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.

Bcs45Dm1n
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

“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.

Bcs45Dm1n
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

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.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Still Confused About Sia’s Grammy Performance? Preteen Dancer Maddie Ziegler Explains It All

Monty Brinton/CBS Were you baffled by Sia‘s performance of “Chandelier” on the Grammy Awards earlier this month?  Well, luckily, it can be easily explained by a 12-year old: Maddie Ziegler, the Dance Moms star who appears in Sia’s videos, and who was featured in the performance alongside former SNL star Kristen Wiig.

The Grammy performance featured Sia standing in a corner of what looked like a ransacked apartment, singing with her face to the wall, while Wiig and Maddie, both clad in nude leotards and blonde bob wigs, performed a modern dance number.  But it turns out there was a very specific storyline to the number, as Maddie reveals to ABC News Radio. 

“Kristen was, like, a hoarder and I was pretty much just…you know in like Cinderella how like the fairy godmother comes to life and helps her? That’s pretty much what it was,” she explains.  “That’s why the room was so messy and cluttered. She pretty much was on the verge of just letting go, because she didn’t want to live the life that she did anymore..it was really hard to have all that mess and everything, and live in it. And I tried to help her, but she never let me.”

Maddie, who also performed on stage with Sia on Saturday Night Live and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, says the Grammy performance was her favorite.  “I got to meet Sam Smith and he’s one of my favorite artists ever in the world. And that was like the coolest experience. It was really, really fun,” she tells ABC News Radio.  “That’s amazing, performing at the Grammys at the age of 12, and just getting to do it with Kristen Wiig and Sia, made it even more special.”

In addition to her work with Sia and her role on Dance Moms, Maddie also has her own fashion line, along with her sister, and last week, she even worked as ELLE.com’s New York Fashion Week correspondent.  While she loves fashion, Maddie says dancing, acting and singing — which she’s working hard at getting better at — are her main priorities.  But despite her busy schedule, the preteen says she’ll continue to work with Sia. 

“I think we’re sticking together for now and Sia said that she doesn’t really want anybody else…we’re all just like a big family,” she tells ABC News Radio. “We became so close and it’s not even been a year, I don’t think. So it’s just so cool.”

Also cool is the fact that thanks to her appearances in Sia’s videos and on Dance Moms, Maddie is now a role model to millions of kids all over the world.

“Fans will come up to me and say, ‘Thank you so much, I started dancing because of you. Because you inspired me,’” she tells ABC News Radio. “And I was like, ‘Well that is really, really cool.’ So I am inspiring people, and I do the same with everyone else. I look up to people, but I never thought anybody would look up to me.”

If Maddie does decide to branch out into singing enough to record her own album, has Sia, who’s penned songs for Beyonce, Rihanna and Kelly Clarkson, promised to write her some hits?

“I don’t know,” she laughs. “We haven’t talked about that!”  


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Christina Aguilera Says “Nashville” Appearance Will Help Her Compete Against Fellow “The Voice” Coach Blake Shelton

Brian Bowen Smith/NBCChristina Aguilera stopped by Late Night Wednesday night to plug her return to The Voice as a coach.  She also told host Seth Meyers that she’ll have some extra ammunition this season.

The 34-year-old singer, who recently signed on to make an appearance on the ABC series Nashville, thinks the guest spot will come in handy as she competes with fellow Voice coach Blake Shelton to land a country singer for her team.

“I’ll be able to have something under my belt to get certain steals for these country artists,” she says, explaining, “I’ll be like ‘Well, I’m actually on the show Nashville, recording in Nashville.’”

Aguilera told Meyers that, like many fans of the show, the blind auditions are one of her favorite parts. “Everyone loves the blinds, ’cause they’re so suspenseful and it’s nerve-racking.”

Christina compares the coaches’ chairs to a ride at an amusement park. She told Meyers that on occasion after she has turned her chair around, “sometimes you want to turn it back around.”  The singer insisted she was “just kidding.”

Aguilera tells The Hollywood Reporter her role on Nashville will be that of a pop singer who is trying to go country. Filming for her episode is set to begin next week.

Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.  The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Bcs45Dm1n
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Bruno Mars & Mark Ronson Still #1 with “Uptown Funk”

Image Courtesy RCA RecordsBruno Mars and Mark Ronson‘s hit is still #1 after eight weeks.  Don’t believe me? Just watch.

“Uptown Funk” continues its reign atop the Billboard Hot 100, extending its lead as Bruno’s longest-running #1 hit; it’s also the first #1 hit of Ronson’s career as an artist.

Elsewhere on the Hot 100, the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack has now produced not one but two top 10 hits: “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding, and “Earned It,” by Canadian R&B singer The Weeknd Taylor Swift also has two hits in the top 10 at once: “Blank Space” and “Style.”

“FourFiveSeconds,” the collaboration between Paul McCartney, Rihanna and Kanye West, slides down to #6.  Other songs in the top 10: Ed Sheeran‘s “‘Thinking Out Loud,” Hozier‘s “Take Me to Church,” Maroon 5‘s “Sugar” and Meghan Trainor‘s “Lips Are Movin’.”


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sam Smith, Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran Win Big at Brit Awards; Madonna Takes a Tumble During Her Performance

David M. Benett/Getty ImagesTaylor Swift and her pals Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith were all big winners Wednesday at the 2015 Brit Awards in London…while Madonna narrowly escaped injury during her performance.

Ed took home the night’s top prize — MasterCard British Album of the Year — for his album X [Multiply] and beat out recent Grammy winner Sam for the British Male Solo Artist award. But Sam won the Global Success Award and the British Breakthrough Act award. Taylor nabbed the International Female Solo Artist prize.

The unstoppable trio also delivered separate performances during the night. After walking the red carpet in a stunning black gown with a red dragon emblazoned on the back, Taylor changed into a black tuxedo jacket and took the stage to belt out her hit “Blank Space.” Sam soulfully performed “Lay Me Down,” and Ed serenaded the audience with his song “Bloodstream.”

Best British Single went to “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. Pharrell Williams picked up the award for International Male Solo Artist award, and One Direction snagged British Artist Video of the Year for the “You & I” video. The boy band wasn’t there to claim their prize, but they recorded a thank you message for everyone who voted for them.

A highly-anticipated performance by Madonna — her first appearance on the Brits in 20 years — closed out the show. The performance of “Living for Love” hit a snag when a dancer tried to remove the singer’s black cape; the action sent the singer tumbling backwards down some stairs. Despite the nasty fall, Madonna barely missed a beat and finished the song like pro.  Later, on Instagram, she posted, “My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up! Thanks for your good wishes! I’m fine!”

Earlier in the day, before her Brit Awards appearance, Taylor surprised a fan who camped out for 20 hours just to catch a glimpse of the star as she stopped by BBC Radio 1. “I just sat near the entrance. More people started arriving from 5 p.m. and throughout the night. It was freezing cold but the atmosphere was so exciting,” fan Sinead Murray told Buzzfeed. “Taylor followed me on Tumblr a few months ago and so I had been uploading pictures to show her there were lots of people there and that we were excited to see her.”

Taylor apparently noticed the Tumblr posts and tracked down Sinead. They chatted and took selfies together. “I am completely blown away that my idol wanted to meet me and I can’t thank her enough,” Sinead said. “She’s even more of an angel in person – if that’s at all possible.”

Here is the complete list of Brit Awards winners:

British Male Solo Artist
Ed Sheeran

British Female Solo Artist
Paloma Faith

British Group
Royal Blood

British Breakthrough Act
Sam Smith

Critics’ Choice
James Bay

British Single
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars — “Uptown Funk”

MasterCard British Album of the Year
Ed Sheeran — x

British Producer of the Year
Paul Epworth

British Artist Video of the Year
One Direction — “You & I”

International Male Solo Artist
Pharrell Williams

International Female Solo Artist
Taylor Swift

International Group
Foo Fighters

Global Success
Sam Smith


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Robin Thicke Testifies in “Blurred Lines” Copyright Infringement Trial

Credit: Harper SmithRobin Thicke took the stand in federal court in Los Angeles Wednesday, facing the family of late R&B legend Marvin Gaye.  They’ve sued, claiming that Robin’s 2013 smash “Blurred Lines” borrowed improperly from Marvin’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.”

In testimony before the court, Robin acknowledged that “Got to Give It Up” is both a classic and one of his personal favorites. Robin’s co-writer and co-defendent, Pharrell Williams, was also in the courthouse Wednesday morning, but had not yet made a courtroom appearance.

Earlier in the day, Janis Gaye, Marvin’s second wife, took the stand to say that at first, she thought “Blurred Lines” was great and had brought new life to “Got to Give It Up,” but later realized the song’s creators had not licensed the rights to her husband’s song.

Whether or not “Blurred Lines” was merely influenced by the feel of the Marvin Gaye hit, or actually infringes on the copyright of the earlier song by using its key musical elements — especially its melody — is at the heart of the arguments in the case, which is expected to last around two weeks.  One expert believes that the Gaye family doesn’t really have a case.

“Nothing original has been copied by Robin Thicke,”  Professor Michael Harrington, Music Business Program chair at SAE Institute Nashville, tells ABC News Radio. “The only things that are similar, I think, are the style and the speed and the instrumentation. But that’s really not enough.”

But it remains to be seen whether or not the jury of five women and three men hearing the case will agree with Harrington’s analysis.

At stake is an enormous portion of the money generated by Robin’s six-times platinum single.  “It could be anywhere from a quarter to 25 percent of the money earned, to 100 percent, at the most crazy,” says Harrington. “It could be very substantial.”


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Imagine Dragons Score #1 Debut with “Smoke + Mirrors”

KIDinaKORNER/Interscope RecordsDespite being a top seller, Imagine Dragons‘ debut album, Night Visions, never got higher than #2 on the Billboard chart.  However, their new album, Smoke + Mirrors, has debuted at #1.

The disc, featuring lead single “I Bet My Life,” sold 192,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Music.  Night Visions, which produced three hit singles, is actually still on the Billboard 200 album chart, despite having been released 129 weeks ago.

Imagine Dragons’ album is the only top-10 debut this week. The rest of the top 10 is full of holdovers from the past few weeks, including albums by Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, and Meghan Trainor, as well as the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack.



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ariana Grande Posts Touching Message from Her Late Grandfather

Republic RecordsAriana Grande’s beloved grandfather passed away last year, but his words of wisdom live on. The singer posted a touching message from her grandpa on Instagram Wednesday.

In the recording, her grandfather says, “Don’t let them challenge you, don’t let them intimidate you… And you do your thing. That’s the only way to do it.” Ariana tells him she loves him, and he responds, “I love you too.”

The message moved some fans to tears, and many were posting words of support and comfort on Ariana’s Instagram page. 

Ariana, who once described her grandfather as her “favorite person to ever exist,” was likely reminding herself of his encouraging words in preparation for kicking off her Honeymoon Tour Wednesday night in Kansas City.

A video posted by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio