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Thanks to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off," Super-Producer Max Martin Moves Up in Record Books


Big Machine RecordsTaylor Swift's "Shake It Off" is the singer's second #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.  But it's the 18th number one hit for her collaborator, super-producer Max Martin, and that means he's moved up in the record books.

According to Billboard, there are now only two songwriters in history who've written more #1 hits than Max Martin, and they were both in The Beatles.  Paul McCartney's tops, with 32 number ones, and the late John Lennon is second, with 26 chart-toppers.  Martin used to be in a tie with Mariah Carey with 17, but "Shake It Off" has now moved him up.

Not sure what other #1 hits Max Martin has written?  Here's a refresher, thanks to Billboard:

Britney Spears, "…Baby One More Time," 1999
'N Sync, "It's Gonna Be Me," 2000
Katy Perry, "I Kissed a Girl," 2008
Pink, "So What," 2008
Kelly Clarkson, "My Life Would Suck Without You," 2009
Britney Spears, "3," 2009
Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg, "California Gurls," 2010
Katy Perry, "Teenage Dream," 2010
Pink, "Raise Your Glass," 2010
Britney Spears, "Hold It Against Me," 2011
Katy Perry featuring Kanye West, "E.T.," 2011
Katy Perry, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," 2011
Katy Perry, "Part of Me," 2012
Maroon 5, "One More Night," 2012
Taylor Swift, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," 2012
Katy Perry, "Roar," 2013
Katy Perry feat. Juicy J, "Dark Horse," 2014
Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off," 2014

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Why "Bang Bang" Nearly Gave Ariana Grande a "Heart Attack"


Republic RecordsAriana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj hit the top 10 with their three-way diva-off, "Bang Bang," which they performed together live for the first time this past weekend at the MTV VMAs.  But according to Ariana, the idea of the collaboration was something that was sprung on her with no warning -- so much so, she says, that she nearly had a heart attack.

In an interview posted on the Grammys website, Ariana explains that initially, she recorded "Bang Bang" as a solo number. "I recorded it and it was great and I loved it and I didn't really think about it; I was just like, 'OK, that was a fun one, moving on,' and I was just trying to finish the rest of the album, " she recalls. "And I didn't hear about it or think about it for, like, a really long time."

Then, she says, the head of her record company called her in and told her "I want to play you something."  Ariana wasn't prepared for what she heard next.

"It was 'Bang Bang,' and Jessie J was singing it," Ariana recalls. "I was like, 'Oh my God.'  I was like, 'This is amazing.' And then the second verse came in and it was me!  And I was like, 'Am I about to have a duet with Jessie J'?"

It turns out that without her knowledge, and through the magic of technology, the song had been turned into a collaboration. Except, as she recalls, it wasn't just a duet.

"Nicki['s part] came in and I almost had a heart attack!" she laughs. "And so that was sort of how it happened. And it was a complete surprise to me and I was like, 'Just letting you know, if you ever do this again to me, if you surprise me like this again, you have to, like, be prepared. Like, you have to have inhalers and things here because I'm gonna need that help next time!'" 

Ultimately, Ariana didn't mind being blindsided, since the song came out so well.  "It was really fun and it was a really great surprise and it was awesome," she says. "I'm so happy that it happened that way."

"Bang Bang" is a bonus track on the deluxe version of Ariana's new album My Everything, and the lead single for Jessie's upcoming album Sweet Talker.

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Ed Sheeran on Origin of Performing Solo: "No One Wanted to Be in a Band with Me"


Credit: Ben WattsEd Sheeran says his decision to be a solo performer came when he was in school and he discovered that no one wanted to be in a band with him.

During an appearance Thursday night on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Sheeran talked about his recent gig at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Kimmel remarked, "Twenty thousand people, you were playing in front of...just you and a guitar...You can't afford a band, or what's going on?"

Sheeran laughed it off, saying, "It started off when I was at school, no one wanted to be in a band with me." Ed said he went to a place called Looping Station, where he was able to back himself on different tracks.  "I never bothered getting one [a band] after that," said Ed.

Kimmel told the audience that Sheeran's dedicated fans, the "Sheerios" had been waiting en masse for hours before the show aired, and he asked Ed who gave his fans that name.  Ed didn't say, but he did say he isn't a fan of that trend of grouping people together. "I don't really like the fan name thing...it just bundles them all together...I'm a fan of a lot of people, I 'm not just a fan of one person, so I really don't like the fan name thing." When Kimmel asked, "So are you like a Little Monster, or are you a --," Ed laughingly shot back, "I'm a Belieber"

Sheeran also appeared as a foul-mouthed Little Orphan Annie in a brief skit, and closed the show by performing "Don't" from his album X (multiply).

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Festival in Honor of Michael Jackson's Birthday Under Way in His Indiana Hometown


CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty ImagesMichael Jackson would have turned 56 on Friday. To celebrate the birthday of the late pop icon, a three-day festival is being held in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. One of the locations of the festival, which began Thursday, is his birth home.

Michael's mother, Katherine Jackson, says the Michael Jackson Tribute Festival of the Arts is an event designed for his many fans. She says, "Since Michael passed, fans have been coming from all over the world to see the house where Michael Jackson was born. So, I knew I had to do something then."

One of Michael's siblings, Rebbie Jackson, said it is emotional for her to return to the home, but she is enjoying the festival.

The festival offers music and food. As part of the event, the non-profit group will give away several renovated homes to deserving families.

Michael died in 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol.

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Usher Announces All 26 Cities for The UR Experience


Getty Images for MTVAfter announcing several cities earlier this week, Usher has revealed all 26 destinations for his upcoming The UR Experience tour.

Among the twenty-six cities are Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, Detroit, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Philadelphia, Boston, Las Vegas, Orlando, Memphis, Tampa and Miami.

Performance dates and venues will be announced at a later time.

The upcoming trek will support Usher's eighth studio album, rumored to be titled UR, slated for a fall release.

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Britney Is Single After Boyfriend Reportedly Cheated on Her


Michelangelo Di Battista RCA RecordsBritney Spears is newly single -- reportedly because her boyfriend cheated on her.

Brit tweeted on Thursday, "Ahhhh the single life!" Coincidentally or not, she posted that comment around the same time TMZ published a story claiming David Lucado was videotaped making out with another woman earlier this month.

Reportedly, Brit dumped her boyfriend after learning about the footage, which TMZ says is being shopped around.

A rep for David tells the website, "David is very, very in love with Britney. This is unfortunate and he hopes that it all works out." Unfortunately for David, it didn't work out -- Brit's rep confirms to Billboard that the pop star is single.

Britney dated David for a year and a half. Their relationship began not long after her engagement to her then-agent, Jason Trawick, ended in January of 2013.

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Jason Mraz Wants to Retire...in Three Years?


Jen Rosenstein/Atlantic RecordsJason Mraz's life is pretty great: his latest album debuted at #2 on the chart, he's on tour, he does a lot of charity work and his music is loved by millions worldwide.  That's why it may surprise you to know that the singer says in three years, he's planning on hanging up his guitar.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Jason, who's 37, and his manager, have come up with a plan called "#Retiredat40."  If all goes according to plan, the singer will deliver the one album left on his contract, and then "check out for a while." 

"I'm just ready for a break. It feels like a corporate job sometimes," Jason tells the paper.

So what will he do with all his free time if he goes through with this?  According to the Times, Jason wants to garden, surf, do more charity work and have a child -- he didn't mention with whom.  He wouldn't necessarily stop making music, either.  According to the Times, for every album he's released, he has 70 songs left over that he could release if he wanted. He'd also like to make a Christmas or gospel album.

While he's waiting to retire, Jason says he's content with where he is in his career. "People aren't walking around with my Trapper Keeper," he tells the paper. "I'm not on their newsstands on their People magazines. But people might hear me on the radio or while they're on their jog or in the kitchen baking. I'm totally great for that."

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Miley Naked in "V" Magazine Photo Spread


RCA Records(NOTE CONTENT) Anyone who thought Miley Cyrus was turning over a more modest new leaf just because she behaved at this year's MTV Video Music Awards need only look at her racy spread in V magazine to see she hasn't lost her edge.

Miley Instagrammed an image showing her laying nude on a pile of stuffed animals, a red box reading "SUBSCRIBE" the only thing protecting her modesty up top.  She also posted another one that is more risque in which she's in the same pose, with small smiley faces acting as Photoshopped pasties over her nipples.  Miley named fashion giant Karl Lagerfeld as the shooter.

Miley also posted a pic of Lagerfeld holding a picture he shot of her wearing a skimpy Fendi bathing suit made of blue stuffed animal-like material.

Fittingly, the upcoming installment in which the controversial singer appears is called "The Rebel Issue."  It hits newsstands September 10, but is available for pre-order.

 

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Homeless Man Who Accepted Miley's VMA Award Turns Himself In


ABC/Lou RoccoThe homeless man who accepted Miley Cyrus' Video of the Year award at the MTV VMAs, and who, it turned out, was a wanted man, turned himself in to an Oregon jail on Thursday night.

Twenty-two-year-old Jesse Helt turned himself in at the Polk County Jail and posted $2,500 bail, according to Oregon's Statesman Journal.

Helt was booked on a probation violation warrant. He was accused of violating probation stemming from a criminal mischief and criminal trespass case.

At the VMAs, Helt delivered a speech for Miley's VMA win to raise awareness of homeless young people.

After Helt's past came to light two days later, Miley tweeted her disappointment, writing, "The media never fails to disappoint. You've chosen to go after Jesse instead of covering the issue of youth homelessness."

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Jessie J Joins "Finding Neverland" Concept Album Project


Matt Irwin/Republic RecordsJennifer Hudson's already on board, and Alicia Keys and Taylor Swift are rumored to be too.  Now, Jessie J has recorded a song for an upcoming concept album based on the soon-to-open Broadway musical Finding Neverland.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jessie has cut a song called "Stronger" for the album, which will feature pop stars singing tunes from the show.  The show's producer, Harvey Weinstein, has dedicated "Stronger" to the people of Boston: the production is currently running in that city, where it's broken attendance records.  It'll debut on Broadway in March.

The musical is based on the 2004 Johnny Depp movie about J.M. Barrie, the man who wrote Peter Pan, and his relationship with the family who inspired it.  Jennifer Hudson performed "Never Neverland," a song from the concept album, at the Tony Awards in June.

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Kesha Has a New Cali Home, Rihanna's Eyeing NYC Pad


ABC/Adam TaylorNow that ABC's Rising Star is over, Kesha can settle down to making music full-time, and settle into her new home. The Los Angeles Times reports that the singer just plunked down $1.65 million for a home in Venice, California.

The 1,400 square-foot Spanish-style bungalow features three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a backyard with a spa and fireplace and -- best of all -- a one-car garage that's been converted into an artist studio.  That means Kesha can work on her line of jewelry there, or maybe turn it into a recording studio.

Meanwhile, another pop diva is eyeing a new place, this one on the East Coast.  The New York Post reports that Rihanna, with an entourage of five, recently toured the 10th floor of a swanky new building in Manhattan called One York.  The entire floor, which is now configured as three apartments, is on sale for $18 million. 

If she purchased it, however, all three apartments would have to be combined, giving her a total of 5,350 square feet of living space, with four bedrooms and 4 1/2 bathrooms.  But the paper reports that the singer is looking for something that's already in move-in condition.

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Who's the Ultimate Pop Star? The Answer May Surprise You


ABC NewsWho would you say is the ultimate pop star?  Well, Time magazine has crunched the numbers based on the Billboard top 10 and determined that it's....Mariah Carey.

Time looked at every song that made the top 10 since 1960, awarding points based on the number of hits each artist scored and how long the artists' careers have lasted, and created what it calls the "The Ultimate Ranking of Pop Stardom."  The artist with the most points -- based on career length and string of hits -- was Mariah.  She received 1,901 points in total, over a hundred more than the runner-up, Rihanna. 

Usher came in third place, followed by The Beatles, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson.  Katy Perry and Boyz II Men round out the top 10.

Visit Time.com/music-ranking to see where your favorite artist -- from Elvis Presley to Lady Gaga to Taylor Swift -- comes in on Time's chart.

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Shakira Confirms She's Expecting Again


Kayt Jones/ RCA RecordsShakira is going to be a mom again.

First came a report that the singer and former Voice coach had granted an interview to Mexican Cosmopolitan, in which she was quoted as says she was pregnant.  Now, the singer has confirmed it herself, tweeting, "Yes, we are expecting our second baby!! Thank you all for your well wishes!"

Shakira and her boyfriend, soccer star Gerard Pique, welcomed son Milan on January 22, 2013.  The new baby will be the second child for both of them.

While Shakira has said she and Gerard have no immediate plans to wed, she told Latina magazine earlier this year that she wants to have a big family and was eager to get pregnant again.  "If it weren't because of my music projects, I would be pregnant already," she told the magazine. "I would love to have eight or nine kids with Gerard -- my own [soccer] team."

The women of The Voice, past and present, seem to be remarkably fertile.  Christina Aguilera just gave birth to her second child, while Gwen Stefani welcomed her third this past February.

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Ariana Grande Thanks "Angel Pie" Miley Cyrus for Flowers


Republic RecordsMiley Cyrus and Ariana Grande are friends!  How do we know?  Because Miley sent Ariana flowers, and Ariana's showing them off on Twitter.

Miley and Ariana were both winners at the MTV VMA Awards this past weekend, and there's a photo of them kissing each other.  Now, Ari has posted on Twitter a photo of a flower arrangement of hydrangeas and roses, writing, "a special baby love sent me flowers... @mileycyrus u are the cutest angel pie in da world."

The day after the VMAs, Ariana posted the photo of her and Miley together, and wrote, "I heart u @mileycyrus & your big heart." She included a link to Miley's Prizeo campaign to raise funds for homeless youth.

It's no wonder that Miley and Ariana get along: they're both former child stars who've successfully made the transition to chart-topping pop divas, all the while facing criticism about being too "adult."

 

I ???? u @mileycyrus & your big heart ???????? #myfriendsplace http://t.co/bGwpACg9jp pic.twitter.com/vLs4mf8PKL

— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) August 25, 2014

 

 

a special baby love sent me flowers... @mileycyrus u are the cutest angel pie in da world pic.twitter.com/MI03SN7deW

— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) August 28, 2014

 

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Simon Cowell: One Direction's New Album Is "Fantastic"


ABC/Lou RoccoOne Direction is currently out on their Where We Are Tour, but they're also working on their fourth album.  How's it coming along?  Well, according to someone who should know -- their label boss, Simon Cowell -- it's pretty awesome.

"The album's fantastic," Simon told London's Capital FM radio. "There's probably five or six tracks I've already heard that could be singles. There's some very different kinds of songs than what we've done before, they've taken a few more risks."

"Most importantly, the boys love writing, they love recording, they're enjoying what they're doing," he adds.  Cowell then referred to the fact that he was recently quoted -- incorrectly, it seems -- as predicting that the group would split up in a couple of years.

"I went on Twitter recently to say I don't think they're going to split up, they're having too good a time!" he told Capital FM.  "I think they could be doing this for five, ten, twenty years if they wanted to!"

In the tweet he was referring to, Cowell wrote, "Just to clear up the rumors it is my guess and my hope One D will stay together for a very long time...The boys are having the best time...their new album is really really good."

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Maroon 5 Releases New Album Teaser, Book "America's Got Talent"; "Sex and Candy" Cover Now Online


Credit: Vincent Perini/NBCMaroon 5 is hitting the ground running next week with major TV appearances lined up to promote their new album, V.

The group will appear on NBC's Today show on Monday, September 1, Labor Day.  On September 2, the album arrives in stores, and on September 3, they'll appear on the semi-finals results show of America's Got Talent, performing their latest hit "Maps."

The band also has been teasing a tour announcement on Twitter, revealing a number of states in which they'll be performing, but the full details have not been announced yet.  So far, the only scheduled date is September 11 at the iTunes Festival in London.

Maroon 5 also has released a video teaser for V.  It features black-and-white footage of the band in the studio, interspersed with shots of the streets of L.A, a beach, someone riding a motorcycle in a desert, a hummingbird suspended in mid-flight, a lightning strike, a group of lions, birds flying in the sky and the wing of an airplane.  The whole thing is set to a spacey version of "Maps."

Finally, one of the tracks on the deluxe version of V has made its way online: it's a cover of the 1997 top 10 hit "Sex and Candy" by the band Marcy Playground.

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Florida Georgia Line Calls Jason Derulo Remix "A Huge Honor"


Ben Watts/Kristin BarloweAfter scoring a massive hit by teaming up with Nelly on "Cruise," country duo Florida Georgia Line have returned to the pop charts again, thanks to a collaboration with Jason Derulo on a remix of their song "This Is How We Roll."  But the guys say they weren't put together with Jason; the whole thing happened organically.

"I think it just kinda came up and he said he was a fan of that song and wanted to do a remix with us," says Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard. "And we've been big fans of him for a long time. So it's really cool. Sometimes that's kinda how those collaborations work, you know. You don't really go looking or hunting or digging to try to find somebody to do something with. It just kinda happens. That's the beautiful thing about it."

As for their penchant for going back and forth between country and pop, Tyler tells ABC News Radio, "It's fun to step out of the box a little bit and do things with other artists. It's awesome. So for us to get to that was a huge honor with Jason, for sure."

FGL's Brian Kelley, meanwhile says that if he were given the choice of singing one of Jason's songs -- say, at karaoke -- he'd pick "Talk Dirty to Me" over "Wiggle" because he knows how to dance to the first song.

"We know how to do this move called 'The Haitian," Brian tells ABC News Radio. "It's a little dance move they taught us at the CMT Awards. I've kind've mastered it. A little hip thrust, a little head bob thing. I don't know what you call it, but it looks good!" 

Florida Georgia Line has no plans to stop teaming up with pop artists anytime soon.  Not long ago, Ed Sheeran told USA Today that the duo had approached him for a future collaboration.

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Nickelback Reveals Album Release Date; Debuts Lyric Video


Image Courtesy Republic RecordsNickelback will release their new record, No Fixed Address, on November 4, the band has revealed. Nickelback has also released a lyric video to the new song, "Edge of a Revolution," on YouTube.

In the video, the silhouette of a figure wearing a hoodie spray paints the ocassionally profane lyrics on a variety of walls.  The politically-charged rocker, which is now available for download, features lyrics like, "Hey! Hey! Just obey/Your secret's safe with the NSA."

As previously reported, here is the track list for No Fixed Address:

"Million Miles an Hour”
“Edge of a Revolution”
“What Are You Waiting For?”
“She Keeps Me Up”
“Make Me Believe Again”
“Miss You”
“Get ‘Em Up”
“The Hammer’s Coming Down”
“Satellites”
“Sister Sin”
“She’s Got Me Runnin’ Round”

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LMFAO's Redfoo's Suffers Gash to Face in Bar Attack


ABC/Fred LeeLMFAO's Redfoo suffered a gash on his forehead Wednesday after an unidentified man allegedly threw a glass bottle at the singer in a suburban hotel bar outside Sydney, Australia, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The 38-year-old Redfoo, who was born Stefan Gordy, was partying at the Golden Sheaf Hotel in Double Bay when the incident happened.

“We were sitting in the back area with my mates, surrounded by some thangs. We are dancing, having a good time, we’re taking some pictures, taking the snapchats,” Redfoo said, according to the Telegraph. “All of a sudden out of nowhere a glass hits me in the head and I look over to see who might have thrown it and I see kind of a dodgy fella trying to flee the scene."  Redfoo said he did not know anything about the man who allegedly struck him.

Redfoo suffered a cut over his right eye and was treated at the scene by paramedics.

A 21-year-old man was arrested in connection with the attack and charged with malicious wounding.

Redfoo has been serving as a judge on the Australian version of The X Factor.

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Taylor Swift: "Selling Millions of Records Doesn't Make Me Feel Cool"


ABC/ Lorenzo Bevilaqua Taylor Swift's new #1 hit "Shake It Off" is an invitation to do your own thing and not worry about fitting in or looking cool. Easier said then done, right?  Well, as Taylor explains in a newly released outtake from the song's video, even she doesn't feel cool, and she's a massive superstar.

"A lot of people who I think will relate to the song are people who are dealing with not ever really feeling cool with themselves because other people make them feel like they don't fit in," Taylor says.  "When, one thing I've learned in this whole process is, you can get everything you want in life without ever feeling like you fit in."

"Like, selling millions of records doesn't make me feel cool," she insists. "It makes me feel proud, and like I have a lot of people on my side and I worked really hard, but I don't think it's the most important thing in life to fit in."

OK, Taylor, so what is the most important thing in life?

"To dance to the beat of your own drum," she says. "And to look like you're having more fun than the people who look cool [and] like they fit in!"

In the outtake, you can see Taylor filming the "cheerleader" section of the video, and explaining that she trained for the grueling three-day shoot by running non-stop  -- "which I hate," she adds -- to build up her cardio.  No wonder she was photographed all summer coming out of the gym.

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