Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music Medley Gets Thumbs-Up from Maria Von Trapp’s Granddaughter

(A.M.P.A.S.(r) / Michael Yada)Lady Gaga‘s performance of songs from the Sound of Music on the Academy Awards got the approval of Julie Andrews, the star of the film, but now Gaga’s also gotten the thumbs-up from someone even more impressive: the granddaughter of the real-life subject of The Sound of Music.

The legendary 1965 movie was based on the real-life story of Maria von Trapp.  Now, Elisabeth von Trapp, Maria’s granddaughter, has written a piece for the British paper The Independent about the movie’s 50th anniversary. In it, she says, “I must say that I thought Lady Gaga’s celebration at the Oscars was exquisite — her voice being perfect for the medley — and beautifully choreographed.”

So there, anyone who wasn’t happy with Gaga’s performance — including TV producer Shonda Rhimes, creator of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy.  Rhimes raised eyebrows on Oscar night by declaring Gaga’s performance “not okay.” 

After being criticized for her comments, she wrote on Twitter, “I probably did miss the point. Everyone else loved it. That’s okay. I am not a singer. So I don’t know jack. I readily admit that. Everybody else liked it….My opinion DOESN’T MATTER. She ain’t thinking ’bout me. Breathe.”


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Sia, 5 Seconds of Summer & Sheppard Score Australian Music Award Nominations

Dana Edelson/NBCSia, 5 Seconds of Summer and Sheppard topped the nominations for the 2015 Australasian Performing Rights Association (ARPA) Music Awards, which honor songwriters and music publishers.

Sia and co-writer Jesse Shatkin’s hit song “Chandelier” is up for Pop Work of the Year, Most Played Australian Work and Song of the Year.  5 Seconds of Summer with be competing with Sia for Pop Work of the Year and Most Played Australian Work for their song “She Looks So Perfect.” The boy band is also up for the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year honor.

Sheppard will take on 5SOS in the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year category, and they also snagged three nominations for their hit “Geronimo,” including Pop Work of the Year, Most Played Australian Work and Song of the Year. The band is currently opening for Meghan Trainor on tour.

Nominees for International Work of the Year include Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne’s “Rather Be,” “Rude” by Magic!, Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me” and “The Monster” by Eminem featuring Rihanna.

Since its establishment in 1982, the ARPA’s annual songwriters’ ceremony has become one of the Australian music industry’s most prestigious events. The awards will take place in Sydney on March 24.

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Mark Ronson Says Bruno Mars Can Have the Bottom Half of His BRIT Award for “Uptown Funk”

Florent DechardWednesday night, “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars was named Best British Single at the BRIT Awards, the U.K. equivalent of the Grammys.  Only Mark — who’s British, in case you didn’t realize — was present for the ceremony, but he says he plans to share his trophy with his pal Bruno…sort of.

Backstage, Mark was asked by London’s Capital FM if he’d had a chance to tell Bruno the good news.  Mark replied, “I haven’t had a chance [to tell him], it’s terrible…but I think he’s found out and he was he first person, I thanked of course, because at least half of that award is his.”

Speaking about the BRIT Awards statuette, which looks like a featureless woman wearing a helmet, he added, “I’m gonna take the top half because it’s got the face, but he can have the base.”

Bruno, of course, did find out about the win, and tweeted, “Aaaaaaayyyyyyy! Congrats Thank you to everyone for making this happen .”


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Selena Gomez Tells Fans: “Every Life Is Worth It”

Image Group LA/ABCSelena Gomez wants her fans to know that their lives matter. The singer Instagrammed a screen shot of a lengthy comment she wrote to a fan in which she explains why suicide is not the answer.

“By me following you is not me saying it’s ok to think these thoughts,” she wrote. “It’s not me saying ‘hey you said sad things, so I’m going to follow you to make you feel better’. God puts us in situations that are so unexplainably difficult for a reason. There is someone in the world feeling so much, just like you.”

The message, which went out to all of Selena’s 24 million followers, continued, “People everyday feel so many emotions they wish they could turn it off. But that’s not why we are here. We are here for relationships, for people just like us who feel worthless. Your purpose is to share, help, encourage. Remember that. Please. Before you think of taking your life, think of all the [lives] you could save. I love you. More importantly there is a God that will love more than I ever could.”

The 22-year-old captioned the message, “Every life is worth it.” Selena herself has admitted to struggling with depression. In a recent interview with V Magazine, she said there were a few months where living such a public life took its toll on her. She said she went through a phase where she felt depressed and would rarely leave her house.

