Pharrell Williams Receives Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, Says “I’m Humbled”

ABC/Randy Holmes

On Thursday, Pharrell Williams received the 2,537th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the W Hotel Hollywood. Over the course of his decade-long career, records he’s worked on have sold more than 100 million copies. He’s won seven Grammy Awards and he was responsible for two of 2013′s biggest songs — Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” — as well as one of 2014′s: “Happy.”

Before accepting the honor, the super producer received a warm welcome from Ellen DeGeneres, who was among the first to popularize “Happy:”  She first played the fun tune on The Ellen DeGeneres Show before it gained significant radio spins.

“You have made such an imprint on music, on people’s lives,” said Ellen. “You touch people.  It’s not just because you’re a brilliant producer, musician, singer-songwriter…it is because you are a kind soul. There is only one Pharrell and I’m so proud and lucky to call him my friend, I love you.”

She then recited a poem, entitled “Pharrell Forreal” which served as an acronym. “P is for pretty, H is for happy, but not the song because I just got that out of my head,” she joked. “A is for astronomy because you are a star… R is for rrrrr, because he’s sexy, and restaurant, because you love food. E is for Ellen because it’s not all about you, all the time. L is for lavatory because trust me, people will go to the bathroom on your star and there’s another L, and that is for love.”

The man of the hour then took to the podium and expressed his gratitude for the honor.

“First of all, I thank each and every last one of you guys who that are here today,” he told crowd. “For me, I say first and foremost God is the greatest, whether you recognize God or you call it the universe, whatever it is, certainly there are things that are far more bigger and more significant then we can ever be, so today to be considered and acknowledge on this level, is a huge thing for me. I’m humbled by it.”

The singer reflected on those who attributed to the success, saying, “I was once encouraged by — they call them teachers  — but I call them the folks that conspired to get me here — my music teachers and my grandmother, who brought me my first snare drum…that’s all I thought about was music.”  He added, “I just wanted the opportunity to create something that was good enough for people to hear on the radio.”

The Voice coach also made sure to thank his fans for supporting his career.

“You can have talent, and you can have skill, but if you don’t have the people to nurture you, to support your creativity, it means nothing and it often, in most cases, is wasted,” he said. “And if you don’t have the support of the fans, since they’re the ones who really decide if music is going to be successful or not, you can only go but so far. So today is not really about me, its about my fans as well.”

Pharrell concluded by calling music “the skeleton key” that has “opened every single door in my life - in film, TV, fashion, art, design. Music opened all those doors for me, its the reason why my creativity gets a chance to continue to flourish.”

He added, “I can work on all these various projects, because someone believed in my ability and my love and belief in music.  So today, I receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but I’m sharing it with all of these people and it really feels like a dream.  The last two years as exceptionally surreal for me.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Is Adele Working with Kelly Clarkson & Pink’s Producer?

Lauren Dukoff/Columbia RecordsAdele‘s best known for soulful ballads, but she may be looking to pack her upcoming album with upbeat pop anthems.

The British tabloid The Sun claims that Adele has been “secretly” writing and recording with producer Greg Kurstin, who was behind hits like Kelly Clarkson‘sStronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),”  Pink‘s “True Love” and “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” Ellie Goulding‘s “Burn” and Sia‘s “Chandelier,” among others.  He also worked on Katy Perry‘s current disc, Prism.

A source tells the paper, “Greg’s a genius and one of the powers behind many pop hits. But it’s a huge surprise he’s working with Adele because it suggests she’s considering taking a much more pop-focused direction for her new record.”

Adds the source, “She’s also had some serious concerns about the quality of her new album, so this is an indication that she wants a proven hit-maker on board. She knows the whole world is waiting for her new music and wants it to be perfect.”

Adele’s album, reportedly due next year, may also feature contributions from OneRepublic‘s Ryan Tedder.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Nick Jonas to Join Iggy Azalea on Tour Next Year

Lloyd Bishop/NBCNick Jonas is hitting the road next year, but as an opening act.  Iggy Azalea has confirmed that Nick will be joining her on tour in 2015.

