Usher’s Ex-Wife Says Secret Liposuction Fueled Divorce

RCA RecordsUsher‘s ex-wife Tameka Raymond will appear on VH1′s upcoming reality series Atlanta Exes, premiering this August. The mother of the singer’s two young children is now opening up about her part in the downfall of their marriage.

“I did dumb stuff,” said Tameka during an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “I went to Brazil to get liposuction and almost died. I think that embarrassed him too, like ‘Oh no, I am packing up, she’s a nut.’”

“I made a lot of mistakes,” she said tearfully of her nearly two-year marriage with Usher. “I undertook a lot in getting into such a public relationship, and I think I nagged him as a result of what I was going through. I was just always in his ear. I was being such a b**ch.”

The show will also feature Ne-Yo‘s ex fiance, Monyetta Shaw and Cee Lo Green‘s ex Christina Johnson.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

“American Idol” Finale: Caleb Johnson Triumphs over Jena Irene

Michael Becker/FOXCaleb Johnson was crowned the new American Idol champion on Wednesday night. The 23-year-old rocker from Asheville, North Carolina, received more of the viewers’ votes than runner-up Jena Irene.

After host Ryan Seacrest made the announcement, Caleb received hugs from his fellow season-13 finalists. He then performed his new single, “As Long As You Love Me,” as confetti fell from the ceiling.

Caleb will be awarded a recording contract. He’ll release an album on August 12. You can pre-order it now on iTunes.

Caleb and Jena, a 17-year-old resident of Farmington Hills, Michigan, both received a 2015 Ford Mustang.

As was previously planned by the two, Caleb will accompany Jena to her high school prom.

This was Caleb’s third stint on American Idol. He previously competed on season 10, when he reached Hollywood Week, and season 11, when he advanced to the top 42. As a finalist this season, he never fell into the bottom three.

Candice Glover won American Idol in 2013 on her third try as well.

Jena was only the second wild-card selection in series history to reach the finals; Clay Aiken was the other.

Throughout the show, the American Idol finalists performed alongside various musical guests. Caleb joined KISS on “Love Gun” and “Shout It Out Loud.” Afterward, Caleb’s brother — a big fan of the band — walked onto the stage wearing KISS makeup and met the guys.

Jena sang Paramore‘s “Decode,” then teamed up with her favorite band for a rendition of their song “Ain’t It Fun.”

Demi Lovato performed “Really Don’t Care.” She was backed up by the show’s female finalists — sans MK Nobilette, who missed the finale due to illness — on “Neon Lights.”

Aloe Blacc and American Idol‘s male finalists sang, appropriately enough, “The Man.”

Finalist Sam Woolf took on “Home,” by American Idol season-11 champ Phillip Phillips. He also played guitar as Phillip presented his recent single, “Raging Fire.”

Sugarland‘s Jennifer Nettles performed “That Girl.” She then welcomed finalist Jessica Meuse onto the stage for a cover of the Miley Cyrus hit “Wrecking Ball.”

John Legend played “You and I.” Afterward, he and finalist Malaya Watson collaborated on a live version of his tune “All of Me.”

Jason Mraz and finalist Alex Preston partnered on Jason’s just-released song, “Love Someone.”

Darius Rucker sang “True Believers,” and teamed up with finalists Dexter Roberts and C.J. Harris on “Alright.”

In addition, Lady Antebellum performed their new single, “Bartender.”

The judges got into the act, too. Jennifer Lopez entertained the crowd with “First Love.” Later, she shared the stage with fellow judges Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr., as well as mentor Randy Jackson, for Cyndi Lauper‘s “True Colors” and Fleetwood Mac‘s “Go Your Own Way.”

Even Seacrest handled the microphone, duetting with Richard Marx on the latter’s hit, “Right Here Waiting.” Ryan was predictably bad.  

The two-hour-plus broadcast opened with Caleb singing Queen‘s “We Will Rock You,” Jena taking on No Doubt‘s “Just a Girl,” and the both of them sharing vocals on “It’s Only Love,” by Bryan Adams and Tina Turner.

This season’s finalists will embark on a 41-show American Idol Live! tour this summer, beginning June 24 in Binghamton, New York. Visit AmericanIdol.com for more info.

Season 14 of American Idol will premiere on Fox early next year. The judges’ panel is expected to remain the same.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Lorde Still Regrets Writing Song that Dissed Her Mom, Talks Next Album

Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABCLorde is usually pretty unapologetic about the decisions she’s made, both artistically and career-wise.  But in an interview with The New York Times, the 17-year-old singer reveals that she still feels bad about writing a song in which she said something negative about her mom.

“I reckon 85 percent of what I write is autobiographical,” Lorde tells the Times. “But I struggle with being too honest. I remember writing a song when I was like 15, which was on my first EP, and it had the line, ‘my mother’s love is choking me,’ because I’d had this fight with my mum.” 

Asked if that line upset her mom, Sonja Yelich, a noted New Zealand poet, Lorde replied, “Yeah, it’s the one thing that she hears and she always feels kind of sad about. Even though I told her so many times, ‘I didn’t mean it, I’m sorry!’” 

She adds, “It’s intense, dealing with that sort of stuff, but always wanting to just be straight up and express exactly what you were feeling.”

In the interview, Lorde also talks about whether or not she’s nervous about making her sophomore album, since her debut, Pure Heroine, has been so critically acclaimed and commercially successful. “Sometimes I am, but also I think, like, there’s just so much time between being 15 and being 18 or 19, which is how old I’ll be when I’m releasing [it],” she replies. “I just think I’m so much better now.”

Explaining why she feels she’s “so much better,” Lorde adds, “I’ve soaked up so many live shows, I’ve experienced so much more music. I feel like it’s equipped me to write in a way which is more exciting to me. I think I’m going to be OK. I hope.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Rihanna’s Broken Selfie Autographed Phone Goes to the Grammy Museum

ABC/Richard HarbaughThe “selfie” cellphone that Rihanna broke while sitting courtside at a Los Angeles Clippers game has turned into a museum piece.

Los Angels Police Commission President Steve Soboroff – whose phone Rihanna dropped and broke while using it to take a selfie with him — confirmed that the device has been donated to the Grammy Museum.

After the incident, Rihanna donated $25,000 to an LAPD charity and autographed the device so it could be auctioned to support police charities. The buyer recently donated the phone to the museum.

“On behalf of the Cadets and the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation, I am delighted that Rihanna’s wonderful gesture of donating $25,000 plus her authorizing the sale of the ‘selfie phone’ resulted in the anonymous buyer turning around and donating the world’s most famous selfie phone to the Grammy Museum for display to the public,” Soboroff says in a statement,

Rita George, deputy executive director of the Grammy Museum, comments, “It’s not often that we are able to obtain an artifact so quickly after it makes headlines. We’re excited to welcome this interesting piece of pop culture into our permanent collection here at the Grammy Museum and we are even more excited to show our support for the Los Angeles Police Department and the great work that they do.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Breaking News: Caleb Johnson Wins “American Idol”

Michael Becker/FOXCaleb Johnson won the 13th season of American Idol on Wednesday night. He was named the latest champion of the Fox singing competition over runner-up Jena Irene.

Caleb will be awarded a record contract. He’ll release an album on August 12.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Good Charlotte’s Joel and Benji Form New Band, The Madden Brothers

Credit: Justin CoitTwins Joel and Benji Madden, best known for their band Good Charlotte, have now formed a new group, called, quite sensibly, The Madden Brothers.  Their debut album, called Greetings from California…., will arrive October 7.  The first single, “We Are Done,” will be released June 2.

The album is described as having two “sides,” one featuring upbeat pop-rock tunes, and one featuring, according to their label, a mixture of “folk, Southern rock and ’70s-era pop.”  One of those songs, “California Rain,” was inspired by a visit to Pharrell Williams

“We went to see him in Miami and Benji brought an acoustic guitar,” Joel recalls in a statement. “We wrote the song together that night.  It felt like a repeat of us leaving home at 18 for California with just an acoustic guitar. All these years later, it all comes down to an acoustic guitar.”

“The idea was to not hide behind a band name or a genre, but rather to write some songs, and find someone to record them and help us deliver the truest picture of who we are musically,” Benji adds in a statement.

In recent years, Joel, who’s married to Nicole Richie, been serving as a coach on the Australian version of The Voice.  For one of the seasons, he brought on Benji, who’s been involved in a variety of musical projects over the past few years, as his team’s mentor.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Michael Jackson Sets Chart Record with Justin Timberlake Duet “Love Never Felt So Good”

Sony Music EntertainmentMichael Jackson‘s new album XSCAPE may have failed to top the Billboard album chart, but the album’s first single has managed to set a Billboard record.

“Love Never Felt So Good,” MJ’s posthumous duet with Justin Timberlake, has now jumped from #22 to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, meaning that Michael has become the first artist ever to score top 10 hits in five different decades.

Michael’s first top 10 appearance as a solo artist came in 1971, with “Got to Be There.”  He’s hit the top 10 with songs in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00′s and ’10s. Of course, the decade in which he scored the most top 10s was the ’80s: he sent 17 singles into the top 10 during those ten years.

In addition, Michael has now set a record for the longest span on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: 42 years, six months and one week.

Billboard also notes that Justin Timberlake is now the fourth artist overall to score a top 10 hit duetting with Michael Jackson, following Paul McCartney, Siedah Garrett and Janet Jackson.  Justin’s also the only artist ever to have reached the Billboard Hot 100 by duetting with both Michael Jackson and Madonna, the respective King and Queen of Pop.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sam Smith to Perform at NYC’s Famed Apollo Theater Next Month, Gets Twitter Love from Katy Perry

Capitol RecordsSam Smith, the hottest British import since Ed Sheeran, will celebrate the release of his debut album In the Lonely Hour next month by performing at New York City’s famed Apollo Theater. 

The Apollo, located in Harlem, is renowned for showcasing the legends of R&B music, and Sam, who was heavily influenced by the greats of that genre, is thrilled to get the opportunity to sing there.  “My mom would play soul music in the car when taking us to school,” explains Sam. “When I found out I was going to be playing the Apollo I was at a loss for words. Everyone I have ever looked up to in music has performed here. I truly can’t wait to sing on this stage.”

The performance will take place on June 17, the same day his album arrives in stores. The show sold out in five minutes, according to a tweet from Sam.

If you pre-order In the Lonely Hour at iTunes, you’ll get four tracks free with purchase: “Money on My Mind,” “Stay with Me,” “Not in that Way” and “Leave Your Lover.” You’ll also get a video stream of that last song.

Meanwhile, Sam’s got a huge celebrity fan in Katy Perry.  She tweeted, “I wanna predict that my mate is gonna be like a male Adele but I don’t want it to go to his head.”



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lorde Launches MAC Line with Intimate NYC Concert

Courtesy MAC CosmeticsLorde celebrated the launch of her new line of MAC cosmetics Tuesday night with an intimate New York City concert, reports USA Today.

The concert took place at MAC’s studio in downtown New York, and the audience, according to USA Today, was “very, very carefully curated.”  Among the attendees: Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin’s daughter, Ireland Baldwin.  A rep from MAC tells ABC News Radio that Lorde performed seven songs at the concert, including singles “Royals,” “Team” and “Tennis Court,” and album tracks like “Glory and Glore,” “400 Lux” and “Ribs.”

Speaking to Women’s Wear Daily about the new limited-edition line, which includes a deep plum lipstick named Pure Heroine, and a black eyeliner called Rapidblack, Lorde said, “I’m a really big fan of MAC and have been since before I could really afford it. When they approached me, I jumped at the chance…I kept [the collection] short because I wanted to make the two products more important to me, that would be a good addition to anyone’s makeup bag.”

“It’s rare that you find a brand that feels so perfect. I hate weird product placements and endorsements that feel uncomfortable,” she added.

Noting that she herself was “very much involved” in the actual creation of the products, the 17-year-old told WWD, “Basically, everything to do with me, I’m doing. I would get bored just doing one thing. I have a very clear idea of what everything needs to look like, to sound like. And I’m really bad at delegating.”

As for whether she plans to branch out into other aspects of beauty, Lorde said, “I don’t know about a fragrance, because I think I would have to find a way to make that feel cool and authentic, make it feel like me…But I’d like to do more lipsticks.”



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Michael Jackson’s Posthumous Album “XSCAPE” Stops Short of #1

Sony Music EntertainmentHologram or no hologram, the King of Pop couldn’t manage to rule the charts this week.

Michael Jackson‘s new, posthumous album XSCAPE debuts at #2 on the Billboard album chart with first-week sales of 157,000.  It was beaten to the top spot by Turn Blue, the new album by alt-rock duo The Black Keys, which sold 164,000 copies.  It’s the act’s first-ever #1 album.

XSCAPE, meanwhile, is the late King of Pop’s tenth top 10 album.  His most recent entry was 2010′s Michael, which reached #3.  It, like XSCAPE, was made up of previously unreleased tracks. 

Elsewhere on the chart, two big country acts, Rascal Flatts and Dolly Parton, debut at #5 and #6, respectively.  This is Dolly Parton’s highest-charting solo album in the entire history of her decades-long career.  ’90s alt-rock goddess Tori Amos debuts at #7 with her new album, Unrepentant Geraldines.  It’s her highest-charting album since 2007.

Meanwhile, the year’s best-selling album, Frozen, has fallen to #4.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio