Image Group LA/ABC; Michelangelo Di Battista/RCA RecordsBeen curious to hear what a Britney Spears/Iggy Azalea duet sounds like? Your wait is over -- their much-anticipated collaboration, “Pretty Girls,” has officially been released.
Britney and Iggy both tweeted their excitement over the sassy female empowerment jam in the wee hours of Monday morning. “To be honest im just over here acting like a total fan girl for britneys vocals on this song. cant. stop. listening. so classically Britney,” the Australian rapper posted on Twitter, breaking her self-imposed social media hiatus.
Britney expressed her gratitude for the positive fan reactions. “Thank you all for the amazing feedback on #PrettyGirls!! Going to bed now with a smile on my face Have some more surprises coming soon!” she tweeted.
The song's video, which is said to have been inspired by the 1980’s sci-fi comedy film Earth Girls Are Easy, will reportedly be released next week. Britney and Iggy will perform "Pretty Girls" live on the 2015 Billboard Music Awards May 17 on ABC.
Courtesy Diet CokeTaylor Swift is one of the biggest stars in the world, but she's turned her two cats, Olivia Benson and Meredith, into stars as well. In fact, Taylor may have single-handedly made the "crazy cat lady" insult so frequently hurled at feline-loving single women irrelevant.
Olivia and Meredith are so closely associated with Taylor that last week, the fact that deejay Calvin Harrisposted a photo of them on Instagram was taken as proof that he and Taylor are dating. When she posted a video of her cats' meowing waking her up at 6am, it made headlines worldwide, as did that famous photo of her carrying Olivia around on the streets of New York City.
"I think everybody’s sort of loving cats right now," Taylor says. "It doesn’t feel like something where you’re like, 'Oh, I have two cats,' and they’re like, 'Oh.'"
Taylor adds, "It’s kind of like...everybody loves watching cat videos online. It’s sort of a new…you don’t want to say an animal is a trend, but I think a lot of people kind of bond over it. I don’t know. I mean, it’s like this weird language you can speak with other cat people."
Also appreciating Taylor's cat ownership are the women whose TV characters provided the names for Meredith and Olivia: Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo, and Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay. Earlier this year, the two women posted a photo of themselves together on Instagram, and captioned it, "This one goes out to @TaylorSwift13," with the hashtags "#CatsOutOfTheBag" and "#CatsMeow."
So, with all that support, is Taylor ready to increase her family and add another cat to her collection?
Universal Music GroupKanyeWest has changed the title of his upcoming album.
In late February, he revealed on Twitter that the project would be titled So Help Me God. He took to the social media site again on Sunday to make a follow-up announcement: "I’m changing my album name to SWISH."
Don't get too attached to "Swish," though: Kanye warned, "I might change it again but that’s the name now."
There's still no release date for the album. Whatever Kanye ends up calling it, it will be the follow-up to his 2013 album, Yeezus.
Ben WattsJustinBieber is on a mission to change his bad boy image, and his game plan is to put "God and family first."
"There have been times where it has been difficult," the "Boyfriend" singer tells People Magazine. "But as long as I put God and family first, I can find my way through most things."
"I also find it important to surround myself with people who are honest and hold me accountable for my actions – that helps a lot, too," adds Bieber.
That doesn't mean Justin, 21, isn't having a good time. Prior to watching his buddy, boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. beat Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on Saturday, he partied poolside at the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Bieb was on his best behavior, according to the magazine, and with good reason -- he had his younger siblings in tow.
"I love my brother and sister so much," he explains. "I want to help them be the best they can be and being someone they can look up to is definitely an important part of that." Justin is the older half-brother of Jaxon, five and Jazmyn, six.
Image Group LA/ABCSamSmith is taking it easy after cancelling some Australian tour dates due to a small hemorrhage on his vocal chords.
In an update posted on his Instagram page, Sam informed his followers, "I'm ok. I am insanely relaxed and am somewhere in the middle of Australia with no phone, no laptop and I haven't spoken a word in three days. Trying my absolute best to be back on my feet and singing for next week."
Sam noted that his time off has realized how much he misses his fans when he's not on stage. He added, "I'm gonna go back to my black and white movies and pretend I'm Judy Garland for a few more days."
In a post last week, Sam announced that he suffered the hemorrhage while in Sydney and the doctors ordered him to rest his vocal cords.
