Coldplay’s Chris Martin Says Katy Perry Partly Inspired “A Sky Full of Stars”

Michael Becker / FOXMost people might not think the music of Katy Perry and that of Coldplay have anything in common, other than the fact both are very popular.  But now, Coldplay’s Chris Martin has said that Katy’s music actually had a hand in inspiring the band’s latest hit, “A Sky Full of Stars.”

In a roughly five-minute video created for Beats by Dr. Dre, Chris says, “I’ll tell you the truth — I was listening to a lot of Katy Perry.  A lot of her songs have the same chord sequence the whole time. Your body feels comfortable with them, and then the melody’s changing on top, so there’s a groove you really get into, and then also, you’re kept interested. That’s an amazing way of doing songs.”

Chris says he then realized that a lot of other songs do the same thing, such as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” “There’s a simplicity to that…I needed to find a sequence that I could just play for ages and ages,” he explains.  “And then one just came out, and I was like, ‘That’s it!  That’s it!”

Chris says he also wanted a song that was inspired by the world of EDM.  “You go see an EDM thing and people are so together and having the best time,” he explains. “And I was like, “F**k it, I love that stuff. I wanted to have a song that comes from that world, in terms of, ‘I’d really like to jump up and down to this, but we don’t really know what we’re doing.’  So I said, ‘Let’s call Avicii.‘”  Chris jokes that the Swedish producer and deejay charged them “12 million dollars” to work on the track.

“It’s the most important song we’ve ever had lyrically, because every time I sing it I’m like, ‘Yeah that’s how I want to live my life,” Chris adds.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

New “Do They Know It’s Christmas” Charity Track Is UK’s Fastest-Selling Single of 2014

VirginMost of the people downloading it probably weren’t born when the original came out in 1984, but the new version of Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” recorded to raise money to fight Ebola, is off to an impressive start.

Britain’s Official Charts Company says the song, featuring acts like Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Bono, Coldplay‘s Chris Martin, Rita Ora, Bastille and more, is now the fasting-selling single of 2014 in the U.K., moving 206,000 copies since it was officially released for download Monday.  The original 1984 version sold 200,000 copies in two days — and keep in mind, there we no digital downloads then.

The charity single has now smashed the previous record-holder for fastest-selling single this year, held by Clean Bandit‘s “Rather Be,” which sold 163,000 copies when it was released back in January.  In fact, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” has scored the biggest debut sales week of any single in the U.K. since 2011.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ariana Grande, MAGIC! to Perform on American Music Awards; More Presenters Announced

Dick Clark ProductionsAriana Grande, MAGIC!, Lil Wayne and Wyclef Jean are the latest artists announced as performers on the American Music Awards, airing this Sunday night on ABC.

Ariana will perform a medley of her hits on the show, including “Problem,” “Love Me Harder” and “Break Free,” and will also join Jessie J to perform “Bang Bang.”  Lil Wayne will team with Christina Milian for his new single “Start a Fire,” while Wyclef Jean will collaborate with MAGIC! on both their hit “Rude” and his single, “Divine Sorrow.”

In addition, a huge list of presenters has been confirmed for the show, including Meghan Trainor, Gavin DeGraw, Becky G, Mary Lambert, Train‘s Pat Monahan, Lucy Hale, Tracee Ellis Ross, Danica McKellar, and Ansel Elgort.

The performers list for the AMAs also includes Imagine Dragons, Lorde, One Direction, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, Pitbull, 5 Seconds of Summer, Selena Gomez, Fergie, Charli XCX and more.

Tune in to the 2014 American Music Awards this Sunday night on ABC, starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Bruno Mars to Perform at Vegas Nightclub on New Year’s Eve

Courtesy TRYSTBruno Mars‘ New Year’s Eve plans are set. He’s scheduled to perform at a celebration at the Tryst Nightclub in Las Vegas on December 31.

Jermaine Dupri is also on the bill.

Tickets can be purchased on

It was previously announced that Zedd will headline a New Year’s Eve party at another Wynn-owned establishment in Vegas, XS Nightclub.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

1D’s Zayn Malik “Angry & Upset” at Matt Lauer’s Questions About His “Today” Show Absence

Jeff Daly/NBCWhen One Direction performed on NBC’s Today show Monday without Zayn Malik, rumors started popping up online that there was something seriously wrong with him.  After the group told Today’s Matt Lauer that the reason Zayn missed the show was because he was ill and couldn’t travel, Lauer asked them to comment on those rumors…and now Zayn is hopping mad because of it.

Zayn told the British tabloid The Sun, “I’m really angry and upset by what was said on the Today show. I was really ill at the weekend, that’s why I couldn’t fly to America. As soon as I’m feeling better I’m going to join the guys and carry on with the promotion for the album. I was gutted to have to miss album release day. But I’m going to be back as soon as I can.”

When Lauer asked the group, “Where is Zayn?” Liam Payne responded that they’d only found out that morning that Zayn had a “tummy bug” and couldn’t make it.  Lauer continued, “Obviously, there’s been a lot of concern, a lot of fans have been tweeting overnight, there’s been a lot of action on social media about him.  Is it something more serious than just a minor illness?  There have been rumors of substance abuse. What’s going on?”

“No, he’s just got a stomach bug…he’s at home, he just needs to rest. He’s OK,” responded Liam.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

“The Voice” Recap: The Top 12 Take the Stage

Trae Patton/NBCThe top 12 artists on The Voice returned to the stage Monday night for the second week of the live playoffs.

Coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams were on hand to critique all of the singers.

Sugar Joans of Team Pharrell opened the two-hour broadcast with her take on Al Green‘s “Take Me to the River.” Adam said Sugar is always in 12th gear. Blake commented that he always looks forward to hearing Sugar sing. Pharrell said Sugar covered new terrain with this performance.

Team Gwen’s Ryan Sill was up next with Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World.” Adam said Ryan’s voice was “so perfectly beautiful.” Both the Maroon 5 frontman and Pharrell urged him to pursue a career in rock music. Gwen said Ryan has come so far in a short amount of time.

Blake assigned the Swedish House Mafia hit “Don’t You Worry Child” to Jessie Pitts, who put her own spin on the song. Adam suggested to her that she continue to explore the big part of her voice and not be afraid to take chances. Blake said Jessie reminds him of his wife, Miranda Lambert, in that they both have the ability to make a song their own.

Team Adam’s Damien took on “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” by The Hollies. Pharrell said Damien’s last run in the song felt like a great Southern church performance. Adam expressed how proud he was of his artist.

DaNica Shirey of Team Pharrell tackled Radiohead‘s first hit, “Creep.” Gwen called DaNica a “freak of nature” as a vocalist. Adam said the performance was not what he was expecting, in a good way. Pharrell added that DaNica was amazing.

Taylor John Williams covered the Bread song “If” for Team Gwen. Adam called it the perfect song choice for Williams. Gwen said it stripped away her artist’s fanciness and demonstrated what his voice is really like.

Team Blake teen Reagan James took on the Lenny Kravitz tune “It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over.” Pharrell praised her for making the song her own. Adam detected some nerves from Reagan, but he still liked the performance.

Team Pharrell’s Luke Wade sang “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. Adam observed that Luke was super-nervous, but he recovered like a pro. Pharrell added that Luke rose to the occasion.

Matt McAndrew belted out the Hozier single “Take Me To Church” for Team Adam. Blake and Adam said they had problems hearing his vocals, but they complimented him anyway. Pharrell said he can’t wait to hear the album Matt will record once Matt’s time on The Voice ends.

Blake gave his protégé Craig Wayne Boyd the George Strait classic “You Look So Good In Love.” Gwen noted that Boyd comes off as a natural on the stage. Pharrell said Boyd delivered a clean performance. Blake said he was very excited after hearing his artist perform.

Chris Jamison of Team Adam offered his rendition of the recent Nick Jonas release “Jealous.” Pharrell said it was “100 percent” Chris’ best showing to date. Adam said Chris may be cute, but he is a talented singer, too.

For the final performance of the night, Team Gwen’s Anita Antoinette entertained the coaches with “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley. Adam called it an important song, mentioning that former Voice winner Tessanne Chin once sang it on the show. Gwen described the performance as “authentic” and “beautiful.”

Two of the artists will be eliminated on Tuesday night’s results show, airing on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern time. “Ghost” singer Ella Henderson will make an appearance.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande Set for Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

ABC/Ida Mae AstuteTaylor Swift is returning to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Taylor will perform at the 2014 edition of the event, which will be staged in London and will air December 9 on CBS. She’ll be joined on the bill by her buddy Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, and Hozier.

Taylor headlined the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which also featured Fall Out Boy.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Echosmith’s Sydney Says Playing “Cool Kids” Live Reduced Her to Tears

Nicole Nodland/Warner Bros. RecordsAfter opening for American Authors on the Honda Civic Tour, Echosmith is now wrapping up their own tour dates for the year, and they have a huge headlining tour on tap for February of 2015.  The family band has become such road warriors over the past year that it’s hard to believe that they used to avoid playing their now-platinum hit “Cool Kids” — because they didn’t feel they could pull it off live.

Lead singer Sydney Sierota, who also plays keyboards in the group, says for a long time, the keyboard part of “Cool Kids” eluded her.  She found it difficult to sing the song and play the keyboard part live, and in fact, she tells ABC News Radio that the very first time she tried to do it, it reduced her to tears.

“I was so nervous, and we kept saying, ‘No, no, no, let’s not play it yet because I still need to learn the keyboard line and I feel like I suck at it,’” Sydney remembers. “Everything else, we had played, like a million times, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.  But when we played ‘Cool Kids,’ I was playing the line, and it’s such a prominent sound that you can hear when I mess up.   And I messed up so bad, and I think I cried a little bit after, ’cause I’m like, ‘This sucks!  People are gonna think I’m terrible!’”

“People ended up liking it,” she laughs. “So whatever.”  Still, Sydney says it took her quite a while before she felt comfortable with the song.

“Probably, like, a few months,” she tells ABC News Radio.  “And then finally, by the end of [our stint on] Warped Tour, I got it perfect, like, every time.  But still, it took that long, and that many shows!  Like, sometimes I got it right, sometimes I would kinda stop playing it, ’cause I felt awkward!” 

“That’s why we didn’t play ‘Cool Kids’ from, like, the beginning of 2013,” says her brother and bass player Noah Sierota.   “We were still figuring it out,” adds guitarist Jamie Sierota.

These days, though, the band has so many concerts under their belt that they finally feel confident playing “Cool Kids.”  

“I think we’ve come a long way since we did our first Warped Tour last year,” says Sydney, “And, I mean, it’s only been a year-and-a-half now. But we’ve done all sorts of shows since then and before then too. But experience really helps you out as a musician — as a performer too.”  

Echosmith’s fall tour dates end this Wednesday in Chicago.  Their headlining tour starts February 10 in Ames, Iowa.  You can get a preview of the group live when they perform on the upcoming Nickelodeon HALO Awards, which air November 30.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Lorde Says She and J-Law Were “Double Fangirling” on “Mockingjay” Set

ABC/Lou RoccoBecause Lorde was tapped to curate the soundtrack of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, she got to visit the movie’s set, and she says while there, she had a great time hanging out with star Jennifer Lawrence.  In fact, they have a mutual admiration society going.

During a Twitter Q&A about the soundtrack, a fan asked what it was like interacting with the Oscar-winning actress on set. Lorde wrote, “haha she was so cute, very excited that i was there! she kept running over between takes to chat/we double fangirled. i luv jen.”

Lorde also admitted that she’s “Team Peeta” when it comes to the Hunger Games love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale, and if she could be any character in the saga, she’d be Cinna, the stylist who in the films is played by Lenny Kravitz.

Having already seen the film, which opens on Friday, Lorde said she cried while watching it, and added, “And i also remember my fist going into the air…. by far the most emotional of the 3 films. it really is a masterpiece.”

Overall, Lorde said of the creating the soundtrack, which is out now, “i really care about the hunger games fandom & know how important the films’ music is to them, so i wanted them to enjoy it..or at least understand the kind of sonic world i was trying to build even if some of the styles weren’t their thing.” 

Asked to describe the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 soundtrack in three words, Lorde wrote, “TOUGH. BRAVE. SHIMMERING.”  She also called it “one of the scariest, most exciting things I’ve ever done.”

By the way, don’t believe that she and producer Diplo are in some sort of battle to the death over the insults they’ve exchanged on Twitter recently.  He actually tweeted her Monday and asked if she’d be going with him to the L.A. premiere of the film Monday night.  She replied, “i’m not in la :( but have fun (and take a stress ball it’s so intense!!).”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

“Troublemaker” Singer Olly Murs Returns with New Single Featuring Travie McCoy

Columbia RecordsOlly Murs, the British singer who hit the charts last year with his song “Troublemaker,” is back with a brand new-single from his sophomore album. The song, “Wrapped Up,” features Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes and is available both for download and online.

“Wrapped Up” is the first single from Olly’s new album, Never Been Better, which will be out this spring.  It features guest appearances from Demi Lovato and OneRepublic‘s Ryan Tedder, among others.  Olly says in a statement, “I love to work with other people, to get the ideas bouncing around…I think this album is my ‘I mean it’ album. It’s time to come out of my shell and get a bit more serious.”

Olly is one of the many artists featured on the new version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” released to raise money to fight Ebola in Africa.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio