CHR Music News

She worked late 'cause she's a singer: Sabrina Carpenter gives 'SNL' "Espresso," "Nonsense" and more

Will Heath/NBC

Sabrina Carpenter customized her songs specifically for her first-ever Saturday Night Live performance -- and appeared in a sketch, to boot.

Even before her first performance on the May 18 episode, Sabrina appeared in a pre-filmed sketch called Scooby Doo and the Mystery of the Shadow Phantom, which cast her as Daphne opposite host Jake Gyllenhaal's Freddie, Mikey Day's Shaggy, Sarah Sherman's Velma and a CGI Scooby Doo. They unmasked the bad guy, but then things got super-dark, disgusting and bloody. Everyone ended up dead, except Daphne.

For her first performance, Sabrina sang her massive hit "Espresso," which began with her sitting in a bar reading a newspaper. The headline read "Sabrina Loves to Be On Top!," with another story headlined, "That 'Me Espresso' Sparks Debate on Literacy."  She then performed the song while two male dancers pretended to fight over her, and changed the f-word to "damn."

Her second performance was a mash-up of "Feather" and "Nonsense." When she got to the line in "Feather" that goes "I got you blocked, excited to never talk / I, I'm so sorry for your loss," she changed it to "I got you blocked / excited to never talk / I, I'm on SNL and you're not!"

She then transitioned into the outro of "Nonsense," and as usual, she added some event-specific lyrics. Although they're a bit too suggestive to quote, you can see the performance on YouTube.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Music notes: Olivia Rodrigo, Sabrina Carpenter and more

Olivia Rodrigo's debut album, SOUR, just hit a major milestone. It's now the all-time highest-streaming album by a female artist on Spotify. "woahhh!!! so cool!!! cannot thank you guys enough," Olivia wrote on her Instagram Story.

Sabrina Carpenter is serving up even more "Espresso." The pop star has released an EP filled with remixes of the hit song. The Espresso EP includes a series of all new takes on the track, including "Double Shot Version," "Decaf Version," "On Vacation Version," "Mochapella Version" and "Espressooooo Version."

Ariana Grande's "We Can't Be Friends (Wait for Your Love)" has made it to #1 on Billboard's Pop Airplay chart. This marks Ari's 10th Pop Airplay #1 and makes her only the sixth artist with 10 or more leaders on the list.

Billie Eilish is back with a new album, and that also means she's back with new merch. Two exclusive editions of her third studio album, Hit Me Hard and Soft, are now available at Target. Fans can get the Target-exclusive CD and vinyl, as well as two Target-exclusive T-shirts. One shirt features a graphic print of the album's cover, while the other has a photo of Billie and is printed on a unisex oversized tee. 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Hear Miley Cyrus sing Talking Heads, Demi Lovato sing The Temptations

A24

Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato are two artists who can pretty much sing anything, and they both show off their skills in unique new covers, which are out in their entireties now.

After multiple teases, Miley has finally dropped the full version of "Psycho Killer," the classic Talking Heads song that appears on the tribute album Everyone's Getting Involved. The album features various artists, including LordeThe National, Paramore and girl in red, covering the songs that appear in Talking Heads' beloved 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense.

Miley's turned the quirky new wave song into a full-on dance floor banger and even changed some of the lyrics. She's also selling a T-shirt that features a line from the song: "Psycho Killer, Qu'est-ce que c'est? [kess kuh SAY]," which means "What is it?" in French.

As for Demi, she's teamed up with Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash to cover The Temptations' classic "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" for Slash's new album, Orgy of the Damned. She's the only pop star on the album of blues covers, which also features vocal contributions from the likes of Chris Stapleton and AC/DC's Brian Johnson. There's also a video for the song, which features Slash and Demi in the studio, intercut with clips of old-school Detroit.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


New Music Friday: Bebe Rexha, Dinah Jane, NKOTB and more

Bebe Rexha is back with a new single, "Chase It (Mmm Da Da Da)," which also has a video to go with it. According to a press release, the song is our first taste of a "new era full of high energy dance-floor-ready bangers" the singer is planning to release this summer.

Camila Cabello, Ally Brooke and Normani have all put out new music recently, and now it's Dinah Jane's turn. The former Fifth Harmony singer released "Ocean Song" from her upcoming EP, Forever Summer, due out August 21. The video will drop May 24. Dinah, who is of Polynesian heritage, says in a statement, "'Ocean Song' is my personal prayer to my ancestors. In this new era of my career, I’m so excited to put my cultural identity at the forefront of my music.” 

New Kids on the Block have released their first new studio album in 11 years, Still Kids, as well as a video for one of the album's songs, "Magic." It's made up of clips submitted by fans, showing how they're still kids at heart. The veteran boy band will kick off their Magic Summer 2024 tour on June 14. Joining them are special guests Paula Abdul and DJ Jazzy Jeff, the latter of whom appears on Still Kids.

"Confetti" singer Charlotte Cardin has just released a new three-song EP, A Week In Nashville. The Canadian singer says, "Nashville became a refuge in a week where my world was unraveling, offering a creative lifeline at a time when I really needed it. I hope these three songs bring as much comfort to everyone as they did to me.”  It's a follow-up to her 2023 EP, Une Semaine à Paris [A Week in Paris]. Her debut album, 99 Nights, also came out in 2023.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Report: Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce stayed in $21,000 per night Italian villa

Kevin Mazur/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Taylor Swift had a few days off before her show in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, and she and Travis Kelce apparently spent them having a romantic getaway in Italy's Lake Como — in a villa that costs $21,000 per night to rent.

Page Six has photos of the couple taking a boat ride on Lake Como on Thursday and having a candlelit dinner outside the villa earlier in the week. According to Page Six, the Villa Sola Cabiati can sleep 12 people and includes a private pool, gardens, a butler, housekeepers and a private chef. It also has 18th century frescoes, Murano glass chandeliers, marble balconies, terrazzo floors and more.

Taylor is playing Stockholm May 17, 18 and 19 before moving on to Lisbon, Portugal. It's not clear if Travis will go to Stockholm with her, though, because he has to be back in Kansas City, Kansas, on Saturday for his Kelce Jam Music Festival.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


It's a craving, not a crush: Watch Billie Eilish's "LUNCH" video

Darkroom/Interscope Records

Along with her new album HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, Billie Eilish is feeding fans with the video for "LUNCH."

The clip finds the "bad guy" artist dancing in a variety of outfits against a background of shifting colors as she bounces along to the song's bassline and lyrics like "I could eat that girl for lunch."

You can watch the "LUNCH" video, which Eilish directed herself, streaming now on YouTube.

HT ME HARD AND SOFT, Eilish's third album and the much-anticipated follow-up to 2021's Happier Than Ever, is out now. Billie will launch a North American tour in support of the record in September.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Andy Cohen says he "cheered" when he read John Mayer's letter defending their relationship

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

John Mayer recently wrote a letter to The Hollywood Reporter complaining that an interviewer had insinuated that people don't understand how he, a straight rock star, could be friendly with Andy Cohen, a gay TV personality. And Andy Cohen, for one, is thrilled about it.

John's letter, in part, read, "Quite simply, if someone is dubious of a platonic relationship between a straight man and a gay man, I don’t think that shallow a view deserves clarification by anyone with self respect, be it Andy or your publication. Reinforcing the idea that any gay/straight relationship needs qualification that it’s not sexual devoids everyone involved of their dignity."

Now, in the new episode of his podcast Daddy Diaries, Andy describes how happy he was that John spoke out. "I love that sentiment and this should now put an end to anyone asking us, ‘What’s the deal with you two? Explain it,'” Andy says. "It is demeaning to ask a gay guy about being friends with a straight guy … It does assume a gay guy can’t be friends with a straight person without them having sex.”

"I cheered when John said that," Andy continues. "And I said to John, 'Y'know what this really shows is what an ally you are, that you care enough about this trope being lazy and dumb and you would write this letter.'" 

"I really just love that he did that, and I applaud him for wanting it published,” the Bravo star concludes. "Thank you, John, for going on the record about that. I thought it was really, really cool.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ZAYN says his One Direction past has made him "the coolest person ever" with his 4-year-old niece

Courtesy Apple Music

ZAYN admits he didn't allow himself to enjoy his stint in One Direction that much while he was actually a member of the band, but now, he looks back on it a bit more fondly — especially since it's given him a certain status among the younger members of his family.

Speaking to Apple Music 1's Zane Lowe, ZAYN says, "Now, when I look back at [1D] as a grownup man, I see that there was missed opportunity there for me to have more fun, but I also look at it and think, 'I did have a lot of fun too.' And I'm really grateful for the experience I had with the lads in the band, and I think we did some amazing things that I'm really proud of in my life."

"And also, with having a daughter, and now I've got a niece and I've got a nephew, my niece is four years old, and she loves One Direction," he continues.

"She watches all of our old stuff, and she just thinks I'm the coolest person ever because I was in One Direction," notes ZAYN. "So, to me, I'm like, 'Yo, this has got a whole new level of cool street cred with the young ones.' So, I'm really grateful, man, and proud that I was involved. Do you know what I mean? I look at it in a different way now."