ABC/John FleenorCould this be the start of Carly Rae Jepsen’s television acting career? The singer will guest star as herself on tonight’s Saturday Night Live-themed episode of Castle.
In the episode entitled “Dead from New York,” Rick Castle and Kate Beckett are called in to investigate the murder of the creator of a long-running sketch comedy show called Saturday Night Tonight. Carly Rae, who made her real SNL debut last month, will appear as the musical guest on Castle’s fake version of the show. She’ll be singing her new song “I Really Like You,” and also will have a couple of lines of dialog during the episode.
In a preview clip from the episode, Castle, played by Nathan Fillion, tells Carly he’s a huge fan. “Thanks, that means a lot to me,” Carly says. Before he can gush any more, Carly is called on stage to perform.
“Did some serious acting on @Castle_ABC,” Carly tweeted Thursday. “Ok, I had two lines, but still pretty stoked!”
The episode, which also will feature Jaleel White as the star of Saturday Night Tonight, airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET on ABC.
Kurt IswarienkoMother’s Day is just a week away, but Adam Lambert and Colbie Caillat are already expressing their appreciation for their supportive moms. In this week's issue of People magazine, the two explain why their moms are the real stars.
Adam credits his mom, Leila, with exposing to him to great music at a young age. “My parents had such a big music collection,” he tells the mag. “My mom liked Al Green and Bob Marley. I was exposed to a lot of the stuff they were listening to.”
Now, Leila, an interior designer, says Adam introduces her to new pop songs. And while Adam’s on tour, the two stay in touch through FaceTime and texting. “He’s really amazing,” Leila says. “I’ll text him and he gets back to me right away.” That’s a good son.
Colbie credits her mom with influencing her musical tastes, too. “My parents raised me on Tom Petty, James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac -- and that’s still the music I listen to daily,” she says. But her mom, Diane, is biased these days when it comes to music. The model turned entrepreneur says she only listens to her daughter’s tunes. “She still wears my tour shirts, which I get embarrassed about,” Colbie says.
The two live about 10 minutes away from each other in L.A. and frequently get together for family dinners or “weekend pool hangs.”
“She’s just the most helpful, caring mother ever,” Colbie says. “She’s so loving.”
Image Courtesy of ABCImagine Dragons will unite with rock band REO Speedwagon for the "Mash Up Mondays" series on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! The two bands will give a one time only performance as REO Imagine Speedragons on the show's May 4 episode.
"REO Imagine Speedragons was destined to happen since the day Zeus thrust his mighty bolt to the earth," says Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds in a statement.
"I talked to [guitarist] Wayne [Sermon] from Imagine Dragons yesterday, and both our bands are totally psyched about doing the 'Mash Up Monday,'" adds REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin. "We all love Jimmy and we're gonna play one of our favorites like it’s never been played before. Imagine REO Speedragons is gonna f**kin' rock!"
Previous "Mash Up Monday" bands have included Wee-Z Top -- that's Weezer and ZZ Top -- and Morris Day and the HAIM, made up of funk great Morris Day plus the band HAIM.
REO Imagine Speedragons will take the stage on Kimmel on May 4 at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.
Joe BonillaEnrique Iglesias cleaned up at the Billboard Latin Music Awards last night. The singer nabbed nine awards, bringing his career total to a whopping 36.
"It has been an incredible night, and I can't help but continue to thank those who have inspired me, supported me, and believed in my crazy vision,” Enrique said. “To the fans that have grown up with me, I want you all to know that it's a great honor to walk with you; there is still a lot music left to share and we still have a long way to go."
This year, he took home trophies for the following categories:
"Latin Pop Songs" Artist of the Year "Latin Pop Album" of the Year, SexAndLove "Latin Pop Albums" Artist of the Year, SexAndLove "Hot Latin Song" Song of the Year, “Bailando” "Canción del Año", Digital, “Bailando” "Canción del Año", Streaming, “Bailando” "Hot Latin Song" Song of the Year, “Bailando” "Hot Latin Song" Vocal Colaboration, “Bailando” "Canción del Año", Airplay, “Bailando”
Also this week, Enrique awarded one lucky student a music scholarship to Berklee University. Silviana Itzel Salinas-Reyna, a 23-year-old tenor saxophone student from Mexico City, will begin her studies at Berklee this fall.
This month, Enrique continues his SexAndLove Tour throughout Latin America.
Florent Dechard“Uptown Funk” had to give it to ‘em. Billboard reports that Mark Ronson’s mega-hit featuring Bruno Mars now features an additional five writing credits.
According to documents obtained by Billboard from RCA Records, writing credits were awarded to five members of the 1970’s R&B/funk group, The Gap Band: brothers Charlie, Robert and Ronnie Wilson, keyboardist Rudolph Taylor and producer Lonnie Simmons.
Publisher Minder Music reportedly filed a claim with YouTube on the band’s behalf back in February, due to the song’s similarities to The Gap Band’s 1979 R&B hit, “Oops Up Side Your Head.”
Mark and Bruno were listed as the original writers for “Uptown Funk,” along with producers Jeffrey Bhasker and Phillip Lawrence. Nicholas Williams, also known as rapper Trinidad James, and producer Devon Gallaspy also got a credit for the use of a sample of the rapper’s track “All Gold Everything.”
Trindad’s lawyer, Danny Zook, tells Billboard he thinks the “Blurred Lines” case influenced the “Uptown Funk” writers’ decision to share credit. “Everyone is being a little more cautious,” he says. “Nobody wants to be involved in a lawsuit.”
ABC/Randy HolmesKaty Perry plays dress up for the latest issue of Wonderland magazine. The fashion-forward pop culture mag revealed three separate cover photos of the singer, in which she sports three very different looks.
On one version of the cover, Katy’s barely recognizable with bleached eyebrows and a bleach blonde short haircut. On another version, she poses coyly while donning a red wig with a big, white hair bow and a puffy white dress. And on the third cover, Katy wears a fiery red wig with red lips to match, and a black-and-white jacket with a splattered-paint style design.
The pop star teased the photo spread on Instagram Thursday. "TOMORROW one of my favorite shoots I've EVER done is coming out on @wonderlandmag There's a couple rotating covers... But here's a sneak [peek] for now!" she wrote, along with another picture from the shoot.
ABC/Randy HolmesCarly Rae Jepsen is set to perform on Tuesday’s episode of Dancing with the Stars. She’ll be singing her catchy new single “I Really Like You.”
Sia’s favorite pint-size dancer, 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler, will also be featured in a special contemporary dance number along with DWTS dancers Allison Holker and Jenna Johnson.
Contestants, meanwhile, will be facing a double elimination based on combining the judges’ scores with the public vote from their April 27 performance and their May 5 performance. The hour-long episode airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Darren AnkenmanThe International Songwriting Competition has awarded Vance Joy's "Riptide" its 2014 Grand Prize. The hit single appears on the Australian singer-songwriter's debut studio album, Dream Your Life Away.
"Riptide" is the first song to receive perfect scores from every judge since the International Songwriting Competition began in 2002. This year's judging panel included Bastille, American Authors and Keane, as well as a number of industry heavy-hitters.
Vance Joy will bring his prize-winning "Riptide" to an even bigger audience when he joins Taylor Swift on her massive stadium tour, which kicks off May 20 in Bossier City, Louisiana. In-between, he'll play a few headlining shows of his own, as well as a number of summer festivals, including New York City's Governors Ball, and Boston Calling.
ABC/ Lou RoccoTaylor Swift is constantly trying to one-up herself. The singer, who’s about to embark on her 1989 World Tour, admits to Extra that she wants this tour to be even better than her last.
“It would be so ridiculous if I didn’t look it at that way, because that’s how everyone else is looking at it,” she says. “So yeah, I need my tour to be better than my last tour. I need my album to be better than my last album.”
Taylor says she wants this tour to be a fresh experience for her fans. “My hope is that my fans don’t feel similar watching this tour in any way then they felt watching the last tour,” she says.
That includes enlisting some of her pals, including the girl band HAIM, to join her on the road. “It’s gonna be insane,” she says of having HAIM on tour with her. “They’re just so incredible and there’s just such good vibes. Like, when they walk into a room it just changes the entire dynamic. They’re just like loud in the best way and so energetic. And that energy is gonna be so cool to have on the road.”
She’s even started making phone calls to some of her famous friends to get them to take the stage with her as surprise guests. “I end up assuming the role of booking agent essentially when I’m on tour,” Taylor says.
The 1989 World Tour kicks off Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan.
