Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith to Perform at 2015 BRIT Awards

ABC/Ida Mae AstuteThey’re friends, they’re all newly-Grammy nominated — and now Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith have been tapped to perform on the British equivalent of the Grammys: the BRIT Awards.

The ceremony will take place February 25 at the O2 arena in London. Taylor performed on the show last year, while Ed, who has two of the awards on his trophy shelf, sang at the event in 2012.  Sam won the BRIT Critic’s Choice Award in 2013.

None of the nominations for the BRIT Awards have been revealed yet, except for the Critic’s Choice category.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


“Fitness” Magazine Readers Name “Shake It Off” as Top Workout Song of the Year

Big Machine RecordsTaylor Swift‘s “Shake It Off” wasn’t just a huge #1 hit: it also inspired many people to take its title literally.  The readers of Fitness magazine have voted it the Favorite Workout Song of the Year.

As part of Fitness magazine’s Best of 2014 list, readers were asked to vote on which songs they most enjoyed sweating to in the past year.  “Shake It Off” came in at#1, garnering 29 percent of the vote.  In at #2 is Iggy Azalea‘s “Fancy,” with 25 percent of the vote.  Pharrell Williams‘ “Happy” was #3, followed by Nicki Minaj‘s “Anaconda.”  Rounding out the top five: “Chandelier” by Sia.

The year-end poll also includes readers’ choices for Favorite #BodyLove Moment, and the runner up was Meghan Trainor‘s “All About that Bass.”

Check out FitnessMagazine.com for the rest of the poll results.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Imagine Dragons to Release New Album, “Smoke + Mirrors,” February 17

KIDinaKORNER/Interscope RecordsImagine Dragons have now released full details of their long-awaited new album.  It’ll be titled Smoke + Mirrors, and it’s due February 17.  You can pre-order the standard version now on iTunes: if you do so, you’ll get instant downloads of the current single “I Bet My Life,” as well as an additional track, “Gold.”

An exclusive deluxe version of Smoke + Mirrors will be available at Target, while an “art box deluxe” edition, featuring lithograph prints and an oversized album booklet, is available at the band’s website.  If you spring for that one, which costs about $35, you’ll get early access to tickets for the band’s 2015 tour.

Smoke + Mirrors, recorded at Imagine Dragons’ new home studio, is described as containing “raw tension and intense vulnerability,” as well as “sharply-crafted beats and grooves.”  It’s the follow-up to their best-selling 2012 disc, Night Visions.  A trailer about the making of Smoke + Mirrors is streaming now on VEVO.

Here’s the Smoke + Mirrors track list:

“Smoke and Mirrors”
“I’m So Sorry”
“I Bet My Life”
“It Comes Back to You”
“Hopeless Opus”
“The Fall”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Gwen Stefani Says New Music “Feels Like Exactly Where I’m At Right Now”

Daniel Sannwald/Mad Love/Interscope RecordsNBC’s The Voice is closing out its seventh season Tuesday night, which means Gwen Stefani can start focusing on finishing her first solo album since 2006.  We’ve already heard a couple of singles from the project — “Spark the Fire” and “Baby Don’t Lie” — and Gwen says her main goal is to make sure all her material is “great.”

“I’m still working on it,” she told reporters in New York City Friday night when asked about the album.  “But it’s really just trying to make great songs.”

As for what the disc sounds like, Gwen said, “It’s consistent with, I think, things I’ve done in the past, but also feels very much like…’Spark the Fire’ is a good example.  It just feels like exactly where I’m at right now.”

Still, Gwen feels like she’s not sure what the finished product will sound like when she’s finally done.  “You never know.  You can’t really plan it,” she laughs. “It’s just, as songs come out, they’re like miracles. So, like children, you don’t know what you’re gonna get!”

That’s a topic Gwen definitely knows something about, considering she and her husband Gavin Rossdale have three sons, including baby Apollo Bowie Flynn, born earlier this year.

In addition to her solo album, Gwen recently told Rolling Stone that she plans on making another album with No Doubt as well.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

“The Voice” Recap: The Final Four Take the Stage to Perform Three Songs

Trae Patton/NBCThe final four artists on NBC’s The Voice went head-to-head one final time on Monday night, again performing for viewers’ votes to determine who will be crowned this season’s winner. Host Carson Daly revealed that each contestant would perform three songs: one their coach picked; a duet with their coach and an original tune. The artists also released original videos for their new songs.

Adam Levine has three artists in the finals while Blake Shelton has one.  Pharrell Williams’ and Gwen Stefani’s teams have been eliminated.

The first performance of the night came from Team Adam’s Damien, who was given Donny Hathaway’s version of “A Song for You” by his coach. Blake complimented the singer on the incredible power of every note he sings, as well as his great sense of pitch. Pharrell also praised Damien’s power, saying the singer “took him to church.” Adam said Damien “lifted everybody,” and added that it was his best performance of the competition.

Team Blake’s Craig Wayne Boyd, was next with his original song. Blake chose “My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face,” a song Blake said he had been carrying around for years. Blake said he felt it was a hit, but was afraid to record because it was “so freakin’ hard to sing.” After a long round of applause following his performance, Pharrell told Craig, “Welcome to your future.” Gwen agreed and said Craig was “ready to pick.” Blake was happy with his artist’s performance, declaring the song was meant for him.

Next up, Adam Levine joined his artist Chris Jamison for a duet on Robin Thicke’s soulful “Lost without U.” The coaches didn’t offer any comments after the performance, but it drew cheers from the audience and a standing ovation from Gwen.

Another Team Adam contestant, Barnegat, New Jersey’s Matt McAndrew, performed the original song, “Wasted Love,” backed by a choir. Adam said he was attracted to the tune because it was “soul, from a different era.” It brought the crowd to its feet. Gwen said she got “lost in the performance.” Adam said he was proud of his artist and proclaimed that he was also a fan.

Shelton and Craig Wayne Boyd then performed their duet, Randy Houser’s “Boots On.” Once again, the coaches’ comments were skipped, although the Nashville, Tennessee, resident brought Adam to his feet as the audience cheered loudly.

Damien, the former TSA agent, returned to perform Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” with his coach, Adam Levine. The coaches’ comments were skipped once again, but the audience voiced their approval with spirited applause.

Team Adam’s Chris Jamison returned to perform the original song, “Velvet.” Pharrell declared, “A star was born on this television show,” noting Jamison, a campus mailman at his college, Capital University in Ohio, has grown dramatically as an artist. Adam praised Jamison, declaring he was “blown away” by the performance.

Matt McAndrew and his coach Adam Levine teamed up next on the song “Lost Stars,” from the film Begin Again. Adam made his acting debut as a musician named Dave Kohl in the film.

Team Blake’s Craig Wayne Boyd was up next with his coach’s pick, “In Pictures,” by Alabama. Boyd dedicated it to his two-year-old son. It brought Gwen to her feet. She said she was happy for the artist. Blake thought it was a great statement about the point that Craig has now entered in his life and where he’s headed.

Team Adam’s Damien performed his final song of the night, the original tune “Soldier.” Adam said he had listened to “a hundred songs” before finding this one and chose it because it seemed to sum up what Damien is all about, noting the Monroe, Louisiana, native is a “strong person.” Adam gushed that the performance made him “the happiest coach in the world.”

Adam’s coach’s pick for Chris Jamison was Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River.” It drew some of the loudest applause of the night and brought Pharrell to his feet. Adam said Jamison was his “young Jedi,” and added, “Welcome and congratulations.”

Team Adam’s Matt McAndrew closed out the show with an emotional version of his coach’s pick “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” from the film The Wizard of Oz. Gwen called it a “beautiful performance,” adding McAndrew is “original and pure” and has an ability to connect with the audience. Pharrell noted that he’s watched Matt “walk through walls” of categories and classifications because he simply has a great voice. Adam thought the rendition was “bittersweet and perfect,” adding “The universe just paused for a second.”

The Season 7 winner of The Voice will be revealed on Tuesday night’s results show, airing on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Justin Bieber Confirms He’s “Super Single”

Ben WattsJustin Bieber confirmed Monday that he is not dating Hailey Baldwin, contrary to rumors.

The 20-year-old singer posted a black-and-white photo of himself with the 18-year-old model on Instagram and wrote, “People are crazy. I’m super single and this is my good friend u would know otherwise.”

Baldwin then tweeted, “Hope that clarifies everything for everyone. rumors are silly!”

The pals have been spending a lot of time together lately. Us Weekly reported they celebrated Baldwin’s birthday together in NYC on November 19, along with Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and reconnected again in Los Angeles. On December 13, they were spotted hiking in Runyon Canyon and the next day they grabbed dinner together in Beverly Hills.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Jordin Sparks Releases New Single, Confirms New Album “Right Here, Right Now”

Image Group LA/ABCNot long ago, Jordin Sparks released a mixtape, #BYEFELICIA, which made headlines for its diss track aimed at her ex, Jason Derulo.  Now Jordin has released an official single, “It Ain’t You,” via all the major online retailers.

The track will appear on Jordin’s new album, Right Here, Right Now, which will be her third studio album, and her first since 2009′s Battlefield.  The album will also include tracks from the mixtape.  The album will arrive on Louder than Life, a record label founded by Grammy-nominated producer Salaam Remi, who’s worked with Fergie, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys and Ne-Yo, among others.

“I am very excited to be working alongside Salaam Remi on my next album,” said Jordin in a statement. “Together, we have created something special. I’m very proud of it and can’t wait to share it!”

There’s no release date as yet for the album.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

World Tour Planned for Madonna in 2015?

Stephen KleinMadonna has been teasing fans all year with hints about her new music, but it appears as though we’re not going to hear it — officially, anyway — until 2015.  But the good news is that reportedly the Queen of Pop has a huge world tour planned for next year to support the new disc.

A source tells the British paper The Mirror that Madonna is in early talks about the shows, and adds, “This is going to be one very special tour.  Madonna wants to pull out all the stops, especially because it is 30 years since the Virgin Tour.”  That tour, which was Madonna’s first headlining trek, took place in 1985.  If the new one happens, it’ll be her 10th tour overall.

Madonna’s last trek, the MDNA Tour, wrapped up in December of 2012 and was the year’s highest-grossing tour.  It was also the second highest-grossing tour ever by a female artist, behind Madonna’s own Sticky & Sweet tour, which ran from 2008 to 2009.

Meanwhile, Madonna is still angry about the fact that some of her new songs leaked, and that people are posting unreleased photos of her online.  She shared one such photo on Instagram and wrote, “This is a…photo i did not release. I do not make money from the release of any of my photos. But other people do! I am asking my true fans and supporters who respect me as an artist and a human to not get involved with the purchasing trading or posting of unreleased images or music.”

She added, “I hope and pray we find the source of the leaks soon. Until then i am grateful for any leads or info and even more grateful for your support and loyalty! Please let me finish my work so i can give you my very best!”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Sam Smith Now Seeing a Guy Who Was an Extra in His New Video

(Image Group LA/ABCSam Smith‘s album In the Lonely Hour was partly inspired by his unrequited love for a straight man.  But now Sam’s no longer heartbroken: he’s seeing a new guy he met on the set of his latest video.

“It’s very early days. I’m talking very, very, very early days. But he’s really sweet,” Sam tells The Sun about the guy, whose name is Jonathan.  “I met him on the video for ‘Like I Can.’ He was one of 20 extras.  It’s a surreal thing to be talking about because I haven’t even confirmed with him that we’re officially seeing each other. He’ll probably hear about this now.”

Sam also notes that he’s “completely over the guy who the record’s about so that really helps. We’re still in touch and friends. But I was the only one in the relationship.”

While Sam may be happy about his new relationship, he warns that fans shouldn’t expect him to stay this way forever.

“People need to realize I’m never going to be happy. The reason I do what I do is because I’m an artist who is always going to be blue about something. It’s just the way I am — I’m an emotional person,” he tells The Sun.  “I’m going to go fall in love with as many people as I can and get my heart broken.”

But Sam says he considers it a step in the right direction that he’s “taking time for a personal life.”  He adds, “I’m not over-thinking stuff. I’m more aware now of who I am as a person. I feel very comfortable in myself, more than ever.”

In other Sam Smith news, In the Lonely Hour, which is Grammy-nominated, has officially been certified platinum.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Gwen Stefani & Pharrell Williams to Perform Together on “People” Magazine Awards

Trae Patton/NBCWhen the People Magazine Awards air this Thursday night on NBC, three out of four coaches on The Voice will be taking the stage.

Maroon 5 has already been announced as one of the performers on the show, and now Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams are joining the lineup.  The two will get together to perform “Spark the Fire,” Gwen’s new single.  Also on the bill: Aussie pop/punkers 5 Seconds of Summer.

Nick Cannon hosts the show, which will look back on the year in pop culture.  Other stars attending include Jon Hamm, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Midy Kaling, Kevin Hart, Michael Keaton, Jennifer Lopez, Josh Groban and Kate Upton, among others. It airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT, live from the Beverly Hilton.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio