Gavin DeGraw to Perform at Super Bowl’s NFL Tailgate Party This Sunday

James Minchin III/RCA RecordsAdd Gavin DeGraw to the list of performers at Sunday’s Super Bowl. 

Gavin, along with country star Dierks [derks] Bentley, will be performing at the NFL Tailgate Party as part of the pregame festivities at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona.  A portion of each singer’s performance will air live during NBC’s Super Bowl Sunday pregame show.

The pregame show will also feature John Legend singing “America the Beautiful,” while Idina Menzel will belt out the national anthem.  Katy Perry, of course, will headline the halftime show.



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Big Sean Gushes About “Special” Relationship with Ariana Grande

ABC/Kelsey McNealWe’ve known for months that Big Sean and Ariana Grande are dating, but now we’re hearing Big Sean gush about his girl. In a new cover story with Complex, the 26-year-old rapper opens up about his “special” relationship with the 21-year-old singer and frequent collaborator.

Sean, who was previously engaged to Glee’s Naya Rivera, tells the mag he has a “new chick that [he’s] gotta thank God for.” He says he and Ariana first met at a Christmas show in 2011 and struck up a conversation. Ariana told him she was a fan of his music and the two became fast friends.

“We started as friends,” Sean says. “I’d never done that. Usually you meet a girl and then start dating. We always saw each other in the studio, and we’d talk about songs we were working on. It was cool to have a girl that I could talk to about my problems. I did that with her…This is something special and I appreciate every moment of it.”

Big Seas says he tries to avoid media scrutiny of their relationship and doesn’t allow the pressure to get to him. “I don’t think about it like that,” he says. “You can’t be afraid, because when you’re afraid you don’t give it your all.”

Sean and Ariana first collaborated on the song “Right There” from Ariana’s debut album, Yours Truly. Sean also appeared on Ariana’s hit “Problem,” and another track on her current album, My Everything, called “Best Mistake.” They confirmed their relationship after they were seen walking hand-in-hand backstage at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards last August.



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Mark Ronson Named Ambassador of Grammy Amplifier Program

Florent DechardBruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” collaborator and producer extraordinaire Mark Ronson has just been named the ambassador of the 3rd annual Grammy Amplifier program.

The online music initiative, sponsored by Hyundai and The Recording Academy, aims to mentor aspiring artists and provide them with the opportunity to showcase their talent.

Mark, a three-time Grammy winning producer, will help evaluate online submissions and choose the program’s three winners. The winners will individually be awarded one of the following prizes: A studio recording session with a Grammy winning producer; filming and starring in their own music video with a noted director; or securing an opening act spot for an established musician and/or at a music festival.

The program is currently accepting submissions at GrammyAmplifier.com. Based on their track plays and social media performance, the top 25 finalists will be brought together for a mentorship experience, and then narrowed down by program curators to a short list of finalists. The program’s curators this year are The Band Perry, Ziggy Marley, and singer/songwriter Allen Stone. Mark will pick the three winners and decide which winner gets what prize.



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Sam Smith Says He’ll Give Beyonce His Grammy if He Wins

Image Group LA/ABCIn a revealing new cover story for Rolling Stone, Sam Smith admits he wouldn’t mind losing a Grammy to Beyoncé, says he wants abs like Justin Bieber, and reveals he doesn’t like it when people call him the “male Adele.”

The 22-year-old is a huge fan of Beyoncé — there’s even been video of him singing “Drunk In Love” in the shower, posted online.  But Sam, who’s facing off against his idol in the Album of the Year category at the Grammys next month, insists he’d rather see Queen Bey win. “She deserves it way more than I do,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I’d be embarrassed if I got it over her. If I got it, I’d give it to her.”

Sam’s also a huge Adele fan and calls her “my Michael Jackson,” but he doesn’t like being compared to her. “We’re very different, and I feel like the constant comparisons might piss her off,” he says, adding, “It just annoys me that people can’t digest two pop stars singing really personal songs who don’t look like normal pop stars.”

That’s not to say Sam doesn’t have moments where he wants to look like a “normal pop star.” He admits he’s on a cayenne-pepper juice diet in order to lose some weight before the Grammys. “I’m just very body-conscious,” he said. “Sometimes I’m really proud that I don’t look like other pop stars. But there’s also moments where I’m like, ‘Ugh, I wish I had abs like Bieber.’”

In a Rolling Stone video, he even joked, “I prefer food to music and sex… and my family.”

Sam’s cover story hits stands Friday, January 30.



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Rihanna Performing with Kanye West & Paul McCartney at the Grammys?

Westbury Road Entertainment/Roc Nation RecordsIf rumors are to be believed, Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney will be taking the stage at the Grammys next month to perform their new collaboration, “FourFiveSeconds.”

“Rihanna’s seriously pleased to have bagged a big slot at The Grammys and two huge names to kick off her comeback,” a source told The Sun. “Paul McCartney’s a Grammys regular and it will give Rihanna serious kudos to have a Beatle backing her on stage. It is going to be a huge Grammys moment.”

Paul plays on the track while Rihanna and Kanye share vocals. “FourFiveSeconds” debuted last Saturday, with Rihanna describing it on Twitter as “FIRST GLIMPSE AT MY NEW MUSIC!” The singer hasn’t put out a new album since 2012’s Unapologetic.

While a Grammy performance by the trio has yet to be officially confirmed, there are plenty of other big names who are definitely taking the stage, such as Madonna, Ed Sheeran, Adam Levine, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Usher, Gwen Stefani, Hozier and more. The 57th Annual Grammy Awards will take place February 8 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.



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Fall Out Boy Scores Third #1 Album, Taylor Holds at #2

Island Records/DCD2 RecordsFall Out Boy has once again proven their staying power: their new album, American Beauty/American Pyscho, featuring the hit “Centuries,” has debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart. 

This is the band’s second #1 album in a row, following 2013′s Save Rock and Roll, and their third overall: Infinity on High debuted at #1 in 2007.  The album debuts with 218,000 album units sold, according to Nielsen Music, and as Billboard notes, that’s the the second-best sales week of Fall Out Boy’s entire career, and their largest since 2007.

Thanks to American Beauty/American Psycho and last week’s #1 debut, Meghan Trainor‘s Title, this marks the first time since 2010 that two debut albums released in January — which is usually a weak sales month — have scored first-week sales of more than 150,000 copies.

Meanwhile, Taylor Swift‘s 1989, which was knocked out of the #1 spot by Meghan’s album last week, holds at #2.  Meghan’s album falls to #3, and Ed Sheeran’s X (Multiply) remains at #4.

The top 10 sees debuts by new albums by alternative rockers The Decemberists, veteran shock rocker Marilyn Manson, and rapper Joey Bada$$.


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Rita Ora to Perform Oscar-Nominated Song at the Academy Awards

Image Group LA/ABCBrit singer Rita Ora had a career breakthrough 2014, thanks to “Black Widow,” her collaboration with Iggy Azalea. Now she’s getting 2015 off to a great start by booking a performance at the Academy Awards.

Rita will perform the Oscar-nominated song “Grateful” at the telecast, airing February 22 on ABC and hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.  The song was written by veteran hitmaker Diane Warren for the movie Beyond the Lights; it’s Warren’s seventh Oscar nod. 

Rita will release a new album in the spring and will appear in the upcoming movies 50 Shades of Grey and Southpaw.

Rita joins other Oscar performers Adam Levine, who’ll sing the nominated song “Lost Stars” from the movie Begin Again, and John Legend and rapper Common, who’ll perform the nominated song “Glory,” from the movie Selma.  The other nominees are “Everything Is Awesome,” from The Lego Movie, and “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” from the movie Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me.  Country music legend Glen Campbell will likely not be able to appear to perform the latter song, because he’s currently suffering from Alzheimer’s.

The 87th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 22 and air on ABC starting at 7 p.m. ET.



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Iggy Azalea “Excited and Nervous” About Her Grammy Outfit

ABC/Randy HolmesIggy Azalea‘s nominated for four Grammys this year, and she says the biggest issue she has with getting ready for the February 8 ceremony isn’t what she might perform, or what she might say in her acceptance speech…it’s what she’s planning to wear.

“I think the dress is the biggest preparation for a woman on Grammy night,” the Australian rapper told Billboard.  “So I’ve been working with a designer who’s been making me a dress that’s just for me — with me in mind — so I’m really excited about seeing that come to life.”

Iggy says that unlike most of her red carpet choices, her Grammy dress will essentially be a surprise: she has no idea what it’s going to look like, but she does know the color.

“Usually I see it and I pick it, so I’m a bit nervous, but I’m very excited,” she told Billboard. “It’s blue!”

In addition to prepping for the Grammys, Iggy is also working on a new album and preparing for her Great Escape tour, which gets under way in April.  Iggy told Billboard that even though it’s exciting to perform in big cities like L.A. when she’s on tour, there’s a lot to be said about playing smaller towns.

“Sometimes it’s really nice to go to the towns that might have an arena but don’t really have a lot going on,” she explains. “Because they’re super excited and they always, like, scream the easiest and the loudest and it’s the most fun.”

“There are other places like L.A. where it is harder to get that hyper-fan-crying situation, ‘cause they’re used to seeing, you know, celebrities in the supermarket next to them,” she adds.  The pros of L.A., though, are that it’s easier to get her friends and her boyfriend to come see her there.

The Great Escape tour kicks off April 14 in Fresno, California.


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Taylor Swift Declares Herself “Dead” Following Madonna Praise

Big Machine RecordsWhen Taylor Swift released her album 1989 last year, it became somewhat of an online joke that many of her fans described themselves as “dead” or “dying” because they were so blown away by her and her music.  Now, Taylor’s using that same language to describe how she feels about a compliment paid to her by one of the biggest stars in music history.

According to Yahoo Australia, while speaking to an Australian TV show, Madonna said the following about Taylor: “It’s good to have princesses [of pop]. It means there’s lots of pretty dresses around. I like Taylor Swift. I think she writes some really catchy pop songs. I can’t get them out of my head.”

Taylor reposted Madonna’s comment on her Tumblr page, and then wrote, “Thanks now I’m dead.“  She added the hashtags “#HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DEAL WITH THIS,” and “#BE COOL TAYLOR STOP BEING EMBARRASSING.”



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Uh-Oh, Awkward: John Mayer to Welcome Ed Sheeran as Guest When He Hosts “The Late Late Show”

ABC/Randy Holmes; ABC/Lou Rocco; Christie GoodwinJohn Mayer will be stepping in as a host on CBS’ The Late Late Show next month, and he has some interesting guests lined up, including a guy who’s BFFs with — awkward! — a woman he allegedly once dated.

John will be behind the desk recently vacated by Craig Ferguson from February 4 through February 6.  On his first night, he’ll welcome Bravo’s Andy Cohen, of Watch What Happens fame.  On Thursday the 5th, his guest will be Jim Carrey.  And on Friday the 6th, two nights before the Grammy Awards, his guest will be Ed Sheeran, who’s up for four Grammys this year, including Album of the Year. 

But will things be weird between Ed and John?  After all, Ed is one of Taylor Swift‘s best friends, and John not only reportedly dated Taylor, he did her wrong enough to allegedly inspire the song “Dear John” on her album Speak Now.   Taylor, of course, has never admitted that the song is about John, and called him “presumptuous” in Glamour magazine for thinking that it was.  But a couple of years ago, John told Rolling Stone that “Dear John” “humiliated” him.

“It made me feel terrible,” he said at the time.  “Because I didn’t deserve it. I’m pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do.” He added, “It’s abusing your talent to rub your hands together and go, ‘Wait till he gets a load of this!’”

John later released a song called “Paper Doll” that everyone assumed was about Taylor.


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