AC Music News

"The Voice" Recap: The Playoffs End with Usher Eliminating Two of His Artists

(l-r) T.J. Wilkins, Usher, Josh Kaufman, Bria Kelly; Trae Patton/NBCIt was the final night of the playoffs on The Voice on Tuesday night. All five artists from Team Usher performed in a bid to earn one of the remaining available spots in the live round.Usher settled on Bria Kelly, Josh Kaufman and T.J. Wilkins, thereby eliminating Melissa Jiménez and Stevie Joe.Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Shakira pared down their teams during the previous two episodes.Here's what happened during Tuesday night's one-hour episode:T.J. Wilkins got things started for Team Usher with a cover of "Tell Me Something Good," by Rufus and Chaka Khan. Shakira misspoke by saying T.J.'s ability to reach the high note was his "ace under his sleeve." Adam teased her for botching the idiom. Usher said T.J. nailed the playful nature of the period of time when "Tell Me Something Good" was released, the mid-1970s.Melissa Jiménez delivered a stripped-down version of Beyoncé's "Halo." Shakira said it was a brave move to take a different approach to the popular song. Adam said there were some moments that were beautiful, but other moments during which Melissa ran into trouble. Blake added that Melissa didn't have enough breath for one particular note. Usher pointed out the effort that Melissa had put into the competition to that point.Stevie Joe chose B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone." Blake joked that watching Stevie Joe perform is like watching him sneak up on a rabbit. He then declared that Stevie Joe is the "real deal." Shakira said he stretched certain notes for too long, but otherwise his performance was good. Usher commended Stevie Joe for the way he handled a song that's about heartache.Bria Kelly took on The Rolling Stones classic "Wild Horses." Shakira wondered how Bria could reach the high notes and be so sultry. Blake observed a softer side to Bria's vocals that is "golden." Usher applauded her for making the song her own.For the final performance of the playoff round, Josh Kaufman sang Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain." His former coach, Adam, said he's so relieved Josh was stolen from him because he deserves to be in the competition. Blake said Josh is a favorite of his and his wife, Miranda Lambert. Usher credited Adam for helping mold Josh as an artist.The episode ended with Usher keeping Bria, Josh and T.J. on his team.Here's a rundown of the remaining artists on the other three teams:Team Adam: Christina Grimmie, Delvin Choice and Kat Perkins.Team Blake: Sisaundra Lewis, Audra McLaughlin and Jake Worthington. Team Shakira: Tess Boyer, Kristen Merlin and Dani Moz.Next Monday night on NBC, The Voice will begin its live round.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Train's Sail Across the Sun Fan Cruise Is Returning in 2015

Trainline.comThe guys in Train had such a good time this past February on their first Sail Across the Sun fan cruise that they're doing it again next year -- and you can sign up now for all the fun.Train's second annual Sail Across the Sun cruise will leave from Miami on February 13, 2015, and visit Key West and Great Stirrup Key before returning to Miami on February 17.  You can register for the cruise pre-sale now at, and on that same website, you can watch a video documenting what went down this past year on the cruise to get you psyched up for next year.Last year's cruise featured musical guests like Matt Nathanson, Michael Franti and John Oates of Hall & Oates, and there was also a food and wine component, with tastings, and famous TV chefs like Jonathan Waxman and Aarón Sánchez giving cooking demonstrations.  Of course, there were also plenty of chances to get up-close-and-personal with the members of Train themselves, and see the band perform in intimate settings.Singer Pat Monahan says in a video, "Stay tuned...over the next two weeks as we unveil some exciting details about our journey together in 2015 at sea."Meanwhile, Train has quite a few performances lined up for this summer. Visit for their full schedule.Copyright 2014 ABC News RadioSail Across the Sun is back in 2015! from Sixthman TV on Vimeo. 

Lorde Wonders If People Will Still Like Her When She's 25

ABC/Lou RoccoMuch has been made of the fact that Lorde has managed to accomplish all that she has at such a young age.  But the 17-year-old star from New Zealand says she sometimes wonders if people will still think she's so great when she hits the ripe old age of, oh, say, 25.Speaking to, Lorde, born Ella Yelich-O'Connor, says, "I think a lot about mortality, and I just get way too in my head about it. Since I started making music a lot was made of how old I was and it made me think about, 'What happens when I’m 25? Will people still like what I'm doing? Is it still important if I’m not this hyper-youthful being?'""It’s stupid," she admits. "I know I’m being silly. But I can’t help it. It’s just one of those things. I’ll get over it."Lorde is also concerned with keeping her head on straight as her enormous fame grows.  Noting that a year ago, most people didn't know who she was, she tells, "I guess it has been fast. But I don’t feel like it’s moving faster than I’m taking it in. I feel very on track with it."She adds, "A lot of things, like playing Coachella, feel a lot more normal and comfortable now that we’ve had a lot of experiences that could be considered a big deal. But I have an awesome team who help me not burn out and die. And I always have someone from my family on the road with me."Lorde's tour continues this week with shows in Las Vegas and Phoenix, and she'll return to Coachella this weekend for the music festival's second weekend.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

John Mayer Covers Beyonce Onstage in Australia

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for LUTBOver the weekend, John Mayer tweeted his admiration for Beyoncé's song "XO."  Now, he's paid her the ultimate compliment by performing the song live on stage.On April 12, John tweeted, "The best thing about Beyoncé? The break in her voice on the first 'baby, love me lights out' in XO. Real and raw."  On Tuesday in Adelaide, Australia, John sang a version of "XO" using only an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, and actually managed to make it sound like one of his own songs."XO" appears on Beyoncé's current self-titled album, which she released with no warning in December, shocking both her fans and the entire music industry.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Get a Sneak Preview of Katy Perry's New Collection for Claire's

Claire's Stores Inc.Katy Perry's PRISM collection of fashion accessories will debut at Claire's stores and online on May 15, but if you want a sneak preview, just head on over to the store's European Twitter feed.Katy's line was officially launched in London on Tuesday, and video and photos from all the fashion reporters and bloggers who attended are all over the @ClairesEurope Twitter feed right now. The photos reveal necklaces, bracelets and earrings with PRISM designs and themes, as well as notebooks, phone covers and more.  There are also rings and bracelets that spell out ROAR across your fingers and wrists.A note on the Claire's Facebook page has a few more images, as well as the message, "Are you roaring about the #KatyPerryPRISMCollection yet? Katy Perry wants to see you in these pieces at her Prismatic World Tour. The collection officially arrives in-store and online on May 15!"Katy's Prismatic World Tour gets underway next month in Northern Ireland.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