After seemingly confusing Nick and his brother Joe Jonas, Iggy tweeted, “What I’m trying to say is that @nickjonas is my special guest on tour next year.”  To which Nick replied, “Let’s do this.”

Iggy also said she’d release dates “this month” for the arena tour, and indicated that there would be another opening act.  She told a fan, “still figuring out the 2nd act but nick will be the longer set of the two openers.”

Nick has already done a brief headlining tour this year in support of his new, self-titled album.  It produced the hit single “Jealous,” which, Nick tweeted, has gone platinum.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Madonna Is New Face of Versace’s Spring/Summer 2015 Campaign

Sara De Boer/STARTRAKS PHOTO via ABCSure, Lady Gaga may be best pals with Donatella Versace, but Madonna is now the face of the designer’s fashion house.

Madonna has been photographed in black and white by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for Versace’s spring/summer 2015 campaign.  In a statement on Madonna’s website, Donatella says, “Madonna is one of the true icons of Versace. I am thrilled to have my friend and the most powerful and directional artist as the face of Versace for Spring 2015.”

Madonna added, “It’s always exciting to be dressed head to toe in Versace and experience first-hand Donatella’s vivid imagination and passion that she has created for this collection.”

Madonna did her first advertising campaign with Versace back in 1995.  This will be her fourth for the Italian fashion house.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Iggy Azalea & Azealia Banks Engage in Eric Garner-Related Twitter Beef

ABC/Randy HolmesIt’s safe to say that Azealia Banks is not a fan of Iggy Azalea, whom Banks called out for neglecting to speak up on the Eric Garner controversy — suggesting that the pop star benefits from black culture without caring about its political issues.

On Wednesday, Banks tweeted about Iggy’s apathy. “Its funny to see people Like Igloo Australia silent when these things happen… Black Culture is cool, but black issues sure aren’t huh?”

It didn’t take long for Iggy to fire back, although she refrained from addressing racial issues. “There’s more to sparking a change than trolling on social media,” Azalea tweeted early Thursday. “World issues shouldn’t be used as a poor excuse to promote fan battles.” She then shared a link to a Bustle article, suggesting ways people can help “Ferguson, its protesters, and Mike Brown’s family.”

“Make sure you do something to let YOUR government know how you feel when something is unjust., not JUST your followers on twitter,” Iggy tweeted.

She adds, “CLEARLY your CONCERN is finding any reason to promote shade, trolling, fan fights and memes. I know you guys by now, you don’t fool me.”

Banks later retorted: “I’M PETTY, but its so true, ugh, that wannabe black girl sh** makes me wanna throw a jar of my piss at her LMFAOOOO.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Demi Lovato Joins Jessie J Onstage for “Bang Bang”

ABC/Adam TaylorTwo vocal powerhouses came together onstage Wednesday night:  Jessie J and Demi Lovato joined forces for a live version of “Bang Bang.”

While performing at a Christmas show in California, Jessi brought Demi onstage to sing the Ariana Grande part of the hit collabo.  Neither woman, though, attempted to do Nicki Minaj‘s rap on the tune.

Later on Instagram, Jessie posted a photo of herself and Demi, which was captioned, in part, “been wanting to sing with you forever! Tonight was special.”  She also tweeted, “WOW!!! is a dream to be on stage with!!! Thank you girl!!! You sang yo ass off!!!”

for her part, Demi tweeted, “Thank you SO much for having me on stage for Bang Bang… It was an honor!”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Kesha’s Mother Files Lawsuit Against Dr. Luke

ABC/Adam TaylorIn October, Kesha filed a lawsuit against her producer, Dr. Luke, accusing him of abuse. Luke then claimed in his own suit that the singer was only attempting to extort him.

Now, there’s a new development: Kesha’s mother is pursuing legal action against the producer, whose birth name is Lukasz Gottwald. ABC News Radio obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed by Pebe Sebert, who claims that “in an effort to torment and harass” her, Luke sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abused her daughter.

Sebert states that she’s been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of Luke’s alleged actions, and that during therapy sessions, Sebert would become hysterical and convulse nervously until she had to be medicated.

In Kesha’s complaint, the singer claimed she was abused by Luke to the point that she “nearly lost her life.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

PSY’s “Gangnam Style” Video Breaks YouTube Counter

Republic RecordsPSY‘s the limit on YouTube.

His ultra-popular “Gangnam Style” video essentially broke YouTube’s view counter this week, now that it’s been watched more than 2.153 billion times. Not to bore you with specifics, but YouTube’s counter had been set up to “only” reach the number 2,147,483,647.

YouTube offered a technical explanation in a statement: “We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer (=2,147,483,647 views), but that was before we met PSY. ‘Gangnam Style’ has been viewed so many times we had to upgrade to a 64-bit integer (9,223,372,036,854,775,808)!”

The “Gangnam Style” video was released in 2012.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Mariah Carey, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga Perform on Christmas in Rockefeller Center Special

Peter Kramer/NBCMariah Carey helped usher in the Christmas season Wednesday night by performing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” live on the NBC special Christmas in Rockefeller Center.

Mariah was originally scheduled to tape her appearance Tuesday night, but was unable to, due to what she said was a situation “beyond my control.”

The special, which was hosted by Matt Lauer and other members of the Today show, also featured Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett performing a duet of “Winter Wonderland.”  Bennett and Gaga recently released a duet album titled Cheek to Cheek.

The Christmas special also featured Sara Bareilles teaming up with Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane to sing “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Their duet is included on his new album, Holiday for Swing.

Cyndi Lauper and Billy Porter sang a duet of  “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays.”

Other performers included country artists Darius Rucker and Trisha Yearwood, Broadway star Idina Menzel and The Sing-Off season 3 champions Pentatonix.

All the musical guests then helped the Today show cast countdown the lighting of this year’s tree, an 85-foot tall Norway spruce.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Taylor Swift’s Opening Act Vance Joy Says He Was a Fan Before He Got the Gig

Darren AnkenmanAustralian singer/songwriter Vance Joy has been gaining fans all year thanks to his catchy hit “Riptide,” but what really put him front and center was the announcement that he’ll be the opening act for Taylor Swift‘s upcoming tour in support of her smash album 1989.  While his music and her current stuff don’t seem to have much in common, Vance says he was a big fan of Taylor’s even before she tapped him for the gig.

“I was actually, I’m a big fan of her, just because I feel like her personality…I feel like she’s realized herself as a performer and as an artist, and in terms of giving people this really whole picture of who you are,” he tells ABC News Radio. “And I think that’s cool. That’s kind of what I want to do at some stage, or hopefully try to achieve.”

Fans were clued in to the fact that Taylor was a fan of Vance’s when she did a cover of “Riptide” on a British radio show in early October.  About a month after that, he was announced as her support act.  So, was that all planned and timed?  Vance says not really, since in October, he hadn’t locked in the gig yet.

“I don’t know if it was cemented, though it was definitely a possibility,” he says.  “We didn’t even know she was going to cover it, so that was the biggest surprise. That was exciting. I think around that time, it went from something I wasn’t getting my hopes up about too much to thinking, oh, this is actually going to happen.”

Unlike Taylor’s pal Ed Sheeran, who actually appeared on her record before they toured together, Vance, born James Keogh, didn’t really know Taylor at all.  Since then, he says, “I actually got to meet her, she was doing soundcheck for Letterman and I came in there just briefly and said hello.”

Vance will hit the road with Taylor starting May 20 in Bossier City, Louisiana.  He’ll open her North American dates, as well as her Australian dates.  While the prospect of playing stadiums is a bit daunting for Vance, he tells ABC News Radio, “No matter what happens, I’m getting to play in front of a lot of people and if I capture a tiny percentage, it’s still amazing. So I feel like I could never not walk through that door. It’s such a great opportunity.”  

Before the tour with Taylor begins, Vance will headline his own tour of Australia in March.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio