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Pharrell Williams to Launch Line of Handbags Shaped Like Trains


Art Streiber/NBCAll aboard for Pharrell Williams' latest fashion venture!  Women's Wear Daily reports that the singer, songwriter and newly minted Voice coach is teaming with the French leather goods company Moynat to create a line of handbags inspired by trains.

The handbags will be shaped like vintage steam locomotives, and are being made in either hand-tooled acrylic resin or hand-carved ebony.  They're being unveiled at the super-trendy Parisian boutique Colette on October 13; a week later, they'll be at Moynat boutiques in London and Paris. 

The collaboration started when Pharrell was introduced to the brand by Colette's creative director. After he toured their workshop, he bonded with Moynat's creative director over the idea of trains, which are both nostalgic and romantic.  The creative director said that Pharrell nearly got teary-eyed when he saw the first prototype of the train purse.

The limited-edition resin version will set you back nearly $13,000; the ebony ones will cost just over four grand each.  If you can't afford that, there also will be silk scarves and leather pouches with train motifs available.

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Calvin Harris Drops $15 Million on Beverly Hills Mansion


Columbia RecordsIn addition to his career as a songwriter and solo artist, Calvin Harris is one of the world's highest paid deejays, raking in somewhere around $110 million over the last two years. So it's no wonder he's able to plunk down more than $15 million for a mansion in Beverly Hills.

Variety reports that the Scottish artist's new home is a 2.66 acre property with 18,000 square feet of living space, 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms.  There's an elevator, a three-car garage, two guest houses, two swimming pools and two spas.

Variety notes that Calvin originally bought a $5.5 million dollar mini-mansion in L.A. in 2012, but then traded that in for a $7 million mini-compound.  This new home is his biggest property yet.

In addition to scoring his own hits, like "Feel So Close," "Summer," "I Need Your Love" and "Sweet Nothing," Calvin is perhaps best known for writing and producing Rihanna's smash "We Found Love."

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Kelly Clarkson to Be Honored at Musicians on Call's 15th Anniversary Concert


Justin Lubin/NBCMusicians on Call, the charity which brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of hospital patients nationwide, has announced that Kelly Clarkson will be the special honoree at its 15th anniversary celebration.

Kelly will be celebrated at the November 18 event in New York City, and among those performing are Jessie J and Nick Jonas. Kelly, who's personally performed for patients while working with the charity, has said of working with the charity, "I love how it creates opportunities for musicians to play for kids and bring music to the families who are spending their time...in the hospitals away from the comfort of their homes.”

Visit MusiciansOnCall.org to find out how to get tickets for the event.

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Sam Smith, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, Beyonce, Iggy Up for UK's MOBO Awards


Credit: Drew WheelerSam Smith, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, Beyonce and Iggy Azalea have all received nominations for the U.K.'s MOBO Awards.  "MOBO" stands for "Music of Black Origin" -- the awards recognize R&B and hip-hop artists, as well as those whose music is primarily influenced by R&B and hip-hop.

Sam has received four nods this year, including Best Male Act, Best Song for "Stay With Me," Best Album for In the Lonely Hour, and Best R&B Soul Act.  Jessie J is up for Best Female Act, as is Rita Ora, while Ed received a nod for Best Song, for "Sing."

In the Best International Act category, which recognizes artists who aren't British, nominees include Beyonce, Drake, Iggy Azalea, Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, and Chris Brown, among others.

This year's MOBO Awards will be held at London's Wembley Arena October 22.

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Are Madonna & Nicki Minaj Teaming Up Again?


Mert & MarcusMadonna is teasing yet another possible collaboration on her new album.  On Instagram, she's posted a photo of herself and Nicki Minaj, with the caption, "We go Hard or we go Home we Gon Do this all night long! #werk."

Nick posted the same photo, with the caption, "My trip to New York isn't the same unless I bump into the Queen." She added the hashtag, "#B**chItsMadonna," which is rumored to be the title of one of the songs on the Queen of Pop's new album.

Madonna and Nicki previously teamed up on Madonna's 2012 single, "Give Me All Your Luvin'," and Nicki joined her when she performed the song at the Super Bowl halftime show that same year.  It's possible that Madonna has also tapped Nicki to contribute a verse to the new album, but it's not clear. 

Madonna previously implied in an Instagram post that Alicia Keys would be contributing to the new album as well, but Madonna's rep told ABC News Radio that she wasn't sure if that's true.

Madonna's new album will likely see the light of day in 2015.

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Paramore Currently In "Dreaming-Up" Stage of Next Album


Fueled by RamenParamore's self-titled 2013 album was a huge breakthrough for the band, producing the smash hits "Still Into You" and "Ain't It Fun."  But don't expect a follow-up anytime soon: they're still pondering their next musical move.

“We’re in the dreaming-up stage, and figuring out kind of who we want to be next,” singer Hayley Williams tells Billboard. "I think we’re getting there. We haven’t written anything that we’ve loved and thought, ‘This is it, this is the new direction,’ or where we want to be, or who we are. But it’ll happen."

However, Hayley says she's confident whatever Paramore does come up with next will be worth the wait.  "I know we’re gonna make a great record when the time is right, but it just hasn’t been right yet,” she explains.

After co-headlining the Monumentour with Fall Out Boy all summer, Paramore just have two shows left on their schedule for 2014, both in Brazil in November.

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"The Voice" Recap: The Blind Auditions Begin


Image Courtesy Trae Patton/NBCThe seventh season of The Voice premiered Monday night on NBC with the start of the blind auditions.

Veteran coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton were joined by two newcomers: Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams. The foursome kicked off the two-hour broadcast by collaborating on a cover of Gwen's No Doubt hit "Hella Good," which was co-written by Pharrell.

Here are the highlights of the blind auditions:

Luke Wade was the first contestant of the new season. He performed "That's How Strong My Love Is," made famous by Otis Redding. All of the coaches pressed their buttons. Adam stood up on his chair with excitement, declaring to Luke, "You're going to win." Pharrell insisted he knew what to do with Luke's voice, and pleaded with Luke to let him be his "amplifier." Gwen joked that while Blake and Adam are mailing it in as veteran coaches, she's fresh and ready to go. Luke decided to join Pharrell.

Clara Hong was born in South Korea and moved to America when she was 8. All of the coaches except for Blake pressed their buttons as Clara sang "Chuck E's in Love" by Rickie Lee Jones. Gwen praised Clara for her stage presence, but she said she could help Clara improve even more in that area. She demonstrated on stage by singing a few lines of her No Doubt hit "Just a Girl." Adam wrote a poem for Clara, and even said hello to her in Korean. Pharrell countered with his own rhymes. Clara chose Adam.

Bryana Salaz, 16, belted out a remixed version of the Ariana Grande hit "Problem." Gwen pushed the fact that she's the only woman on the panel. Bryana joined Team Gwen, saying backstage that her new coach has been a longtime inspiration of hers.

A man identified only as Damien, a TSA agent at Los Angeles International Airport who was deeply affected by the shooting there in 2013, crooned "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday." All four coaches made a bid for Damien, who broke down in tears and received a hug by Gwen. He went with Adam.

Allison Bray, who previously auditioned last season, sang Kacey Musgraves' "Merry Go 'Round." She's now a member of Team Blake.

Taylor John Williams, sporting a Jason Mraz-type look, delivered an acoustic rendition of Kanye West's "Heartless." You'll recall that former Voice runner-up Dia Frampton offered a similar cover during season one. Williams selected Gwen as his coach.

Elyjuh René performed the Beyoncé song "XO." Gwen loved the emotion he conveyed. Adam added that Elyjuh came off as vulnerable. Pharrell called Elyjuh one of the most amazing vocalists he's seen in a long time. Elyjuh will be on Pharrell's team.

James David Carter got all four coaches to give him a standing ovation, after singing the Kevin Sharp version of Tony Rich's "Nobody Knows." Adam and Gwen even stood on the back of their chairs. Pharrell said he didn't detect one moment when Carter was nervous. Blake declared it was arguably the best country audition he's heard in the show's history. Carter then responded that he once opened for Blake, when Blake had a mullet. Adam conceded his knowledge of country music is limited, but he guaranteed victory for Carter if he joined the Maroon 5 frontman's team. Carter decided to go with Blake instead.

The blind auditions will continue Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.

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Pink's New Musical Collaborator Provided Her Birthing Soundtrack, Too


Eliot Lee Hazel/RCA RecordsPink surprised fans a few weeks ago by announcing that she'll be releasing a new album in October under the name You Me.  Her musical collaborator in the project is singer/songwriter Dallas Green, and she's a big fan of his.  How big a fan?  It was his music she chose to listen to when she gave birth to her daughter, Willow.

The Australian paper The Daily Telegraph reports that Pink became a fan of Green, who records under the name The City and Colour, back in 2008, and she invited him to open her U.K. concerts in 2010.  Then, last year, he ended up opening three of her U.S. shows, and that's when, Green says, he found out how much she loves his music.

"During the show, Pink would ask for a round of applause for City and Colour and told the crowd, 'That was what I was listening to when Willow came into the world,'" Green told The Daily Telegraph.  "She would say that every night in front of 15,000 people or more; it was nuts.  I'll take that!"

The two got together this past March in L.A. to write songs together, and they ended up coming up with an entire album.  The result, rose ave., will be out October 14.  First the duo has released the song "You and Me," and now they've followed up with another song, "Break the Cycle," which you can hear streaming on HuffingtonPost.com.

Speaking about writing the song, Pink tells the website, "I really wanted to write a song about my mom.  It didn't turn out to be quite the love song I thought it would be, but it's very honest and came out to be so much more."

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Despite Their Hit, Echosmith's Members Still Don't Feel Like "Cool Kids"


Jonathan Weiner/Warner Bros. RecordsEchosmith, a band made up of three brothers and a sister from California, is riding high with its first big hit, "Cool Kids."  But even though the siblings now have a gold single, and even though their song was featured as part of Apple's launch of its new Apple Watch, the band members say that doesn't necessarily mean that they now feel like those kids they're singing about.

"No matter what situation you're in, you can still find at least one person out of the seven billion in the world to compare yourself to or to feel bad about because you're not like them," says lead singer Sydney Sierota.  "It's a whole thing we all go through, and that's why we wrote that song.  And I think that's why it's relating to people so much, because it's so real for us."

While part of the appeal of "Cool Kids" may be the fact that it's just so darn catchy, Sydney says the message behind the song is what's important for the band.

"We didn't write that song because we wanted it to be a hit, or a catchy song, or a song that people just liked singing with their friends," she tells ABC News Radio.  "I mean, that was a song that we related to.  And that's why we wrote it.  We didn't write it with the intent of having a single."

In fact, the success of "Cool Kids" has been a shock for Echosmith's members.  It almost didn't make it onto their debut album, Talking Dreams, and when they did put it out, they couldn't believe they response they got.

"We released it, like, a year and a half ago, so it's been out a while," Sydney's brother Noah, the band's bass player, explains.  "And we released it with two other songs, and all of a sudden we started playing these shows, and all these kids were singing it back to us.  We never had that before.  It was a complete surprise for us.

"Eventually everyone was...talking about it and telling us how much they relate to it, and all of a sudden we realized how powerful that song could be, and how much that could mean to people around the world," he adds.  "The fact that we've gone and traveled more parts of the world and see people in the Philippines singing that song back to us -- it's a really amazing thing."

"I know that everybody I've ever talked to has related to something like that," Sydney adds.  "The fact that we all have that desire at some point, whether you're a kid or not, to fit in or be like somebody else.  And I mean, in reality, what makes you cool is being yourself."

Despite the fact that "Cool Kids" is more than a year old, Echosmith doesn't have any plans to release a new single for a while.

"We're focusing on 'Cool Kids' for now because it seems to keep going up, which is insane because it's been out for over a year," says Sydney.  "And to see that a song that's been out for that long is still going straight up is awesome." 

Echosmith will open for American Authors when that band kicks off its headlining slot on this year's Honda Civic Tour, which starts October 1 in Reno, Nevada.

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Britney Spears Demos Surface Online


Image Courtesy Michelangelo Di Battista RCA RecordsA couple of demos for Britney Spears' 2013 album, Britney Jean, are now online.

Both demos, which are untitled and were apparently uploaded months ago but only recently garnered attention, were collaborations with British musician and producer Dev Hynes, a.k.a. Blood Orange. They're a bit darker than the songs that ended up on Britney Jean.

Hynes tweeted on Monday, "How do things even leak?? Oh well! Enjoy."

In a late 2013 interview with the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, Hynes said he was "so stoked" about writing songs for Britney, but, he added, "They'd always come back with why they didn't like it and it wouldn't make any sense. I'd almost prefer them to say: 'We're scared we're not going to make any money so we're just going to use will.i.am.'" Will.i.am served as an executive producer of the project.

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Kanye West Is Now Teaching at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College


ABC/Randy HolmesCan you imagine Kanye West as a college professor?  Well, according to Vulture, the outspoken rapper is passing down knowledge to students at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, a two-year school about two miles south of L.A.'s central business district.

Following his 2013 paparazzi scuffle, West is now teaching at L.A. Trade-Tech as a part of his mandated community service.  The school is known for its courses in fashion design and technology; notable alums include Jeffrey Sebelia, who won the third season of Project Runway.

West must log 250 hours.

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Meghan Trainor's Initial Thought About Her #1 Hit: "We're Never Going to Make a Dime Off This"


Epic RecordsMeghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" has been one of the surprise hits of the year, but she says that when she and her co-writer, Kevin Kadish, first created the empowerment anthem, they thought it had no future whatsoever.

While she and Kadish liked the song that they'd written, Meghan tells Billboard, "We told each other, 'We're never going to make a dime off this.'"  But three months later, she sang it for L.A. Reid, the head of Epic Records, and he signed her the following week.   Now that the single is platinum and has hit #1, Meghan says she's happy to be spreading a message of self-acceptance around the world.

"I got up at six this morning to reply to fan letters and Instagram posts," she tells Billboard.  "I don't consider myself a feminist, but I'm down for my first opportunity to say something to the world to be so meaningful.  If you asked me, 'What do you want to say?' it would be, 'Love yourself more.'"

Meghan says she was inspired to write the song because of her own issues growing up.  "I was always a little insecure," she reveals.  "I had brothers that played football, so I was just a straight-up tomboy for a minute.  I didn't know makeup and hair stuff.  My friends had to tell me what a straightener was.  I didn't know fashion or any of that until the label gave me a stylist."

While "All About That Bass" is about treating yourself better, some of the songs on her debut EP, Title, are about how men should do the same to women.  Those songs, too, came from real life, says Meghan.

"Girls need to be treated better.  I never got that growing up," she tells Billboard.  "In high school, I didn't date awesome dudes."  Unfortunately, these days, even if she met one who was awesome, she may not be able to fit him into her crazy schedule.

"Now I go to work, and I don't know if I got time for a boyfriend," she says. "But do you have anyone I could date?"

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Fergie Confirms New Single, Will Produce Broadway Musical "The Last Unicorn"


ABC/Kelsey McNealAfter focusing on motherhood for the past year or so, Fergie's suddenly got a lot of projects in the works.  Not only has she confirmed the release of a new single, but she and her husband are also working on a Broadway musical.

Fergie's confirmed via Instagram that her new single, "L.A. Love (la la)," will arrive September 29 as the first release from what will be her first solo album in eight years.  In addition, Playbill.com reports that she and hubby Josh Duhamel are involved with turning the 1968 fantasy novel The Last Unicorn into an "immersive" Broadway show.  In 1982, the book was turned into an animated film, and Fergie's been a fan of it since childhood. 

According to Playbill, Fergie and Josh will serve as producers for the project, along with a few others, and Fergie has already created some music for it, though she won't be responsible for the whole score.  There's currently no timetable for that project.

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Lorde Announces New Single "Yellow Flicker Beat" Is Coming September 29


Monty Brinton/CBSLorde's single for the soundtrack of the new movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1 is due September 29.  The singer revealed the news on Twitter, as well as the song's title: "Yellow Flicker Beat."

Lorde had already revealed one lyric from the song on Twitter a few weeks ago: "I'm a princess cut from marble/smoother than a storm."

Lorde is also curating the soundtrack of the film, which is due in November.  So far, there's no word on when the soundtrack will be out or which artists she's selected, although The Lumineers' rep has said that the band will have a song on the album.

SEPTEMBER 29 pic.twitter.com/DCl7g9DXo2

— Lorde (@lordemusic) September 22, 2014

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Rixton to Release Debut Album "Let the Road" on January 6


School Boy/Giant Little Man/Mad Love/Interscope RecordsRixton's been on the charts for a while now with "Me and My Broken Heart," so it's easy to forget that they haven't even released their debut album.  But that's all about to change: The British band has announced a January 6 release date for the project.

The album is called Let the Road, and it features songs co-written by the band and their producer Benny Blanco, as well as a track written by their pal Ed Sheeran.   “Let the Road is something we're incredibly proud of,” singer Jake Roche says in a statement.  "Songs have survived six years to make it on this album, back when me and [bassist] Danny [Wilkin] were writing in the caravan having no idea where they would end up.  We feel incredibly humbled to be able to share this with our fans, and we hope you enjoy listening to it, just as much as we enjoyed making it."

Let the Road is available for pre-order starting September 30 at RixtonBand.com, and on October 7 everywhere else.  The lyric video for Rixton's latest single, "Wait on Me," is out now on VEVO.  The band will perform the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live on October 6.

Rixton has the same manager as Ariana Grande, so it's no surprise to hear that the boys will open for Ariana on her upcoming North American tour, which kicks off February 25 and runs through April.  The band says in a statement, "Being asked to be Ariana's special guest is a huge honor.  We're massive fans of her and her incredible talent, and we're so excited to play these prestigious venues all over America."

Here's the track listing for Let the Road:

1. "Let The Road"
2. "Wait on Me"
3. "Appreciated"
4. "Beautiful Excuses"
5. "Me and My Broken Heart"
6. "Hotel Ceiling"
7. "I Like Girls"
8. "Speakerphone"
9. "We All Want the Same Thing"
10. "Whole"

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Sir Mix-a-Lot Supports Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda"


Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images via ABC

Last month, Sir Mix-a-Lot tweeted that he viewed Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" video about 37 times.  Now, the rapper is revealing how he truly feels about the song, which samples his 1992 classic "Baby Got Back."

During his Reddit Ask Me Anything, the rap veteran spilled that he supports Nicki's hit record.  "It's amazing how people -- I guess maybe because they're not in the industry -- but how people think I should be mad about the song," said Mix-a-Lot.

He continued, "I think it's cool, she took part of the song, she made a Nicki Minaj song.  I love the track, I have fun listening to the track, it's crazy as hell, and for a guy who likes butts, how can [I] look at the video and say I don't like it?"

"Anaconda" currently sits at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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New Kelly Clarkson Album Coming "Early Next Year," May Have "Special Guest"


Jill Greenberg/RCA RecordsKelly Clarkson got fans excited Friday when she tweeted lyrics to one of the songs on her upcoming album.  Now she's revealed a bit more about the album, as part of a Twitter conversation with a fan.

The fan tweeted, "Hi Kelly. Are you going to have any crazy surprises for us on your new album?"  The Grammy-winner replied, "Yes. I'm so proud of my next album! Might have a special guest on the album ....maybe :) Doesn't come out until early next year."

As previously reported, this will be Kelly's first new album of non-holiday original material since 2011's Stronger.

While working on the album, Kelly is also enjoying first-time motherhood, but putting her daughter River Rose to bed can be trying at times, as she revealed on Twitter.  "Ran out of songs 2 sing while trying 2 put my little girl 2 sleep & she finally nods off after 'Silly Ho' by TLC," Kelly wrote, adding the hashtag, "#shecantunderstandthelyrics."

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Charli XCX Pushes Release of New Album, "Sucker," Back to Dec. 16th


Dan Curwin/Atlantic RecordsSorry, suckers The release of Charli XCX's new album, Suckers, has been pushed back to December...but according to her, that's a good thing.

"Ok so it wouldn't be a charli xcx album without a date change," she tweeted on Monday. "it's all COOL nothing's WRONG the albums DONE but it's just no one really knew boom clap would do as well as it's doing."

She goes on to explain that the success of "Boom Clap," her single from The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack, is what's caused the delay in Sucker's release.  It was originally scheduled to arrive October 21: "I'm overwhelmed by the love for boom clap & the support from all u angels, I need to put the date back so I can launch the album properly...(i had no idea boom clap would hang about for so long... It's mind blowing and cool so thank u for that!)."

She finishes by revealing, "SUCKER will be released DEC 16TH in the USA and JAN 26TH in the UK and EUROPE."

Charli XCX is due to kick off a headlining tour on September 26.  That won't be affected, according to her label.

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"The Voice" Returns; New Coach Gwen Says Blake & Adam's "R-Rated" Antics Give Her a "Face Headache"


Trae Patton/NBCOn Monday night, The Voice returns for a seventh season, and this time around, there'll be two new faces in the big red chairs: Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams.  The chart-topping artists, who are also longtime friends, join Voice lifers Adam Levine and Blake Shelton as coaches, and Gwen says dealing with those two goofballs on the set literally left her sore.

"Seriously, after day one...I haven't laughed that hard in so long," she says. "I had a face headache where everywhere was, like sore, from smiling and laughing. They were making me and Pharrell laugh so hard!"  She adds, "Everybody at home, they get a sneak peek at those two, but we got the R-rated, hilarious, locker room version of what they're getting at home. I mean, it is bad."

"I thought I was in a boys club my whole life, like being on a tour bus with all guys," she says, referring to her years with her band No Doubt. "But these two, they really take it to another level!"

"I don't even feel alive unless I'm making fun of Blake. And neither one of us cares about it. It's so much fun. It's genuinely a blast," laughs Adam, who pronounces season seven "the best...we've ever had." He adds, "I think that Gwen and Pharrell are incredible, formidable opponents, but also just people I respect and love very much."

Adam says he was surprised how little time it took for Gwen and Pharrell to get into the groove during the Blind Auditions. "The learning curve seemed nonexistent, almost," he says. "They were just really astute and good at it right away, and very competitive and took a lot of people away from me that I wanted."  He says he was also gratified that Gwen, especially, got sucked into the emotion of the competition.

"I told her, 'You're not gonna believe how wrapped up you get in this.' You do it, and all of a sudden you find yourself totally lost in it and you're loving it, and it's amazing," Adam says. "So, it happened, like I knew it would. It was just great to watch. It was just cool after six seasons to see that kind of joy about the show and enthusiasm back again."

As for Pharrell, he says he was pleasantly surprised at his experience on the show.  "My expectation is that it would be work that I would enjoy, but I was wrong. It's not been any work at all. It's been fun. Really, honestly fun," he says.  He also disagrees with those who feel that The Voice is a failure because it hasn't produced any superstars.  In his mind, the coaching the contestants receive makes it all worth it.

"Essentially, at the end of the day, there are 48 contestants, and only person is gonna win," he says. "The rest of those 47 people, like, their lives are gonna be changed because they had Blake teach them a lot about their voices and what they could do. And they had Gwen to teach them about the tone and their styling. And they had Adam to teach them about vocal control. That's huge!"

Gwen agrees that imparting lessons she's learned over the years is a big reason why she's excited to be on The Voice.

"I've had an amazing journey so far, and so to be able to to play this role as a coach, I feel super-blessed," she says. "It's gonna be one of those times in my life I know that I'm gonna look back and go, 'That was incredible.'"

The Voice debuts Monday night at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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Rihanna Reportedly a Victim of Celebrity Photo Hackers


Island Def JamRihanna is the latest victim of celebrity hackers. Nude photos, purportedly of the singer, leaked onto 4chan/Reddit on Sunday, according to TMZ.

One of the pictures reportedly shows a censored version of the 26-year-old Grammy-winner’s breasts. Hours later, another, more graphic, version of the picture was released.

The photos appear to have been taken while Rihanna was being fitted for an outfit.

The photos are the latest in a second wave of leaks over the weekend. Nude pictures of what appear to be Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Kate Bosworth, Hope Solo, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union, and Suits' Abigail Spencer reportedly have also surfaced.

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