Jeff Daly/NBCZayn Malik has been out of One Direction for over a month, but now he’s made it Twitter official. Zayn has changed his Twitter handle from @zaynmalik1D to just plain @zaynmalik, a move that seems to have broken fans’ hearts all over again.
Shortly after he made the change, the hashtag #YouWillAlwaysBeZaynMalik1D started trending and fans began posting their devastated reactions.
Zayn has been relatively quiet on social media since leaving the band in late March. He resurfaced April 20 to tweet, “Wanna say thanks to everyone that's been there for me over the last few weeks, love you all.. you know who you are.”
Yesterday, Zayn cryptically posted, “Is speech an extension to our thoughts or an image that we like to create.”
Mosley Music Group/Interscope RecordsOneRepublic is still pulling hits from their 2013 album Native -- "I Lived" is the latest -- but work on their next album is well underway, and the band is extremely pleased with how it's going.
OneRepublic guitarist Drew Brown tells Canada's CBC News, "We're really excited about it, we think it's the best thing that we've ever done." Frontman Ryan Tedder, meanwhile, says the album will be eclectic in its sound.
"In this band, we are yet to recycle the same sound once on any song that we've ever put out. This album is no exception," he says. It's not clear when the new album will be released. OneRepublic has tour dates booked through July, mostly overseas.
VolvoAvicii and Volvo Cars now share more than just a Swedish heritage. The artist/producer has teamed up with the car brand for a new ad campaign entitled “A New Beginning.”
As part of the campaign, Avicii has recorded his own rendition of the Nina Simone classic “Feeling Good,” and filmed a video for the tune, featuring Volvo.
“I've loved the song for a long time,” Avicii said in a statement. “It's one of the best songs ever written. It's just timeless to me. I've been a big fan of Nina Simone, Etta James and that kind of sound for a very long time. So when I found out that was the song that Volvo Cars wanted in the music video I was really excited and happy to do something with it. I wanted to create something new, and at the same time stay true to the original.”
The video was filmed in Stockholm, Sweden and in locations that had special meaning to Avicii, such as Osterlen, where he and his family spent their summer vacations. The song and the video are set for a May 8 global release.
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Darren AnkenmanWhen Bruno Mars sang "This hit/That ice cold/Michelle Pfeiffer/That white gold" in "Uptown Funk," it earned him and Mark Ronson a ticket to #1 on the Billboard chart for 14 weeks. But one guy who heard that line -- Vance Joy -- thought it sounded a bit familiar, because he'd given Pfeiffer a shout-out in his hit song more than a year before.
Vance Joy's hit "Riptide" took a while to rise up the charts in the U.S., but it's been a hit around the world since 2013. In "Riptide," Vance sings about the object of his affection, "I swear she's destined for the screen/Closest thing to Michelle Pfeiffer that you've ever seen."
Asked about the coincidence of both he and the "Uptown Funk" duo name-checking the same actress, who really hasn't had a big hit movie since 2007's Hairspray, Vance tells ABC Radio, "I think Michelle Pfeiffer's...getting a good few references. When I heard it I was just like, 'This is cool,' and...I was like, 'Hey I did it first,' but it’s still a really great song, so kudos to those guys."
As for why he chose Michelle Pfeiffer in the first place, Vance says it just sort of popped out. "It really was a totally natural, stream of consciousness kind of thing," he tells ABC Radio. "It just totally came out naturally and effortlessly."
Vance will be singing "Riptide" later this month when he starts a long stint opening up for Taylor Swift on her 1989 world tour. What can fans expect from his set? "We’ve got a few things in store," he teases. " It’s nothing super huge, but they’re such a great team of people that we get to work with through her and so they’re very accommodating. So we’ll try to make it as stimulating as possible, you know?"
Vance's tour with Taylor starts May 20 in Bossier City, Louisiana.
Danny ClinchYou've heard Sara Bareilles sing about her life in her songs. Now, you can read about her life in a new book of essays due this fall.
The book, called Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song, will be out October 6. Described as a "candid and down-to-earth collection," the book reveals the inside stories behind Sara's most popular songs, as well as her thoughts about making her music artistic enough to please herself, yet commercial enough for her fans.
Written in a "confessional and stripped-down" style, the book is described as "entertaining and inspirational...a moving tribute to the universal search for growth, healing and self-acceptance."
In addition to the book, Sara has been taking on a new writing challenge lately: creating the songs for a musical version of the movie Waitress.