Credit: Shervin LainezAre you ready for "Bloodfeather in the Cut"? It looks like Highly Suspect frontman Johnny Stevens is hoping to collaborate with K.Flay.

"Yo @kflay .. you oughta get down on some new music with your boy," Stevens tweeted Monday morning. "Ready when you are."

"Ready," K.Flay replied, to which Stevens wrote, "Tight. Let's talk in Chicago. I got some ideas."

Both K.Flay and Highly Suspect will be playing Chicago next month.

Highly Suspect is currently on tour behind their sophomore album The Boy Who Died Wolf, while K.Flay is on the road in support of her new record Every Where Is Some Where, which features her breakthrough single "Blood in the Cut."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

 

Tuesday
Apr252017

Watch now: Pentatonix releases video for Elvis Presley cover, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” 

Vijat MohindraPentatonix is taking on the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The a cappella group has released the music video for their version of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

The simple visual starts with the camera panning around the group as they sit in a circle in front of a black background and harmonize. Their images then fade in and out of each other as light particles twinkle around them.

The stripped-down rendition of the song is featured on the latest Pentatonix album, PTX Vol. IV -- Classics, which debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart. The album also features arrangements of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Jolene,” featuring Dolly Parton.

Pentatonix will play five dates in Japan starting May 25, then kick off a series of U.S. dates on July 2 starting in Los Angeles, California.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Elton John Update: Tweets he's "resting well and looking forward to getting back on tour"

Alexandre Loureiro/Getty ImagesGood news this morning about Elton John, who had to cancel weeks of performances while he recovers from a severe bacterial infection. 

Elton's apparently feeling well enough to send a tweet to his fans Tuesday morning.  "Woke up to an avalanche of well wishes," he wrote.  "Thanks to everyone for reaching out. I'm resting well and looking forward to getting back on tour."

He posted the same message on his Instagram, but added, "I'm resting well and getting stronger every day. I'm looking forward to getting back on tour in June."

According to Elton's rep, the rock legend contracted a "a harmful and unusual bacterial infection" during a tour of South America, and during his return flight home, he became "violently ill."  When he arrived in the U.K., he was admitted him to the hospital, where he "underwent immediate treatment to remove the infection."

Elton spent two nights in intensive care, and then had an extended stay in the hospital. He was finally released this past Saturday and is now "comfortably resting at home," according to his rep.

According to an earlier statement, the infection that Elton contracted is "rare and potentially deadly," but it was quickly identified and treated, and he's expected to make a full recovery. 

Elton said in the earlier statement, "I am so fortunate to have the most incredible and loyal fans and apologize for disappointing them.  I am extremely grateful to the medical team for their excellence in looking after me so well."

The tour cancellations encompass Elton's entire performance schedule for April and May in Las Vegas, as well as a May 6 performance in Bakersfield, California.  Ticket holders can get refunds for the cancelled performances.  His next live show will take place in Twickenham, England on June 3.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Tuesday
Apr252017

Madonna biopic in the works

Michael Putland/Getty ImagesA Madonna biopic, Blond Ambition, is in the early stages  at Universal.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has picked up a script from first time screen writer Elyse Hollander about Madonna's early rise to fame in New York in the '80s.  The magazine says the movie will deal with Madonna as she works on her debut alubm, "struggling in a business that treats women badly, while also dealing with a burgeoning love life and the first hints of fame."

The movie will be co-produced by director/producer Brett Ratner's RatPac Entertainment.  Ratner is a music video veteran and directed Madonna's "Beautiful Stranger" video.

No further details about the movie have been announced.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Fifth Harmony singer Normani Kordei sizzles on "Dancing with the Stars"

ABC/Craig SjodinFifth Harmony charmer Normani Kordei continued to show the world how she rolls on Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars.

Brave, honest and beautiful, Kordei and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy enthralled the crowd and wowed the judges with an electrifying salsa number to “When I Grow Up” by The Pussycat Dolls.

Effortlessly sashaying, twisting, kicking and gyrating around a faux construction site that recalled Fifth Harmony's "Work from Home" video, Kordei continued to mesmerize with her dancing.

After her performance, judge Bruno Tonioli told Kordei, “You blew my boxes!” She would have had a perfect score but for Len Goodman, who gave her 8 out of 10, for the second-highest score of the night with 38.

She also had a chance to dance to one of her own songs as the contests paired off in a group-dance, Boy Band vs. Girl Group battle, and among the songs the girls danced to was Fifth Harmony's "Bo$$."

Kordei has been a consistently high scorer in the past six weeks of this season, and on Monday night, Heather Morris -- the Glee star and former backup dancer for Beyoncé -- was eliminated, thus helping clear a path for Kordei to glide ahead.

Dancing with the Stars returns next Monday on ABC.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Which song has the "greatest chorus of the 21st century?" You "Maybe" surprised 

604/Schoolboy Records/InterscopeA song's chorus is the part that you're most likely to sing along to, and it's usually the catchiest.  Billboard magazine has just ranked the "100 Greatest Choruses of the 21st Century" and coming in at #1 is...well, it "Maybe" possible for you to guess.

Topping Billboard's ranking is Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," which the publication feels has the best chorus of any song released since the year 2000.  The track spent nine weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and inspired countless lip-dub videos, parodies, tributes and the like.  Billboard writes that the chorus "encapsulates everything you've ever felt in a post-crush rush in 17 words," and praises its "giddiness" and "awkward excitement."