"The Voice" Recap: Shakira and Adam's Teams Perform in the Playoffs

Trae Patton/NBCThe Voice resumed its playoff round on Monday night, with artists from Shakira and Adam Levine's teams performing for the opportunity to advance in the competition. Only three of five artists from each squad ultimately made the cut.Blake Shelton previously watched his artists take part in the playoffs last week. Usher's protégés will have their turn on Tuesday night.Here's what happened on Monday night's two-hour episode:Kristen Merlin offered the first performance of the night for Team Shakira: a rendition of Carrie Underwood's "Two Black Cadillacs." Adam said she's at the top of her game. Adam and Blake both thought it was Kristen's best performance of the season. Shakira said Kristen was in control and had command of the stage.Deja Hall took on Jordan Sparks' "Battlefield." Blake and Usher both observed that she came out of her shell with the performance. Shakira said Deja showed off a more aggressive voice.Tess Boyer belted out Christina Perri's "Human." Her original coach, Usher, called her ability to hold notes "super-human." Another of Tess' former coaches, Blake, said Tess handled with ease what is typically a difficult song to perform. Shakira said Tess has a gift for singing.Patrick Thomson performed "Trouble," by Ray LaMontagne. Blake repeatedly antagonized Adam for losing Patrick earlier in the season. Shakira said Patrick seized the moment with grace and poise.Dani Moz played Lady Gaga's "The Edge Of Glory" on the piano. Blake said she completely connected with the song and her instrument.Of these five, Shakira chose Tess, Kristen and Dani to advance in the competition.Delvin Choice was the first of Adam's artists to take the stage. He covered the Al Green classic "Let's Stay Together." Usher called him a "threat" in the competition because he can sing tunes from many genres. Shakira said Delvin is one of her favorites on the show. Adam claimed Delvin solidifies his team as the one to beat this season.Jake Barker sang "She Will Be Loved," by Adam's band, Maroon 5. Blake complimented him on his strong falsetto. Jake's former coach, Usher, said his growth has been impressive. Adam described Jake as the most improved artist, given how little experience he had performing in public before competing on the show.Kat Perkins delivered her take on the Journey tune "Open Arms." Usher said it was flawless. Blake said it wasn't "open arms," but rather "open lungs." He couldn't come up with the words to describe how much he liked the performance. Adam agreed with Usher's assessment, and said it's only the beginning for Kat.Morgan Wallen brought a little country to the show with Florida Georgia Line's "Stay." Usher admitted that when he was Morgan's coach, he steered him in the wrong direction, wishing he had focused more on the country genre with him. Blake added that there are hints of two alternative-rock bands -- Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots -- in Morgan's voice. Blake noted that Morgan brings a different angle to country music, much like Travis Tritt has. Adam said he knew Morgan is "legitimate" when he heard him rehearse the song.The remaining artist on Team Adam, Christina Grimmie, performed "I Won't Give Up," by Jason Mraz. Blake wondered how such a big voice can come out of such a small person. Shakira said Christina was tender in the verses but powerful in the chorus. Adam said Christina made a good song choice, and that she did everything well.Christina was the first contestant selected by Adam, followed by Delvin and Kat.Usher's team will enter the spotlight Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Andy Grammer Plans to Debut Most of His New Album on Summer Tour

S-Curve RecordsAndy Grammer, best known for his hits "Keep Your Head Up" and "Fine By Me," is back with a new single, "Back Home," from his upcoming second album. If you want a preview of the disc, which is coming out this fall, make plans to catch Andy's newly-announced headlining summer tour, because he'll be debuting a huge chunk of his new material live onstage."I'm going to play almost all of it, which is kind of an interesting way to go," he tells ABC News Radio about the new material.  That's because when he was putting together the new album, he specifically wrote the kinds of songs he felt he would make his live show more complete."I definitely wrote some songs knowing that I didn't have 'those' [kinds of songs] yet and I need those. So I think the show will be a little more dynamic, because I specifically went in to write thinking like, 'I wish I had one of those [songs].'  Or [I'd] see someone else play and be like, 'Man, I need a song like that, that's a little bit darker' I'm excited and its different. There's some different music on here."But even though he'll be packing his set with new music, Andy says he'll still play the hits from his first album, including "Keep Your Head Up."  But since he's been playing that song non-stop since 2011, when it came out, isn't he tired of it yet?  He says no way."People don't understand that it's not about me getting bored with playing it," he tells ABC News Radio. "It's about me never getting bored of someone loving it. So if you're still going to love it, I will do whatever you want, if you guys are still going to freak out, I'll play it." (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)Andy's tour kicks off June 10 in Phoenix, Arizona.  Tickets go on sale April 10.  The new single, "Back Home," is available now on iTunes.Here are the tour dates:6/10 -- Phoenix, AZ, The Crescent Ballroom6/12 -- Houston, TX, Fitzgerald’s6/13 -- Austin, TX, The Parish6/15 -- Dallas, TX,  House of Blues6/17 -- Nashville, TN, 3rd & Lindsley6/18 -- Atlanta, GA, The Loft6/19 -- Jacksonville Beach, FL, Freebird Live6/20 -- Clearwater, FL, Capitol Theatre6/21 -- Orlando, FL, Beacham Theatre6/23 -- Charlotte, NC, Visulite Theatre6/24 -- York, PA, The Pullo Center6/25 --  Boston, MA, House of Blues6/26 -- New York, NY, Irving Plaza6/27 -- Ridgefield, CT, The Ridgefield Playhouse6/29 -- Philadelphia, PA, World Cafe Live6/30 -- Alexandria, VA, The Birchmere7/1 -- Millvale, PA, Mr. Smalls Theatre7/2 -- Chicago, IL, House of Blues7/5 -- Covington, KY, Madison Theater7/6 -- Pontiac, MI, The Crofoot7/8 --  Minneapolis, MN, Varsity Theater7/11 -- Denver, CO, Summit Music Hall7/12 -- Salt Lake City, UT, The Complex7/14 -- Seattle, WA,  Neumos7/15 -- Portland, OR, Hawthorne Theater7/17 -- San Francisco, CA, Great American Music HallCopyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Passenger Announces North American Summer Tour

Credit: Shervin LainezFollowing the global success of the song "Let Her Go," Passenger -- the singer/songwriter born Mike Rosenberg -- is getting ready to release his new album, Whispers, on June 10. Now, he's announced a North American headlining tour in support of the disc.The tour gets underway August 2 in Atlanta, and wraps up September 14 in San Diego.  Tickets go on sale April 15.Passenger has also been nominated for three Billboard Music Awards: Top New Artist, Top Rock Artist, and Top Rock Song, for "Let Her Go."Here are the tour dates:8/2 -- Atlanta, GA, Buckhead Theatre8/3 -- Nashville, TN, Marathon Music Works8/5 -- Charlotte, NC, Amos’ Southend8/6 -- Washington, D.C., Echostage8/8 -- Philadelphia, PA, Electric Factory8/10 -- New York, NY, Central Park Summerstage8/13 -- Boston, MA, House of Blues8/14 -- Montreal, QC, Metropolis8/16 -- Toronto, ON, The Sound Academy8/17 -- Detroit, MI, St. Andrew Hall8/19 -- Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall8/20 -- Indianapolis, IN, Deluxe , Old National Center8/22 -- Chicago, IL, Vic Theatre8/24 -- Minneapolis, MN, First Avenue8/30 -- Austin, TX, Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater8/31 -- Dallas, TX, House of Blues9/3 -- Denver, CO, Ogden Theatre9/6 -- Seattle, WA, Showbox SoDo9/7 -- Vancouver, BC, Malkin Bowl9/9 -- Portland, OR, Crystal Ballroom9/11 -- Oakland, CA, Fox Theatre9/13 -- Los Angeles, CA, The Wiltern9/14 -- San Diego, CA, House of BluesCopyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Who Ate All the Custom Cakes in Katy Perry's New Lyric Video?

Capitol RecordsIf you checked out the new lyric video for Katy Perry's single "Birthday," you know that it's chock full of delicious treats, including cakes, cupcakes and candy.  All the sweets were real, and were created especially for the video by Ace of Cakes chef Duff Goldman and his team at Los Angeles' Cakemix Bakery & DIY Decorating Studio.  But who got to eat all those yummy cakes at the end of the shoot?  Well, it wasn't Katy.“The camera guys, sound guys, production guys took those home,” Goldman tells People magazine. "I’m sure there are photos of them all at home with their families eating Katy Perry cakes!”  But Katy herself, who appears briefly at the end of the video, did get a little something for her efforts: Duff's team made her a gift of some glittery pink cupcakes that spelled out her name. Goldman also reveals that he and his team of 12 created everything in the video in less than a week, following a list of shots that called for a hamburger cake, a cat cake, a cake that looks like a suit and others.  Unfortunately, Goldman says that the day of the shoot, when Katy came to the set, he missed her, because he had a delivery to make.  "I was bummed,” he tells People, but adds, "If she ever wants another cake, I’ll deliver it personally!”Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Billy Joel's Daughter Recovering After Collapsing on Stage

Image Courtesy Alexa Ray Joel via InstagramBilly Joel's daughter Alexa Ray Joel has been having a rough time lately.  First, she had to deny rumors that she'd had plastic surgery.  Now, she's ended up in the hospital after collapsing on stage.As People magazine reports, Alexa was performing at New York's Cafe Carlyle over the weekend when she passed out on stage.  She was rushed to the emergency room and diagnosed with a condition called vasovagal syncope, in which the blood temporarily stops flowing to the brain.  However, it's not a serious condition, and doesn't require any treatment.In a statement, Alexa tells People, "I wanted to thank everyone for coming out to support me. I was excited and determined to fulfill my final performance and I really wanted to end my run with a bang, but this was not what I had in mind and hope I have the opportunity to make it up to the wonderful audience very soon. Thanks for all the concern."The night of the collapse, Alexa had previously announced from the stage that she wasn't feeling well because she'd pulled out her neck and her back.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Crashes Super-Fan's Bridal Shower

Gena Gabrielle via InstagramTaylor Swift was full of big surprises this past weekend. After showing up unannounced during Seth Rogen's Saturday Night Live monologue Saturday night, Taylor flew to Columbus, Ohio to surprise one of her big fans, Gena Gabrielle, at her bridal shower on Sunday. Gena documented the entire event on Instagram.Of course, Taylor didn't show up empty-handed. She gave Gena a KitchenAid mixer, along with a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. Gena revealed those were the same cookies Taylor baked with her pal, Olympian Gracie Gold, last week.According to Gena, Taylor told her, "This is my first bridal shower, and Gena's last."Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pharrell Williams Recalls Writing "Happy" in New Episode of Oprah Prime

Columbia RecordsPharrell Williams speaks candidly with Oprah Winfrey about this infectious hit “Happy” in an all-new episode of OWN's Oprah Prime, airing Sunday.In a newly released minute-long teaser, Pharrell's asked how his Oscar-nominated song came together.  "My best songs come from two different ways.  Either when I have a really good gut feeling about something.  It's written in the shower or on a plane," the hitmaker explains.After trying to write the song several times for the Despicable Me soundtrack, Pharrell reveals that "Happy" came to him while in the shower."Some of my best verses come from there.  Right?  And some of my best songs.  But then some of my crazy half-court shots, you know, where you just go -- swish," he says referring to his hit single.  "And it's not because you're that good.  It's because you're out of ideas.  And that's what happened.  I hit zero.  And I just hit a place of openness because I had nothing else left."The full interview will air Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Pops Up on "Saturday Night Live" to Support Pal Ed Sheeran

Image Courtesy Ed Sheeran via InstagramTaylor Swift's now a part-time New York City resident, so she didn't have to go out of her way too much to make a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend.The singer appeared onstage during host Seth Rogen's opening monologue, along with a few other unannounced guests: Zooey Deschanel and James Franco.  Rogen angrily insisted that he didn't need his famous friends to come by and help him out, and when he asked Taylor what she was doing there, she replied, "You're getting really upset, and when a man shows emotion, I appear!"But the real reason she was there was to support her good friend Ed Sheeran, who was making his Saturday Night Live debut.  In fact, it was she, and not Rogen, who announced that he was the musical guest.  Ed performed two songs from his forthcoming album, X: "Sing" and "Don't."   The latter song is about a woman Ed was seeing, who he claims cheated on him with a friend while they were staying at the same hotel.  While the woman in question was a musician, Ed has insisted that Taylor is not the subject of the song.At the end of the show, Taylor joined Ed, Rogen and the rest of the cast onstage for the traditional good-byes.  Zooey Deschanel stayed around to say goodbye as well, and she and Taylor very spoke animatedly to each other and appeared to jump up and down with delight while chatting.  You may recall that Taylor guest-starred on Deschanel's show New Girl last year.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Train to Rock Tortuga Music Festival on Saturday

RocktheOcean.comTrain is currently working on a new album, but that doesn't mean they can't leave the studio every once in a while to play some live music.  The band is one of the headliners for the two-day Tortuga Music Festival, taking place this Saturday and Sunday on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.Train, who will perform Saturday, is one of the very few pop acts on the bill: it's a mostly country music lineup, with acts like Eric Church, Billy Currington and Brett Eldredge.  The festival is essentially a charity event designed to benefit the Rock the Ocean Foundation, which raises awareness of issues affecting the world's oceans.Train frontman Pat Monahan tells USA Today, "Playing music is what I love to do. I don't know how to do anything else, so if the occasion arises that I can raise awareness and a little bit of money, [I will]. I'm on the water as often as I can be. We need the ocean more than it needs us."The band has quite a few shows lined up for the summer, starting in late June and going through July and August.  Visit to see them all.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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