Island Records/DCD2 RecordsFall Out Boy has once again proven their staying power: their new album, American Beauty/American Pyscho, featuring the hit "Centuries," has debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart.
This is the band's second #1 album in a row, following 2013's Save Rock and Roll, and their third overall: Infinity on High debuted at #1 in 2007. The album debuts with 218,000 album units sold, according to Nielsen Music, and as Billboard notes, that's the the second-best sales week of Fall Out Boy's entire career, and their largest since 2007.
Thanks to American Beauty/American Psycho and last week's #1 debut, Meghan Trainor's Title, this marks the first time since 2010 that two debut albums released in January -- which is usually a weak sales month -- have scored first-week sales of more than 150,000 copies.
Meanwhile, Taylor Swift's 1989, which was knocked out of the #1 spot by Meghan's album last week, holds at #2. Meghan's album falls to #3, and Ed Sheeran'sX (Multiply) remains at #4.
The top 10 sees debuts by new albums by alternative rockers The Decemberists, veteran shock rocker Marilyn Manson, and rapper Joey Bada$$.
Image Group LA/ABCBrit singer Rita Ora had a career breakthrough 2014, thanks to "Black Widow," her collaboration with Iggy Azalea. Now she's getting 2015 off to a great start by booking a performance at the Academy Awards.
Rita will perform the Oscar-nominated song "Grateful" at the telecast, airing February 22 on ABC and hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. The song was written by veteran hitmaker Diane Warren for the movie Beyond the Lights; it's Warren's seventh Oscar nod.
Rita will release a new album in the spring and will appear in the upcoming movies 50 Shades of Grey and Southpaw.
Rita joins other Oscar performers Adam Levine, who'll sing the nominated song "Lost Stars" from the movie Begin Again, and John Legend and rapper Common, who'll perform the nominated song "Glory," from the movie Selma. The other nominees are "Everything Is Awesome," from The Lego Movie, and "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," from the movie Glen Campbell...I'll Be Me. Country music legend Glen Campbell will likely not be able to appear to perform the latter song, because he's currently suffering from Alzheimer's.
The 87th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 22 and air on ABC starting at 7 p.m. ET.
ABC/Randy HolmesIggy Azalea's nominated for four Grammys this year, and she says the biggest issue she has with getting ready for the February 8 ceremony isn't what she might perform, or what she might say in her acceptance speech...it's what she's planning to wear.
"I think the dress is the biggest preparation for a woman on Grammy night," the Australian rapper told Billboard. "So I’ve been working with a designer who’s been making me a dress that’s just for me -- with me in mind -- so I’m really excited about seeing that come to life."
Iggy says that unlike most of her red carpet choices, her Grammy dress will essentially be a surprise: she has no idea what it's going to look like, but she does know the color.
"Usually I see it and I pick it, so I’m a bit nervous, but I’m very excited," she told Billboard. "It’s blue!"
In addition to prepping for the Grammys, Iggy is also working on a new album and preparing for her Great Escape tour, which gets under way in April. Iggy told Billboard that even though it's exciting to perform in big cities like L.A. when she's on tour, there's a lot to be said about playing smaller towns.
"Sometimes it’s really nice to go to the towns that might have an arena but don’t really have a lot going on," she explains. "Because they’re super excited and they always, like, scream the easiest and the loudest and it’s the most fun."
"There are other places like L.A. where it is harder to get that hyper-fan-crying situation, ‘cause they’re used to seeing, you know, celebrities in the supermarket next to them," she adds. The pros of L.A., though, are that it's easier to get her friends and her boyfriend to come see her there.
The Great Escape tour kicks off April 14 in Fresno, California.
Big Machine RecordsWhen Taylor Swift released her album 1989 last year, it became somewhat of an online joke that many of her fans described themselves as "dead" or "dying" because they were so blown away by her and her music. Now, Taylor's using that same language to describe how she feels about a compliment paid to her by one of the biggest stars in music history.
According to Yahoo Australia, while speaking to an Australian TV show, Madonna said the following about Taylor: "It’s good to have princesses [of pop]. It means there’s lots of pretty dresses around. I like Taylor Swift. I think she writes some really catchy pop songs. I can’t get them out of my head."
Taylor reposted Madonna's comment on her Tumblr page, and then wrote, "Thanks now I’m dead." She added the hashtags "#HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DEAL WITH THIS," and "#BE COOL TAYLOR STOP BEING EMBARRASSING."
Brooke NiparBefore she was singing about "bringing booty back" and embracing her curves, Meghan Trainor had to fight low self-esteem just like the rest of us. The 21-year-old singer admitted to U.K.’s Reveal that she used to be "addicted to diets," and tried to follow Beyonce's weight-loss secret.
Meghan tells the publication that her insecurities began in school when her best guy friend told her she’d be "so hot" if she lost ten pounds. She said she rushed home and told her mom she was “never eating again.” That's when she started researching fad diets online.
"I Googled, ‘What does Beyonce do?’ and decided I'd try the detox diet with cayenne pepper,” Meghan recalled. "Do you know how much I had to drink to get used to it? It was so gross. I stopped straight away. I was like, ‘This is not normal.’”
Meghan said she’s since met Beyonce, who's a fan of her music, and credits her for having a “real figure” in a business where many women feel they have to be skin and bones.
"I definitely feel like I'm 30 and I've been through a lot,” the 21-year-old singer said. “I haven't experienced anything crucial or devastating. But I got addicted to weird little diets and I quickly realized how stupid it was.”
Meghan said that when she first wrote her #1 Grammy-nominated hit “All About That Bass,” it was more about how she wished she felt, rather than how she actually felt, about her body. But once she started performing and getting positive feedback, she says, she started to feel more confident. Now, she encourages her friends to love their bodies.
"I'm just 100 percent happier than I was,” she said. “The trick I tell my girlfriends now is that you have to say it out loud. You haven't got to nearly kill yourself on these diets. You just have to look in the mirror and tell yourself, ‘Damn I look good today!’”
ABC/Lorenzo BevilaquaEnriqueIglesias is reportedly being sued over his 2014 hit, "Bailando," by two songwriters who claim he stole the tune from them.
According to TMZ, Cristian Escuti and German Schulz claim "Bailando" is a rip-off of a song they recorded in 2009 called "Quiero Bailar Contigo." The pair claim they sent the tune to a Sony executive in 2012, but never heard back.
The songwriters claim the melody, lyrics, rhythm and chorus line of "Bailando" were taken from their tune. The pair claims Sony had partial ownership of the tune, and conspired to steal it from them.
TMZ says Escuti and Schulz are particularly angry that "Bailando" was Iglesias' biggest song from his Sex and Love album, and the video has nearly 690 million views on YouTube.
TMZ claims they requested a copy of "Quiero Bailar Contigo," but Escuti and Schulz's attorney said his clients wouldn't let him send it to the them.
USA for AfricaThirty years ago today, dozens of top musicians came together to record "We Are the World," the successful charity single that raised money for hunger victims in Africa.
The song, which was written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, came on the heels of the British charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" It was recorded in Hollywood after the 1985 American Music Awards, and featured a who's who of popular artists from that time. The artists recorded under the name USA for Africa.
In addition to Richie and Jackson, the song also featured Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan, and Ray Charles.
The all-star chorus included Dan Aykroyd, Harry Belafonte, Lindsey Buckingham, Sheila E., Bob Geldof, Bette Midler, Waylon Jennings, John Oates, Jeffrey Osborne, The Pointer Sisters, Smokey Robinson, and Michael Jackson's siblings, Jackie, La Toya, Marlon, Randy, and Tito.
Richie tells USA Today that he and Jackson listened to various national anthems in order to get into their minds into writing a "world anthem." "We didn't want a normal-sounding song," recalls Richie. "We wanted bombastic, the biggest thing you got."
Billy Joel told ABC News Radio in 2005 that when he first heard the track, he wasn't impressed at all. "I wasn't that crazy about the song. I think that was my main memory of that," he recalled. "It was, 'Oh, this is the song?'...It sounded like a Pepsi commercial!"
Dionne Warwick tells ABC News Radio the experience remains difficult to describe. "I've been asked this question several times -- 'How did it feel, how was it,' and that. You can't put it in words," she says. "It's one of those, 'You had to be there.' You know, the magnitude of talent that was in that room, my god! It was like the who's who and who is not, even, of show business and the recorded world. It was amazing. Amazing."
The recording session on January 28, 1985 at A&M Recording Studios in Hollywood began at 9 p.m. and lasted 12 hours. The artists were greeted by a sign that read, "Check your egos at the door."
Quincy Jones, who produced the track, recalls that the sign wasn't necessary. "Here you had 46 of the biggest recording stars in the entire world in one room, to help people in a far-off place who were in desperate need," Jones tells USA Today.
Warwick agrees: "There are many times that you might need to say that, in close quarters," she says, laughing. "But not that evening. That evening is still, still sparkles. It was an enormously incredible evening."
"I don't think that night, that experience, will ever truly be duplicated again," says Jones. "I know and believe in the power of music to bring people together for the betterment of mankind, and there may be no better example of this than the collective that was 'We Are the World.'"
Following its release in March 7, 1985, "We Are the World" sold more than 20 million copies and raised more than 60 million dollars for famine relief in Africa. It went on to win three Grammy Awards.
An updated version of the song was recorded in 2010 to help victims of the Haiti earthquake. It featured Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Adam Levine and Kanye West, among others.
ABC/Randy Holmes; ABC/Lou Rocco; Christie GoodwinJohn Mayer will be stepping in as a host on CBS' The Late Late Show next month, and he has some interesting guests lined up, including a guy who's BFFs with -- awkward! -- a woman he allegedly once dated.
John will be behind the desk recently vacated by Craig Ferguson from February 4 through February 6. On his first night, he'll welcome Bravo's Andy Cohen, of Watch What Happens fame. On Thursday the 5th, his guest will be Jim Carrey. And on Friday the 6th, two nights before the Grammy Awards, his guest will be Ed Sheeran, who's up for three Grammys this year, including Album of the Year.
But will things be weird between Ed and John? After all, Ed is one of Taylor Swift's best friends, and John not only reportedly dated Taylor, he did her wrong enough to allegedly inspire the song "Dear John" on her album Speak Now. Taylor, of course, has never admitted that the song is about John, and called him "presumptuous" in Glamour magazine for thinking that it was. But a couple of years ago, John told Rolling Stone that "Dear John" "humiliated" him.
"It made me feel terrible," he said at the time. "Because I didn't deserve it. I'm pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do." He added, "It's abusing your talent to rub your hands together and go, 'Wait till he gets a load of this!'"
John later released a song called "Paper Doll" that everyone assumed was about Taylor.
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, who are nominated for a Grammy for their duet album Cheek to Cheek, will be performing at the ceremony next month.
Gaga announced Tuesday on Twitter, "Me and @itstonybennett are so excited to announce we will be performing at #TheGrammys this year! Thank you to @TheGRAMMYs and our fans!"
Cheek to Cheek is nominated in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category.
Grammy organizers have also announced that Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani will take the stage together. Gwen served as a coach alongside Adam on the fall 2014 season of The Voice and she appears on Maroon 5's current album, V. In addition, Annie Lennox and Hozier will duet, and Jessie J and music legend Tom Jones, who've both served as coaches on the U.K. version of The Voice, will sing together.
Previously-announced performers include Pharrell, Sam Smith, Madonna, AC/DC, Ed Sheeran, Usher and Ariana Grande. The Grammys air February 8 on CBS.
Ironworks Records/Kobalt Label ServicesLifehouse is back with new music. The band has announced details of their upcoming album, and premiered their new single “Hurricane” on Billboard.com.
Out of the Wasteland, the band’s first new release since 2012’s Almería, will arrive May 19. “There was a kind of unlearning with this album,” says frontman Jason Wade. “We wanted to retrace our steps back to the beginning and really find the innocence, that feeling of being 17-year-old kids who get excited about playing in the garage.”
The album's lead single, “Hurricane,” represents the type of return to its roots that the band was going for. "'Hurricane' started as a catchy up-tempo pop song and then transformed into this electric, energetic rock song that was very reminiscent of our first album," Jason tells Billboard. "I feel like it is the backbone of the record, and was the catalyst that brought our band back around full circle."
The video for the song features the band playing behind bars, and cuts to scenes of a couple working out their issues in the chaotic setting of a prison. "Hurricane" is currently the iTunes’ Single of the Week and is available for free download.
Here’s the track list for Out of the Wasteland, Lifehouse’s seventh studio album:
“Hurricane” “One for the Pain” “Flight” “Runaways” “Firing Squad” “Wish” “Stardust” “Alien” “Central Park” “Hurt This Way” “Yesterday’s Son” “Hourglass”
Jeff Daly/NBCOne Direction, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and Calvin Harris made this year’s annual Debrett’s 500 list of most influential Brits.
They were featured in the music section of the list, alongside producer and X Factor judge and creator Simon Cowell.. According to Debrett’s, a publisher specializing in British etiquette and style, the annual music list “shines a spotlight on the people who are making the most impact on this fast-changing industry, from the recording artists and record label executives, to the radio playlist-setters, music critics and the people changing the face of the music industry in the digital age.”
The unranked list features the most influential people in the U.K. across 24 disciplines including art, stage & screen, business & industry, sports and politics.
Vincent Perini/222 Recordings/Interscope RecordsIf you're still recovering from the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show that aired in December, prepare your heart for the sight of more scantily-clad models frolicking to the sound of chart-topping pop hits.
The Victoria's Secret Swim Special, set to air on CBS next month, will feature a performance by Maroon 5. No big surprise, since one of the models featured on the special is Behati Prinsloo, wife of Maroon 5's Adam Levine. The special was taped in Puerto Rico, and will show the Angels modeling their sexy swimwear as they go underwater, trek through the jungle, and talk about how important the shoot is to their lives and careers.
In addition to Behati, the special features Lily Aldridge, Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel and others. Spanish rocker Juanes is also on the bill.
The Victoria's Secret Swim Special airs February 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Pari Dukovic/GQHe may have been flanked by a group of dapper men in suits for his “Like I Can” video, but Sam Smith wants to lead his own Rat Pack for real. The 22-year-old singer told GQ he’s going through a bit of a Frank Sinatra phase at the moment, and that he’d love to start a modern-day club like the one that included Frank, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. back in the 1960s.
Sam's connection to the New Jersey crooner goes way back,. “Come Fly with Me” was the song Sam sang at his first-ever singing lesson when he was 10 years old. “Then, the first album I ever bought was Amy Winehouse's Frank,” Sam explained. “And my label is Capitol Records, where Sinatra used to record. I envy the competition that people like Sinatra would have had -- you know, the people that he'd be standing on the stage with -- because you could tell he was working off them. I need a Rat Pack, I really do. I should start one up.”
If it seems like Sam belongs in another time, that’s because he wishes he did. “I sound awful saying this all the time, because it sounds like I'm slagging off current pop stars, which I'm not, because I love pop culture,” he said. “But I feel like class and romance have gotten lost. We've become a bit lazy, not just in terms of music. I miss the days when girls would wear full long dresses and just stand onstage and sing. That's what I'm trying to bring back: that timeless element.”
There are some current pop stars Sam admires, though. Taylor Swift is one. “She's a role model,” he said. “I really respect her. And she manages to sell a lot of records and make a lot of people happy financially, but also to keep that soulfulness, that honesty.”
Sam also respects Mary J. Blige and Chaka Khan, and says they’ve advised and helped him along the way. "It's taught me a lesson," he said. "If I'm here in twenty years' time, knock on wood, I'll make sure anyone I meet who's just starting out, I will sit down and offer advice and help."
Sam is nominated for six Grammys this year. GQ’s February issue is on stands now.
Lokal Legend/4th and B'way/Island RecordsThis “Hideaway” singer is not about to hide away any time soon. Kiesza just announced her second single, as well as dates for her first major North American tour.
The 26-year-old Canadian’s follow-up single will be “Sound of a Woman,” off her debut album of the same name. She’s hitting the road this spring with special guest Betty Who. The Sound of a Woman tour is set to kick off March 30 in Atlanta and wrap up five weeks later, on May 7 in Montreal.
In addition to the tour dates, Kiesza will also be performing at some festivals. She’ll take the stage at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami from March 27 to 29 and the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California on April 10and 17. She’ll also play the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City from June 5 to 7.
Tickets for the tour go on sale January 30. Here are the tour and festival dates:
3/27-29 -- Miami, FL, Ultra Music Festival 3/30 -- Atlanta, GA, Center Stage 3/31 -- Nashville, TN, Marathon Music Works 4/2 -- Houston, TX, Fitzgerald’s 4/3 -- Austin, TX, Emo's 4/4 -- Dallas, TX, Granada Theater 4/6 -- Denver, CO, Gothic Theatre 4/7 -- Salt Lake City, UT, The Depot 4/10 -- Indio, CA, Coachella Music Festival 4/12 -- Phoenix, AZ, Crescent Ballroom 4/17 -- Indio, CA, C, Hawthorne Theatre 4/20 -- Vancouver, B.C., Commodore Ballroom 4/22 -- Edmonton, AB, Union Hall 4/23 -- Calgary, AB, MacEwan Hall 4/26 -- Madison, WI, Majestic Theatre 4/27 -- Chicago, IL, Metro 4/30 -- Cleveland, OH, House of Blues 5/1 -- Detroit, MI, St. Andrews Hall 5/2 -- Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall 5/4 -- New York, NY, Irving Plaza 5/6 -- Boston, MA, House of Blues 5/7 -- Montreal, QC, Metropolis 6/5-7 -- New York, NY, Governors Ball Music Festival
Image Group LA/ABCThe 2015 Juno Awards nominations were announced Tuesday, and MAGIC! leads the pack.
The “Rude” group from Toronto nabbed five nominations, including Pop Album of the Year, Single of the Year and Breakthrough Group of the Year. “Hideaway” singer Kiesza, a fellow Canadian, follows close behind with four nominations, including Single of the Year and Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
Other Canadian nominees include Avril Lavigne, Nickelback -- whose lead singer Chad Kroeger is married to Avril -- and Sarah McLachlan. Also nominated is You Me, the side project of Pink and singer-songwriter Dallas Green. Pink's not Canadian, of course, but Dallas is.
Other big nominees include Katy Perry, Lorde, One Direction, Sam Smith and Taylor Swift -- who are all up for International Album of the Year.
The Juno Awards, Canada’s equivalent of the Grammys, will be held on March 15 in Hamilton, Ontario. A full list of nominees can be found on JunoAwards.ca.
ABC/Lou RoccoWhen you’re as high profile and as active on social media as Taylor Swift is, you’re bound to get hacked. That’s exactly what happened to the pop star’s Twitter and Instagram accounts on Tuesday.
Hackers infiltrated her Twitter account first, sending two tweets out to her 51.4 million followers. The tweets, as seen in screencaps obtained by The Verge, asked her fans to follow @lizzard, the purported “leader” of the Lizard Squad hacker group, and @veriuser. The @lizzard Twitter account reportedly threatened to publish nude photos of Taylor in exchange for bitcoins. The account has now been suspended.
Shortly after the tweets went out, Taylor’s Instagram account was taken over. A photo was posted urging her 20.2 million followers to follow someone with the username @Trash.
Both of Taylor’s accounts were quickly recovered and the offending posts were deleted.
Taylor responded to the hack in a Tumblr post. "Well, now I'm awake…My Twitter got hacked but don't worry, Twitter is deleting the hacker tweets and locking my account until they can figure out how this happened and get me new passwords,” she wrote. “Never a dull moment." She added the hashtag, #hackersgonnahackhackhackhackhack.
She later tweeted in response to an apparent threat by hackers to release nude photos: "PS any hackers saying they have 'nudes'? Psssh you'd love that wouldn't you! Have fun photoshopping cause you got NOTHING."
Taylor is the fourth most followed person on Twitter behind Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and President Barack Obama. According to SocialBlade.com, hers is the seventh most followed Instagram account.
ABC/Randy HolmesIggy Azalea is launching her first arena tour in the spring, and she's looking for talent.
“I’m in the hiring stage at the moment, if you’re looking for a job," she jokes to Billboard. “I’m just getting into auditioning dancers, putting together the band, that sort of thing, so I’m not really in the fun stage yet of designing.”
Azalea says she's looking forward to creating the show once she has found the right team. "After that, I’ll get to do the fun stuff. The costumes and set design, musical transitions and all those fun things will start to happen next month,” she says.
The Down Under rapper has a full plate as she’s also working on a new album and directing the video for “Trouble” featuring Jennifer Hudson.
Azalea’s “Great Escape' North American tour kicks off April 14 in Fresno, California and runs through May 24 in Austin, Texas.
MotownThe expression "based on a true story" truly applies to Ne-Yo's new album Non-Fiction, which is in stores today. He says all the songs on the album were either based on things that have actually happened to him, or to his fans. While he didn't give his fans credit for sharing their stories with him, he says he was so specific that, if he wrote about you, you'll definitely know.
Ne-Yo collected information from his fans by asking them to share their stories with him via social media. "Every story is absolutely a true story," he ABC News Radio. "I didn’t really have to ask for permission. I didn’t use anybody’s names or anything like that. It was basically just inspiration and ideas that came from these people." He says he didn't reveal to the fans what he wanted the information for, however.
"I would’ve got people writing me all kinds of crazy stuff just trying to get on the album," he explains. "So I kept it very conversational with the questions. You know, kind of vague: 'Tell me about your relationship. Go!'”
"I wish I could have credited the people whose stories I actually used but there was all kinds of legal red tape," he says, explaining why he didn't give the fans whose stories he ended up using any special shoutouts. "Of course, my lawyers were like, 'Wait a minute. I don’t know if you wanna do that!' So I didn’t get to do it that way, but I did write the songs very, very specific to where, if I used your story, you know that it’s your story."
Ne-Yo has taken all the stories and woven it into something that resembles a mini-movie, with spoken-word interludes and recurring characters. That's why, he says, he prefers it if you'd listen to the entire Non-Fiction album, rather than grabbing random songs that you like, such as the album's hit collabos with Juicy J and Pitbull, respectively: "She Knows" and "Time of Our Lives."
"There’s definitely an overarching storyline and I feel like it just makes each individual song that much better when you hear it in context to the other songs...just to really get the full effect of what it is I was trying to do," he tells ABC News Radio. "But if you’re one of those type of people whose attention span is a little shorter, [and] you don’t really wanna sit and listen to a story, that’s fine, [I'm] not mad at you! But I would absolutely recommend getting the full body of work."
While Ne-Yo is focused on the release of Non-Fiction, he's also waiting to hear whether any of the songs he wrote for his friend Rihanna's long-awaited new album have made the final cut. She's not saying one way or another.
"I don’t know what made it and what didn’t," he tells ABC New Radio. "She’s keeping it very, very under wraps even from the people that are closest to her, which I can do nothing but respect as a fellow artist."
However, he reveals he did get an advance listen to "FourFiveSeconds," the acoustic track Rihanna released over the weekend that features her teaming with Kanye West and Paul McCartney.
"I had heard that song and I think that it’s incredible," he says. "I thought that it was a little different for her and I was kind of anxious to see how people were gonna receive it. And…I think people are just so hungry for her to come back, you know. Not that the song is bad -- the song is an incredible song -- but I feel like at this point anything that she could’ve dropped, people are just gonna eat it up because they’re so ready for her to come back."
No word on a release date for Rihanna's new album, either.
Art Streiber/NBCChristina Aguilera has joined the entertainment lineup for this year's NBA All-Star Game, which takes place February 15 in New York's Madison Square Garden.
Christina will open the show with what's described as a "New York-inspired performance." She'll be joined by the legendary Rockettes, the dance troupe from New York's Radio City Music Hall. The game airs live at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.
As previously reported, Ariana Grande will perform at halftime during the game.