Eminem to Headline Atlanta’s Music Midtown Festival

Credit: Jeremy Deputatc

Eminem is scheduled to co-headline this year’s Music Midtown Festival in Atlanta.

The two-day event will take place September 19 and 20 in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park, featuring headlining performances from country stars Zac Brown Band, pop-rock guitarist and sing John Mayer and alternative rock superstar Jack White.

Additional performers include Iggy Azalea, Run-DMC, B.o.B and Lorde.

Tickets will be available for purchase Saturday, June 28at 10 a.m. ET.  General admission tickets cost $125 for a two-day pass, but of course, there are VIP package available if you’ve got the cash.  Visit MusicMidtown.com for all the information about the extravaganza.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Topless Girl in “Blurred Lines” Video Says These Days, She “Hides” When Song Comes On

Michael Thompson/GQA year ago, everybody was talking about Robin Thicke‘s song “Blurred Lines” — well, they were talking about the video for the song, which featured several topless models dancing with Robin, who was fully clothed.  Now, a year later, one of those topless models says hearing the song makes her uncomfortable.

Emily Ratajkowski, who covers the new issue of GQ magazine, reveals that initially, she didn’t want to do the “Blurred Lines” video, but then, she says, “I talked to the director” — a woman, by the way — “and I understood what it was.”  Asked if she actually likes the song, Emily tells GQ, “I do like it. But if there’s one thing I’d request, it’s for people who see me out to not be, like, ‘You’re the hottest b** in this place.’ When it comes on in a bar, I run into the bathroom and hide.”

She adds that going out to bars is “bad,” meaning she always gets hassled as a result of the video.

“Guys will say, ‘You know who you look like…,’ and then word spreads,” she explains. “Or guys do this thing where they go, ‘I would love to take a picture of you for my friend.’ And then they get out their phone and their hand’s shaking, and I’m like, ‘You’re taking this for your friend? I thought you didn’t care.’”

But the video did lead to one good thing: she ended up being cast in the upcoming Ben Affleck movie Gone Girl as a result. 

Emily plays the mistress of Affleck’s character in the film, and director David Fincher tells GQ, “We needed somebody where, at the moment she appears, the women are going, ‘That is unconscionable and despicable.’ And you also have the men going, ‘Yes, but…‘ And so Ben said, ‘Yeah, like the girl in the ‘Blurred Lines” video.’”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

“American Idol” Champ Caleb Johnson Titles Debut Album

Michael Becker/FOXAmerican Idol champ Caleb Johnson is on track to release his debut album on August 12, which will be the earliest turnaround for an Idol champ’s debut in the show’s history.  He’s now selected a title for the disc — he tells USA Today that it’ll be called Testify — and says he has 10 tracks ready to go, six of which he co-wrote.

USA Today reports that since he won the Idol crown last month, Caleb’s been having marathon writing sessions with people who’ve penned tracks for Rascal Flatts, Daughtry and Shinedown.  After one week, they’d completed 12 songs. 

“They said that’s the first time they’ve tried doing that in the history of the show,” Caleb tells USA Today. “Usually, they just give [the winners] demo songs. I want this to be an artistic statement on my part.” 

He adds, “I really just want to give people ‘me’ and not take songs somebody else wrote and have me try to sing them. It’s got a lot of soul, a lot of depth, a lot of conviction.”

One song Caleb didn’t write is called “Another Life,” and it was written by “Wake Me Up” singer Aloe Blacc, who appeared on the Idol finale. “I was just completely blown away by it,” says Caleb.  “It’s got this driving piano and these amazing backgrounds. It’s awesome.”

As for his winner’s single, “As Long as You Love Me,” Caleb’s not a fan.  “”It just didn’t fit me,” he says. “It was really rushed.”

Most Idol winners’ albums have come in the fall of the year in which they won — September, October or November.  Candace Glover was supposed to release her debut in August last year, but it got pushed back and wasn’t actually released until February of 2014.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

John Mayer, Eminem, Lorde, Iggy Azalea to Headline Atlanta Music Midtown Festival

ABC/Randy HolmesAtlanta’s two-day Music Midtown festival this September will be wall-to-wall stars: the headliners include Eminem, John Mayer, Lorde, and Iggy Azalea, as well as Bastille, Lana Del Rey, rocker Jack White, country stars Zac Brown Band, and more yet to be announced.

The festival takes place September 19-20; tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. ET.  General admission tickets cost $125 for a two-day pass, but of course, there are VIP package available if you’ve got the cash. For example, a thousand bucks will buy you admission to both days, plus valet parking, access to a private entrance and viewing area, access to an air-conditioned deck with free food and an open bar, a gift bag and — most importantly — air-conditioned bathrooms. 

Visit MusicMidtown.com for all the information.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

A Great Big World’s Chad Reveals MS Diagnosis, Homosexuality in Video Diary

Credit: Joseph LlanesOf the two guys in A Great Big World, Ian Axel usually gets the most attention, since he sings lead on “Say Something.”  But the duo’s other member, Chad Vaccarino, has just turned the spotlight on himself by sharing some personal information in a video diary.

In the diary, Chad reveals that in 2007, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  “My legs were buckling, my vision was blurry, and I had spells of vertigo, but I had convinced myself that if I ignored the symptoms, they would disappear,” he writes in the comments section of the diary.  “I went to three different neurologists and they all told me the same thing. I had MS.”

“This was all during my last year in college. I was studying for finals, and partying like I never had before, and on top of that, I was grappling with my own sexuality, dealing with coming out to my closest friends and family members,” Chad writes, effectively announcing he is gay publicly for the first time. “It was the most stressful time of my life, which caused it to become the unhealthiest time of my life.”

Chad goes on to detail how he tried various treatments for his illness, and was eventually able to make his symptoms virtually disappear by changing his diet to eliminate gluten, carbs, dairy and other foods.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Marvels at New Kitten’s Sleeping Ability, Promotes Ed Sheeran’s New CD

ABC/Jon LeMayTaylor Swift’s cat Meredith has become a star online, thanks to all the photos and videos of her Taylor has posted.  It now looks like the singer’s new kitten, Olivia, is headed for the same fame.

Taylor first introduced Olivia to the world in a photo that showed the tiny white kitten on her lap, looking up at her.  Now, Olivia is the star of a new Instagram video in which she’s being adorable simply by snoozing.  In the video, Taylor’s on a plane and tilts the camera down to show the kitten fast asleep, stretched out in Taylor’s lap with her head lolling backward almost double.

“I don’t even know how this is happening,” Taylor says. “But it’s happening. She’s a really aggressive sleeper.”

In other Taylor news, she would very much like you to purchase X (Multiply), the latest album by her buddy and former opening act Ed Sheeran.  Posting a link to the iTunes version of the disc, Taylor tweets, “He played his heart out every night for us on the Red Tour, now let’s go do this for him.”  Someone who won’t be downloading it?  Ed himself, who tweeted that he actually went to a store and purchased a physical copy of his album.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

“American Idol Live!” Tour Launches Tonight; Finalists Looking Forward to Meeting Fans

Michael Becker/FOXAmerican Idol wrapped up its 13th season a month ago, and if you’re already missing your Idol fix, good news: the show’s annual tour kicks off Tuesday night in Binghamton, New York. While acknowledging that the set list is essentially a “rehash” of this past season, the participating finalists say they’re really looking forward to actually meeting all the people out there who voted for them.

“It’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be a really awesome, personal experience that I get to reach out to the people that were impacted by my voice and music, so that’s going to be really cool,” champion Caleb Johnson tells ABC News Radio. 

Runner-up Jena Irene agrees. “I’m really excited to meet the fans just because I’ve been so focused on the competition, I haven’t really been able to go outside and meet everyone that’s been supporting me on Twitter and stuff,” she tells ABC News Radio. “So I know there’s a lot of fans that are posting about coming to tour on Twitter so I can’t wait to meet them in person.”

Fourth-place finisher Jessica Meuse says of the tour experience, “Every day I’ll get to do what I really love, and that in itself is a blessing, but I just can’t wait to meet the people I’ve been talking to on Twitter and everything.”

As for what we can expect to see on stage, Caleb says, “It’s going to be highlights from the show. I’ll be doing…the finale single, ‘As Long As You Love Me,’ and also I’ll do some duets with Jena and there will be some group covers, I think. [It's] just going to be a rehash of what we did on the show so it’s gonna bring back memories.”

Jena’s more specific, noting that she’ll be performing three solo songs: her show-stopping performance of “Can’t Help Falling in Love; “My Body” by Young the Giant — “just because it’s an awesome song to perform and it gets everyone going,” she explains — and her single “We Are One.” Plus, she’ll do a duet with Caleb and there’ll be two group performances.

In addition to meeting and singing for the fans, though, the Idol top 10 — which also includes Alex Preston, CJ Harris, Malaya Watson, MK Nobilette, Majesty Rose, Sam Woolf and Dexter Roberts — are all extremely close, so they’re also excited about hanging out with one another for the next two months.  In particular, Caleb says he’s looking forward to “the times I’m going to have with my friends.”

Season 12 champ Candace Glover advises that all the finalists really try to be in the moment and have a great time, unlike what happened with her and the finalists from her year.

“Enjoy it,” she tells ABC News Radio when asked if she had any advice for these singers.  “The top 11 from season 12, after, like, show 8, we were over it! We were like, ‘I want to go home, I want to go to my family.’ But then when the show’s over, now we all talk to each other, and it’s like, ‘I wish I could do that song one more time, I wish I could perform that one more time.’ So make sure you enjoy it and take it all in and everything.”

The Idol tour wraps up August 23 in Redmond, Washington.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Rumour Has It: Is Adele Really Finished with Her New Album?

Cliff Lipson/CBSA British tabloid is reporting that Adele is completely finished with the follow-up to her world-beating album 21, and plans a Beyonce-style  “surprise” release for the disc this year.  But could it actually be true?  Well, one person involved with the album has his doubts.

A source told the British paper The Daily Star that Adele’s album is “written, recorded and finished,” adding, “Theoretically it could be released tomorrow if she wanted.”  However, the source claims, “The plan is to release [it] internationally on iTunes as a complete surprise without any previous promotion or build-up publicity campaign…the feeling is Adele’s new album is so widely anticipated it doesn’t need a long promotional build-up.”

Adding credence to this report is the fact that last month, Adele marked her 26th birthday by tweeting, “Bye bye 25… See you again later in the year x,” sending fans into a tizzy with speculation that the new disc would be called 25 and that it would indeed arrive in 2014.

However, OneRepublic‘s Ryan Tedder, who’s been working with Adele on the new project, told ABC News Radio last month, “If she does, in fact, [release the album at the end of this year], that would be news to me.”

“I only can speak on the songs that I’ve done with her, and I only know what I’ve done,” he added. “But, I do know the people working with her is a very small, tight group of people. There’s only a handful of us, so maybe she’s gotten a lot more songs written.  Who knows?  But I know I’m looking forward to going back in with her very soon.” 

Considering the fact that OneRepublic kicked off a major tour less than two weeks after he made those comments, it’s unlikely that Ryan, who won a Grammy for his work on Adele’s album 21, managed to find time to get back in the studio with her and finish up the project. An email to Adele’s record label seeing comment on the Daily Star’s story went unanswered by press time. Looks like we’ll just have to wait and see.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Robin Thicke Announces Multiple Television Performances

ABC/Kelsey McNealRobin Thicke has booked a series of TV performances to promote his upcoming album, Paula, which is dedicated entirely to his estranged wife, Paula Patton

Robin is scheduled to perform on Sunday, June 29  on the BET Awards.  He’ll follow that up with a showcases on ABC’s Good Morning America, The View and Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday, July 2.  He will also appear CBS Sunday Morning on July 6.

Paula will arrive on July 1 via Star Trak and Interscope Record. The set will include his lead single “Get Her Back.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Jason Mraz Announces Tour Dates

Jen Rosenstein/Atlantic RecordsJason Mraz has released the itinerary for his international tour.

So far, he’s only announced a handful of U.S. and U.K. dates. He’ll kick things off in San Diego on August 21, then travel to San Francisco and Los Angeles before heading to Phoenix.

Jason will also visit Texas for a series of dates in early September. He’ll begin the European leg of his tour later that month.  More dates will be announced soon.

Jason will be touring with his musical collaborators, Raining Jane, in support of his new album, YES!, which drops on July 15. To celebrate, he’s asking fans to tag their summer photos on Instagram with #SummerofYES for a chance to win prizes like concert tickets.

Here are the tour dates so far:

8/21 — San Diego, CA, Civic Theatre
8/22 — San Diego, CA, Civic Theatre
8/25 — San Francisco, CA, Davies Symphony Hall
8/26 — San Francisco, CA, Davies Symphony Hall
8/28 — Los Angeles, CA, Pantages Theatre
8/29 — Los Angeles, CA, Pantages Theatre
8/31 — Phoenix, AZ, Comerica Theatre
9/2 — Dallas, TX, AT&T Performing Arts Center Winspear Opera House
9/3 — Dallas, TX, AT&T Performing Arts Center Winspear Opera House
9/5 — Houston, TX, Cullen Performance Hall
9/6 — San Antonio, TX, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
9/7 — Austin, TX, Bass Concert Hall
9/26 — London, UK, Royal Albert Hall
9/27 — Cambridge, UK, Corn Exchange
9/28 — Manchester, UK, Lowry Theatre
9/30 — Paris, France, Casino De Paris
10/1 — Amsterdam, Netherlands, Carre Theatre
10/2 — Frankfurt, Germany, Alte Oper
10/3 — Hamburg, Germany, Laeiszhalle

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio