Ne-Yo Says He & Pitbull Agreed to “Create a New Moment” with “Time of Our Lives”

ABC/Randy HolmesIn 2011, “Give Me Everything,” a collaboration between Pitbull and Ne-Yo, became a huge smash, reaching #1 on the Billboard chart and selling more than eight million copies worldwide.  Now, the two have teamed up again for the hit “Time of Our Lives,” but Ne-Yo says he and Pit are trying not to stress about about matching the success of their first collabo.

“Me and Pit basically just thought, you know, we did it once and people seemed to dig it so let’s give it a go again,” Ne-Yo tells ABC News Radio about their decision to do another song together.  “He was in the process of putting his album together, I was in the process of putting mine together, we came across a track that we both liked and pretty much the rest is history from there.” 

But Ne-Yo says he and Pit both tried to manage their expectations for the new song, which is currently at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and climbing.

“The one thing we were concerned about is, when you do a song that has the response that ‘Give Me Everything’ received, and then you do another song, everybody’s always going, ‘OK, is it gonna be as good as “Give Me Everything” was? Is it gonna do what “Give Me Everything” did?’ And we both came to the agreement that we weren’t gonna think like that,” he tells ABC News Radio. “That was a moment. We’re not gonna try to relive an old moment: we’re gonna create a new moment.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the two artists aren’t hoping that “Time of Our Lives” will be a huge smash as well.

“Lord willing, ‘Time of Our Lives’ will be as big as ‘Give Me Everything’ was, but if not, it’s a completely different song, completely different time, completely different me, completely different Pit, you know?” says Ne-Yo. “It’s another moment trying to be made.”  

“Time of Our Lives” appears on both Pitbull’s current set, Globalization, and Ne-Yo’s new album, Non-Fiction.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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

FOXThursday’s edition of American Idol featured the top 12 girls 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 guys performed on Wednesday. The top 16 contestants, based on America’s votes, will be revealed next week.

Lovey James, the 16-year-old rock singer from Portland, Oregon, opened the show with “Love Runs Out,” by OneRepublic. Lopez called the performance “awesome.” Connick noted James took a risk with the song choice, but it paid off. Keith believed the performance got better and better as it went on.

Student Adanna Duru, 18, changed the pace with her version of “Rather Be,” by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne. Urban praised the singer for squeezing so many of her vocal capabilities into such a short span of time. Lopez noted that Adanna was “going for blood.” Her only critique was that Adanna needed to learn to control her excitement. Connick said the performance was Duru’s strongest so far.

Alexis Gomez, the 22-year-old who calls herself a “singing Mexican hillbilly,” tackled Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead.” Harry loved the performance, but cautioned her against adding a fake twang to her voice just because she’s singing a country song. Keith said the strongest part of Gomez’s performance was when she got rid of the guitar she was playing for part of the song. He suggested she lose it altogether for future performances. J-Lo praised Alexis for “playing around” with her style.

The Accordion-toting Joey Cook of Woodbridge, Virginia, put a Cajun spin on Urban’s “Somebody Like You.” It brought Keith to his feet and he praised Cook for taking the song and making it her own. Jennifer thought Joey did a good job of showcasing who she was. Harry remarked that if he and Keith ever had a kid, “that’s what the music would sound like.”

Next up, Massachusetts native Katherine Winston, performed Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound.” Urban thought it was a good choice, but advised her to “feel” the song more. Connick, on the other hand, questioned the song choice, explaining that he didn’t think it was right for the competition. Lopez called the Idol hopeful’s voice “magical.”

Shannon Berthiaume, a 17-year-old student from St. Paul, Minnesota, tackled Pink’s “Who Knew.” Harry noted Shannon appeared “green,” compared to the other acts in the competition — a great quality now, but it would probably wear off in time. Keith thought Shannon was a great singer, but made a bad song choice. Jennifer also told Berthiaume she was a talented singer and urged her to believe in herself.

Loren Lott took the stage next, singing Charice’s “Note to God.” Lopez applauded Lott for giving a “brave performance.” Connick added that it was “powerful,” as well. Urban declared Loren is “giving everyone one a run for the money.”

Model Shi Scott delivered a soulful performance of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” that Keith called “powerful” and “gutsy,” but unfortunately was the wrong song choice. Jennifer agreed, explaining that the song didn’t really show what Scott could do. Harry thought going with a well-known song was a smart move, but agreed with the other judges that “Umbrella” a poor choice.

Maddie Walker, 17, tackled Shania Twain’s “Love Gets Me Every Time.” Connick called it a “good, solid performance,” but Urban once again questioned the song choice, as did Lopez.

This is Sarina-Joi Crowe‘s fourth attempt at becoming the next “American Idol” and she made the most of it by belting out Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best.” J-Lo thought Sarini-Joi’s performance rivaled the original. Harry noted that Sarini-Joi’s look and sound were great, as well as the arrangement. Keith added that the performance was “the perfect balance of loose and tight.”

Jax’s changed the mood 180 degrees, taking on Nancy Sinatra’s version of “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).” Urban loved Jax’s “artistry and originality,” adding, “It was killer.” Lopez declared, “We’ll definitely be seeing you next week.” Connick agreed.

Tyanna Jones, 16, closed the show with “Lips Are Movin,” by Meghan Trainor, which, according to Connick, safely put her into the “ridiculously talented category.” Urban agreed, but also urged the teen not to be afraid of singing in even higher keys. Jennifer said Jones’ voice was “from God himself” and told the singer to “just be you.”

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

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Kanye Tweets Apologies to Beck, Bruno Mars

Def Jam; Peter HapakNearly three weeks after slamming Beck‘s Grammy win for album of the year, Kanye West has issued an apology to him.

Kanye tweeted on Thursday, “I would like to publicly apologize to Beck, I’m sorry Beck.”

You’ll recall that Kanye walked onto the Grammys stage after Beck’s Morning Phase was named the winner for best album. Later, in an interview with E!, the rapper said, “Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé.”

Kanye on Thursday also apologized to funk-pop star Bruno Mars, for some reason, writing, “I used to hate on him but I really respect what he does as an artist.” He didn’t elaborate on why he had an issue with Bruno.

Kanye did extend an offer to the “Uptown Funk” singer: “I also would love for Bruno to sing this hook on this song 88 Keys / Puff and I produced…I even asked Tyler to shoot the vid,” meaning rapper and producer Tyler, the Creator.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.  

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.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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 .”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.