I know I meant lives. I don't care about grammar. I'm sorry I had to share. Every life is worth it.

A photo posted by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on



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Madonna Found Out Through Instagram that She’d Been Hacked, Says It Was “Pandemonium”

Interscope RecordsImagine being hacked, and then finding out about it on Instagram. That’s exactly what happened to Madonna in December. Dozens of demos she had recorded for her album Rebel Heart were leaked online, and the pop icon tells Time her Instagram followers were the ones who gave her the heads up.

“It was through Instagram that I found out my songs were leaking, because my fans were warning me,” she tells the mag. “Aside from the violation of having something stolen from me, suddenly, people were making comments on songs I had no intention of releasing. I thought, ‘Oh my God, I have to push myself into overdrive.’”

In the wake of the hack, she hustled to finish several of those songs and rushed out a six-track EP on iTunes to divert attention from the unfinished demos. “I didn’t sleep for weeks,” she says. “I didn’t see my kids. It was pandemonium, confusion, paranoia, hysteria.”

On January 21, an Israeli man was arrested in connection with the hack, but Madonna says she doesn’t expect this problem to go away any time soon. “I think it’s going to become pervasive in our society,” she says. “People make a living off it. It’s not like you’re a bank robber — there’s some kind of honesty to that crime. With cybercrime, you don’t know who they are. People can hide so easily, and it’s really dangerous.”

The leak was a setback to be sure, but Madonna’s used to overcoming obstacles. The latest snafu happened at the Brit Awards Wednesday, when she took a nasty tumble during her performance of “Living for Love.” She later addressed the fall on Instagram, “My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up!”

Hear that, hackers? You can’t stop Madonna. Rebel Heart comes out March 10 and her interview with Time hits newsstands Friday.


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Carly Rae Jepsen Confirms “I Really Like You” Is Her Next Single

ABC/Todd WawrychukWe just got “Call Me Maybe” out of our heads, so that must mean it’s time for a new Carly Rae Jepsen song. Last week, Carly was spotted filming what appeared to be a music video for a new tune called “I Really Like You,” with Tom Hanks and Justin Bieber. Now the Canadian singer has confirmed that song is indeed being released as the first single from her new album.

In a post on her website, the 29-year-old said she’s finally gearing up to debut some new music. She said for the past few years she’s been “hiding in forests where one meets a prince and dances till midnight. I’ve been cocooned in my Soho apartment, sipping tea with artists so weird and wonderful that only New York could keep them happy. I have been hiking to the tippy tops of L.A. peaks where I’ve said this out loud to no one…’I'm ready.’”

Carly’s major label U.S. debut album Kiss was released in 2012, so it’s been a while since she’s released new material. She didn’t give any more details on the new single or the new album, but her manager Scooter Braun recently told Billboard the single would be released in March. He said the tune is “on the level” of her first mega-hit “Call Me Maybe.”

I know I really like you when I start to write songs about you. #IReallyLikeYou

A photo posted by Carly Rae Jepsen (@carlyraejepsen) on


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Nico & Vinz to Apply Lessons Learned from Bruno Mars to New U.S. Headlining Tour This Spring

Sara McColgan/Warner Bros. RecordsNico & Vinz have toured with Bruno Mars and are currently touring Europe with Usher, but this spring they’ll be hitting the road for their first full U.S. tour. The Norwegian duo will embark on a 24-date Ones to Watch with Skype tour starting in May.

The first stop will be Anaheim, California on May 4, with other stops including Dallas, Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Seattle. The tour concludes on June 8 in San Diego, California.

Ones to Watch with Skype is a platform that gives fans direct access to emerging artists with things like exclusive backstage Q&As broadcast via Skype. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 27.

During the tour, the Norwegian duo will be able to apply the lessons they’ve learned on tour with Usher and Bruno to their own show.  Speaking about their tour last year with Bruno, Nico tells ABC News Radio, “We learned so much about being professional. He delivers at such high level every night and it was so inspiring to get off stage when we were done playing and just standing in the crowd waiting to see his show.”

“It’s so motivational to us,” he adds. “Like, we watched all the lights, all the moves he’s got, the way he sings, and it just inspires us to reach that level. Keep reaching higher and higher.”

But there was admiration on Bruno’s side as well.  As Vinz recalls, “The first time we met him, and we came to do the first show in Canada, we sat in the dressing room and we were like, ‘What is that noise out there?’ and he was doing sound check.”  What they were hearing, it turned out, was Bruno soundchecking by singing their big hit, “Am I Wrong.” 

“It was like, ‘Is that Bruno playing our song right now?’” Vinz recalls. “He was singing our song and it was just like, ‘Okay, cool.’ We met him afterwards, [he was] super cool. So that was fun.”

Here’s the full list of tour dates:

5/4 — Anaheim, CA, House of Blues
5/8 — Tulsa, OK, Cain’s Ballroom
5/9 — Austin, TX, Parish
5/10 — Dallas, TX, House of Blues
5/11 — Houston, TX, House of Blues
5/13 — Orlando, FL, House of Blues
5/15 — Greensboro, NC, The Cone Denim Entertainment Center
5/16 — Charlotte, NC, The Fillmore Charlotte
5/17 — Baltimore, MD, Sound Stage
5/18 — Philadelphia, PA, Theatre of Living Arts
5/19 — New York, NY, Irving Plaza
5/21 — Boston, MA, Paradise Rock Club
5/23 — Cincinnati, OH, Bogart’s
5/24 — Louisville, KY, Mercury Ballroom
5/26 — Cleveland, OH, House of Blues
5/27 — Chicago, IL, House of Blues
5/28 — Minneapolis, MN, Varsity Theater
5/30 — Denver, CO, Bluebird Theater
5/31 — Park City, UT, Park City Live
6/2 — Seattle, WA, Neptune
6/3 — Portland, OR, Wonder Ballroom
6/6 — San Francisco, CA, The Independent
6/7 — Los Angeles, CA, House of Blues
6/8 — San Diego, CA, House of Blues


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Lady Gaga Celebrates Her Engagement with the Cast of “Chicago Fire”

A.M.P.A.S.(r)/Image Group LALady Gaga traveled to the Windy City Wednesday to meet up with her fiancée, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. star Taylor Kinney.

While visiting Kinney, 33, on the set of the shows, the 28-year-old singer also hung out with several of his co-stars, including Sophia Bush.

Bush posted a photo of her and Gaga, along with the caption, “#wcw @LadyGaga, naturally. She SLAYED the #Oscars and now she’s snuggled up with the #ChicagoFam celebrating love. “The Oscars were amazing, but this!? This is everything.”

“Oh #TaylorKinney you’re a lucky man!! #love #congrats,” she added.

Gaga flew home to New York City later that day, according to E! Online, and was all smiles as she flashed her engagement ring.

Gaga and Kinney met on the set of the singer’s 2011 music video, “Yoü and I.”  They announced their engagement a little over a week ago.

“We’re just so excited to be engaged,” Gaga told E! Online earlier this week at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party.

Kinney plays Lieutenant Kelly Severide on NBC’s Chicago Fire.  His character also has a recurring role on the network’s Chicago P.D.

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“American Idol” Recap: The Top 12 Guys Perform in the Motor City

FOXWednesday’s edition of American Idol featured the top 12 guys taking the stage in the Motor City at The Fillmore Detroit Theater, where they sang for judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr., as well as America’s votes. The top 12 girls will get their chance to perform on Thursday. The top 16 contestants, based on America’s votes, will be revealed next week.

First up, was Adam Ezegelian, who kicked things off with Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock.” Jennifer declared, “It’s like you’re every man saying ‘I wanna rock’ and living everybody’s fantasy up there.” Harry said Adam demonstrated what rock and roll was all about by having a good time and not taking himself too seriously. He said Ezegelian’s voice made the performance work.

On the other end of the spectrum was Michael Simeon, who performed Michael Bolton’s “How Am I Supposed to Live without You.” Jennifer loved the “feel” of the performance. Harry was also pleased with the performance, but thought it was a little pitchy at times. Keith said Simeon “stayed right in the moment and controlled it.”

Savion Wright, a 22-year-old student, followed with a soulful version of Train’s “Hey Soul Sister.” Connick thought the performance started out a little “unfocused,” but got better as it went along. Lopez called Wright’s style “unique,” but reminded him that with America voting from now on, he needs to focus on the camera a little more. Urban also liked the performance, but not the song choice.

Former landscaper Mark Andrew sang “The Weight,” by The Band. Keith thought it was a perfect song choice for Andrew’s voice and would’ve even preferred to hear him sing it without the house band backing him up. Harry agreed, as did Jennifer, who added that Mark’s vibe was “so right now,” he had a real chance at winning the competition.

Trevor Douglas, the 17-year-old science nerd, took to the stage next with Gavin Degraw’s “Best I Ever Had.” Keith thought Trevor’s visual performance and energy were “palpable.” Jennifer, however, thought the number was just “okay.” Harry said it wasn’t Trevor’s best vocal performance, but still good overall.

Street performer Clark Beckham belted out Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman.” J-Lo thought it was a flawless performance and summed it up by declaring, “Goosies all day.” Harry said Beckham is a “talented performer” and he’s looking forward to seeing more of him because he has the ability to withstand the criticism as well as the praise that would be coming his way. Keith simply called it a “killer” performance.

Singer and vocal coach Rayvon Owen tackled Nick Jonas’ “Jealous.” Harry called Owen “elegant, handsome, likeable [and] talented,” adding there was something about Rayvon that harkened back to the classic Motown singers. Jennifer liked the song, but felt the performance could’ve used a little more “attitude.” Keith was pleased that the song showed off Owen’s falsetto.

Daniel Seavey, the youngest singer in the competition, sang “I’m Yours,” by Jason Mraz. Urban said the song choice demonstrated Seavey’s singing range, which had been a question mark until now. Lopez called Seavey “beyond adorable,” but warned the teen that he needed to focus on being consistent throughout the song. Connick was also pleased with Seavey’s performance.

Riley Bria performed Eric Church’s “Homeboy.” Lopez called Bria the perfect combination of “sweet, with a little bit of edge.” Connick said Bria reminded him so much of Urban, he dubbed him “Keith Suburban.”

Quentin Alexander delivered a haunting version of Sceamin’ J. Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You.” Harry said Quentin had a “different presentation” and he hoped America would keep him in the competition. Jennifer thought it had all the qualities of a great performance: drama, dynamics and vocals. She called it “perfect.”  Keith declared Quentin hadn’t even recorded an album yet, but gave a “Grammy performance.”

Next up, was Nick Fratiani with Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” Keith called the song choice “perfect” and gave Nick extra points for playing the guitar and singing. Jennifer noted that she had seen a lot of great performances Wednesday, but Fratiani’s was “the best.” Connick agreed it was a “strong performance.”

Brooklyn, New York’s Qaasim Middleton closed out the show on a high note with Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk.” J-Lo said the Idol hopeful made her “want to get up there and dance and sing” with him. Harry thought Middleton left it on stage and gave it everything he had. Urban agreed, adding that Middleton “killed it.”

American Idol continues Thursday on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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Kelly Clarkson is Pro Weed & Guns, Anti Brussels Sprouts

Jill Greenberg/RCA RecordsIn a new article in Us Weekly magazine, Kelly Clarkson reveals “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me,” including the fact that she’s pro marijuana, but anti Brussels sprouts.

“I cannot understand the fact that controlled narcotic substances and alcohol are legal and weed isn’t,” she tells the magazine.  “How many people do you know who have died from weed? My point exactly.”  Kelly also reveals herself to be pro gun, saying she has a “concealed handgun license” — though refrains from saying whether or not she’s actually packing. 

Other things that she reveals she enjoys: making tea and coffee, vacationing in the mountains, cleaning out her ears with Q-tips, the movie Talledega Nights, the book Jane Eyre and taking two-hour baths with bubbles and essential oils.

The singer, whose new album Piece by Piece arrives next week, also declares that she’d like to star on Broadway, and “secretly try out for The Voice to see if I can get all four chairs to turn around.”  She’d also like to be the “singing and talking voice for an animated film.”

So what doesn’t Kelly like?  “I hate Brussels sprouts and can’t stand that every time I say that, somebody always says, ‘Oh, but you’ve never tried mine!’” she says. “I love and eat every kind of vegetable, but not that one.” 

And remember that terrible movie she made with Justin Guarini after she won American Idol and he came in secondl?  She knew it’d be terrible even before she made it. 

“I cried for a solid hour on the phone with the creator of American Idol and pleaded to be let out of the contract that said I had to film From Justin to Kelly,” she tells Us Weekly.

You can read Kelly’s entire list of fun facts at USmagazine.com.

People magazine‘s upcoming cover story on Kelly offers another fun fact: how she came up with her daughter River Rose‘s name. She explains to the magazine, “We were going back and forth on what to name her,” adding, “I like androgynous names.”

The name River was inspired by the Nashville-area property she shares with her husband, Brandon Blackstock, where there’s a river. She recalls, “We were outside on our balcony, and we both looked at each other and were like, ‘What about River? That’s kind of cool.’”

As for Rose, it’s Kelly’s mother’s maiden name.  

The issue of People featuring Kelly hits newsstands Friday.


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