The rest of the top 10 "Greatest Choruses of the 21st Century" include Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone," Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind," Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" and Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball." 

Songs that made the top 20 include Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," 'N SYNC's "Bye Bye Bye" and Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me."

A few years ago, Carly Rae told ABC Radio that while she's "still really grateful" for what "Call Me Maybe" did for her career, she admits, "The balance of normalcy that you have when you have a song take off in that way isn’t really a place you want to live in for too long. It’s a nice place to go visit."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

The reason Sam Hunt wasn't sure he should release "Body Like a Back Road"

ABC/Mark LevineWhile we may not know many details about Sam Hunt’s recent super-private wedding to Hannah Lee Fowler, there’s one thing we do know for sure: according to Billboard, the newlywed officially has the #1 country song in America with "Body Like a Back Road." But when he was initially crafting the song, Sam admits he did have some reservations.

“I wanted to write it because I thought it was a fun song, but I didn’t know for sure if I wanted to put it out,” he explains. “I didn’t want it to come across as objectifying women or to lack depth… I had some concerns, but I tried to make it fun to offset any risks of those things happening."

But once “Body Like a Back Road” was done, Sam started to realize it might be even better than he’d suspected.

“When we finally finished it, it finally hit me…” he recalls, saying that he told himself, "Okay, wait a minute, maybe I underestimated the potential of this song. I think this could be a fun song and it will connect with folks."

"At that point," Sam remembers, "I was excited to put it out."  It's the first single from his forthcoming sophomore album.

The Georgia native is getting ready for his 15 in a 30 Tour this summer with Maren Morris, Chris Janson and Ryan Follese.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockWillie Nelson stars in the new film Pure Country:  Pure Heart, which will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 1.

Clint Black is extending his On Purpose tour this summer, adding more than a dozen dates that kick off August 13 in Newton, New Jersey.

John Berry begins taping a new half-hour TV show next month at Douglas Corner in Nashville. Billy Dean, Neal McCoy, Suzy Bogguss and Billy Ray Cyrus are just some of the stars set to guest on Songs and Stories with John Berry, which will debut in July on various cable outlets.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Solange recalls junior high "goth" phase and "easing" into minimalist fashion 

Carlota GuerreroYou may not believe it, but Solange went through a goth phase in junior high school.  

In fact, the Grammy winner goes on to tell W magazine how she and one of her friends responded to a teacher who thought their sense of style was unacceptable. 

She says, "Actually, the teacher pulled her to the side and said, 'Black girls don't be wearing all this black s***! You gotta take this off!' And of course, that just made us go even harder."  

But of course, the "Don't Touch My Hair" singer now has the laugh last: today, she's regarded as a style icon. However, Solange admits that moving to New Orleans from New York has encouraged her to adopt a more laid-back approach to fashion. 

She adds, "I'm kind of easing into this minimalist phase, where I think I'm so focused on my work and my craft...Everything is so much more fun now that I've gotten to a place where I'm like, "It's just clothes!" 

Still, Solange hasn't stepped away from embracing the symbolic side of fashion for her festival shows this year. 

"It's really rare that an artist gets to perform in daylight, unless it's at a festival. So I really wanted to play with creating a strong color palette," she says.

"On stage, I've really been empowered by the color red. I think it's associated, especially with women, as this fiery, super volatile, and strong-willed color," she adds. "So we're wearing all red for our festival shows and playing with the lighting for all the moods red can express."

"Color theory is this really nerdy side of me that I've been wanting to explore more of." 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

Mick Fleetwood says the Eagles' "surprise" plan to perform without the late Glenn Frey is "really historical" 

Courtesy of The ClassicOne of the musical highlights of this summer will be the Classic East/Classic West Festivals, taking place in July in New York and L.A. with a lineup that includes Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, The Doobie Brothers, Journey, Steely Dan, and Earth, Wind & Fire.  The Eagles haven't performed since co-founder and frontman Glenn Frey died last year, but according to Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood, they've somehow found a way to fill the huge gap left by Frey's absence.

"I'll leave the surprise of how they're doing it to unfold in their own world at these two shows," Fleetwood tells ABC Radio, "[but] I think it's really historical."

The drummer adds that he's delighted that The Eagles are returning to the stage.

"I think it's hugely profound for the Eagles that they're coming out and doing these shows," he tells ABC Radio. "And I'm really glad that the band is still existing and seemingly intent on continuing as a band." 

As for Fleetwood Mac, so far the two festivals, on July 16 and July 30, are the only announced dates for the band, though guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer/keyboardist Christine McVie are doing their own tour starting in June to promote their self-titled duets album.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr252017

New species of ant named after Radiohead

Credit: Alex LakeRadiohead has inspired the sound of countless bands, and now their influence has filtered down to the insect world.  The band has inspired the name of a new species of ant native to Amazonian Venezuela.

In a study from the Smithsonian Institution's Ant Lab, scientists Ana Ješovnik and Ted R. Schultz named the ant Sericomyrmex radioheadi.

"This species is named after the English rock band Radiohead as an acknowledgement of their longstanding efforts in environmental activism, especially in raising climate-change awareness," the study reads, adding that the name also comes "in honor of their music, which is an excellent companion during long hours at the microscope while conducting taxonomic revisions of ants."

If you'd like to learn all there is to know about S. radioheadi, you can read the entire study now via the science journal website ZooKeys. There's no mention of whether or not the ant feels like a creep...or a weirdo, for that matter.

Radiohead concluded their U.S. tour last week with their headlining set at Coachella.

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