Ne-Yo Eyes November Release for “Non-Fiction” Album

Image courtesy Frank Micelotta/FOX

Ne-Yo has finally settled on a release date for his long-awaited upcoming album, Non-Fiction.

The disc will arrive November 11.  The singer made the announcement in the caption to an Instagram post in which he is pictured balancing on a teetering chair during a photo shoot.

"Life is about balance….finding and maintaining it…. #photoshoot #NONFICTION 11.11.14," he wrote in the caption.

The set, which will include his latest single, "Money Can’t Buy" featuring Jeezy, will mark his sixth album, following up 2012′s R.E.D.


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Taylor Swift’s New Pop Album, “1989,” Coming Out October 27, Featuring New Single, “Shake It Off”

 Big Machine Records/Republic RecordsTaylor Swift unveiled her brand-new single, "Shake It Off," during her global Yahoo! live stream Monday. The song was co-written with her frequent collaborators Max Martin and Shellback with the challenge of breaking completely new musical ground for her. It's about controlling her reaction to what people may say about her, and Taylor danced around with her invited guests in New York City.

"Shake It Off" is the lead single from her new album, 1989, in stores October 27. The project is titled for the year Taylor was born, and she says it was inspired by late '80s pop music.

"I really loved the chances they were taking. I loved how bold it was. I loved how ahead of its time it was." she says of that era of music. "So, being inspired by that, I started delving into the late '80s and what that period of time actually meant."  She went on to say that she feels the late '80s were "limitless," with "endless possibilities."

The album cover features a Polaroid picture of Taylor with her face partially obscured with "T.S." and "1989" written on the bottom. Taylor also declared 1989 is her "first official pop album."

"1989 is the most sonically cohesive album I have ever made and my favorite album I have ever made," said Taylor."

A deluxe version of 1989 will include three new songs that are voice memos from her cell phone. The album packaging will also feature 13 Polaroid photographs.

Speaking about the inspiration for "Shake It Off," Taylor said during the live stream that one lesson she's learned over the past few years is that "people can say whatever they want about us at any time, and we cannot control that. The only thing we can control is our reaction to it." 

She added, "I figure that we have two options. You can either let it get to you, let it change you, let it make you bitter or not trust people. Or you can descend into insanity if you want. Option two is you just shake it off!"

Taylor also debuted the video for "Shake It Off" during the live stream.  It features her and a series of different dance crews showing off various dance styles -- including twerking!  At the end, she and a group of fans who'd been sworn to secrecy join her in a huge dance party.

"I love the idea that you can tell who someone is by how they dance," she said of the inspiration for the clip. "And so, we started talking about ideas, and we basically decided that we would get this huge group of incredible, professional dancers of all different types of dance, and throw me into the middle of them and see what happens."

Taylor also announced the "1989 Swiftstakes," which will give fans an opportunity to win prizes: there are 1,000 tickets to a future tour up for grabs, as well as 500 meet and greets.  You'll get a code to enter with every version of the album you buy: standard, deluxe or digital.


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Colbie Caillat to Release Full-Length “Gypsy Heart” Album September 30

Republic RecordsShe's already given us a preview with her EP, Gypsy Heart -- Side A.  Now Colbie Caillat will be releasing her full-length album, Gypsy Heart, September 30.

The album, her fourth, will be available for pre-order on September 2.  On August 27, she'll launch an intimate headlining tour in Denver, CO, which will wrap up September 28.

Gypsy Heart features production from Babyface, and songwriting collaborations with David Hodges and Colbie's frequent collaborator, Jason Reeves

The video for "Try," Colbie's self-empowerment anthem that was released on Gypsy Heart -- Side A, has racked up 20 million views.


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Lorde’s Handwritten Lyrics to “Royals” Fail to Sell at Auction

Photo credit: Andrew WhittonLorde's "Royals" may have been a chart-topping, Grammy-winning hit, but it turns out fans -- at least those in her home country of New Zealand -- weren't prepared to break the bank to own a memento of it.

Lorde and her producer Joel Little put a "Royals" lyric sheet -- handwritten by Lorde and signed by the both of them -- up for auction on a New Zealand site called TradeMe, in hope of raising money for Play It Strange, a trust that funds music programs for young people.  Unfortunately, while it attracted bids of more than four thousand dollars, the item did not meet its reserve price, so it wasn't sold and no money was raised.

The questions and answers section of the auction may reveal why nobody coughed up the cash.  As the auction makes very clear, it's not the original lyric sheet of "Royals" -- it's simply a piece of paper on which Lorde has written the chorus, and then signed.  Some bidders felt that didn't make the item "unique" enough.


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Lady Gaga Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Nominates Adele to Join Her

Credit: Inez and VinoodhHow can we get Adele to come out from the shadows and engage with her fans?  Nominate her for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  That's just what Lady Gaga has done.

Gaga posted a video of herself taking the challenge, but of course, she couldn't just dump ice water out of any old bucket.  No, she used a huge silver punch bowl, and did it wearing a studded leather bondage outfit while sitting in an intricately-designed chair.  She then wrote, "#IceBucketChallenge #ALS #SharePainShowCompassion I nominate Adele, Michael Rapino, Vincent Herbert, and Arthur Fogel #RichPeople."

Michael Rapino is the CEO of Live Nation Entertainment.  Vincent Herbert is a record executive who has helped guide Gaga's career.  Arthur Fogel is another executive at Live Nation Entertainment.

Gaga added, "I also nominate and the cast of ."

Bobby Campbell is Gaga's manager. Chicago Fire is the NBC series that stars Gaga's boyfriend, Taylor Kinney.

So far, Adele hasn't responded to Gaga's invite.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has been a tremendous success so far.  The ALS Association says donations between July 29 and August 18 are up a whopping 766 percent from the same period last year.  That translates into an increase from $1.8 million during those three weeks in 2013, to $15.6 million as of today.


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Charli XCX Reveals to Whom She Wouldn’t Mind Losing at the MTV VMAs

Dan CurwinWith her "Fancy" duet partner Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX is nominated in a number of categories at the MTV Video Music Awards, which take place next weekend in Los Angeles.  But the British singer/songwriter is also nominated on her own in the MTV Artist to Watch category, and if she doesn't win, she says there's one fellow nominee she won't mind losing to.

Charli's up against 5 Seconds of Summer, Fifth Harmony, Schoolboy Q and Sam Smith in the category.  When asked by Entertainment Weekly who she wants to win if she doesn't, she says, "Sam Smith, definitely. We're actually from the same town.  He went to school literally up the road from my school."

"He's such a talented singer and musician," she adds. "And one of the nicest and realest people in the industry."

As for the VMAs themselves, Charli tells the magazine, "To be honest, I didn't have MTV growing up.  I feel like that was something I missed, so I had to rewatch the epic python moment with Britney Spears and all that."  However, she adds, "I know it's a big deal, and I think 'Fancy' deserves to win some awards."

The MTV VMAs air Sunday night, August 24 at 9 p.m. ET.


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Who’ll Play the Super Bowl? Katy Perry? Carrie Underwood? Start Speculating Now

ABC/Fred Lee; John Russell/CMAAs early as next month, we may learn who'll be performing at the next Super Bowl, which will take place at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Sunday, February 1.  Of course, speculation is already heating up as to which performer will be tapped for this most prestigious of gigs, but the signs may be pointing to one of two solo female superstars:  Carrie Underwood or Katy Perry.

A popular sports blog started a rumor that Carrie will get the nod because she already has strong ties to the NFL, having performed the Sunday Night Football theme.  In addition, the rumor suggests, country music is more mainstream than ever, and Carrie is one of its biggest stars, making a halftime show starring her a slam dunk.  Of course, she's also acquitted herself well at a prior Super Bowl: she sang the national anthem in 2010.

Meanwhile, Billboard is laying out a case for Katy Perry being the most logical choice.  According to the publication, Katy makes the most sense because she has big current hits, she's an internationally recognized performer, she's family-friendly, she's currently on a huge tour with a ready-to-go stage set-up and, perhaps most importantly, her tour is on a break from December 20 through February 16, leaving her plenty of time to travel to Arizona and rehearse.

Of course, there are many other acts who would make sense for the Super Bowl: Taylor Swift, for example, or perhaps Foo Fighters.  Even Bon Jovi has been mentioned, though football fans in Buffalo, New York are furious at the idea that Jon Bon Jovi is part of a consortium that may purchase their beloved team, the Bills, and move it to Toronto.

Last year, we found out in the early part of September that Bruno Mars would be headlining the Super Bowl; by then, though, it had been rumored for weeks.


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Mariah Carey’s Tour, The Elusive Chanteuse Show, to Launch in October in Asia

ABC/Donna SvennevikMariah Carey will launch her first world tour since 2006 this October in Asia.

The Elusive Chanteuse Show, a trek in support of her latest album, Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse, will begin with two dates in Japan beginning October 4 and will include 12 Asian dates in all, including the singer's first visit to mainland China.  The set list will include her hits, album cuts, songs from the new album and "many more surprises," according to a statement on Mariah's website.

So far, only the Asian dates have been announced.  Stay tuned for more information.

“I want to experience the spontaneity and emotion that I put into this album on stage with my fans,” Mariah says in a statement. “I can’t stop writing songs so don’t be surprised if you hear a brand new song that I just wrote the night before the show in your city!” 

By the way, Mariah did tour in 2010 in support of her album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, but that outing was limited to North America.


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Christina Aguilera Names Daughter Summer Rain

Mark Seliger/NBCInto every life, a little rain must fall -- and in this instance, it's a good thing. Christina Aguilera and her fiance Matt Rutler have named their newborn daughter Summer Rain.

The singer revealed the news on Twitter, writing, "So proud to welcome our beautiful daughter Summer Rain Rutler into the world."

Christina and Rutler welcomed Summer Rain last Saturday.  It's the couple's first child together, but Christina's second: she has a six-year-old son, Max, with ex-husband Jordan Bratman.  Christina and Rutler got engaged on Valentine's Day.


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“Rising Star” Recap: The Top Six Compete, Four Contestants Advance

ABCABC's interactive singing competition, Rising Star, continued Sunday night with three contestants advancing to next week’s finale after the East Coast vote and one additional act being sent through after the West Coast broadcast.  Two other acts were sent home.

Jesse Kinch, Dana Williams and Austin French advanced after the East Coast broadcast.

Audrey Kate Geiger was saved by the West Coast and also advanced to next week's finals.

Maneepat Molloy and Joshua Peavy were sent home.

The top 6 acts went up against one another to compete for the highest score. The first three sang with the wall up. The act with the lowest score from that point on was placed in the “hot seat.” The next contestant then sang with the wall down, trying to beat that person’s score. Viewers who downloaded the Rising Star app were asked to vote “yes” or “no,” just as they did in the audition round.

Host Josh Groban and the Rising Star experts -- Kesha, Ludacris and Brad Paisley -- presided over the performances. Votes from the experts only counted for one percent.

Here are the highlights from Sunday night:

Austin French kicked things off with OneRepublic’s “Love Runs Out.” French took the advice the experts gave him earlier to move around the stage a little more and it paid off, earning him 81 percent of the vote. Kesha voted “yes,” calling the 20-year-old Tifton, Georgia, native “infectiously cute.” Paisley also voted “yes,” calling French a natural. Ludacris added his “yes” vote, noting that during the performance, Austin moved farther off stage than any other contestant so far. French advanced to the finals.

Sixteen-year-old Bangkok, Thailand, native Maneepat Molloy was the next contestant to take the stage. Earlier, she was urged by the experts to let loose and be herself. Molloy chose Sia’s “Chandelier” for her performance and was only able to collect 27 percent of the vote. Ludacris voted “no,” explaining the young singer “didn’t look as comfortable” as he would’ve liked, but complimented her on her courage in taking on such a difficult song. Brad voted “yes” because he felt she took the experts’ advice and worked on her stage presence. Kesha also acknowledged Maneepat looked nervous, but believed she “sang beautifully" and voted “yes.” Molloy was sent home.

The previous Sunday night, Jesse Kinch was challenged by Paisley to show a softer side of his voice and prove he wasn’t a “one-trick pony.” That was Brad’s advice this week as well. Kinch answered the challenge, turning Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” into a power ballad that garnered 83 percent of the vote. Brad voted “yes,” commenting that Jesse “reminded everybody how great that song is.” Kesha called the performance a “God-like experience” and voted “yes.” Ludacris took Paisley’s comment a step further by saying Kinch made everyone “forget it was a Michael Jackson song.” He also voted “yes.” Kinch moved on to the finals.

Dana Williams, who sang with the wall down, channeled Billie Holiday for her version of Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning.” Before the performance, Kesha told Williams she believed in the Los Angeles native and fought to keep her in the competition. However, she wanted the 24-year-old to prove she wanted it just as bad. Dana raised the wall with 75 percent of the vote. Kesha voted “yes,” calling Williams a “diamond in the rough” and adding that this performance was “the best she’s had on this show.” Ludacris felt she proved to him that she wanted it more than anyone else on the show and voted "yes." Paisley called the performance “emotional,” adding Dana connected with the audience better than she’d ever done in the past. Williams advanced to the finals.

Next, it was Audrey Kate Geiger’s turn to “raise the wall or go home.” Earlier, Paisley called her “one of a kind,” but Ludacris and Kesha felt her stage presence needed work. She chose Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” and failed to raise the wall with only 69 percent of the vote. The judges disagreed with America. Ludacris, who voted "yes," noted the song choice might’ve turned voters off. Otherwise, he thought the performance was top-notch. Kesha was also disappointed with the song choice, but praised Audrey’s execution. Paisley voted “yes” and urged America to save her. Geiger was sent home after the East Coast performance, but was saved by the West Coast and moves on to the finals.

The last performer of the night was Joshua Peavy. Josh originally wanted to sing John Newman’s “Love Me Again.” Brad, however, wanted to hear the Georgia native sing a country song and suggested Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most.” Peavy collected 72 percent of the vote, not enough to raise the wall. Paisley was pleased with the performance and voted "yes." Brad, who has a recording studio on his farm, even told Peavy, “If you get saved, we’ll see you next week. If you don’t get saved, come over to the farm, we’ll record something.” Ludacris voted “no,” confessing that it came down to a choice of eliminating Dana Williams or Peavy and reiterated his earlier comment that Williams wanted it more. Kesha said she was “on the fence” at first, but Joshua won her over at the end and voted “yes.” Peavy was eliminated.

The Rising Star season finale airs next Sunday on ABC.


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