Bono Says U2 Was Paid by Apple for Free Album Giveaway

Interscope RecordsU2 is offering its new album, Songs of Innocence, for free on iTunes. But the band has still cashed in on the release.

U2 frontman Bono tells Time magazine he and his band mates were paid by Apple for the giveaway, though he wouldn’t say how much. He says, “I don’t believe in free music. Music is a sacrament.”

As for why U2 went the digital route to debut their new songs, Bono declared, “The charts are broken,” meaning there are many ways for listeners to consume music nowadays.

Songs of Innocence was posted on iTunes Tuesday afternoon, following Apple’s announcement of the Apple Watch and the iPhone 6. U2 will put out a physical edition of the album on October 13.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Britney Spears Launches New Lingerie Collection in NYC

ABC NewsUnfortunately, Tuesday’s New York City launch of The Intimate Britney Spears Collection — Britney’s new line of lingerie and sleepwear — did not feature the star prancing down the runway in a bra and panties.  But there were more than enough scantily clad women onstage to make up for that.

The unveiling of Britney’s collection took place at, of all places, the New York City Public Library, in a beautiful room with a glass dome, with a white carpet, white chairs and chocolates with Britney wrappers for everyone.  The curtains on the stage parted to reveal a room done up like a simply decorated boudoir, with an old-fashioned gramophone in the corner. 

“The softest blush of roses, playing peek-a-boo on sheer nylon,” said Britney’s voice on the sound system. “Paint me satin, embroider me with mother-of-pearl.  Paint me feminine with a bow, and let me feel like a little girl.  This is the art of being a woman and remembering the feelings of a girl. The Intimate Britney Spears collection.”

What followed was a brief fashion show, where a variety of models of all races came out, one by one, onto the boudoir stage and modeled Britney’s creations.  The looks included everything from nightgowns and lounging pajamas, to sexy black bras, panties and garters, kimonos, bustiers, high-waisted panties and more innocent-looking lingerie sets.  The only thing each woman had in common was a large flower in her hair: there are ten individual lines, each one named after a flower, including Camellia and Ambrosia.

“This is what it looks like: a look that can hypnotize a man, and empower a woman,” said Britney in voice-over.  “The intimate Britney Spears collection, inspired by silk, silhouettes and promises.”

Finally, Britney herself took the stage, wearing a bright red, sleeveless jumpsuit with a plunging neckline.  “I wanna thank the beautiful models today, and all of you for coming,” she told the crowd. “This is something I’ve been working on for two and a half years, I’m really, really passionate about it and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I have. Thank you all for coming.”  And then she was gone.

She later tweeted, “What an incredible experience! THANK YOU New York for being such a beautiful audience.”  Look for Britney on ABC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday, where she’ll chat more about her new venture.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

U2 Releases New Album, “Songs of Innocence,” as a Free Download on iTunes

Image Courtesy Interscope RecordsAs had been rumored, U2 made a not-so-surprise appearance Tuesday afternoon at a Cupertino, California Apple corporate launch event for the new Apple Watch and iPhone 6.  There, the band made news of its own: their .long-in-the-works new album is now available, right now, free on iTunes.

The album, Songs of Innocence, was made immediately available for free download to half a billion iTunes store customers and users of the Music app on iOS devices.  According to the band’s website, the album will be released in a physical edition on October 13 together with a 24-page booklet.

Also available will be a deluxe, gatefold double album, containing an acoustic session of songs from the album and four additional tracks, as well as a gatefold double vinyl LP edition with an exclusive remix of one of the bonus tracks, “The Crystal Ballroom.”  No word yet if there’ll be yet another U2-branded iPod to go along with the new music, like the one Apple released back in 2006.

Here’s the Songs of Innocence track list:

“The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)”
“Every Breaking Wave”
“California (There Is No End To Love)”
“Song For Someone”
“Iris (Hold Me Close)”
“Raised By Wolves”
“Cedarwood Road”
“Sleep Like A Baby Tonight”
“This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now”
“The Troubles”

Deluxe edition bonus tracks:
“Lucifer’s Hands”
“The Crystal Ballroom”
“The Troubles (Alternative version)”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Demi Lovato Working on New Album

ABC/Ida Mae AstuteDemi Lovato recently launched a world tour, but before she hit the road, she found time to get in the studio and start creating some new music for her fans. 

Demi told MTV that she’s been working on a new album, explaining, “I think that I’ll be so extremely busy with the world tour it won’t come out for a while, but I have started, and have worked on some stuff that is really amazing, and I can’t wait for people to hear it.”

She describes the album’s sound as “more organic,” and adds, “I’m ready to take it to a whole other level.”

However, Demi’s less sure about what genre the new album will be.  “Sometimes I’ll say I want to make a more country album or I want to make a more rock album or I want to make an R&B album and it’s like, I will never know until all the songs are on the actual album,” she tells MTV. “Because what happens is, I love all different types of music, I’m literally influenced by every single type of music there is.”

Demi adds, “I’ll never know until I decide which songs are on the album and it may be a compilation of different types and it may all just be pop or it may take on a life of its own….Most of [my songs] are pop, but I don’t define myself as one thing or another. I’m just me.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sam Smith & Ariana Grande Love Each Other’s Music; Sam Gets MTV EMA Nomination

ABC/Lou RoccoIt’s safe to say that two of the best voices in pop music right now belong to Ariana Grande and Sam Smith.  Unsurprisingly, they’re fans of one another, as they demonstrated on Twitter recently.

It started with Sam, who tweeted, “Listening to this album. Holy s**t it’s good.”  Ariana retweeted Sam’s comment and added, “u are incredible! Thank u so so much.”

In other Sam Smith news, he’s received a nomination for the MTV European Music Awards, in the category of Best U.K. & Ireland act.  His competition includes One Direction, Calvin Harris and Ed Sheeran, plus a yet-to-be-named fifth candidate, for whom fans can vote.  You can choose from Rita Ora, Clean Bandit, Arctic Monkeys, The Vamps, Cheryl Cole, and Coldplay.

The MTV EMAs will take place in Glasgow, Scotland November 9.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio  

Lady Gaga Says She’ll Cover Up for Dubai Concert

Trae Patton/NBCLady Gaga will perform in Dubai on Wednesday, marking her first live show in the United Arab Emirates.  If you’re wondering how her trademark outrageous onstage dress will go over in the conservative country, no worries — the singer says she’ll respect local customs and dress modestly for her performance.

The Hollywood Reporter says Gaga, who generally strips down to nearly nothing when she’s onstage, said at a press conference Monday night that she’ll tone things down in Dubai.  “I respect the culture here, and this show will be appropriate for all the fans here in Dubai,” she told reporters. Indeed, she met the press wearing a long gown that covered her legs, arms and shoulders.

Gaga also said that in addition to her costumes, she’s changed parts of her show, so as not to offend.  “I know there are some artists that are very strict about their policies of adhering to their art and not compromising, but I actually think it’s important to respect other cultures and not force them to adhere to the beliefs of your own country,” she explained. “In fact, I think it’s a better way to connect with the people and to connect a message.”

Gaga also tweeted a photo of herself with fans at the airport, writing, “ I can’t tell you how much it means to be welcome to the Middle East. I hope during this trip I can show my true self, with a message of acceptance, tolerance, a respect for individuals of all cultures.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Another Boy for Shakira?

Kayt Jones/ RCA RecordsLooks like Shakira will be surrounded by men in her house.  Her parents apparently told Hola! magazine — the Spanish version of Hello! — that their daughter is expecting another boy.  Shakira and her partner, soccer star Gerard Pique, welcomed son Milan in January of 2013.

The magazine quotes Shakira’s parents as saying the new arrival will be “another baby boy. A playmate for Milan.”  According to them, the couple has yet to select a name for the new baby.

ABC News Radio was unable to confirm the report.

In other Shakira news, she’s releasing a new fragrance.  According to her Twitter feed, it’s called Rock by Shakira, and it’s “coming soon.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Zedd on “Break Free:” Ariana Grande “Lives That Song”

Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABC“Break Free,” Ariana Grande‘s collaboration with Zedd, has become a massive hit.  While it’s Ariana’s first attempt at EDM, Zedd says she really got into the song…and its empowering lyrics as well.

“The lyrics changed a little bit when she put her thing on it,” Zedd tells ABC News Radio. “And I’m pretty sure if she wasn’t comfortable with the lyrics, she wouldn’t sing it. And I think the parts that she wasn’t very comfortable with, she changed. And I mean, she lives that song!”

While Ariana and Zedd have performed “Break Free” together onstage, they didn’t record it together in the studio.  As so many songs are done these days, it was created via email.

“Most of my songs, in fact, are unfortunately like that because it’s so hard to get two people together in the same place,” Zedd explains. “But we had a couple revisions and…Max Martin, who I wrote the song with, I’m really close with him, so I was kind of going back and forth with him.”

“He made sure everything I addressed was re-done and totally works,” adds Zedd. “And that’s how music is done nowadays, a lot of the times.”

So now that Zedd has scored three big hits with three women — Foxes, Hayley Williams and Ariana — who’s next on his list of dream collaborators?  Well, only the one woman who everyone else in the world wants to collaborate with.

“You know, one day I would love to work with Adele,” Zedd tells ABC News Radio. “That’s a dream of mine.”  But he’s also eager to expand into the rock world.

“I love Muse…I grew up listening to bands like Muse, Radiohead, Silverchair,” he says. “I would love to work with artists like that.” 

While Zedd waits for the rock gods to call, he’s got dates booked this month in Las Vegas and will also appear at a couple of festivals this fall, such as Austin City Limits.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio  

Usher Teams with Scholastic to Encourage Young Readers

Image Courtesy PR NewswireUsher has partnered with Scholastic to launch the “Open the World of Possible” initiative, which is designed to encourage children to find joy in reading.

The children’s publishing giant has tapped the singer to perform and host a live webcast, “Bigger than Words,” which will stream live from the Scholastic headquarters in New York City on November 6 at 1 p.m. ET.

“I established New Look, a charitable organization to assist young people to become leaders and to instill in them a belief that they can create change in their communities and around the world,” says Usher in a statement. “I’m excited to host the webcast with Scholastic to demonstrate to kids how reading frequently, and being a reading mentor to their friends and others in their community, can open doors to endless possibilities.”

In conjunction with the initiative, the Scholastic Possible Fund has announced plans to donate 100,000 books, which will benefit three leading non-profits that distribute books to children in need.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Did Katy Perry Respond to Taylor Swift Feud Rumors?

Cliff Lipson/CBS Ever since Taylor Swift‘s new Rolling Stone cover story went online, people have been speculating about who inspired one of the songs she talks about in the story — a put-down of an unnamed female artist.  Now, there’s some evidence that it might be Katy Perry to whom Taylor was referring.

Taylor told Rolling Stone that she wrote a song called “Bad Blood” about this particular artist, with whom she had a “frenemy” relationship.  “For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not,” Taylor explains. “She would come up to me at awards shows and say something and walk away, and I would think, ‘Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?”

But then, Taylor told the magazine, “She did something so horrible. I was like, ‘Oh, we’re just straight-up enemies’…She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me.”

Most of the speculation seems to center on Katy Perry — apparently, at one point, some of Taylor’s dancers left her tour to join Katy’s Prismatic tour.  But now, Katy appears to have acknowledged this speculation with a tweet saying, “Watch out for the Regina George in sheep’s clothing…”

Regina George is, of course, one of the main villains in the movie Mean Girls.  So, is Katy saying that Taylor is, secretly, herself a mean girl, and is putting on an innocent act?  Time will tell.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio