PETA.orgAs Christians prepare to celebrate Easter this Sunday, Paul McCartney is continuing his ongoing support of animal rights and the vegan lifestyle by taking part in a new initiative encouraging people to forego eating meat for the holiday. The ex-Beatles legend is appearing in an online campaign launched by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in which he’s wearing the organization’s new “Eat No Fish” T-shirt.
The promotion is timed to coincide with the pre-Easter holy day Good Friday, which Christians traditionally observe by eating fish rather than other meat such as beef, pork or chicken. The new PETA ads also include a comment from McCartney in which he urges, “make it a Good Friday for animals — try vegetarian.”
Explaining why he decided to stop eating fish, Sir Paul recalls, “Many years ago, I was fishing, and as I was reeling in the poor fish, I realized, ‘I am killing him — all for the passing pleasure it brings me.’ And something inside me clicked, I realized as I watched him fight for breath that his life was as important to him as mine is …read more
John Legend is teaming up with Step Up 5 writer John Swetnam to create a new coming-of-age dance flick, titled Breaking Through.
Deadline reports their upcoming project will serve as a “documentary-style drama for the YouTube generation.” Legend will serve as an executive producer while Swetman will make his feature directorial debut.
The independent film will begin casting and filming this summer.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images via ABCJohn Legend is teaming up with Step Up: All In writer John Swetnam to create a new coming-of-age dance flick, titled Breaking Through.
Deadline reports their upcoming project will mix two movie subgenres — dance movies and found footage — to create a “documentary-style drama for the YouTube generation.” John will serve as an executive producer, while Swetman will make his feature directorial debut.
The independent film will begin casting and filming this summer.
John Paul Filo/CBSEach year, Time magazine compiles the “Time 100,” a list of the most influential people in the world. While that list is chosen by Time’s editors, readers are allowed to vote for stars of music, TV and film who they believe have changed the world in the past year. Voting’s open now, and among those up for the honor are Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Lorde.
Time is offering readers the chance to choose among 18 of the world’s most popular stars and one top songwriting duo: the husband and wife team who wrote the songs for the movie Frozen. The candidates have been selected for their musical success, their ability to command the headlines, their philanthropy and their social media prowess — except Beyonce. She’s included on the list because, as Time notes, “She’s Beyonce. ‘Nuff said.”
Here are the candidates:
Taylor Swift Katy Perry Lady Gaga Bruno Mars Lorde Shakira Pharrell Williams Rihanna Carrie Underwood Beyonce Jay Z Justin Bieber Miley Cyrus Drake One Direction’s Harry Styles Rapper Kendrick Lamar Grammy-winning French robot duo Daft Punk Frozen composers Robert & Kristin Lopez
Voting at Time.com closes at midnight on April 22, and the readers’ poll winners will be announced on …read more
Monty Brinton/CBSLorde has continued her winning ways by scooping a prestigious music award in her home country of New Zealand — but she’s decided to give away all the prize money.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Lorde’s album Pure Heroine won this year’s Taite Music Prize, which is given to a local album which is judged by a panel to be the best release of the past year. The winner is entitled to 10 thousand New Zealand dollars, as well as studio time, and Lorde has generously decided to donate the prize money to the other nominees.
In an acceptance speech via video from Las Vegas, Lorde said, “I think everyone is kind of sick of me winning stuff at the moment and I think there are people who are more in need of the funds and the exposure than I am right now. So if you will accept it, the prize money and the studio time have been split between this year’s nominees…if you don’t want it, that’s cool too.”
The Herald reports that the rest of the finalists, made up of artists largely unknown …read more
Michael Becker/FOXAmerican Idol‘s top seven took the stage Wednesday night to sing “competitors’ picks.” Each singer performed a tune he or she selected from a pool of suggestions made by the other contestants.
It was the first time in American Idol history that this theme was used for a performance show.
Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr., and Keith Urban were there to critique all of the contestants. In addition, former X Factor judge Demi Lovato, who recently wrapped up her U.S. tour, dropped by to say hi and offer some comments on the duets. She played coy when Ryan Seacrest asked her if she’ll announce more U.S. dates in the near future.
Here’s what happened on the two-hour show:
Caleb Johnson went along with a suggestion from Alex Preston: “Family Tree,” by Kings Of Leon. Keith called him a “consistent and dynamic performer.” J-Lo said he was pretty amazing, adding that Caleb would be a tough act to follow for the other contestants. Harry liked the way he changed the melody, saying that it would fit right in on a Caleb Johnson album.
Jessica Meuse tackled Miranda Lambert‘s “Gunpowder & Lead,” which was Sam Woolf‘s idea. J-Lo said …read more
Fueled by RamenThe members of the band fun. will be honored next Wednesday, April 23, with ASCAP’s Vanguard Award at the performing-rights organization’s 31st annual Pop Music Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
ASCAP says the award “recognizes the impact of musical genres that help shape the future of American music.” Previous Vanguard Award honorees include The All-American Rejects, Arcade Fire, Beastie Boys and Beck.
As previously reported, Tom Petty will be presented with the ASCAP Founders Award at event. The prestigious honor recognizes artists whose work has influenced and enriched their fellow musicians. Previous Founders Award honorees include Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, James Taylor, Rod Stewart, Carly Simon, and Neil Young.
The ASCAP Pop Music Awards is an invitation-only event that will take place at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. The gala recognizes the songwriters and publishers whose works were the most-played on radio and TV during 2013.
Verve RecordsSarah McLachlan usually keeps things low-key, but she’s planning on making herself very visible in the coming weeks to promote her new album Shine On, her first collection of new material since 2010.
First, Sarah is set to headline ELLE magazine’s 5th annual Women in Music Concert Celebration, which is taking place April 22 in Hollywood. Among the stars who’ll be attending: Phillip Phillips, Glee star Melissa Benoist, actress Anna Kendrick, Olympian and Dancing with the Stars contestant Meryl Davis, Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale and more.
Next, Sarah has booked a slew of TV appearances around the album’s May 6 release date. She’ll appear on ABC’s Good Morning America on May 5, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon May 7 and ABC’s The View on May 8.
When you pre-order Shine On from iTunes or Amazon, you’ll get an instant download of Sarah’s new single “In Your Shoes.”
PRNewsFoto/Daytona International SpeedwayThere’s lots of stuff happening right now in the Train yard. A day after the band announced that they’d be doing another installment of their Sail Across the Sun fan cruise next year, they’ve revealed that fans can expect a new single in June, with a new album coming in September.
“There are some good ones,” he said of the new Train songs. “I’m starting to get excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way. This record has clawed at my soul, brought loss, change and periods of trouble and illness. But here I stand and I say that this thing might be the best I’ve done. Definitely the best that I can do right now. That’s always the goal.”
Train’s new album will be the follow-up to 2012′s California 37, which produced the hits “Drive-By” and “50 Ways to Say Goodbye.”
Credit: Brian Bowen SmithIf you want to see this year’s crop of American Idol finalists up close and personal, grab your tickets for this year’s American Idol Live tour. The trek gets underway June 24 in Binghamton, NY and is right now scheduled to run through August 23, wrapping up in Redmond, Washington. Tickets go on sale May 9 at AmericanIdol.com/tour.
Buying the tickets also helps you do some good. One dollar from every ticket purchased will be donated to the Melanoma Research Alliance to help cure that disease.
Unlike some tours in the past, this year’s trek will be limited to the Top 10 finalists: C.J. Harris, Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse, MK Nobilette, Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts, Majesty Rose, Malaya Watson and Sam Woolf. Of those ten, Majesty, MK and Malaya have already been eliminated, but of course, they’ll return for the tour.
This year’s winner will be crowned Wednesday, May 21, and he or she will receive the prime spot on the bill during the tour.
Here are the dates:
6/24 — Binghamton, NY, Broome County Arena 6/25 — Albany, NY Times, Union Center 6/27 — Windsor, ON, The Colosseum at Caesars 6/28 — Orillia, ON, …read more
ImageCourtesy MLB via TwitterIt’s taken a while but former Kansas City Royals player George Brett has finally gotten to meet the teen whose international hit he inspired: Lorde.
Major League Baseball tweeted a photo of Brett, who was the inspiration for Lorde’s #1 smash “Royals,” posing with the singer, presumably backstage at one of her concerts. The Kansas City Royals organization also tweeted a photo of the two, writing, “And we’ve come full circle!”
Lorde wrote her Grammy-winning smash “Royals” after being inspired by a photo in National Geographic magazine of Brett wearing his Royals jersey. Last month, when she visited Kansas City, the Royals organization presented her with a copy of that particular magazine photo, signed by Brett, and he sent along an autographed Royals jersey for her with his name on the back. He couldn’t be there in person, though, so the meeting this week was a long time coming.
Last year, Lorde told ABC News Radio, “The way I write is that I find a particular word or phrase which kind of defines the concept that I’m thinking about, and when I find that …read more
Courtesy Teen VogueLorde may complain about being asked to smile during fashion shoots, but that doesn’t mean she hates them. In fact, she’s perfectly thrilled to be appearing on the cover of the May issue of Teen Vogue.
“[S]o happy about this. teen vogue cover star yaaaaaaaw,” she tweeted, and also shared a few images from the fashion shoot, including one which depicts her wearing a strange-looking headband that looks like it was made by a kindergarten student. “My favourite photo from the shoot — feat. improvised duct tape and feather crown,” she tweeted. “My kind of magazine obviously.”
In the cover story, Lorde talks about her newfound fame, expressing astonishment that former Lizzie McGuire star Hillary Duff attended one of her concerts. “This is the most insane thing that’s ever happened to me. That’s my childhood right there. Hilary Duff is a fan—that freaks me out!” she exclaims. She also reveals some praise she received from Lena Dunham, Emmy-winning star and creator of HBO’s Girls.
“I finally watched Girls a couple of days ago and I loved it,” she tells Teen Vogue. “I tweeted Lena …read more
Walt Disney PicturesThe big freeze continues on the Billboard album chart, as the Frozen soundtrack passes its 10th non-consecutive week at #1.
Billboardreports that in the SoundScan era, which dates back to 1991, only 11 albums have spent that many weeks at #1. Four of those 11 have been soundtracks: Frozen, The Lion King, The Bodyguard and Titanic. The Frozen soundtrack has also passed the two million mark in sales; it’s now sold 2.1 million copies.
Elsewhere on the chart, Pharrell Williams‘ album G I R L has now rebounded to #2 on an 18 percent sales increase. The “Happy” hitmaker has been everywhere over the past few weeks, from Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live, to CBS’ Sunday Morning and Oprah‘s OWN network. The album originally debuted at #2 when it came out back in March and has been in the top 10 ever since.
Now the bad news: Pharrell’s album has also posted the lowest weekly sales total for a #2 album in the entire SoundScan era. It moved just 29,000 copies in the past week. Frozen, by comparison, sold 133,000 copies last week.
Instagram via Gena GabrielleTaylor Swift has posted a video blog of her weekend trip to Ohio to attend her super-fan Gena Gabrielle‘s bridal shower. Taylor documented the entire visit including the moment she surprised Gena with a handmade, framed sign, a Kitchen Aid mixer, fine cookware and homemade chocolate chip cookies among other items.
Gena got more than 100 text messages from friends and family once word got out Taylor was at the bridal shower. Even though Taylor is 24 years old, this is the first bridal shower she’s ever attended.
Taylor ended the video with a message to Gena saying, “Thank you for inviting me to your bridal shower, and for me into your life. (Since 2007!!!).”
Interscope RecordsLady Gaga and her boyfriend, Chicago Fire star Taylor Kinney, have been together for two years, so, is he looking to take things to the next level? According to one report, yes.
Life & Style Weekly claims that Kinney has been “secretly” shopping for an engagement ring for Gaga. The mag quotes an insider as saying, “Taylor’s been looking at engagement rings for [her] for a couple of months. He has told a couple of his close guy friends that he wants to propose soon.”
How soon? Apparently, Kinney wanted to pop the question last month, when Gaga turned 28, but he hadn’t found the right bling yet.
“Taylor was considering proposing over her birthday,” dishes the insider. “But he hadn’t found the right ring in time. He wants to find something unique that will suit her personality.”
But even if Kinney does propose in the near future, Gaga certainly doesn’t have time to plan a wedding. She kicks off her new tour, artRave: The ARTPOP Ball, next month, and currently has dates scheduled through November. Teasing fans with what they can expect from her new …read more
Frank Micelotta/FOXMalaya Watson, the Michigan teen who was eliminated from American Idol last week, was this season’s youngest contestant, and the second-youngest ever to reach the live shows, after season 10′s Lauren Alaina. While she admits that the Idol experience is “a lot harder than it looks,” the 16-year-old says she’d still encourage other young people to try out, with one condition: your grades have to be good.
Speaking to ABC News Radio, Malaya says, “From the outside in, [American Idol] looks like so much fun, but then when you’re in show business, you notice all the details of everything. It’s a lot. It’s a whole lot!” That’s why any kid who wants to try out has to make sure they’ll be able to simultaneously handle both their schoolwork and all the Idol commitments.
Asked if young teens like her should audition for the show, Malaya tells ABC News Radio, “If their school is good and they have time on their hands, then yeah, if that’s something they want to do.” But, she warns, “Don’t do it while you got all this debt, and your grades look terrible, because then …read more
Trainline.comThe guys in Train had such a good time this past February on their first Sail Across the Sun fan cruise that they’re doing it again next year — and you can sign up now for all the fun.
Train’s second annual Sail Across the Sun cruise will leave from Miami on February 13, 2015, and visit Key West and Great Stirrup Key before returning to Miami on February 17. You can register for the cruise pre-sale now at SailAcrosstheSun.com, and on that same website, you can watch a video documenting what went down this past year on the cruise to get you psyched up for next year.
Last year’s cruise featured musical guests like Matt Nathanson, Michael Franti and John Oates of Hall & Oates, and there was also a food and wine component, with tastings, and famous TV chefs like Jonathan Waxman and Aarón Sánchez giving cooking demonstrations. Of course, there were also plenty of chances to get up-close-and-personal with the members of Train themselves, and see the band perform in intimate settings.
ABC/Lou RoccoMuch has been made of the fact that Lorde has managed to accomplish all that she has at such a young age. But the 17-year-old star from New Zealand says she sometimes wonders if people will still think she’s so great when she hits the ripe old age of, oh, say, 25.
Speaking to Elle.com, Lorde, born Ella Yelich-O’Connor, says, “I think a lot about mortality, and I just get way too in my head about it. Since I started making music a lot was made of how old I was and it made me think about, ‘What happens when I’m 25? Will people still like what I’m doing? Is it still important if I’m not this hyper-youthful being?’”
“It’s stupid,” she admits. “I know I’m being silly. But I can’t help it. It’s just one of those things. I’ll get over it.”
Lorde is also concerned with keeping her head on straight as her enormous fame grows. Noting that a year ago, most people didn’t know who she was, she tells Elle.com, “I guess it has been fast. But I don’t feel like it’s moving …read more
(l-r) T.J. Wilkins, Usher, Josh Kaufman, Bria Kelly; Trae Patton/NBCIt was the final night of the playoffs on The Voice on Tuesday night. All five artists from Team Usher performed in a bid to earn one of the remaining available spots in the live round.
Usher settled on Bria Kelly, Josh Kaufman and T.J. Wilkins, thereby eliminating Melissa Jiménez and Stevie Joe.
Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Shakira pared down their teams during the previous two episodes.
Here’s what happened during Tuesday night’s one-hour episode:
T.J. Wilkins got things started for Team Usher with a cover of “Tell Me Something Good,” by Rufus and Chaka Khan. Shakira misspoke by saying T.J.’s ability to reach the high note was his “ace under his sleeve.” Adam teased her for botching the idiom. Usher said T.J. nailed the playful nature of the period of time when “Tell Me Something Good” was released, the mid-1970s.
Melissa Jiménez delivered a stripped-down version of Beyoncé‘s “Halo.” Shakira said it was a brave move to take a different approach to the popular song. Adam said there were some moments that were beautiful, but other moments during which Melissa ran into trouble. Blake added that …read more
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for LUTBOver the weekend, John Mayer tweeted his admiration for Beyoncé’s song “XO.” Now, he’s paid her the ultimate compliment by performing the song live on stage.
On April 12, John tweeted, “The best thing about Beyoncé? The break in her voice on the first ‘baby, love me lights out’ in XO. Real and raw.” On Tuesday in Adelaide, Australia, John sang a version of “XO” using only an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, and actually managed to make it sound like one of his own songs.
“XO” appears on Beyoncé’s current self-titled album, which she released with no warning in December, shocking both her fans and the entire music industry.
Claire’s Stores Inc.Katy Perry‘s PRISM collection of fashion accessories will debut at Claire’s stores and online on May 15, but if you want a sneak preview, just head on over to the store’s European Twitter feed.
The photos reveal necklaces, bracelets and earrings with PRISM designs and themes, as well as notebooks, phone covers and more. There are also rings and bracelets that spell out ROAR across your fingers and wrists.
A note on the Claire’s Facebook page has a few more images, as well as the message, “Are you roaring about the #KatyPerryPRISMCollection yet? Katy Perry wants to see you in these pieces at her Prismatic World Tour. The collection officially arrives in-store and online on May 15!“
Katy’s Prismatic World Tour gets underway next month in Northern Ireland.
Viking AdultA new memoir by Philip Bailey, the longtime lead singer of Earth, Wind & Fire, is being published today. In Shining Star: Braving the Elements of Earth, Wind & Fire, Philip shares the story of the pioneering funk/soul band’s path to international stardom in the 1970s, as well as his own personal and spiritual struggles.
Led by founding member Maurice White, and powered by Philip’s multi-octave voice, Earth, Wind & Fire caught the attention of the music world with its dynamic blend of genres, colorful costumes and over-the-top stage shows.
After scoring an impressive string of hits from the mid-1970s through the early ’80s, White put the group on hiatus. Philip then found solo success thanks, in part, to the hit 1984 duet “Easy Lover” with Phil Collins, before Earth, Wind & Fire reformed later that same decade.
The book, which was co-written with Kent and Keith Zimmerman, recounts the many highs and lows Bailey experienced throughout his musical career, and takes a look at his struggle with the excesses of fame.
Shining Star is available in a hardbound edition and as an ebook.
Credit: Alex SermonImagine Dragons have already won an American Music Award and a Grammy, and they’re up for 12 Billboard Music Awards. Now, lead singer Dan Reynolds will have another accolade to add to his rapidly-filling trophy case.
Reynolds will receive the prestigious Hal David Starlight Award at this year’s Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Gala, which will be held June 12 in New York City. The award, named after legendary songwriter Hal David, is given annually to a young musician who is “making a significant impact in the music industry” with his or her original songs. With hits like “It’s Time,” “Demons” and “Radioactive,” Reynolds is definitely doing that.
Past winners of the Hal David Starlight Award include Taylor Swift, John Mayer, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Jason Mraz, Matchbox Twenty‘s Rob Thomas, and Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls.
In a statement, songwriting legend Jimmy Webb, chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, said, “Dan Reynolds is a dream ticket for the Songwriters Hall of Fame Starlight Award. He has helped create truly contemporary rock n’ roll with the band Imagine Dragons: a sound at once musically literate …read more
Ray Mickshaw / FOXBruno Mars‘ Moonshine Jungle tour hits New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden on July 14, and if you’ve got the cash, you just might be able to hang with the singer backstage.
Bruno has teamed up with the website CharityBuzz.com to auction off four tickets for the show, as well as backstage access after the show; that’s where you’ll get a chance to meet Bruno in person. The only downside? You’ll have to get yourself to New York and pay for your own hotel.
Bidding for the auction closes on April 29, and when we last checked, the highest bid was already up to a whopping 10 grand. It’s sure to go higher still.
The money from the auction will go to the Stephen Gaynor School, an independent, non-profit New York City school for students with learning disabilities.
S-Curve RecordsAndy Grammer, best known for his hits “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me,” is back with a new single, “Back Home,” from his upcoming second album. If you want a preview of the disc, which is coming out this fall, make plans to catch Andy’s newly-announced headlining summer tour, because he’ll be debuting a huge chunk of his new material live onstage.
“I’m going to play almost all of it, which is kind of an interesting way to go,” he tells ABC News Radio about the new material. That’s because when he was putting together the new album, he specifically wrote the kinds of songs he felt he would make his live show more complete.
“I definitely wrote some songs knowing that I didn’t have ‘those’ [kinds of songs] yet and I need those. So I think the show will be a little more dynamic, because I specifically went in to write thinking like, ‘I wish I had one of those [songs].’ Or [I'd] see someone else play and be like, ‘Man, I need a song like that, that’s a little bit darker’…so …read more