Sam Smith’s Future Career: Barista Florist?

ABC/Randy HolmesSam Smith is ruling the music world right now, with sold-out shows, hit singles and awards and nominations galore. But he says in the future, he’s looking forward to settling down, and even getting into the world of retail sales.

Speaking to Teen Vogue magazine, Sam, who has said he’s never been in a “real relationship,” reveals, “The idea of having a house, a kid, a husband, and a dog…I love that.”  But he adds, surprisingly, “I also really want to open a coffee and flower shop one day, probably in Italy.”

Sam struggled for years to make it and he shares with Teen Vogue the moment when things turned around for him.

“The minute I started to tell a story, everything clicked into place,” Sam explains. “I became an artist because I had something to say.”  What he had to say was how he felt about unrequited love: “I fell in love with someone last year, and he didn’t love me back,” Sam reveals. “I deleted him off of WhatsApp, and it felt like I’d just broken up with him.”

That experience inspired the songs on Sam’s hit album In the Lonely Hour, and he tells Teen Vogue, “You can read as many interviews as you want, but if you put on my record, I’m telling you, that is me.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett Announce Joint Shows in NYC, London and LA

PRNewsFoto/Live Nation EntertainmentLady Gaga and Tony Bennett are getting their duet act together and taking it on the road.

The stars, whose album Cheek to Cheek debuted at #1, have announced three dates for 2015: May 30 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, June 8 at London’s Royal Albert Hall, and June 19 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.  Tickets go on sale November 3 for L.A. and New York, while London goes on sale October 31.

A full orchestra, as well as two different jazz ensembles, will back up Gaga and Bennett during these shows.

The two artists already have two shows planned for 2014: a post-Grammy gig at L.A.’s Wiltern Theater, and a New Year’s Eve show in Las Vegas. Both those shows are sold out.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Imagine Dragons Release New Single, “I Bet My Life”

Image Courtesy of KIDinaKORNER/Interscope RecordsIt’s time for a new Imagine Dragons song. The Las Vegas quartet has released “I Bet My Life,” the first single from their upcoming second album, which is due out in 2015. Fans will be pleased to know the band hasn’t lost its penchant for writing big, sweeping choruses.

“This song is about the relationship I’ve had with my parents throughout the years,” says frontman Dan Reynolds in a statement. “At times it’s been strained and difficult, but in the end, ‘I Bet My Life’ celebrates the bond that we still hold on to.”    

“I Bet My Life” is streaming on Vevo. You can purchase it now on iTunes.

Imagine Dragons’ last album, 2012′s Night Visions, featured the singles “Radioactive,” “Demons” and “It’s Time.” “Radioactive” became the best-selling rock song in U.S. digital history. The track was also nominated for “Best Rock Performance” at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift to Return to Times Square for “Dick Clark New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015″

ABC/Lou RoccoTaylor Swift rang in 2013 by performing live in New York City’s Times Square on ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.  This December, she’ll be making a repeat trip to the Crossroads of the World.

Taylor will perform live on ABC in Times Square December 31 as part of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. She’ll be just one of many performers that night, both in Times Square and on the West Coast. Once again, Ryan Seacrest will host the show, and lead the traditional countdown to midnight.

Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Taylor’s new album, 1989, is in stores today.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Beyoncé Partners with TopShop for New Active Wear Line

Nick Farrell/Sony MusicBeyoncé is taking her fashion sense to the street.  She’s partnered with British-based retailer TopShop to launch her own line of active wear that’ll be sold internationally.

Described as a 50/50 joint venture, officially dubbed Parkwood TopShop Athletic Ltd. — Parkwood is Beyonce’s production and management company — the brand will include clothing, footwear and accessories to encompass dance, fitness and sports.

“I could not think of a better partner as I continue to grow the Parkwood business,” Beyoncé says in a statement announcing the partnership.  “I have always loved TopShop for their fashion credentials and forward thinking.  Working with their development team to create and produce a technical and fashion led collection is exciting and I’m looking forward to participating in all aspects of this partnership.”

There’s no name yet for the new clothing line, which is expected to launch in fall of next year.

This isn’t Beyoncé’s first venture into fashion.  She and her mother, Tina Knowles, launched House of Deréon nearly ten years ago.  That label’s currently in limbo.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Kelly Clarkson & Taylor Swift Gush on Twitter After Kelly Covers “Shake It Off”

Justin Lubin/NBC; CMAEarlier this month, Kelly Clarkson covered Sam Smith‘s “Stay With Me” during a North Carolina concert performance.  At her concert in Buffalo, NY over the weekend, she threw in another cover: Taylor Swift‘s “Shake It Off” — and Taylor was quite appreciative.

During the concert, Kelly told the audience, “This is a church song. This is a soulful song. This is one of my favorite songs out right now.”  As the audience cheered, she laughed, “You think you know it, but you don’t — it’s not Sam Smith!”  She then launched into “Shake It Off,” but turned the first verse into a slow, bluesy, gospel tune. 

“Watching Kelly Clarkson SLAY ‘Shake It Off’ is an excellent way to celebrate 26 HOURS TIL 1989!!!!!!” Taylor tweeted, posting a link to the performance.  To which Kelly replied, “Love this song! Hope you like our gospel beginning ha! We had fun with it! Congrats on the new album coming out girl!”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Sia Thrilled with Jim Carrey’s “Saturday Night Live” “Chandelier” Dance Performance

Dana Edelson/NBCOne of the highlights of Saturday Night Live last weekend was a skit in which host Jim Carrey tries to win a Halloween costume competition by dressing up, and then dancing like, the little girl in Sia‘s famous video for “Chandelier.”  One viewer in particular enjoyed the skit: Sia herself.

The notoriously-private Australian singer jumped on Twitter Saturday and Sunday to comment about how happy she was with the skit, which featured Carrey and SNL cast member Kate McKinnon both dressed as little Maddie Ziegler, who wears a nude-colored leotard and a blonde bob wig in the “Chandelier” video while giving her show-stopping dance performance.  Carey and McKinnon both try to win the costume contest by having a dance-off, running around the Saturday Night Live studio, mimicking Maddie’s over-the-top moves from the video as they move from set to set. 

At one point, Carrey and McKinnon run onto the music set, where musical guest Iggy Azalea is standing.  Iggy rips off her clothes, revealing a nude leotard and blonde wig, and dances along with them for a few seconds.

“holy s**t,” Sia tweeted. ” just spoofed chandelier. THIS IS AWESOME.”  She then posted a link to a video of the sketch, tweeting, “Squeeeee!!! as Maddie on Saturday night live!!!!”

Maddie, who’s only 12, tweeted, “Can’t stop laughing at the Chandelier spoof you did , Kate McKinnon, and .”

In other Sia news, she’s featured on the soundtrack of the upcoming movie Annie.  She sings the first single, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” and also wrote several original tunes for the project, some of which she sings and some of which the cast performs.  The album’s in stores November 17.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift’s Requirements for First Official Pop Album 1989: “Energy,” “Electricity” & “Sharpness”

Big Machine RecordsUnless you’ve been in a cave for the past six months or so, you know that Taylor Swift‘s new album 1989 officially arrives on Monday.  She’s said numerous times that the disc — titled after the year of her birth — was inspired by late-’80s pop music, but Taylor reveals that she didn’t set out to make a record like that: it just kinda ended up that way.

“The 1989 album title hit me actually, the night of the Grammys this year,” she explains. “I went home and ate a bunch of In-N-Out Burger and sat around with my backup singers and played them what I had so far of the album…it was about halfway done.”  Taylor says it was her dancers who clued her in to the fact there seemed to be a theme going on.

“The one thing they kept talking about was, ‘This is such an ’80s throwback record,’ like, ‘There’s such ’80s sounds in the synths and the drums and the way that you’ve recorded the vocals.’  They kept commenting on it,” she says. “It hit me for the first time that I had been naturally gravitating towards that, because I’d been listening to a lot of Peter Gabriel and late-’80s Madonna and the Eurythmics and kind of focusing, without meaning to, on how they made music back then.”

“I feel like, looking back, the late ’80s were a time of just kind of endless possibility and rebelling against what was normal,” Taylor continues.  “[Like,] ‘We can wear bright clothes; we can dance how we want; we can make crazy music that sounds nothing like the music that was made in the last decade.’”

Taylor says the musical fearlessness of the era also inspired her because 1989 is her first official pop album, after years of straddling the line between pop and country. “I was very inspired by the risk-taking there.  And you know, I’m taking a risk in switching genres.  In a way it’s creatively starting over,” she says. “And, so, I was very inspired by their willingness to step outside their own box in the late ’80s.”

The Grammy winner says she had several requirements for 1989: she didn’t just want it to be like any other pop album out there. “I wanted it to have that catchy, kind of dance-y vibe to it,” she notes. ” I wanted there to be energy and electricity to what we were doing but I wanted it to also be smart.  So, I didn’t want to lose…witty lyrics and kind of, like, a sharpness to the storytelling.”  She says “Shake It Off,” the first single, perfectly encapsulates what she wanted to do musically on the record.

Taylor promoted 1989 with her now-legendary “secret sessions”: a series of parties for her die-hard fans at her various homes, during which she played the album for them, baked them cookies and posed for photos.   Inviting fans into your home and trusting they wouldn’t spill the beans about the album — let alone do something crazy — was a pretty groundbreaking idea, but Taylor says 1989 demanded something unique.

“It’s fun to kind of think of an album promotion campaign less as an album promotion campaign.  I like to think of ways to make it feel like a gathering between all like-minded people,” she explains.  “One of the cool things I was really excited about for 1989 was, before I was even done with the album I thought, ‘I need to play this for fans early.  I think I have this cool idea.’”

That idea involved tracking fans online for literally months and identifying a subsection who all had one thing in common. 

“None of the people who came to the sessions had ever met me before,” she points out. “So, these were all dedicated fans who have been fans for eight years, have been to seven shows, have waited outside Good Morning America and never got to say hi.  So this was an opportunity for me to actually meet them in the most private, intimate, fun, cozy setting possible.”

Speaking of Good Morning America, Taylor will sit down with ABC’s Robin Roberts on Monday on Good Morning America to talk about the album, and then on Thursday, she’ll return to the show to perform.   And speaking of performing, Taylor says she’s in the early stages now of planning the huge tour she’ll do in support of 1989.

“It’s just so much fun to be in this phase now where we’re planning the tour and I really get to think about all these things, all these costume questions and ‘How many people are we bringing out on tour?’ and ‘What’s the stage design?’  And it’s honestly like putting together a huge puzzle, little piece by little piece by little piece,” she says. “And it’s my favorite process.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Adele Sends Lady Gaga Flowers in Lieu of Attending UK Shows; Full Gaga & Bennett Tour Coming?

ABC/Rick PowellLady Gaga’s on tour in the U.K. right now, performing in support of her album ARTPOP, and one famous British fan regretted missing her concerts so much that she’s sent Gaga a special gift.

Gaga posted on Instagram a photo of a bouquet of white roses, along with a message card that reads, “Love you mermaid, sorry I can’t make any of the shows.” It’s signed “Adele.”

“What a doll,” Gaga commented. ” Sending me flowers, such a classy girl Adele and a phenomenal mother we’ll miss laughing with you!”

Meanwhile, the Gaga fan site Lady Gaga Daily is claiming that the Gaga and Tony Bennett have announced their first official joint tour date — July 9 at the Royal Albert Hall in London — but this doesn’t appear to be actually confirmed. 

So far, the only actual confirmed dates the duo have lined up together are two one-off shows: a New Year’s Eve concert in Las Vegas in December and a post-Grammy show at L.A.’s Wiltern Theater in February.



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Iggy Azalea Copes with Jim Carrey’s Hip-Hop Humor in “Saturday Night Live” Promos

ABC/Randy HolmesIggy Azalea is the musical guest for this weekend’s Saturday Night Live, hosted by Jim Carrey, and she can’t hold her laughter as he assumes the identity of rapper “J. Care” in one of the show’s video promos. With a chest full of gold chains, Carrey has the TV crew roaring as his gold grill drops out of his mouth while he was “dropping mad rhymes and jokes.”

Azalea announces, “It’s going to be a Halloween-themed party bash,” and he tells her what is really scary is, “Trying to love me.” The Dumb and Dumber To star also has fun with various pronunciations of her name.

Azalea will perform her new single “Beg for It” with . Saturday Night Live airs 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Reclassified, an expanded reissue of Iggy’s debut album, The New Classic, is now available for pre-order and will be released November 24.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio