Hawaii Governor Proclaims “Bruno Mars Day,” State Legislature Honors Him, Too

Credit: Andreas Laszlo KonrathOn Monday night, Bruno Mars wrapped up three big concerts in his home state of Hawaii, and Hawaiian governor Neil Abercrombie honored their local-boy-made-good by proclaiming "Bruno Mars Day" throughout the Aloha state.

The proclamation of Bruno Mars Day -- April 21, 2014 -- notes Bruno's many accomplishments, and states that his "talent for combining catchy pop melodies, hip-hop beats and feel-good lyrics has helped him emerge as one of Hawaii's most popular artists."

In addition, the Hawaiian legislature honored Bruno backstage at his concert with a special certificate, according to the Hawaii Reporter

"Bruno Mars, a young man born in Hawaii, has become a musical phenomenon and a global icon, and an exceptional representative of the people of these islands," reads the certificate. "The Senate and House of Representatives of the Twenty-seventh Legislature of the State of Hawaii hereby commends and congratulates Bruno Mars on his outstanding career and extends our best wishes for his continued success throughout the years to come."

"Can't describe how it feels to be singing @ home. I love you all," Bruno tweeted when he first arrived n Hawaii for his shows.  For at least one of his concerts, his father's band was one of his opening acts.  As many Bruno fans know, his father is a longtime musician and bandleader, and Bruno got his start as a very young kid, performing onstage with his family.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Despite Claim, Photographer Did Not Hear Madonna’s New Album

Image Courtesy Madonna via InstagramHey, did you hear?  Madonna's album is totally done...and a famous photographer has heard it!  Except...it's not, and he didn't, and the whole thing is a lie.

That's according to the Queen of Pop's rep, who tells ABC News Radio that an Instagram post from fashion photographer Mert Alas, in which he claimed to be listening to the star's album, is nonsense.

Alas is one half of the photography duo Mert and Marcus; together, they directed Madonna's 2012 video for "Girl Gone Wild."  Alas posted a photo of Madonna, and captioned it, "In my room listening to the NEW ALBUM!!!!! Im DYING!!!!!! LET ME LOVE YOU FROM INSIDE OUT."

But referring to Alas' claim, Madonna's spokesperson tells ABC News Radio, "In his dreams...she’s only starting to write [the album]…no one has heard it."

Madonna's been working on her new album with a wide variety of collaborators, including Swedish deejay Avicii, and people who've written hits for Fergie, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce and Colbie Caillat, just to name a few.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

As Neon Trees Release New Album, Singer Says His Coming Out Has Been “Entirely Positive”

Island Def JamThis week, Neon Trees is out with their brand-new album Pop Psychology, and lead singer Tyler Glenn is out, period.  The singer recently revealed in a much-publicized Rolling Stone article that he is gay.  While some of the songs on the album, including the first single "Sleeping with a Friend," directly address Tyler's situation, he said he didn't set out to make an album solely about that.

"As I was writing, I didn't know I was going to come out, you know. It was a process," he tells ABC News Radio. "And for me, it started out as writing a lot of the songs in therapy, and then going into making a record wanting to make it sort of a dark, cathartic record. But it ended up being like the poppiest, most energetic, fun album we've made!"

"I think it's a celebration of the types of people [we are] and where we're at now," he adds.

In fact, the band thinks Pop Psychology, which is their third disc, captures their true sound better than the previous two, Habits and Picture Show.

"With Habits I feel like it was just kind of all of this, like, upbeat kind of thing, and then the second one was a little deeper, more pensive maybe. And then this is kind of able to bring it all together," explains guitarist Chris Allen. "Yeah, there's growth. I think you should grow in every album, but we're also more confident as people so I think it translates in the confidence of the music," adds Tyler.

One reason for Tyler's new found confidence may be the fact that his revelation has earned him "entirely positive" feedback from fans, as well as from the Mormon community, to which the band members belong.

"We're a Utah band and there's a lot of Mormons, and we're also Mormon, and so I think getting it from the Mormon community -- a sense of support -- is sort of interesting and it's not something that you always hear publicly about the Mormon Church," explains Tyler. "So it's refreshing to hear that, as I'm saying I'll continue to have faith in a religion that I was brought up in, it's nice to know that there's support back."

Not only that, but Tyler feels the band may have even gained some new fans, solely because Tyler decided to speak openly about his sexuality and his faith.  "I mean, our Twitter followers have gone up, so it's cool," he tells ABC News Radio,. "I think there are people that...maybe -- and I didn't plan it this way -- but I think maybe...it adds a little more of a weight to [our music]. I don't know."

Best of all, the other members of Neon Trees -- Chris, bassist Branden Campbell and drummer Elaine Bradley -- are all totally fine with Tyler being gay, even though people might have predicted that the band's religion would have prevented them from accepting him.

"People wanted there to be a rift, especially with Elaine being, probably, the most religious in the band," Tyler tells ABC News Radio. "But it's been amazing, and of course we're a family and it's fine."

