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.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Meghan Trainor Was “Addicted to Diets” Before Embracing Her Curves

Brooke NiparBefore she was singing about “bringing booty back” and embracing her curves, Meghan Trainor had to fight low self-esteem just like the rest of us. The 21-year-old singer admitted to U.K.’s Reveal that she used to be “addicted to diets,” and tried to follow Beyonce‘s weight-loss secret.

Meghan tells the publication that her insecurities began in school when her best guy friend told her she’d be “so hot” if she lost ten pounds. She said she rushed home and told her mom she was “never eating again.” That’s when she started researching fad diets online.

“I Googled, ‘What does Beyonce do?’ and decided I’d try the detox diet with cayenne pepper,” Meghan recalled. “Do you know how much I had to drink to get used to it? It was so gross. I stopped straight away. I was like, ‘This is not normal.’”

Meghan said she’s since met Beyonce, who’s a fan of her music, and credits her for having a “real figure” in a business where many women feel they have to be skin and bones.

“I definitely feel like I’m 30 and I’ve been through a lot,” the 21-year-old singer said. “I haven’t experienced anything crucial or devastating. But I got addicted to weird little diets and I quickly realized how stupid it was.”

Meghan said that when she first wrote her #1 Grammy-nominated hit “All About That Bass,” it was more about how she wished she felt, rather than how she actually felt, about her body. But once she started performing and getting positive feedback, she says, she started to feel more confident.  Now, she encourages her friends to love their bodies.

“I’m just 100 percent happier than I was,” she said. “The trick I tell my girlfriends now is that you have to say it out loud. You haven’t got to nearly kill yourself on these diets. You just have to look in the mirror and tell yourself, ‘Damn I look good today!’”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Today Is the 30th Anniversary of “We Are the World” Recording Session

USA for AfricaThirty years ago today, dozens of top musicians came together to record “We Are the World,” the successful charity single that raised money for hunger victims in Africa.

The song, which was written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, came on the heels of the British charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” It was recorded in Hollywood after the 1985 American Music Awards, and featured a who’s who of popular artists from that time.  The artists recorded under the name USA for Africa.

In addition to Richie and Jackson, the song also featured Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan, and Ray Charles.

The all-star chorus included Dan Aykroyd, Harry Belafonte, Lindsey Buckingham, Sheila E., Bob Geldof, Bette Midler, Waylon Jennings, John Oates, Jeffrey Osborne, The Pointer Sisters, Smokey Robinson, and Michael Jackson’s siblings, Jackie, La Toya, Marlon, Randy, and Tito.

Richie tells USA Today that he and Jackson listened to various national anthems in order to get into their minds into writing a “world anthem.” “We didn’t want a normal-sounding song,” recalls Richie. “We wanted bombastic, the biggest thing you got.”

Billy Joel told ABC News Radio in 2005 that when he first heard the track, he wasn’t impressed at all.  “I wasn’t that crazy about the song.  I think that was my main memory of that,” he recalled. “It was, ‘Oh, this is the song?’…It sounded like a Pepsi commercial!”

The recording session on January 28, 1985 at A&M Recording Studios in Hollywood began at 9 p.m. and lasted 12 hours.  The artists were greeted by a sign that read, “Check your egos at the door.”

Quincy Jones, who produced the track, recalls that the sign wasn’t necessary. “Here you had 46 of the biggest recording stars in the entire world in one room, to help people in a far-off place who were in desperate need,” Jones tells USA Today.

“I don’t think that night, that experience, will ever truly be duplicated again,” says Jones, adding, “I know and believe in the power of music to bring people together for the betterment of mankind, and there may be no better example of this than the collective that was ‘We Are the World.’”

Following its release in March 7, 1985, “We Are the World” sold more than 20 million copies and raised more than 60 million dollars for famine relief in Africa. It went on to win three Grammy Awards.

An updated version of the song was recorded in 2010 to help victims of the Haiti earthquake. It featured Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Adam Levine and Kanye West, among others.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Enrique Iglesias Accused of Stealing His 2014 Hit, “Bailando”?

ABC/Lorenzo BevilaquaEnrique Iglesias is reportedly being sued over his 2014 hit, “Bailando,” by two songwriters who claim he stole the tune from them.

According to TMZ, Cristian Escuti and German Schulz claim “Bailando” is a rip-off of a song they recorded in 2009 called “Quiero Bailar Contigo.” The pair claim they sent the tune to a Sony executive in 2012, but never heard back.

The songwriters claim the melody, lyrics, rhythm and chorus line of “Bailando” were taken from their tune.  The pair claims Sony had partial ownership of the tune, and conspired to steal it from them.

TMZ says Escuti and Schulz are particularly angry that “Bailando” was Iglesias’ biggest song from his Sex and Love album, and the video has nearly 690 million views on YouTube.

TMZ claims they requested a copy of ”Quiero Bailar Contigo,” but Escuti and Schulz’s attorney said his clients wouldn’t let him send it to the them.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani Performing at the Grammys

ABC/Ida Mae AstuteLady Gaga and Tony Bennett, who are nominated for a Grammy for their duet album Cheek to Cheek, will be performing at the ceremony next month.

Gaga announced Tuesday on Twitter, “Me and @itstonybennett are so excited to announce we will be performing at #TheGrammys this year! Thank you to @TheGRAMMYs and our fans!”

Cheek to Cheek is nominated in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category.

Grammy organizers have also announced that Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani will take the stage together. Gwen served as a coach alongside Adam on the fall 2014 season of The Voice.

Pharrell, Sam Smith, Madonna, AC/DC, Ed Sheeran, Usher, and Ariana Grande will also perform at the Grammys, which will air February 8 on CBS.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Lifehouse Announces New Album, Premieres Lead Single “Hurricane”

Ironworks Records/Kobalt Label ServicesLifehouse is back with new music. The band has announced details of their upcoming album, and premiered their new single “Hurricane” on Billboard.com.

Out of the Wasteland, the band’s first new release since 2012’s Almería, will arrive May 19. “There was a kind of unlearning with this album,” says frontman Jason Wade. “We wanted to retrace our steps back to the beginning and really find the innocence, that feeling of being 17-year-old kids who get excited about playing in the garage.”

The album’s lead single, “Hurricane,” represents the type of return to its roots that the band was going for. “‘Hurricane’ started as a catchy up-tempo pop song and then transformed into this electric, energetic rock song that was very reminiscent of our first album,” Jason tells Billboard. “I feel like it is the backbone of the record, and was the catalyst that brought our band back around full circle.”

The video for the song features the band playing behind bars, and cuts to scenes of a couple working out their issues in the chaotic setting of a prison. “Hurricane” is currently the iTunes’ Single of the Week and is available for free download.

Here’s the track list for Out of the Wasteland, Lifehouse’s seventh studio album:

“One for the Pain”
“Firing Squad”
“Central Park”
“Hurt This Way”
“Yesterday’s Son”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

One Direction, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran & Calvin Harris Named Among Most Influential Brits

Jeff Daly/NBCOne Direction, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and Calvin Harris made this year’s annual Debrett’s 500 list of most influential Brits.

They were featured in the music section of the list, alongside producer and X Factor judge and creator Simon Cowell.. According to Debrett’s, a publisher specializing in British etiquette and style, the annual music list “shines a spotlight on the people who are making the most impact on this fast-changing industry, from the recording artists and record label executives, to the radio playlist-setters, music critics and the people changing the face of the music industry in the digital age.”

The unranked list features the most influential people in the U.K. across 24 disciplines including art, stage & screen, business & industry, sports and politics.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

MAGIC! & Kiesza Top Juno Awards Nominations

Image Group LA/ABCThe 2015 Juno Awards nominations were announced Tuesday, and MAGIC! leads the pack.

The “Rude” group from Toronto nabbed five nominations, including Pop Album of the Year, Single of the Year and Breakthrough Group of the Year. “Hideaway” singer Kiesza, a fellow Canadian, follows close behind with four nominations, including Single of the Year and Breakthrough Artist of the Year. 

Other Canadian nominees include Avril Lavigne, Nickelback — whose lead singer Chad Kroeger is married to Avril — and Sarah McLachlan.  Also nominated is You + Me, the side project of Pink and singer-songwriter Dallas Green.  Pink’s not Canadian, of course, but Dallas is.

Other big nominees include Katy Perry, Lorde, One Direction, Sam Smith and Taylor Swift – who are all up for International Album of the Year.

The Juno Awards, Canada’s equivalent of the Grammys, will be held on March 15 in Hamilton, Ontario. A full list of nominees can be found on JunoAwards.ca.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.