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"Frozen" Spends 11th Week at #1; Jason Derulo Scores First Top-10 Album


Beluga Heights/Warner Bros.Looks like the soundtrack of Frozen ended up in quite a few Easter baskets over the holiday weekend. 

The soundtrack to the hit Disney animated film, which came out last year, has just scored its best sales week yet, moving 259,000 copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan.  As a result, the album spends its 11th non-consecutive week at #1 on the Billboard album chart.   That means Frozen has now passed The Lion King as the longest-running #1 soundtrack ever for an animated film.

Billboard notes that Easter usually benefits albums that are child- or family-friendly, which explains Frozen's blockbuster week.  More proof: One Direction's Midnight Memories experienced a 68% sales increase, while the latest Kidz Bop album is up 126%.

Elsewhere on the chart, Jason Derulo's unorthodox plan of releasing three singles before finally dropping his new album, Talk Dirty, seems to have paid off.  The album has debuted at #4, becoming the singer's first-ever top-10 album.  The highest he'd ever gotten previously was #11, with his self-titled debut, which featured the hit "Whatcha Say."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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MTV Video Music Awards to Air Live from the Los Angeles Forum


Courtesy MTVLast year, the MTV Video Music Awards became the first awards show to take place at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.  This year, the show, which airs August 24, will be the first-ever awards telecast at the Los Angeles Forum.

That legendary venue dates back to 1967, and has hosted concerts by the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Jackson 5, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Prince and others.  It just re-opened in January of this year with all the latest high-tech bells, whistles and amenities.

MTV President Stephen Friedman said in a statement, "With its incomparable legacy as a world-class music venue, the Forum is one of Southern California’s most iconic entertainment landmarks...[and has] has hosted some of the most legendary musical artists and performances ever seen and we can’t wait to add the 2014 Video Music Awards to this list and create the type of memorable moments that music fans will talk about for years to come.”

Of course, it'll be hard to top last year's show, which was so memorable that an 'N SYNC reunion was the second most exciting thing that happened all night.  Perhaps you remember the first -- it involved Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, and a foam finger.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Justin Bieber Apologizes for Visit to Controversial Shrine in Japan


Image Courtesy Justin Bieber via InstagramNo matter where he goes in the world, trouble follows Justin Bieber.  He's been forced to apologize for visiting a shrine in Japan.

Justin stopped by the Yasukuni Shrine while in Japan, and posted a photo of it on Instagram, along with the caption, "Thank you for your blessings."  Time magazine reports that, while his Beliebers retweeted and liked the posting numerous times, it caused an uproar in China, because it turns out the shrine is quite controversial.  It was erected to commemorate Japans' war dead, but that includes former military leaders who committed atrocities across Asia -- including against the Chinese -- during World War II.

Justin subsequently deleted his photo and posting of the shrine and shared an Instagram post of Time magazine's article. He then added this apology:

"While in Japan I asked my driver to pull over for which I saw a beautiful shrine. I was mislead to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer. To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry. I love you China and I love you Japan."

At least the Bieb apologized, which is something hasn't done for some of his other more egregious behavior over the past year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Latest Eliminated "American Idol" Contestant Says They Need a "Dictionary" to Understand the Judges


Michael Becker/FOXThroughout the current American Idol season, some contestants have said that they've been confused by some of the judges' comments and advice -- especially Harry Connick Jr.'s frequent use of highly-technical musical terms.  But the show's latest eliminated contestant says all that could have been avoided...if they had just been issued a reference book ahead of time.

"Harry, you know, he says some crazy stuff sometimes," says Dexter Roberts, when asked how the judges can make themselves more clear to the contestants.  "And...Keith [Urban], he says some off the wall stuff. But you know, I guess we just need to have a dictionary and we can just look up their terms before we get on the show!"

So he agrees that the judges are talking over the heads of the contestants?  "Sorta, sometimes," Dexter tells ABC News Radio. "But we've come a long way and learned to answer their questions, because they kind of taught us as we've been going on."

Now that Dexter's off the show, he'll still be rooting for the rest of the contestants, but will  he be rooting for one in particular over the others?  After all, he and fellow finalist C.J. Harris were friends for five years before they ever tried out for the show.  But Dexter denies that he's favoring C.J. to take the crown.

"Me and him's been together so long, you know, I'm rooting for him, but I'm rooting for everybody because we've become a family," he tells ABC News Radio. "Each week, you'd think we'd be like, 'Oh yeah! I'm glad they're going home!' But it's really sad, because we've become so close to each other, and it sucks to see someone go, so I'm rooting for everybody."

On top of that, Dexter says there won't be any jealousy between him and C.J., even if his friend ends up winning the competition.

"He said the first day, 'If we make it pretty far in the competition, we're still gonna be friends, if [one of us] goes home?' And I was like, 'Of course. We're [still] gonna be buddies.'"  In fact, Dexter says he'd like to record an album of duets with C.J. at some point in the future.

But first, the singer from Fayette, Alabama says he plans to head to Nashville to land a solo record deal.  And that's not the end of his ambition: he says he'd also like to star in his own TV show about hunting.  But which one of those things would he like more?

"Well, I want both, so it's hard," he laughs. "I wanna sing...in front of thousands, millions of people, but I want my own TV show, so it's in between that."

Now that Dexter's out of the Idol bubble, we asked if he could shed some light on one more thing: is Caleb Johnson really going to prom with Jena Irene, as he claimed on the show?  "I have no idea," says Dexter.  "There's no tellin', betwen them two!" 

American Idol continues Wednesday night on Fox, with the contestants each performing a country song and a rock song.  Dexter says if he'd stayed, the rock song he had prepared was Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Ryan Lewis Reveals Mom's 30-Year Struggle with HIV; He & Macklemore Lend Support to New Healthcare Initiative


PRNewsFoto/Burton Snowboards/John KeatleyYou know Ryan Lewis as the "other guy" in Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.  But now, the Grammy-winning hip-hop artist is speaking out about something very personal: his mother's decades-long battle with HIV.

Ryan's mom, Julie Lewis, contracted HIV in 1984, when she received a blood transfusion after giving birth to her oldest child, Teresa.  She wasn't actually diagnosed until 1990, at which time she was told she only had a few years to live.  But she went on to have two more kids -- Ryan and his sister Laura -- who were born HIV-free, and Julie now has been living with the virus for 30 years.  As a result, she's now launching the 30/30 Project, which plans to build medical centers around the world that will be self-sustaining for at least 30 years. 

The initial goal is five new facilities, the first of which will be in Malawi. If that name sounds familiar, that's because it's the African nation from which Madonna adopted two of her children. The launch of the project also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the discovery that the HIV virus leads to AIDS.

In a statement, Ryan Lewis says, "With this amazing past year that I've had, I'm honored to be the first donor to the 30/30 Project. I'm hoping people will join me, and join my family's story, to see how far we can take this." 

In a video explaining the Lewis family story, as well as the details of the project, Macklemore says, "I've known Julie and the Lewis family for years now, and have always found inspiration behind their family's incredible story. Ryan, myself and the whole team are stepping up in full support of the 30/30 project...we want to see this idea put into action. Any amount that you can donate goes directly to building healthcare centers worldwide."

Ryan's mom adds, "We believe that healthcare is a human right. We have the knowledge and we have the treatments. Life threatening diseases like HIV/AIDS can be managed. What people need is access."

You can learn more about the project and how to donate by visiting 3030project.org.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Justin Bieber's Deportation Request Rejected by White House


Image courtesy Justin Bieber via InstagramJustin Bieber will be staying here in the U.S., despite an online petition on the White House website, We the People, seeking to have him deported.

The White House responded to the request with, “Sorry to disappoint, but we won’t be commenting on this one.”

The statement went on to explain that, “to avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government in its response to a petition."

The White House added, "We'll leave it to others to comment on Mr. Bieber’s case.”

The petition, which was launched in January, claimed the troubled 20-year-old pop star is "a terrible influence on our nation's youth." It drew nearly 274 thousand signatures, well beyond the 100 thousand needed to generate an official response.

The petition came on the heels of several run-ins Bieber had with the law, including his DUI arrest in Miami Beach.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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"The Voice" Recap: Artists from Usher and Shakira's Teams Are Eliminated


NBCThe Voice said goodbye to two of its 12 artists on Tuesday night.

In the first live results show of the season, Team Usher member T.J. Wilkins and Dani Moz of Team Shakira were eliminated. The bottom three, which were based on the viewers' votes, also included one of Dani's teammates, Tess Boyer.

Tess was saved by the fans in the final minutes of the show. Following performances by the three artists, the fans were asked to support their favorite by tweeting the hashtag #VoiceSave, along with the singer's first name.

Tess sang Kelly Clarkson's "Dark Side"; T.J. performed Edwin McCain's "I'll Be"; and Dani Moz covered Adele's "Turning Tables."

The one-hour results show also featured performances by Team Adam Levine and Team Blake Shelton. Adam joined his artists for a rendition of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer," while Blake and his crew took on Travis Tritt's "Put Some Drive In Your Country."

Shakira took the stage, too, singing "Empire" from her recently-released self-titled album.

The live round resumes next Monday night on NBC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Is Taylor Swift Selling Her Mansion in Rhode Island?


ABC/Jon LeMayEver since Taylor Swift shelled out a reported $17 million a year ago for a huge mansion in Rhode Island's tony Watch Hill neighborhood, the home has been the site of much drama, from random trespassers, to angry locals accusing her of blocking access to the beach.  Now, word is she's looking to unload the 11,000 square-foot home.

The rumor evidently started when a reporter for the local Rhode Island paper The Westerly Sun tweeted, "Is Taylor Swift's Watch Hill mansion for sale? I'm hearing that but I can't confirm."  This, of course, set off all kinds of speculation from various real estate blogs, all noting the sprawling home's eight bedrooms, 10 1/2 baths, reception rooms, 45-foot-long sun porch, five-car heated garage, balconies, swimming pool and sweeping views.

A rep for Taylor did not immediately return emails from ABC News Radio seeking comment on whether or not the home is for sale.

In addition to the Rhode Island mansion, Taylor also owns a condo in Nashville, a place in Los Angeles, and a newly-purchased pad in Manhattan.  She has definitely enjoyed the Rhode Island mansion, though, telling Rolling Stone, "Man, Rhode Island's a good place. It's a really good place. I've loved really being with my girlfriends a lot [there]. Like, there have been a lot of kitchen dance parties with my girlfriends."

Meanwhile, the singer may have moved on to greener pastures...or at least sandier beaches.  She tweeted a photo of herself on Monday walking along a beautiful beach wearing a green bikini, with the caption, "Looking for Easter eggs."  It's not clear where the photo was taken.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Phillip Phillips' New Album Available for Pre-Order, "GMA" Performance Confirmed


19 Entertainment/Interscope RecordsPhillip Phillips has now released more details of his sophomore album, Behind the Light, which is due May 19, and he's booked a major TV appearance to boot.

A deluxe digital version of the disc is available for pre-order now, and those who take advantage of that deal will receive an instant download of a new song, "Fly."  The deluxe edition of Behind the Light features three additional songs: "My Boy," "Don't Trust Me" and "Armless Crawler."

On May 20, the day after the album hits stores, Phillip will perform on ABC's Good Morning America.  As previously reported, Phillip will kick off a tour with the band O.A.R. on June 12 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Behind-the-scenes footage of Phillip shooting the video for his current single, "Raging Fire," is now available to watch on Vevo.

Here's the standard track list for Behind the Light:

“Searchlight”
“Raging Fire”
“Trigger”
“Lead On”
“Alive Again”
“Open Your Eyes”
“Fool for You”
“Thicket”
“Fly”
“Unpack Your Heart”
“Face”
“Midnight Sun"

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Ariana Grande Teases "Problem" on Instagram, Raves About Meeting Jim Carrey


Image Courtesy Ariana Grande on TwitterAriana Grande will be releasing her new single "Problem" on Sunday, but she's posted a teaser of the track on Instagram. 

In the upbeat song, Ariana sings, "Head in the clouds/got no weight on my shoulders/I should be wiser and realize that I've got...." and then we hear a man whispering, "One less problem without ya!"  The black-and-white visual is taken from the upcoming lyric video.

And who's the guy we hear on the track?  Well, Big Sean tweeted, "I wonder who the mystery whisperer is?" and Ariana retweeted it, so he's a safe bet, especially since the rapper was previously featured on Ariana's song "Right There."

In other Ariana news, she tweeted her excitement over meeting Jim Carrey on Monday.  The meeting presumably took place at the White House Easter Egg Roll, where she was performing and he was appearing.  "[M]et my childhood crush Jim Carrey. could even speak. he was kind, warm and human. I'm so happy," she wrote, adding, "all was swell until my mom told him that my first screen name was JimCarreyFan42@aol...........I wanted to die."

Ariana revealed that Carrey's advice to her was "Stay human."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Eminem, Outkast Confirmed for Austin City Limits Fest


Aftermath/Shady/InterscopePerhaps it's no surprise after Eminem posted his cowboy-themed Instagram photo, but the rapper has been announced as part of the lineup of performers for this fall’s Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park in Austin, TX.

The rapper will serve as a headlining performer alongside OutKast when the event takes place over two weekends on October 3-5 and October 10-12. The 13th annual festival will also include showcases from Childish Gambino, Iggy Azalea, Lorde, Skrillex, Lana Del Rey, BeckPearl Jam, and more.

Three-day passes cost $225 and they're available now. Fans can expect single-day tickets to go on sale at a later date.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Adam Levine & Blake Shelton Avoid Commenting on Reports That Gwen Stefani's Joining "The Voice"


Trae Patton/NBCIf Gwen Stefani is really joining The Voice, current coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton aren't talking.

"We can neither confirm or deny," Adam told E!, and Blake chimed in, "If there is a person in this world named Gwen Stefani, I think she would probably be a great addition to this show."

"If there was a Gwen Stefani that was gonna be on the show and that also happened to also be the singer in No Doubt and a fashion icon, and many many other wonderful things, I think if that were to happen, that would be great," Adam added. "But I can't say whether or not that's true."

OK, now, how about a serious answer? 

"I hope it's true," Voice host Carson Daly tells E!. "Nothing's confirmed, but if that's the case, should there be fire behind the smoke, we should be so lucky!"

If Gwen does become a coach on The Voice, it'll be on the show's seventh season, which begins filming in June.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Katy Perry Turned Down "Titanium" Because She Didn't Want to Be a "Motivational Speaker"


ABC/Paul TrantowEven if you don't know Sia Furler's name, you know her voice: she's the one who sings lead on David Guetta's smash hit "Titanium."  Now, in a new interview, Sia reveals that the song wasn't originally intended for her to record -- in fact, Katy Perry was among those who turned it down.

Sia tells The New York Times that when she wrote the song -- it took her 40 minutes -- and sang on the demo, she thought she was crafting it for David Guetta to give to Alicia Keys.  After it was done, David tried to get other famous vocalists to sing on the track, including Mary J. Blige and Katy Perry.  Katy tells the Times she turned the song down because "I had just come off ‘Firework’ and didn’t want to repeat myself. I have to balance out my anthems, or else I’ll just be a motivational speaker." 

Katy says she told David he'd be "crazy" not to keep Sia's original vocal, so he did -- but didn't tell Sia.  When it became a big hit, Sia, surprisingly, wasn't happy about it. 

"I was really upset about it, because electronic dance music is not my kind of music,” Sia tells the Times.  But there was a silver lining: "It turned out to help my career as a songwriter," she explains.  Indeed, she's now the go-to writer for female pop stars, crafting songs for Rihanna, Britney Spears, Celine Dion and Beyonce, just to name a few.  One of her best known creations is Rihanna's "Diamonds," which she wrote in 14 minutes.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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A Great Big World Debut "Already Home" Video, Starring "Glee's" Darren Criss


AGreatBigWorld.comA Great Big World has other songs besides "Say Something," y'know. The duo has just debuted the new video for their next single, "Already Home," and they've tapped some well-known actors to play the starring roles: Glee's Darren Criss and Gossip Girl's Jessica Szohr.

The fact that Darren is starring in the duo's video is something of a "full circle" moment, since the way many of us first heard of A Great Big World is when their song "This Is the New Year" was featured on Glee's fourth season.  In the video, Darren and Jessica play a couple who live on opposite coasts -- he in California, she in New York City. Footage of them going through their lives while constantly thinking of one another is intercut with footage of A Great Big World's Chad Vaccarino and Ian Axel performing the song, the lyrics for which include the line, "If only New York wasn't so far away."

At the end of the clip, Darren and Jessica both resolve to book a plane ticket to the opposite coast and surprise each other with a visit. Of course, their wires get crossed, and he ends up in New York, while she arrives in California.  But in the final moments, they're able to break down the barrier between them, as Darren leans across the split screen and kisses Jessica tenderly.

A Great Big World will perform "Already Home" on NBC's Today show Wednesday morning.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Robin Thicke to Guest-Star on "American Dad"


Fox/PressHereNow.comRobin Thicke is about to add "voice actor" to his resume: he'll be guest-starring on an upcoming episode of the Fox animated show American Dad.

On the May 4 episode of the Seth MacFarlane-created show, Roger bets an annoying coffee-shop musician that he can outplay him.  Robin plays that annoying musician. In a cool twist, Robin's famous dad, Alan Thicke, also guest-stars in the episode, as himself.

American Dad airs on Fox at 7: 30 p.m. ET/PT as part of the networks Sunday night "Animation Domination" lineup.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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Is Adele Planning a "Comeback" Concert?


Cliff Lipson/CBSOther than her performance at the Academy Awards in early 2013, it's hard to think of the last time Adele performed live for a big audience.  But if one British tabloid report is to be believed, she'll be hitting the stage later this year for a big "comeback" concert.

The British paper The Sunday Express claims that Adele's new album is due in October, and she wants to celebrate it by performing a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall.

A source close to Adele tells the paper, "This is the most exciting and promising news fans have had from Adele for ages," but cautions, "A world tour is still a long way off, certainly a conventional series of shows...The key to all these plans is that Adele feels comfortable with her voice. She has vowed that she never wants to break down during a tour or put her voice through so much stress that she suffers problems."

In October of 2011, Adele was forced to cancel the remaining dates of her tour due to a vocal hemorrhage and later underwent surgery to correct the problem.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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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

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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

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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

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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

 



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