ABC/Fred LeeIt takes a big man -- or woman -- to admit publicly that you're wrong, but that's just what British singer-songwriter Imogen Heap has done, in regards to her new friend Taylor Swift.
Imogen co-wrote the song "Clean" on Taylor Swift's new album 1989, and in a blog posting, she reveals that before she met her, she just assumed Taylor had no creative control over her own music or career.
"I have to be honest here and say that I ever so slightly had not done my homework on Taylor Swift but had done what I HATE others do of me, which is to pre-judge a person based on assumptions," reveals Imogen. "I had assumed Taylor didn't write too much of her own music (as is the case with many young, extremely successful artists these days who sell a shed load of records), and was likely puppeteered by an aging gang of music executives."
"How wrong was I?" Imogen continues. "[She was] totally clued up from a very young age...hyper-driven, hard working and really talented and a genuine lovely soul, with a few more boy troubles than most, but you can't get it all right all the time!"
Imogen goes on to document the time she spent with Taylor creating the song "Clean," and reveals their collaborative process, step by step. They wrote and recorded the song in about a day.
"I've been reading the odd report or tweet here and there that the reason the lyrics to 'Clean' are so good is because I wrote the song with her but FOR SURE they are all hers. She deserves all the credit," Heap says. She goes on to hope that Taylor will stop by for a cup of tea, and adds, "I look forward to news of a man who's swept you off your feet."
It's worth noting that Heap stands to make a "heap" of money in songwriting royalties from her contribution to 1989.
Even if you're not familiar with Heap's work, you've definitely heard at least one of her songs, "Hide & Seek." That's the one that Jason Derulo sampled in his #1 hit "Whatcha Say."
Heidi Gutman/NBCMariah Carey will soon be everywhere on the radio with her seasonal smash "All I Want for Christmas Is You," but this year, she'll also be celebrating the holidays with a series of Christmas shows at New York's Beacon Theatre.
Billed as "A Night of Joy and Festivity," the concerts will take place on December 15, 16, 18 and 20. Mariah will be performing hits from her two holiday albums Merry Christmas and Merry Christmas II You.
In a statement on her website, Mariah says, "I can't imagine being anywhere more special than live on stage, in my hometown, celebrating with my fans during the Christmas season, my most treasured time of the year. I can't wait!"
Tickets go on sale November 10 at noon, via Ticketmaster.
Credit: Ben WattsYeah, baby! That's what Ed Sheeran tweeted on Friday while linking to a photo of himself in his Halloween costume. Yes, you guessed it: he was Austin Powers, the swingin' sixties spy portrayed by Mike Myers onscreen.
Ed's costume was spot on: he was wearing glasses with thick black frames, a crushed blue velvet jacket and a shirt with frills on the neck and sleeves. Since Austin Powers' hair was sort of red anyway, the singer didn't even have to wear a wig.
Unfortunately, Ed's fans won't be seeing him wearing the outfit onstage: he tweeted, "I should wear the costume for the gig but the frills get tangled up in my guitar."
Austin Hargrave for Billboard MagazineRather than simply contributing a track to the soundtrack of the new Hunger Games film, Lorde was put in charge of assembling the project. The singer, who'll turn 18 on November 7, says taking on such a big responsibility felt like something she needed to do at this stage of the game.
"I knew this was right for me as an artist and I felt it would be cool for my career," Lorde tells Billboard for her new cover story. "People that see me as having a couple of hits and performing on an awards show would see that, between records, I'd committed to a pretty serious body of work."
In addition to her own songs, Lorde has tapped a diverse group of artists, such as Charli XCX, Tove Lo, Miguel, Chemical Brothers, Ariana Grande, and '80s stars Grace Jones and Duran Duran's Simon LeBon to contribute to the soundtrack of Hunger Games -- Mockingjay Part 1. And then there's Kanye West, whom she asked to remix her song "Yellow Flicker Beat." Lorde, who says Kanye is her "idol," was terrified to cold-call him and invite him to join the project.
"I'm the worst person ever at talking to people I don't know on the phone -- I can't even order pizza," she tells Billboard. "I would put off calling him. I'd say, it's 12:57, I'll do it at 1." He agreed, of course, and the pair worked together at a studio in Malibu, California, but Lorde won't reveal what went down between them because "he's private."
Lorde is a bit more open when talking about her good buddy Taylor Swift, who contributed two songs to the soundtrack of the first Hunger Games film. "I tell her everything," Lorde says of Taylor. "I'm drawn to people [not] for what you see of them [in the media], because that's a really small part of who they are. There's so much more to people who are in the public eye than what you see."
The singer also has other celebrity friends, such as Ellie Goulding, which surprises Lorde. "When I came into this business I was like, 'I'm not going to make any friends. Let's face it,'" she tells Billboard, but adds, "for the most part, people are really great."
ABC/Fred LeeNicki Minaj may have delayed the release of her upcoming album, The PinkPrint, but she's keeping the momentum going by unveiling a trailer for the highly anticipated project.
The rapper took to her Instagram account to release two 15-second videos, which include footage from her recent music videos like "Lookin' Ass," "Pills N Potions" and "Anaconda." In one clip, a man is getting being fingerprinted before the album's title is displayed in a pink font.
As previously reported, Nicki's third album will now arrive on Monday, December 15; the set was previously slated for aNovember 24release.
In the meantime, fans can purchase her new single "Only" featuring Chris Brown, Drake and Lil Wayne.
ABC/Lou RoccoAlicia Keys and her Keep a Child Alive Foundation celebrated the 11th annual Black Ball benefit concert in New York City Thursday night. Before heading inside the Hammerstein Ballroom, Keys reflected on the journey her organization has made in its efforts to raises money for children and families in Africa and India affected by HIV.
"It's true, it has been such a journey," she revealed on the red carpet. "When I first went to Africa it just changed my life and really what changed it was because I saw people just like me -- my brothers, my sisters, my cousins -- and like anybody, we are all dealing with how to live in this world and I remember being really inspired by them. To know that they had to watch their parents pass away because they didn't have access to the medicine that we do, it really just changed my perspective. I said, 'If that was me, I'd hope that somebody would be there for me and talk for me and raise awareness for me.
Alicia continued, "So now, it's really about the youth and how much we drive the forward motion of where this pandemic is going to go and how its going to end. So I'm really proud of that, I'm proud of them, I'm proud of the journey and we're going to keep on keeping on."
The star-studded event included performances from Keys and Nas, who showcased a rendition of "If I Ruled the World," while Diddy left his co-hosting duties to give a rousing showcase alongside the Queensbridge rapper of their 1999 hit, "Hate Me Now." Guests were also treated to performances from rap rookie Angel Haze and David Byrne, former frontman for New Wave rock band Talking Heads.
Credit: Sarah BarlowNot just any costume will do for Taylor Swift: she had to dress as a mythical creature for Halloween.
The singer Instagrammed a photo of herself standing in an elevator, wearing a white fuzzy top and pants with a tail, a set of wings and a headpiece with two ears and a long horn. She captioned it, "Cause, darling I'm a nightmare dressed like a PEGACORN. #HappyHalloween!"
A "pegacorn" is a cross between a winged horse -- a Pegasus -- and a unicorn. In August, when she appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Taylor took part in the show's recurring "EW!" sketch, playing a girl named Natalie who displayed a drawing she made of a pegacorn.
As for the caption of Taylor's Instagram photo, that's reworking of a line from her new song "Blank Space" -- the real one is, "'Cause, darling, I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream."
ABC/Randy HolmesKaty Perry fans know that the singer's preferred snack food is Flamin' Hot Cheetos. In fact, she loves them so much, she dressed as one for Halloween.
Katy Instagrammed a photo of herself dressed as a giant, individual Flamin' Hot Cheeto -- her bright orange costume completely encased her body from her head to her knees, and her face peeked out through a hole. If you weren't sure what she was supposed to be, she made it easy by carrying a purse made from a Flamin' Hot Cheetos bag.
MTV reports Katy sported the costume at a Halloween party given by actress Kate Hudson.
As for Katy's penchant for the snack, she once said in an interview that after her breakup with her ex-husband Russell Brand, she was so numb that she was "like, just eating Flamin' Hot Cheetos and drinking, and that's it." And in her video for the #1 hit "Dark Horse," she's seen eating from a huge bowl of them, which is pretty odd, considering the video's set in ancient Egypt.
Katy was very pleased with herself and her costume: she captioned her Instagram photo "IDFWU" and added "*drops mic.*" "IDFWU" is a reference to the new single by Ariana Grande's boyfriend, rapper Big Sean, and by quoting it, Katy's basically saying that she's pretty much on another level when it comes to Halloween costumes.
Trae Patton/NBCWhile the coach lineup on The Voice has changed numerous times since the show debuted, one thing has remained the same: the dynamic duo of Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, whose "bromance" has been charming viewers for seven seasons now. But Adam says there's a good reason that he and Blake haven't taken a season off from the show as other coaches have done: money.
Speaking about Christina Aguilera's impending return to The Voice, Adam tells the TV show Extra, "I'm so excited she's coming back. She’s kind of like that anchor to the original crew, which I love. The one thing that's cool about the show that I love, and it's fun, is it's constantly changing. Blake and I have stuck around forever, because we're greedy."
In addition to Adam, Blake and Christina, the other coaches have included Cee Lo Green, Shakira, Usher, PharrellWilliams and Gwen Stefani. Pharrell is returning for the eighth season to coach alongside Adam, Blake and Christina.
While Adam was likely joking about his reasons for sticking around on The Voice, he seems genuine about the reasons why he loves being married to his new wife Behati Prinsloo. "I think really, at the end of the day, if you find the right person, it's the best," he tells Extra. "It's like life gives you a person and you find that person and it's like, 'Thank God.' That's how I feel."
James Minchin III/RCA RecordsHe's 37 years old, but Gavin DeGraw says he's still haunted by the memories of a Halloween costume he was made to wear at the tender age of five.
"I don't think I've ever had a really cool Halloween costume," he tells ABC News Radio. "In kindergarten, my mother dressed me up as a sailor, and that was the early days of the button fly, before that was cool. And I remember hearing the 'I see London, I see France' song. I was five years old, and I'll never forget that -- so, no more sailor outfits for me."
OK, so what's Gavin, whose new best-of album is out now, going to dress up as this year?
"I'm not sure what I'm going to be this year," he says. "But I guarantee to you it will have a zipper fly, not a button fly."
As it happens, Gavin doesn't have a concert on Halloween Night, so whatever he ends up going as will likely remain private.
ABC/Randy HolmesIggy Azalea is this year's top nominee at the American Music Awards, so it's no surprise that she's joined the already star-studded lineup on the telecast.
The rapper will perform alongside her "Fancy" pal, Charli XCX, plus Mary J. Blige, Fergie, Lorde, One Direction, Sam Smith and Pitbull on the show, which airs live on ABC November 23. More artists will be announced soon.
Iggy is nominated for six awards, including Artist of the Year, New Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Favorite Female Artist Pop/Rock.
One Directiion; Harry Styles, far right/Credit: Cal AurandRemember that photo of Harry Styles throwing up on the side of a Los Angeles freeway a few weeks ago? Well, he's revealed what made him sick -- and it's not what people think.
The 20-year-old One Direction singer says it had nothing to do with alcohol or partying. He simply overexerted himself.
"I'd been on a hike. I'd been on a very long hike. It was about three weeks ago, so I'm fine now," Styles said Wednesday during an interview on BBC Radio 1.
He may be fine health-wise, but Harry's pretty disturbed by some fans' reaction to his vomiting session. Some reportedly went to the spot where he threw up and put up a handmade sign that read, "Harry Styles Threw Up Here" with the date and pictures. Someone reportedly also tried to sell some of the vomit on eBay.
"It's worrying, this is the world we live in," Styles said.
ABC/Randy HolmesT.I. couldn't be more pleased with protégée Iggy Azalea.
During an interview with Rap-Up TV, Tip revealed that she's easily adjusted to the spotlight, without needing him to hold her hand.
“She has an incredible vision for herself,” said T.I.. “She sees things that none of us can see. At the end of the day, the final say will lie in what Iggy Azalea feels is appropriate for her legacy.”
The rap veteran is blown away by Iggy's ability to handle her newfound fame. “All in all, I think she’s handling herself like a G just simply because she’s not jumping off the Empire State Building,” he said. “With the amount of pressure being put on her, the amount of demands, and all the different directionsshe’s being pulled so many times a day, I think she’s handling herself very well and staying grounded and true to who she is.”
When asked if he sees Iggy ever working with Nicki Minaj, Tip remains optimistic.
“That is something that me and Lil Wayne, we maybe could broker,” he said. “If Nicki agrees to it, I would definitely massagethe earsof my young Azalean. She never had a real problem with Nicki. I think it’s just a female competition thing. And I don’t even think Nicki really, really has a problem with Iggy. I think they’re both like, ‘There’s only enough room for one bad b***h at a time.’ I think it’s more that than someone genuinely not liking someone else.”
ABC/Ida Mae AstuteMary Lambert's never really gotten the chance to dress up and let loose on Halloween, but she says this year, she just might...with one of the most bizarre costume ideas ever.
"Every Halloween, I've worked," she tells ABC News Radio. "When I was bartending, when I was a gigging musician...and I can't remember the last time I dressed up for Halloween, and this year I think I'm gonna do it." OK, so, what will she be?
"I don't know, maybe I'll be Babe-raham Lincoln," she laughs. And what exactly is that? She says it's a costume idea that a pal came up with originally.
"My friend Tim was Babe-raham Lincoln," she laughs. "So he dressed up as a woman dressing up as Abraham Lincoln, which is hysterical."
So if Mary decides to be Babe-raham Lincoln, will she actually wear a beard, just like President Lincoln had?
"Absolutely!" she says. "I've always wanted a beard." Then Mary, whose current hit is "Secrets," adds, "That's a good secret. Every time I do an interview, they're like, 'Tell me a secret!' I'm like, 'I have told you so many secrets!' But that's another one. I wish I had a beard...and I wish that I could sing in a barbershop quartet!"
Mary doesn't have a show Friday night, but let's hope if she decides to be Babe-raham Lincoln, she posts the pictures online, beard and all.
Credit: Nick WalkerWhat's your favorite part of Halloween? Dressing up? Trick-or-treating? For Phillip Phillips, it's taking a knife and plunging it into the soft, yielding flesh...of a pumpkin.
Recalling childhood Halloweens, Phillip tells ABC News Radio, "I used to love dressing up as a cowboy or Batman or a zombie or whatnot. Halloween's fun. [But] I like carving the pumpkins. For some reason it's very therapeutic for me."
Wait, it's therapeutic to take a sharp knife and cut a pumpkin to pieces? According to Phillip, yes.
"I just figured this out last year," he tells ABC News Radio. "And, you know, I was carving the pumpkins, and I was just, like, so calm while I was doing it! I was like, 'Oh my gosh!' I think I even carved another one! I'm gonna carve at least a couple this year."
Phillip, who also enjoys scooping out the guts of his pumpkins and placing candles inside, jokes that wielding a knife makes you "feel like you're king of the world." But don't get him wrong: he also likes the other aspects of Halloween as well.
"Plus there's the candy," he laughs. "I can just clog my arteries!"
Phillip is currently out on an extensive tour in support of his current album Behind the Light, but he doesn't have a show on Halloween night. His tour resumes Saturday in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
ABC/Ida Mae AstuteIn a new cover story for British Cosmopolitan's December issue, Taylor Swift talks relationships -- or lack thereof.
The 24-year-old told the mag she's perfectly content to be single at this stage in her life. "People will say, 'let me set you up with someone,' and I'm just sitting there saying, ‘That's not what I'm doing. I'm not lonely; I'm not looking.'...They just don't get it," she said.
The "Shake It Off" singer said she also realized that dating someone doesn't define you. "I've learned that just because someone is cute and wants to date you, that's not a reason to sacrifice your independence and allow everyone to say whatever they want about you," she said. "I'm not doing that anymore."
The singer said she just can't picture any guy fitting into her life right now.
"It'd take someone really special for me to undergo the circumstances I have to go through to experience a date," she said. "I don't know how I would ever have another person in my world trying to have a relationship with me, or a family. The best answer I can come up with now is ‘go at it alone.' Life can be romantic without having a romance. I'm very attracted to how happy I am now."
Just because Swift is single doesn't mean she's alone. She's got a plethora of gal pals to hang with, including Lena Dunham and model Karlie Kloss, not to mention millions of super fans.
ABC/Lou RoccoYou probably aren't sick of Taylor Swift's two most recent tracks -- "Welcome to New York" and "Out of the Woods" -- just yet, but she's got another single coming down the pike.
Taylor's record label announced Thursday that her next single from 1989 -- the official follow-up to "Shake It Off" -- will be "Blank Space." It'll hit radio November 10.
The song is the second track on 1989, and like "Shake It Off," it's a collaboration with superproducers Max Martin and Shellback. In the song's lyrics, Taylor pokes fun at her reputation as a serial dater, singing, "You look like my next mistake/Love's a game, want to play?" and "Got a long list of ex-lovers/They'll tell you I'm insane/'Cause you know I love the players/and you love the game."
"Blank Space" is also the song that inspired the name of Taylor's new perfume Incredible Things -- one of the lyrics is, "I could show you incredible things."
PRNewsFoto/Live Nation EntertainmentJustin Timberlake, One Direction and One Republic are among the artists who will vie for honors at the 2014 Billboard Touring Awards, scheduled for November 20 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.
JT and 1D are finalists in the Top Tour category, which acknowledges the highest-grossing tours of the year. They're competing against the latest tour by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the Eagles. JT and 1D are also up for Top Draw, which is based on total tour attendance. Their competition in that category is country star Luke Bryan.
One Direction is also competing against two of the most legendary music acts of all time -- Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones -- in the category of Top Boxscore, which which honors the highest-grossing single engagement by an artist. 1D is being recognized for its run of shows in Croke Park, Dublin this past May.
OneRepublic is competing with country duo Florida Georgia Line and alt-rockers Arcade Fire for the Breakthrough Award, which "honors an artist in their first decade of headlining who broke through to the top ranks of all tours for the first time."
Katy Perry's PRISMATIC tour, which featured opening acts Capital Cities, Kacey Musgraves, Tegan & Sarah, Becky G and Ferras, is up for Top Tour Package. It's also garnered a Concert Marketing & Promotion nomination, for Katy's on-tour partnership with Staples.
The Billboard Touring Awards ceremony will serve as the finale of the 11th annual Billboard Touring Conference, which is scheduled for November 19-20 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. The awards are based on numbers reported to Billboard magazine from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014.
Interscope RecordsA judge in California is allowing a case to move forward that alleges Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke stole parts of a Marvin Gaye classic to write their smash "Blurred Lines."
U.S. District Court Judge John Kronstadt on Thursday denied a motion seeking to have the claim of copyright infringement thrown out before trial. That motion had been brought by "Blurred Lines" writers Pharrell, Thicke and rapper T.I. last July, in response to a string of suits between themselves and their publishers on one had and, and the Gaye family and Gaye's publishers on the other.
In Thursday's ruling, the judge found that the Gaye family's musicological experts had showed enough possible similarity between "Blurred Lines" and copyright protected elements of Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up" that a trial is needed to decide the merits of the case. The judge also allowed a second claim to proceed, over alleged similarities between Thicke's 2011 track "Love After War" and Gaye's 1976 track "After the Dance."
The cases, however, will not take into consideration any similarities between things like the percussion tracks or background vocals in the various songs. In a partial victory for Thicke and Pharrell, Judge Kronstadt found that only material found on the sheet music registered with the U.S. Copyright Office -- not other elements of the recordings themselves -- will be relevant at trial.
Courtesy of Theo Wargo/Getty Images Pitbull once sang "Don't Stop the Party," and now he's taking his own advice. He and Enrique Iglesias have just announced a second leg of their joint U.S. tour.
The new leg of the tour stars January 28 in El Paso, Texas, and right now is scheduled to wrap up February 20 in Rosemont, Illinois. In between, Enrique and Mr. Worldwide will visit Las Vegas during Super Bowl weekend, and play a Valentine's Day show in Oakland, California. Tickets go on sale starting November 6.
In other Enrique news, his latest hit "Bailando" has just set the record for longest run at #1 on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart: 26 weeks. Enrique told Billboard, "You don't know how successful a song is going to be...Sometimes you're right, sometimes you're wrong. This one just felt special."
He adds, "I do my best and put so much enthusiasm into songs, songwriting and videos. But, ultimately, it comes down to the fans and how they react. If it wasn't for them, really, the song wouldn't be the hit that it's been."
And in other Pitbull news, he'll be sharing the stage with rock legend Carlos Santana at the 15th Annual Latin Grammy Awards, which will air live on the Univision Network on November 20. While Pitbull appeared on Santana's most recent album, this will mark the first time the two have performed together live.
Here are the tour dates:
1/28 -- El Paso, TX, Don Haskins Center 1/29 -- Phoenix, AZ, US Airways Center 1/31 -- Las Vegas, NV, Mandalay Bay Arena 2/05 -- Corpus Christi, TX, American Bank Center 2/06 -- Lubbock, TX, United Supermarkets Arena 2/07 -- Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Center 2/12 -- Bakersfield, CA, Rabobank Arena 2/13 -- Los Angeles, CA, STAPLES Center 2/14 -- Oakland, CA, Oracle Arena 2/17 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center 2/19 -- Minneapolis, MN, Target Center 2/20 -- Rosemont, IL, Allstate Arena