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Taylor Swift Joining "The Voice" as Season Seven Mentor


Sarah Barlow/Big Machine RecordsGet ready to see a lot of Taylor Swift on your TV this season.  The singer has joined The Voice as a mentor for all four teams, US Weekly reports.

Taylor will be working with the show in the same way that Coldplay's Chris Martin did last season: she'll advise the contestants on the teams of veteran coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, as well as new coaches Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams.

As previously reported, each team will also have its own advisor: Stevie Wonder will work with Adam, while Alicia Keys joins Pharrell. Gwen's husband, rocker Gavin Rossdale, will advise her team, and Little Big Town will work with Blake.

A source tells US Weekly, "Taylor was an absolute pleasure to work with. She had great feedback for all the contestants. She made for an amazing mentor." 

The new season of The Voice begins September 22.  Taylor's new album, 1989, is out October 27.

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Vegas Headliner Britney Spears Not Interested in Going Back on the Road


Credit: Denise TruscelloBritney Spears' residency in Las Vegas has been more successful than anyone could've imagined: it's already grossed $20 million and is scheduled well into 2015.  It's no wonder that the singer is in no hurry to go back to the old way of touring, when she was playing a different city every night.

Asked by Variety if she's eager to get back out on the road, Britney tells the publication, "Actually, no. I’m really happy with the way I’m set up right now, going to Vegas and coming back and having my foundation here [in Los Angeles]. I’m a home girl."

"I really don’t see how I went all over the place and traveled the world and did everything," she adds. "I feel like I was out of my frickin’ mind, and I did that for 15 years. But I was just so hungry and young and eager to pursue my dreams that it made sense then. It’s really easy to lose track of where you are and what you’re doing.”

Luckily, Britney is still interested in making music, despite the disappointing performance of her most recent album, Britney Jean. 

"In my off-time I do record,” she tells Variety. "Once in a while I’ll just go into the studio if there’s a really good song that I have in my head and want to do. I think as artists you’re constantly in creative motion. If I stopped writing songs then that’s a part of me that would stop in my life."

"I’m definitely more in a creative space now," she adds, and one reason is because her Vegas schedule lets her spend a lot more time at home in L.A. with her sons.  Says Britney, "You have more time to go there spiritually in your home with a piano than you would being in a hotel room.”

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Train Plays the Hits, Previews New Album at Atlantic City, NJ Concert


ABC News"Tonight is gonna be a lot of fun for us," Train frontman Pat Monahan told the crowd at Atlantic City, New Jersey's Borgata Hotel & Casino Saturday night. "Are you ready?"  The enthusiastic crowd's answer was yes, and the band obliged by playing their hits, digging deep into their back catalog, and previewing one-third of their new album Bulletproof Picasso, due September 16.

The Atlantic City date was one is a series of one-off shows in the run-up to the special album release concerts Train plans to do in September in L.A., New York and San Francisco.  Still, the band performed four tracks from the new album, including the anthemic title track, the current single "Angel in Blue Jeans," and two additional tunes: "Cadillac Cadillac" and "Wonder What You're Doing for the Rest of Your Life," which on the album is a duet with R&B singer Marsha Ambrosius.  The band's two new female backup singers filled in for her onstage, and filled out the band's overall sound as well.

All the new songs were well-received and the band -- now a lineup of seven, including the two remaining original Train members, Monahan and guitarist Jimmy Stafford -- obviously enjoyed playing them, but of course, it was the hits that went over best with the crowd.  Pat acknowledged this by introducing one of the new songs as something "we want to play before we play what you want to hear."

Opening number "Calling All Angels," plus "Drive By," "50 Ways to Say Goodbye," "Marry Me" and, of course, "Drops of Jupiter" were all greeted with wild enthusiasm by the fans; "Hey Soul Sister," the hit that revived Train's career a few years ago, featured Monahan singing with a group of adorable young girls who he'd pulled onstage. 

In general, Monahan worked overtime to please fans: he grabbed their phones and took selfies during "If It's Love," had some female fans duet with him on "Bruises," and threw dozens of t-shirts into the crowd.  He also, at various times, played sax and drums, and showed off his formidable vocal power by singing the emotional ballad "When I Look the Sky" nearly a capella, with no amplification on his voice.  He constantly praised the New Jersey crowd as being "the best," and joked that they enjoyed playing the Borgata because after the show, they got to "spend every bit of money" at the gaming tables.

Train's set list also served as a reminder that -- despite their string of recent pop hits -- they began as, and remain, a rock band.  Blistering versions of Led Zeppelin's "What Is and What Should Never Be" and Aerosmith's "Dream On" showed off those rock chops, as did performances of their debut single, "Free" and the album track "Mississippi."

Here's the set list for Train's Atlantic City concert:

"Calling All Angels"
"50 Ways to Say Goodbye"
"If It's Love"
"Get to Me"
"Meet Virginia"
"Bulletproof Picasso"
"When I Look to the Sky"
"What Is and What Should Never Be" (Led Zeppelin cover)
"Save Me, San Francisco"
"Free"
"Mississippi"
"Angel in Blue Jeans"
"Bruises"
"Marry Me"
"Wonder What You're Doing for the Rest of Your Life"
"Hey, Soul Sister"
"Drive By"

Encores:
"Cadillac, Cadillac"
"Drops of Jupiter"
"Dream On"  (Aerosmith cover)

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Get Texts, Tune In for Jason Derulo, American Authors & Aloe Blacc on Sunday's MDA Telethon


ABC/Adam TaylorJason Derulo, American Authors and Aloe Blacc are among the stars appearing on the MDA Show of Strength Telethon, benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association, on Sunday, August 31. The two-hour broadcast starts at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, but if you don't want to sit through the whole thing waiting for your favorite, don't worry: they'll text you.

If you go to MDA.org right now and register at the Telethon Star Tracker, you'll be able to select which stars you're interested in seeing during the broadcast, and you'll receive a text alerting you that they're coming up so you can turn on the TV then.

Jason, the Authors and Aloe will be giving "one-of-a-kind" performances of their songs on the telecast. Other performers include Josh Groban, Fall Out Boy, Matt Nathanson, Bret Michaels of Poison and country stars Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes

Presenters include Jason's girlfriend Jordin Sparks; ABC's Rising Star experts Brad Paisley, Ludacris and Kesha; Alyssa Milano; Nashville's Charles Esten; Tom Bergeron; Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy; and more.  In addition, five families will share their stories of what it's like to live with muscular dystrophy.

You can call, text or donate online at MDA.org. This is the 49th installment of the telethon: the first one aired in 1966, on a single TV station in New York City.  It's since become the most successful fundraising event in TV history.

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John Legend Teaming Up with Country Star Lee Ann Womack for "CMT Crossroads"


ABC/Randy HolmesKaty Perry did it not long ago....now it's John Legend's turn to sing with a country star for the CMT series Crossroads.

John is teaming up with Lee Ann Womack, best known to pop fans for her 2000 Top 20 hit "I Hope You Dance."  The two will sing alternate versions of each other's hits and duet on others, in a taping scheduled to take place in Franklin, Tennessee -- just outside of Nashville -- before the special premieres in September.

This won't be John's first foray into country: in June, he performed his smash "All of Me" at the CMT Awards with country stars Jennifer Nettles and Hunter Hayes

Fans can enter CMT's Destination Crossroads sweepstakes to win airfare, hotel and spending money for the taping between now and September 10. CMT Crossroads:  John Legend and Lee Ann Womack airs September 26 at 10 p.m. ET.

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Is Madonna Slamming Lady Gaga & Ex-Husband on New Album?


Credit: Mert & MarcusMadonna's written plenty of material for her new album, but according to a British tabloid report, two songs in particular -- which may or may not make the final cut -- appear to be vicious take downs aimed at both Lady Gaga and her ex-husband, Guy Ritchie.

According to the British tabloid The Sun, which got a look at the lyrics to a song called "Heartbreak City," Madonna sings -- allegedly about Guy -- "You said I was your queen/I tried to give you everything and now you want your freedom/You got just what you came for/a bit of fame and fortune and I'm no longer needed."  She also supposedly sings, "You tore me into pieces/You didn't have no damn reason" and "I curse the day we met/This memory is haunting me/I wish I could forget."

Of course, these lines, if legit, could be about conceivably anyone in the past thirty years who Madonna feels has taken unfair advantage of her, or treated her badly, or used her for her fame and money.

However, the lyrics of another song, "Two Steps Behind Me," if legit, seem specifically aimed at Lady Gaga.

In that track, according to The Sun, Madonna sings, "You’re a copycat, Where is my royalty?/You’re a pretty girl, I’ll give you that/But stealing my recipe, it’s an ugly look/Did you study me hard enough? You’re never gonna be, you’re just a wannabe me."

The lyric add, "In your fantasy, you can try it all. But you can’t be me/You can walk the walk, even talk the talk. But you’ll always be two steps behind me.”

While in the past, Madonna and Gaga seemed friendly, even appearing on Saturday Night Live together, the Queen of Pop was dismissive of Gaga's hit "Born This Way," which she considered to be a ripoff of her own hit "Express Yourself."  To illustrate that point, she performed the two songs as a mash-up every night on her MDNA tour.

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Justin Timberlake Scores Most-Watched Concert Ever on Yahoo!'s Live Channel


PRNewsFoto/Live Nation EntertainmentOn July 15, Yahoo! launched its Live Channel, which featured a live concert streaming every day from the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls, OneRepublic, John Legend, Daughtry and more.  But Justin Timberlake's just set the all-time viewing record so far for the fledgling service.

JT's concert last Sunday, August 24, in Reykjavik, Iceland was the #1 viewed event on the channel, not to mention the largest concert event in the history of Iceland. If you missed it, you can watch four songs from the concert -- including "Mirrors" and "Cry Me a River" -- on Screen.Yahoo.com through September 25.

Justin's world tour continues in Melbourne, Australia on September 18.  He'll travel through Australia and New Zealand before returning to North America on November 20.

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Nicki Minaj Reveals Release Date for "The Pinkprint"


Frazer Harrison/Getty Images via ABCNicki Minaj's latest single "Anaconda," has successfully whetted the appetites of fans who are anxiously awaiting the release of her next album, The Pinkprint.

According to Billboard, the rapper's third studio album will be strategically released on one of the busiest shopping days of the year: Black Friday, November 28.

Nicki issued her debut album, Pink Friday, during the holiday rush back in 2010 and sold 375,000 copies in its first week.

In related news, her Sir Mix-a-Lot-sampling tune jumped from #10 to #1 on Billboard's  Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs this week, the third time she's appeared atop that chart, following 2011's "Moment 4 Life" featuring Drake and Drizzy's 2012 hit, "Make Me Proud," on which she is featured. The tune also jumped to the #2 spot on Billboard Hot 100 this week.

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Make Your Own Maroon 5 Artwork and Win Tickets to Their Tour


Peter Kramer/NBCIf you're feeling creatively inspired by Maroon 5 and the impending release of their next album, you may want to check out a new contest.

Maroon 5 and CreativeAllies.com have partnered on a contest that asks fans to submit illustrated artwork inspired by Adam Levine and company and their new album, V.

One winner will receive two tickets to any show on the band's upcoming tour, plus 500 bucks. Even better, that person's artwork will be printed on 500 limited-edition copies of V.

One runner-up will earn a Maroon 5 prize pack.

For more info, check out CreativeAllies.com.

Maroon 5 will release V on Tuesday, September 2. They have a series of TV appearances lined up to promote the album, including the Today show on Monday, The Tonight Show on Tuesday and America's Got Talent on Wednesday. Those are all NBC shows, as is The Voice, on which Adam returns as a coach later in September.

In addition, Adam will stop by The Daily Show on Thursday, and he and his band will appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on September 8.

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Miley Cyrus Says She's Not a "Pop...Dumb-Dumb," Insists that Elvis Presley Twerked


Karl Lagerfield for V MagazineMiley Cyrus covers the new "Rebels" issue of V magazine, and inside, she talks to designer Karl Lagerfield about some popular misconceptions about her.

"I know that I'm not a pop...dumb dumb," she tells Lagerfield. "I know that I'm not. I'm a lot more than someone who just goes and shakes her a** onstage."  That being said, though, Miley says she knows that she's being deliberately provocative most of the time, and likes to watch the reactions to what she does.

"I think it's kind of funny to mess with people and rile them up, because I'm actually the most chill person," she says. "And it's just funny to watch the world get out of their minds over things that are so irrelevant and don't matter."

The new issue of V hits newsstands September 10; you can pre-order it now.

Meanwhile, in a new interview on Australian TV set to air on Sunday, Miley insists that the late King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, twerked long before she did.  Referencing the fact that Elvis' hip-shaking was once considered too sexy to be shown on television, she tells Australia's Channel Seven, "No one wants to admit it, that Elvis was twerking," she says. "But no one would've ever called Elvis a slut 'cause he wasn't a girl."

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Cee Lo Green Pleads No Contest to Dosing Woman with Ecstasy


Image Courtesy Mattias Clamer/Atlantic RecordsCee Lo Green has pleaded no contest to secretly giving a woman the drug Ecstasy at a Los Angeles restaurant in the summer of 2012, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office announced on Friday. 

The singer's plea to one felony count of furnishing a controlled substance was made under a section of the law that allows him to maintain his innocence, according to the singer's attorney.  Superior Court Judge Mark Young sentenced Green to three years probation; he also ordered the singer to perform 360 hours of community service and attend 52 Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings.  In addition, he must register as a controlled-substance offender. 

Cee Lo is due back in court March 2 for a progress report hearing.

Outside the courtroom, Green told reporters, "We are very pleased to have finally resolved this matter with an amicable understanding and we are satisfied."

Last October, Green was accused of slipping the drug to an unidentified 33-year-old woman while the two were eating at a Los Angeles restaurant during the evening of July 13 and the early morning hours of July 14, 2012, after which the pair went back to the woman’s hotel. 

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5SOS's Calum 'Fesses Up to Naked Photos


Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABCUsually when you ready about naked photos of a celebrity online, they're fakes -- or at least, the celebrity claims that they are fakes.  But 5 Seconds of Summer's Calum Hood has now confirmed that the online shots that supposedly show his junk are, in fact, 100 percent him.

TMZ reported that Calum showed his stuff on Snapchat, but the video was then reposted -- by whom, we don't know -- as a Vine, and of course, it's now gone viral.  While you can't see Calum's face, the bass player 'fessed up on Twitter, writing, "Least ya know what it looks like now," and adding, "I'm still just a teenage kid learning from mistakes :)."

Pretty brave of the Aussie musician to admit, considering his face isn't in the shot, so he could've denied everything.  It's doubtful that 5SOS will suddenly have "Amnesia" and forget they ever saw it, either.

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Katy's VMA Date Riff Raff Slams Sam Smith for Alleged Photo Diss


Credit: Drew WheelerIt's not enough that Riff Raff got to go to the MTV VMAs with Katy Perry in matching denim outfits: apparently he feels he needs to be in every photo with her too.  He's attacked Katy's pal Sam Smith on Twitter for allegedly cropping him out of a photo snapped at the ceremony.

Sam posted a photo on Instagram of Katy, Charli XCX and himself, and captioned it, "So amazing to see my girl @charli_xcx last night!! Smashing it so hard." He added the hashtag "#STORTFORD" because that's where the school both he and Charli attended -- in different years -- is located.

Riff Raff, however, took exception to this, because he was there, too -- you can see his leg in the frame on the left -- but you can't see him in the picture.  He tweeted to Sam, "THANKS FOR CUTTiNG ME OUT OF THE PiCTURE U CHUBBY LiTTLE F**K FACTORY P.S. YOUR FACE iS SUPER HUGE."

So far, neither Katy nor Charli have taken the rapper to task for his rudeness.  Sam seems to be ignoring him too.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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