Kiesza to Release Debut Album Oct. 21

Lokal Legend/4th and B’way/Island RecordsKiesza, the Canadian singer/songwriter who’s climbing the charts with her hit “Hideaway,” will release her debut album, Sound of a Woman, on October 21.

The album’s pre-order goes live on iTunes on September 22, and those who pre-order it will get a brand new song.

Meanwhile, Kiesza, whose birth name is Kiesza Ellestad, will make her U.S. daytime TV debut on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on September 24.  She’s also announced a few upcoming U.S. dates: she’ll perform in Washington, D.C. on September 29, in Philadelphia on September 30, and in Boston on October 1.


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Jennifer Hudson Enlists Iggy Azalea for “He Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”

Image Courtesy Renato Sampaio/ RCA RecordsJennifer Hudson has released another new offering from her upcoming album, JHUD. The singer teams with Iggy Azalea on a song called “He Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” which was produced by Pharrell.

Hudson serves up sexy advice on the disco-inspired song: “Whisper in his ear it makes it hotter / Don’t wipe the sweat it makes it better,” she sings on the track, which premiered on BuzzFeed.

“I hope it’s a song people can listen to and let the music do what it’s meant: let go of the sh** that holds you back and just take a minute to dance and feel good,” Hudson tells the site. “It’s that perfect mix of glamorous, late-night style, dance music from the past that has always really hit me deep.” Fans can expect JHUD to arrive September 23.

In other Iggy Azalea news, she and her boyfriend, L.A. Laker Nick Young, celebrated their one-year anniversary on Sunday.  Nick posted a photo of Iggy at Target and wrote, “Happy Anniversary boo thang ..1 yr ago I put my Mack down and took this girl on a date to Target, and she’s been trapped since lol.”  Iggy posted a photo of two huge bouquets of roses that Nick gave her.


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Ariana Grande’s Mom Wouldn’t Let Her Record Song She Wrote at 14: Too Sexual, Said Mom

Tesh/Marie ClaireAriana Grande seems a lot younger than she actually is — she’s 21, for the record — but she’s actually wise beyond her years.  Maybe a little too wise.  In the new issue of Marie Claire magazine, the singer says she wrote a song when she was 14 that her mom wouldn’t let her record because it was just too sexy.

“I was 14 years old and ready to make an R&B album,” Ariana tells the magazine, recalling her first efforts at music. “I was like, ‘Where is that Mary J. Blige collab? Where is that Natasha Bedingfield writing session? Where is my session with India.Arie? I’m ready. Let’s go.’”  Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to make the kind of music she wanted to make at the time.

“I wrote this song called ‘Higher,’ and the lyrics were too sexual, too mature. And my mom was like, ‘This is a great song, but damn, you’re too young for this,’” Ariana says.  While waiting until she was old enough to make the kind of “soulful” music she was interested in, Ariana landed a starring role in a Broadway musical, and then got a job on Nickelodeon.  It took her three years to finish her debut, Yours Truly, which entered the chart at #1.

Ariana also shared with Marie Claire a funny story that speaks to the nature of celebrity culture nowadays.  Describing her first car accident, she says, “I was driving to Big Sean‘s house on those windy hills in L.A. It was my first time going up those hills so I was going like 12 miles per hour. This lady was whipping around the corner, and I came to a complete stop so she bumped me really hard — the whole front of my Range Rover was wrecked.”

“She jumped out and was like, ‘Sweetie, it’s okay, it’s totally fine. What do you do?’” Ariana continues. “I was like, ’I'm a singer.’ And she was like, ‘Oh…I think I broke my leg!’ And I was like, ’I mean…I make jewelry!’”

You can read Ariana’s entire interview with Marie Claire when it hits newsstands on Tuesday.


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Robin Thicke Admits Drug Abuse, Says He Didn’t Co-Write “Blurred Lines”

Image courtesy ABC/Kelsey McNealRemember last year, when Robin Thicke and Marvin Gaye‘s family got involved in a legal dispute over whether or not Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” borrows from Gaye’s hit song, “Got to Give It Up?”  Both Thicke and co-writer Pharrell Williams gave testimony about it during depositions in Los Angeles federal court — testimony in which Thicke not only reveals he didn’t really co-write the song, but also admits to drug abuse.

According to the deposition, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Thicke admitted he wasn’t truthful when he claimed during various interviews that he and Pharrell co-write “Blurred Lines,” including an interview with GQ magazine in which he claimed he and Pharrell “literally wrote the song in about a half hour and recorded it. The whole thing was done in a couple hours — normally, those are the best ones. Him and I would go back and forth where I’d sing a line and he’d be like, ‘Hey, hey, hey!’”

The truth, according to Thicke’s deposition, is that he was drunk and high while Pharrell wrote “Blurred Lines.”  “To be honest, that’s the only part where — I was high on vicodin and alcohol when I showed up at the studio,” Thicke testified.  “So my recollection is when we made the song, I thought I wanted — I  — I wanted to be more involved than I actually was by the time, nine months later, it became a huge hit and I wanted credit. So I started kind of convincing myself that I was a little more part of it than I was and I — because I didn’t want him — I wanted some credit for this big hit. But the reality is, is that Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song.”

At one point, Thicke revealed he “didn’t do a single interview last year without being high.”  He eventually told his estranged wife, Paula Patton: “I told my wife the truth. That’s why she left me,” said Thicke.

In his sworn testimony, Pharrell pretty much confirms Thicke’s account about not co-writing “Blurred Lines.”  “This is what happens every day in our industry,” said Williams. “You know, people are made to look like they have much more authorship in the situation than they actually do. So that’s where the embellishment comes in.”

The trial over the Gaye estate’splagiarism claims is currently scheduled to get underway February 10, 2015.



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Ellie Goulding Sends Congrats to William & Kate via Pal Prince Harry

Louie Banks/InterscopeWhen it was announced this past week that Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William, is expecting a second royal baby, many people tweeted their congratulations. But Ellie Goulding didn’t have to — she personally sent her best wishes to the couple through a friend…who just happens to be William’s brother.

Speaking to US Weekly, Ellie says, “I sent my congratulations already because I’m friends with Harry,” referring to Prince Harry, William’s little brother, adding, “I think I may be seeing them all this week pending on how Kate is feeling.”  The Duchess of Cambridge — that’s Kate’s official title — is currently suffering from acute morning sickness.  She went through the same thing with the couple’s first child, Prince George.

“I just think its beautiful,” Ellie tells US Weekly. “They’re an incredible couple and I’m sure they’re incredible parents. I’m just very happy for them.”

Ellie famously sang a cover version of Elton John‘s “Your Song” at William and Kate’s wedding in 2011.


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Mariah Carey’s Friends Fear a Breakdown, Claims Report

Image Courtesy ABC/Donna SvennevikMariah Carey has had a rough summer. Following her commercially disappointing album and divorce rumors regarding her six-year marriage to Nick Cannon, friends of the diva reportedly are concerned Mariah may experience another meltdown.

“She has a history of mental health issues,” an unnamed source tells Life & Style, referring to Mariah’s hospital stay for psychiatric care back in 2001.

Apparently, Mariah’s estranged husband wanted to end the marriage months ago but feared how Mariah would cope.

“Nick’s No. 1 goal is to get the kids into a healthy environment where they would have some sense of normalcy,” an insider adds.

Earlier this month, Cannon confirmed on Twitter that there were false reports circulating about their marriage. “For the record I NEVER have, nor will I make a statement regarding my marriage,” he tweeted before later adding, “While I would like to remain silent, I can no longer allow this to happen. I love @MariahCarey and that will never change!!!” The posts have since been deleted.


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Kanye West Asks Handicapped Fans to Stand at Australian Concert

Def Jam RecordsKanye West had an awkward moment at his concert Friday night in Sydney, Australia, when he insisted that everyone in the audience stand up, including two handicapped people in wheelchairs.

A YouTube video of the incident shows the 37-year-old rapper ordering everyone in the audience to stand up for the next song.  Kanye told the crowd everyone should be on their feet “unless you got a handicap pass where you get special parking and s**t.”

