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Chris Daughtry Says He Wanted to Act Long Before He Wanted to Rock

Paul Drinkwater/NBCTwo years ago, Chris Daughtry tweeted that he was taking acting lessons, and they seemed to have paid off: this week, he announced he's landed a recurring role as a drug-addicted rock star in Studio City, a new Fox drama pilot.  But if you think that Chris plans to put career with his band Daughtry on hold in favor of Hollywood, you'd be wrong.

"It’s not something where I feel that I’m gonna, you know, kick music to the side for a few years and do acting," he told ABC Radio around the time he revealed he was taking the acting lessons.  "I don’t see that in my future, because obviously I love what we do so much as a band and with the music. So, it’s gonna be difficult to find a perfect balance."

Still, acting is a passion, and not an afterthought, for Chris.  He didn't just decide to do it because people started offering him roles because he's a chart-topping singer. 

"Looking back over the last six or seven years, it just seems like one dream after another is just coming to fruition, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t pursue ‘em all. You know what I mean?" he told ABC Radio. "And acting was something that I wanted to do way before I ever found music."

As for whether or not Chris is actually any good at acting, well, his coach seems to think so.  He took classes with Marjorie Ballentine, who's worked with Gary Oldman, Krysten Ritter and other stars.   "She just gave me some really encouraging words and made me feel like it’s something that I’m good at and something that I should really consider,"  he told ABC Radio. 

In addition to acting in the show, Chris plans to write original music for Studio City.  As for his day job, he and Daughtry have concerts lined up in late April and early May, and then a few dates here and through the summer.

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Taylor Swift Joins Country Star Kenny Chesney for His Tour Kickoff Show

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Kenny ChesneyTaylor Swift was a special guest at country star Kenny Chesney's opening show on his Big Revival tour in Nashville on Thursday night.

She joined Kenny on stage at the Bridgestone Arena for a performance of his hit song "Big Star." Video of their collaboration was quickly posted on YouTube.

One fan at the show reported on Twitter that she saw Taylor holding hands with Scottish DJ/musician Calvin Harris at one point. The day before, the two were photographed grocery shopping in Nashville, sparking rumors of a potential romance.

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Rihanna Wants New Movie "Home" to Make Little Girls Feel "Empowered"

John Russo/DreamWorks AnimationRihanna made her acting debut in the poorly received 2012 big-budget sci-fi flick Battleship, and made cameo appearance in 2013's This Is the End and last year's Annie remake.  Now, it's her voice -- her speaking voice, not her singing voice -- that's front and center in the new animated movie Home, in theaters Friday.

In Home, Rihanna voices a resourceful and brave little girl named Tip who becomes separated from her mom, voiced by Jennifer Lopez, when aliens invade Earth.   She evades capture, goes on the run and teams up with one of the aliens, voiced by Jim Parsons.  Together, the two learn about acceptance, friendship and perseverance. 

What's notable about Home, besides its all star cast, is its diversity -- it's rare to see an animated movie whose lead character is a regular African-American girl, not some impossibly beautiful Caucasian princess.  "I think it was both important to me and [the movie studio] for this character to be as realistic as possible," says Rihanna. "We wanted little girls to feel empowered. Little girls of any size, shape, color, race -- it didn’t matter."

"We wanted girls to just feel strong and brave and empowered and beautiful and like they can do anything and they can take charge of their life or their situation, no matter what," the singer adds.

Also important, says Rihanna, is the fact is that Tip looks like a lot of the kids who'll be going to see Home this weekend.

"I think we were really, really careful, especially with the animation and making sure that she wore the right thing, that her body was not unrealistic, you know?" she says. "And I think for kids, that’s gonna be very special. For young girls, especially."

Rihanna also contributed three songs to the Home soundtrack; songs by Charli XCX, Jennifer Lopez, Kiesza and other artists round out the package.

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Zayn Malik on Leaving 1D: “I Feel Like I’m Doing What’s Right”

RJ ShaughnessyZayn Malik says he doesn’t regret his decision to leave One Direction.  

In an interview published Friday in the U.K. newspaper The Sun, the 22-year-old admits being surprised by the reaction to his announcement this week but he feels good about the decision he made.

“It is crazy and wild and a bit mad, but at the same time I've never felt more in control in my life,” says Zayn. “And I feel like I'm doing what's right -- right by myself and right by the boys, so I feel good.”

In the interview, Zayn rejects reports that he left the boy band because of bad blood between him and the other members: Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan.

“My band has been really supportive. They've been cool about it,” Zayn tells The Sun. “And they understand that, you know, it's not real to me anymore.”  He said the reports of tension “couldn't be more wrong.”

Zayn also tells the newspaper that he's still with his fiancée, Perrie Edwards, and she's "very supportive" of his decision.

Zayn acknowledges that many fans are upset by his departure, but he hopes they understand.  “I feel like I've let the fans down but I can't do this anymore,” he confesses, adding, "It's not that I've turned my back on them or anything, it's just that I just can't do that anymore because it's not the real me.”

As for his future, Zayn tells The Sun he's been working on his own music for some time.

The four remaining members of One Direction have vowed to continue.  They have concert dates booked through October and are recording a fifth album that is due out later this year.

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Taylor Swift Among Fortune's "World's 50 Greatest Leaders"

ABC/Fred LeeTaylor Swift is certainly a leader in the music industry, but is she one of the greatest leaders in the entire world?  Fortune magazine thinks so. The singer ranks #6 on the magazine's list of the "World's 50 Greatest Leaders," alongside the likes of Pope Francis, Apple CEO Tim Cook and the president of China.

How did Taylor end up on the list?  Fortune explains, "To make this roster, it was not enough to be brilliant, admirable, or even supremely powerful. We set out to find singular leaders with vision who moved others to act as well, and who brought their followers with them on a shared quest. We looked for effectiveness and commitment and for the courage to pioneer."

The magazine says it solicited nominees from "two dozen of the world's best minds," as well as its own staff.  "People everywhere still want leaders who will speak to them honestly about the challenges they face together," says the magazine.  "[These] are the best examples we’ve found of how to succeed in this challenging new environment, where leaders must earn their leadership every day."

Others on the list include Bill and Melinda Gates, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Jimmy Fallon, Lebron James and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

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Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Lorde, Meghan Trainor, & More Make AskMen's Top 99 Outstanding Women List

ABC/Randy HolmesKaty Perry, Taylor Swift, Lorde, Meghan Trainor, and Lady Gaga all made it onto’s Top 99 Outstanding Women of 2015 list. This year, instead of compiling a list of the most “desirable” women based on their sex appeal, the men’s lifestyle website decided to highlight women who have demonstrated success and influence in their industries.

Taylor ranked the highest of her pop star peers, coming in at number 4. “After a strong first few albums that made her a fan favorite within her own genre, she's broken through to the mainstream to become a genuine megastar, and there's no looking back,” AskMen says.

Her BFF Lorde came in at number 65, with AskMen praising her success at such a young age. “Basically, ‘wunderkind’ is an understatement,” the website writes.

Meghan made the list at number 80 despite her “cringey” video for “Dear Future Husband,” and Gaga came in at number 58 for her unexpected jazz partnership with Tony Bennett and awe-inspiring Oscars performance.

Katy just made it at number 97, thanks to her unforgettable Super Bowl performance this year.

Other pop stars AskMen considers “outstanding” are Rihanna, at number 23; Ariana Grande, at number 26; Sia, at number 52; and Lana Del Ray, at number 72.  Actress and outspoken feminist Emma Watson claimed the number one spot.

To determine the final ranking, panelists representing five media outlets -- Business Insider, Huffington Post Lifestyle, PC Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Yahoo! Celebrity -- helped AskMen’s editorial team compile a list of 200 women. Then, readers voted to narrow down the list to the Top 99 most outstanding female singers, actors, models, athletes, and businesswomen.

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1D's Liam Payne Issues Statement: "It's Far from Over"

Jeff Daly/NBCAny One Direction fans who were concerned that the band would be breaking up following the departure of Zayn Malik can rest easy: according to Liam Payne, 1D has no plans to split.

"In light of recent events I think this is important to say," Liam tweeted. "For the past five years now I've been part of something so special I don't think any of us really understand, something that can mean the world to people and put a smile on the face of our fans even in the darkest times. To a lot of people, it's just a bunch of silly kids in a band, but to the people involved it means so much more."

He adds, "This last week has been some of the worst times, possibly the worst it's something we are all deeply saddened by. It's sad to think for the time being we won't grace the stage as five bros, or have the same fun on a tour bus or laughs in a hotel together that we have over the years, but I'm super sure us and zayn will always remain the closest friends."

"I guess what I'm really trying to say is it's far from over," Liam concludes. "When we very 1st became successful we all agreed that one direction had become much bigger than each individual member. That's why I feel like right now, it's ok to be sad and upset, but I do ask everyone who is a fan of us to please keep ur faith in us: I'm sure there's a lot more to come."

The band has already announced its intentions to continue its tour and record a new album without Zayn.

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Jessie J Says She Wants Kids Someday

Matt Irwin/Republic RecordsJessie J and her boyfriend are not breaking up. In fact, it seems like things are getting more serious between Jessie and Luke James. The singer tells the Daily Mail that she’s already thinking about kids.

“Do I want children? Of course I do,” she says. “I don't know how many I want to have but whatever God decides to bless me with, I will give my all to.”

And when she does have children, she'll look to her own mom for guidance. “I've been spending a lot of time with my mother because no one is a better example of a mum than her,” she tells the Mail.

Jessie admits there will come a time when she takes “a step back from music to concentrate on other things,” but she says she doesn’t plan to give her career up entirely once she starts a family.

“Whenever I see J. Lo or David and Victoria Beckham out with their kids, it's really reassuring for me,” she says. “I have so much respect for them because of how they manage to balance everything.”

She adds, “They make [the showbiz scene] as normal as they can for their children and that is so important -- for the parents as well as the kids. It just goes to show that it is possible.”

Jessie and Luke, an R&B singer, went public with their relationship in November and she told the Mail that she hopes he’s “the one.” Last week, Jessie went on a Twitter rant after rumors surfaced that the two had broken up. She scolded her fans for attacking Luke on social media, telling them it "doesn't make you a fan it makes you mean."

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Britney Spears Opens Up About “Adorably Hot” Boyfriend, Charlie Ebersol

Courtesy PEOPLEFirst Britney Spears opened up about her family life to People magazine, now she’s dishing about her love life. In her People cover story, out Friday, the pop star talks about her “adorably hot” boyfriend of six months, Charlie Ebersol.

She reveals that the two were introduced by her assistant. "I thought he was really adorable and she said he was good to people, so I went for it," Britney says.

For their first date, Charlie asked Britney for suggestions and she wasn’t shy about telling him exactly what she wanted. "I said, 'Cook for me!'" she says. "So he made fish, mushrooms, avocado with a dressing, and tomatoes and mozzarella. It was amazing."

She says she was attracted to a lot more than just his skills in the kitchen. "There was something about him that made me feel really peaceful and at ease," she says, adding, "And he was really hot, too. Adorably hot."

Charlie, a television producer and the son of former NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol, has continued to sweep Britney off her feet with  romantic gestures. For her 33rd birthday in December, Britney says they made waffles, lit some candles and ate on the floor. Charlie bought her a beautiful cake and a personal gift that she now has hanging on the wall. "One of my favorite songs is 'Thank U,' by Alanis Morissette, and he put all the words to the song in a long frame,” she says. “It was really thoughtful."

It seems Charlie truly adores her. He tells People Britney has an "enormous heart."

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Carly Rae Jepsen to Make "Saturday Night Live" Debut

Matthew WelchCarly Rae Jepsen will make her Saturday Night Live musical guest debut on April 4. The 29-year-old Canadian singer will likely perform her catchy new single, “I Really Like You,” on the program.

The episode will be hosted by Birdman actor Michael Keaton, marking his third time as host.

Carly has been busy putting the finishing touches on her third studio album. It doesn’t have a release date yet, but she hinted it would be heavily inspired by ‘80s pop music.

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Ed Sheeran Confirms He's Single Again

Christie GoodwinEd Sheeran is single again. The 24-year-old singer revealed on Australian radio that he's split from girlfriend Athina Andrelos.

Things got awkward pretty quickly when the hosts of Sydney’s The Kyle and Jackie O Show asked how Ed, who’s currently touring in Australia, was doing with the ladies. “Well, I wasn’t single. I was in a relationship for a long time,” Ed said. They inquired if he was single now, and he confirmed that the relationship had ended. He didn’t seem too happy about it.

When they asked if he wants to be single, Ed paused uncomfortably and, according to the hosts, appeared to be on the verge of tears. “That’s interesting. That’s the first time I’ve spoken about that,” he said.

Athina, who works for celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, reportedly dated Ed for 14 months.

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Fall Out Boy to Perform at Wrigley Field for MLB Opening Night

Credit: Pamela LittkyFall Out Boy has added another sporting event to their schedule. On April 5, the Chicago band will perform at Wrigley Field for MLB's opening night game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, according to E!.

"When our band all lived in an apartment together in Roscoe Village, we used to pass out fliers for shows at the Metro after games," says Pete Wentz. "It has been a lifetime dream to get the chance to play at Wrigley Field. We are grateful to MLB for the opportunity and so excited to perform for our hometown crowd."

Fall Out Boy will perform their hit "Uma Thurman," their Save Rock and Roll track "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'em Up)" and, of course, the jock-jam of 2015, "Centuries."

Earlier this year, Fall Out Boy played a pre-Super Bowl party, as well as the NHL All-Star Game. Perhaps the band will try to hit for the American sports cycle by performing during the NBA Finals, too.

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Rihanna Releases Tough New Single, "B***h Better Have My Money"

Roc NationRihanna surprised fans Thursday by teasing snippets of her new single "B***h Better Have My Money" in an unusual way: through the Dubsmash video-messaging app, where users can upload videos of themselves lip-syncing. Fans were required to download the app before they could check out the song, but not long afterward, Rihanna's record label released the song in full.

The profanity-laced track has a trap vibe, and features Rihanna adopting a tough-girl stance, and almost shouting the lyrics, "B***ch better have my money/Y'all should know me well enough/B***ch better have my money/Please don't call me on my bluff/Pay me what you owe me /B*lls dey bigger than LeBron/B***h give me my money/who y'all think you frontin' on?"

The track is the latest taste of Rihanna's upcoming album R8, which still doesn't have a release date.

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Chris Daughtry Lands Recurring Role in Fox Pilot "Studio City"

Frank Micelotta / FOX He guest-starred on an episode of CSI: New York in 2008, but now Chris Daughtry's about to branch out into acting for real: the former American Idol star has landed a part in a TV pilot for Fox, the network that airs American Idol. reports that Chris was been cast in a recurring role in Studio City, a drama about a young singer's rise to stardom.  The singer's father, played by Eric McCormack, is a songwriter and drug dealer to the stars, and Chris will portray Keith Rhodes, a drug-addicted musician.  Chris will also write original music for the series.

In 2013, Chris revealed that he'd been taking acting classes.  In 2012, he auditioned for a tiny role in The Dark Knight Rises, but it didn't work out.

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Plain White T’s Release New Video Featuring the "Breaking Bad" RV

James MinchinPlain White T’s released the music video for their new single, “Pause,” on Billboard Tuesday.

The video features the band getting stranded on a desert road after their mode of transportation -- the actual RV from Breaking Bad -- breaks down. They decide to make the best of the situation by playing an impromptu concert and pretty soon they attract passing drivers for a carefree roadside party.  

“Our new album, American Nights, really focuses on being present and concentrating on what’s happening now instead of what might happen tomorrow," lead singer Tom Higgenson tells Billboard. "This song, 'Pause,' is our lead single and it serves as a reminder to be present and appreciate all of life’s experiences.”  The song will be featured in Lipton's new "Be More Tea" ad campaign.

In addition to the Breaking Bad RV, the video features a cameo from American Pie actor Thomas Ian Nicholas, who’s a friend of the band.

American Nights, the band’s seventh studio album, arrives March 31.

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Did 1D's Harry Styles Cry Over Zayn Malik's Departure? Meanwhile, Fans Go In-Zayn Over News

ABC/Lou RoccoIt wasn't just millions of teens worldwide who burst into tears Wednesday at the news that Zayn Malik had left One Direction: his bandmate Harry Styles was choked up too.

Us Weekly magazine reports Harry was caught on stage during the band's concert Wednesday in Jakarta, Indonesia wiping away tears.  It's not clear if Zayn's departure was the reason for his sadness, though.  A source tells the magazine that the band "knew it was coming" after Zayn left the tour and flew home to the U.K., citing "exhaustion."  Said an insider, "He just wasn’t happy. He felt he had gotten everything he can out of being in the band and that it was now time to change his life and be away from all the craziness."

As for the band's fans, social media has been filled with countless tweets and Vines of girls getting hysterical over the news that 1D is now a quartet.  Sixteen-year-old 1D superfan Janelle Holm tells ABC Radio, "I was like, oh my God, this cannot be happening. I almost had a panic attack during homeroom."  She adds that her friends were "shocked and crying and stuff like that," but others were "really mad" at the singer.

Why?  "Because he left," she explains. "Because he was like, 'I'm only going to take a break.' We should have gotten closure from him, because he didn't tweet anything...Like, I feel like he should have tweeted something."

Asked if she thinks the band will survive, Janelle says, "I hope so. I mean if they don't it will definitely be horrible for the whole fandom."  As for why she thinks Zayn ultimately made the decision to leave, she thinks it's due to the fact that he's engaged to Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards.

"I feel like they have been putting off their wedding for so long because of his busy schedule," notes Janelle.  "But I feel like it's the stress of the wedding that he's planning and the tour that brought this on."

And if 1D can't stand the stress of losing Zayne, and ends up breaking up?

"Man, I will lay down in my bed and cry for a week," says the teen.

Malik himself is seeking the life of a "normal 22-year-old," but to hear his fans tell it, nothing with ever be normal again.

It is no surprise that the hyper-connected demographic that made the boy band world famous would take to social media to express their pain. Here are just a few of the countless references that popped up on Twitter:

"zayn left one direction???? @god what did i do wrong"

"Obama gotta speak on Zayn Malik leaving One Direction"



Even Game of Thrones author George RR Martin, infamous for killing off his beloved characters, tweeted, "This is what happens when 1D asks me to guest write a song..." 

While much of the fan drama can be chalked up to harmless tween and teen heartbreak, a much more serious angle emerged online, with the hashtag #Cut4Zayn -- complete with graphic posted pics of fans who cut themselves to show their devotion -- trending. 

Meanwhile, Harry Styles tweeted late on Wednesday, "All the love as always," while Liam Payne tweeted early Thursday, "So glad to be in bed after a long and strange 24 hours." 

Niall Horan also tweeted on Thursday, "Been a mad few days and your support has been incredible as per usual! This in turn spurs us on to make the best music we possibly can, put on great shows / tours for you guys. You are the best fans in the world and you deserve nothing less from us! The lads and I arrived in South Africa this morning . We cannot wait to see all you SA fans for the first time and have great shows."

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Vance Joy Chose His Stage Name to "Conjure Up a Cool Little World" for Himself

Darren AnkenmanThanks to his hit "Riptide" and his upcoming opening slot on Taylor Swift's 1989 world tour, a lot more fans are familiar with Vance Joy.  But you may not be aware that Vance Joy isn't actually the Australian singer/songwriter's given name: he was born James Keogh, and took his stage name from a character in a book.  So why did he change it?  "I wanted to create a little world," he explains.

Vance, who originally set out to be a lawyer and then switched to music, said he was inspired to change his name when he saw that one of his musician buddies had done it.  "One friend in particular started doing well and he had a stage name and I saw him create something out of nothing, almost," he tells ABC Radio.

"He had these songs, and then he had this different alias, and then he had this kind of presence online and it was as if he was kind of conjuring up this cool little world just for himself that people were attaching to and it kind of sparked people’s imaginations," he adds. "So I saw the way that could work and I had the same desire to do it for myself."

So once Vance -- who was James at the time -- wrote "Riptide" and a few other songs, and decided to take music seriously, he says he was ready to take the leap.

"I knew the name 'Vance Joy' from a book that I had read called Bliss by Peter Carey," he recalls. "And I wanted to create, like, a little world. And up to that point, I had played a few gigs for friends, but I kind of wanted to make a more ambitious step into the music world, with the name and with my new songs."

However, Vance says that his new persona didn't go over particularly well with his either his friends, or the woman he was dating at the time.

"I wrote a list of terrible names and you ask people their opinions, and if you ask for opinions you’re gonna get an opinion on everything," he laughs. "And even with Vance Joy, people were like, 'Oh, you’re crazy.' And my girlfriend at the time was like, 'Yeah...that ain’t gonna work.' And I was, like, 'I think it’s good." And [she] was, like, 'All right, [it's] your funeral!'"

Luckily, Vance didn't listen, and went with the new name, which seems to have worked out pretty well for him. "I guess I learned to just follow your instinct about names and you just gotta stick to your guns," he says.

Vance is currently back home performing in Australia, but in April, he'll head to the U.S. for a series of solo and festival dates, including a stop at Coachella.  On May 20, he'll hook up with Taylor -- not literally, of course -- as she launches her tour in Bossier City, Louisiana.

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"American Idol" Recap: Two Hopefuls Go Home, Boy George Coaches, David Hasselhoff Sings

Michael Becker/FOXThe top nine finalists were revealed on Wednesday’s two-hour edition of American Idol, an installment that featured a double elimination, singing advice from Boy George and a musical performance by David Hasselhoff.

The nine contestants who advanced as a result of America’s votes are: Daniel Seavey, Quentin Alexander, Joey Cook, Tyanna Jones, Jax, Nick Fradiani, Clark Beckham, Qaasim Middleton and Rayvon Owen.

Adanna Duru and Maddie Walker were sent home.

Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. were back behind the judges' table and Idol mentor Scott Borchetta enlisted Boy George to help guide the contestants.

In keeping with the theme of Wednesday's broadcast, which was “Tribute to the 80s,” David Hasselhoff was there to hand the envelope containing the results of America’s votes to host Ryan Seacrest.

Hasselhoff then performed a medley of popular '80s hits that included Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves and Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up."

In honor of Boy George, the Idol contestants performed Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon."

Here's a rundown of Wednesday's performances:

The first saved contestant of the night was Daniel Seavey, who tackled Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True.” Boy George advised the 15-year-old to ignore his critics, because that would ultimately affect his performance.

Keith said Daniel's performance seemed to get stronger as it progressed and he told teen he needed to learn how to “get comfortable quicker.” Jennifer agreed and added that the song was well-suited to Daniel’s voice. Harry said the vocals were just “pretty good,” and he urged the teen to throw away his choreographed moves and just have fun.

Quentin Alexander sang the Phil Collins hit “In the Air Tonight.”  During rehearsal, he admitted he needed to work on his pitch, but Boy George advised him that breath control was more important. Borchetta said when Quentin relaxes and just sings, he’s “mesmerizing.”

Jennifer thought Quentin's “cool factor was on a thousand,” adding it was a “home run.” Harry loved the performance, but noted Quentin sang mostly slows songs and suggested he change it up. Keith loved Quentin's artistry, but said the New Orleans native needed to sing with more authority and “own the song.”

Tyanna Jones impressed the judges with her version of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me).” Boy George said it was like “going into the ring with Tyson.” He added, “The only worry I have with Tyanna is that she might, in the moment, show off,” adding, “There’s nothing wrong with showing off, I’ve been doing it for thirty years.”

Keith loved the performance, but thought Tyanna could relax a little more. J-Lo agreed, telling her to do what she was “born to d-o.” Harry loved that Tyanna was “in the driver’s seat” during her performance, but warned her not to become complacent.

Also saved on Wednesday was Nick Fradiani, who sang Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” Borchetta noted he’d been working with the singer on connecting with the audience. Boy George noted that Nick tends to “panic” on stage, which causes him to sing from his chest. He hoped Nick could “find some ground.”

Harry, noting the source of Nick's charisma is his humility, thought he chose the perfect song to showcase that. Keith praised Nick for showing off his “million dollar smile” throughout the song. Jennifer urged the 29-year-old not to think too much, urging him instead to just concentrate on the lyrics.

Clark Beckham also advanced. He sang The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” Boy George suggested he lower the key of the song, but Clark stuck with his original key.

The gamble paid off. Keith thought the performance showed heart and took him “on a journey.” Jennifer said she “got the goosies” and praised every aspect of the performance. Harry had “good news and bad news” for Clark. The bad news was that Clark was up against artists who jump around the stage and are more dynamic. The good news was that the singer didn’t have to do any of that.

Qaasim Middleton needed the judges' “save” last week to stay in the competition, but he got America’s seal of approval this time. Borchetta said the challenge for Qaasim with his version of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” was to recreate the excitement he brought to the stage last week. Boy George said Qaasim has a great voice and is a great storyteller.

Qaasim didn’t bring the excitement he showed last week, but J-Lo and Harry both loved the more reserved tone of Wednesday's performance. Keith thought everybody got to hear the contestant’s voice in a way they hadn’t before.

There were performances by other finalists that left the judges unimpressed:

On Boy George’s advice, Joey Cook bounced around the stage as she sang Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Harry thought she looked “distracted.” Jennifer said it was a good song for her, but she couldn’t “find her groove” in it. Borchetta had said that Joey was the contestant who was the most excited to meet Boy George. She received a hug from the singer.

Jax started and ended her performance of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” on the piano. Jennifer and Harry thought she looked a little lost when she left the piano. Keith said the performance “wasn’t put together right.”

Rayvon Owen, who ended up in the bottom three with Adanna Duru and Maddie Walker, sang Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Harry thought it was good from an interpretive standpoint. Keith thought he needed to relax more. Jennifer urged Rayvon to take more chances.

The show also included Salt-N-Pepa performing “Push It.”

The theme of the show next week will be the "Kelly Clarkson Songbook," with Clarkson also appearing on the show.

American Idol airs next Wednesday on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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"Uptown Funk" Tops Chart for a 12th Week; Flo Rida Scores 10th Top 10 Hit

Dana Edelson/NBCThe way things are going, we won't be able to get ourselves out of this "Funk" for a long, long time.  "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson is spending a staggering 12th week atop the Billboard Hot 100.

In the 55-year history of the Hot 100, there have only been 15 songs that have spent at least 12 weeks at #1, and "Funk" is one of them.  In addition, the song now ties "Blurred Lines" for the song with the longest run at #1 of the 2010s.  One more week and it'll pass "Blurred Lines" to take the title.

Maroon 5's "Sugar" remains at #2, while Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" stays at #3.  Also stationary is Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do," which holds at #4, and "Four Five Seconds," by Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney, at #5.

Flo Rida, meanwhile, returns to the top 10 with the song "G.D.F.R.," featuring Sage the Gemini and Lookas.  This is the rapper's first trip to the to the top 10 in more than two years, and his 10th top 10 hit over all.  The title stands for "Going Down for Real."

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Sia Wins Third Consecutive Songwriter of the Year Prize at APRA Music Awards

Dana Edelson/NBCSia just made history. Billboard reports that for the third consecutive time, the Aussie singer-songwriter won Songwriter of the Year at the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) Music Awards Tuesday night.

“This is an unprecedented, and very likely, a never-to-be-repeated achievement by one of our most talented songwriters,” APRA CEO Brett Cottle said.

The APRA Music Awards, which honor songwriters and music publishers, is one of the Australian music industry's most prestigious events. Sia also took home the peer-voted APRA Song of the Year honor for “Chandelier,” giving her a career total of six APRA Awards. She shared the Song of the Year prize with co-writer Jesse Shatkin.

The boys of 5 Seconds of Summer -- Michael Clifford, Luke Hemmings, Calum Hood and Ashton Irwin -- nabbed the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year award. The band Sheppard was a two-time winner, taking home Pop Work of the Year and Most Played Australian Work for their song “Geronimo.”

International Work of the Year went to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and Most Played Australian Work Overseas went to Gotye’s 2012 song featuring Kimbra, “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

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