ZAYN has just released his new album, Room Under the Stairs, as well as a video for one of its tracks, "Stardust." On Friday, May 17, he'll have his first-ever live solo performance at London's O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire. On May 21, he'll do his first TV performance in eight years on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.


 

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Dua Lipa, Avril Lavigne and Noah Kahan get their country on at the ACMs

Courtesy Prime Video/ACMs

You probably wouldn't be surprised to hear that Post Malone performed at the Academy of Country Music Awards — after all, he's been moving into country for a while now. But did you expect Dua Lipa to show up?

Dua was a surprise performer at the May 16 awards ceremony, which streamed on Prime Video. She joined country superstar Chris Stapleton for a duet on his latest hit, "Think I'm In Love with You." Another surprise performer was Noah Kahan, who was making his awards show debut. He teamed up with Kelsea Ballerini to perform her song "Mountain with a View" and his song "Stick Season."

Other pop stars making the scene at the show, which streamed live from Dallas, Texas, included Gwen Stefani, who sang "Purple Irises" with her husband Blake Shelton, and Avril Lavigne, who joined rising country star Nate Smith for his song "Bulletproof." As for Posty, he sang a ballad called "Never Love You Again" and performed his recent single, "I Had Some Help."

Lainey Wilson was the night's big winner, and one of the categories she won was Music Event of the Year for "Save Me," her hit duet with Jelly Roll. Jelly also performed — he did a new song called "Liar" — and so did Kane BrownLuke Combs' "Fast Car" was named Single of the Year.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Back to Black star' and director on telling Amy Winehouse’s complex life story

Dean Rogers/Focus Features

The new musical biopic Back to Black tells the story of Grammy winner Amy Winehouse’s life.

Marisa Abela plays the beloved pop star in the film, and she tells ABC Audio Winehouse’s music has always loomed large in her life.

“I was so aware of her and her music,” Abela said. “But as a 10-year-old, you don't know what you're singing when you're singing ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’ or ‘Love is a Losing Game.’”

While she’s always been a fan, Abela said preparing for the film gave her a better picture of who Winehouse truly was.

“As a grown woman, to come back and revisit her music — not just as an artist and as a singer, but as a songwriter,” Abela said. “The person that took all of these experiences in life and, like, squished them into these songs that will live forever as some of the most vulnerable and authentic pieces of storytelling that there are, just creates a sort of new level of admiration for Amy as an artist.”

Director Sam Taylor-Johnson said she hopes the film conveys just how complex Winehouse truly was.

“I felt like she'd just become this tragic figure, and I wanted to really go back to the music and go into the lyrics and understand really how deeply she felt everything and the pain and the love,” Taylor-Johnson said.

Taylor-Johnson also hopes to have honored Winehouse’s legacy.

“It's tough making a film about somebody real. But also, my feeling was to uphold and celebrate her without judgment,” Taylor-Johnson said. 

Black to Black is available to watch in movie theaters everywhere on Friday, May 17. 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Maroon 5's residency lets Adam Levine "explore his Vegas lounge performer side"

Travis Schneider

Maroon 5 returns to Dolby Live at Park MGM Las Vegas on Thursday for the first 2024 dates of their residency show, which launched last year. Guitarist James Valentine says fans who come to the shows might get to see a side of Adam Levine they've never seen before.

Most Las Vegas residency shows are strictly timed and the set lists don't change that much, but James notes there are definitely moments built into the show that allow them to let loose.

"We always get to inject a little bit of creativity and spontaneity within every song, and there's certain moments in the set that are certainly engineered for that," he tells ABC Audio. "And Adam also gets to sort of explore his Vegas lounge performer side."

He laughs, "We never know what he's going to be saying onstage. We're always as surprised as the audience."

Maroon 5's Vegas set list may change slightly from last year's shows, but it'll still include their biggest hits, from "Moves Like Jagger" and "Girls Like You" to "Sunday Morning," "This Love" and one of James' personal favorites.

"It was really fun to play 'She Will Be Loved' [in Vegas] because we got to go out in the audience, me and Adam," he says. "Y'know, I'd strap on my acoustic guitar ... and we'd go walk around the audience. And so that was a pretty special moment every night. I really enjoyed doing that."

However, James says that moment caused a slight problem.

"Sometimes when you are in the audience, people are excited, which I understand," he says. "And so we did have some aggressive selfie taking. Our security had to explain, 'Hey, they are performing' and 'back off a little bit.'"

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Billie Eilish is throwing it back to SoundCloud for new album 'HIT ME HARD AND SOFT'

Courtesy SoundCloud

Billie Eilish's new album, HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, is out now, and to promote it, she's doing a takeover of the platform that she says is "the only reason I'm anything, 100%": SoundCloud.