"The thing is, we all have so many gay friends," Chris adds. "So we just have another one now!"  

Neon Trees will kick off a headlining tour in support of Pop Psychology on May 12 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Report: Missing Jay Z Recordings at Center of Alleged Extortion Plot

Roc Nation/UniversalSome Jay Z recordings that disappeared more than a decade ago have reportedly turned up, as part of an alleged extortion plot that has come to light.

TMZ reports Chauncey Mahan, a producer who worked with Jay between 1998 and 2002, was in possession of the recordings, which belonged to Jay's Roc-A-Fella Records and went missing in 2002.  Mahan allegedly contacted Live Nation, which has a relationship with the rapper, and said he would put the recordings up for auction unless he received a 100-thousand-dollar "storage fee" to relinquish them.

Both sides reportedly agreed on a 75-thousand-dollar amount, but on Friday, when Mahan went to the storage facility where he reportedly kept the recordings to discuss the deal with Jay's camp, he was met by police. He was detained and questioned, though not arrested.

Beverly Hills police are investigating the extortion allegations, while Jay has filed a grand larceny complaint with New York police.

Los Angeles police will keep possession of the recordings until a judge determines which party is the rightful owner. The recordings are estimated to be worth between 15 and 20 million dollars.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

“The Voice” Recap: The Live Round Begins

NBCThe Voice launched its live round on Monday night, with the 12 remaining artists taking the stage for solo performances. Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Shakira and Usher were there to offer their two cents.

Here's what happened during the two-hour show:

Team Usher's Bria Kelly opened the broadcast with a risky song choice: Adele's "Rolling in the Deep." Adam said it was a tall order to take on that hit, but she brought angst and something different to it. However, both he and Shakira wished Bria sang it in a higher key. Usher said he felt the passion and fire in Bria's voice.

Team Adam's Delvin Choice tackled The Righteous Brothers classic "Unchained Melody." Usher said there was more "rejoice" in Delvin's version, but he wouldn't say whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. Adam said he had goose bumps from the performance, and he was so proud of Delvin.

Dani Moz of Team Shakira sang Pink's "Just Give Me A Reason." Adam said it is such a hard song to perform that it leaves an artist no time to breathe. Shakira said Dani was dynamic, and heartfelt in the verses.

Audra McLaughlin of Team Blake covered "Angel of the Morning," made famous by several artists, including Juice Newton and Olivia Newton-John. Usher was impressed by how long Audra can hold notes. Blake called Audra one of his favorite country singers -- high praise coming from him.

Usher protégé T.J. Wilkins took on John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change." Shakira referred to him as sincere and extraordinary. Usher said his artist experienced an "incredible breakthrough moment."

Team Blake's Sisaundra Lewis dazzled the coaches with “Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” by Elton John. Adam said the best aspect of the performance was the restraint she showed. Blake said he hopes Sisaundra has taken a moment to enjoy her run on the show.

Team Shakira's Kristen Merlin sang Sugarland's "Stay." Blake applauded how she was able to step up on a live show. Shakira said it was a moving performance.

Kat Perkins of Team Adam belted out Heart's "Magic Man." Blake couldn't believe that Kat was once a nanny, calling her a rock star. Adam gushed over her power and charisma.

Team Blake's Jake Worthington covered Travis Tritt's "Anymore." Shakira said he may be one of the most endearing contestants on the show, because he's so honest with his delivery. Blake added that honesty is so important in country music.

The final Team Shakira artist to enter the spotlight was Tess Boyer. She sang Bon Jovi's "I'll Be There for You." Blake, one of her former coaches, implied she's the strongest artist on Shakira's squad. Usher, who also once coached Tess, said he and the rest of the panel celebrates her talent. Shakira said Tess nailed her performance.

Team Usher's Josh Kaufman closed the show with Sam Smith's "Stay With Me." Adam called himself "stupid" for letting Josh go earlier in the season. Blake said Josh is the artist to beat on Team Usher. Josh's coach said he told a story and showed command.

Two artists will be eliminated on Tuesday night's results show, airing at 8 p.m. Eastern time on NBC. Shakira will perform.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lorde Postpones Australian Tour Due to Illness

ABC/Lou RoccoIllness has forced Lorde to postpone a tour of Australia that was scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 24.

The Australian promoter Frontier Touring issued a statement saying Lorde will return to her native New Zealand for “immediate rest and recuperation in order to regain complete health and continue touring for the rest of the year.”

The 17-year-old singer also released a statement through Frontier Touring, saying, “It breaks my heart to have to postpone these shows as the band and I absolutely love playing to Australian crowds, and it was not a decision we made lightly. I know I need to focus on getting better in order to perform at my best. We'll be with you as soon as we can, Aussies." Lorde signed it with her birth name, Ella Yelich O'Connor.

In a series of tweets, the singer said she has “a nasty chest infection and general ill health."

She also tweeted, “i am so so gutted to have to do this but my parents and my team stepped in telling me i needed a break after being non-stop since the grammys in january. we will 100% be back for this tour (most likely in november) so don't worry about that. i just need time to get back to full gollum girl fitness before i go out playing shows again.”

She ended by tweeting, “i'm truly sorry if i let you down or if you feel inconvenienced by this and i hope you can understand.”

Frontier Touring says an announcement on rescheduled dates will be made as soon as possible.

Here are Lorde's postponed Australia tour dates:

4/24, 4/26 -- Melbourne, Festival Hall
4/27 -- Adelaide, AEC Theatre
4/29 -- Perth, Challenge Stadium
5/2, 5/3 -- Sydney, Hordern Pavilion
5/4 -- Newcastle, Entertainment Centre
5/6 -- Brisbane, Riverstage

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Katy Perry Talks New Video, Green Hair on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

ABCKaty Perry shared info on her upcoming video for her single "Birthday" during an appearance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday night.

Katy revealed that she went undercover as five of the world's "worst birthday entertainers" for the clip. She explained, "I was sick of making...gorgeous music videos where I'm like sexual." Jimmy Kimmel quipped, "People are sick of that, yeah."

Some footage from Katy's undercover adventures aired on the show, including a scene in which she played an androgynous character, "Kriss the Clown," who's on parole and who inadvertently causes a car crash during a party.

The lyric video for "Birthday" debuted two weeks ago.

Katy told Jimmy she had a nice Easter Sunday, having spent it with her family. They took part in an Easter egg hunt, where she drew attention away from the Easter Bunny. She said the kids in attendance were taking pictures of the Easter Bunny when they spotted her and ran toward her, upsetting the bunny in the process.

Katy also discussed the inspiration for her new green hairdo. She said it's the result of her obsession with Tumblr: "I saw some really cute Japanese girl [on Tumblr] that had green-tipped hair, I brought it to the hairstylist and was like, 'Make me her.'"

Earlier on the show, Katy took part in a trivia competition called "Who Knows Katy?" in which she tested her knowledge of herself against a super-fan. She lost.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” Tops All-Time UK Downloads Chart

Star Trak/ Interscope

Robin Thicke’s smash single, "Blurred Lines" featuring Pharrell and T.I., has been named the U.K’s biggest selling download by the Official Charts Company.

The club anthem, which was released in March 2013, has sold more than 1.54 million copies online to date in the U.K. Thicke's tune beat out Adele’s "Someone Like You," which has sold 1.53 million copies, as well as Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" and Rihanna's "We Found Love" with Calvin Harris.

"I'm so honored, the success of 'Blurred Lines' is a dream come true," Robin said in a statement.

While Robin currently holds the crown, Pharrell's "Happy" has become the fastest-growing song having now surpassing 1.3 million in download sales. The track currently is the ninth biggest-selling download of all time in the U.K.

Here are the U.K.’s top 10 most downloaded tracks of all time, according to the Official Charts Company:

1. "Blurred Lines" -- Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell
2. "Someone Like You" -- Adele
3. "Moves Like Jagger" -- Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
4. "Somebody That I Used to Know" -- Gotye feat. Kimbra
5. "I Gotta Feeling" -- Black Eyed Peas
6. "Get Lucky" -- Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers
7. "We Found Love" -- Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris
8. "Wake Me Up" -- Avicii
9. "Happy" -- Pharrell Williams
10. "Sex on Fire" -- Kings of Leon

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

OneRepublic, Ellie Goulding Among Finalists for Milestone Award at 2014 “Billboard” Music Awards

Mosley Music Group/Interscope RecordsOneRepublic, Ellie Goulding and Carrie Underwood have made it to the final round of voting for the Milestone Award at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards next month. 

The fan-voted award is given to an an innovative artist who achieved a notable chart milestone in the past year; the field originally included six artists, but the other three -- John Legend, Imagine Dragons and country superstar Luke Bryan  -- didn't make it past the first round.

The Milestone Award recognizes an innovative artist who achieved a notable chart milestone in the past year. The winner will be announced during the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, airing on ABC Sunday, May 18 at 8 p.m. ET, and Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child will be the person presenting the winner with the trophy.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Little Mix Sets First North American Headlining Tour

Sony Music EntertainmentLittle Mix is launching their first headlining tour of North America. The British girl group, best known for their hit "Wings," will kick off the trek on September 10 in Boca Raton, Florida, and wrap things up October 11 in Toronto.

You'll be able to get a preview of the tour on June 17, when the group performs on NBC's Today show summer concert series.  Tickets go on sale April 26 but Citi cardmembers can get pre-sale tickets starting on Tuesday via CitiPrivatePass.com.

Little Mix is touring behind their second album, Salute, and current single, "Move."  Earlier this year, they opened for Demi Lovato on her Neon Lights tour.

Conveniently, Little Mix will be touring the U.S. at the same time as One Direction; Little Mix member Perrie Edwards is engaged to 1D's Zayn Malik.  So at least the couple will be on the same continent and may even be able to sneak in some time to see each other.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio