ABC/Lou RoccoYou may wish that every day could be Christmas, but Taylor Swift is trying to make sure that, at least for her fans, every week is like "Swiftmas."
For quite some time now, the singer has been surprising her devoted fans by sending them surprise gifts that she's hand-selected based on their interests. And how does she know their interests? By trolling their Tumblr accounts, Twitter feeds and more. As she tells the British paper The Telegraph, "When I pick people to send packages to, I go on their social media sites for the last six months and figure out what they like or what they are going through."
"Do they like photography? I’ll get them a 1980s Polaroid camera. Do they like vintage stuff? I’ll go to an antiques place and get them 1920s earrings. Do they work out a lot? I’ll get them workout stuff," she adds. A handwritten note accompanies each gift, and she personally packs up the gifts with bubble wrap and tape.
So why does Taylor go through the trouble, when her fans would love her just as much if she didn't?
"I want to make the most of this cultural relevance or success or whatever you want to call it, because it’s not going to last," she explains. "I have to be as good a person [as I can] while my name matters to them."
She says sending the presents is "fun for me," adding, "If I go a week without sending something, I start to feel sad."
Alex LakeHozier’s got something -- and someone -- new. The Irish singer released a teaser for the video for his new single “Someone New” on Friday, starring Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer.
The 30-second snippet posted to Twitter features shots of Natalie, who also co-starred in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, and ends with a brief glimpse of Hozier singing on stage.
The full video is set to premiere Monday. “Someone New” is the follow-up to his Grammy-nominated hit, “Take Me to Church.” Hozier also announced on Facebook Friday that he will be performing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on March 5.
ABC/ Lou RoccoOscar-winner Tom Hanks has officially added “Carly Rae Jepsen music video star” to his resume. After the actor was spotted on the set of what appeared to be a video shoot for Carly’s new single, Entertainment Weekly confirms that he will indeed be dancing alongside the Canadian singer in the video for “I Really Like You.”
“After shooting the video I am still in happy shock,” Carly tells EW. “Tom was hilarious and though it was absolutely freezing he kept our spirits up by shouting ‘huddle together now -- like penguins’ when all 60 of us wanted to give up! I can’t thank him enough!”
Tom joined Carly to film an outdoor group dance sequence last week on what happened to be the coldest recorded day in New York City since 2004. Justin Bieber made a cameo in the video, too. Tom is pals with Carly and Justin’s manager, Scooter Braun.
“I Really Like You” is the first track from Carly’s forthcoming album. It will likely be released in March.
The rapper has decided to get new tattoos of birth dates of his daughter, North West, and his late mother, Donda West, across his wrists.
"I talked him out of getting a face tattoo....for now," Kim Kardashian Westtweeted, along with a few Instagram images of Kanye's body art. "He got it on his wrists instead. His mother's birthdate and North's birthdate in Roman numerals."
Kanye's new tats come on the heels of his recently-released "Only One," a touching song that celebrates his daughter North and was inspired by his late mother. The heartfelt track appears on Kanye's next album, due out later this year.
Courtesy of Comedy CentralSeth Rogen is no stranger to poking fun at Justin Bieber. Since he’s done it so often in interviews and on social media, the Biebs has invited Seth to insult him face-to-face at his upcoming Comedy Central Roast.
"@Sethrogen all I want for my birthday is for you to roast me. I took the twitter bashing please make my bday and do it in person. Thanks," he wrote. In another tweet, he added, "@Sethrogen I would have emailed u but this is the only electronic communication with u that doesn't scare me. Hope to see u at the roast :)."
Seth has made no secret of his hatred of Justin. He once posted on Twitter, “All jokes aside, Justin Bieber is a piece of s**t.” He also previously hosted the Comedy Central Roast of James Franco, so we wouldn’t be surprised if he was game for a little Bieber roasting.
Comedian Kevin Hart will serve as roast master for Justin’s special, which tapes on March 14 but airs on March 30.
@Sethrogen all I want for my birthday is for you to roast me. I took the twitter bashing please make my bday and do it in person. Thanks
Dana Edelson/NBCAriana Grande predicted there would be some snafus during the first show of her Honeymoon Tour, and it turns out she was right. The 21-year-old singer revealed she “almost died” while performing “Love Me Harder” in Kansas City Wednesday night.
The lift that was supposed to raise her onto the stage apparently broke underneath her feet. She was forced to hang on to a metal rafter to avoid falling down below. Thankfully, some stage workers came to her aid before she could fall or be crushed by the lift. In a video explaining the incident, Ariana says she never dropped the mic and although the incident was scary, she made it onto the stage and finished the song.
One fan caught the performance on tape and Ariana can be heard telling the crowd, “I almost died, just saying.”
In a Twitter post before the kickoff of her tour in Kansas City, Ariana warned her fans there might be some technical difficulties given that it was the tour's first show. “If we face any technical difficulties or if something goes wrong, please bear with us and laugh along!!!" she wrote.
She probably wasn’t laughing at the time, but at least she made it through unscathed.
A.M.P.A.S.(r)/Image Group LAWe’re not even three months into 2015 and Lady Gaga is already having a banner year: an engagement, a Grammy, a Sound of Music tribute, a role on American Horror Story and now the release of a new, emotional ballad called “Till It Happens to You.”
The Diane Warren-penned track appears in the new documentary The Hunting Ground, which centers on campus rape survivors and hits theaters today. The empowering lyrics get a boost from Gaga’s strong vocals. She sings, "Hold your head up and be strong /When you fall you gotta get up."
A low-quality version popped up online Friday, but an official version is expected to be available soon.
Last month, Gaga revealed she was recording the song with the award-winning hitmaker Diane. "Recorded a song w/ amazing @Diane_Warren for very important doc #TheHuntingGround that premieres at Sundance today! Congrats 2 all involved!" Gaga tweeted on January 23.
Monty Brinton/CBS Earlier this week, Madonna pronounced herself "fine" after falling off the stage during her performance of "Living for Love" at the BRIT Awards in London. But while recording the British program The Jonathan Ross Show Thursday night, the Queen of Pop admitted she was, in fact, injured during the tumble.
“I didn’t hurt my butt, I hurt my head. I did. I know how to fall, I’ve fallen off my horse many times and I tucked and I have good core strength... but the thing is, I had a little bit of a whiplash and I smacked the back of my head," Madonna told host Jonathan Ross for the show, which will air in the U.K. March 14. "So there was a man standing over me with a flashlight until about 3am making sure that I was still compos mentis.”
Madonna also denied that the fall was a stunt meant to illustrate the song's lyrics: "Lifted me up, and watched me stumble/After the heartache, I'm gonna carry on." She laughed, "I’m never writing lyrics like that again! The universe was trying to teach me a lesson, I guess.”
What was most disappointing, the superstar said, was that the fall marred a performance that she wanted to be perfect. “It was a horrible nightmare, because I like to be amazing," she explained. "Seriously, I rehearse and I rehearse and I rehearse so that when I do the show, it’s effortless and I create magic and I did the opposite. I actually created a horror show for everyone."
As for why the fall happened, Madonna said the cape was she wearing was the culprit.
"Everybody was worried that my cape was going to slide off because it’s quite heavy so they tied it really tight around my neck," she explained. "So here I am, marching in like a queen, and I got to the top of the stairs and I pulled my silky string and it would not come undone. And my two lovely Japanese dancers basically strangled me off the stage. I had a choice: I could either be strangled or fall with the cape, and I fell.”
In other Madonna news, the Israeli man who was arrested on suspicion of hacking the files from her new album, Rebel Heart, has been indicted, according to the Hollywood Reporter.Adi Lederman, 39, was officially charged on four counts: computer trespassing, prohibited secret monitoring and additional computer trespassing, copyright infringement, and obstructing investigation. He could face up to five years behind bars.
ABC/Randy HolmesJohn Legend, Nick Jonas and Rita Ora are just a few of the artists being featured on a new compilation album based on the Broadway musical Finding Neverland.
The artists will be interpreting songs from the upcoming production, which were written by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy. Glee’s Matthew Morrison, who stars in the production, also will be contributing to the album. This past weekend, Rita and Matthew took the stage at the Weinstein Company’s pre-Oscar party to perform some of the Finding Neverland songs for the first time. Harvey Weinstein is producing the musical.
Finding Neverland (Songs from the Musical) will be released on April 21, a week after the musical has its opening night on April 15. The show, which is based on the 2004 Johnny Depp movie about Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, also stars Kelsey Grammer.
RCA RecordsKelly Clarkson’s new album is called Piece by Piece, so it seems only fitting that she’d send her fans on a scavenger hunt to find hidden puzzle pieces.
Kelly’s hectic promotional schedule is the inspiration for the event in which fans will be tasked with finding puzzle pieces stashed in various locations throughout New York City on Saturday. The singer announced she’ll begin tweeting out clues at 10 a.m., ET that day. Anyone who finds a puzzle piece gets an invite to an exclusive Piece by Piece listening party on Sunday night. And they get to bring a friend, of course.
Piece by Piece comes out March 3. This week Kelly's been giving fans a taste of what they can expect by releasing one new song from the album per day.
FOXThursday's edition of American Idol featured the top 12 girls taking the stage in the Motor City at The Fillmore Detroit Theater, where they sang for judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr., as well as America’s votes. The top 12 guys performed on Wednesday. The top 16 contestants, based on America’s votes, will be revealed next week.
Lovey James, the 16-year-old rock singer from Portland, Oregon, opened the show with “Love Runs Out,” by OneRepublic. Lopez called the performance “awesome.” Connick noted James took a risk with the song choice, but it paid off. Keith believed the performance got better and better as it went on.
Student Adanna Duru, 18, changed the pace with her version of “Rather Be,” by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne. Urban praised the singer for squeezing so many of her vocal capabilities into such a short span of time. Lopez noted that Adanna was “going for blood.” Her only critique was that Adanna needed to learn to control her excitement. Connick said the performance was Duru’s strongest so far.
Alexis Gomez, the 22-year-old who calls herself a “singing Mexican hillbilly,” tackled Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead.” Harry loved the performance, but cautioned her against adding a fake twang to her voice just because she’s singing a country song. Keith said the strongest part of Gomez’s performance was when she got rid of the guitar she was playing for part of the song. He suggested she lose it altogether for future performances. J-Lo praised Alexis for “playing around” with her style.
The Accordion-toting Joey Cook of Woodbridge, Virginia, put a Cajun spin on Urban’s “Somebody Like You.” It brought Keith to his feet and he praised Cook for taking the song and making it her own. Jennifer thought Joey did a good job of showcasing who she was. Harry remarked that if he and Keith ever had a kid, “that’s what the music would sound like.”
Next up, Massachusetts native Katherine Winston, performed Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound.” Urban thought it was a good choice, but advised her to “feel” the song more. Connick, on the other hand, questioned the song choice, explaining that he didn’t think it was right for the competition. Lopez called the Idol hopeful’s voice “magical.”
Shannon Berthiaume, a 17-year-old student from St. Paul, Minnesota, tackled Pink’s “Who Knew.” Harry noted Shannon appeared “green,” compared to the other acts in the competition -- a great quality now, but it would probably wear off in time. Keith thought Shannon was a great singer, but made a bad song choice. Jennifer also told Berthiaume she was a talented singer and urged her to believe in herself.
Loren Lott took the stage next, singing Charice’s “Note to God.” Lopez applauded Lott for giving a “brave performance.” Connick added that it was “powerful,” as well. Urban declared Loren is “giving everyone one a run for the money.”
Model Shi Scott delivered a soulful performance of Rihanna’s “Umbrella" that Keith called “powerful” and “gutsy,” but unfortunately was the wrong song choice. Jennifer agreed, explaining that the song didn’t really show what Scott could do. Harry thought going with a well-known song was a smart move, but agreed with the other judges that “Umbrella” a poor choice.
Maddie Walker, 17, tackled Shania Twain’s “Love Gets Me Every Time.” Connick called it a “good, solid performance,” but Urban once again questioned the song choice, as did Lopez.
This is Sarina-Joi Crowe‘s fourth attempt at becoming the next "American Idol" and she made the most of it by belting out Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best.” J-Lo thought Sarini-Joi's performance rivaled the original. Harry noted that Sarini-Joi’s look and sound were great, as well as the arrangement. Keith added that the performance was “the perfect balance of loose and tight.”
Jax’s changed the mood 180 degrees, taking on Nancy Sinatra’s version of “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).” Urban loved Jax’s “artistry and originality,” adding, “It was killer.” Lopez declared, “We’ll definitely be seeing you next week.” Connick agreed.
Tyanna Jones, 16, closed the show with “Lips Are Movin,” by Meghan Trainor, which, according to Connick, safely put her into the “ridiculously talented category.” Urban agreed, but also urged the teen not to be afraid of singing in even higher keys. Jennifer said Jones’ voice was “from God himself” and told the singer to “just be you.”
American Idol continues next Wednesday on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
ABC/Randy Holmes"Give Me Everything," a 2011 collaboration between Pitbull and Ne-Yo, became a huge smash, reaching #1 on the Billboard chart and selling more than eight million copies worldwide. Now, the two have teamed up again for the hit "Time of Our Lives," but Ne-Yo says he and Pit are trying not to stress over matching the success of their first collabo.
"Me and Pit basically just thought, you know, we did it once and people seemed to dig it so let’s give it a go again," Ne-Yo tells ABC News Radio about their decision to do another song together. "He was in the process of putting his album together, I was in the process of putting mine together, we came across a track that we both liked and pretty much the rest is history from there."
But Ne-Yo says he and Pit both tried to manage their expectations for the new song, which is currently at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and climbing.
"The one thing we were concerned about is, when you do a song that has the response that 'Give Me Everything' received, and then you do another song, everybody’s always going, 'OK, is it gonna be as good as "Give Me Everything" was? Is it gonna do what "Give Me Everything" did?' And we both came to the agreement that we weren’t gonna think like that," he tells ABC News Radio. "That was a moment. We’re not gonna try to relive an old moment: we’re gonna create a new moment."
Of course, that doesn't mean that the two artists aren't hoping that "Time of Our Lives" will be a huge smash as well.
"Lord willing, 'Time of Our Lives' will be as big as 'Give Me Everything' was, but if not, it’s a completely different song, completely different time, completely different me, completely different Pit, you know?" says Ne-Yo. "It’s another moment trying to be made."
"Time of Our Lives" appears on both Pitbull's current set, Globalization, and Ne-Yo's new album, Non-Fiction.
You'll recall that Kanye walked onto the Grammys stage after Beck's Morning Phase was named the winner for best album. Later, in an interview with E!, the rapper said, "Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé."
Kanye on Thursday also apologized to funk-pop star Bruno Mars, for some reason, writing, "I used to hate on him but I really respect what he does as an artist." He didn't elaborate on why he had an issue with Bruno.
Kanye did extend an offer to the "Uptown Funk" singer: "I also would love for Bruno to sing this hook on this song 88 Keys / Puff and I produced…I even asked Tyler to shoot the vid," meaning rapper and producer Tyler, the Creator.
(A.M.P.A.S.(r) / Michael Yada)Lady Gaga's performance of songs from the Sound of Music on the Academy Awards got the approval of Julie Andrews, the star of the film, but now Gaga's also gotten the thumbs-up from someone even more impressive: the granddaughter of the real-life subject of The Sound of Music.
The legendary 1965 movie was based on the real-life story of Maria von Trapp. Now, Elisabeth von Trapp, Maria's granddaughter, has written a piece for the British paper The Independent about the movie's 50th anniversary. In it, she says, "I must say that I thought Lady Gaga's celebration at the Oscars was exquisite -- her voice being perfect for the medley -- and beautifully choreographed."
So there, anyone who wasn't happy with Gaga's performance -- including TV producer Shonda Rhimes, creator of Scandal and Grey's Anatomy. Rhimes raised eyebrows on Oscar night by declaring Gaga's performance "not okay."
After being criticized for her comments, she wrote on Twitter, "I probably did miss the point. Everyone else loved it. That's okay. I am not a singer. So I don't know jack. I readily admit that. Everybody else liked it....My opinion DOESN'T MATTER. She ain't thinking 'bout me. Breathe."
Florent DechardWednesday night, "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars was named Best British Single at the BRIT Awards, the U.K. equivalent of the Grammys. Only Mark -- who's British, in case you didn't realize -- was present for the ceremony, but he says he plans to share his trophy with his pal Bruno...sort of.
Backstage, Mark was asked by London's Capital FM if he'd had a chance to tell Bruno the good news. Mark replied, "I haven’t had a chance [to tell him], it’s terrible...but I think he’s found out and he was he first person, I thanked of course, because at least half of that award is his."
Speaking about the BRIT Awards statuette, which looks like a featureless woman wearing a helmet, he added, "I’m gonna take the top half because it’s got the face, but he can have the base.”
Bruno, of course, did find out about the win, and tweeted, "Aaaaaaayyyyyyy! Congrats @MarkRonson Thank you to everyone for making this happen #BRITAWARDS."
Dana Edelson/NBCSia, 5 Seconds of Summer and Sheppard topped the nominations for the 2015 Australasian Performing Rights Association (ARPA) Music Awards, which honor songwriters and music publishers.
Sia and co-writer Jesse Shatkin’s hit song “Chandelier” is up for Pop Work of the Year, Most Played Australian Work and Song of the Year. 5 Seconds of Summer with be competing with Sia for Pop Work of the Year and Most Played Australian Work for their song “She Looks So Perfect." The boy band is also up for the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year honor.
Sheppard will take on 5SOS in the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year category, and they also snagged three nominations for their hit "Geronimo," including Pop Work of the Year, Most Played Australian Work and Song of the Year. The band is currently opening for Meghan Trainor on tour.
Nominees for International Work of the Year include Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne’s “Rather Be,” “Rude” by Magic!, Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me” and “The Monster” by Eminem featuring Rihanna.
Since its establishment in 1982, the ARPA’s annual songwriters' ceremony has become one of the Australian music industry's most prestigious events. The awards will take place in Sydney on March 24.
Image Group LA/ABCSelena Gomez wants her fans to know that their lives matter. The singer Instagrammed a screen shot of a lengthy comment she wrote to a fan in which she explains why suicide is not the answer.
"By me following you is not me saying it's ok to think these thoughts," she wrote. "It's not me saying 'hey you said sad things, so I'm going to follow you to make you feel better'. God puts us in situations that are so unexplainably difficult for a reason. There is someone in the world feeling so much, just like you."
The message, which went out to all of Selena’s 24 million followers, continued, "People everyday feel so many emotions they wish they could turn it off. But that's not why we are here. We are here for relationships, for people just like us who feel worthless. Your purpose is to share, help, encourage. Remember that. Please. Before you think of taking your life, think of all the [lives] you could save. I love you. More importantly there is a God that will love more than I ever could."
The 22-year-old captioned the message, “Every life is worth it.” Selena herself has admitted to struggling with depression. In a recent interview with V Magazine, she said there were a few months where living such a public life took its toll on her. She said she went through a phase where she felt depressed and would rarely leave her house.