Billie was discovered on SoundCloud in 2015 when she uploaded her song "Ocean Eyes" and it racked up 10,000 plays in a few hours. Two years later, she had a record deal. She's now teamed up with SoundCloud to pay tribute to the fans who've been with her since day one. 

There's a special landing page that features a new logo designed by Billie, with her name replacing the name SoundCloud. There are also user profile photos of Billie's "first fans" on the platform, and a timeline charting her career from 2015 to her current superstar status.

Plus, HIT ME HARD AND SOFT is fully available to all SoundCloud users, instead of just the ones with paid subscriptions, which is how it usually works.

Billie previewed the new album, her third, at a special in-person fan listening event at New York's Barclays Center Thursday. There will also be a listening event at AMC movie theaters across the country Friday.

Speaking to Rolling Stone about HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, Billie said, “I feel like this album is me. It’s not a character ... it feels like my youth and who I was as a kid."

She added, "This whole process has felt like I’m coming back to the girl that I was. I’ve been grieving her. I’ve been looking for her in everything, and it’s almost like she got drowned by the world and the media. I don’t remember when she went away.”

Here's the HIT ME HARD AND SOFT track list:

"SKINNY"
"LUNCH"
"CHIHIRO"
"BIRDS OF A FEATHER"
"WILDFLOWER"
"THE GREATEST"
"L’AMOUR DE MA VIE"
"THE DINER"
"BITTERSUITE"
"BLUE"

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Music notes: Sabrina Carpenter, Justin Bieber and more

Did you watch The Idea of You on Prime Video and come away from it wishing the film's boy band was real? Well, luckily for you, that band — called August Moon — has released the music video for their song "Guard Down." The track features lead vocals from Nicholas Galitzine and was produced by Savan Kotecha.

It seems Sabrina Carpenter ships Colin and Penelope on Bridgerton. Her hit song "Espresso" even features their ship name, albeit spelled a bit differently. "@bridgertonnetflix season 3's about to dream come true it for Polin shippers," @teamsabrina captioned a video filled with some of Colin and Penelope's most memorable scenes. "Use #ComeAndGetThisPolin on videos of ur fav moments from this season!" the caption reads.

While out and about in LA on Thursday, Justin Bieber was spotted sporting a vintage R.E.M. T-shirt from the band's 1989 Green World Tour. The band gave their approval on social media. "Nice t-shirt!" R.E.M's official HQ page wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ed Sheeran surprises college students, performs alongside them

ABC/Paula Lobo

One of Ed Sheeran's favorite things to do is drop in on schools unexpectedly and meet with music students. But on May 16, he went one step further during a surprise visit to The Sheffield College in Northern England.

During his visit to the campus of the music career-focused college, Ed walked onstage during a workshop that was being held in the theater and performed with several students. Nineteen-year-old Lol Bailey was singing Ed's hit "Shape of You" when the singer appeared.

“It really threw me off when Ed Sheeran walked on stage but it was brilliant,” Bailey told The Star.

Another student, 18-year-old Brad Lyne, got the chance to rap alongside Ed. He told The Star, "It was so cool. He’s a global superstar and an absolute legend but he was a normal dude who gave us some great advice. It made me think if he can achieve success, we can too.”

You can watch footage of both performances on Instagram. According to the college, Ed also performed "Castle on the Hill" during his visit and answered students' questions about the music industry.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Stephen Sanchez records new original song for soundtrack of Disney+ Beach Boys documentary

Mercury Records

Stephen Sanchez is putting his retro sound to good use. The "Until I Found You" singer has recorded a new song called "Baby Blue Bathing Suit" for the upcoming Disney+ documentary The Beach Boys, which starts streaming on May 24.

Stephen co-wrote the song with Olivia Rodrigo collaborator Dan Nigro and hitmaker Amy Allen. In a statement, he says, "I was floored when The Beach Boys’ team reached out to me about being featured on the film’s soundtrack - it’s truly an honor to be a part of this project and I have so much respect for the band and their musical legacy."

"Endless Summer was one of the first vinyls my Grandpa gave me as a kid," Stephen says.

Endless Summer was a Beach Boys compilation that came out in 1974 to take advantage of the wave of late '50s/early '60s nostalgia that was sweeping the nation at the time. It was the legendary group's only #1 studio album, and for many fans — like Stephen — it was their introduction to music.

"Recording the song was equally incredible ... I recorded the vocals when I was in London at the iconic Abbey Road Studios," Stephen says, referring to the place where The Beatles recorded most of their music. "I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!”

You can also watch a behind-the-scenes feature on the making of the song and video on People.com.

Stephen just released a deluxe version of his debut album, Angel Face, and will launch an international tour this summer.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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