After warning fans that he could spot anyone who wasn’t on their feet, Kanye notices two audience members who are still seated. West waits for them to stand and even incites other people in the crowd to start chanting for the two to get up from their seats.

After declaring, “This is the longest I’ve had to wait to do the song — it’s unbelievable,” Kanye sent a member of his security team to see what was wrong — which drew boos from the crowd. It turned out that one of the people who remained seated had a prosthetic limb and the other was in a wheelchair.

After learning that the two fans were unable to stand, West continued with his show.

The incident has drawn some criticism online, but a source tells People magazine the whole thing is being blown out of proportion.

“There was no malicious attempt to offend,” says the source, adding, “Anyone that has been to a Kanye concert knows that he asks for crowd participation.”

West had a more positive experience with a handicapped fan at his Austin, Texas, concert this past June. Elliot Briones, a disabled young man, was having difficulty seeing the stage, so Kanye gave him his mic after the show as a keepsake.

“I was in the second row. There were a lot of people blocking me, and Kanye noticed,” Briones told E! News, at the time, adding that after the show, “Kanye told the security guard to give me the mic.”


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Amy Winehouse Memorialized with Statue in London

Dave J Hogan/Getty ImagesA statue of Amy Winehouse was unveiled in the North London neighborhood of Camden Sunday, on what would’ve been the singer’s 31st birthday.

The Guardian reports the bronze sculpture depicts the “Rehab” singer with her hand on her hip and sporting her signature beehive hairstyle, a star of David necklace, and a live red rose in her hair.

Winehouse died three years ago of alcohol poisoning at age 27.

Winehouse’s father, Mitch, was a driving force behind getting the statue erected, and he planted a kiss on the cheek of the bronze figure at Sunday’s unveiling, which was attended by hundreds of the late singer’s fans.

“It’s a day of incredibly mixed emotions,” Mitch Winehouse said. “They don’t put statues up for people who are with us anymore so it reinforces the fact that physically she’s gone but spiritually she’ll never leave us,” Winehouse said.

He continued, “I feel sad, very, very sad. We shouldn’t be here, but we are, this is the reality and we’ve just got to make the most of it. So this statue is part of making the most of it. Getting people to come here, spend some time with Amy and put a flower in her hair and remember her in a very positive way. That for me is wonderful.”

Mitch Winehouse said it “was difficult to see the sculpture at first” but he’s getting used to it. He said the statue “looks just beautiful.”

Winehouse’s mother, Janis, was also on hand for the unveiling. She told the newspaper, “It’s just a wow, a definite wow. I am pleased with how the statue turned out because you can see that it’s Amy.”


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Tony Bennett Joins Lady Gaga Onstage in Israel

Steven KleinLady Gaga offered her Israeli fans a taste of her duets album with Tony Bennett on Saturday night, when she performed at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv.

Tony joined her on stage for a live rendition of “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love,” one of the tracks from their upcoming album, Cheek to Cheek.

Tony had a show scheduled in Tel Aviv for the following night.

Gaga’s concert in the country was notable, since several other artists, such as the Backstreet Boys and Neil Young & Crazy Horse, cancelled shows there earlier in the summer due to the tension between Israel and Gaza.

Gaga’s artRAVE tour continues in Istanbul, Turkey, on Tuesday. Cheek to Cheek debuts September 23.


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One Direction Announces First “Four” Single, “Steal My Girl”

RJ ShaughnessyLast week, when One Direction announced their new album Four, they released one of the songs from the album, “Fireproof,” as a free download for their fans.  But that’s not the album’s official first single — according to a tweet from 1D’s Liam Payne, it’s a track called “Steal My Girl.”

According to the band’s official website, the single will be available on September 29 everywhere but the U.K., where it’s coming out October 12.  If it’s anything like “Fireproof,” it’ll be a huge success: Billboard reports that the song sold 1.1 million downloads in 24 hours.

1D’s official Twitter account also posted the artwork for “Steal My Girl.”  According to Billboard, the song was co-written by Liam and Louis Tomlinson, along with four other co-writers.

Four is due November 17 and may follow the band’s previous three albums in debuting at #1 on the Billboard chart.


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